Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Time!




Hello Family!


So, the person who was using this computer before me left themselves logged in on Facebook! Old habits die hard, and I was tempted to make them engaged. BUT, I was nice and just logged them out.


I have SO much to tell you and only 25 minutes to do it in. HERE GOESSSSS!


This past week at zone meeting, our Zone Leader, Elder Bastien, asked Sister Danielsen and I to do a 10-minute presentation on the area book. The area book is essentially a binder where you keep all the information about your investigators, potential investigators, recent converts, etc. Sister Danielsen and I gave much thought to what we should do, and how we could help the Elders in our zone know how to use their area book more fully. So, we did a rap. Here it is:


A new area's just been born
Take a look at potential investigator forms
New area's history is quite a mystery so
TAKE A LOOK IN YOUR AREA BOOK
TAKE A LOOK IN YOUR AREA BOOK


This area's going quite peachy
Look at all the people we teachy
Things are meshing and people are progressing so
Don't leave your bishop in the blue,
There's a form for that, too
TAKE A LOOK IN YOUR AREA BOOK
TAKE A LOOK IN YOUR AREA BOOK


Don't do it when you're tanning
Do it nightly planning
Handwriting's gotta be neat
Can't look like no chicken scratching feet
Don't be faily, update daily!
TAKE A LOOK IN YOUR AREA BOOK
TAKE A LOOK IN YOUR AREA BOOK


Our area's been leeched,
Gotta find new people to teach
Former investigators at the back,
Later on, you can pick up their slack
Look where people have potential,
become converted, and be retential
TAKE A LOOK IN YOUR AREA BOOK
TAKE A LOOK IN YOUR AREA BOOK


And a sad bit of news...THE GIBSONS ARE GOING TO GRENADA. They just found out on Saturday and they are leaving TODAY! We are driving up with them and are taking one of the mission vehicles back down. Yes, this means I will be driving on the left side for the first time ever, for an hour. Ah, wish me luck! I will miss the Gibsons so much - they were so supportive and willing to help us out with whatever they could. I loved hearing all the family history stories from Elder Gibson. I wish them the best of luck as they head off to another branch!


Oh, I teach the Youth Sunday School Class every other Sunday. The irony kills me.


This past Wednesday, we had a Branch Family Home Evening at the Church. We wanted to make it about Christmas, so we watched Mr. Kruger's Christmas. Oh man, it made me be just a little homesick, not going to lie! And it also reminded me about Clarissa, ahaha. After that, we had a wonderful discussion about what we should all do this Christmas season: reach out to others! Elder Gibson read Luke 2, and we watched the 5 minute Nativity. The Spirit there was so sweet and strong. At the end of the activity, there were 25 people there, 10 of which were investigators! We also sang the Christmas songs from the hymn book.


PS - when I call on Christmas, I totally expect you, Mom, to read Wallace Pearling and The Shiniest Star. Dad, I want you to read me Luke 2! And let's sing Christmas in...I'm totally going to butcher the spelling. Kalarney?


A wonderful quote this week, from Elder Gibson: "A plantain is just a sticky little potato in a banana peel."


On Tuesday, we had a SERVICE PROJECT! YES! Sister Danielsen and I have been praying ALL THE TIME for service opportunities. We got to go take care of a member's lawn by cutting grass. This means we got to use MACHETES. It was the most hardcore thing of all time.


Parents, I know I need a favorite scripture...but to be honest, I still don't have one! I'm working on it, I promise.


So, I've attached some pictures! And I can't remember what they are...One of them is from the Gibson's final Seminary class this past Saturday, where we went to the beach. The two Seminary goers in the picture are Jamal and Joeguy. The other one is Elder Meredith and I being thug life twins next to our "Sandman Snowman." I think the last one is just a picture of our Sandman Snowman.


I believe that's all for this week. Family! I love you! I'm so excited to talk to you on Christmas. I hope all of you have the safest of safe travels as you make your annual yuletide migrations.


I know this gospel is true. I know that the Lord has given us the blessed opportunity to help His children return to Him. I love this gospel, and I love this work.


Love,


Sister Brisson


PS - I had a dream this past week where I was a missionary, but I was at home. I was in the laundry room, and Gwenyth Paltrow was there, asking me how she could keep in touch with me while I was serving.


CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

You can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

I wish I had an advent calendar

Bonjour ma famille!



First order of business...Mom, I received your package in the mail! I've attached some pictures of it :) Cosmic brownies, HOORAY!


