Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rock, Paper, Scissors

April 27, 2015

Hello, good afternoon!!

This last week was good! We had some cool member lessons and found some sweet new investigators! I just wish I spoke Spanish. There is a part of our area where there are a ton of people from the DR and they're all so nice and humble. I'll have to start practicing my "hola" and "como esta" again.

The best part of the week was with Ronald! I'm gonna tell this story in a long, roundabout way I think...

RONALD--the Fall of Adam and rock, paper, scissors

So with Ronald, we've taught him everything already in preparing him for baptism. But now, as he has hit a roadblock in being baptized, we are just going through all the lessons again to make sure he keeps the faith until he gets his life arranged. So this last Wednesday we planned to go over the Plan of Salvation. Having a background of a Jehovah's Witness, he believed in some of the misconceptions of the Fall of Adam, that we fortunately understand, thanks to the restored gospel.

As we prepared for it I was a little bit worried and we felt inspired to focus on practicing to teach him the Fall of Adam. We did role plays, looked up scriptures, and kept reviewing how we could make it simple for him to understand. I was sincerely worried that his misunderstanding would cause him to disagree and become less receptive to us. But I can testify, that preparing to teach invites the Spirit to testify in lessons and teach through you. 2 Nephi 33:1--"when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men."

As we taught him, he kept giving us his perplexed face as we stated points of doctrine and explained about why the Fall was necessary for us, how God had already known that it was going to happen, and how we are not going to have to pay for the sins of Adam. As we shared a scripture from 2 Nephi 2:24--"But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." After reading it, he looked up at us with a smile on his face and said, "I've never thought of it like this, but it just makes sense!" I'm sure that he was being taught by the Spirit.

As we kept teaching, he grasped onto every single point that we brought up, and slowly but surely, all of his confusion and misconception about the Fall of Adam and the nature of the Atonement were resolved. At the end of the lesson he said, "There are so many people that don't understand this!" We asked him if there was anyone that he knew that we could teach and he said yes! He definitely felt the same spirit that Lehi felt when he said, "how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth" (2 Nephi 2:8) Right after the lesson, he took us to his neighbor next door and said, "Hey, these are two guys that I want you to talk to. They can teach you more about what I've been learning and why you see me going to church again." It was super cool. So we got the lady's phone number, and we're going to pass it off to the sister missionaries to teach her (she lives in their area.)

And to wrap it all up, we taught him how to play "rock, paper, scissors" at the end of the lesson (it was a battle to see who got to say the prayer.) Who doesn't know how to play "rock, paper, scissors"? Apparently, he didn't play a lot of games as a child. It was so funny! We taught him how to play and on the third hit, when you normally put out your weapon, he would always be stuck between forming a pair of scissors and a rock, so he would put out his fingers halfway, in like a curved position. And then he would BUST UP!! He has the most jolly laugh and the brightest white teeth. He let out this big "HO, HO, HO!!" and then he cackled through his teeth as he tried to hold it in. It was contagious too, and Elder Broadbent and I couldn't contain ourselves either. It took us all about a minute and a half to calm down before we could actually do the prayer. It was an awesome experience and one of the most memorable lessons of my mission. :) Someday, I hope you all can meet Ronald.

Anyway, I have to go. I'm excited to see the Fords and Bairds this week at Sunset Grill! I'll make sure that we take some pictures. Thanks for sending my suit with them! I hope I fit in it!

I love you all! Talk to you again just now!

Love,
Elder Dayton

pics:
A cool pic of me at our "water tower." It's something that President Mehr recommended we do - find a peaceful place that we can resort to, every so often, with our companion to talk and to converse with the Lord. It's a private spot that overlooks our area that Elder Broadbent and I go to pray whenever we need extra help and counsel from the Lord.




Elder Broadbent and I got bokits! Just like the good ol' days in Guadeloupe. I got ham and cheese, and he got chicken and diarrhea (he got BOO'd at church the next day).




Do you see what's wrong with this picture?

Yeah, I had another run-in with a spider. Don't worry though, I won.







