Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas eh? Last week wasn't too bad. We've been just chillin the last three days and I feel like I'm on a vacation down here. Nothing cool happened during the week, just the weekend. Friday morning we went to our friend Mr. Shoda's house and he taught us how to make rougaille mangue. I had to climb up on top of his creeky little old house in my shirt and tie to get the mangos and it was pretty nuts ha. He was mumbling creole the entire time and laughing at me while I was plucking the mangos and catching them while balancing on his tin roof. I got some sweet pictures, the guy is hilarious and he is never wearing pants. His wife is pretty nice too and they LOVE it when we stop by. Next week we are going to re-wire one of their light fixtures. I'll probably die but it's all good. So after that we had to run to the old Jumbo Score to buy our white elephant gifts for our Christmas party the next day. We bought a jar of shitake mushrooms and a little bottle of perfume called mini sexy. Luckily the exchanging of the gifts wasn't meant to be a spiritual experience haha. It was a good time. So saturday we had our huge Christmas zone activity which was a hike to a waterfall then a movie at the church and the white elephant exchange. Oh and we ate at a sick chinese restaurant. I have pictures of the waterfall and stuff so you can see all that fun stuff. After all the festivities Elder Twitchell and I went back to our apartment and watched our priesthood session DVD and chilled alone on Christmas eve :( It was actually pretty nice. All our neighbors were partying hard and all I could think of was Lehi's dream the great and spacious building across the street while us Mormons studied our scriptures and partook of that delicious fruit ya naw mean. We went to bed at 10:30 and woke up again at midnight when everybody went out and lit up their sticks of dynamite and shook me out of my bed. The fireworks here are crazy loud. I thought there was a riot going on. Sunday morning we got up and took our chairs down to the street corner to use the pay phone to call and that was a good time. Did my voice sound different? The kids are way easy to understand! They speak super clear, it surprised me. Well Shayli still speaks gibberish. Sunday afternoon was pretty sweet, when we got to church President Poncharville asked us if we could speak. So we both gave talks on the fly and it wasn't bad. Not a ton of people were there anyways. After church we went up to the Gahete family's house with the Poncharville's and ate and had a party. We played games like catch phrase and pictionary but it was in french of course. So hard. It was a blast though. Today we are enjoying p day and we have interviews at 5 with president donnelly. Tomorrow we have zone conference and I'm preparing the workshop that we're doing so I probably won't be sending any letters, sorry. Well I got to get going on the pictures so Merry Christmas and happy new year! I love you all!

Elder Barclay  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fam and Friends,
I am super tired. I dont want to write and the apostrophe key int working so Im somewhat irritated haha. This last week was kinda crazy. I have never encountered so many giant dogs in such a short period of time. Im not being unrealistic when I say that I believe that angels on the other side of the veil were holding up the fences that were keeping these dogs in their yards. One house the dog ran as fast and as hard as it could and rammed its head into the fence trying to break out and get to us. Other ones would jump up and almost clear the 6 foot gate. I was messin my pants everytime. It was ridiculous how big these things were too. On there hind legs they all were easily as tall or taller than me. I couldnt muster up the courage during any of those contacts to reach my hand through the gates to give a pass a long card or pamphlet. Another miracle that I witnessed was that we rang 5 doorbells on one street and every person that came out was french and the even more miraculous part was that they were really nice. Everytime a white person comes out I brace myself for a rough rejection but this time it wasnt like that. We even set an appointment with one of the guys. So our investigators kind of went AWAL. Lorenza is apparently a lot worse off than we thought with her drug and alcohol problems. Her kids got taken away buy social services last week and we cant really get a hold of her so we are waiting on her. Celine has been struggling too because she has been the one taking care of Lorenzas kids until social services stepped in. Its all just a big mess and I feel soooo bad for the little kids. As for Mamma Maillot, she is still runnin the streets and making a good living. We havent been able to sit down again and teach her but we have another rendezvous set up for tomorrow. Hopefully she lets us in because the last time we taught her she really liked it. The people we teach always eat it up but its like they forget how awesome they felt before the next appointment and then they dog us when we go back. BLAST! SATAN! As for Geoffrey, he is still a great friend and super nice but we havent yet broke through the wall he has built up against organized religion. He still is trying to pick and choose all the things he likes from all the religions he studies and put them into practice in his life. His problem with our church is chastity. C'Mon man! Hey look! the apostrophe key worked! But yeah he has all these ideas about expressing love and the differences between fornication and love. On Friday night we had a branch Christmas party with our branch and the branch from Le Port. It was fun, they made