Monday, August 25, 2014

Picture Day

August 25, 2014

Brothas and sistahs,

So last week you guys got quite a treat on the stories. But I spent so much of my time typing them that I didn't send any pictures or anything. So that's what this email will be for. Also, this last week wasn't as exciting as the week before because we had some business to take care of with the senior couple. (Btw, the Turners are the COOLEST!! I'm totally moving to Canada to live with them after my mission.)


Yes, that's right. The other day Elder Lewis and I were at Carrefour (French version of Wal-Mart) when I noticed maple syrup! I hadn't eaten it in over a year, so I had to get it. Then Elder Lewis made me some French Toast (what an awesome companion, right?!) For all of you who are wondering, French toast is not something people actually eat in France... until we came along!


Yeah, Martinique is beautiful right? The one of the ocean is overlooking a city called Bellfontaine.

The other one is right in the city of Fort-de-France after some rain.


Elder Lewis knows so much about the Gospel. He has amazing pondering sessions and always has so much inspiration that he shares with me during companionship study. He's basically a prophet.


So, Madras is like a French West Indies thing. It's basically multi-colored plaid. It's very cultural and it's everywhere here. So anytime a missionary gets his hands on a madras tie, it is coveted by all the other missionaries. And Sister Yva, a member here, made me and Elder Jex madras ties before he left. She must just love me. :)


They're called something else in English. Elder Lewis' dad calls them "snot balls." They're little green fruits that you break open the skin and pop the inside in your mouth. Then you suck the slimy, sugary fruit off of the pit and then spit it out. Man, I wish you guys could all eat this stuff!


You guys might get raccoons and squirrels in your camping food, but birds fly into our apartment and eat our fruit. Then they leave little surprises on the floor. We could just shut our sliding doors when we leave... oh well.


Sometimes we get soaked when we're out working. And it rains on our balcony.


I gave him a present. Well, actually I re-gifted things that I got from you mom! So thanks for the lego car, the hi-chews, and the fruit snacks! :)

Gotta go! People are revolting at this cyber café!

Love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Dayton

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Banane Pesee Party!

August 18, 2014

Salut les amis!

Elder Lewis and I had a heck of a week here in Fort-de-France!! So much happened that was good, I hope I can even mention everything! I'm just going to go through the days of the week a little bit.


So on Tuesday we had a Zone Meeting that went awesome. The missionaries are using the Book of Mormon a lot more and we just got a huge shipment in and we're going to start teaching people from them like crazy! After, we watched the new Mormon Message and drank some root beer that I made (it had been since forever that I last drank that stuff.)

In the afternoon we taught a guy named Guy. We told him that God doesn't like alcohol and tried to talk him out of drinking a shot of rum after the prayer. We couldn't stop him. He had to do it. He thinks he's not addicted, but he is.


So our branch is looking for a new location for our church. So we went with the senior couple on Tuesday to look at a potential spot. It was nice, but a little too big. We're still looking!


Mom, I'm not telling this story to scare you. Au contraire, I'm telling you this story to give you confidence in your son's ability to look death in the eyes and walk away.

Elder Lewis and I had to take care of some business in the morning to get him legal here in Matnik (Martinique). On the bus ride back, one of the Fort-de-France crazies was yelling at me and telling me to give him 20 Euros. Then as he was getting off the bus, he pulled a knife on me, got up nice and close so I could smell the alcohol on his breath, waved the knife in the air between our faces and then in a rude way he told me in Créole: "Don't come near the apartment complex again or I'll cut your throat."

Weirdly, I wasn't even even a bit scared. I didn't even flinch or say anything, and neither did Elder Lewis, and the guy just got off the bus. The people in the back were laughing and nudging each other in the sides like they'd just seen something crazy happen.

Later I got a plastic bottle thrown at me by some gangsters (we have a missionary term for "gangsters" here but it's not very nice and I'm definitely not writing it in an email because it sounds like a really bad word, even though it's not.)

In the evening as we were walking on the freeway in the dark we met a sweet guy named Renaud. As we walked by him he asked us for a BoM. We taught him as we walked and set up an appointment for Saturday. I'll talk about him more in a bit...

Then we were running late at night and walking home when some young guys stopped us. They offered us a pizza and a ride home. Sadly, we couldn't take the pizza, so they drove us home, smoking marijuana in their beater car, with the underwater tin-sounding subwoofer playing some slow reggae. They were nice guys.


I don't have time to talk about Friday.


