Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Zone Conference, BBQ, and Diligence

April 28, 2014

Kia ora everyone!!

Well I sure did have a great week! A ton happened and I know I'm not going to be able to get it all in, but gratefully  I have a lot of pictures that count as 1,000 words each!

Happy late Mustache March everyone! - Love, your favorite missionaries in the West Indies.

ZONE CONFERENCE

Zone Conference was in Guadeloupe again this past Tuesday. We were there Monday and Tuesday night, and came back on Wednesday. It was awesome! My favorite ZC yet! It was all about planning and how we need to make the best of the 168 hours we are given each week. All the teachers had well-prepared lessons, and I learned a lot.

Sadly, I didn't get to seen Jocelyn or Adrien while I was there, but I did leave gifts for them (ties and such). Adrien called be on Sunday while he was at church to thank me for the tie and CD. He was SO happy! It was awesome to be able to talk to him! :) He said he is praying for me and Mama Dayton, and he's going to look for her in the Choir every time he watches it (I gave him a CD and a pic of Mom--that's probably one of my favorite missionary tools).





DOOR-TO-DOOR WITH OLD PEOPLE

In smaller news, we did door-to-door contacting with Frère and Soeur Laquembé (78 and 72 years old respectively) this last week, and it was awesome. They're troopers. They're relentless. They're hilarious. And they speak Créole, so they were able to talk with everyone, including the old folks.


DANIEL

Daniel, an investigator that I haven't seen in over a transfer, finally ceded to a rendez-vous with us because he was in Trinité with his girlfriend (who is from Guadeloupe and a member). So we went and saw the two of them and shared a simple message and talked about baptism. He KNOWS he needs to get baptized, he's just looking for reasons not to. But luckily his GF/francophone/member was there to talk some serious sense into him. I think with her help we can really get him baptized. He just works too much. But we're seeing him this week, so we should have a good lesson!

BBQ + RENESSA

So, mom and dad, you have already cheated and know about the BBQ we had for our group, but it's okay, I'll still talk about it. It was AWESOME!! All of our group members showed up except for Marclin and Christina, and everyone had so much fun! We first did a service project and cleaned up the yard all around the church, and then we had the BBQ. Sister Turner (senior couple) brought some games and we played "Ne Mangez Pas Pierre" (Don't Eat Pete) and it was so fun. Plus, Renessa and her kids came!! After, we had a lesson with everyone that was still there and we talked about Priesthood Keys (which were given to Simon-Pierre by Jésus-Christ in Matthieu 16:15-19 in La Sainte Bible). Then we committed Renessa and her son Romuald to be baptized on May 24th!! :) And to make it better, she came to church on Sunday and had a blast! President Occolier from the Branch came and taught the Sunday School lesson and it was SO good and she participated a ton!















Renessa, enjoying the BBQ chicken, and her son, Romuald

Renessa's little girl.

I made some cookies to go with our meal.
         

Don't Eat Pete!

             Our beautiful chapel grounds after the clean-up!


DILIGENCE

This Sunday at church I learned a simple lesson from some of the members about diligence. During the Sunday School lesson, President Occolier had us read a scripture in D&C 123:14 and it said the word Diligence in it (I know-in English it uses "earnestness" but you get the effect). Then he asked the congregation what it means to be diligent. I thought in my head what most missionaries probably think: "diligence is working hard, sweating, getting emotionally/physically exhausted until we baptize someone, then doing it again." But the members raised their hands, and they said things like "doing things carefully" and "with great attention." And at first I thought they were all wrong, and that they were forgetting the hard work and sweat... But then we all discussed diligence, and I realized that diligence does not equal sweat at all. Diligince is doing things with care, love, and purpose. It was a great lesson for me. It doesn't matter how many little-bitty things we're doing to fill in our day if were missing out on the big and important things that are better uses of our time. We need to seek out these opportunities and do them with care and attention.

I love you all, and I hope you all have an amazing week! :)

Love,

Elder Dayton

I hate spiders!! That's why Elder Fraley is holding this.



  Beautiful beach and P-Day activity in Diamant.



The statues in Diamant in memorial of a ship of (runaway?) slaves that crashed a long, long time ago. It was a pretty cool little historic stop.





