Monday, March 31, 2014

Bonjure toute la mond (Hello everyone)

March 31, 2014

This last week was great!

ELDER LEVER LEFT ME :(

Elder Lever got transferred down to French Guyana and now he's officially gone. I'm gonna miss him like crazy! I love the kid to death. We had our last meal together at McDonald's on Tuesday. It was so good! If you have access to a McD's anywhere near you, go for Taylor Dayton in Martinique. Think about him and be grateful for your many blessings and that it doesn't cost you 7.50 Euros to get a Big Mac and fries. (7.50 Euros is about $10.35.) We also saw the Anthony family for one last time before he left.




 We did a sweet tie trade and a mirror pic.


Elder Lever, Sister Anthony, Jean-Marc (aka Snoop--we're gonna baptize him as soon as he gets his life turned around--he's already progressed a ton and cut off his dreads), Christina (our friend who's getting baptized on April 12th), Marclin (our member of 3 months and one of my best friends that I've met in the last 10 months of my life), and Jean-Jean (another one of my best friends--he says amazing prayers). :)

ELDER FRALEY IS HERE!

Elder Fraley is awesome! I love him! We've set a ton of goals and this kids means business! We want to turn our little group into a branch. We have plans to reactivate inactive members and to bring in new investigators and strengthen current members through activities. We're going to try to work a lot more with the members we have and build them into a solid foundation for the church here.


We played basketball by the ocean today in Schoelcher for p-day. It was sweet. Elder Fraley is a baller too! I'm excited to have him on my team!




SUNDAY

We had fast and testimony this week in Trinite because of General Conference this week. It was AWESOME! We have a small group of people, but we never have problems with filling in time during meetings because they're all so passionate and happy to be members of the church here.

CHRISTINA

She is AMAZING!!! I'm regretfully and thankfully eating any words that I might have said about Christina at the beginning of last transfer. She reads the BoM so much and all the pamphlets that we give her over and over again! She bore her testimony yesterday at church and I had to scoop my jaw up off of the floor when she opened up to 3 Nephi 11 and started reading some of her favorite scriptures. 

31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.

 32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.

 33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

 34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.

She said that she knows that this is the true church and that she has to be baptized. She astounded me as well as the congregation.

MARCLIN ANTHONY

He's one of my favorite members. He honestly used to be one of the "vilest of sinners." But he experienced a huge change in his life, and now he is a priesthood holder. We had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him this past week teaching Christina, visiting investigators, and doing home-teaching. His testimony is growin every day. In his testimony he bore at church he used the scriptures in Mosiah 17:9-10 and quoted Abinadi saying:

9 Now Abinadi said unto him: I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands.

 10 Yea, and I will suffer even until death, and I will not recall my words, and they shall stand as a testimony against you. And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood, and this shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day.

He has really received this testimony, and he is taking his testimony with him to his grave. I'm so happy for him. I got into this area the same time he came into the church, so I have been so fortunate to see all of his progress and growth from the time he was a brand new member. It strengthens my testimony to meet people like him that are so strong.

THAT'S ABOUT IT

Oh yeah, Christopher and Alexandra came to church too! Cedric and Caytleen couldn't come, but we're still working with them. But we went and picked up the kids on Sunday morning and walked with them to church. I think they had a good experience! :)

I love you all! I know that this church is true. I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. I know he is my Savior. I cannot deny this. As in the words of Marclin Anthony and Abinadi, "I will not recall my words."

HAVE A GREAT WEEK
Love,

Elder Taylor Dayton

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Hastening of the Work

March 25, 2014

This past week was AWESOME!!

Thanks,
Elder Dayton



Just kidding! :) I'll tell you about it. #transfernews

ADRIEN GOT BAPTIZED IN BAIE-MAHAULT

An investigator that I found and taught in my last area got baptized last week! :) It makes me so happy!

THE LORD HASTENS OUR WORK

This past week as an announcement in District Meeting, the Zone Leaders extended us the challenge to get 21 lessons for each companionship in our zone. If everyone got it, we could hike Mount Pelee for P-Day! Normally we get around 14 lessons per week, but we decided that we needed to step it up! So all the missionaries worked extra hard this past week to get more lessons! We all saw miracles and we all achieved the goal. I learned a lot this past week and felt extra motivated to talk to everyone! It was great because we were constantly looking for people to teach lessons to.