all the missionaries sing Christmas songs and stuff in english and it was just a party. Everybody was clappin their hands and gettin all sorts of funky in the church. They LOVED it. I felt a little bit ridiculous but whatever. It takes a lot to make me feel awkward or embarrassed now a days. For the Christmas call it's pretty finalized. I will be calling between 7 and 9 PM so be ready. I hope you all can make it, if no no big ha we are already 1/3 of the way through this dance and we will be talking soon enough. Time is going way too fast and I cant keep up. Im terrified for that last couple of days to sneak up on me already. I hope you all have a fun holiday season! Dont worry its really hard to get homesick for christmas because its not snowy or anything. The fact that it is December blows my mind. I cant wrap my head around that one. Well write me lots of letters :) Take it easy everybody! Love ya


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pretty good week. Thursday was a pretty entertaining day. We were tracting a street and we met some interesting people. The first was a Muslim lady that invited us in. The Muslim's always let you in because it's like a cultural thing. They usually know who we are but for some reason this lady didn't figure it out until we sat down in her house. She kinda flipped so we gave her a pass a long card and got out ha. The next friendly frenchy didn't have much to say to us. I yelled at his gate and he came walking out super fast, ripped open the gate and said in english, "No thanks we aren't interested in your Mormon bull...." and then slammed the gate. Yikes. So we just kept going and people kept yelling stuff. One protestant lady taught us a thing or two about Jesus and how she already knew it all. Finally it came time for our lesson with Geoffrey. He was chill as usual but this time the lesson wasn't fun. I just felt sick afterwards because he won't agree with the commandments like chastity and the word of wisdom and stuff. He said, "You guys don't do any of that stuff? Whoa... You guys are like Jedi's." ha I tried asking him questions to help him realize why we make personal sacrifices for other people like our families and God even, so I said what is the most important thing to you in your life? He said, "Working out." My goodness man. So I said, "But if it came down to choosing between your family and working out what would you choose?" He then went off about how great working out is and he explained that heaven for him will be an eternal workout. Hmmm... He still loves everything that we do and he finds everything very interesting but he's just missing it! I want to take my book of Mormon and hit him across the face with it and say be baptized fool! We've explained how he has received his answer that it's true and we have covered it all it seems. I'm pondering day and night to figure what will make it click for him. our other investigators are doing ok. Madame Maillot is still her same dealin' self but man she is awesome. She cracks me up. she is a bit of a project but she progresses and is sweet to teach, it will just take a while for her. So last Sunday Elder Millar spoke again in sacrament meeting and it was another flamboyant train wreck. Goodness hahaha I have to put my head down the entire time he talks because it is just too much to handle. I would give anything to know what the members are thinking while he is up there throwing his hands around saying, "N'est-ce pas!?" After Elder Millar got done one of the other speakers hadn't showed up so Elder Temarohirani (first counselor) got up to conduct and said, "Now we will here from...." He looked at Me then Elder Twitchell and then back at me and I pointed at Elder Twitchell and Elder T said, "Elder Twitchell." haha So the poor guys eyes got wide and he got up there and gave a nice little talk and did pretty well. He tends to indirectly insult the members though when he speaks. He says things like, "I don't know why I love you, but for some weird reason I do." Yep... Not smooth... He also said, "I'm just like you, I don't know anything." haha C'MON MAN! Well that's all the exciting stuff, now for the business. My address is:

Elder Barclay
344 Rue St. Louis
97460 St.Paul
La Réunion

Send letters here! The other two addresses are for Le Port and St. Marie. So for the Christmas call... We are going to try to call at like 6 and 7 A.M. here which we'll be Christmas Eve there at 8 and 9 P.M. Does that work for everybody? It seems to be the best for us, We're just going to try and use the pay phone in front of our apartment because no members have invited us anywhere haha. Stingy Cheapskates!  Just kidding  :) That is the plan as of now but we don't know for sure if it will work. So we are going to devise a backup plan this week in case the Christmas eve plan doesn't work. We'll let you know next week but as of now plan on 8 or 9 P.M. Christmas eve. Cool! Hope y'all are doing swell. It's hotter than poop, I have a picture of a Gospel pamphlet that got sweat damaged in Elder T's backpack. It's pretty amazing. Have a great week! I love you all!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hi friends and family,

