Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Birthday to Elder Wynn! 21 years old!!!

This was a pretty eventful weekend. I wish a happy 184th birthday to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It was also my 21st birthday this week, and I still don't think I've come to terms with the fact that I'm 21, but I imagine reality will hit someday. You mentioned the that the Church is in the process of finishing all announced temples, which, when they are all finished, will make 170 temples worldwide and that there are currently 142 functioning temples. I looked back on how many temples there were the year I was born, and found that there were only 45. In the not-too-distant future, there will have been 100 temple dedications during my lifetime. Other interesting, but less important things that have happened in my lifetime: the creation of Youtube, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, (I'm trying to think of a non-technological discovery or invention, but am drawing a blank) and lots of other world-changing things. This is all pretty incredible to me. Mom, I think you must have been praying for me to have a good birthday, because I was very, very blessed this year and I had a birthday that I will never forget. Here are the highlights: When I walked out of the shower-room in my towell in the morning, the other elders in my apartment threw a water balloon and confetti and sang For He's a Jolly Good Fellow to me. For some reason, we started singing that song on elder's birthdays in our apartments a few months ago and the tradition has stuck. After that the morning went by pretty normally. Elder Zimmerman and I contacted in an area called Le Chaudron (the cauldron) and were able to have a couple productive conversations. We got back to the apartment for lunch at about the same time as the Ste Marie elders. Elder Wiberg went into the bathroom and Elder Peck told me he'd left something in the car and asked if I could walk out with him to get it while his companion was in the bathroom. I said okay and followed him out to their car, on the way down the hill to the car, I hear someone accross the street starting to sing Joyeux Anniversaire. I looked across the street, and saw the Lucette Gonthier and her two girls on the street corner across from our apartment with some sort of birthday picnic set up for me. Sister Gonthier is a member in Ste Marie, and was one of those people that really took care of us elders while I was there. She didn't forget my birthday, and she came all the way to our apartment to have lunch with us on the street corner. I was very touched. The afternoon wasn't anything too out of the ordinary, we did our weekly planning and language study. At six-thirty, we went to branch council and at seven we arrived at the Gonthier's (Fabrice and Nathalie, Lucette Gonthier's brother-in-law and sister-in-law) for dinner. I have been working with Fabrice now for going on eleven months. He's our financial rep on the island, so we see him often for administrative purposes such as cars, visas, apartments, etc. He's a great guy, and a hard worker, and I am thankful to be serving in his branch now, because I get to see him in non-business situations occasionally. He and Nathalie served us an excellent dinner, and remembered my favorite cheese and served it as an apetizer. It was really a great evening. After dinner, Fabrice pulled out a cake that he had picked for me and they also had some very generous gifts. I really was not expecting this at all, and was very touched by all the kindness on my birthday. In the car on the way home, I told Elder Zimmerman how I couldn't get over how nice the Gonthiers had been to me on my birthday and how I felt like my heart was going to grow a size like the Grinch's. I really was very, very suprised and touched by all of this. We got home, and while I was sitting there glowing, Elder Wiberg told me that he and Elder Peck had another birthday present for me. He then went to tell me that two of the potential investigators that Elder Hammond, Elder Choi, and myself found during the last two weeks that we were in Ste Marie (we really only saw them once and never taught them, but I will never forget the contact) had started reading the Book of Mormon over the last little while and that earlier that day, they set baptismal dates for the two of them. Apparently Elder Wiberg and Elder Peck had taught the mother of this family once or twice and had left her with a Book of Mormon. The teen-age daughter found the book and has been reading it ever since. On the 5th, the mother couldn't be there for the lesson, but that teen-age daughter and her brother were there and they learned about the Restoration. Their response to the baptismal invitation was "Absolutely!", and the asked to be baptized as soon as possible. I won't try too hard to describe all of my thoughts about the day, but it was a birthday that I will never, ever forget. At the end of the day, I " cast [myself] upon [my] bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which [I] had seen [and felt]. (1 Nephi 1:7) All of this to say that I had a great birthday, and that I know God loves me. Thank you for all of your love and support! I wish you all a wonderful week! Elder Wynn

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