We went and saw Renaud and taught him at his apartment. His situation is fragile, as he has Schizophrenia. His apartment was filthy and smelled terrible. There were clothes strewn everywhere, ashes on the ground, and bones and chips lying around here and there. He has had major problems in the past with some bad drugs and has been in prison twice. We gave him a BoM and he was very touched. The member we were with even noticed that he was crying during the lesson. He was so grateful. He accepted to be baptized once he knows that these things are true and starts keeping the commandments. It was amazing that as we taught, him my physical body just wanted to get out of there, but through the Spirit I knew that Heavenly Father loved this man and wanted us to stay and help him. I know that this man can change! I can tell that he wants it too, but more than that, he NEEDS it. He just needs some serious repentance and some serious love. He is very open with us and was very touched when he came to church and felt the Spirit that was there. He's already planning on coming to church and English class every week, and is even planning on walking to get there.

Our investigator Pierre-Louis organized a Banane Pesée party on Saturday and it was BOMB!! He invited us and a ton of church members. It was so good. You've got to look up what it is. It's a Haitian dish. (fried green plantain bananas, I think) When we showed up he had Mormon Messages playing on his computer. We had a great time. There was so much love in that little tiny hut.

Anyways, I have to go! Have a great week.

Elder Dayton

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Pottery Village

August 11, 2014

Hello family!

So, for P-Day today we went to a pottery village down on the south side of the island. It was awesome! We got to watch a guy make some pots. His name was Sylvain. He was super pro at making pots! He made it look really easy. I think it actually is easy... I'll probably open a business when I get home. I also got to skip rocks, which is my favorite sport. Skipping rocks is probably what the Celestial Kingdom is like. Then to finish it all off, I saw my favorite car--a Fiat Multipla. It's a classic French beauty, complete with a muffin top.

So this past week was good. We didn't teach a lot of lessons to investigators, which is kind of a bummer. But it makes sense, because we don't really have a lot of investigators right now, which is a big problem. I really just need to be more diligent and talk to more people throughout the day. Sometimes it's just exhausting, but hardly ever do new investigators come to you.

So, we did see a lot of members this past week. Almost every night we had an appointment. We made some solid missionary plans with them and I'm excited to see the Lord's hand in our work with them. We used Ether 3:1-6 and talked about how Jared's bro made the plan and fabricated the stones, and THEN he took them to the Lord and asked him to put forth his power. Then the Lord reached down and touched them. And the Brother of Jared saw the finger of the Lord, and his plan was a success! So we really inspired some members, and it got me really excited to work with them.

We have a training meeting tomorrow and we're going to be talking about the importance of the Book of Mormon in missionary work. It should be pretty good, and I hope we can inspire the missionaries. I know that if we can just find people that will act enough to read the Book of Mormon, they will come to know that everything else is true, just like how Joseph Smith says in the Introduction to the BoM. Then, we will be filling the ocean with people and baptizing like crazy!

I love you all so much! Sorry, but I've gotta go. I have more reports to do. I hope you have an amazing week and enjoy the rest of your summer!


Elder Dayton

Elder Dayton and Lewis

Elder Dayton with Elder Russell, his Kaysville buddy.

We saw some jellyfish at the dock by the pottery village. I touched the tops of them, and I didn't get stung!

Elder Lewis made a delicious apple pie! He's a good cook!

Big Bertha!

August 4, 2014

Aloha familia,

So I've already used up most of my email time, so I've gotta go "quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword," just like the word of God. (D&C 6)


Missionaries making preparations for the tropical storm.

So there was a tropical storm that hit the islands this last week. We were on alert for about 24 hours and got trapped inside for quite some time. But it ended up being nothing really. I've seen more rain in Kaysville. I'm just waiting for a real live hurricane to hit! then we'll have some service, and people's hearts will soften a little.

Elder Kabongo came to Martinique at the end of his mission, before going back to Belgium. He stayed with us for a couple days, and we played dominoes in the dark because they cut our power during the storm. They ate sardine sandwhiches during the storm. I had nothing to do with that!

Even though Bertha didn't do much, we have a bigger wave sweeping the West Indies at the moment, and it's baptisms! The Lord really is hastening his work here! Our mission has a goal to get 600 baptisms for the year, so we need 50 per month. And in July alone we had a total of 68! We're starting to see miracles. Our mission is starting to focus on using the Book of Mormon in contacting people. President Mehr said in his email this week "We are emphasizing contacting and teaching with the book of Mormon during the next several months to help reach the goal of 600 baptisms by the end of the year. We will be concentrating on flooding the mission with the book of Mormon. I'm super excited. Elder Lewis and I are going to get our missionaries going and we're going to be ordering a lot of boxes of BoMs!!