Last week was just wonderful :) Seriously it was the best. It all started with our first lesson with Geoffrey. He let us in, we went inside and he said, "Ok so I read and studied your brochure and I have two questions. Who is Joseph Smith and what is the Book of Mormon?" Yahtzee. So we taught the first lesson and it was way good. He had tons of sweet questions and he ate it up. It was way relaxed too, I felt like I was teaching one of my friends from home. We committed him to read the B.O.M. and come to church but he couldn't come because he was at his mom's house for the weekend. When we tried to fix another rendezvous he said, "Well lets at least give me a week so I can read as much as possible and then we'll meet again next Tuesday." It's almost too good to be true and I'm nervous as can be because I do not want my lack of knowledge to blow this. Our other two investigators Celine and Lorenza are doing ok. Celine has heard the first three lessons and has come to church twice now but she was always quiet and awkward during our lessons. She seems to understand and she's progressing so we'll see. We invited her to be baptized at the end of the last lesson and she said I will have to think about it. Just the answer I wanted! That totally shows that she is actually thinking about everything and taking it seriously. Lorenza stood us up for our first  rendezvous but we scheduled another one and stopped by. We just passed by and talked for a bit with Soeur Ferrier and Lorenza asked for a blessing because she felt kind of weighed down with an evil feeling. I thought awesome, the last time I cast the demons outta somebody she ended up getting baptized :) The blessing was powerful and the spirit came and everything was better. As for the Maillot family with their 6 or 7 kids (I can't keep track) They aren't really doing anything, Just chillin. We have a rendezvous with them at 1 today so we'll see how it goes. Last night we had a F.H.E. with the branch and Celine and Lorenza came with their kids. We walked to their apartments to pick them up (Walk with them to the church) and I was dreading it because I knew I would be trying to make conversation and they would just be giving me one liners back. Shockingly enough Celine was cracking jokes and she opened right up. Then at the F.H.E. she was talking to the members and making friends and everything. Blessings galore. On the walk to the church one of the little girls asked me if we were able to have girlfriends. Nope ha ha cute and funny but it also made me a little queasy. Girls are yucky ;) SO because we were blessed so abundantly of course there was much opposition. Tuesday night Elder Twitchell and I were walking home from the Muslim Mosque in Centre Ville (We went inside and tried to teach them, but they just weren't having it) Just kidding we were just street contacting on the same street and we stopped by to see if they had any spare Korans (spelling?) laying around. ANYWAYS we were walking home and this guy across the street yelled at us. I didn't quite catch what he said so I said, "What?" So he comes storming across the street and gets right in my face and starts screaming who knows what and at the end says, "Get lost." I couldn't understand what he was saying at the time so I was like, "I have no idea what you just said boss." Ha ha that made him mad so he hit my badge and tried to rip it off my shirt and so knocked his hand away and said, "knock it off." The guy was a bit bigger than me and just angry at the world. When I told him to knock it off he obeyed ha ha but he was still saying to get lost. I asked him what his problem was and he cocked back like he was going to hit me. Elder Twitchell and I just stared at him and he put his fist down and we walked away. Yikes. So that's not all. We started working a new neighborhood and it turns out that lost of the houses are owned by super rich tamul's and everyone has a giant rottweiler. Awesome.. So we got SHUT DOWN by people at every single door and they weren' nice about it at all ha ha. They acted like I had rang the doorbell to insult their ancestors and spit in their faces. All the dogs were just loose out in the streets too so we snuck around trying not to get eaten. Finally one day at the end of a street we talked to a guy standing against a wall. He was cool for about the 5 seconds I was saying "Hello how are ya" and then he went off. He yelled about how we were trying to get people's money and what not and he showed me like 20 scriptures in the bible saying this and that and just proving how quickly I'm going to hell for taking peoples money and corrupting the teachings of God. When he finished I said, "Cool, so what do you do in your life? Do you have a family and stuff? We sat and listened to him without saying a word about religion while he yelled and when we asked him questions about his life and stuff he was taken back a bit. He finished his tantrum by saying, "I want to talk to whoever is responsible for what you do." We gave him a pass-a-long card and left. Well those are just the main highlights of the week. I wouldn't have had it any other way :) The spirit has been getting stronger and stronger in my life and it's pretty sweet. Love y'all take it easy!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Well I had half my email typed and i just lost it so I'm going to do my best to remember what I typed. This last week was awesome, we got four new investigators. Two are young single mom's named Celine and Lorenza. Then there is this 18 year old french kid named Geoffrey and he reminds me a bit of myself. The last is Madame Maillot who is a mother of 7 kids. Jackpot. The two moms and Madame Maillot have come to church and we haven't invited Geoffrey yet but we will this Tuesday. Right after we found Geoffrey I got attacked by a dog ha ha. So what happened was this french guy opened his gate and this dog came running up behind us from the street and as the french guy was saying ,"Non merci, je vous souhaite une bonne journée," as sarcastically as possible the dog wrapped his mouth around my calf. I yanked my leg away before he did any damage and then the french guy grabbed the dog and took it inside because it was his. If I wasn't striving to be