Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
This was our Christmas meal with them because they will be leaving for Métropole for the Holidays. We ate Curry Chicken and Rice (Coq Massalé) off of banana leaves with our hands. It was a blast, and all of the food was delicious. The Gonthier family does a lot to take care of us missionaries. I'm very grateful for them!
This has been a pretty incredible week. It was one of those weeks that I felt went by both quickly and slowly because we had such a great time, and because so much happened. Tuesday afternoon we picked up the Mauritius elders from the airport and then later that evening we picked up Elder Renlund and President Adams with their wives. The next morning, we had an excellent zone conference with them, and everything ran very, very smoothly. The teachings were great, the Spirit was there, and the whole experience was a success in my book. Elder and Sister Renlund were both dynamic teachers and come from impressive backgrounds-- Elder Renlund was a cardiovascular surgeon while his wife ran her own law firm. He has been the area president in this area for about 4 years, which means that he could be moved soon. Elder Renlund expressed, in the name of the Church, the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Lord, gratitude for us as missionaries in La Réunion. He assured us that we are called by prophecy to serve in this mission and that our mission president was also called by revelation. All those that taught (President Renlund, President Adams, Sister Adams, and Sister Renlund [chiasm?]) helped me, and was able to answer several of my questions. A few of us missionaries had prepared a musical number for the conference, this also went very well and afterwards Elder Renlund taught us about the meaning and background of the song that we had chosen (Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy), and he incorporated it into his teaching. It was a very uplifting and inspiring zone conference. Wednesday evening, there was a district fireside with the Renlunds and the Adams. The fireside went very well and was very well attended. There were not enough seats for us elders, so we stood in the back for the duration of the program. We were happy to give up our seats. The rest of the week went great. We had several experiences that we looked back on to see that the Spirit had obviously guided us to where we were. Saturday was an especially great day. I will share only one of the many cool experiences that happened. Saturday afternoon, after meeting a former investigator in the St Denis part of our area, we decided to go and try to see someone that had told us at the gate that we could come back and visit another time. We drove to Ste Marie and found that the man we had gone for was not home. We then remembered another potential investigator that lived about a five-minute walk away that had seemed very interested but that we weren't able to get ahold of because his phone went straight to voice-mail each time that we called. We walked to his house, and after calling a few times at his gate, he came out and informed us that he was worried he would never see us again because he had lost his phone. He invited us in, and we taught him about the Restoration. He asked all the right questions, has all the right desire, and is very willing to learn more. We are excited to see him progress in the future. Later Saturday evening, we had dinner with the Gonthier family, which was a blast. I've sent several pictures. I hope that all is well with you and that you have a great week! God bless, and Merry Christmas!!! Love, Elder Wynn
I can barely believe December has started! We're really trying to get into the Christmas spirit over here. We started listening to Elder Choi's Tabernacle Choir This is Christmas CD on December 1st and so far we can't get enough of it. When we turn up the music and air conditioning high enough in the Yaris, it really feels like Christmas; this lasts until we step out of the car into the summer weather. Lately, mornings have been very hot and humid and it rains hard in the afternoon. I'll have to attach some pictures of our Christmas countdown calendar. It's a real great example of missionary ingenuity and budgeting. Don't worry, we used an ancient Daily Vehicle Report that was filled and ready to be recycled. Elder Wiberg was responsible for the conception and fabrication of the calendar. Please note that Elder Twitchell's Christmas decorations from last December are still hanging in the apartment. You asked about Thanksgiving--Thanksgiving was a blast. The food was great and we all had a great time as a zone. After eating, we played a few games and had some good laughs. Sister Heap made Turkey breasts and Ham, and as usual, everything that she made was delicious. We're lucky to have her. We had a blast doing lots of finding this week. In the past few weeks, we have found several potential investigators that we hope to begin teaching soon. We got rained on several times, and it looks like it is going to pour again this afternoon. We have a big week ahead of us. On Wednesday there will be a Zone Conference with Elder Renlund of the Seventy, our Area President, and President Adams. We're flying the couple and the two missionaries that are currently on Mauritius (Elder and Sister Conrad, Elder Miller, Elder Mariteragi) over for the occasion. Wednesday night there's a fireside planned for the District. Anyway, we are all really looking forward to the zone conference and fireside. I also will get to go to the airport a few times this week, and I like the airport. I've got to go. I hope that you all have a wonderful week! Love, Elder Wynn
