Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Another Journal Entry EMail

May 19, 2014

Dear brothers and sisters,

We had quite the week... Lots of journal-worthy things happened, so a lot of this will be right from the private diary of Elder Taylor Dayton! :)... aren't you guys lucky?!

THE REALLY FAT LITTLE BOY AND THE 7 OR 9 COMMANDMENTS

Wednesday: "I was on an exchange in Fort-de-France all day today with Elder Jex. Everything fell through, so we did contacting all day. We just found one huge apartment building and did it all day. We met some very interesting people. One of our best contacts was the mother of a boy we met outside and said we could pass by. (We sneakily used him to get into the building which was private, but he had the key.) We got let in the apartment and I looked on the couch and saw a REALLY fat black boy wearing only yellow panties slumped asleep on the couch. Then I saw that his hair was done like a girl's. That's when I realized that he wasn't a REALLY fat, shirtless, yellow panty-wearing, girl-haired little boy, but in fact, it was just a chubby young girl with no shirt on..." Welcome to Martinique.

"We start sharing who we are, what we do, and started talking about what we have to do to have an eternal family. So commandments came up and that's when one of the women/mothers in the house cut us off and defensively said, "Yeah, we're already Catholic and we know all this stuff. We go to mass and we hear about the nine commandments, and we follow them already. Then she re-thought for a split second and said, "or is it the seven commandments?" Then we told her that it was actually ten commandments, then she said, "Oh is that right?! Where does it say that in the Bible, huh?" Then I told her we could read it in the Bible together if she wanted, but we'd rather just move on with our message. So we kept trying to push forward with our beliefs on eternal families, but she cut us off again and said, "We already follow the nine commandments, but we can't follow the tenth yet because the tenth commandment is to die." Then I told her that dying actually wasn't one of the ten commandments. By this time her mom was laughing in embarrassment for her daughter. So we continued, set up a return appointment, got their phone number, then left the REALLY fat little boy who was still sleeping and the crazy Catholic women and knocked on the next door."

WE TAUGHT PHILIPPE AGAIN!

Thursday: "Our first lesson was in Ducos with Madame Judith Boisson and Philippe, the family of Soeur Lagrand. We got there and neither Soeur Lagrand nor Philippe were there. Soeur Judith invited us in anyway and we just kind of sat waiting and making small talk with her. There was a lot of awkward silence, but she's a cute elderly woman, so it's okay." In the end, nobody showed up after about 45 minutes, so we just started a lesson with Soeur Judith. Philippe showed up right after we started. We had to teach extremely simply because she is old and his brain still isn't fully recovered from his illness, but he believes that we know what he needs to do to go through the repentance process. He wants to be baptized! Soeur Judith also wants to be baptized. It was an awesome lesson even though Soeur Lagrand never showed up. Sadly they don't live in our area, so we're going to have to pass them off to the missionaries in the South.

THE MULCIBA FAMILY #miraclefind

Friday: "Tonight we had a first lesson with a family. Last week we were walking around the city of Robert at night looking for a pizza place when a woman in a car stopped us. She told us she loved what we were doing and that she wanted us to come over to eat with her family and meet her 18 year-old son. So we went over tonight and the family is super awesome! The two parents are married too! It wasn't really us sharing a message, it was more like them demanding us to share information and respond to questions. They are so nice! Madame Alberte Mulciba is already so attached to us! She loves us! (We explained to them how transfers work and she said that she never wants us to leave! haha) It's truly a miracle that we found this family."

RENESSA

She's getting baptized this Saturday!!! :) There's not much more to say other than that. Marclin is going to baptize her in the ocean, and Frère Lagrand is going to confirm her. #BAPTISM

FRERE CLAUDE ODONNAT

He's crazy. There's not much more to say other than that. We took a member of 43 years with us to see him, and he pretty much quoted Satan in saying that he was one of the first spirits created and how he will receive some type of glory... Soeur Laquembé is honestly convinced that he is possessed by a demon. We did service for him though. Everything went well except for I got attacked by some stupid ants whose bites hurt like the devil (his property is cursed too.) 



I LOVE YOU ALL! HAVE A SUPER GOOD WEEK! :)

Love,
Elder Taylor Dayton

Hello Again!