Christlike I would have kicked the dog and then punched the guy in the face but let's face it, kicking a dog isn't very Christlike. So we had quite an interesting experience yesterdy. We were leaving the apartment after lunch and as we walked outside and were surrounded by Tamouls. I thought we were in straight up India. They were burning stuff in the street and running around in their turbins with no shoes or shirts on and it was just nuts! I took some sweet pictures. The weirdest part was that i had already talked to a ton of the people at their houses and they seemed normal their but not today. They all were trying to get me to take my shoes off and come with them ha. So we were going the same direction as their parade and we couldn't really pass them so we walked right along with them and their giant elephant idol on wheels. Yikes. So we finally got to madame Maillot's house and talked to her and fixed an appointment and then made our way over to some other followups and we found ourselves engulfed once again by the tamoul's but this time it was at their temple and they drug is in to watch them do the walk of fire. Yes i recorded it. We kept trying to leave but one of the guys was like, "Attendez, on va couper un cabri." Cabri is goat in creole. I thought hmmm... This might be worth seeing so we stuck around for a bit longer but we had to get out of there, they were taking way too long. It was definitely something I never would have experienced if I had come here. I was really nervous the entire time. I was praying for Harrison ford to come swinging in to the temple with his whip and save us but he never did so we snuck out on our own. It rained pretty hard this week too. I go from being drenched in water to drenched in sweat because after it rains the humidity makes you feel like your in a sauna. I think I'm going to shrivel like a dry reed when I get back to Utah's dryness. Ok well I told you that I am terrible at typing sooooooo I'll start uploading some pics now and let them speak their thousand words before i get carpal tunnel. I love and miss you all! take care!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Désolé pour le retard everybody ha ha we don't have a solid place to do emails here in St. Paul so we do it when we can. Well this last week has been pretty good, I baptized someone. Marie Claude Villi is her name and she's the demon lady that I taught and everything and then left right before she had her interviews and stuff. She asked if i could baptize her so that was cool. That was the first baptism in 4 and a half months! Well for last week, nothing exciting really happened, We tracted a lot and sweated even more ha. on Wednesday night we got invited to this Evangelist christian church and it was pretty weird. It was a perfect example of, "they draw near unto me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me... and they deny the power thereof." I felt the spirit way strong because they were praisin' the lord and singing but I could see all the things that were missing and it just really fortified my testimony of our church. The people were way nice though, I was actually getting creeped out because they were so nice. They all were in regular street clothes and the priest or whatever was going around casting the demons outta people after the service ha ha yikes during one of the blessings he said, " I've been drinking green tea all gosh dang Day!" Then he took the guys hat that he gave the blessing to and said, "This is my hat now! This is totally my hat." I couldn't believe what was going on. Anyways for the rest of the week we had no rendezvous or anything. We don't really have any investigators. We're trying to fix a lot of problems in the branch and get people to accept callings and come to church and it's kind of tough. I feel really bad for President Poncharville because he has no counselors or anything and he is doing everything on his own. On Friday night we had a branch activity and about 15 people of the 20 who usually come to church showed up, including the four missionaries. We taught a spiritual thought and then played a game and afterwards we all ate. It was pretty fun and I think it helped the members, I hope. The baptism was on Sunday in St. Marie which is about 40 Minutes away in a car and  we were going to take the bus which takes about an hour and a half. When we were leaving church President Poncharville asked us how we were getting there and when we said, "the bus," he said, "Yeah, No you're not. I'll meet you here at 2 45 to give you a ride." He's the man! So the baptism went swell and I have some pictures for ya. She looks kinda scary in the pics because she wouldn't smile but she's not mean, just different. Monday we had a Zone Activity at the beach in St. Pierre (the south of the island) and boy oh boy it was just oodles of fun! The AP's organized all these little relay races and scavenger hunts for us to do. Yep. Scavenger hunts. Ha ha We're on a tropical volcanic island and that's what activity we come up with? Well we did all that for a while and then we got to just chill and take pics and stuff. So that's going to count as our Thanksgiving celebration. I'd rather not try to celebrate and just keep focused. Well other than that nothing too new is happening, I love you all and hope you're doing well! Congrats on the new baby Matt & Crystal :) Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm 20 years old isn't that weird? I can't believe it. This last week was super crazy. On Wednesday we went up into the mountains to see some people that the old elders had left us and one of the guy's was named Yve Palama. He lived in a little metal shack and it was an oven. He is your typical