Elder Lever and I tried to go see an old investigator one evening, but he wasn't there. When we went back down the stairs, we saw a bunch of kids playing soccer on a court in the middle of the apartment complex. So we asked them if we could play and just started playing with them. As we played, adults were coming out of their apartments onto their balconies looking at us in confusion as we played soccer in shirt and tie with their neighbors and children. As we were playing, a kid accidently kicked the ball over the fence and we had to go get it. So Elder Lever and I took advantage of the little pause in the game and went and talked to a random guy and taught him about the Great Apostasy. It was great! We had a pretty long conversation with him and at the end he gave us his name and his apartment number. It was a great testimony-builder to me of how the Lord puts people in your path at all times, you just have to talk to them. :)

We made a cake for two people that had birthdays on Sunday. We ate them after church and they were great! (Thanks for the recipe, mom!) Another missionary, Elder Sorenson, left some frosting here and we decided to use it... and it was green Christmas frosting. :) Colored cakes are very weird to French people, so as my favorite member, Marclin Anthony, was watching us frost it, he was pretty confused. My English translation of what he said is: "What the heck is that?!"



OTHER INVESTIGATORS

In sadder news, the family of Caytleen and Cedric is starting to slow down. They're just not keeping commitments like they used to. They didn't come to church again. We had a really good family home evening with them last week though, so we're not giving up hope.

Mode! She's a newer investigator that we found while doing door-to-door. She's Catholic, about 60, and very nice! She likes us a lot and is very attached to the Bible. She's currently examining the Book of Mormon and trying to stump us with "difficult" questions about it, but she hasn't (and won't) found anything that's turned her away yet. :)

Christina! She's getting really excited for her baptism in a few weeks. It's still set for April 12th. Sister Anthony has already told us about the cake and they're all just ecstatic! :) They're also all excited for General Conference. Sister Anthony is a HUGE fan of the choir! :) And surprisingly it's because of their funny outfits! (Sorry, mom. You know they're weird though. :) haha) Btw, I would love to have a picture of mom in the choir that I can print off and show to people during conference so that they can look for Mama Dayton too!

MOUNT PELEE

La Montagne Pelee is an active volcano here in Martinique and the highest peak on the island. We got to hike it on Monday, and luckily none of us missionaries got lost on it like they did back in 2007. :) haha

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/missionaries-found-unharmed-in-martinique

It was super fun though and we were very fortunate with the weather because the clouds cleared up right as we got to the top.

Cool poses on wooden posts on the base of Mount Pelee.


A tribute to Elder Lever.

 Pretty sweet place to lie down! (Mom freaked a little at this photo...)

One the VERY TOP of Martinique. No one in the island was higher than me at that point. It was pretty invigorating! Super windy, very sketchy. I almost blew off.

Pic from the peak looking southward on Martinique.

ELDER LEVER IS LEAVING!! :(

My companion, Adam Lever, is leaving me to go down to French Guyana. I'm gonna miss him a ton! :( We had some great times together and both grew so much during these last two transfers. Hopefully I get to see him again soon and serve with him again someday.



My new companion is coming up to Martinique from French Guyana. He's been there his whole mission and hasn't had the true Caribbean experience yet. I'm excited to serve with him and I've already heard great things about him from the other missionaries! :) He's actually who I was hoping would be my companion this next transfer, because I figured that Elder Lever would be leaving. So I'm super pumped!

That's about it...
Bye. Kick some butt this week!

Love,
rElde nDayto

P.S. We bought a hammock last week, and now I'm truly living the island life. #onelove #kentingeyshoutout #bestpurchaseever



Happy Jour de Saint Patrice

March 17, 2014

Dear fam,

Honestly, this past week wasn't too much to brag about. I probably could get a better attitude for sure... I'll work on that!

Some big news is that Adrien, my investigator that I found and taught in Baie-Mahault should be getting baptized on March 22nd! He called me last week and he sounded so happy! :) I miss him like crazy and I can't wait to see him again as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

PROGRESSING INVESTIGATORS

This last week we taught Christina to follow the prophet. She's going to do it, she said! So that's good! :) haha She's going to watch conference. (P.S. I am PUMPED for conference! Just a few weeks away!)