April 12, 2014

Bonjour tout le monde!! :)

It was great talking to the family yesterday. Too bad Amanda wasn't there. I bet she'd rather be in England anyway though. I don't blame her! Last time it seemed like I was talking to you all for a while, but last night the time flew by! But it was so great to see your faces and talk to you! :)

RENESSA IS DOING... OKAY

We taught one lesson to Renessa last week. She also came to English class though. But sadly she didn't come to church. She's having some personal financial problems, so she's sort of stressing out about that and trying to get things figured out. She might be moving to a city just north of where we are. It's still part of our area, but it will make it harder for her because she won't be able to walk to church anymore. But she still has her baptismal date for the 24th of May, which is in two weeks. So we'll just have to make sure she comes to church this week, then assess the situation to decide whether or not she's ready to be baptized. We don't really have any concerns up to this point, but we just want to make sure she's fully committed and ready.

NEW INVESTIGATORS

This last week we got a few new investigators. Some of them are showing some signs of potential. It'll be nice to have new people we can visit and share the Gospel with. Lots of people say that if they receive an answer to their prayers telling them that they need to be baptized, they will get baptized. Now we just need to help people understand that they're supposed to actually pray about it! I guess we'll just have to study "How to Help Others Keep Commitments" in Preach My Gospel this week... Btw, how's all your study in PMG going? Don't worry, I haven't forgotten M. Russell Ballard's commitment to all the members to start reading in PMG. :)

SOEUR ROSE!!!

I almost forgot!! One of the coolest things happened last week! We found a member that lives in our area that didn't have her records transferred here when she moved from France back in 2006! She never was able to find the church building and just lost all contact with the LDS Church. But somehow we got her number referred to us and so we called her to set up an appointment. We have tried several times in the past, but no success, until last week! We found where she lived and it turns out that she is awesome! She's probably in her 60's and has been a member for over 20 years. She used to work with the missionaries all the time in the Lyon, France branch. She's been to the temple in Switzerland many times and was endowed there! But since losing track of the church, she just kind of fell off the map. She still believes everything is true and still has the "Jospeh Smith Book." She's honestly just forgotten a lot and she just needs to awaken the old memories she haves of the church and the gospel. Everything is still there, it's just a little cloudy. We sang "I Am A Child of God" with her and she knew the tune and some of the lines still. Then we shared the Restoration with here. She didn't remember some things, like the word Priesthood. But she basically recited the First Vision with us! It was so cool! :) She is way awesome and super nice, and she LOVES missionaries! :) She has a car came to church in FdF yesterday and it sounds like everything went well. #RESCUING #REACTIVATION

MONSIEUR CLAUDE ORDONNAT

This is an experience that I can't even describe. It's one of our new investigators... We were with a member Soeur Delise on Saturday morning, but our appointments fell through, so we just decided to go door-to-door. That's when we met Claude. There's no way to describe how interesting meeting and teaching him was. The only way Elder Fraley or I could describe it was as it we were in some old movie where some kids stumble upon an old man that changes their life. So I'm just going to use bullet points to tell the story. Then maybe I can clear everything up in 10 years when I understand better what happened...
* Contacting huge houses right on the ocean, where mostly Atheists live
* It's unuasally cool and overcast for the first time in... like forever
* We were about 100 yards from our own apartment
* We called into a house and a guy came our on his balcony, told us to wait there, then came down
* He's about 70, missing teeth, has glasses, walks with major difficulty, has a paralyzed left arm, and he's half blind
* He lives alone but he has life-assistants that help him during the day
* His house is huge and the yard is overgrown with weeds
* He let us in, asked us who sent us there. We told him we felt impressed to try his home. He said he could sense that the Holy Spirit was with us.
* He shakes and cries "Hallelujah" whenever he feels the presence of the Holy Ghost.
* He let us share our message and believed everything we said
* He won't pray to ask God if the Restoration is true, because he believes it is already
* He has a half-built chapel in his backyard that he was building to have people come from all around to be healed
* He couldn't come to church this week because he's gained weight recently and his clothes don't fit anymore
* He wants us to come back to give him the Book of Mormon on Tuesday and talk more about how we can help him in his yard
* He gave us about 12 mangos

We walked home without words to explain how weird the whole situation was
Ya got it? You see how interesting that is? Ya... I guess you probably had to be there. But just trust me.

I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Have a good week! :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MITCH OWEN on the 16th!!

Love,
Elder Taylor Dayton

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Happy Week!

May 6, 2014

Hello!!

First of all, I want to wish a happy birthday to my friends this week, Spencer Sarge (May 7th), Jordan Brown (May 8th), and Timmy Hansen (May 12th). You're all turning 20! You're so old! Also, happy birthday to my dad on May 8th! I lost track of how old you are...