kréole guy without teeth or a shirt just chillin 24-7. He cooked a ton of food and made us sit down and eat with him and it was pretty fun. After we were done eating he grabbed my hand and walked me over to the corner of his room and pointed up towards a wasp's nest on the ceiling. I asked if he wanted me to get it down and he said, "No! I'm gonna let it grow and next time you guys come up I'll cook it and we'll eat it with some rugaye." Yum ha ha not going back there. We went to Daniel's house next and he is practically a 40 year old playboy livin' the bachelor life with his nice house and pool. He let us in and he was just drilling us with questions and after about 30 minutes he stopped and we became friends. We wrote in a Book of Mormon and committed him to read. He called us the next day and told us that he was really touched by what we wrote and he had read a bunch of the Book of Mormon. Sick! Friday and Saturday we had zone conference with elder Renlund of the 70 and it was super cool. He was really motivating and he talk a ton about becoming a professional missionary. Zone conferences really boost your energy and help you get re motivated. Saturday night we sang at the adult meeting for stake conference and it was terrible. Our AP's came up with some arrangement for called to serve and it was awful ha ha. Sunday we had stake conference and Elder Renlund spoke again but in french and a wanted to die. It was thee longest hottest most boring 2 hours of my life. He just mumbled through a talk that had been translated from english to french. I got so bored I actually started whistling and Elder Cusick hit me and said c'mon man. Elder Renlund's wife spoke as well and she makes the same hand gestures as Chris Farley and I didn't notice until Elder Twitchell pointed it out and It was just a struggle to not laugh for the rest of her talk. So today our thermometer on the deck read 49 degrees Celsius which is 117 Fahrenheit. Last week I was sweating so bad that I soaked my backpack and my gospel art book inside got ruined. It's pretty nuts and it is going to get hotter in December and January. Marie-Claude from St. Marie is getting baptized this Saturday so I have been part of another person's conversion. Happy Day! It's so cool to see that we found someone, taught them, and now they are getting baptized. She will stay active too so I'm pumped for her. Well time to go, thanks for the letters and emails! Love Jeff

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hi. This week was great. Monday I got to eat at "Le Restaurant" with President and Sister Donnelly and all the missionaries from the north district for having clean apartments. Holy delicious. It was an all you can eat buffet and it was super ritzy. I snagged myself 3 ostrich steaks and went to town on the chicken and seafood. For dessert they had a crepe line. I couldn't stop eating. Happy day ha ha! So then Tuesday and Wednesday I continued to tag along with Elders Temarohirani and Millar until about 3 o clock ish Wednesday afternoon when I got to pick up my new trainee. His name is Elder Twitchell from Centerville Utah and so far we are best buds. I think it will stay that way too because our second day he said to me, "Do you ever feel like if you aren't working your guts out, you're going to hell?" hahaha YES!!! that's what I like to hear! He's super motivated and green as can be and I am going to stretch that as far as it can go. Don't kill the greeny spirit! So we have been contacting like crazy and this next week we will be running around with our heads cut off because we have so many suivi's to do. The day he got here I took him home to take a shower and he popped his shoe off and he had the nastiest, most infected ingrown toenail I had ever seen. So we set up an appointment to go to the doctors the next day. After that was taken care of we got to work. Nothing too crazy happened :( sorry. We played soccer with a bunch of kids on Saturday night in the hood and it was a blast. The field was sand and full of rocks and stuff and we played barefoot. I have some sick pics from it. They loved us so now all the kids on the streets don't make fun of us anymore which will be nice. The branch is still tiny but awesome. We ate at Frère Lebihan's house on Tuesday for lunch. It was his birthday and we ate the most delicious eggplant thing. Holy goodness I thought I was going to die it was so good. We starve all week but then eat with members and get fed like there's no tomorrow. So hopefully this week we will turn a bunch of these follow-ups into investigators. I am kinda figuring out the kréole and I speak as much as I can and people LOVE it. It's like phonetic french with an African accent. So like "do you speak kreole" is "ou cause kréole?" or like "what are you doing?" is "Kossa ou fé la" which is not really french ha ha. So I practice hard and it's coming. Elder Twitchell gets sooo upset ha ha he just shakes his head after contacts and says, "I literally didn't catch one word of that." and then I say, "Yea me neither :)" I just say stuff and people respond but who knows what they are saying, I seem to hold conversations pretty well though and they are letting us come back to teach them ha. Miraculous right? Well I don't think I will have to be in the branch presidency. Hallelujah. On Sunday I taught the Aaronic priesthood class and it was fun. The kids are sweet. Joshua came to church but Toky and Anthony weren't there :( We can't go to their house apparently so that bites because their parents are nuts but if they keep coming to church we'll just teach them there and hopefully they get baptized. Well I hope y'all are doin shwell. I'm going to try and send some pics. Love Ya!