Grammar Lesson

April 20, 2015



 What's up?

Boy? It's Monday again. I does finish just now. I reach one time! It's just crazy, man.

Sorry if you didn't understand. I'll explain a little bit more in a bit.

RONALD

First of all, Ronald is doing great still. He came to church again and in Elder's Quorum he leaned over to me and asked, "Don't they know what they're going to teach beforehand? Do they prepare for this?" So he recognizes the importance of preparing lessons for church, so he'll be a great EQ President someday. But he did bring up a good point. Lessons in church aren't very good when they haven't been planned...

We fasted with Ronald over the weekend and now we have a FHE with him at the branch president's house tonight. He's doing great! He's still praying about when he will be ready for baptism. We're hoping for May 9th, but we're not pushing him too much.

OTHERS

We haven't seen Abdul since the last time. He's pretty much dropped himself. Samantha is still doing well, but it's hard for her to come to church right now because her mom is on vacation in Haiti so she has to help with the children while the father is at church. Her relationship with her father isn't too great either, so it's hard for her to ask him for anything. Hopefully things will start going better.

The James family told us again that they were going to come to church yesterday. And they didn't come... again! Our lessons with them are awesome still. We had a great FHE last week and had a lot of fun. But... they're turning a little bit flaky. But we're not giving up hope!

This last week we had a ton of new investigators! We did a lot of finding, which is not the most fun part of missionary work. But nothing happens in missionary work until you have people to teach! We have some cool new people, and hopefully they commit.

GRAMMAR LESSON

So, here in St. Martin, the people have some interesting ways of saying things. Here are a few examples of things that I've noticed. These are just a small portion:

Tree-Tirty: means "three-thirty." Many people in the Caribbean don't use much of a "th" sound before an r. (i.e. The tree of us are going true town to the trift store to buy some more tread for the sewing machine.)

One time: means immediately or right away. (i.e. I'll be to church one time. or, She showed up here and started mashing things up one time.)

Just now: means anytime in the near or distant future. i.e. I'll be finishing this email just now. or, The Secong Coming is just now.

Not as yet: means "not yet"

Reach: means get there or show up. i.e. I'm on my way home. I be reaching in about 5 minutes.

She/he: they don't like saying her or him. i.e. Look at she face! She look mashed up!

Boy?: an interjection used to express frustration, often used in response to a question (especially rhetorical questions), but may be used on its own. i.e. Boy? or Hey, are you going to finish that sandwich?... Boy? or, Sorry, I forgot to fill up your car, but here are your keys... Boy?

That's about it for now. I'll look for more, and I'll get back to you next week. Hopefully this little guide will help you better understand the way I speak for when I get home.

I love you all! Have a great week! I'll talk to you just now!

Elder Dayton

Elder Broadbent
The St. Maarten Zone

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Pood Foisoning"

April 13, 2015

Yeah, last week I ate a bad cheeseburger and got food poisoning. So did another Elder. It was not a pretty sight. I was only dry-heaving in the morning, but then had diarrhea for the rest of the week. I lost weight though, so now I'm back to pre-mission physical shape (skinny, and that's it.) I'm healthy now though!

But we ate at an awesome restaurant in Maho Bay! It's called Sunset Grill. We watched planes come in right over the beach! It was so crowded, and with all the people it was a bit distracting, so not the most missionary-friendly environment, but a cool experience nonetheless. We met a family from Lehi, and the daughter goes to BYU! It was way cool! There are tourists that come to church just about every Sunday, too, from the States. When I was in Martinique and French Guiana, I thought I'd never see another American again for the rest of my life.



Funny thought I just had. People pay thousands and thousands of dollars to come and visit this place where I walk around going door-to-door, in in the hot sun, listening to all sorts of rude comments and opinions on my religion. How lucky am I!

RONALD

Sadly, Ronald didn't get baptized on Saturday. He still has some things he's trying to work out so that he can feel forgiven for past transgressions. He called us on Thursday to tell us that he wasn't ready, and that he would need more time, so we went and saw him on Friday morning. We found out that he needs more time and we're going to continue teaching him. He said, "I may not be baptized yet, but don't worry, I'm a member of the church."