Cedric and Caytleen's family... We taught them three times last week, but Cedric wasn't there a single time... :/ I don't really know what's up. We talked about marriage with the rest of the family and the kids want their parents to be married, and Caytleen wants to get married, but I think they're all just waiting on Cedric. They still haven't even told him that we talked about marriage. I'm kind of disappointed with how things are going with them now. Things could be abolutely perfect, but Satan has to throw in one little thing that slows down the eternal progression of 4 of God's precious children... Not cool, Satan!

Another wrench that Satan threw into the machine was that we had 0 investigators at church this week AGAIN! Nobody came. :/ We had church down in Fort-de-France again, so our group was supposed to go there (30 minutes away), and basically nobody from our group went! We only had 3 members from Trinite that even showed up! I was super bummed. We can do better!!

JOCELYN

We saw Jocelyn again last week and he's finding more happiness in his life. I think things are starting to turn around for him! It's great!

EXCHANGE WITH ELDER JOHNSTON

I went on an exchange with Elder Johnston down in the south part of the island. It is BEAUTIFUL down there! There are white people all over the place because that's where everyone goes for vacation. In the morning we went on a 10 minute run to the beach, hung out for 10 minutes, and then ran back to their house for 10 minutes. It was beautiful!!





It's fun down there, but I don't like it as much as Trinite... Elder Johnston's super funny! He's from Arkansas and we have a lot of fun together. We were actually companions in the MTC for 2 weeks while I was in his district. It's fun to work with him in the field now and see how much we've grown. We spent most of the day contacting and I got electrocuted by somebody's doorbell. Then we temporarily broke it and it went off for about 15 minutes. Luckily nobody was home!

NO NEW INVESTIGATORS

This last little while Elder Lever and I have been trying to find new investigators, but nothing's really working out! We just keep striking out. :/ We're going to keep trying though! It's just frustrating sometimes because we're supposed to be busy at basically every waking minute of the day (or else we're not using our time wisely and therefore SINNING), but sometimes it seems like we have literally nothing to do! But, we keep on pushing, and keep on trying to find people who are willing to accept eternal life. Some of the biggest things I've learned from the mission is how to use time wisely, how to be patient, and how to keep going despite the many tribulations and trials and troubles that we face as Latter-day Saints.

KEEP BEING HAPPY

Despite the boringness and sadness that you might have caught from reading this letter, HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE! :) Life is beautiful! Live it up! Tell a stranger that you love them! Smile at someone who looks mad at you! Feed human food to an animal!

I love you,
Elder Dayton




Here's a huge spider that I almost touched with my hand while opening our gate! I tried to be manly and catch him, but he escaped...

(Maybe the spider wanted some human food?)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Carnival is Not So Fun

March 10, 2014

Hello world!

This is Elder Dayton from Martinique, do you remember me? Anyway, I'm just a missionary speaking French on an island in the Caribbean. It's pretty cool. Anyway, I'm doing well, I'm happy, I'm healthy, I'm still good at handstands, and I haven't gotten TOO fat yet.




I won't be home again until next year, so if you need me you can email me at taylor.dayton@myldsmail.net or send me a letter at (notice the spelling change on Dorsale):

Elder Taylor Dayton
Residence Aigue Marine
Bat. A3 Appt. 7
Rue de la Dorsale
97200 Fort-de-France
Martinique

There honestly isn't a lot to talk about this week. Last week was Mardi Gras, so we didn't really get to work much on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. We were advised to stay in our apartment as much as possible, unless we had an important appointment in the countryside.

In missionary work there are definitely a lot of ups and downs. Two weeks ago was one of the best weeks ever, and this last week wasn't much in comparison to that. But that's life! There is opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2). Without bad experiences there literally would be NO good experiences ever. So it is necessary that we have bad weeks every once in a while.

This last week we did a lot of finding--or at least attempting to find. We ran into a lot of Metropolitans (true, white, French people, from France) and I learned a new word through speaking with them! #alwayslearning The word is "athée." That means atheist for all of you English speakers out there. So, my heart goes out to all of the missionaries in France. I thought that I had it hard here! (Holla to ma boi Jordan Brown in Nancy, France!!)

Christina is doing well. We taught her the Word of Wisdom this last week and it was good! She didn't have a problem with any of it except for that she drinks tea every so often. But she's completely willing to stop! :)

Cedric, Caytleen, Christopher, and Alexandra are doing well. Sadly they didn't come to church because people were sick and Cedric's mom had to go to the hospital for something (nothing too bad, so don't worry) so they weren't really available on Sunday. It's okay... we'll keep working with them! I'm sure they'll get the importance of church attendance soon! We taught them the Plan of Salvation this past week. We didn't talk about marriage yet--the time wasn't really right. Maybe this week? Yes, probably. We're going to see them tomorrow night!

