Hello family and friends!!
FINDING ELDER DAYTON'S GROOVE
Just another week down here in the Caribbean. I'm hitting my 8 month mark on the 22nd, so I'm almost one-third of the way done--not that anyone's keeping track... But I really feel like I'm in the groove of missionary work now. I'm still not perfect, but I know more or less what I'm doing. It feels great! I can speak the language, I can talk to people, I can teach them about the gospel (actually, I'm a TERRIBLE teacher, but we can't all be perfect, right?), and I'm getting way better at typing on these French keyboards!
I'm also starting to get into my district leader role. It takes up a little extra time, but I love it! I feel a lot closer with the other missionaries on the island because of it. It's not just me and my companion 24/7 (although I would be cool with that... Elder Lever is a total WIZARD!) I still hate teaching district meetings though. I have to teach other missionaries how to do their job every Tuesday for 60-90 minutes. I feel really inadequate for the job, but I'm up for it.
Another thing that I didn't realize would be as energy-consuming as it really is, is running our little group for church every Sunday! Elder Lever and I do everything! We set up the program for sacrament, call speakers (usually us 2 and someone else), and then teach the Sunday School lesson too! We basically do all the preparation for that on Sunday morning before church because on Saturday night we have to clean everything so that it's ready for Sunday. (primary song, holla!)
Elder Lever and I have started picking it up with some investigators now.
Here's a few of them:
Daniel: former long-time investigator with a lot of hang-ups on small little things about our church. He believes lots of things are true, but he just doesn't like things like the Word of Wisdom and the idea that we have Godly potential. His girlfriend lives in Gwada and is a new member there. She really wants him to get baptized.
Sylvia: Slowing down... Our lessons with her aren't too great anymore. I'm a really bad teacher, and I need to learn how to ask more inspired questions. She doesn't retain much from the lessons because she's kind of quiet and we/I don't get her involved enough. (Sidenote: Elder Lever's younger than me, but I'm learning a ton from him. Like how to be a better teacher. He also helps me a TON with my district leader job.)
Christina: She's NEW! She's the girlfriend of our recent convert Marclin. She wants to get baptized!!! Now we're just teaching her and helping her understand WHY she wants it. We want her to understand the importance of making this covenant before we jump in the ocean with her (yeah... there's no baptismal font here! Heck to the yeah!!)
Some pictures of Elder Russell and I hiking with his most recent convert Kevin and his fiancée, Lorisa. Also on the beach with them playing badminton. #cave #waterfall
People burning stuff... That's Elder Russell burning his crown because he broke his "feve" from his "Galette des Rois" (If you don't know what that is, google it.) We made him burn his crown because he broke it... Then Elder Drennan broke his too! So Elder Smith, my sick new homie and Parker Jones look-alike (HOLLA P-JONES!!), burned his crown. It was pretty hilarious!
Editor's note: The Galette des Rois, meaning "King's Cake" is a popular French cake that celebrates the holiday of Epiphany (January 6th), the day when the Three Kings visited the Baby Jesus. As part of French tradition, a small feve (favor) is hidden in the cake. The person who finds the feve in his or her slice becomes king or queen for the day. I think the burning of the crown part was just made up by the missionaries!
Random pictures of a road and the ocean. Yeah, that's what I get to see EVERY day as we drive around looking for things to do. #gorgeous
Pictures of our beautiful house/church! :) The picture with a banister in it is the view from our balcony. Yeah... I know... #stunning (P.S. I have confirmed that YES, you can hear the ocean from our house.)
Me and my beautiful companion, Elder Adam Lever, eating our fajitas. Thanks for the Christmas present mom!! :) #delish
Elder Taylor Dayton #havingfun