Monday, July 22, 2013

Goodbye to Elder Bedwell..."Well done...good & faithful servant"

Well, I'm ending the mission of another companion this week. I really must be a rough companion. Elder Bedwell will go home this Wednesday on the 8:20 pm flight that every missionary walks onto when the end comes. He will be accompanied by Elder Millar, who is serving on Mauritius right now, and Sister Vaetua, who is part of the companionship of three sisters in St Paul. We'll be running low on missionaries for the next several weeks. In mid-August, there will only be four elders serving on La Réunion. Because of the drought, Elder Mariteragi and his trainee, Elder Peck will be moving into the Ste. Clotilde apartment on Wednesday to be my companions until further notice. Once again, I will be working St. André in addition to Ste. Marie. I'm sure we'll have plenty to do with the two areas and Elder Peck's training. Elder Peck is from the border of Lehi and Highland, Utah. I'm doing well, we were busy this week and got a lot done. President Adams flies in tomorrow to send the departing missionaries home, and he will be doing interviews with all the missionaries on the island this Thursday. I really look forward to interviews with President Adams and they've always been a good experience for me. The Adams enjoy the occasional escape from the big island and we love it when they're here. I have a small experience to share. We had been invited to eat lunch with our branch president and his family after church on Sunday and we had told them that we would bring some juice. Saturday night we were driving home from a baptism at the Ste. Marie branch building and we were looking for a place that we could buy a drink. We were having a hard time finding a store that was open, because stores generally close early and the baptism didn't end until about 8:15 pm. As we were driving up the hill toward Ste. Clotilde, we noticed a small pizza place that was open, so we decided to check there. We did a u-turn, parked the car, and walked in to the pizza restaurant. Elder Bedwell asked if they sold any drinks larger than a can of soda. They told us they didn't and we turned to leave. As we were about to leave, one of the men working at the restaurant said, "It's nice to see the missionaries dressed like that" (we were in suits, because we'd just left a baptism). We asked him if he was familiar with the missionaries and he proceeded to tell us that he had joined the church in Paris but has been less-active for a long time. He has never been to church in La Réunion. We talked to him for a moment, invited him to church, and explained to him where the Ste. Marie church is located. This experience was one that, for me, was blatantly divinely orchestrated. We'd never been to that pizza place, we had already passed it, and they didn't even have what we were looking for, but I really believe that Heavenly Father guided us there to make contact with someone that would be nearly impossible to find otherwise. We're planning on buying a pizza sometime this week. That's all that I have for you today. I'm happy to hear that all is well back in the US. I love you all, and wish you the best this week. Elder Wynn

I'm Back!

Dear Family and Friends, How is everybody doing? From what I hear, summer in Utah is hot, everyone is busy, and life is good. Thank you so much for your emails and for your patience as I have failed to write a good mass email these last few weeks. Things are going great here; I am currently with the third companion that I've served with in the last 30 days. Elder Twitchell went back to Mauritius on Saturday, where he will finish his mission, and Elder Bedwell flew back from Mauritius to keep me company until he goes home the 24th of July. We're in the dead of winter here, which means that every once in a while I think about putting on a jacket during the evening. It's been easy to feel the Spirit these last few weeks in Ste. Marie, and there are some great things going on. I was able to watch the Church's Worldwide Leadership Training broadcast about a week and a half ago, and was very touched by the program and by the enormous steps that the Church is taking to share the Gospel with everyone who will listen. President Adams does not think that we will be using iPads or iPhones in the near future in the Madagascar mission, but the additional training that was given to Ward/Branch Mission Leaders, Ward/Branch councils, and to members of the Church in general seems to be an effort to push the work in the exact direction that President Adams has been trying to push it since he arrived in the Indian Ocean. It is easy to see that the Lord's work is moving forward in the world and it is exciting to know that God is using so many new ways to help people to come unto Christ. We live in such an incredible time, and are very blessed to have been saved and chosen for this part of the final dispensation. I am grateful to be a missionary proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is clear to me that our membership in the Church is not, and was never supposed to be a passive calling. Our brothers and sisters need us--our hard work, courage, and testimonies--and the Lord has given us so many ways to love them and to serve Him. I'm doing great here. I feel like I am learning a lot, and I feel that the Lord is opening my eyes and helping me to better understand the big picture. The mission is challenging and people don't always want to listen to what we say, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I hope that all is well on the other side. I love you all, and I am grateful for all of the support that I receive and for the blessings that I am sure are the result of prayers. LD, Elder Wynn