This week was just...AMAZING. Sister Danielsen and I have had a hard time with working with members, since the majority of them are either at work or school. But, one of members has suddenly become more available during the day, which is a huge support for us! This week, we were able to teach 29 lessons, 10 of which had a member present! I think that's the highest number of member lessons we've had since I've been here!


So, this past week, Sister Danielsen and I saw Brother Raymond again! Honestly, the Spirit just keeps prompting me to work with this man, so that's what we've done. I can't remember what I've told you about him before, but he is Biblically well-versed, so he is quick to point out anything that we say that he doesn't think lines up with the Bible. He's read half of the Book of Mormon (though he won't pray about it), and reads everything we leave him. This week, he paid us one of the biggest compliments I've received. He said that we remind him of Paul. Completely zealous, dedicated, and...completely misguided! Eh, I'll still take the compliment. Later on, we were talking about something Paul had written, and he said "Well, you have to be careful when reading Paul, since he makes his arguments in a round way...he was educated by the very best." I totally jumped on that and said "You said that we reminded you of Paul, didn't you?!" Then, he was like "Uhhh....well, I meant in terms of your dedication..."


ALSO, this week we got to do SERVICE! Sister Danielsen and I are ALWAYS seeking out service opportunities, and the most we've been able to do is carry grocery bags. So, we went to visit one of our investigators, and she was painting her house. We were like, "LET US HELP YOU!" and she said, "Are you sure?" We grabbed the brushes and started painting! It was fabulous.


On Friday, Sister Danielsen and I decided to go tract Banse, an area I'd never been to. We started walking down the road and...it was like I was walking a back country road! Very picturesque, with a bubbling brook and spread out houses. Honestly, it was like we weren't even in St. Lucia - like we'd apparated or something.


OH YEAH, I almost forgot. So, this past week, I was on a split with a member named Sharlyne. We went to visit her cousin, Cyprian. I met Cyprian during my first transfer, and we'd seen him off and on since then. We had invited him to church several times, but he said that he would visit sometime. So, as soon as we saw him, he said "I'm going to pay you all a visit this week." And...he did! He and his friend Bert (pronounced Birch) came to Church!


Lastly, Sharlyne and I were on a separate split in Vieux Fort. On our way to a member's house, a man called out, "How are you doing, Blondie?" The first thing out of my mouth was..."I'm not blonde!"


LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLLLL! We are having a Choose Your Own Adventure Family Home Evening tonight! It makes me wish I had "Choose Your Way to Happiness." Also, they don't really have Santa Claus here, bummer!


Sister Brisson


Diana! Good luck with your finals!


Haha Diane, how I love you. Okay, continue to forward my emails to both Liz and Lucy, and only forward me Liz's - Lucy's mom is already sending me hers. THANK YOU! Good luck with your finals!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.​..just kidding!



Bonjour ma famille!

Usually, I make little notes of the things I want to write you about so that I'm not a complete space cadet when I write you - unfortunately, I didn't do that this week, so here goes!

First, here is a picture of my Zone from this past transfer.
Second - Hipster Missionaries

Let me tell you about Bob. We were contacting a few weeks back and we tracted into him and his wife. He is just such a nice man and has met with many different missionaries from several religions. When I first met him, he reminded me of someone, but I couldn't put my finger on it. This last week, we were meeting with him. We were talking about prophets, and how we can distinguish a true prophet. I said, "A prophet that tries to profit from being a prophet isn't a prophet." :) Anyways, we continue talking to him and then I REALIZED who he reminds me of:

JAMES EARL JONES! Bob is TOTALLY James Earl Jones. He sounds JUST LIKE HIM. I am so tempted to ask him to quote something from the Lion King or to say "Luke, I am your father."

Also - so, a few weeks ago, Sister Danielsen and I were sitting down, eating our lunch, in Laborie. This very drunk man came and sat down next to me and started talking to me about the election. I continued eating my mini loaf of bread (yes, sometimes we just eat loaves of bread for lunch, DON'T JUDGE ME), and just kept nodding along. Eventually, he says "Well, I know you're just a little girl, so I'll talk to her about these things" (her meaning Sister Danielsen). So, he starts talking to Sister Danielsen and then I REALIZED that he thought she was my mom, hence why he said I'm just a little girl.

