Monday, June 30, 2014

Freddy Got Baptized!

June 30, 2014

Hello everyone! We got a baptism! :)

Freddy got baptized on Saturday! That's right, ANOTHER baptism on Martinique! :) It was awesome! We have an amazing new branch mission leader and Elder Jex and I have been working really hard, and we had an amazing baptismal service. Why was it amazing? Because the branch did almost everything! It was great. That's exactly what Elder Jex and I have been working for recently with the leaders of the branch. In branch council this last week we talked a bunch about responsibility and how the members need to take responsibility. If not, they're not going to grow any stronger. (Look in Preach My Gospel on page 215 at the quote by President Hinckley, and the 2nd point he makes.)




Elder Cornish told us last year that the missionaries are TOO good and that we do too much sometimes. He said that what most branches need are missionaries that aren't any good. The history in the branch has been that the members do most of it, but if something hard comes up, they just dish the task off to the missionaries. But we're bringing a STOP to that!!

Sorry for the rant... haha I'm just really pumped right now!

SACRAMENT MEETING GOAL

In Branch Council last week we got them pumped up on missionary work too, and we set the goal with them to have a total attendance of 100 on Sunday, July 6th. Now all the missionaries are visiting all the members and seeing who they can invite to church. It's going to be awesome if we get that many! Our average is around 60 normally. WHEN we get 100, we won't even have enough chairs to seat everyone! It's going to be awesome! :) Plus, after church we'll have a branch meal together.

I love the members in our area too! They're really starting to catch the vision, and they're starting to learn how to invite their friends to "come and see." We've already visited a few members and made lists of who they're going to give invitations to. We also have invited them to fast with us and the rest of the West Indies Mission to get 600 total baptisms as a mission in 2014. Everyone we've talked to so far is ALL IN and stoked to join our mission fast! :)

I don't have much else to say today... Pierre-Louis came to the baptism and to church. He's awesome! He looks like a natural at church and he dresses and is prepared as if he's been a member his whole life. His only problem right now is he has to wait to become legal (from Haiti), and then he has to get married. The sad thing is that his wife doesn't really want to listen to us right now, but she'll come around with time. We're going to see him tonight in fact, with an awesome member that recently moved here from Canada named Frère Noël.

We haven't heard anything from Jalense since. We're still trying to get ahold of him again.

That's about it y'all! Keep on fighting the good fight with all your might! If you pick the right team, you're guaranteed to win!

Here's a quote by Spencer W. Kimball that I LOVE, and it's what we talked about a lot at Leadership Training, and it's what inspired Elder Jex and I to start "responsibilizing" the branch here in Martinique:

Jesus knew how to involve his disciples in the process of life. He gave them important and specific things to do for their development. Other leaders have sought to be so omnicompetent that they have tried to do everything themselves, which produces little growth in others. Jesus trusts his followers enough to share his work with them so that they can grow. That is one of the greatest lessons of his leadership. If we brush other people aside in order to see a task done more quickly and effectively, the task may get done all right, but without the growth and development in followers that is so important. Because Jesus knows that this life is purposeful and that we have been placed on this planet in order to perform and grow, growth then becomes one of the great ends of life as well as a means. We can give corrective feedback to others in a loving and helpful way when mistakes are made.

We need to have enough love and trust in those we serve to give them a share in the responsibility. The growth they will experience is the ultimate gift you can give them.

I Love You,
Elder Dayton


Martinique at night, all lit up. Beautiful!

First Week in Fort-de-France

June 23, 2014

Bonjour! To-to-to? 
(How you call in to a house contact in France. Does't really mean anything.)

I'm officially in my new area, with my new companion, with my new apartment that actually doesn't smell as bad as it used to (apartment and companion both.) We've cleaned it up and it's starting to look super nice. I think it's my favorite apartment so far. Every morning we wake up to the sun rising. It makes it so much easier to get up in the morning and smile.

And I'm actually getting slower at typing now because I've gotten used to typing on French keyboards, and today I'm writing on an American keyboard... Que peut-on faire?

FORT-DE-FRANCE

This city is awesome! It kind of looks like what I picture Brazil to look like. Just houses stacked on top of houses on hills. It's great. The people in the city are different. They're easier to talk to. Plus I see Asians a lot too! (They're everywhere nowdays.) We have some sweet investigators already and just this past week we got some new investigators with a lot of potential! Plus, we finally have male investigators!! Our branch needs some more #PRIESTHOOD support.

