Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Dear Family and Friends It's already the tenth of December. I hope that everyone's Christmas season is going well. In La Réunion it's around 100 degrees Farenheit, 100 percent humidity, and yet it refuses to rain most days in St. Pierre. The fact that we have a car, and a car with air-conditioning, is an enormous blessing. I don't have a lot of news to share today, but the week was well spent. We met with Mr. Vincent Defaud for our second visit and all went well. He attended an LDS church twice in Paris while on vacation, and, other than expecting the ward choir to be more like the Tabernacle, had only good things to say about his experience. The two lessons with Mr. Defaud have both gone fairly slow as far as information covered, but are productive nonetheless. This week, Vincent exhibited more desire to know that the Church is true and mentioned that if he finds the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be the truth, he would be interested to know where the path could take him. The obvious answer is the Celestial Kingdom. We'll be discussing the Plan of Salvation in the future. We received authorization this week to use Skype for our Christmas phonecalls, so, if all goes well, I'll see you at Christmas. I'll include details in next week's email. Mom, regarding your question about the pronunciation of the phrase 'Carpe Diem,' car-pay dee-um would be my best guess, however carpe diem is a latin phrase, so I'm no expert. 'Saisissez le jour' is carpe diem in french; we can talk about pronunciation at Christmas. The email will be a little on the short side this week, I hope to be able to write more in the future. If there's anyone left to receive mission calls or wedding rings, let me know when it happens. Congratulations all around. I hope that all is well in everyone's lives and that you are all moving forward and progressing. I love you all with my heart. Carpe Diem. Elder Wynn
Monday, December 3, 2012
Family and Friends, I'm happy to hear that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. As I mentioned in my most recent email, we celebrated Thanksgiving together as a zone last P-day in St. Denis. The food was delicious, because we're blessed with a authentic Utah grandma, Sister Heap, and the evening was great. Tuesday we had splits, so Monday night I stayed in Port and Elder Milot (DL) went with Elder Mariteragi to St. Pierre. Splits gave me the opportunity to work with Elder Miller on Tuesday, one of my MTC companions. Working with him again was fun, and it was a good change of pace. The split was actually the first time I've worked a day out of St. Pierre. We have a few great investigators that are progressing; I think that I've mentioned all of their names in the past (Hery Ratsimanirimanana, Vincent Defaud, Damien). Vincent Defaud has been in France for the last few weeks, so we haven't seen him since our first visit. We called him last week and set up an appointment for this upcoming Wednesday. He informed us that he attended an LDS ward in France two times during his trip. Hery is Danny's husband and one of my favorite people on this island. Our lessons go pretty slow with him as far as covering material, the man's questions are out of this world, but the Spirit has accompanied us in all of his lessons thus far, which is good, because we'd be lost without it. Damien is doing well, but unfortunately we weren't able to see him this last week. I think that's all for this week. We're looking forward to a relatively relaxing P-day today and to a new week ahead of us. I threw in a picture of our zone at the last conference, Sisters Miles and Hartley (the white girls with their hair down) go home tomorrow. We currently don't have any news about incoming Elders or Sisters. There's also no set transfer schedule here, but I expect there will be some changes in the upcoming months. The Church is true and God loves you, so tell your friends, and then call the missionaries. Life's a gift, so seize it. I love you. Carpe Diem, Elder Wynn
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Dear Family and Friends Happy Thanksgiving. I actually didn't realize that the holiday is this week. The missionaries of La Réunion will be celebrating next Monday at the senior couple's residence. Also, the ward decided to do a little thanksgiving get together this friday, despite the fact that the holiday is not celebrated here, I think it'll be a fun time. On that note, I'm extremely grateful for all that I have. I am very blessed to be a missionary of the Lord here in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I'm blessed with a good companion, the opportunity to learn a beautiful language, clean running water, a Toyota Yaris, members, investigators, and acquaintances. I'm not sure if I spelled that right because the computers here mark every word as being spelled incorrectly. This week we were very blessed. Two more investigators are progressing than last week, Jean, the husband of a less active in the branch, decided to get baptized in January. And we restarted working with a young man named Damien. He's seventeen and lives with one of the families in the branch. He's been coming to Church for a couple of months now and he's become one of our good friends. Also, we had the opportunity to meet with the mission president on Thursday, which was a great experience. I was happy to find that there will be many changes made in the future to help the Church here. I also was able to have an interview with President Adams. Interviews with the mission president are one of my favorite things. We found out that there is a crocodile park in our area, so we will be going to check that out today. Elder Mariteragi is super excited. They don't have wild animals in Tahiti that aren't in the ocean besides birds. He tells me that one of the first things that he wants to do when he goes to America after his mission is go to the zoo. Well, that's going to cut it for today. I love you, and wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget to thank God for the truth on Earth today. Carpe Diem, Elder Wynn
Monday, November 12, 2012
Family and Friends I'll start by apologizing for the amount of time that has passed since I sent a real email. In reading the weekly emails from the family, it feels like a whole season of events has passed in a short amount of time on the other side of the world. Things on this side are a little less action-packed, but good nonetheless. My explanation for my failure to email last week is the following: During the couple of weeks before last Monday, we had planned to hike into the Cirque de Mafate as an island wide P-day activity. Mafate is one of the three cirque cities on La Réunion and is the only one that is only accessable by foot. We have two sisters that will be going home in a few weeks, and they wanted to do the hike before their return home. We had planned to start the hike from the Cirque de Salazie around seven o'clock a.m. This required Elder Mariteragi and I to drive to Le Port Sunday night after work to sleep up there. We woke up and left Port around four o'clock, met all of the other missionaries in St. Marie and then we headed to Salazie in our convoy of white 2012 Toyota Yaris'. Unfortunately, we chose the Monday