Yeah, that's pretty much it. The kid's a stud. He already knows exactly what he's doing. I'm learning a lot from him. He knows so much about the gospel and he's so spiritual! It's going to be an awesome time serving with him.


It is officially over, and I 'm officially changed. Ok, not really... Remember, "Perfection is a process, not an event." It was awesome though. I would definitely recommend trying it. Some of the biggest miracles I've seen from it is the discovered ability I have to control my thoughts. By filling my day with useful work and spiritual reading and conversing, I have found that I'm better able to focus on the work. And when I'm focused on the work, that's when I really love what I'm doing. I've also discovered that I can control myself and increase my conversational skills. I've realized how important body language is when talking to people. If we are sharing something of such importance as the Restoration of Christ's church on the Earth, how can we expect others to have an interest in it if our body motions are giving signs that we're disinterested, bored, or trying to be cool. "We're not cool, we're missionaries," said President Mehr.

Anyways, I've gotta go. Pierre-Louis, Wilta, and their friend Rudy are our most solid investigators for the moment. We had all three of them at church yesterday, plus a new investigator and member referral named Pascal.

This coming week, Elder Lewis and I have rendez-vous with just about every member in our area, so we're going to be making some killer missionary plans with them. I'm pumped!

Love you all! Gotta go! If you don't catch the wave, you're going to drown!

Edler Dayton

Enzo got baptized!

July 28, 2014

Hola familia,

Como estan ustedes? That's French for, "Do you like turtles?"


This last week was awesome, except for the fact that Elder Jex got his transfer call and he's going back to the Amazon forests of Suriname... :( Too bad for me. He's pretty torn. He only has two transfers left, and he kind of wants to stay on Martinique. He did so much great work here as a Zone Leader! He really turned Martinique in a good direction. Sadly I only got 6 weeks to be with him. I hope that I can continue doing good work without him.


That's right! Elder Jake Lewis from Meridian, Idaho is my new companion! He's a transfer younger than me (back to the younger comps again) but he's a really great missionary! I'm excited to work with him. He's got TONS of energy, and I just hope that I can keep up! He's never been a Zone Leader, so I'm going to have to train him on that. Also, Elder Glover is the new district leader on Martinique, so we've just got a bunch of fresh leadership here right now! It's awesome! Our branch mission leader is super excited about missionary work right now and sent out a text to everyone last week bragging about how much awesome work we've done this year. We've already had 10 baptisms in Martinique and our retention rate is higher than any other branch in our district. Our goal is to get our attendance up so that we can buy some land for a new church building.


Enzo got baptized like we were expecting, but what we didn't expect is that the sisters got a baptism too! They challenged their long-time investigator in the middle of the week and she surprisingly accepted! So we had two people baptized and confirmed this weekend.

 Also, on Sunday Renessa got a calling and she is the new Gospel Principles teacher at the group in Trinité! :) And she's also going to serve a little 24 hour mini-mission with Sister Guernsey while her companion leaves the island for transfers. And Freddy got the Aaronic Priesthood and got to pass the sacrament on Sunday! Also, Pierre-Louis came to church again (his wife didn't come, but she came to the baptism and he didn't). And our other investigator, Joanna, Enzo's 14 year-old sister came to church too, and she became way good friends with a member here that is her same age. Things are awesome here!


On Friday Elder Bodily and I were on an exchange in Fort-de-France, and at night we were just walking around looking for people to talk to when we ran into one of our potential investigators, Jimmy, a Haitian friend of Pierre-Louis who speaks a little English and is crazy (I think he hit his head or something.) So he was just watching some people shoot around as we were talking to him and I mentioned how I wanted to play, so he was like, "Let's go!" So he grabbed a 16 year-old asian boy and was like, "Hey, little Chinese boy. We're playing basketball. You're on my team, let's go!" The shy asian boy was like, "I'm not chinese..." Hahaha Jimmy didn't even care and we just played basketball anyway. The Chinese boy, Andy, was little, but really good, and Jimmy is about 6'6" and amazing! So Elder Bodily and I tried to hold our own, but we ended up losing by one shot. It was fun. We need some more young men, so we're going to go back and find Andy and baptize him!


So we had a door contact the other night and a man answered the door with his three boys. The littlest one, age 6, was hilarious. When we answered, the man was saying that he couldn't accept us at the moment because his wife was sick. We talked to him about how we have a message about eternal families and the Book of Mormon and how we wanted to go back another time to teach them. He again mentioned to us that his wife was sick, but then his little 6 year-old was like, "Dad, why do you keep telling them that mom is sick?? You're not obligated to tell them that." Haha, the dad ignored him and started telling about how he and his family were Catholic and how they go to Catholic church and the kid piped up again and said, "Who goes to church?? Not me, nope, I don't go to church." At this point that dad was getting a little frustrated with his son and looked like he was afraid he was going to blurt out anymore secrets. So we took down an appointment for this weekend and left.