ALSO, I just mailed letters to the following people: Grandma Carey, Renae Deighton, Elder Larson, Elder Harless, JeanMarie Stewart, and Sister Dicou. Laura Murray, should I send my letter to the return address on the letter you sent me, or should I send it to your house? Email me whatever address you would like me to use. Diana, I am working on adding on to the letter I wrote you, since you asked me for some advice. Diane, also working on yours. They should be out by next week, I hope!

Diane, I'm glad that Lauren still loves me!

Well, Sister Danielsen and I went to visit Brother Raymond this week. From the 1 1/2 weeks since we last saw him, he has read all the way up to MOSIAH. When we arrived, he seemed so happy to see us, haha. We start our lesson, find out he's read a good chunk, and then he pulls out a list of scriptures from the Book of Mormon that he thinks do not agree with the Bible. He wanted us to argue with him SO BAD, haha. But we wouldn't. We just testified, and gave him Alma 5 and 3 Nephi 11 to read for next time, which is tomorrow.

AHHH I JUST REMEMBERED AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE WE HAD THIS WEEK. So, on Wednesday, we received a phone call from someone we had contacted. We had left her a message, and she was returning our call and wanted to set up an appointment with us. That never happens, so Sister Danielsen and I were way excited. We met with her on Friday, and she told us that she had had a dream and we were in it. She took it as a sign that she should meet with us. Sister Danielsen and I think she is great! She was so open and we are seeing her later this week!

Anyways, that's about all for now/ that I have time to type. Family, I love you so much. Thank you so much for your support, your prayers, and your emails. They mean a lot to me. The other day, I heard "Baby, It's Cold Outside" while on the bus the other day and I just started laughing.

Love you!

Sister Brisson

PS- I read 3 Nephi 18:32 this week and it totally made me think about Church in a different way!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Transfer Transfer Transfer


Happy SHANKSgiving, Family!

Well, I suppose you are all dying to know where I've been transferred to...and...here it is:

I've been transferred to the French Side. I am in Guadeloupe!

Honestly, when President Gamiette called and told me...my mouth dropped. I could not believe it! My French is TERRIBLE. But, the Lord qualifies whom He calls. I got my French Preach My Gospel today. Working on it!

...Just Kidding. Sister Danielsen and I are staying in Vieux Fort for another transfer! YAYYYYYY! I feel so excited to stay here. As I speak, a less active is sitting outside at her work. We're totally going to pounce when we're done. Mwahahaha!

The last week and a half have been a blur, so I am struggling a little to think about what to tell you. So, in lieu of writing for the moment, I'm going to attach PICTURESSSSS!

First - me at a waterfall!
Second - Thug Life at the waterfall!
Third - name tag at the waterfall!
Fourth - companions at the waterfall!
Fifth - flowers!

Well, as I said in my last email - Sister Danielsen and I were on quarantine from Sunday night until today because of election. Because we weren't allowed to go anywhere (besides the Gibsons' apartment), it seemed like a good idea to...CELEBRATE SHANKSGIVING! It was so wonderful. Sister Gibson miraculously found a turkey, the Elders brought macaroni pie (I LOVE MACARONI PIE), and Sister Danielsen made mashed potatoes and green beans. What did I bring? Well....so the other night, we were in the grocery store, and we go to buy some cheddar cheese...and then, in front my face, was...

BOURSIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I totally flipped out! I thought I wouldn't be able to have it for 18 months! Ah, I bought it and brought it to the dinner :)

Seriously, Thanksgiving was so nice. And, it was nice to be able to spend it with my family! :)

Let me tell you about one of the investigators we're currently working with. His name is Brother Raymond. He is a Seventh Day Adventist, and we met him during my first transfer while visiting one of our other investigators. The first time we met him, it was a little rocky. He is well-versed in the Bible, so he was quite quick to point out anything that he thought didn't jibe with it. This past transfer, I decided that Sister Danielsen and I should go visit him. Essentially, all Sister Danielsen and I do is just bear testimony all the time about what we're talking about. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it. I called him last week to set up an appointment. He wasn't available at the time, but I asked him if he'd been reading the Book of Mormon. Then, he said "Yes, I have! And let me just say...It is very interesting!" Ahhhh I am so excited to go see him tomorrow and talk about it. Even if he wants to try to disprove it, I am so excited! I know that he would love this gospel if he seeks it out!

