Sunday, February 22, 2015

Heart Attack Week!

February 9, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! <3 

I love Valentine's Day. Especially this year. We will be having a baptism on Saturday if everything goes according to plan!

JOHN

He is okay with the Law of Chastity (he dumped his girlfriend(s) before we even told him to), the Word of Wisdom (he's going to stop drinking coffee this week), and the Law of Tithing (he already knew and is willing to pay.) The only problem we ran into is... he really wants to keep paying tithing to his old church too. It's a Brazilian church that he's been in for 11 years, and he really had his life changed by it. He used to drink a lot and was not in very good shape, but they really helped him out. He also doesn't want to leave the church, and wants to keep going on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I guess he just can't get enough church... :/ The problem is still new, because he told us all of this last night, and we about had a heart attack. We're figuring out how to address it further for our lesson with him tonight (it has to be fast because his other church starts at 7:30).

But we have faith in the Lord that everything will be okay. We're going to see him every day this week with members, and he'll understand better that this is the One. He'll be baptized this Saturday. :)

ANA

We just got a text from our member that is working with Ana, and she said that she no longer wants to continue. It's really too bad. We feel like it's still not the end though. It's just another preoccupation that every investigator has.

THE BRAZILIAN FAMILY

They're awesome! Maria ran into some anti-Mormon stuff last week and was very skeptical. But after further research, she found some positive news reports on the Church, and she loved them! She came to church yesterday with her mom, Mercedes (doesn't speak a lick of French), and she loved it! She was dressed like a member, she engaged herself like a member, and she smiled like a member. It was great! :) We're going over to see them again tomorrow. The husband, Valdir, couldn't come to church on Sunday, but we'll get him there this week if he doesn't go back out into the Amazon on a 45 minute helicopter ride to mine gold.

The DR Family hasn't shown too many signs of progress. We'll keep stopping by to see if we can help them.

Andrew is doing well! He has a baptismal date for the 28th. He's still a fairly new investigator, and he was out of town over the weekend, which I think might be a recurring problem in the future... We'll talk to him about the Sabbath Day soon.

PICTURES 




We caught an iguana! (Well, Elder Moux caught it.) He pulled it right out of the bush!
Yeah... I've been wearing these bad boys around for the last little while to help my feet stay breathing so I can finally get rid of my athlete's foot. The medicine is helping.


Elder Belnap and I are in the process of buying 2 new cars for the zone. We have to sell the two that we have now. So we're looking at some Toyotas and some VWs. Cars are expensive in Europe! A Toyota RAV-4 costs about the same price here as a Ford Raptor would in the USA. I'll take a Raptor, please.


In the car.


A ramboutan.







I love you all! This Valentine's Day is for my family. :)

Xoxoxo <3
Elder Dayton

Fun Photos

February 3, 2015



Shower lady. A funny ad for the electric company that Elder Belnap and I go to when we pay electric bills for the apartments here.

My toe. That's what you get when you play soccer barefoot with a bunch of Haitians, French, and Brazilians in cleats.



Frère Jose, Gilles, and I. He's a funny old friend of a member. He came from Haiti 20 years ago and is illegally living here. We've taught him a few times. He was supposed to come to church yesterday, but his ride fell through for the third week in a row. We're getting him to church with a member this week.

Eating some cool fruits... Rambotan... An inactive member gave them to us. They're way cool looking but taste even better than they look.


The crazy huge ants here! They were biting the key and running all over! I definitely don't want to get bit by any of them.

Elder Smith and Elder Sackley had a baptism on Saturday! It was for an investigator named Ephraim from Haiti. He's really cool. He got baptized on his 23rd birthday. His plan is to serve a mission in a year and then get married in the temple after.

Elder Belnap and Elder Smith sweeping some water out of the satellite for us to watch area conference.


Me and a member named Shawn.

Elder Dayton, posing for the camera.

February 2015

February 3, 2015

Hello again!

This last week was good. I got in a fight with a drunk guy from Columbia.

No, not really. I just cut myself shaving on my upper cheek close to my eye. I look pretty hard-core though. I wish I would have known earlier how easy it is to look tougher.



I'm gonna be short and to the point this week. My fingers are getting weak.

ANA

She unfortunately got sick over the weekend. Something about blood pressure getting really high and then getting really low, and then something about girl problems... I don't really know, because a member told me. But that's good news because it means that our members are watching out for her!

We tried to set a baptismal date with her for the 21st of February last week, but she wasn't really sure, and the member wasn't really on board either, so we have the feeling that it kind of scared her. We're going to see her again this week with a member and have a really good lesson to redeem ourselves.

JOHN

He came to church again! He's sweet! He loves church and thinks it's really nice because everyone is so friendly. But he was asking us questions like, "Even if I don't get baptized, can I still come to church?" So we taught him more about authority and the gift of the Holy Ghost, so now he's understanding better the importance of baptism in the True Church of Jesus Christ.