So I'm currently on Day 12 of a daily goal setting spree, and it's going awesome! I call it my 14 Days of Changes. Mom, last week you mentioned the importance of goals, and I have a strong testimony that goals help us improve. What set me off on this spree of goals was a quote I read by M. Russell Ballard where he incites us to set a goal of 1 thing we know that we should not be doing and to STOP doing it. He also incites us to do 1 thing that we know we should be doing and to START doing it. I have been trying to do that every day for the last 12 days, and each day I focus on those 2 simple things. Some of my goals for example: "DO make longer-lasting eye contact with people," "DON'T say um" (not a success yet, by the way), "DO express gratitude," and "DON'T be late for appointments." At the end of the day I evaluate it and see if I failed or succeeded. I haven't necessarily succeeded every day, but I have seen improvement, and that's the reason behind it all! Elder Ballard says, "Perfection is a process and not an event," and I believe that the road to perfection is on a path of setting goals. I know that is true. I know that through the enabling power of the Atonement of Christ, we can become anyone we want to be. We just have to prayerfully seek the Lord's help and ask him for the spiritual gifts we need.

Muchas gracias todo el mondo por los letras! (See, I speak a little bit of Dutch now too.)

Elder Dayton

Beautiful Fort-de-France!

Mwen ka pale creole!‏

July 21, 2014

Bonswe tout moun!

I don't really know if that's how you say or spell "good evening everybody" in Haitian Creole or not. But I think it's close enough. Speaking of Haitians...


We have officially started teaching the companion of Pierre-Louis, and she is as awesome as he is! Haitians are officially the coolest people on earth. They are so humble and so kind. She's come to church with Pierre-Louis for the past 3 weeks and she likes it a lot. We taught her yesterday with Pierre-Louis and a member and had a great lesson. She barely speaks any French, so she communicates in broken French/Creole. But it doesn't matter because the Spirit speaks all languages, and the Spirit was so strong in our lesson. She used to be really nervous around us and wouldn't ever talk, because I think she was afraid that we were police... haha But now she's really open with us. Wilta and Pierre-Louis totally would get baptized if they could get legal! We're going to fast with him this weekend for him to find a job to make enough money to buy his fiscal stamps (very expensive) to get legal. But even after that, it could sadly be a very long process.

Some good news though is that his 14 year-old son lives in Haiti and he's going to start going to church with his nephew, who is already a member!! So his whole family will be baptized someday and they'll all live together eternally.

After our lesson, Pierre-Louis fed us some food. They taught me how to say the prayer in Creole! All I could say was, "thank you for this food that Pierre-Louis made." They got a kick out of it though! They almost died laughing at an American White boy speaking their language! I'm gonna learn it and speak it fluently! :)

We're also going to start teaching Pierre-Louis' friend named Rudy. He's super sweet too and has already been to church once!


Enzo WILL be getting baptized this Saturday at 9am. The little 9 year-old stud already passed his interview! :) I'm pretty sure that Elder Jex will be doing the baptism. It will be great because it's going to be Elder Jex's last Saturday in Martinique.


We have other people we teach, like Walter, Billy, Veronica, and Mr. Siffard. I could tell you about them, but I'm saving you the pain and just giving you the juicy stuff. Once they start making progress, I'll let you know. 

I have some photos from this last week! :)

Elder Dayton

Waiting at the airport going to Guadeloupe for Zone Conference with the rest of the Martinique gang.

Me and the famous Elder Broadbent, who is now serving in my first area! He's an awesome missionary. I got to go on an exchange with him to see the Desir family while I was there. (Broadbent is famous to me because I lived with my friends at Broadbent Hall at BYU. That's the reason why I had to get a picture with him.)

Me and Elder Laufatte, our last native French-speaking missionary. He's awesome.

So, I went on an exchange in Trinité last week with my old companion Elder Fraley... And just like old times, we got bombarded by a HUGE bug! I think this is what they call a millipad. I've heard that they're potentially deadly, and this one was ginormous!

A fun picture of me wearing my bonnet that I made this morning. I'm going to start wearing it proselyting to protect my scalp from the scalding solar rays. It's a good utensil carrier too.

Today we had a fun p-day activity at the Tombolo again. I'm sure you'll see more about it on Sister Turner's facebook page.