FREDDY

Freddy is our investigator that should be getting baptized this Saturday! He's awesome. He's 32 and the son of one of the older member ladies in the Branch. I interviewed him two weeks ago for baptism, but he wasn't quite ready in terms of all the commandments, but he hasn't drunk any coffee since! So he'll have an interview this Wednesday with Elder Russell and everything should go well! #BAPTISM :)

PIERRE-LOUIS

He's an awesome member referral. He's Haitian. I LOVE Haitians! They're usually more believing and a lot more humble. He's great, but might have a while before he can get baptized because he needs to get legal, and he needs to get married.

JALENSE

A brand new investigator from yesterday! He's only 16 and he moved to Martinique on Saturday from Brazil! He's also Haitian. He speaks Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and a little bit of English and French. Pierre-Louis found him in the street the other day looking like he was lost. So he took him under his wing and was giving him a haircut yesterday when we went over to see Pierre-Louis. We taught them the Book of Mormon and answered Jalense's questions. He's an awesome kid and is trying to start a religious youth group in Martinique that's connected with kids from New York, Miami, Brazil, Paris, and Haiti. He's got a really good heart and is searching for Truth. Plus, he wants to learn more English from us! :)

ELDER JEX

Elder Jex is from Orem, Utah and is a world-renowned and self-proclaimed foot model. He is hilarious! :) I love him so much! And he's an awesome missionary.  He got transferred to the French side from the Dutch side three transfers ago, so he's still learning French. He only has 3 transfers left. He's the first companion I've had since my trainer that is older than me in mission age and birthday age. I'm really excited to be able to learn from him.

I think that's about it! We killed a bunch of cockroaches out from behind our oven and washing machine the other night. That was fun! :) Haha that's life down here in the West Indies.




I love you all so much!! Have a good week! Hopefully next week you'll be getting some baptism pics and some more cool news from the lives of Elder Dayton and Foot Model Elder Jex.




Love,

Elder Daytona Beach

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Transferred

June 16, 2014

Hello everyone!!

Happy Fathers’ Day yesterday, Dad! :) And happy birthday on Sunday Anna! Also, happy birthday to cousin Landen on the 19th, and cousin Mitch on the 23rd.  Also Elder Naters on the 23rd as well. And Davis Owen, good luck with your talk on Sunday. You’re going to kill it in Guatemala!!

TRANSFERRED

I got my official transfer call this last week, and I am going to the big city of the island, Fort-de-France, and I’m going to be Zone Leaders with Elder Jex! I’m pretty stoked. It’s pretty rare to get transferred from Martinique to another area on Martinique, but it looks like I got lucky! :) It should be a fun area. I’ll be on foot now, which will be a lot harder and a lot more tiring than a car or a bike, but I’m excited to live in the center of the action. Plus, even though the apartment smells bad, it has one of the coolest views in all of French side, and we sleep on the balcony too.

I love the branch in Fort-de-France. I already know all the members because our group met there once a month. I’ll be in the best area too, member-wise. We probably have about half of all the members (about 35 of the 70 actives) on the island in our area.

I’m going to miss Elder Fraley a lot. It’s sad that we have to say that the days of Deputy Dayton and Sheriff Fraley are over. :( But he already crowned me and promoted me to be Sheriff of Fort-de-France. Hahaha :) good times… I’ll miss that goofball.



 SAD WEEK…

Yesterday at church we only had 9 people (including us) who were there… The Anthony family are starting to get a little bit shaky and heading down the road to being less active. It’s very sad! We received a text from Sister Anthony saying that she didn’t want to come anymore and she didn’t want anyone at her apartment either. The group in Beauséjour was basically for them because they could walk there. But now that they’re not coming, Christina doesn’t come either. So we’re down 4 people in our group… :( I’m not leaving Trinité area on a very good note. Thankfully, Renessa is still active and funny as ever! :)

Our miracle investigators the Mulciba family didn’t come to church either yesterday. That was a bummer as well. I think it was because of Fathers’ Day.

Rémi went to church yesterday in Fort-de-France! He’s progressing well. He still hasn’t completely understood the Authority of the Priesthood, but I assume he’ll understand soon and accept a baptismal date soon. He’ll be a great asset to the church here in Martinique! We need more youth desperately! It’s something the West Indies Mission has started focusing on lately. More youth, and more families.

ELDER RUSSELL

Elder Taylor Russell is coming back! He’s taking my place in Trinité to serve with Elder Fraley! I’m super stoked! :) He’s going to be a great help to the group and the area. He’s coming back from English side, so he’ll be on fire and ready to baptize. We’re basically switching roles. When I came to Martinique, I was his  DL in Trinité and he was my ZL in Fort-de-France. Now he’ll be the DL in Trinité. We’re literally switching roles and areas! Haha it’ll be awesome to serve around him again. Martinique’s gonna explode!!