that the parents of Salazie had decided to barricade the road as part of their strike for new school buses. We waited, at a dead stop, for four hours. After that, we started our hike. Had their not been a bus strike, we would have been done with the hike around three or four p.m. However, the strike and few other events including the hike being much more difficult then some of the missionaries had anticipated, pushed our finish time to around seven p.m. After that, one of the Elders from Port got a little sick which ended up requiring us to stay the night with Elders Fennel and Schifert in St. André. What did I think of the day? I thought it was a blast to be honest. Mafate was beautiful, felt like the early 1900's. It was also the first time that I have ever hiked inside a cloud. Check out the pictures. That being said, it pushed all of the week's preparations to Tuesday. I really need to start taking pictures on days other than Monday. It would be pretty hard to give someone my camera and convince them that I'm not on vacation. I assure you that I'm not. It was great to see pictures of everyone's Halloween costumes. Well done, Jesse. It is also nice to hear that the Christmas and the winter season are coming up. Have I mentioned that I still haven't seen any evidence of seasons or holidays here? As far as misison news goes, President Adams is scheduled to arrive today. We will be having interviews and a Zone Conference with him on Thursday. St. Pierre is also doing well, I feel like we have been on the brink of success in a lot of ways ever since I got here. I am looking forward to the day when the fruits of all of our efforts fall into place. This week we started teaching Teddy, the nine year-old son of one of our most recent converts in the branch, Suzy. He's great, really likes the missionaries, and I think that if he were to decide to be baptized it could really help his mother. We work with her a lot. This week Danny Ratsimanirimanana told us that she is working on arranging times so that we will be able to start teaching her husband. We met with him over lunch a few weeks ago and it ended up being a really good thing. The news is on the DL until the teaching actually starts, because there are several missionaries on the island that are close to Danny and her family. Danny has a wonderful family, which is out of the ordinary. We're crossing our arms for them. We also had the opportunity to meet with a man named Vincent Defaud last week who contacted us through Church Headquarters. The contact was the first real HQ referral that any of us had ever seen. Mr. Defaud was very interested in reading the Book of Mormon and had already watched all of the French, Church produced YouTube video summaries of the Book before we gave him his own copy. He appeared to have a nice family, is obviously very intelligent, and is also a Free Mason. He's in mainland France for the next couple of weeks, so right now we are just waiting and praying. Needless to say, all of the goodness and potential tempts us continually. I'll finish today by saying that I know that this Church is true and that it blesses the lives of all of the people who embrace and live its teachings. Jesus Christ lives. I love you all, and hope that you are all living live to the fullest. Carpe Diem, Elder Wynn Mom, Thank you very much for the package! Everything was great. That was a foul trick that you played on me with the Splash magazine, but I thank you for not sending it. I try to do my best to be 100 percent obedient. Please set it aside, along with any other olympic news that you might have saved, and I will read it in 2014. You asked if I am in correspondence with anyone. The answer is, besides the family, no. I have received a few emails from friends here and there, but usually it is just you and Dad. I do not have any news about the Christmas phone call yet, but I will inform you of the logistics when I do. Elder Mariteragi found my mission blog, I guess he decided to Google search his name. I'm not a huge fan of that picture of me on the right-hand side-bar, I feel like I look like I'm on medical steroid treatment. I'll try to send you a better one soon. I love you lots, give everyone else my love and thank Dad for his weekly emails as well, I don't always have time to personally respond.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Mother Dear, I thought I would just shoot you a quick personal email. Thank you for keeping me so updated about all that is going on with the family and with the world, I love reading your emails each Monday. I love you Mom. I just barely received a text from the Zone Leaders informing me that they picked up the package that you sent for Halloween, I have been excited about receiving that package ever since you said you sent it. Time, Holidays, and Seasons don't really seem to exist here so far, so the fact that it is a little late for Halloween won't matter at all. Sorry my email is a day late, our activity to Mafate ended up being taking much longer than planned due to some technical difficulties, so unfortunately we didn't really get any preparation done yesterday. The activity was a lot of fun, I don't think I will ever forget it. Anyway, I love you Mom, and things are going well. Also, I am not going to be able to write a mass email this week, I am sorry about that, but I assure you that things are going well enough. I am safe, healthy, and always have plenty of work to do. I will do my best to give a really good update next week! Don't forget those pictures, okay? Carpe Diem Love, Elder Wynn
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This is a great picture of Seth's District. The sisters in this picture are Tahitians, Sis. Soeurs Opeta and Sis. Vaietua. The other 2 Elders are Seth's MTC companion, Elder Miller,(over Seth's shoulder) and his trainer. Then, Seth in the middle right, with Elder Mariteragi in the front, left, center-ish. What a great lookin' bunch & a beautiful spot!
This is an email from Sis. Anna Adams. She and her husband are the mission President in the Madagascar, Antananarivo mission. This email was sent to Becky & her husband, they are serving in Madagascar mission too. Becky is a friend of our ward member, Carri Jenkins. Carri asked Becky to watch for Elder Seth Wynn serving from our ward there. She received this copy of an email, Sis. Adams had sent to Becky when she inquired if they had met Elder Wynn. (Wow! That's confusing! Sorry!) Anyway, here's a excerpt from that email: Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 4:12 AM > > It's the middle of the night for you and we are preparing for a very > long road trip early tomorrow morning so I will sent a short email and > call you next week after we return. I am dreading this long drive on > curvy roads, but it has to be. We met Elder Wynn about days ago when > we were touring the mission with the Cooks. He is serving on the > island of La Reunion, French speaking, and has been out a little less > than two months I believe. > He is a very impressive elder - a spiritual giant, (and tall, blond, > and handsome), and will goes places in this mission. The Cooks, Dave > and I felt his spiritual maturity right away. I can tell you more > when we chat. LOVE to hear stuff like this. Of course, I'm his Mom afterall.