So, we are currently working with an investigator named Keltrina. We had an FHE with her last week where we talked about family unity by reading about Ruth and then playing Pictionary (because...it's in teams...). When we asked her how she liked it, she said she LOVED IT! Ahhhh Keltrina! She has also been coming to Church AND Seminary! We will hopefully see her today!

Family, I am dying to be cold. DYING. I never thought I would desire to surrounded by bitingly frigid air and slippery streets but...I do! Please breathe in some extra cold air for me!

ALSO, during our quarantine, I wrote (but have not sent) letters to the following people: Laura Murray, Grandma Carey, JeanMarie Stewart, Elder Harless, Elder Larson, Renae Deighton, and Sister Dicou - in addition to the ones I've already written to Diane and Diana.

I am out of time!

Love you all!

Bye!

Sister Brisson








CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

You can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I have a watch tan. Be jealous.

Hello Family!
Ah, I have so many good things to tell you from this week!
The first thing I'll tell you is...FIVE OF OUR INVESTIGATORS CAME TO CHURCH THIS WEEK! FIVEEEEEEE! Miracles! When I realized that there were five of them, oh my goodness, it was such a blessing! We have two investigators who have been six times now! It is amazing.
We have one investigator right now who we haven't been able to see this whole transfer. She's 20, and comes from a family strong in the Bible. We had given her a Book of Mormon at the beginning of the transfer, but haven't been able to schedule an appointment with her (she keeps dodging us, haha). The other day, we ran into her while we were walking. We started talking to her about how things were going, and I asked her if she'd read the book we left her. Then, she said, "Yeah! I'm in Esther." "So," I thought, "she read from the Bible..." But then, it clicked. "Wait! Do you mean Ether?" She replied, "Yeah, Ether!" I pulled out my Book of Mormon to make sure. So, in the 4 1/2 weeks since we saw her, she has gone from 1 Nephi all the way to Ether. Ahhahaha!
And, we had a similar experience with another one of our investigators. We left her and her family a Book of Mormon, but weren't able to see her since last transfer. Sister Danielsen and I stopped by, and she told her us her daughter had been reading from it. What on earth!
This week, I learned that the lessons are in a certain order in Preach My Gospel for a reason! One of our appointments had fallen through, so we went to the house next door. We met with a nice lady named Marlo! We asked her if she had any questions about anything after we introduced ourselves, and she said, "Yes. Is there life after death?" My thought process was, "great! We can go over the plan of salvation!" But as soon as we started, I realized the problem with that. Most of the scriptures we use to explain the plan of salvation are in the Book of Mormon, which we talk about in the Restoration lesson. We still got through the first half, but it was a little clunky!
Family...I'm 1/6th of the way through my mission! It's a much better way of saying that I've been serving for three months :)
Oh, a man named Praise the Lord proposed to me this week.
Well, that's about all I can think of for this week. We are seeing miracles here in Saint Lucia. Our sacrament attendance for this past week was the highest I can remember since I've been here. I'm learning so much about faith. Our two investigators who have been to church this whole transfer have some changes they have to make before they can be baptized. I was worried that they wouldn't be willing to do it. And...they are willing! When I heard that, I was so, so happy. I don't think I've felt that happy, ever! They are growing by leaps and bounds. One of them should be baptized by next week, if all goes according to plan. I cannot wait. I hope I am here to see it!
Family, thank you so much for your support. You don't know what it means to me to know that I have a family who loves me and supports me in my decisions. I love you so much. I know that families are meant to be forever.
I love you!
Sister Brisson
PS - LINDA HAPPY BIRHTDAY THIS WEEK!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU AND I HOPE YOU HAVE THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER AND I WISH I COULD BE THERE!
PPS - Diana! She asked me how to spell orange. And haha, I've written but not sent you a letter! I'm sorry! I love you!



Monday, November 14, 2011

What I wish I had done before serving a mission

Helloooooo, Family!

So, after I emailed you last week, we received a phone call from our zone leader telling us that...President Gamiette and his assistants would be arriving the next day and we would have zone conference! So, on Tuesday we drove up to Castries and the Assistants taught us about member work, which is something we're always working on. Then, President Gamiette taught us about what we should be focusing on with our investigators: REPENTANCE. I couldn't agree more! Repentance is usually only talked about - briefly - in the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. However, we should be talking about it EVERY LESSON.

Then, after we were done, I asked Elder Helms if I had any mail from the office...and he gave me a letter THAT WAS FROM SORELLA MANDIE NUFER WHO IS SERVING IN ITALY. AHHHHHHH! I couldn't stop grinning; oh my. She sent me pictures as well!