Monday, November 25, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
Well, I'm more up-to-date about the government stand-off in the United States. Thank you, Mom and Dad for filling me in! The whole thing sounds like a mess, but doesn't really worry me at all; I figure things will work themselves out and all will be alright. If not, I know that the Lord will take care of us if we are righteous. A lot of the people here have a very interesting view on America--most of the young people have seen way too many american action movies and think that every one in america carries a gun and that you can't go out at night without being assassinated by gangsters. We try to convince them that it's not like that, but they usually don't believe us. Anyway, life is good here in La Réunion. Most of our efforts are still going toward finding people, as usual, but we're having a great time. Recently, I have been trying hard to invite people to go to mormon.org to learn about mormons. I've found that even people who are not at all interested in hearing what we have to say will often accept a card with the mormon.org website on it if I explain what the site is and tell them a little about it. My hope is that people will watch the videos on the site and be able to learn more about us, because most people here have a very skewed view of who we are. We have a new sister, Sister Amassouga, coming in from France this week, which will leave us with an even number of sisters. I don't know very much about the new sister, other than that her name is definitely not french. She's coming in on Wednesday night at 10:40 pm, which means we will be staying up a little later on Wednesday because of the exceptional circumstances. I really like going to the airport, and I've lost count of how many times I've been since May. Elder Choi and Elder Hammond are doing well, I feel like they are learning fast and they're great missionaries. I decided this week to stop speaking English with them, which is going well so far. Living in an apartment with five elders is a big change in comparison to all of the time that I have spent in apartments with a single companion. We're having a blast. It's fun to have another companionship to talk to, to share experiences, and to play basketball three times per week. On the other hand, our washing machine has never worked so hard. This upcoming weekend we will be watching General Conference, and I'm really looking forward to it. I had the opportunity to read a talk from one of the new Seventies, Elder Funk, this week. I thought it was a great talk, and I considered it as sort of a trailer for next weekend. I should probably get going. I hope that all of you have an excellent week, and that the Lord continues to bless you like he blesses me. I'm very greatful to be in the service of our King and to be serving Him where and when I am. Carpe Diem and God bless you. Love, Elder Wynn
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I'm happy to hear that Conference went well and that everyone is spiritually-recharged. I am looking forward to having that experience in two weeks! I think I've mentioned this at each General Conference, but I really didn't understand the enormous importance of Conference until I became a missionary. I look forward to General Conference like it's Christmas. It sounds like there's some governmental problems going on in the US of A. Here's the quote that my Mother sent me: "Did you hear about the 'Government Shutdown' here in America? Hasn't seemed to make much difference for us yet, but hopefully they can come to some solutions and compromises this next week." Needless to say, I still have no idea what the government shutdown is! (I love you Mom) Anyway, I hope that everyone's okay, and that America is still America when I arrive home in two years or so. The photos I sent last week were at a waterfall that we went to called Grand Etang
-- which is the largest fresh body of water on La Réunion. It didn't look like much more than a pond last week when we were there, but it apparently gets much bigger during the summer rains .
Last week was a good one. We completed six missionaries' long-term visas, and they are good to stay for at least a year. We also did a fair amount of work on two more Mauritian visas for some elders that will be sent over there in the future.
In addition to this, we did normal missionary work, of course. As usual, we are doing lots of looking. I find that tracting is as fun as you make it, and we have a pretty great time. I'll include some excerpts of funny experiences that have happened to us over the last few weeks:
1. I really like to stare into the eyes of angry dogs behind fences because it drives them nuts and because I like the rush. Last week, I was staring at a dog that was barking at us when he decided that he'd had enough and revealed to us that his being behind the fence was a personal decision. He almost got Elder Choi, but I threatened him with the Book of Mormon and he ran away. His bravery earned our respect.
2. French men are sometimes way too comfortable answering the door in their underwear. The best description that I can come up with for one of these guys is--I actually probably shouldn't go into further detail.
3. One man told us that he couldn't talk to us because he had a crêpe on the stove--sometimes people live right up to stereotypes!
