Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week 1, St. Pierre, La Reunion, France

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

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