That's about it from my side of the Mississippi! I hope you all had a good and safe week, and I hope you have another one! :)

Love,
Elder Taylor Dayton

P.S. We did a really cool hike today 
for p-day out and around the peninsula by our house in a tourist town called Tartane. It was beautiful! It's like a natural park area so it's protected and nobody can live there. It was SO sweet! It was hot though.















Monday, March 3, 2014

Salut!

March 3, 2014

"Salut les gars!!"

Salut in French can mean "hi," "bye," or "salvation." People always use it to say hi to me, and when I say it back to them I mean salvation.

Elder Lever and I had another great week! I think I had the most productive week of my mission numbers-wise this past week, and the Lord definitely had his had in a lot of it! We had a lot of success with having our set appointments following through, and we were very bold while talking to people, so we had a lot of fruit that came from our labors! :)

JOCELYN GOT BAPTIZED!!!

I saw in the West Indies Mission Newsletter that Sis. Mehr sends each month that Jocelyn on Guadeloupe got baptized! I wish I could have been there! ALSO, I heard that Adrien should be getting baptized soon!! :)


4 MORE BAPTISMAL DATES

We set baptismal dates last Tuesday with Cedric and Caytleen and their two other kids, Alexandra (14) and Christopher (12)!! We reviewed the Restoration with them and then talked about baptism and they accepted our invitation to prepare to be baptized on the 29 of March!! I was so pumped! (BUT: I found out that the parents aren't married, so we're going to have to bring that up sometime this week.) And the parents came to church in Fort-de-France too! They weren't going to be able to come because they had another car problem (with the brakes this time), but a family  in the branch here came and picked up the parents so that they could see what church was like. I think they liked it... They were very quiet and didn't talk very much. But I think going to a new church for the first time would be overwhelming for anybody! So I don't think we have much to worry about. We're meeting with them again tomorrow night and we'll probably teach the Plan de Salut (Salvation) WITH a little bit of eternal marriage thrown in there... Pray for us!

SUPER COOL EXPERIENCE!

Elder Lever and I had a potential investigator that lives up north of us in Marigot. We almost never go there and we can never find ways to set up appointments with him, but Elder Lever decided to give him a call last week to see if we could set something up. He said he was available that afternoon! I had never taught him before and Elder Lever gave me a little warning of what kind of investigator he was... When we got there, that's when the problems just started to unfold! He knew the missionaries in France while he was there last year. He met them during a very dark and difficult time in his life. Everything in his life just started going downhill and he became extremely depressed. He lives alone, he doesn't have a job, doesn't have a girlfriend, and I don't think he has much going for him in life. He's money-less, and he needs a lot of help. Due to his depression and other problems, he has turned to worldly things that have really not been helping at all (to keep it simple: Law of Chastity problems and Word of Wisdom problems.) He is at just about the lowest point a man can be in life and he knows that he really needs help! We taught him about the Atonement and repentance, and I think we really gained his trust. He initially told us we could only stay for 15 minutes, but we ended up talking for about an hour. At the end of the lesson, we bore our testimonies and I told him that we were there for him and that we wanted to help, and he looked back with one of the most humble, honest, and happiest smiles I have ever seen. I know with every fiber of my being that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can heal this man--and this man needs it more than just about anyone I have ever seen. I'm so excited to work with him and I just hope that we can lift him up a little bit.

Before we left, we committed him to start easing back on one of his addictions and we explained to him that repentance takes a long time, but it's necessary to start somewhere. He committed to it and told us that we could come back. He said that we can just call him, and if he's feeling good enough that we can come over. He's a former 7th Day Adventist, and he said he doesn't want to get baptized into our church, he just wants to be spiritually and emotionally well enough to feel good stepping back into his old church. Even if he heals completely, goes back to his old church, and never becomes a Latter-Day Saint, I know that he will never forget the missionaries that helped him change his life. We are supposed to call people unto repentance. That is what's more important. That is why I am here. I know I can change peoples' lives whether or not they get baptized. Someday in the future he might just accept the gospel--you never know, and that's why you should never give up hope on anyone.

I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Salut,

E-Dayt



Elder Dayton overlooking the town of Le Robert, Martinique. Gorgeous!!