PS, I hope you all made wishes on 11/11/11 at 11:11!

Well, we had some great experiences this week. We have two investigators who have come to church four times now! We were talking to them about baptism, and extended the date of December 3rd. One of them said, "That's too early." We asked her why. Then, she said the most wonderful thing:

"Well, I've just started repenting. I'm not sure if I'll be repented enough by then."

BY GEORGE, I THINK SHE'S GOT IT! Ah, as soon as she said it, I had the hugest smile. We talked about it, and both of them accepted the date. We're going over commandments with them now. We taught them the Word of Wisdom, and the other one said: "So, we only have a problem with coffee and tea. Is that the only one we have to work on?" We told them yes. Then, she said, "Alright." Ah, it is so exciting! We also have a returning member who now has a responsibility in the church! I love it.

We also received a bit of bad news this week....THE GIBSONS ARE LEAVING FOR TRINIDAD AT THE END OF THIS TRANSFER! They're going over to serve in the stake there. It looks like I'll have to gather up as many family history stories as I can before they leave!

Also, I was sick on Sunday, for the first time since I've been a missionary! I couldn't go to church yesterday, AND I was supposed to speak in sacrament. Whoops! Thankfully though, I got a blessing and am totally fine now.

Oh yeah! We had another investigator of ours, named Keltrina, at church! I wasn't there (since I was out), but from what I heard it seemed like she had a good time! She had attended before (since her aunt is a member), but hadn't in a long time. I was so grateful that she was able to make it.

I can't really think of any more pertinent information...oh wait! So, two weeks ago, we were teaching a girl named Mervina; she's still in high school. We had taught her the Restoration and had invited her to pray, so on our second lesson we asked her how her prayer went. She said, "Bad!" A little shocked, we asked her why! She said, "because I didn't receive an answer." So, we asked her how she felt when she prayed. She said, "I felt a kind of...joy." Internally, I started laughing a little. We read Galatians 5:22 with her and then had the following exchange:

Us: So...a fruit of the spirit is joy...
Her: Yes...
Us: And you said you felt joy when you prayed...
Her: Yes...
Us: Which means...
Her: MY PRAYER WAS ANSWERED!

Haha, it was great!

Well family, I think that's about it for this week. I hope this week continues to go swimmingly for you. The gospel is true. I talked with a man about two weeks ago who didn't think we could be with our families forever. It made me so sad for him. I know that God wants us to be with our families; that we are MEANT to be with our families forever.

Also, a few people have asked me what preparation I wish I had done before coming out on my mission. And...here is honestly what I will say: I wish I had shared the gospel with my friends. That is my biggest regret! Now, serving as a missionary, I have the strongest desire to share what I know with my friends. And I have to wait! And it kills me! If you are getting ready to serve a mission, share the gospel with your friends NOW. Talk to the missionaries - they're there to help you be able to do that. PLEASE DO IT!

I love you!

Sister Brisson

Nick! Thank you for your email! Haha, I'm glad Luke is walking! I am keeping a journal; I'm almost done with my first one.

Jenny! I've also thought about having a hymn quote for my plaque - but then that opens up so many more possibilities, ahhhhhhh!

Rebecca Dombrowski, I love you. Tell Josh I say hello back.

Lynn! I love those scriptures you sent me.

Diane Ellison, thank you for forwarding my emails. You are the best.

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

You can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A brief email!

Hello Family!

Well, some bad news. The Gibsons' computer crashed, so I am sitting in an internet cafe writing you! The internet is a tad slow, so please forgive me if this email is short. Also, this means I only had a brief chance to peruse my inbox, so I apologize if there are burning questions that go unanswered!

I meant to write about this last week, but didn't get a chance to - so you'll hear the story now! A few weeks ago, my companion told me that in the middle of the previous night, she had awoken to me talking to her about one of our investigators, and I was asking her a question. She answered it, and then I asked her ANOTHER question. A bit miffed, she asked, "Well, why are you wondering about this right now?" I replied, "Oh, sorry. Sometimes, I talk in my sleep." I promptly went back to sleep. She asked me if I remembered any of it, and I said no. Apparently, I said I talk in my sleep while TALKING IN MY SLEEP. It appears that even my sleeping hours are consumed by thinking about the people we're working with, haha.

Unfortunately, Kelvin didn't make it to church this week - but he'll probably come this upcoming week. Keep your fingers crossed!