Monday, October 31, 2011

What a crazy week eh! It was a rough one ha ha. Ok so Elder Fennell and I were together until Thursday morning. We had a solid half of a week. We taught Toto again and he wouldn't commit to be baptised but he prayed for us and he wants to read the B of M. He's such a chill guy. His family won't really be a part of our lessons though, that's sad but oh well. He can't read so his wife reads the B of M to him, so whether she's interested or not she is progressing ha ha. On Wednesday we went out to St. Suzanne to work that area and do suivi's and stuff. One of the suivi's was a young girl named Jennyfer. She's 15 and her mom and little bro weren't home so she said come back the first time we talked to her, so we did just that. The mom came out when we yelled and we thought oh sweet, this lady is going to tell us off and be rude. Nope, we called her by name (creepy) and she was super nice. Jennyfer came out too and she was amped to see us so they said come on in! We chatted it up for a bit and then answered their questions and taught the restoration. Holy best lesson so far of my mission. They were super interested and they asked questions and even answered our questions correctly. It was a miracle. One thing that was kind of weird is that the mom was kinda flirty... But hey if we gotta wink at a few single mamma's to get baptism's I'm down :) Just kidding that's disgusting and wrong. It's not like that at all I promise ;) Anyways that was rad and then right afterwards we went out and we were port-a-porting when Elder Fennell backed into a cactus. Clutch on his part right, so we headed home and I spent an hour pulling cactus slivers out of a giant black man's bare back. What an experience. So Thursday morning the AP's picked me up and I went to St. Paul to meet Elder Temarohirani, Elder Millar, and our new apartment. It's not too shabby. I'll tell you the cons first, We don't have; an oven or stove, lights, hot water, any mirrors, chairs, tables, A.C., food, or money. The pro's, we have; beds, fans, ice cold water, a rice cooker, great air circulation so it is breezy inside, and the bathroom has a window. A window in the bathroom is heaven. In this heat in a cement box with no ventilation = stinky and shmelting hot. Oh yeah, there are the biggest yellow wasps you've ever seen everywhere. My flip flops do work on those suckers. We had no food or money for the end of the month. So we gathered up all our change and bought some bread and other stuff and scrounged like crazy to last until allotment came. I feel like I'm camping ha ha. I have to shower on my knees and shave without a mirror in the kitchen sink. I kinda like it. So my first Sunday was AWESOME! The church is the upper floor of a little 4-plex. They took the two upper apartments and knocked out some walls and turned it into the church. There were 18 people there including us and 3 investigators that just came. It was nuts ha ha. We did the sacrament and President Poncharville (B.P.) conducted and it was sweet. Elder T gave a talk and I was on back up if people didn't show. Everyone came though so I didn't have to speak. So the three investigators were three brothers, 21, 17, and 15. there names are Toky, Joshua, and Anthony. They are super chill and we taught them during the last hour of church in the kitchen. They were so cool and the lesson was awesome. The oldest brother was baptized when he was 8 but has been inactive since and his two little bro's are nonmembers. Toky (the oldest) has had some rough times and has some tats and stuff and he is trying to figure out what life is and his little bro's are pretty clean cut sharp kids. They are all super nice and cool and I think they will keep coming. After church President Poncharville pulled me aside and told me that we would be working together, he said,"I need some counselors." So I think Elder T and I will be in the branch presidency. That should be fun. Well last night we found out the end of all the transfer news. I will be training for sure. No one is going anywhere special just a few changes. My trainee Elder Milot will be training the other new elder in St. Marie. So I'm pretty much whitewashing an area, I hope it's not too tough. Hmmmm.... what else is new... well I shaved my head, it's pretty hot here if ya didn't know. A buzzed head makes quite the difference :) I will get y'all my address when I figure out what it is, just keep sending letters to the old one. We all see each other once a week so I'll get your letters. Well, take it easy friends and fam. I'll keep holdin it down in afrreeka. St. Paul is straight up Africa too, yep it's cool and I love it. Presidents Poncharville is as African as it gets too. We had to tell him to put his spear outside yesterday at church, I dunno what he was thinkin when he brought the thing. Well Love ya! enjoy the cold weather, jerks :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Well this email will just be as juicy as Queen