Monday, February 24, 2014

Miracle Week!

February 24, 2014

Dear all,

This past week was amazing!! We had tons of member lessons and I had a sweet exchange with Elder Call in my area, so I got/had to drive. There's a lot to tell you, so I gotta get right into it...

SWEET EXCHANGE

Elder Call came to Trinite with me on Friday and so I drove. Man, it's been 9 months (holy cow) since I've driven, and I HATE driving here! Caribbean drivers are insane and the roads are tiny!

The whole day we tried to go around finding new investigators and we had some success contacting and re-contacting. But when it came for our lessons, we didn't get to see the people we wanted. We got dropped/dumped by our oldest investigator, Van-Tse! She was amazing and she was so nice and she had such a nice husband and two beautiful little daughters, but she told us that she had made up her mind with religion and that she wasn't going to continue with us... :( I was distraught!!

Then we went up to the city Sainte-Marie and tried to see some people and failed. Then we went back to Beausejour and tried to visit more people... and failed. So we basically were out of things to do, and it was 6 PM, the worst time to run out of things to do! (Nobody likes hearing knocks at their door after 6.) So we decided to go contacting. I chose a building across the way that I had never been to, we went up to the top floor. I had Elder Call say a prayer and then we knocked on the first door... and #MIRACLE!!

We found the coolest little family! Their names are Cedric and Caytleen, and they have a 6-year old girl and a 18-month old boy. They just moved in 3 months ago, so they actually had never been contacted be the missionaries before! But they let us right in, we taught them the Restoration, and we told them about an amazing book that we have that can answer the questions of their soul! We didn't have one on us (#unprepared) so we set up an appointment to come back on Saturday night.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

I'm back with Elder Lever at this point. We had a bunch of amazing lessons with Christina this week because she was back in town and staying with the Anthony's, who are some of my absolute favorite people (remember Jean-Jean, Jean-Marc, and Marclin?) But on Saturday we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then read Mosiah 18 with her, and the invited her to be baptized... she said YES!!! :)))) #MIRACLE We were pumped, she was excited, Marclin (her BF and our most recent convert that got baptized right before I got here) was happy, and Sister Anthony was like "Whoooo!!! Next it's a marriage in the temple!!" :) Haha it was so funny!! But anyway, we set the date for April 12th (still tentative on that) because she wants enough time for her family to be there (they're all Jehovah's Witnesses or 7th Day Adventists or something...) But I'm pretty sure she'll be baptized regardless of how accepting they are.

She's progressing so fast! She reads everything we give her in the BoM and understands so well! It's awesome! :) She just started at the beginning now and I bet she's just cruising through.




Jean-Jean (one of Soeur Anthony's sons) wearing my green tie that I gave him! He's so awesome! :) 














 Me and Marclin (Sister Anthony's son) and most recent convert to our group here in Trinite. He has a paralyzed arm. He had a major turnaround in his life to become a member. But now he's awesome! :) I love him so much!! He tries to speak English with us. He's actually really good at it too because his mom is from St. Lucia. He's hilarious!  #mybrotha




SATURDAY NIGHT

Elder Lever and I went to Cedric and Caytleeen's house and had an amazing lesson about the BoM! At the end we invited them to church and drew them a map for them to find it. (They are super close to us!) They said they wanted to come! As we were leaving, Cedric was like, "Are you pressed for time?.. We'd really like to see the church." And we were like, "COME ON OVER!!" (We were about to go clean it anyway.)





Our beautiful chapel where we hold church every Sunday except for Fast Sunday.


So they followed us in their car home and came inside and looked. They stayed for an awkward amount of time, and Elder Lever and I were hoping that they would leave, because we had a lot of cleaning to do, but they just stuck around for a good 15 or 20 minutes quietly. They were just soaking it in! It was so awesome!! The Spirit was so strong! We said goodbye to them, and they drove off, and Elder Lever and I got the church ready for the next day...

CHURCH

We had an amazing day at church! Elder Lever and I both gave talks again and we taught Sunday school again. Everything was perfect, except... 