Here are a few pictures of Elder Twitchell's last days in St. Pierre. He was made a Zone Leader and transferred to St. Marie. We are grateful for the good start Seth had with Elder Twitchell! The last picture is a FROG, not Elder Twitchell...jk
Dear Family and Friends It will be Halloween in America this week. I have heard that it exists here, but haven't seen any evidence yet and had actually forgot about the holiday until today. As far as I have heard, most holidays here are celebrated by lighting mass amounts of firecrackers, in any case, we'll have to see if we end up experiencing any Halloween. If not, I won't be too hurt because Halloween isn't by any means my favorite holiday. I hear the Presidential race is close, I will be interested to know how that turns out. I don't think that I will be able to vote. Most people here know that there is an American Presidential Election going on, but there is not a lot of talk about it. La Réunion is suprisingly out of the loop of world news, or it could be that we're just missionaries. Elder Mariteragi and I had a pretty good week, there was a definite improvement between our first week together and the second. I see so much potential with every aspect of the work here, which means that there is always plenty to do, and plenty to hope and pray for. I am a little bit at a loss for words today, something that seems to happen often when I am supposed to have a lot to say. Let's see, we were able to eat lunch with Danni Ratsimanirimanana and her family yesterday, which was something that we have been trying to do for months. We decided to go over there on a whim to drop off a letter that one of the sisters that found Danni gave us to deliver, and ended up being invited for lunch. In hindsight, we were definitely subtly led to the opportunity by the Spirit. Maybe you've heard about Danni, she is our perpetual investigator. She knows that the Church is true, wants to be baptized, but doesn't want to do it without her husband. The Lunch ended up being a pleasant suprise and we were able to answer a lot of the questions that her husband has about the Church, as well as start to form a relationship with Danni's family. Her husband is intelligent, successful, personable, and Anglican. He really stood out as someone that, the Church in La Réunion needs, and that is still searching for truth in religion. I hope that we will be able to help him find it. I'll finish today with my testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ, our Savior exists on Earth today. The Lord loves us, and he wants the best for each of us. Best wishes to everyone during the upcoming week. Happy Halloween. Carpe Diem, Elder Wynn Mom, The two sister missionaries in my new district are both tahitian, but one of them is from French Guyanne. There names are Soeurs Opeta and Vaietua. I am sending you a letter today. Still looking forward to receiving the package you sent, and am happy to hear that you are sending a package for Christmas early. Don't forget Dash. Tell everyone that I love them. Don't be afraid to send pictures, even if you are running a bit behind. The one I sent this week is of what I have been eating for breakfast lately, however I did not eat all of those mangoes in one sitting. I love you lots! Elder Wynn
Dear Family and Friends, I am happy to hear that everything is going well in the United States and in all of your lives. Life is going well here as well. This week was my first week as a senior companion and as a trainer on La Réunion. The first thing that I will say about that is that I don't feel qualified or experienced enough to be either right now, but I also think that that is how it is supposed to work, I don't question that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing right now. It is humbling, but so far it has been fun as well. There have been a lot of things that I have helped Elder Mariteragi with that I felt like I just barely learned how to do a week or so ago. A few things about being companions with Elder Mariteragi: I speak French all of the time, except during phonecalls with missionary leadership. Every time that I eat with my companion, I feel like I am watching someone train to be able to eat their weight in hot-dogs, and he also puts ketchup on near everything that he eats. He connects with the people very well, and it seems like everyone likes him right off the bat. Elder Mariterani is a great Elder and I think that he will really help the work and the people here in St. Pierre.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Dear Family and Friends Everything has been pretty busy here so I will get right to it. We planned on focusing less on less-active work this week and more on finding investigators. This went well, but we did however, end up seeing even more less-actives than we did last week. In addition to this, we found a new investigator. The day that we found her was one of those days when it just feels like the Spirit is doing the work for you. Before we found her, we had been visiting a less-active in the area and had planned to contact immediately afterwards. When we were done with the less-active, we started walking, neither of us sure exactly where we were going to start contacting. We came to an alley and decided to check it out without really putting any thought into it. We called at one out of the seven houses at the end of the alley (every house has a gate here, so you usually call rather than knock) and ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation to someone that just seemed to understand that what we were presenting was important, and also seemed to be really receptive to the Spirit. At the end of the lesson, my companion and I just marveled at how much we must have been led by the Spirit to find her. She is still really new, so I don't know how things are going to end up, but I wanted to share the experience. This week at church we had a few of the less-actives come back to church that we have been working with since I started in St. Pierre. One of them hasn't been to church in years, and she came with her 21 year old son who we have also been teaching. It was great to have them there, and I pray that they will continue to come and to improve their lives. Gelly Nativel came as well, which was big on her part because she left later in the afternoon on vacation to South Africa. She has been doing well and we have also had the opportunity to get to know her family on several occasions. Her family has become really important in my mind all of the sudden, and I really feel like we need to teach them the Gospel. I think that we will have to be smart about how we begin teaching, but I know that they need the Gospel. Gelly telling them that she is a member would probably help us out a lot as well. I also got some pretty big news this week. On Saturday Elder Twitchell and I got a telephone call from President Adams telling us that Elder Twitchell will be transferred to St. Marie this week to become one of the Zone Leaders and that I will be training a new elder starting this Saturday. This came as a suprise to me, and I feel really humbled by the upcoming responsibility. My mind has been pretty busy since I got the news. My new companion will be from Tahiti, so he is a native French speaker. I think that this could help my French tremendously, but also means that I will have to work hard. That shouldn't be a problem. I heard about the General Conference missionary news as well. It is very exciting to hear and I know that it will lead to there being many more missionaries in the world. I am happy to hear that things are going well in the United States and that all is well in your lives. I know that this Church is true and that Jesus Christ lives. I love you all very much. Carpe Diem, Elder Wynn
Monday, October 1, 2012
Dear Family and Friends I am happy to hear that everything is going well in the U.S. and that everyone is excited for General Conference. We will see it here in a few weeks in French. This week Elder Twitchell and I did a little re-evaluating on our game plan. Up to this point we have been working almost exclusively with less actives here in St. Pierre because there is so much less active work to be done. While this was good and we have seen some success, we have decided to focus more on investigators while continuing to see the less-actives that are making progress and that desire to come back to church. We think that getting the members involved with new investigators and baptisms will really help to unify and to lift the branch. There is not too much big news to share this week, but things are looking up and it is great to be working hard for the Lord. This church is true. The French is coming along, but I feel like If i give you an update every week, I won't ever see any progress, so I will let you know later on. It was very good to hear about Caleb's baptism, and I have never seen anyone look that good in a suit. I am so proud of him. What a blessing it is to be raised in the Church. Best wishes to everyone this week. I love you all very much. Carpe Diem, Elder Wynn