Well, that's about all that I've got for today. I would like to say in closing that I know that the Church is true. I don't know where I would be in today's world without the Church of Jesus Christ in my life, but I don't imagine it being anywhere good. I know that Thomas Monson is a prophet called of God. I consider myself very blessed to be on a mission and to be where I am; the Lord is taking very good care of me.
I hope that all goes well in your lives this week! God bless, and Carpe Diem.
As always, thank you so much for your email. It's good to hear that all is well back home. I apologize for my general lack of specificity during my emails- I will try to do better. It's amazing to me how fast an hour of email time flies by. You will have to congratulate Ammon for me, it sounds like the AF band is excellent, as usual. Tell him I'm proud of him.
Let's see, the waterfall that we went to last week was at Grand Etang-- which is the largest fresh body of water on La Réunion. It didn't look like much more than a pond last week when we were there, but it apparently gets much bigger during the summer rains. I think the reason that I didn't include much information about the hike was because we actually did it two weeks ago and I wasn't able to send pictures because we emailed at a different spot.
Things are going well here. We have trouble finding serious investigators, but that's nothing new, and other than that, things are really great. Elder Hammond and Elder Choi are both great guys. This morning, Elder Choi came out of the bathroom after having cut his own hair--we were all pretty suprised. The cut looks pretty good from the front, but he himself used the word 'bumpy' to describe the sides and the back. We had been looking for a pair of chopsticks for him since he arrived, and we finally found a member who gifted him a pair this week. He was pretty excited and we made a pretty big deal out of it.
Friday, October 4, 2013
This week's email came in the form of pictures! We LOVE pictures, although the email that accompanied them was short & sweet. Most of the pictures are taken on a P-day hike to a picturesque waterfall on La Reunion. Ahh! Paradise found...Take a look!
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Monday, September 2, 2013
Well, it sounds like summer has just about ended for everyone over there. It was good to hear that everyone is doing well. This week has been a good one; we got a lot accomplished, and I'm pretty sure that we are ready for the group of missionaries that will be arriving on Wednesday. Also, the senior couple that is here on the island with us, Elder and Sister Heap, were in Mada this week and we survived without them. We will be picking them, as well as President and Sister Adams, up from the airport here in about an hour. New missionaries arrive Wednesday! Elder Choi, from Korea is the only missionary coming from the Provo MTC, so he will be coming alone and will arrive Wednesday morning. The six other missionaries--five elders and one sister--are scheduled to land at 7pm, Wednesday evening. They will be coming from the Ghana MTC. We will be placing them with their companions Wednesday night, but they will return for a new-missionary orientation on Thursday morning at 11. We just received transfer news about an hour or two ago from the Assistants to the President, and we're in for some changes this week. Elder Peters is being transferred to train in Le Port--I might remind you that Elder Peters arrived only two weeks ago, and because he is a native French-speaker, was not in the MTC for very long. He and I realized this week that he entered the MTC after the missionary that he will train, whoever that ends up being. Elder Sanchez, who arrived in June, will also be training in Le Port. Elder Zimmerman, who is currently in Le Port and just finished training Elder Sanchez, will be coming up to my apartment and will be training a new missionary in the St Denis area. There will also be a training-trio of sisters in St Denis. Elders Peck and Elder Arrieus will be in a trio with a new missionary in St Pierre. Elder Wynn, will be staying in the Ste Marie area, thankfully, and will be training the two elders that remain (while this was a bit of a curve-ball, I was aware that it was a possibility considering our limited training options). We do not yet know who will be training each of the individual elders, so I will have to tell you who my two new companions are next week! I'm looking forward to training again and to meeting all of the new missionaries. Elder Peters is a little shell-shocked. He was not expecting to move so suddenly. He and I have had a great time together and he's a great elder. Among his many good qualities are his optimism and a good attitude, and he's got his act together when it comes to personal organization, apartment cleanliness, and teaching skills. I'm confident that he'll do a great job training. We need to leave soon to go to the airport, so I'm going to close. Wish me luck, and more importantly keep praying, because God has answered many of the prayers that have been offered in my behalf. I love you all, and hope that each of you makes the absolute best of this upcoming week. Elder Wynn