He had an interview with the Branch President on Sunday, and now he's working with him as well, as an extra support for Ronald. I think that (once home teaching gets started in the branch) we're going to get Ronald some home teachers too.

SAMANTHA

She's doing well. She confronted her fear of her dad and asked him if she could come to church on Sunday. He said no, because he had special plans for her family in church that day. So we'll try again this Sunday. She has gotten an answer and she knows that the Book of Mormon is true! She prayed and had an experience with the Spirit! Oh, how that made me happy to hear. That is one of the greatest rewards in missionary work. I love when people learn things and come to know the truths that I cherish and love so much.

THE JAMES FAMILY

Robert had to work yesterday morning, so the family couldn't come to church. But this Sunday, we're going to get the kids there whether the parents come or not!

PICTURES

We have some really nasty neighbors. The fat one likes to weed the yard across the street naked with all her kids. The other two are always stomping around in other neighbors' yards. (The pigs and the cows.)



Pictures from Sunset Grill. The lady behind Elder Glover spilled beer all over us. She smiled, embarrassed, but didn't apologize.

Elder Fraley talking with Elder Thompson; Elder Broadbent

A member from Utah has been sailing the world for the last year and a half and stopped here in St. Martin. His yacht is huge! He's loaded. He gave the branch a tour of it.

Elder Broadbent and Dayton

BRINGING FORTH ZION

This last week I chose a new topic to study the Book of Mormon. I'm studying about the Spirit, and it's been great so far. I'm learning new things already. In 1 Nephi 13:37 it talks about the saints in the latter days: "blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost." This is such a cool blessing! We can have God's Spirit with us, and it's power! BUT it's conditional upon our diligence with bringing forth Zion. So let's preach the gospel, share our testimonies, fulfill our callings in church, and help support other members of the Church who are struggling.

I love you all!

Elder Dayton


April Fools

April 6, 2015

Hello hello helloooo!

What a great Conference weekend, right?!! Ah man, I love the prophets, apostles, and everyone else, especially my mom!! During the last song of the first session, I was telling people that my mom was in the Choir, and passing around photos, and Sister Thompson was like, "The camera men are idiots." Then mom popped up! A nice, long close-up of my momma! :)

Kyle S. McKay is a 70 now!! I totally knew it was coming! I mouthed it with President Uchtdorf after he said "McArthur... Kyle S. McKay." He's in my ward!!

I got my ear pierced by a wasp yesterday morning as I was picking up my laundry outside, and I shook out some of my clothes, and a wasp flew out and got me right on the ear lobe!! I ran inside yelling, and the wasp followed me! Then Elder Broadbent sprayed it with some Lysol and I fried it with the electric tennis racket. That little sucker messed with the wrong laundry.

A new temple is going to be built in Haiti!! That was one of my favorite news(es?) of the Conference!! I'm pumped for that! I'll go there someday, I hope. Now basically all the members in the French West Indies will be going to that temple now. We had three investigators come to Conference, and 2 of them were Haitians! Let's all celebrate by eating some banan peze!!!

RONALD

He came to the Sunday sessions and loved it! And we taught him tithing with the Branch President and First Counselor between sessions, and he agreed to follow it! We're going to see him three times this week, and then he's getting baptized on Saturday!! I'm super pumped!!! :) He's going to be such a strong member.

SAMANTHA

An awesome 18 year-old whose family comes from Haiti. She speaks French and English and Creole, runs track, is first in her class in Math, and is super awesome. Last week she accepted a baptismal date for April 25th while she continues to pray to receive an answer if this Church is true. And she reads everything we give her to read! She downloaded the Gospel Library on her phone and we didn't even tell her it existed! She came to the end of the first session on Saturday, and the beginning of the second session, but then had to leave. She even took notes during the sessions!! The potential problem that we might run into though is that her father drives a church bus and is an assistant pastor in their Haitian church... But at least he is already used to holding a calling and speaking in church!