Monday, September 24, 2012
Dear Family and Friends
Monday, September 17, 2012
Dear Family and Friends It has been another great week in St. Pièrre. I'll get right to the good. This last Friday our mission President flew in from Madagascar for a Zone Conference in St. Denis. He was accompanied by Sister Adams, Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy, and Sister Cook. The Conference went great and it was especially good to see President Adams for the first time since the MTC. It was also good to see all of the missionaries on the island, but to be honest we see everyone fairly often with there only being twelve of us. The conference started at 8h00 on Friday morning, so Elder Twitchell and I drove up the night before to stay with the Zone Leaders because it takes around an hour and a half to get from St. Pièrre to St. Denis without morning traffic. Anyway, the conference went really well and was really motivating; for me it felt like a sort of missionary recharge. President and Sister Adams both spoke and emphasized working hard, following the rules no matter what, and working with members. Elder and Sister Cook then talked about effective planning and prayer. The meeting was great. Elder Cook is really enthusiastic about the work and was super excited to be in La Réunion. The meeting also included a lunch prepared by one of our Senior couple missionaries, Sister Heap, which was delicious. It's nice to get a break from Creole food every once in awhile. After the meeting I was blessed to be able to have an interview with President Adams. The interview went great and meant a lot to me because the President is so busy with all of the travel and Church Administrative work that is required with his position. He made an immediate effort during the interview to get to know me as a person. He asked about my family, my interests, and my background and payed close attention as I told about myself. After that we talked about the changes that need to be made on La Réunion and what I can do personally to help. I hope that I am able to help with the transformation that needs to happen here. The interview was great, and reminded me how blessed I am to have the leadership that I have here. Friday evening there was a fireside for all of the members and investigators in La Réunion. President Adams and Elder Cook spoke about Pride and Humility, which are two things that we could all work on, but that are especially big problems here. The adresses were very well done, and listening to Elder Cook speak was really good French practice for me because of the direct English to French translation that was needed. The translator, one of the members from St. Marie, was very talented and made me want to speak French really bad. My French is improving, but it needs to improve faster. The work is going well in St. Pièrre. We are doing so much member and less-active work that there is little time left to find new investigators, which can be a little frustrating at times, but we are working hard. We still are not as productive as I would like to be, but I think that we are improving. Well, that's what I have to say this week. The Church is true, I promise. I love you all and hope that all is well. Carpe Diem Elder Wynn
Monday, September 10, 2012
So you know how 'missionary Moms' are...we love to hear good reports, acutally anything, about our sons! Last week, Seth's companion, Elder Twitchell's Mom, Debbie sent this little excerpt from her son's email. Thanks Debbie! In our Q&A we asked Spencer what the best thing about your son was and this is what he said. "What is the best thing about Elder Wynn? probably his sincere desire to serve. it isnt super often that i have had a companion who just wants to work and follow all of the rules exactly." In his email he says your son is doing really well with the language and is learning quickly. Sigh...now that's what we like to hear! Thanks to Elder Twitchell for being a great trainer and helping Seth get off to a great start in St. Pierre! From this 'missionary's Mom'.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Monday, September 3, 2012
Dear Family and Friends I love you all, I will only be answering questions this week. Here are the answers to your questions: I am allowed to email any family members. I got that thing that you sent from DearElder, but didn't fill it out because the format was super confusing, normal emails are probably the better option. I am not usually able to print out my emails. I will definitely enjoy getting letters as well as emails, even if they are a week or two old; mail here for letters is apparently suprisingly fast more often than not. I will do my best to respond to as many letters as I can, but I can't promise that I will be able to answer every one. I haven't heard about any major problems with mail from the other missionaries, I have heard that things occasionally take a couple weeks extra to arrive, but that shouldn't be a big problem. I'll send you my St. Pièrre address as soon as we fix our mailbox, until then, mail anything to the Le Port address that I sent in last week's email. It is not necessary to put France at the end of the address, but if you do, it will still come here. Like I said, the week was a little frustrating, but I still think that things are going positively. We went from having four people with baptism dates to having zero, which was too bad. One of our investigators still wants to get baptized, but we're moving his date back because he is extremely shy and doesn't feel ready. His name is Jeannick. Each companionship of missionaries in La Réunion drives a white Toyota Yaris. They are all manual transmissions and are all diesel. Ours is pretty worn out, but we just heard today that they will be replacing the older cars with new ones this week, which means that we will be getting a new car soon. I expect the same make, model, and color. Our area is very large and most of our appointments are really spread out, so if we are not tracting, we almost always drive. We haven't done a whole ton of tracting this week, but I expect we will be tracting quite a bit in the few weeks to come. So far, we tracted the most during the first week that I was here. The people are most often friendly, or at least polite, but not very often are they interested. Church attendance was a little better this week, but there is lots of work to do. We set a baptism date with Gerville during a lesson that was extremely spiritual for all three of us, probably one of the most inspiring experiences of the mission so far, but soon after that lesson he stopped answering our phone calls and disappeared. I expect that his family was unsupportive of his decision. This was frustrating, but I know that he has felt the Spirit and that he knows the Book of Mormon is true. I hope that he will come in contact with the missionaries and with the Gospel of Jesus Christ again. The language is going better and better each day. I feel like I usually understand both French and Creole if I pay attention, and my ability to speak both languages is moving forward. I make it a goal to speak more every day. Not all missionaries learn to speak Creole, because the majority of Creole people speak French as well, but I want to learn to speak both high quality French as well as Creole. We can see the ocean from outside our appartment, but not from our appartment. St. Piérre is gorgeous though. I'm taking lots of pictures and will send more next week. We cannot see the Volcano from where we are, but it's technically in our area, so I expect to see it sometime soon. We usually spend our Prep. Days with some of the other missionaries on the island, usally the missionaries from Le Port (Elder Miller and Milot) and some of the other missionaries from other areas. Our appartment is nice, not new but nice. We have a washer but no dryer. We hang dry all of our clothes. There are geckos on our walls that come out at night to catch mosquitos. We do a lot of our own cooking, but this week we are booked with dinner appointments; I don't know if it will be like this often, because the branch is not huge, but this week we will be blessed. Creole food usually includes rice, some sort of meat and vegetables, and Piment, which are very hot tiny peppers. People here eat a ton of baguettes as well. This place is definitely French. We have a shower-bath combo. The Heaps are from Ogden. Most of the members here and Elder Twitchell know Elder Rellaford. Elder Rellaford left the day that Elder Twitchell got here and served in St. Piérre about eighteen months ago. The Church is true, I love you, and will talk to you next week! Carpe Diem Elder Wynn
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Here's Seth with our good friend's daughter Hermana Kathryn Jones. I am so glad they could be in the MTC together! They are both out in the field now. Hermana Jones is at the Visitor's Center at the Los Angeles Temple. And Seth...in the middle of the Indian Ocean! Get er done guys!!