Cedric and Caytleen and their kids never showed up. :( We were distraught--once again! We thought something had happened and they changed their minds. So we decided to go over in the afternoon to see them and find out what happened. We show up to their complex and their car is just sitting in their parking lot. We approached the door to go up the stairs... and it was LOCKED! We were so bummed, but just as we were about to turn around, we heard someone walking down, so we were going to just sneak in when they opened the door... And it was Cedric!! #MIRACLE He came down and he explained to us that when he went out to start the car in the morning, it made a big noise, and then wouldn't start! He had just gotten it fixed a while back, but he thinks they messed it up. They blew a fuse or something. He was actually coming down to look at the car, and we just happened to be standing at the door.

So when he found out that the car was like that, he called us to tell us to come and get his family! He got the answering maching, and left a message saying that they needed a ride. But we never got a call... so we never knew anything about the problem! But we would have definitely got them to church! He showed us on his phone to prove that he had called us, and that's when we figured out the problem... He used the wrong area code!! Our stinkin' phone is from Guadeloupe, so we have a different area code. And when he looked at the pamphlet they had with our number, he was used to having Martinique phone numbers and didn't notice the one number difference between 0690 and 0696... :/ We were all so bummed!! The devil is definitely trying to keep us from baptizing this family!

But we talked and got their phone number and invited them to church again. Sadly, chuch is down in Fort-de-France this week (about a 30 min drive) so it's a lot harder for people to go... :/ So we'll see if they can make it. If not, I bet they'll come in 2 weeks! But we're going to see them again on Tuesday night! I'm super excited for them! :) They are so prepared for the Gospel!

That's about it for our miracle week! I hope I'm not forgetting anything... As you can tell, I'm pretty excited about everything! :)

HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYONE!!

I love you all,
Elder Taylor Dayton


Us with our awesome neighbor Enzo. He just moved. This is when he came over to say goodbye. We'll miss our soccer buddy. :(

Hanstand on the beach. Anna, you better watch out! :) I'm still on my game.



We played soccer with the zone/district today at the beach.




I cut Elder Bodily's hair today, into a faux-hawk. :) I felt like I was back in high school! haha (Don't worry, I shaved it off.)


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bonjour mes amis

February 17, 2014

Cette semaine passée Elder Lever et moi avons fait beaucoup de choses. J'aime mon collègue. Je ne sais pas ce dont je vais parler cette semaine...




I don't know what to really talk about but this week we taught a lot of people with "Jean" in their name, so I'll talk about them.

But, first of all...

CHANGES IN MARTINIQUE

3 missionaries left Mtq this past week and it was very sad to see them go! :( I got really close to them, but I know that they'll do great in their new areas. So that means we got 3 new ones too. The new ones are great missionaries though and they'll be great assets to the district! I'm excited to work with them! :)





















Last week we hiked a little waterfall thing and we took a picture with some of the gang. Elder Lever and I are the only ones that stayed on the island though out of the people in that picture.

JEAN-CLAUDE

Jean-Claude is a guy that Elder Lever has only ever taught 3 times in his mission. I've been there for two of the times. So that just goes to show that this guy doesn't meet with us very often. But... he's so golden!! He is so ready for the gospel! He has two little kids and he's a handy-man. He used to live with his partner but he separated from her and bought a house for himself because they weren't married and he knew it wasn't right! How awesome is that?? Anyway, he didn't come to church yesterday which was too bad. But he understands that he needs to, and he knows that he needs to talk to us, so hopefully he'll be able to find the time for Elder Lever and I to teach him the Plan of Happiness and help him toward salvation! :)

JEAN-MARC

Jean-Marc is the son of a member Soeur Anthony that lives really close to our house. He's about 31 I think and he's kind of having a tough life. He has kids with several different women, and he understands that he really needs to get things in order. Well he normally avoids the missionaries whenever they come around his house, but recently he's been warming up to us! Elder Lever and I finally sat down with him on Saturday and taught him a simple lesson. We learned a lot about him and he tolds us he wants to be baptized, but there is A LOT that he needs to take care of in his life first. So I'm super excited for that! :) I don't know if he'll ever get baptized in my mission, but I'm just super happy to see the changes that have occurred in his heart already. I love it! :)

