We're sitting at the Clawsons' apartment (the senior couple) right now doing our emails. Check out the sweet view from their patio.
Right now the AP's are here in St. Martin doing tradeoffs. It's Elder Hatch and Elder Larson, both from Utah. They're both really cool. For the first time in my whole mission I've been able to finally work with an AP. For some reason, until now, things never worked out for me to be able to work with one.
On Monday night when we got home we found a special little surprise waiting in the middle of our kitchen floor, ready to sting us. I'd never see a live scorpion before in my life!
We had a cool week and we've been able to start teaching a lot of families and younger couples. Last night as we were reviewing our week Elder Broadbent realized that this last week we started teaching and bunch of S&B's.
Sherrie & Bobby (and family): They're Guyanese and they all promised that they would come to church this week. They have some potential. Teaching is a little bit slow for now though.
Shantal & Bryson: I'm really excited about these two! They're younger, have two kids, and they're both super intellectual and successful. We felt prompted to go and recontact Shantal late one night, and we ended up having a cool lesson with the two of them.
Steven & Barbara: A couple from the DR. They're really humble and nice. Steven doesn't go to church, but Barbara does. They both want to find out if this Church is the true church of Christ. We were able to teach them with a med student member who is an RM.
We also had another new investigator last week. His name is KEVIN RUDOLF!! (I don't know if you all know who that is.) I thought it was pretty funny though when he told us his name. Apparently, he got baptized by the 7th Day Adventists last month, but he's still willing to find out if the BoM is true. We're just gonna let it rock until he receives an answer. Then he'll come to the true church and we'll say, "Welcome to the world!" Then he'll say, "I made it!"
Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting--the last one of my mission. So I decided to take the opportunity to bear my testimony one last time with a missionary name-tag on. I'll give you a resume (summary) of what I said:
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It really does answer the questions of the soul. One of my favorite things to do with people we find is teach them this concept. I often ask, "What is one thing you would like to know about... (God, religion, life, etc.)?" We meet a lot of people, and one of the most common questions I hear is: "Does hell really exist?" As I look into their eyes when they ask this question, I can sense an honest concern and a worry about their life after death. I like to explain to people that the "hell" that they picture in their head usually isn't what it's going to be like. This last week in Mosiah 2:38, Elder Broadbent helped me learn more about what hell really feels like:
"Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever."
This is what hell really is. It's not so much of a place as it is a feeling. The flames and fire that people often use to describe "hell" is an accurate description of how it feels spiritually to have the pain, guilt, and anguish that comes from sin. This spiritual death that we all experience at times in our life is what "hell" really is. We all have gone through it at some point or another, and there is really only one way out. In Mosiah chapter 3, King Benjamin continues to talk about the Atonement and how Christ came to suffer that same pain: "so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people." The only way out of these feelings is through repentance. In verse 19, Benjamin explains this hell-like feeling will not go away, "unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord." These last 2 months here in St. Martin have been a time of great spiritual growth for me as I have really learned to recognize and understand the "enticings" that I feel.
I know that if we all listen to the Spirit and follow what we are being enticed to do then we CAN escape from the spiritual hell that we all go through in life. Through sincere repentance and faith in the Atonement we can be freed from the sense of guilt, pain, anguish, disappointment, discouragement, and embarrassment. This gospel that we're striving to live is not a Gospel of sadness. We're meant to have joy. (2 Nephi 2:25)
I love you all! Have a great week! I'll have to get you more details on the Skype later. See you on Sunday!
P.S. Congrats for dad, who's be makin' birt-day dis Tursday! I love you! Happy 54t!
Pic: Me throwing away a bag of garbage for Ronald. It had a bunch of left over coffee and teabags that he had us throw out for him. :)
Editor's Note: The previous Friday, some of Elder Dayton's ward members--Brent and Kris Ford, and Dan and Kristina Baird--from Kaysville stopped in St. Martin on a cruise. They got permission to meet the missionaries at the Sunset Grill, and watch the airplanes come in and land at the airport. They also brought Elder Dayton his suit that he'd previously mailed home, because they never wear them in the West Indies. It's just too hot. But he needs to wear it to travel home. They had a wonderful visit!