Monday, August 27, 2012
Finally, Seth sent a few pictures that he took while he was at the MTC. We get to take a look at his injury, with 6 stitches & his companions! Also, he included 1 picture from St. Pierre. Hopefully, there will be lots more to come. Take a look!Elder Finau & Elder Wynn. Seth really loved serving with Elder Finau. They will be lifetime friends for sure.
Dear Family and Friends Things are going well here in La Réunion. The weather is beautiful, my French is improving, and the work is moving forward. I hope that everything is going well on the other side. The French has been tough, but I have decided that it is really a matter of confidence. I am understanding the people a lot better now, but there are still times when I am asked questions and I feel like a deer in the headlights. I also feel like I continue to make mistakes with basic, elementary aspects of the language that I did not make in the MTC because I was more confident there. So the language is a little tough, but it's nothing that won't improve over time. The work is interesting. There are a lot of apartment buildings in Saint Pièrre, and we have been somewhat successful finding investigators going door to door. We are teaching a lady named Jessica that we found knocking doors, and are also teaching a number of other investigators that were found by previous missionaries in the same way. So we have a fair amount of work with new investigators, which is good, but not our primary focus. La Réunion, and especially Saint Piérre, has an enormous amount of less active work to be done, as well as a lot of work to be done among the active members. Members often get offended at church, which is a big problem that needs to change. We are trying hard to focus on less actives and to involve the active members of the ward in the work as much as we can. This place is really indescribable. The island is beautiful, and has varied climates depending on where you are. Saint Piérre is usually around 23 degrees celsius (73F) and is always breezy. We are on the south side of the island, which doesn't get very much rain during this time of year. I don't think that it has rained in Saint Piérre since I've been here, and it's been sunny for the majority of every day. The people are basically every color you can imagine. If you are unable to tell which race someone is, they are most likely Creole. There are also a lot of white French people in Saint Piérre. I am sure that some of you are wondering how much I get fed by members. So far, we have been fed by members twice, but we have three appointments this week, which is a lot. We usually cook for ourselves, and have been eating a lot of bread and cheese for lunch and usually some sort of chicken for dinner. Well, my computer time is just about up, so I need to finish. Things are going well here and I hope that they are going well for you in the United States. The Church is very small here, but it is still true, and I know that the Gospel blesses my life every day. Carpe Diem Elder Seth Wynn As far as my address goes, my mailbox doesn't have a lock, so here is the address to the Le Port elders mailbox: Elder Seth Wynn 13 Rue Roland Garros Residence Marena Appt. 4 97420 Le Port, La Réunion
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Dear Loved Ones I successfully arrived in La Réunion and my mission has officially begun. What a week. I will get straight down to what is going on here, I apologize in advance for my letter, the French keyboards are a little difficult. I am being trained by Elder Twitchell, who has been here for about a year. He is a good missionary, I think that we will get along just fine. he has lots of experience and he speaks fluent French and Creole. The mission is a French speaking mission, but a large amount of the people speak Creole, which is probably about like Pigeon is to English. So I have a lot to learn. The French is very difficult, but I think that a lot of that is just that I need to increase my confidence, I think I left most of it in Charles De Gaulle. I understand a lot of what is said in both French and Creole, more in French than in Creole, but not 100 percent in either. That is okay though, I am here to learn. La Réunion is much different than I imagined. The closest comparison I can make is probably to say that Réunion is to France about like Hawaii is to the US, but Réunion does not have the amount of tourists that Hawaii does. The population is extremely diverse. There are Metropolitan Français, Creole, Indians, Commorians, Maillot, Malagash, and more. The people here who are citizens are citizens of France. The weather is tropical, which means that it is pretty much perfect this time of year. There are twelve missionaries on the Island. Six Elders and the same amount of Sisters, who are missionaries over 800,000 people. There are four Elders on Mauritius. This is basically our whole mission (there are two districts on Réunion and one on Mauritius, the three districts make up one zone). We have the same mission President as the seventy or so missionaries on Madagascar, but the Islands are really separate from the rest of the mission. The president has not been here while I have been here, but one of his counselors, Elder Heap, and his wife are stay on the island all the time, they picked me up from the airport with the zone leaders. I will see the President sometime in September, as well as a member of the Seventy. Elder Twitchell and I are in charge of the Saint Pièrre area, which is basically the bottom half of the island. Our area is enormous. There were 47 people at church yesterday. This is probably somewhere around 40 to 50 percent activity, so there is a ton of less active work to be done. We supposedly had three investigators with set baptism dates when we got to Saint Pièrre, but all three of them have been extremely hard to get a hold of and we have not been able to see any of them. One of our investigators named Gerville committed to baptism this week, which was very cool, and it was actually my first lesson in the field. Where he is spiritually is none of my doing however. He was very reflective when we got there and he has been reading the Book of Mormon for a while now. He knows that it is true. We asked him to set a date, but he wants to think and pray about it because he knows he will have to make a lot of changes in his life. Unfortunately, he works all the time in the sugar cane fields, so it is going to be a bit of a challenge to try to see him often. We will do our best to help him however we can. Well, I need to finish up. I apologize if I did not answer all of your questions and apologize that the letter is kind of short and choppy, I am unable to find the apostrophe. As for letters and DearElders, you will just have to send them and see how long they take to get here. I have heard that mail can be as fast as a week, or as slow as a month, but is usually somewhere in between. We will see. I am extremely blessed to be here and know that the Church is true here just as much as it is in Utah. I know that God loves the people here and that there are people here that I need to guide to the Spirit. The Church is true. I love you all very much. I will try to write more next week. Carpe Diem Elder Wynn
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Mom and Dad I made it safely to Reunion. It is great to be here. Elder Twitchell will be my trainer, we will be serving in the Saint Pierre area of Reunion. I just wanted to touch base and let you know that things are going well and that I am safe! My P day will be on Monday. I will send you my address and other information then. Love all you lots, happy Birthday Dad and Camille! Talk to you Monday! Elder Wynn (Yep! That's all we got! We are anxious for Monday to roll around to find out all the wonderful details. I happen to know Elder Twitchell's father, as we grew-up in the same Stake in Bountiful and attended the same high school. His mother & I have already been communicating and thought that maybe they would end up together. She has been a wonderful resource for the 'real' information about our French-speaking Elder, called to the Madagascar, Antananarivo mission. They seem to be a very rare breed. Let the adventures begin! Carpe Diem! Elder Wynn!)