Monday, April 21, 2014

Early Morning E-Mail

April 21, 2014


Hello There!

The sun must be on the rise, there's magic in the air! :) I'm emailing you bright and early on Monday morning because we're doing some traveling today... ZONE CONFERENCE IN GUADELOUPE! Yep, that's right! Our flight leaves this afternoon, so we have to take care of p-day business early. We're staying for a couple of nights this time, so I hope I get to find the time to visit some old investigators that I taught and are now baptized... Btw, Carim Versailles got baptized!! He turned 8, and his mom wanted the missionaries to baptize him, like we did with his older sister Nadege.

Me with Carim, Guadeloupe

It was another action-packed week here in Trinite, from your favorite Elders Dayton & Fraley! Let's take a look...




PRESIDENT MEHR COMES TO MARTINIQUE

On Tuesday President and Sister Mehr came and visited us. And what else is Tuesday?.. District Meeting. And who had to teach District Meeting? I did. :/ Haha, it was okay though. They contributed a lot and it actually ended up okay! We talked about the importance of finding and teaching families. That's what we really need here on Martinique. The LDS Church has been stagnant here for too long. We've been on the island for 25 years now, there are 400,000 people here, but only 60ish of them are active church members... It's actually quite sad! Success is very hard to come by here. And RETAINED success is even harder. That's why we need families where people can support each other.


Pres. Mehr, Elder Dayton, Elder Fraley

On Wednesday our car was in the shop getting fixed. By the way, we got a new car and gave ours away when the Senior Couple got here, so now we have the old Toyota Corolla, and it needed a bumper replaced (wasn't me, don't worry.) The Mehrs had an appointment with some members in our area for a temple recommend interview, but they didn't know where it was. And since we were stuck in the Zone Leaders' area without a car, we got to ride up to our area with the Mehrs and visit a member. It was a very pleasant ride, and I got to see a glimpse into the life of a mission president. He is a BUSY man! He took a lot of phone calls and was talking about a lot of important stuff that I didn't understand. But it was cool. Our visit with the members was nice.

ENGLISH CLASS

Our English Class on Wednesday night was the bomb!! We had 4 members show up, and our 2 best investigators, Christopher and Alexandra, plus their little sister Andrea. It was great! They all came in only knowing the basics that they've learned in school, and they left fluent! :) haha jk It was fun though! Elder Fraley and I had a blast doing it.

WE MOVED!

We are officially no longer living in the church. We moved into our apartment. Elder Fraley and I did it all by ourselves, but sadly it took up almost our whole Saturday. But, WE'RE IN!! The apartment's pretty nice. It's better than all the others on Martinique still I think. Plus, it has a nicer kitchen than the house we were in, and I've become quite the cook on my mission. :) (thanks mom, for the Stroganoff packets and Kool-Aid! And the Starburst Jellybeans, which is my favorite food.)

OUR INVESTIGATORS

It's getting harder and harder to see Cedric's family lately, but we were able to visit with Alexandra and Christopher a couple of times with English Class, and another visit. We taught them the Word of Wisdom this week, and it was a great lesson thanks to the help of Elder Bodily (I did an exchange with him, and he's one of my favorite missionaries. He's so good at asking inspired questions, it amazes me! He would make a great replacement district leader, were I to swim away or something.)

I also saw Mode with Elder Bodily. Even with his inspired questions, she just sort of went in circles, contradicting herself and getting distracted in the lesson. We'll keep working on her and see if we can get her moving forward.

Christina is doing great! She fasted this weekend. She's awesome! Also, Soeur Anthony LOVED that you sent her a CD! I cut out one of your pictures and the note and put them in the case so she would see you every time she listened to the CD. She was SOO happy! :) haha She makes me laugh...

Elder Fraley and I are right now starting to get frustrated with some of our current investigators and we are thinking of new finding ideas to start fresh and wipe the no-potentials in our teaching people clean. We have a plan, to be revealed soon... (once we get it approved), but I like to call it "Blitz Splits!"

I also gave a talk on Sunday, and I feel like it was one of my best talks yet. I am so comfortable talking in French in our group now. It feels great! I talked about how Obedience to the Prophet Leads to Eternal Life in the Celestial Kingdom. I found some great scriptures that I used, along with some of last October's Conference talks, and they really strengthened my testimony on the prophets.