JEAN-LOUIS (aka "Jean-Jean")

Jean-Jean is an other son of Soeur Anthony. He's 33 I think and he's handicapped. He's really tall and has a beard, and just looks like a normal guy (he's actually kind of intimidating!) But he has some mental disabilities, so he lives with his mom. He has trouble speaking and stuff like that but he's very well behaved and he's one of our most reliable sacrament-passers! Anyway... this past weekend his mom was out of town so he wasn't going to be able to come to church. But Elder Lever and I offered to walk him to church. So on Sunday morning, JEAN-MARC got JEAN-JEAN ready for when we got there to pick him up. It was great! Then we had a great church meeting where he prepared and passed the sacrament for us. Anyway, there isn't really a reason for why I am telling you this, but I love him to death! On Sunday night we visited Soeur Anthony after she got back into town and Jean-Jean said the first prayer I've ever heard him say. It was very slow and simple, but it was one of the most awesome prayers that I have ever heard! I feel like his relationship with his Father in Heaven is on a whole different level that I can't even understand. I gave him one of my ties at church yesterday as a gift. He was SO GRATEFUL and it made him so happy. But it made me even more happy!

So basically, I'm grateful for all of God's children, especially his special ones. I know that someday they will become perfect and will be able to communicate with us perfectly. I love Jean-Jean and I can't wait until the day when I can meet him in heaven and just talk to him...

MR. PALCY

We had a good lesson with him and a member this last week about the Book of Mormon. He's our only investigator that's progressing at this point, but at the age of 72, he's progressing at the perfect time in his life! He didn't come to church yesterday sadly but I think he'll be coming this next Sunday...

Other than those things this past week, not too much big happened. We're still looking for apartments. We're not having much luck with finding any, but it's not TOO big of a deal for Elder Lever and I because neither of us want to move anyway. haha


Love,
Elder Dayton





 Also, it snowed a little bit in Trinite today!!! Or I might have just scraped the ice out of the freezer...


Friday, February 14, 2014

No Time to E-Mail

February 10, 2014

I was just informed that the Cyberbase that we're at is closing in 5 minutes... So I can't really email anything! 

Elder Lever and I are staying together. I'm still DL.

Elder Russell is going down to English Guyana!

The gas strike is over.

We're still looking for apartments.

We have a really good new investigator named Monsieur Palcy! He's about 75, but he has the mind of a 25 year old. He's a former Evangelist Church Vice President here, but he left. So now he's praying to see if he needs to get baptized again! And he's very sincere! Plus, everybody here knows him!

We didn't see Christina this past week.

Still behind on pictures. Sorry... :/ Next week!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Gas Strike

February 3, 2014

This past week we had a gas strike in Martinique. So basically all the gas stations stopped serving gas after Wednesday. Something to do with the government that I don't completely understand because I'm kind of disconnected with the world. But all I know is that WE CAN'T GET ANYMORE GAS!! So all of the missionaries have been trying to save as much gas as possible, and we're starting to all come to a central location in case of emergency. So starting tonight, Elder Lever and I will be staying with the Elder's in Lamentin. And the elders from Ste-Luce are staying with the Zone Leaders in Fort-de-France. We have 2 cars for the 8 elders, and the sisters have 1 car. So we're saving our gas for special occasions now. Elder Lever and I might not be able to work in our area very much until the dang strike ends, which is too bad. And the strike won't end until some group of people comes into an agreement with another group of people, so nobody has any way of knowing how long it will last.



Other than the big gas strike, it was a pretty good week! :) I don't remember everything I did, but I do have my journal with me today by chance, so I might just type you guys some of my deepest and weirdest thoughts from the week... mostly Wednesday.  (Plus you can see how good I am at writing in my journal.)