ABDUL

We didn't get to see him last week. He works too much. But were finding more success up around where he lives, so maybe we taught him so that we'd be led to finding others. I believe so.

Gotta go! I love you all! Send me your shirt and shoe sizes, just in case I find something cool at a shop here!

Love,
Elder Dayton

P.S. You'll never guess what I did for p-day today!! I played golf! We went to the driving range with all the missionaries and it was so sick! We hit the balls into the water. I hit the farthest... not to brag or anything.









P.P.S. I got Elder Broadbent with some good April Fools pranks. I put kool-aid powder on his towel, so when he dried off, red splotches popped up everywhere, and he had no idea why!  

Then I put some soy sauce in his beddytime tea, so when he drank it he said, "wow, this tea is strong!!"


And I put cayenne pepper and salt on what he thought to be cinnamon toast. :) Good thing we get along! I love that guy!
 


Sick Week

March 30, 2015

What's up? Good.

When you ask someone in St. Maarten "what's up?" They respond, "good." I don't know why. It's like they don't understand the question. Not that the question even makes sense anyway...

I saw a Utah State football jersey ride by us last week on a motorcycle! There was a band of 4 white couples rolling down the street on Harley-Davidsons. Those dang Mormons on vacation... They didn't stop to say hi, or even wave at us. (Probably weren't BYU fans.) We were driving though, so they probably didn't see us.

SICK WEEK

It was a sick week! No, not sick as in cool. Elder Broadbent was out for the first half of the week with more of the flu thing that he had. He was "real mashed up." (That's how you say he was "sick" in the Caribbean.) So we were inside until Tursday (that's how you say "Thursday" in the Caribbean). And then when he got better, I got a cold. We worked anyway, but it wasn't the most enthusiastic I've been on my mission. I'm still sniffling a little bit, but I'm getting over it. St. Maarten's got a flu bug going around right now. Sick people come in on planes from all over the world, and bring their boogers with them. When one person on St. Maarten gets sick, the whole island catches it sooner or later. I guess that's what happens when you cram about a hundred thousand people into 37 square miles.

MR. AND MRS. JAMES

Monica and Robert got married on Wednesday! Nobody went to their wedding, because it was just in a little government office somewhere downtown. Then they were on vacation all week with the kids, so we didn't get to see them. We did have a family night with Monica and Robert on Monday night at a member's house, and it was great! We have a few different members getting involved with the James family, and they're all getting really giddy about how great they are! :) We're probably going to be moving their baptismal dates to April 18th though, because we want to make sure that they are ready. They didn't come to church yesterday though... They had to get ready for a party they were having.

They had a wedding party last night, and we stopped by at the end of our night to see how it was going. They had a DJ at their house and they were blasting music (all night, and they live right by us, so it was hard to go to sleep). Lots of people were drinking, so we got out of there pretty fast. We're going by them tonight to talk to them more about the importance of the Sabbath Day as well as modern-day prophets. General Conference is this weekend and I'm stoked!! :)

RONALD

He's doing awesome!! We saw him last week with a member couple from Guadeloupe, that used to live in my branch when I started my mission, but now they live here. We had an awesome lesson about the Sabbath Day! He couldn't come to church yesterday because he had to work. He said he'll pray to find a way to not have to work on Sundays, and he promised that he'll be there for Saturday and Sunday of Conference this weekend!

ABDUL

Another cool investigator we have is Abdul. He's 32, I think I've already told you about him. We set a baptismal date with him for April 25th. He's going to be coming to church now because he'll no longer be working mornings on Sundays. He's really humble and really cool! I don't think he's married to his Cuban girlfriend, but we'll work on that.

Talk to you guys "just now" (that's Caribbean English for really soon, or later, or anytime in the future really).

Love,
Elder Dayton

One of my favorite pictures ever. Where can you see cactii, a blue ocean, yachts, hotels, a white crane, and goats all in one place? Yeah, this picture.