This one is about Salvation:
D&C 6:13 -- If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.

That's about it! Have fun in... wherever you are!

I love you,
Elder Dayton

Pics:



President Mehr took us to Subway after District Meeting! It was SOO GOOD! It's been like a year! Mom, you would be so proud of me and how many veggies I had them put on it!



We sang Easter songs with the Branch in Fort-de-France on Sunday night. 
Fun times! :)

Elder Dayton: the spider killing machine. (I'm basically fearless, almost!)


Sunrise in Fort-de-France.


Forest pics: We sort of got lost in the mountains while trying to have some appointments with members in Saint-Joseph. It was gorgeous though!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Baptism of Christina!!

April 14, 2014

Hey guys!

Christina got baptized this past Saturday! :) It was awesome! I have a bunch to tell you about, and luckily a lot of photos to show you too, so here you go.

TWO BAPTISMS IN ONE DAY

The Elders in Lamentin also had a baptism on Saturday. Their investigator got baptized in the morning. Her name is Sonia and she is super awesome! I got to do her baptismal interview and she is amazing. She's already looking forward to going to the temple. She's been investigating for about a year now, but she finally made the last big leap necessary to become a member of the church. The Elders in Lamentin did a great job teaching her! :) 





CHRISTINA'S BAPTISM!

Christina got baptized in the afternoon on Saturday by her boyfriend, Marclin. His right arm is paralyzed, so he performed the ordinance with the assistance of another member, and our group leader at the church in Trinite, Frere Lagrand.










(Credit Elder Call and Elder Fraley for some of these photos.)

It was a beautiful day. The river was beautiful too. It was nice and quiet and there was nobody else around. I was very grateful for how everything worked out. After the baptism we went back to the house/church for a little bit of a party that Soeur Anthony threw for everyone. She made a ton of food and ordered a HUGE cake!





Tons of people were there that I had never even met before. They invited so many people! While we waited for the wet people to change into dry clothes, Elder Fraley and I took the opportunity to teach everyone that was there a simple little message about the Restoration of Christ's church on the earth and we gave out pamphlets with our phone number on them. We also had Marclin introduce us to all of his friends that he invited. It was a great example of member missionary work! :)

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to confirm Christina a member of the Church. It was a great! I had no problem at all with the language and it just seemed like all the words came right to me. It was an awesome experience! I'm so grateful with how much I have been blessed in my mission. Sadly, baptisms are pretty hard to come by down here, but I feel extremely blessed for the work I have been able to do, as well as my companions who have helped me become better and keep me working hard.

Church was also great. Elder Fraley gave a great talk about General Conference and then we taught the Sunday School lesson about Repentance.

RENESSA

We got an awesome new investigator last week! It's a referral from the Anthony family. Marclin just started talking to his neighbor about religion one day after we had taught him and Christina about missionary work. We got to meet her last week and she is so awesome!! She used to be a Jehovah's Witness, but left because she didn't feel that it was right. Then she became Evangelist (I think the equivalent of a Baptist in the US), but she still felt like something was missing. We've only taught her one lesson and she already accepted to be baptized if she receives the confirmation from the Holy Ghost! She's a 34 year-old single mother with a 14 year-old son, and 7 year-old and 3 year-old daughters. We should be meeting the rest of the family this week. Sadly, she couldn't come to church on Sunday because she had something else already planned.

THE LOUIS FAMILY

That is the name of the family of Caytleen and Cedric. They're still doing well and we still teach them. Cedric is just sort of losing the will to continue and change. But everyone else is great! :) They're still interested in being baptized, so we'll see if we can help with that.

ENGLISH CLASS

Elder Fraley and I are starting an English class at the church on Wednesday nights at 6:30! You're all invited if you can make it! We've already had several people say that they want to come! It will be a great member missionary opportunity too if we can get them involved! We're also having a barbecue on April 26 with our group! Elder Fraley and I are really trying to get activities going to get our members excited. That's why I love Elder Fraley! He's really good at thinking of fun things to do to help not only our investigators, but also our members! :)

That's about it from Elder Dayton in Martinique. Have a great week! :) Summer is coming! Enjoy the nice weather!

