Como estan ustedes? That's French for, "Do you like turtles?"
AU REVOIR ELDER JEX
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.
BIENVENUE ELDER LEWIS
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.
A DOUBLE BAPTISM
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!
CRAZY JIMMY AND THE LITTLE CHINESE BOY
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!
"DAD, YOU'RE NOT OBLIGATED TO TELL THEM THAT!"
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.
ELDER DAYTON'S 14 DAYS OF CHANGES
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.)