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Dear Family and Friends As you may have expected, this has been a great week. If you have not yet heard, Elder Miller and myself got the news that we will be leaving the M.T.C. two weeks earlier than expected. This means that this is my last Preparation Day in the MTC. Elder Miller and myself will be flying to Paris on Monday the 13th of August, where we will board a plane that flies from France to St. Denis, La Réunion. I have faith that I am ready enough to be a missionary there. I've been so blessed here in the MTC to have great companions, great leaders, and great companions. When I look back at the time that I have spent in the MTC, it feels like I haven't been here for very long, but that I have grown from a state of spiritual infancy into something that feels much greater than what I started with. Not only have the things that I have learned and felt expanded my aspirations for my mission, they have also inspired me beyond the next two years. Up till this point, I would estimate that my companions and I have taught approximately sixty gospel lessons in French. My French has definitely come a long way. Within days of arriving I felt like I was speaking better French than I ever had in high school. The progress than I have made is great, but that's not to say that I consider myself to be fluent in any way; I still have very much to learn. Both our teachers, Brothers Eric LePrètre and Dallin Wilcox, have been excellent, and have helped me so much. It's been an enormous blessing to have one of my teachers be a native French speaker. There's definitely a lot on my mind right now. I wonder about who my first companion in the field will be and what he's like. I think that he probably already knows that I am coming to serve with him. I wonder about what the work will be like, what the members will be like, and what the French will be like. I have come to realize that I know very little about this island that I'm going to or about the 800,000 people who live there. That's okay, I like suprises. Mom, you asked me about my trip in your latest DearElder. I'll try to answer those questions now. Elder Miller and myself are the only two missionaries in our travel group. Dad, you guessed our travel schedule exactly. We will be flying from Salt Lake City to Paris starting at around 5:00 p.m. on Monday. We will arrive in Paris at around 11:00 a.m. Tuesday morning after which we will wait for eight hours in the airport. I assume that we are expected to stay in the airport. At around 7:00 p.m., we will depart from Paris to St. Dénis, La Réunion. We will arrive around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. During my voyage, I will cross the Prime Meridian, the Tropic of Cancer, the Equator, and then land near the Tropic of Capricorn. Well, I don't know what else to say besides that I love you all and that I know that this Church is true. Every missionary is blessed by your thoughts and by your prayers. I know that my mission is for the Lord and I assure you that there is nothing else that I would rather be doing at this time in my life. Hold down the fort while I'm away. I love you all Elder Wynn
Friday, August 3, 2012
Dear Mom and Dad There have been some changes made to my stay in the M.T.C. Because of this information, I was given some extra time to email you today. However, before I get to the changes, I want to answer some of your questions. I recieved your DearElder on tuesday after I finished writing my weekly email, so I wasn't able to answer most of them. First off, the package that you and Camille sent to me was perfect. Camille's letter was wonderful and the other contents were just what I needed, you know me well! The notebooks that you sent are exactly what I had in mind. You are the best. Also, I heard about Justin Thunell's big news, I'm excited for him and Lindsay and for the Thunells. Will you give them my congratulations? Last of all, the cut on my arm is only superficial, there was no damage to the muscle and the injury did not slow me down in the least. Now for the update. Elder Miller and myself received our travel plans yesterday. We will be leaving on August 13th. This was literally the greatest gift the M.T.C. could have given to me as a missionary. My mission got very real very fast! Aside from being overjoyed at my early departure, I realize that this change means that I have a lot to do between now and the 13th. I plan on working very hard to prepare myself as much as I can before then. This also means that my last Preparation Day in the M.T.C. will be Tuesday the 7th. There is a lot that I have to do and I will need your help with a few things: Credit Card: I need to be able to use my Debit Card overseas, please contact the credit union so that they are aware of my travels. Travel Funds: Please make sure that there is $200 on my card before I leave in case I have to pay bag fees or purchase food during my trip. Whites: Please send clothes for baptisms. I don't think that I will need full temple clothes, because there is no temple in my mission, but I assume that I should bring white pants. Vitamins: Please send a bottle of daily multivitamins. Camille: I would like to know which email addresses I can send emails specifically to Camille and to Jesse, because I know not how often I'll be sending handwritten letters. Anything else that you think I will need. I will be flying from Salt Lake to Charles De Gaulle, where we will have an eight hour layover. We will then fly from Paris to St. Denis. Our flight departs from Salt Lake City Intl. at 4:50 p.m. Love you all Elder Seth Wynn
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Dear Family and Friends What a beautiful day it is today. The past week has been a good one, just as all the weeks up to this point have been. We are extremely blessed as missionaries. After today, I will have only three more Preparation Days in the M.T.C. before I leave. Elder Finau has only two more. As I mentioned in my first email, time is different in here. Sometimes I feel like I might have been born in the MTC, other times I feel like I have only been here for a few days. One thing that I know for sure is that I will be elated to leave and enter the field. I'm very grateful and blessed to be here for the next four weeks, and I know that there is still a lot for me to learn, but patience is not always easy. We had the opportunity to go to the Temple today. This was especially wonderful because we were unable to go after our first week due to Temple cleaning closure. I always leave the Temple feeling calmer and more at peace, it is such a wonderful place. My French is coming along. I am at the point where I am capable of expressing myself almost completely in French, but buckling down and only speaking French is the challenge. My companions and I committed during a companionship inventory to speak as much French as we could until we leave; it's going well, but I know that we can do so much more. That's alright though, because we can continue to move