ITYWPJ
Love,
Ya Boi, Elder Dayton

P.S. Happy birthday today Greg Sadler!! :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference Weekend

April 7, 2014

Dear you guys,

I hope you enjoyed conference! It was AWESOME!! We got to watch it at the church in Fort-de-France. We were showing it in French and English, so I had the option to watch it in either language. I watched about 7 talks in French, and it's just not the same... It's better for me to hear the voice of the Lord's servants. Also, it's hard to pay attention for very long when watching in a different language. Plus, you miss little things when they use words that you don't really know.


CHRISTINA

Everything should be a GO for this weekend with Christina's baptism. I'm getting excited for it! We're starting to get the program prepared. It's going to be in a river, and we're starting at 2:00 PM (our time). Sadly, she wasn't able to watch conference with us this weekend. There was a mis-communication, and the Anthony family took a taxi to Fort-de-France, but they thought it started at 9AM instead of noon!! Taxi's only run in the morning and they didn't want to stick around and wait until conference with Elder Fraley and I for 3 hours, so they took a taxi back home. Marclin was a little bit angry, and Sister Anthony looked a little bit sad/mad too. But our group leader, Frere Lagrand called the family and confirmed that the baptism is still good for this weekend!

MEDHY

On Friday, Elder Fraley and I had an appointment with a woman named Valerie in the morning. We got there a little late, and she wasn't there. We knocked and waited... and she never showed up. Just as we went to walk away, a boy coming home from school walked up to us and we figured out it was Valerie's son. His name was Medhy and he was 15 years old. Elder Fraley, being a brave and bold servant of the Lord, asked him if he had a little bit of time to talk with us, and he said yes! So he invited us in and we shared a way good spiritual moment with Medhy! We shared the message of the first half of the Restoration, with a focus on the Apostasy and the importance of having God's authority. We gave him a pamphlet and committed him to read it. We bore testimony at the end and he said, "I know that everything you've just told me is true. I'm going to read this pamphlet and I will pray about it. Then, I'll do the same thing with my mom when she gets home." So we set up another appointment with him for Tuesday. Elder Fraley and I walked out of that appointment pretty stoked! :)

Sadly we weren't able to see Mode last week. We saw Mr. Palcy again with some members, and he's not really progressing and he's sort of stuck on his religion. But he might come to church soon, and then he'll feel that this is the true church.

CONFERENCE

I loved conference this weekend! Sadly, we didn't have any investigators there. But it was still a very good spiritual experience for me with some much needed direction from the servants of the Lord. I can't wait to review all the talks given! I especially loved M. Russell Ballard's talk and his awesome missionary skills in following up with his past commitments given. Review the talks. Study them. Apply them. And share with others the things that you learn.



Sorry, this is a little bit of a shorter email this week. Sarah, have a great time at Prom!! You're going to be beautiful! :) Mom and dad, have fun in Washington D.C. Give Timmy-Boy a shoutout on my part! :)

ITYW (Parker Jones shoutout!)

Love,
Elder Dayton


Dad's questions:

Is Christina still going to be baptized on the 12th?
Yes!

How is Elder Fraley?  Tell us about him.
Cool. Nice. Calm. Very clean. A lot like me. Not a huge eater.

Did you get your package? and when did you receive it?
I'm going to pick it up right after I finish emailing! I tried to pick it up on Friday and Saturday. But both times I went to DHL, they were closed.

What do you want for your birthday?
I don't know... No pants or shirts or anything. Maybe a shower loofa would be nice!

What are the plans for skype for mothers day?  Do you know where you are going to be able to do it?
Probably the church or something. I'm sure the Turner's will help us out.

I just got off the phone with Elder Jenkins.  He said he and his wife met you in Guadeloupe as they were leaving for home.  He told me how you made connections with him through Heber.  He also told me that you will be getting a new couple on the island this week named the Turners from Canada.  I am glad you got to meet him.
Yeah! I forgot to mention that to you about the Jenkins. The Turner's are awesome!!! They're super nice! They don't really speak French yet, but it will come just like mine did. It takes time, no matter how smart you are.