COOL NEW INVESTIGATORS

This last week we found a couple of cool new families. One of them is from the Dominican Republic and they have 9 kids! They're cool, but they kind of flaked out and didn't come to church on Sunday.

Another family is a mother and father, the 19 year-old daughter, and the grandma named Mercedes. They're from Brazil and they're really nice. But we think that the mom and daughter might have stumbled across some anti material, so we're trying to get another appointment to clear the air.

Andrew is a cool new English Guyanese investigator that we taught last night. We found him one day while walking around and we heard a man yell, "Taliban!!" So we looked over and saw a guy painting a house. We talked to him and he told us that he had already talked with missionaries before. He seemed nice, but he seemed like a jokester. And we weren't very hopeful when he told us that he was never in town on the weekends, so he would never be able to come to church. So we went into the first lesson with the goal to quickly establish our purpose, and we had a really good experience of boldly testifying. We said to him, "We are here to help others come unto Christ through baptism. We're looking for serious people. We don't want to waste time. Are you willing to follow Jesus Christ by being baptized?" We got a really good response and had a great lesson on the importance of the Book of Mormon, baptism in the Restored Church, and our purpose as missionaries. He told us about his fiancée that he is planning on marrying soon. At the end of the lesson he was like, I really want you to meet and talk to her. I think that we might join this church. So that was awesome!

I love you all! 

Love,
Elder Dayton


New Investigators

January 26, 2015

Dear family,

So it sounds like you got a little taste of the Caribbean, huh? I doubt it was as good as LIVING there for 2 years!! You might have had a lot of fun on ziplines and seeing cool ruins, but I could show you all the best bokit stands in Guadeloupe, all the famous homeless people in Martinique, and the funniest drunk Brazilians in all of French Guiana. So you're cruise wasn't really "all-inclusive"--they missed some stuff.

JOHN

He came to church on Sunday! He's great! We've come to realize that he is very bad at just saying no, so we're making sure that he really is saying yes to us for the right reasons. And we are also going to have to teach him how to say no say that he can say NO to his boss when he is asked to fix cars on Sundays and say NO to his old church.

Elder Belnap with John


COLETTE

Sadly, we were only able to see her once this last week for a family home evening. And she didn't come to church on Sunday (and neither did Jenny or Jefferson) because she was at a party the night before. Then, we went and tried to see her on Sunday to talk to her with seriousness, but she felt ashamed to talk with us because she had some friends over and they were drinking. Jenny and Jefferson are struggling to become strong members of the church because their only parent in the home is breaking the commandments of God on a daily basis. Please pray for her so that she can really become a better example for her children and support them in their choices.

ANA

A new Brazilian investigator that we received from a member as a referral! She is awesome! She kept her commitment after the first lesson and read 2 Nephi 31 not only one time, but twice! And she loved it! We talked to her in the second lesson about baptism and how she needs to be baptized to become clean before God. She's awesome! We're going back this Tuesday to teach her the full message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm pumped!

This last week was really good. Elder Belnap and I had a lot of fun and worked really hard and were able to get a lot of new and potential investigators. Elder Belnap is a stud and is great at talking to everyone and being bold with them. It's so much fun to work with him because he's such a good back-getter and co-fighter in the battle against evil. Plus, he makes me laugh more than most people can. He's definitely a lifelong friend.


I love you all! Have a great week!

4 Months Left?

January 19, 2015

Hola familia!! 

You know how when you're on vacation (a cruise, for example) and you get to a certain point during the trip where you realize that it's almost over? And you know how sad that feels thinking about having to go home? Yeah, that's how I have felt this past week. I only have 4 months left, and all my friends are getting home from their missions. Tim is getting home this week, Nate Coleman just got home, and Dally Hales is getting home in just a few weeks. So my mind has sort of just been in a panic thinking about all the things I haven't done yet that I still need to do. I have no idea where I'll be for the rest of my mission, but for right now I'm in French Guiana and I'm loving it!

And no mom, I haven't been sick very much during my mission at all. I also haven't told you everything that has happened to me either... But I'm fine. I just have a little case of the "BOO!" right now (thanks Elder Davis Owen) and a slight case of athlete's foot. Look at that! Now you're up-to-date! You don't need to worry about anything else that's going on with your son!

COLETTE

This past week was a pretty good one for us. One of the highlights of the week is that we have started teaching and seeing real potential in the mother of two of our recent converts. The mother, Colette, has not been there very much for her children Jenny and Jefferson, ages 12 and 14. But recently she has decided to make some changes in her life and has been sitting in in our discussions with the children. It all spurred from us inviting her to sit in on the prayers we say with her children in the lessons, and little by little she has been showing interest. Sadly, we did not have her at church this week, nor any of our other investigators. But we are going to work harder to get them there next Sunday.

JOHN

John, our Liberian investigator, is still awesome! His English still cracks me up and he's so fun to teach. We went and taught him with our Branch President last week and now our Branch President loves him too! He keeps saying things like, "I think that John could be a leader in the branch someday." John does live in a "ghetto," as he calls it, but that doesn't matter. Our Branch President says that people can judge him for it, but he's got a good heart and that's what matters. Sadly, he couldn't come to "chur" on Sunday because his boss called him and told him he had to work on Sunday because he had 3 cars that he had to finish repairing.