forward and improve more and more each day. That's why we're here isn't it? I've been happy to hear scattered news about the Olympics that are happening right now, and am extremely grateful for the stats that have been sent to me. Thank you, Dad. I hear that Ryan Lochte is proving that preparation proceeds power, just as I expected. I am a much bigger fan of Lochte than I am of Phelps. I apologize for being completely at a loss for words today. I figure that if I have nothing else to say, I should probably bear my testimony. I know that this Church is true. I am sure of it. I came to the realization a little while ago that if someone has a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, then they really have a testimony of everything in the Church because of the way that our gospel rests on the book. If the Book of Mormon is not true, then Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet, families cannot be forever, and my Dad doesn't hold any sort of priesthood. But guess what? It is true. The leaders of this church are prophets of God, families can be forever, and the priesthood does bless the lives of us all. I know for a fact that it has blessed my life. I bear that testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Before I close, I would like to thank everyone who has sent letters thus far, and to thank all of those who are keeping us missionaries in your thoughts and prayers. I'll try to be more prepared so that I can write more next week. Until then, may God be with you. Have fun and keep your teeth showing until we meet again. Love you all, Elder Wynn
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Dear Family and Friends, I have officially reached my half-way mark in the M.T.C. It feels great to finally be on the downhill. With it being Pioneer Day today, I thought that I would talk a little bit about one of the lessons that we had in class earlier this week about consecration. We learned about the ways in which the Lord consecrated the early members of the Church through trials and necessary sacrifices in order to form them into the spiritually powerful and steadfast members that walked out of Emigration Canyon into the Salt Lake valley. Before traveling west, there were difficult trials in every city in which the Church laid roots that mandated that the members of the Church make sacrifices and put all of their faith in the Church and in the Savior Jesus Christ. Our teacher compared this to missionary work and to becoming a consecrated missionary. There are many things that will hold missionaries back from being consecrated such as lack of obedience, failure to follow the missionary schedule, lack of faith in finding people to share the Gospel with, and pride. This lesson was very inspiring for me, and it lit a desire in me to work hard to become a consecrated missionary while I am in the field. In other news, I got word that my cover was blown by the insurance agency and that you now know that I am injured. Here's the story: For my district's weekly service, we help to transform the gym into an auditorium where all of our Sunday and Tuesday night devotionals take place. While moving a heavy cart of stair railings out of storage and into the auditorium, I sliced the back of my arm open above my right elbow on the frame of the bleachers. I assure you that it is nothing serious, though It did require that I go to the Instacare clinic to stop the bleeding and to stitch it up. It closed up nicely with six sutures and I'm confident that no one will notice a difference upon my return. I apologize for my short letter once again, but I assure you that everything is right from where I stand. I know that this Church is true and that Jesus loves you. I love you all Elder Seth Wynn
Dear Family and Friends I'm happy to report that this has been another good week in the M.T.C. I am continuing to learn new things everyday and am hopefully improving my missionary skills in order to better serve the Lord once I get in to the field. One week from today, my stay in the M.T.C will be half over. I wouldn't be opposed if it was shorter but as long as I am still learning, I am happy to be here. A large number of the missionaries that I have made friends with since arriving at the M.T.C. left this week. I will miss them, but I am happy that they are privileged to be headed to the field. In two weeks from today, fourty-five of the missionaries in my zone will be deployed. This is virtually every member of the zone that was here when my companions and I arrived. It's going to be very different without them, but I am happy for them as well. Last Wednesday, our zone increased by fourty-four French speaking missionaries, so there are a lot of new faces to get to know. It always seems like the incoming missionaries are much younger than the missionaries that are already here, which makes it seem even more like the rules of time are different inside the gates of the MTC, but it's just an illusion and they end up blending right in after a few days. Last Tuesday we were visited by Elder Steuer, who is an Emeritus Member of the Seventy. He spoke about the symbolism and meaning behind words in the different languages of the Gospel. It was very interesting and inspiring. We are very blessed to have such amazing people and Church leaders come and speak to us. On Sunday night, we were pleased to attend a fireside featuring Jenny Oaks Baker, the youngest daughter of Elder Dallin H. Oaks and extremely talented violinist. She played the violin and spoke about her experiences with the Gospel for about an hour. I don't think that I was alone in wishing that she could have played for much longer than she did. She was incredible to watch and listen to, and the Spirit that she brought to the room with her music was very strong. My French is continuing to improve; I'm sure that I've learned every grammar concept that I learned in almost four years of high school French in about four weeks. Elder Finau wants to speak only French for his final three weeks in the MTC, which would mean that Elder Miller and myself would speak only French for the final month. This would be challenging, but I think that if we are committed to the goal, it is very possible and would help us out immensely. The reason that Elder Miller and myself are in the MTC for an extra week is because our mission president has to be in Madagascar at our nine week mark to meet the incoming Malagasy speaking Elders, he will fly to La Reunion a week later to meet my companion and I. I glanced at our travel plans when I saw our flight invoice for San Francisco, and it showed that we will be flying from SLC International to CDG in Paris, France, and then from Paris to St. Denis, La Reunion. In closing, the Church is most definitely true. I know for a fact that Jesus Christ loves me, and that he loves you. His work is amazing, and I consider myself very blessed and very privileged to be a part of it. I love you all Elder Seth Wynn P.S.Could you send me something to prevent and reduce scarring? Tell Camille I love her.