I only have 30 minutes left - oh, how I'm reminded of the MTC.

This past week, we had our second appointment with a man named Jose, who is from Venezuela. We invited him to church and he said he probably wouldn't be able to come. Well, Sunday arrives and...he came to sacrament meeting! I was so happy and we talked with him for a little bit afterwards. Then, he left! Ah, I was so sad that he didn't stay for the rest of church. As I was sitting in Sunday School, it occured to me that perhaps he didn't know that there were other things going on. I felt AWFUL, and so I said to Sister Danielsen, "Let's go find Jose!" We left the Church and walked down to the bus station to see if he was there. He wasn't there, but I felt like we should keep walking down to the end of the street and see if he was there. As we kept walking - bam! There he was, walking by! We talked with him and he didn't know there were other classes, so he walked back with us to Church! I was so relieved.

Another thing I forgot to mention from last week - I RECEIVED A LETTER FROM SISTER DICOU. Since our Zone Leader had to go to Trinidad for training, he brought it back for me! I seriously could not stop laughing when I read it - it was hilarious. Sister Dicou, I'm working on writing you back, if you see this!

Some of you have asked how it's been to train...Haha, I don't know what to say! It makes me increasingly self-conscious of everything that I do. We had a training meeting last week via the internet, and President Gamiette said, "Trainers, you are to teach exact obedience." Exact obedience was my aim before, but it's grown so much more in importance, since I am teaching someone else.

We've started doing a program called My Missionary Journal with the youth in the branch. Every week during Seminary, we work on it with them. It's starting to take off - we want the youth the branch to get excited about missionary work, so this should work out fabulously.

Otherwise...the work continues. We have two investigators who have come to Church 3 times now. Every time I see them there, I just smile. They're enjoying it, and this week, we're finishing up the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. I've been studying my brains out for it - I hope the lesson turns out well!

Family, the gospel is true. I cannot deny it. I try to work harder every day and understand it better. I hope you are all well - I'll go back to reading the things you've sent me after I send this.

I love you!

Sister Brisson

PS - a bus driver proposed to me this week.

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

You can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Bonjour, ma famille!

So, it wasn't until this afternoon that I realized it's Halloween! Unfortunately, they don't celebrate Halloween here. BUT I hope that you all enjoy the candy and the festivities!

As always, I have a bunch of not-so-interconnected snippets, nuggets, and snuggets to tell you from this past week!

So, on Friday, Sister Danielsen and I found ourselves with no real appointments to speak of for the whole day. We talked about going out to find new investigators for the day, since we hadn't been able to find many new people to teach for the prior days in the week. We left our apartment, and went into an area that the District Leader had given us recently. As we're walking down a road, NO ONE is in sight. NO ONE. We keep walking, and see there is this lady in her shop, but nary a customer in sight. So, we decided to go talk to her. She was sitting right by her doorway, and we stayed on the doorstep as we talked. She seemed relatively nice and pleasant. As we're talking, she got quite emphatic. Essentially, she called down fire and brimstone upon us, if we're not true. I felt impressed to keep talking to her, so we did. Eventually, we said our goodbyes, as a customer had walked in. Even though the conversation had seemed fruitless, it didn't bother me.

After we finished talking to her, we kept walking down the street, and there was a man with a school bag a little ways ahead of us. Sister Danielsen and I tried to walk faster to catch up to him, but we couldn't, haha. As he's about to turn into his house, I yelled out "EXCUSE ME!" We rushed over to him and started talking with him. His name is Kelvin and he's a medical student. At first, we planned on just contacting him, but then he said "Well...I have some time right now..." And Sister Danielsen and I were like, "That's great!" We started talking about the restoration of the gospel with him; he LOVES the Bible and has been looking for ways to get closer to Christ. Conveniently, that's what we do! So, at the end of our discussion, he said that he had no idea how we had ended up meeting him, but he was grateful for it. He told us that he was coming to Church! And as he prayed, he said that he felt like he'd known us for a long time, even though we had just met. I was quite excited! We also got to teach a friend of his who arrived right after our lesson!

So, Sacrament Meeting on Sunday rolls around, and we don't see him...AND THEN HE WALKED IN DURING SUNDAY SCHOOL! YES! I was so happy! AND he brought another friend with him!

Family, it made me seriously so happy. I don't think anything has brought me as much happiness as seeing my investigators keep their commitments. We also had two other investigators at Church for their second time! And they're reading!

