Monday, September 24, 2012

Week 6: A View of the top of the island's Volcano

Dear Family and Friends
I don't have a ton of time this week because of the number of emails I received. Thank you very much for your love and for the time that was taken to write me. Things are going well here in La Réunion
The week went well, we were busy. We are working so much with less actives that it is hard to find time to find new investigators, which is a little bit frustrating for me, but I am working hard to be more effective and to make the most of the time that I have each day. We could really use a few more hours each day, but I don't think that that is going to happen anytime soon. For the time being, work with less actives is going pretty well and we have been blessed to see a few of them return to the Church and I feel like there are multiple people that we are working with that are very close to coming back. As far as investigators go, we have been working with a sixteen year-old kid who is currently living with a member family. His name is Damian. He has a lot of questions about the Church, and I pray that he develops a desire to make the Gospel part of his life. He has an enormous potential. We also are working with a other investigators and potential investigators that I hope to write more about in the near future. We got a brand new car this week. Mom, that probably sounds familiar. It's a white, hatch-back, manual transmission, diesel Toyota Yaris and the newest car that I have ever driven. I might send some pictures.
This morning we went up to a viewpoint called Le Maido for a P-day activity. We drove up to about 2000 meters where there was a look-out point that over-looked the Cirque du Mafate and Piton de Neiges. This Island is gorgeous. I do my best with the pictures but they don't quite do it justice. I will attach some pictures. I apologize for the short email this week, the hour of email time really goes quick and went especially quick this week with all of the love that I received. No complaints from my end, but I know that these short emails are probably torture for the family. I should be able to get more written next week. I will, however, close with a short testimony. I know that this Church is true and that the Lord's work is moving forward. God loves every single one of you, anyone that you have ever met, and everyone else you haven't. I love you all and hope that all is well in your lives. Carpe Diem, Elder Wynn

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 5: Pres. Adams & Elder Carl B. Cook's visit

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

"What's the best thing about Elder Wynn?"

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'.

Week 4-St. Pierre, La Reunion

Dear Family and Friends I will start off by apologizing for my email last week. There was some form of an introduction before the answers to your questions, but I accidentally deleted it. Things are going well here. We are very busy. Our schedule is filling up so fast that we are forced to schedule for upcoming weeks with some of our investigators and potential investigators. So that's a challenge, but it is definitely a good thing and a blessing. It's a great thing to be busy. I hope to be able to find ways to be as productive as possible with our time so that we will be able to do more with the time that we have. Several of the less actives that we have been working with have started to come back to church and we have high hopes for our investigators. We have been visiting a less-active recent convert named Sister Nativel who came to church this week. She is the only member in her family and none of her children or grand-children know that she has been baptized, but they are all very friendly to the missionaries and we hope to be able to teach all of them the Gospel soon. As far as we know right now, things are going well with Jessica as well. During our last lesson with her she asked lots of questions and told us that she has been reading the Book of Mormon almost daily and that she has done lots of research on the Church website about the Church. She also asked to meet one of the members of the Branch here, which we've arranged to happen this week. I will be meeting my mission president for the first time this week since the MTC. He is coming here with Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy, we will be receiving training and then attending an open invite fireside that evening. So we will be spending all of Friday in St. Denis. Well, that is all that I am going to write this week, my time is limited. Things are going very well and I hope that all is good back in the United States. I know that the Church is true and that God loves every single one of us. He is definitely directing his missionaries and his Church here, and throughout the world. Carpe Diem Elder Wynn

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

P-day in St. Pierre

Here's a picture that Seth's companion's Mom sent to us. This is the Le Port and St. Pierre missionaries on a P-day picnic with a member couple & their son.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Week 3-St. Pierre, La Reunion

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