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 RĂ©union

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!