Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Long Week, Full of Spiritual Enlightenment

September 29, 2014

This past week has been great! I have hardly any time to explain everything that happened, but here's a quick rundown. 

MAITE

The miracle of the week is Maité, a new investigator. She's 29, (single,) and she's an amazing woman. I'll have to explain another time how we finally met up with her. She is AWESOME! She is a very devout Christian and knows the Bible better than Elder Lewis! She met with us twice last week and even went to the last little bit of the Women's Broadcast on Saturday after she got done with her dance class. We're hoping to baptize her and get her married to one of the many single men in the branch.

RENAUD

He's doing great. We fasted with him this last Sunday, and we're making plans with him to help him cut off his addiction to cigarettes. He came to church again by himself, and he's becoming a regular.

GERSON

His progression is slower than we'd hoped for. We aren't rushing things though, because if this is truly his 2nd time being baptized, we want him to be truly converted before, so that he doesn't lose his faith. For the moment, he isn't going anywhere though.

KICKING AGAINST THE PRICKS

Lately I have been studying a little bit about D+C 121:34-46. There are some really good concepts about what we have to do to have true power and authority from God. One concept I really have grown to love is the concept of obedience. On a mission it is so important to be obedient to the rules we have, and also listen to the leaders that have stewardship over us. This also applies to us in life outside of the mission. We cannot fight against authority or "kick against the pricks" D&C 121:38. What does it mean to kick against the pricks? Marion G. Romney explains it very well. Check this out:

“This proverbial expression of kicking against the pricks usually refers to the ox goad which was a piece of pointed iron stuck in the end of a stick used to urge the ox while drawing the plow. Sometimes a stubborn ox will kick back against the goad only to receive its sharpness more severely. It has become a proverb to signify the absurdity of rebelling against lawful authority.”

I love you all, have a great week! Sarah, happy 18th birthday little sis! :) Congrats on getting your Brown Belt!!

Love,
Elder Dayton

Elder Lewis and Dayton and their new shipment. Getting ready to flood Martinique with the Book of Mormon!

Red at Night, Sailor's Delight

September 22, 2014

Hello everyone,

I woke up at 5:47 this morning to a beatiful red and orange sky, so I snapped a quick photo. But then 5 minutes later, at 5:52, the sky was blue. It's a rainy day today here in Martinique! I guess that just proves the little rhyme that Elder Turner taught me: "Red at night, sailor's delight. Red in the morning, sailor's warning." Luckily I have other missionaries to drive me around to take care of P-day stuff so I don't have to walk around in the rain.





ZONE CONFERENCE WITH ELDER ZIVIC

The Elder Zivic was at our Zone Conference in Guadeloupe this last week, and he is an amazing man. He's from Argentina, so his English isn't great, but he still has so much power when he speaks, even if it is slowly. His wife, Sister Zivic, speaks great English and she was able to teach us a lot as well. She is an amazing teacher! It was then when I realized that behind every general authority of the Church is an even more amazing wife. So basically at this point in my life I have no chance to be a general authority because I'm not married. Hopefully I don't run into some amazing woman that becomes my wife... then I'll be doomed!

We talked more about the Book of Mormon, obedience, using our area books, and how to have real success as a missionary. I loved it, and I'll definitely be re-reading my notes throughout the week.



Elder Dayton talking with Sister Zivic

Elder Dayton and Lewis reporting on their Zone

The Martinique Zone at Zone Conference, September 2014




RENAUD

He is doing awesome! He came to Church again! We tried calling him in the morning but he wasn't answering. So we stopped by his house on the way to church and woke him up. His alarm was blaring, but he was sound asleep on his balcony. Thank goodness his lives on ground level. He then walked to church by himself and got SOAKED by the rain. It was so sad to see him walk in, and I felt terrible, but he was not ashamed one bit and stayed for all the meetings. Needless to say, someone drove him home after church.

He also came to an activity on Saturday for the Sunday School and was basically leading the discussion as we debated modern day topics using the gospel. He was the scribe, and he did a great job!

Elder Lewis and I cleaned his apartment last Monday. It was a serious project and we have only put a dent in it. But he was so grateful. I cleaned and organized the balcony, Elder Lewis took care of the kitchen, and Renaud worked on the bedroom and bathroom. Everything was pretty nasty, but it looks a lot better now. We're just trying to teach him how to keep it clean (we might have to clean it again this week.)

GERSON (formarly known as Jerson)

He's still progressing, but he's not on track to get baptized on the 27th anymore. It's too bad. We won't be getting our baptismal goal for the month. He should be getting baptized next month. He's starting to read the Book of Mormon and we have had some amazing lessons with him. It's so awesome to watch the eyes of his understanding open as the Spirit teaches him. He's slowly but surely becoming truly converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He also came to English class and the activity on Saturday. We met him downtown and then road the bus with him to the church, then walked with him. We're basically just his friend. It honestly felt like we were just hanging out with him. (And he's teaching me some Spanish.)

I love my area. I love my companion. I love my investigators. I love this calling. I never want these feelings to end. I feel happier right now, and closer to my Heavenly Father than ever before--and I'm only getting better.