WEDNESDAY

"Today was a good day. Elder Lever and I worked hard. We did some contacting and taught some lessons. We didn't have any appointments set up, but we managed to get five lessons in. Not too bad! And I finally met Van-Tse and her family today. They're some old investigators that I never got the chance to meet before today. Her husband Stephan is super cool! They're all so nice. They invited us back next Wednesday afternoon." But I don't know if we'll be able to make it anymore because of the gas strike... :(

"Tonight we taught Moïse. He's an investigator that just likes to mess with us and talk to us. We started talking about the Book of Mormon and where it came from. We talked about Lehi's family, then the Lamanites, then he started talking about the Aztecs... Then we started talking about the Salt Lake Temple and showed him pictures. We told him when it was built and he was just astonished! [He thought there was no way that normal people had the technology to build such an amazing temple in the 1800s.] Then he came to the conclusion that it was the Aztecs... Then he told us about pi, 'a golden number,' and then Easter Island. Haha we are giving him a Book of Mormon next time we see him though. That will really stump him!"

THE "LIGHTHOUSE" (Still Wednesday's journal entry)

"Tonight Elder Lever went and found our 'lighthouse.' P. Mehr encouraged us all a few months ago to find a peaceful place that we can resort to [every so often] with our companion to talk and to converse with the Lord. We walked down to the ocean right by our house [right before coming home] and just sat on the beach and talked. It was super beautiful there and the stars were amazing. We just talked about life, hopes, fears..." It was pretty awesome.


From that experience I really felt at peace and I could feel the love that my Father in Heaven has for me. It was amazing to be there under all the beautiful stars, listening to the crashing waves after a strenuous day of missionary work. It was right then when I had the reassurance that THERE IS A GOD. He lives. He created everything. The universe wasn't just a random thing that happened. Neither are human beings. We are children of God and we are on this earth to learn and progress so that we can return to live with Him. And then, someday, we might have the opportunity to be the creator of something amazing as well. Alma 30:44 has become one of my most recent favorite scriptures... "and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." #true


WE HAVE TO MOVE :(

Our group in Trinité is officially approved by church headquarters, so now technically they own the church/house we've been living in. So we're not allowed to live in it anymore. :( We have to move! We haven't had too much luck yet, but finding an apartment comes second to missionary work right now. So whenever Elder Lever and I have any down time, we go looking for apartments.

Grosses bisous,
Elder Taylor Dayton

P.S. No pics this week... Sorry. :/ #lame



Answers to dad's questions (I'm more likely to see separate emails with just questions, so good work dad):

1.  When are Transfers?
We should get our transfer call on Friday or Saturday of this week! Then the transfer day will probably be the next Wednesday.

2.  Are you still doing 100 push ups every day?
Yes, and I'm getting HUGE!!! :) haha

3.  How is Christina doing?  Has she accepted a baptismal date?
With the gas strike this last week, she was stuck at home down in the southern part of the island, so we only got to see her one time. It was a lesson for the whole Anthony family, so we didn't get the chance to extend a baptismal date for her.

4.  How about Daniel and Sylvia?  Have they progressed any further?
We've stopped seeing Sylvia. She's too hard to see on a regular basis. Daniel is always happy to see us. We're still working with him. We didn't get to see him last week though because he was at work a lot. He also lives very far away from us, so it takes a lot of time and gas to see him.

5.  Tell us a little more about your District, how many are in it?  How many sisters? Tell us about the weekly meetings and what you do there. 
There are 10 of us in the district. There are two sisters. In our district meeting every Tuesday we just talk about missionary work and how we can improve. We read scriptures, answer questions read from Preach My Gospel, do role plays, have object lessons, etc.

6.  Send us an address of the house you live in so we can google earth it.  I have looked on line and have seen the roundabouts on Cite Beausejour and Route de la Caravelle. How far out in the Peninsula are you? We assume that you are on the peninsula  Presquile de la Caravelle.
I'm in the house in the very middle, between the two red-roof houses. Click this link:   https://maps.google.com/maps?q=google+maps+martinique&ll=14.745766,-60.943431&spn=0.001855,0.002312&hnear=Martinique&t=h&z=19