Dear Family and Friends This has been a good week in the M.T.C. The time is passing quickly, which is good because I am looking forward to serving in the field more and more everyday. We were blessed again this week with a visit from Elder Yoshihiko Kukuchi who is an Emeritus member of the Seventy. He gave an excellent address about obedience and purity. His talk was one of the most powerful talks that I have ever heard. I took notes from beginning to end and felt like everyone was on the edge of their seats. I've been blessed with a Tongan companion and feel like I have learned a great amount about the Polynesian culture in a matter of weeks. One thing that I have noticed is that it seems like most Polynesians are already pretty close to living the Law of Consecration because they share everything they own with everyone. It's been good to become friends with so many Polynesians through Elder Finau. I was sad to hear that the Ford Ranger is on the outs. So many of my memories take place inside that truck, and I've probably thought through almost everything challenging that has happened in my life behind its steering wheel. If it doesn't pull through, save something to remember it by. Maybe the door to the gas tank. I unexpectedly got to go on another little field trip this week. I'll have to send you pictures of my souvenirs at the end of my MTC stay. I apologize for the short letter, I'm pretty pressed for email time today. I hope that everybody back home and those who read this email have a safe, happy, and excellent week. I can assure you that good things are happening here. The Church is true. Elder Wynn P.S. It seems I have seen almost everyone that I know in the M.T.C. If they're here, I've probably seen them. It's very good to see so many friends that share the same calling as me. Happy Ham Day on Thursday
Dear Family and Friends Things are going very well in the M.T.C. As you may have heard, this last week was the Mission President Seminar, and the rumors are true. Most of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles were here at some point during the week. Their main purpose was to train the mission presidents, so we didn't see very much of them until Tuesday night's devotional. Ten of the twelve Apostles were in attendance at the devotional (every apostle except Elder Nelson and Elder Packer). The Spirit that accompanies those men into a room is incredible. L. Tom Perry spoke about the good that the Church is doing in the world through; he used a presentation that included many statistics about the church and then closed with his testimony. We were all blessed to have been able to attend. In fact, my companions and I almost missed it. Our schedule was printed with the incorrect time for the devotional and if Elder Wihongi, from New Zealand, hadn't come and told us that it was earlier than usual, we would have sat in overflow or missed it altogether. I was also blessed with a day trip to San Francisco this last Friday in order to visit the French Consolate about our VISAs. The MTC had been sending small groups of French speaking Elders throughout the week. My companion, Elder Miller, and I were the only two young missionaries left to visit the consolate, so it was just a senior couple, Elder and Sister Green, who will be serving in Leon and us. We left the MTC at 5:30 a.m. in order to catch our flight. After we waited at the airport for awhile we discovered that our original flight to San Francisco Intl. was cancelled. We called the travel office and they put us on a flight a half an hour later to San Jose. Because our flight was cancelled, we were blessed with first class tickets. I'm quite sure that that will be the only time I fly first class on my mission. From San Jose we took an expensive taxi ride into San Francisco in order to make our consolate appointments. We got there in time thanks to Elder and Sister Green, did what we needed to do, and headed to San Francisco Intl. to wait for our flight back. After we ate lunch at the Airport, we still had around three hours before our return flight. About an hour into the wait, a man in a suit walked up to us and said, "I want to meet these missionaries." He introduced himself as Elder Brent H. Nielson. Elder Nielson is a General Authority. He was on his way to Salt Lake City to spend time with his family during the month of July. Elder Nielson is currently one of the authorities who is in charge of the Church in the Philippines. If you're not sure who he is, look him up on LDS.org and watch his recent General Conference talk. When the seat next to me opened up, he came and sat next to me and we talked for almost two hours. What a nice man. He showed me baptism statistics for every country in the world on his iPhone and shared with me many incredible stories about serving the Church around the world. He told one story about a plane flight in Papua New Guinea in which Elder Nielson was sitting in the seat next to the exit in a twelve person aircraft. At around twenty thousand feet, the door to the airplane flew open. He said that the Pilot was not very concerned, and that he and one of his associates held the door closed until they landed at their destination. We talked a little about how so many of the Authorities are great in age, but have sharp minds and healthy bodies. He told me that the Lord takes care of his servants and said that he feels healthier now than he ever did as a lawyer. The leaders of the Church definitely know what they are doing. He said that Elder Nelson, who is around ninety years old, was the one that announced to the other General Authorities that they were going paperless and that they were expected to use computers, iPhones, and iPads as much as possible. He shared with me the following scriptures: D&C 133:59, 35:13, 1:19, 124:1. In Section 133 verse 59 it says, "And by the weak things of the earth the Lord shall thrash the nations by the power of the Spirit." He pointed out to me after reading this scripture, that most of the aged General Authorities would have a hard time getting any job, and yet they are leading the Lord's work. He also reminded me that by the World's standards, nineteen year olds are really inadequate, but that nineteen and twenty-one year olds are spreading the Lord's Gospel throughout the world. The Lord does things in his own way and takes care of his servants. I know that this Church is true. We are very blessed. Love you all, Elder Seth Wynn
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Dear Family I have successfully completed week one in the MTC. It has been an indescribable couple of days. The phrase "the weeks feel like days and the days feel like weeks" is extremely overused, but is completely true. Days seem to last forever, but when I look back on this week, it seems like I stepped onto the curb yesterday. The MTC is an incredible place. The Spirit is definitely here in a very big way. It is incredible to be surrounded by Elders and Sisters who are dedicating their lives over the next 18-24 months to serving others and to serving the Lord. The MTC is also very humbling. Without the Spirit, it is very intimidating to think of the responsiblity that exists in being a representative of Jesus Christ. However, with faith there is peace and there is a sense of belonging in the calling to serve. I am part of a three-person companionship that makes up our entire district. Within this companionship is our senior companion Elder Finau, Elder Miller, and myself. Elder Finau is from West Valley, Utah and is Tongan by blood. He attended Hunter High School. I'm pretty sure that he was extremely good at tennis, but it is hard to know because he is very humble about it. He did, however, mention that he placed third at nationals when he was about thirteen years old. I like him very much. Elder Finau will be serving in a place called New Caledonia, which was very recently part of the Fiji, Suva mission but is now part of a new mission called the Vanuatu, Port Villa mission. Elder Miller is from San Marcos, California. He is an interesting Elder, but I like him. He attended a French immersion school in Canada before he moved to California at the age of twelve. Because of this, his French is very good. He will be serving in the same mission as me. My french is coming along very nicely. Because every member of our companionship has had previous French experience, we are able to speak a great deal of french throughout the day and our lessons in French are going surprisingly well. I met my mission president and his wife. I like them very much and am happy to be serving in the mission that they will lead. Also, because this week is the new mission president seminar, there are supposedly a number of big church names who are here teaching. Tonight we have a devotional that is rumored to have a high likelyhood of having General Authority presence. However, devotionals are incredible here no matter who is speaking. Sunday's meetings and devotionals were filled with the Spirit. I know that the Church is true and that this is the Lord's work. I'm doing very well in here and am happily anticipating my departure into the field on August 29. I hope that all is going well and that my absence is not being mourned. I love you Camille, and I love the rest of you too. Elder Seth Wynn