Latifah. So last Monday night I was informed that elder Fennell was having problems in Mada and that he would be coming back Tuesday, and.... I would take him and work in St. Marie. Well the week actually turned out really well. We walked the entire time and that was rough because this island is a mountain, but we worked hard. We ended up finding more investigators. Finally all the blood sweat and tears are paying off right? Well I haven't been crying, but it's been tough alright. So the apartment is in tip top shape, the shower and kitchen are mold free and spotless and everything else is just sparkling clean. The branch has investigators finally coming to church and the area of St. Marie has progressing investigators. So I'm sure you all can guess what happens next. I get a call Sunday night from the AP's and am informed that I will be transferred to St. Paul to work in the two week old Branch. So I will be white washing an area and two new elders show up November 2nd and there will be three of us in the St. Paul apartment which means more than likely I'll be training one of the new elders as well. Exciting right!? I'm pumped! The branch is tiny and the church is the upper floor of this little apartment building. It should be pretty fun. We won't have a car or bikes so the walking is permanent and St. Paul is even more hilly and mountainous so that's not good news. My feet aren't doing too swell :| suck it up right? ha ha... My shoes are pretty much toast. the Johnston and Murphy's are heaven for my feet and they'll last forever but the black ones are shredded and my other brown ones hurt too bad to wear so I'm sportin' elder Crossley's shoes that he left :) that hombré had some class. Well I guess I'll tell you a little about the new Ami's De l'Eglise. One guy is named Totobey and he has four kids and is married. He has a terrible foot problem, his left foot is literally upside down. Maybe I will be able snag a pic before I leave. Anyways, he let us right in and sat down with us and we talked and all went well, we taught and they loved it. They are Malagasy and have trouble understanding french because I speak to fast. HA! Yeah! That's right, french is coming baby. So they are solid and we give them all Malagasy book of Mormons and pamphlets so that's cool. Our other Ami's are these two sisters. They are HUGE and hilarious. When we knocked on their door they opened it and scrame. That wasn't the first time that has happened. I'd say about 1 out of every 5 doors the person gasps or screams or I guess you could say "yelps" when they see us. I don't get it, we are standing there doing nothing but for some reason we just scare the pants off people. We are kinda big compared to everyone else but still... I ain't André the Giant. Well they let us in and we taught them too and they scheduled the next rendezvous before we could so that was cool. Maurie-Claude is still on track to be baptized and we found another older guy named Guy Payet. He smokes and is difficult but we're working with him. So remember how we handed over all our other investigators to the AP's? Yep they haven't taught any of them. Sweet. Yvrin was GOLDEN!!! Yikes that makes me mad. Well this morning was a blast. we drove to Le Port and played basketball and stuff and I actually tore it up, I haven't completely lost my game :) Then we went to a beach and chilled and played a little football and stuff. Overall a relaxing day but I am pretty drained and a tiggy sunburned. Ha whoops, the word tiggy means "a little" in Mauritian kréole. I'm really struggling with english. Things make more sense in french now. Finally! Well I get to pack tomorrow night and peace out to St. Paul on Wednesday. I'll probably gain 15 pounds tonight and tomorrow because members are lined up to feed me and say goodbye, I know I'm spoiled here :) well shmell ya later. And yes Mom I get your letters. September 11th and 18th and then the one from October. If someone had a birthday, Happy Birthday. Sorry I can't remember how old anyone is or who's birthday is when. I'll be 20 in a couple weeks, isn't zhat vierd? (German accent, get it? ha...) Well bye

Love Jeff        

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hey everyone

Last week was awesome! We spent the first part of the week visiting less actives and inviting them to our branch activity and then later on we did a lot of contacting. The activity was great! one less active family came and also two other single less active people and then three nonmember people that members had invited. We ended up teaching one of the nonmembers the next day. I don't know if you remember about the time Elder Bize and I went to this crazy lady's house to cast out demons or not but guess what! Yep same lady. So we taught her and at the end fixed a baptismal date for the 19th of November. Just in time for me to get her all ready and then be transferred before she is baptized. I have a feeling that's about how my mission will go, but as long