Anyways, that's all I've got time to share this week because I've gotta let the other missionaries get their emails done really quick so we can get back to our areas.

Love,
Elder Dayton

Sick Week

January 12, 2015

Yeah.

I know. This is the end of my streak. I've been sick... So, last week after getting back from Suriname on Tuesday we hadn't gotten anything done in terms of P-day stuff, so the next day we woke up and I felt exhausted and had a really bad headache, so we played some soccer in a rain shower. Then I still was feeling terrible for some reason, so I fell asleep at the other elders' apartment for about 2 hours. Then that night, we went out and taught, and my headache never went away, and I could barely stay sitting up because I was so tired. So we called a mission nurse and she told me to stay inside the next day to see what was wrong.

So the next morning we had to pay some bills, so Elder Belnap dropped me off at other missionaries' house and one of them babysat me, so I slept for about another two hours. Then when Elder Belnap came back I got out of bed and we found a thermometer and I had a fever of 103, so we thought that was bad. So then we called the nurse back and she confirmed that I had CHIKUNGUNYA!! Some darn mosquito in Suriname must have stung me... One of the missionaries we stayed with had it.

So From Thursday until Saturday I didn't wear my tie, my nametag, or shoes because I didn't work at all. 

If you're wondering what it's like to have chikungunya, the symptoms are pain in the joints and back, headache, high fever, fatigue, and some other stuff. It affects everyone differently. My worst symptoms were that I had a backache, a fever, a headache, and no appetite. I mostly just slept during the day, and sweat at night. I wet the bed several times (with sweat, not with pee).

I expected to get a lot of reading and writing in my journal done, but it was too hard. I mostly just sat around with my eyes closed.

And then Sunday I felt well enough to go to church. And I've been on my feet ever since! :)

 So there's not too much to report from this week. Sadly, the baptismal dates that we had for the 10th fell through, and Jose, has become discouraged and is deciding to go work to earn money on Sundays. But we do have one AWESOME new investigator named John!

JOHN
Elder Dayton with John

John is Liberian, so he speaks English, but he left when he was about 16, so his English is pretty bad. He says things like "churks" and "franks" and "my ghetto" instead of church and French and "my home" (I literally believe he thinks ghetto means house). He lived in Portugal for 17 years and moved to French Guiana around 10 years ago. So he's now in his late 30s and he's a mechanic. He's super awesome! He's really humble and loves learning about our beliefs. He is astounded during our lessons at the simplest things. It's so fun to see him learning and progressing. He knows that the BoM is true and has a baptismal date for the 31st of January, and we have a sweet lesson planned with him and our branch president tomorrow. We're just helping him understand that there only is, and only can be, one true church.
Elder Belnap in front of John's house

I love you all! Watch out for mosquitoes!

Elder Dayton


P.S. I'm staying with Elder Belnap a third transfer!! We're both happy about it!! :)

Hallo vrienden!‏

January 6, 2015

I'm back from Suriname!

Last week was New Year's? I feel like that was forever ago. We didn't really do anything special, except for eat some BANANE PESE!! But that wasn't as beneficial to my body the morning after... We also split a king's cake, but Elder Belnap won, so he's the king. I'm never the king! :/

We had a sweet zone conference. We were in Suriname from Saturday until Tuesday. To get there we had to drive about 3 hours to the border, then take a 10-minute boat ride across the river, then take taxis another 2 hours into Paramaribo, Suriname. It was some of the funnest times I've had on my mission. (See pictures.) Everything at church was in Dutch, so I couldn't understand anything, but surprisingly a lot of the people there spoke English.

We talked about training members to fellowship recent converts, and teaching skills, like teaching doctrine, and not just the principles of the Gospel. If we teach true doctrine, our investigators and members will not only understand what, but they will understand the "whys" of the Gospel. And it's a lot harder than it sounds to be good at...

We watched Meet the Mormons!! It was sweet! I thought it was very well done.

Anyway, things are going great here! How are things on that side of the river??

Love,
Elder Dayton




That's our canoe coming to pick us up.

Us loading up our suitcases onto the canoe.

Elder Belnap and I cruising

Elder Smith decided to put on a lifejacket just in case.

Me and Sancho, our captain, on the Suriname side.

A view from the famous big bridge in Suriname, of which I do not know the name.

The people in Suriname drive on the wrong side of the road. It's confusing. I almost got hit a few times because I was looking for cars in the wrong direction when crossing the street.

A cool baby chilling with her dad on their Suriname moped.

Us getting on a super groovy bus to go to Zone Conference.



Us after Zone Conference, after getting our delicious American food.

We got all the stuff you can't buy in France: pancake mix, pop-tarts, Doritos, REAL cereal, taco seasoning, maple syrup, mac and cheese, and other good stuff.