I love you all, have a great week!

Elder Dayton

P.S. I saw some old friends from Guadeloupe - Diemjy, Mosiah...But best of all, I saw Adrien for the first time since I came to Martinique! He's doing awesome and seems so happy in the church! He has the Melchizedek Priesthood and is serving as the branch clerk!! He's so funny too!





Elder Pape with Elder Dayton, waiting in the airport.




Stop Being Prideful

September 15, 2014

NEW TRANSFER, NEW MISSIONARIES

So we had some new missionaries come to Martinique on Tuesday. One of them stayed to be trained by Elder Russell. The other two left again to other places. It was fun to be able to hang out with them on Wednesday for a while. It's fun to see them discover what mission life is going to be like. Especially when all they really know is the MTC. Sometimes I forget about the humidity here, but they definitely notice. I'm so used to mission life now that things don't even have any effect on me anymore. It was funny to see their faces when they saw our laundry racks. (Yeah, we don't have dryers here, so we hang out our laundry to dry on plastic racks.) Seeing new missionaries just reminds me of when I first came into the mission. It's tough being new... I'm glad I'm not new anymore.

Elder Fraley is going to St. Maarten. But we have Elder Okano going to Guadeloupe and Elder Sackely going down to French Guiana. They're going to be awesome missionaries!


NO HAITIANS AT CHURCH

For some reason a lot of our investigators didn't come to Church yesterday. We tried to figure out what happened, and we think that Frère Noel couldn't come to Church because he had to go and present a child at a Catholic Church because he's the Godfather. So none of our Haitian investigators showed up. :(

RENAUD CAME TO CHURCH

So Elder Lewis and I left early on Sunday morning to go pick up Renaud and walk with him to church. We could have easily found him a ride to church, but we wanted him to teach him personal responsibility. Now he knows how to get to church and he should be able to come every week. His only problem is waking up on time. Because of his medication, sometimes he doesn't wake up until 5:00 PM... But he loves church and he really wants to change his life and get baptized. He's working hard on kicking his cigarette habit, and I think he'll be able to do it through the enabling power of the Atonement. He's been reading in the Book of Mormon and he picks up on things really fast. He's so humble and wants the Gospel in his life so much!

ZONE CONFERENCE IS THIS WEEK!

That's right! I'm going to Guadeloupe again for Zone Conference. This will be my 4th time flying to Zone Conference from Martinique. I can't believe how long I've been here. I've taken a ton of planes during my mission. It's pretty cool I guess... Airports do get old after a while though.

STOP BEING PRIDEFUL!!!

This last week I was reading in Alma 33:19-21 about how Moses raised up a type of Christ for his people to look at, and all they had to do was look to be healed of their malady. "But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them." Sadly, sometimes we are too prideful to do it, and we don't. It's hard for us, like those in the wilderness, to believe that we can be healed.

There is also the example of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. He was told to go wash himself in the river 7 times and he would be healed from his Leprosy. But he hardened his heart. He thought it must be more difficult. He was also offended that the prophet only sent out his servant to tell him what to do, even after he traveled all the way from Syria. He was prideful, and almost didn't do what he was told. But luckily, he humbled himself and just went and bathed himself in the river. And to his surprise, he was healed! He was so grateful afterward that he hauled 2 mule-sized loads of dirt back to his home to be able to worship the Lord on Israelite soil.

So, go! Listen to the Lord, his servants, and your leaders. Bathe yourself. Be clean. Turn yourselves unto Christ. "Look, and live!"

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

Love,
Elder Dayton


We DID It!!!!!

September 8, 2014

WE DID IT! We got a total of 131 people in sacrament meeting, nearly doubling our average! Elder Lewis and I had a total of 6 current investigators at church, and a bunch of potential investigators that were referred to us from members! There were so many non-members there! And we even had a less-active show up! The rooms were all full, and I didn't even get to sit down for all of sacrament meeting because there weren't enough chairs. It was sweet! We're looking for a new building to move into. Once we get our weekly average to 80 we can move into a new building. Once we get 90, we can buy property to build a chapel, and once we hit 100 we can start building a new chapel!








LOCCIDENT

Loccident came to church! He's super awesome! We saw him with a member last week that helped translate the Creole-franglish-spanol conversation. He's an awesome guy with a ton of faith. He became friends instantly with the rest of our Haitian crowd, of which only two are actual members at the moment.

Yesterday we went and saw him after church and he told us how much he loved it and how he felt so good there. He feels that it's true! The Spirit works so well! He has a cute little son named Jordan too, that's three. We're going to try to teach his wife soon. Loccident says that he wants her to be with him in this church. He also wants to get a car so that he can come every week.

PIERRE-LOUIS IS STILL GIONG STRONG...


Me with Rudy and Pierre-Louis

Pierre-Louis is just awesome. He went with Frère Noel to one of their friend's churches last Thursday. Afterward, the members of the church approached them and asked if they would be coming back the next week, and Pierre-Louis just sorta laughed and said, "No, I'm Mormon." SO AWESOME!! Haha! He told us also that it is his dream to go to the temple, and nothing's gonna stop him from getting there.

