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