This last week was pretty good for me. I had some experiences that I will never forget.

MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK

Renessa is doing great! She came to church on Sunday all the way to the branch in Fort-de-France for Fast Sunday. We incorporated her with the members here and then Elder Fraley and I let them go to work. After church we had a branch meal to break the fast. We barely talked to her the whole time, and we never had to tell her where to go! It was ideal member missionary work! :) One member in our area, Soeur Delise, is great and has been awesome teaching with us and helping us out by fellowshipping Renessa. She's still on for baptism for the 24th of May. We did cancel her son's baptismal date though because we haven't really been able to teach him. But it's okay, he'll get baptized later.



Also, while waiting for the food, the Elders got to help one of the prospective missionaries in their branch learn how to tie a tie.




Daniel told us he was going to come to church this last week, but he didn't show up... :/

Christopher and Alexandra haven't been taught in about two weeks now... Sadly, the miracle family of Cedric and Caytleen have kind of fallen off the map. :(

THE DESIRE TO REPENT

Elder Fraley and I had the chance to take part in the awesome healing process of repentance. Soeur Lagrand has a brother named Philippe (she is the only member in her family) who has been having major health problems for about the last 6 months. He has some type of cancer of the head, and he was to never walk or talk again and even condemned to death a few months ago. After several operations, he has been improving and he has miraculously been able to speak again, and walk. One night, while talking to Soeur Lagrand, he mentioned to her how he had lived a terrible life. He is still young, in his 40's, and because of some bad decisions he's made he was on his death bed. He told her that he wants to repent.

That's when we come into the story. About a week later, Soeur Lagrand invited us over to come and visit him (she has tried to share the gospel with her family several times previously). So we went over there with Frere Lagrand to her mom's house to visit Philippe. We got there and there were people everywhere in the house. All sisters, brother, nieces, nephews of Soeur Lagrand. We walked into the house and had some weird looks as we walked into the room where Philippe's bed was. We got in, told him that we were going to give him a blessing, read some scriptures in James 5 about the Elders of the church and anointing with oil for a blessing. Everyone, including Philippe, seemed a little bit skeptical and unsure of the whole situation. But we continued, and I anointed him with consecrated oil, and then Frere Lagrand gave one of the most powerful and touching blessings of healing. Everyone in the house was completely quiet.

After the blessing, Soeur Lagrand had Elder Fraley, Frere Lagrand, Philippe, and I sit down outisde while she gave us some sandwiches and juice. None of us planned to teach a lesson that day, and we're going to go back another day to teach him. But everyone that was in the house came out to just watch us eat the food. One of the brothers, Jean-Luc, who was still skeptical started posing questions about everything from why we were missionaries, to if we still get tempted by wordly things. His questioning was very good and his heart was touched by the Spirit as we received inspiration as how to respond to each question. It soon turned into a whole Q&A session from the Lagrand family to the Elders. 

The family would all be whispering, and chatting as we ate, and then somebody would throw us a question. As soon as one of us opened our mouth, a hush would come over the room, the Spirit would enter, everyone would fix their whole attention on the missionaries, and they would be hanging on our every word. Elder Fraley and I got to bear honest testimony of why we were on missions. We told them to not be fooled, but we aren't perfect. We have temptations too. We have problems too. We are not happy all the time. We can get very discouraged sometimes. But we know that what we are doing is the work of the Lord. And no amount of "failure" that we face in the mission field will take away the fact that we are doing what we have been asked to do.

Ever since we left their house that day, Philippe has been asking Soeur Lagrand when the missionaries are coming back. I'm so grateful to be a little part of the spiritual and physical healing process of one of my spiritual brothers. Even if nothing more comes from this experience, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and one that I will never forget. I know that the Spirit has the power to testify Truth to man. I know that there is healing power in the Priesthood. I know that the Lord is a God of miracles.

That is all the time I have! Gotta fly!

I love you all! :) Have a good week! And Happy Mothers' Day!

Love,
Elder Dayton

For P-day today, the missionaries all got to do a little sightseeing together. The following photos are taken from Facebook, thanks to Elder and Sister Turner and the page they've created for the Martinique missionaries. They went hiking, saw Mount Pele (an active volcano), visited a rum factory (disclaimer: no rum was consumed by any of the missionaries), and had lunch somewhere together.

Mount Pele

A rubber tree outside the rum factory.

Elder Dayton loves doing handstands!

A nice place for lunch.