Thursday, November 22, 2012

Week 14: Happy Thanksgiving!

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

Week 13: I'm not on vacation. I assure you that I'm not.

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

Week:12 A Quick email this week

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