Keep it real everyone! I hope you’re all having an amazing summer/mission!

Avec amour,

Elder Dayton

P.S. We had a spider create an egg sac in our study room and they hatched one night while we were out working! We came home and there were baby spiders EVERYWHERE! It was like something out of a horror movie! We smashed all of them that we could and mopped up all of them that were on the ground. Then, later, Elder Fraley stumbled upon the mother spider in our bathroom and it was HUGE!! Luckily I manned it up and sucked that little nasty thing with a vacuum. It was INTENSE! I’ll have to show you all videos some other time…

Pics:





We hiked Mount Pélée again this morning. Sadly it was super cloudy and wet, so I didn’t dare get my camera out. But I have this pic of me eating the “Mount Pélée” ice cream at the restaurant at the base.












After, Elder Fraley and I went to Sainte-Marie to walk out to an island called the Tombolo. When it’s lower tide, you can walk out to the island on the sand! Super sick!



Take a step into my office. We found an office chair on the beach.


A view of Ste-Marie from the top of the Tombolo.

Back from Trinidad

June 9, 2014

Goo'day inside!!

This last week was awesome! I'm just trying to think of what to talk about and my brain is going a million kilometers per hour, so be patient with me as I try to smear my brain on this french keyboard...

MISSION LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

Trinidad was awesome! We flew in on Tuesday, had a devotional that night, and then conference all day Wednesday, and then flew home on Thursday morning. I like flying a lot, but I'm getting sick of waiting in airports and going through security all the time. But I have to soak it up, because life here in the West Indies is something I'll never get to experience again!

The Conference was awesome! The theme was Jesus Christ: A Perfect Leader. We talked about the Atonement, how to lead our missionaries, and how we can correct missionaries with love. President Mehr is amazing, but almost more amazing is Sister Mehr. And the Assistants did a great job too. I love them. Anyway, it was one of the most spiritually edifying little vacations I've ever been on. I hope I get to go on the next one in 6 months too. And I AM officially being made Zone Leader next week. I'm pretty excited to work more closely with the Assistants. Stay tuned! It's gonna be a crazy ride! should be awesome!

THE MULCIBAS

Mr and Mrs Mulciba came to church yesterday with their 7 year old son Youri! They are a perfect family. They're already married, and they have a car (actually 2!) which is like finding gold here in the West Indies! They were late for church because she's a hair-dresser and she had to do some Catholic kids' hair in the morning. But they came and they loved our lesson about the Sabbath Day. They are already planning on coming to our scripture study class on Friday, church on Sunday, and then Family night next Monday! :) They also had us over after church yesterday for lunch and it was way good. They spent lots of time laughing with us as they tried to teach us how to speak French Creole. I love them so much and they love us too! They're already really sad and dreading the day that I leave Trinité. I hope to stay in contact with them for the rest of my life, and hopefully see them get baptized!

REMI

We had an awesome lesson on Saturday with him and his 28 year old sister Karine! She doesn't live in our area except for when she's on vacation, but she was really interested, so we'll pass her down to the elders down south so they can baptize her! :) We played basketball on Saturday night with Rémi and had a blast. We played on a really nice outdoor court right on the ocean at about 7:30. In the US, the court would be crammed with people, but we were the only ones there!! It was beautiful. And Rémi's a baller too! He can dribble way better than me, and he's really tall for a 13 year old. We should be playing again this week. We're already his way good friend! He loves us! :) He went to church in Fort-de-France yesterday too, so that's good. Elder Fraley and his new companion are probably going to baptize him...

GOODBYES

I don't have any more time, but that's how life always seems. Every second that goes by is a second that you'll never get back. I probably won't be serving in Trinité anymore after this week. I'm going to miss it so much. All my friends and family would pay lots of money just to be able to go do door-to-door in my area. I've been so blessed to be able to serve in such a paradise for the past 5 1/2 months. I hope that one day I'll be able to go back.

Loves,
Elder Dayton

P.S. Elder Fraley and I made the cover of the mission newsletter with Renessa's baptism!! Booyah! :) haha


--Me and Elder Justin Ferrin, a DHS graduate of 2011! He's a ZL in Trinidad! He's super awesome and it was really good to see him in Trinidad and talk about our Kaysville buddies! :)


Hello, world!

June 2, 2014

I got a little bit involved with emailing other people this week, sot this will be a little short. Here's the snitch:

ALEXANDRA DISAPPEARED

Yeah, she's not getting baptized this week because she moved to her grandma's house. Too bad... We're trying to get hold of her again.

RENESSA GOT CONFIRMED

She's now a member!! :) Frère Lagrand confirmed her!