                                                              JERSON!!


Elder Dayton with Jerson
We started teaching Jerson last week! He's the one who's going to have to get (re)baptized because his records are lost. He's a little embarrassed that he has to re-do everything, and he doesn't remember everything very well either. We're going to work with him hand-in-hands with the members to get him baptized and soon become a strong Priesthood holder in the Branch. We set a date with him for the 27th of September, but I don't know if he'll make it for that date. We'll see...



Frere Cerol and Elder Dayton

FRERE CEROL (aka FREDDY)

He's awesome! He's been baptized for just over two months now and is fulfilling his Priesthood responsibilities so well. He should be getting the Melchizedek Priesthood in the next month or so! 





INTEGRITY

This past week has been a week of spiritual growth for me. My personal studies have gotten so much better lately as I have been writing more things down in a study journal. I wish I would have been using a study journal like this from the beginning! I was missing out on so much revelation! I've been really interested in "integrity" lately. It's not one of the Christlike Attributes in PMG, but it's one that I have been studying a lot about. I am amazed by scriptural examples such as Job, Elijah, and the Anti-Nephi Lehis. They never once turned on what they knew was right. Being true to oneself and completely obedient is so important and it is something I'm trying to get better at, for "no man can serve two masters."

One of my favorite quotes about integrity is from President Monson's talk "Be Strong and of Good Courage" from April 2014. It is a quote by Jabari Parker's father:
“[My father] said, Just be the same person you are in the dark that you are in the light.”

That's my goal. I want to be the same Elder Dayton at all times and in all places.

I love you all! Have an amazing week! :)

Elder Dayton


Elder Dayton and Elder Lewis overlooking Martinique. They have big plans!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

We're going BIG!!

September 1, 2014

Hey everybody!

This last week was pretty good here in Martinique for Elder Lewis and I. We got a bunch of new potentials and we're pretty stoked! I've gotta go fast! I probably won't have time to answer all of your questions mom, but I'll try to respond someday.

GOING FOR THE BIG 100

That's right, the branch here is going for 100 people at church this week, the 7th of September! Yesterday we had 77 total, which was one of the highest in a while, but I'm pretty positive that we're going to get our goal next week. We have a member in our area, Frère Maugran that told us he's gonna bring 20 people, and Frère Noel is probably going to bring all the Haitians he knows! I'm super excited. There will be a branch meal after and a baby blessing during sacrament too. It's gonna be sweet!!! Ya gotta come see!

THOMAS

One of our Haitian friends of Frère Noel. He's probably about 30. He came two months ago when we set the goal for 100 and we've been teaching him on and off at Pierre-Louis' house. But recently, he really started progressing and asking really good questions! He wanted to learn more about baptisms for the dead and the Three Kingdoms of Glory. We also taught him the Restoration and explained authority. He loves to learn and knows a lot about the Bible. Our only setback is that he's really involved with his current Pentecostal church. He's probably our biggest potential for the moment.

RENAUD

He's still good, but he's very difficult to arrange appointments with. Sadly he didn't come to church yesterday either. We're not really sure what to do with him because we want to help, but there is really only so much that we can do for him.

JERSON

Another Haitian! He's 21. He's actually somebody we were trying to reactivate, but now it turns out that his original baptism back in the Dominican Republic is now invalid. So we are probably going to have to re-teach him all the lessons and then... BAPTISM! But we'll see. We might have to work things out with immigration first though. We're still trying to find out what happened to his records. Elder Lewis and I will keep you posted.

LOCCIDENT

Another another Haitian! He's a new investigator that we taught and added to our teaching pool yesterday! He's awesome! The problem is that he doesn't really speak any one language. He speaks mostly Haitian Creole with a bunch of Spanish (lived in the DR for a long time), and all of his words to describe timing are in English (he lived in Dominica too.) He's sweet though and he accepted a baptismal date for October 11th!! But once again, we might have to arrange some things with the government before baptizing him... #legalityprobs

GOOD NEWS: I'M LEGAL NOW

I went to OFFI last week and I'm (almost) completely legal for the next year in France. Wahoo! #immigrantprobs

ALMA 32:41-43

I had a really good study about patience this last week and I found this scripture:

 41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.

 42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.

 43 Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.

The key is the big perspective. We have God's promise already. We need to look forward to the fruit--eternal life--and endure to the end in spite of difficulties. I know that keeping a big perspective makes life so much easier, and with Christ on your side you will have nothing to worry about. The tree will "bring forth fruit unto you" if you just endure.

PICS

We found a monkey (in a cage)!




We went to the Gardens of Balata last week for P-Day and it was awesome! There were suspension bridges between the trees and it was so cool!










There were bats at the gardens too.

Huge banana! I think the Turners already posted something about this on facebook. But we got a HUGE banana from a member named Soeur Cossou. It was way good! (until birds came into our apartment and ate it :/)





The whole Martinique Zone, including Bro and Sis Turner, the senior couple.

Love,
Elder Dayton