as she is getting baptized that's all I really care about. She is an absolute motor mouth by the way. I tried to cut her off 4 times at one point during the rendezvous and after the 4th try Elder Leblanc busted up laughing. She's nice and she is the first investigator that I have gotten to come to church! Praise the heavens! So a little funny side story... She lives in St. André which is like 30 minutes away so I don't know the area very well and it is difficult to find these addresses because the streets here go every direction and there is just no organization whatsoever. So my two awesome comps take advantage of this time to sleep in the car and let me search on my own. So I would slowly start to swerve back and forth causing their heads to sway towards their windows and finally once I had them dreaming that they were on a boat in the ocean I would jerk the wheel hard to the left and watch their faces smack into the glass. Oh how funny that was, you will never know. The best part is that they would have no idea that I was doing it on purpose and they could never figure out what was going on so they would go back to sleep and I would do it again! Finally I found the place and we taught her. Alright so what else is new... Oh yeah! We have right now 5 investigators. Yes, 5 can you believe it? Do you want to hear the best part? Our boundaries just got changed and we are losing 3 of them to the AP's who don't work hard. Ever. AHHHHH! ha ha I worked so hard! Those investigators were smart people as well, they were super solid and we get to hand them over and get back to tract fest 2011 again. If those AP's don't teach them and use every ounce of energy in them to baptize those people I will lose it. Well, what else... Summer is getting closer... It's already too hot. I don't think I can ever tell you that enough. Today we have a zone activity! It is going to be soooooo sick!!!!!!! Guess what it is? Zone family home evening. You gotta be kidding me! We live on a tropical volcanic island and were doing FHE for our zone activity when we just had an awesome/huge island conference? That means that we don't get to work our 3 hours today and instead sit in a church and waste time. At least let us go on a small hike or something. That drives me nuts. The mentality here is just not quite what I expected. Sorry I need to stop complaining and talking bad about the missionaries here. Well I don't know what else to tell you. Sorry if this email is no good. I'm not much of a writer... We'll catch up on the rest when I get home, Which is in no time. Time is flying! Well see y'all next week, take care.

Love Jeff  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hey everybody! I didn't really feel like typing a huge letter so I decided to attach some pics. The computers here are retarded so doing that takes a ton of time. Well last week was good. Some funny and freaky things happened. First, one day we were driving through chaudron and we got trapped by a Tambul parade. They were all dressed up and bangin drums and playing their snake charming flutes while parading through the streets with this giant elephant idol on wheels following behind them. We recorded it but the file is too big to send :( sorry. It was nuts, I have never seen anything like it. Second, we were visiting a less active family that lives in a hut up in the hills of St. André and I saw the biggest spider i had ever seen crawl up on the wall behind the lady we were visiting. I let her finish her sentence and then said, "Hey... Uhhh... There's something behind ya there..." She turned around and grabbed it and ATE IT!!!! No I'm kidding, but when she turned around she couldn't see it and she pointed at a picture that was hanging right next to it and said, "This?"
I said, "Nope..." hahah then her husband got up and walked over and pointed at something else on the wall and said, "This?" and I said no again haha if only I could have remebered the word for spider! But that still doesn't excuse the fact that they were practically touching it and they couldn't figure it out! Holy HEEEBEEY JEEBEEYS usually I would just let stuff like that slide but this spider was literally the size of my open hand. They thought it was hilarious when they saw the spider and they just left it chillin. Yikes... So to make this story even better when we got home that night I saw another spider just a little bit smaller creepin around in our apartment. Apparently that means that they hatch and are everywhere when summer rolls around. YUM, I sleep on the floor too :) I can't to wake up with one on my face, which will probably cover my entire face. They're harmless though so it just gross andnot dangerous. Well as far as the work goes we have about 3 families that we teach but they aren't quite investigators. We are workin with em. It's just the same old same old. Transfers are in 3 weeks and that will hopefully be a breath of fresh air.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011