NEW INVESTIGATOR REMY

Frère Marie-Jeanne's 13 year-old son Remy. He's super cool and loves basketball. We're going to start playing with him. He has a Book of Mormon now and he's going to start reading it with his neighbor friend, Smiley (sick name, right?) #futuremissionaries

GOING TO TRINIDAD THIS WEEK

President Mehr called me last week and told me I'm going to Trinidad on Tuesday for a zone leader conference on Wednesday... I'm not even a zone leader! I'm excited though! It sounds like it's going to be awesome! :)

BOOK OF MORMON STUDY CLASS

Since we have our little group in Trinité, Elder Fraley and I started teaching a little institute class for our members. It's just starting to get rolling. I love doing it! It's a lot of fun! Now we just need to get more people to show up than Renessa and Soeur Delise... My love for the Book of Mormon is inexplicable now that I've been studying it so much. I'm almost done reading it for the 2nd time in French, and 4th time on my mission.

FINDING PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS AND FAMILIES

That's something we've been really trying to focus on lately. That's really what we need more than anything! No big news yet, but stay on the line...

I love you all! Happy birthday shoutout to Rachy-Rach! :) Thanks again to everyone that sent me birthday wishes! I loved them all! :)

Forever young,
Elder Dayton

Elder Dayton's Birthday!!

May 26, 2014

Today is Elder Dayton's 20th birthday! I'm grateful that he was spoiled by the missionaries he's serving with on Martinique. They surprised him with silly string, a cake, and then kidnapped him to go golfing. Unfortunately, the real golf course there is too expensive for a missionary budget, so they found a mini-golf place, which, as you can see, is in need of a lot of TLC. He hit a coconut ball with a palm frond. :) I'm sure he felt loved today, which is all I could hope for!














Happy Birthday, Elder Dayton!

HUMP DAY!!

May 26, 2014

HOLY MOLY HELLO HOMIES!

Happy Memorial Day. I hope you remember me on this wonderful holiday. We had a week that was "Super!" as Elder Fraley would say. :)

ONE YEAR MARK aka HUMP DAY

I have officially been out on a mission for one year now. It's pretty weird to think that I'm at the peak, now looking downhill. All the experiences I've had in the last year are summed up in the pages of my journal, the emails I've sent to all of you, and the letters I've sent home. I also have over a thousand photos that give a deeper look into some of the things I've seen and done. But none of that will even give you a taste distinct enough to help you get a grasp on all of my experiences so far. From the MTC to Martinique, from the Pepper Palace in New Orleans to the volcano in Guadeloupe. I have gotten to see, do, and feel so much that I would have never otherwise discovered had I not gone on a mission. I'm grateful for the blessing I have to serve where I am serving, meet the people I've encountered, and feel the daily emotional climate changes. I believe I am now tougher mentally, more spiritually sensitive, more socially apt, and more knowledgeable of different cultures and ways of life. I've had millions of unforgettable experiences, and millions more of experiences that sadly I will forget. As in the words of Jacob, "our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream" (Jacob 7:26). I am now left with one year to serve the Lord with all my heart and soul. I pray that I can make the best of it and continue keeping record so that these next 12 months can be forever accounted for in detail, for my own sake, and for those who will come after me.

RENESSA'S BAPTISM

Renessa got baptized on Saturday! It was awesome! Marclin Anthony baptized her with Frère Lagrand's help. Elder Fraley and I were witnesses. We were standing on the beach watching them walk out to where it was deep enough, and they just kept walking. Then we realiwed that we wouldn't be able to hear Marclin at all, so Elder Fraley and I turned around and shrugged our shoulders, and the Elders Quorum President and Branch Mission Leader waved us out and said, "Go!" So we took off our shoes and socks and went in after them to witness the baptism. We were pretty lucky. :) The water felt so good!







  







Weird story... So she didn't get confirmed yesterday, and she didn't come to church either. Saturday afternoon, Renessa got kicked out of her house, so she doesn't have anywhere to stay, so she went down south with our Group Leader Frère Lagrand and his family who were on vacation. And they didn't come to church either because they were "on vacation" (I know, that's not good, but that's another problem... :/ ) So we planned it out and we're going to confirm her next week in Fort de France with the rest of the branch.

I'm out of time!

I love you all! Thanks for all the birthday wishes! :) You guys are THE BEST! And the package you sent me was AWESOME family! The tie and tie bar are sweet! I wore them at the baptism! And I'm wearing the Harper shirt today! :) P.S. I might send it home because I like them too much and I don't want them to get ruined.

Love you!

Elder Taylor Dayton