Dad, I am still trying to think of a favorite scripture. Here are the ones I'm currently considering:
Romans 8:16-18. We are joint-heirs with Christ if we suffer with Him, if we endure to the end! The sufferings of this present time aren't worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us! It's amazing!
John 15:12-15. If you have great love for your friends, you will lay down your life for them. Christ calls us His friends. What did he do? HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US. He truly has the greatest love.
Zechariah 5:1. It's classic.

Another funny thing from this week: Sister Danielsen and I were street contacting, and we met a well-traveled man. At first, he said he was busy and that he didn't have time, but we ended up talking with him anyways. We started teaching a shorter version of the Restoration, and he seemed intrigued. Then, I quoted the First Vision. As soon as I was done, he launched into this monologue about Christianity, Africa, Western society...Sister Danielsen were just like, "where is this going?" Then, I realized he thought we had said that Joseph Smith was the Son of God...which we definitely DIDN'T say! As soon as we clarified what we had said, he was like "Oh! Why didn't you say something sooner! Yeah, I'd definitely like to talk to you more some other time." Haha, what?

Dad, I'm glad you got to go to Stake Conference! It sounded like you got a lot out of it. Has the temple presidency or the mission presidency spoken at Stake Conference before?

Renae, thank you for your email and your encouragement! Sohrab, you didn't send me your home address, how can I write you back? Diane, I loved seeing the time stamp on that email :)

Anyways, I am quickly running out of time. I love you!

Sister Rachel Brisson

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:


You can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rainy rainy day!



Hello, Family!

So, I felt a little bad because I didn't have a TON to write about this week - but, from your emails, I've got lots to talk about!

So, this past week at district meeting, I received MAIL!!!!!!!! Thank you Linda , Laura, Elder Garrett, and Elder Harless for your letters! Elder Garrett didn't send me his mission address, though - could someone get me the Tampa FL mission home address, please?

On Wednesday morning, I said goodbye to Sister Fraser - I assume she made it safely back to Guyana. Then, I picked up my new companion from the airport! Sister Danielsen is from Colorado, but she's moved around a bit here and there. She has an older brother and an older sister, and is the first in her immediate family to serve a mission. Elder Austin was also transferred away - to Guyana. Thus, Elder Jensen's new companion is Elder Meredith, from Georgetown, Guyana.

This past week at correlation, President Nicholas asked those in leadership positions in the branch and the missionaries to begin working with the less active members. There's about 80 or so members in our branch, and about 25 are active. So, more or less, we have our work cut out for us here! Sister Danielsen and I are going to be working with the Young Women, in addition to the less actives we've already been working with. It's a bit difficult though, for there's not really addresses around here - so, we have to go find them, literally.

The biggest bit of news from this past week - besides transfers - is...WE HAD INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the first time since I've been in the field, we had investigators at church! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Every week, Sister Fraser and I would pray and pray and PRAY that our investigators would be able to make it to Church. However, all last transfer, nary a one walked through the door. So, this past week, Pershama and Valerie came, along with another member we've been asking to come back! (they live with her). I was so excited! They seemed to enjoy it and we have another appointment with them this week. Yes!

Otherwise, we're planning on dropping a few people this week. It's sad for me because I love them, and I want them to progress so badly. As the saying goes - you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

As stated, I didn't have a ton to say this week - but you all asked some wooooonderful questions, so I will answer them!

JeanMarie! Okay, here is some leeetle advice. Memorize My Purpose, the First Vision, and the invitation to be baptized - preferably in your mission language. I assume they'll have you memorize those in the MTC, so it's better to memorize them beforehand so you can work on improving yourself in other ways! I think it might be useful for you if you obtained a copy of True to the Faith in your mission language, so you could start familiarizing yourself with gospel terms in German. I can't really think of anything that I wish someone had told me, but I do wish I had read/studied more of Preach My Gospel Ch. 3 and "treasured up" the scriptures listed for each point. Ps, how long are you going to be in the MTC?

Sarah, I'm glad you found the blog! To answer your questions...I used a hair dryer while in the MTC, but haven't really used one since being here. Sandals are an ambiguous thing here, haha. If you do get any, they can't be open-toed, and if you want to wear them proselyting, they have to look nice. But, with how muddy it gets and the significant amounts of broken glass everywhere, I'd say it's better to forego them. However, I have this pair of Merrell Abyss shoes - they're like pseudo sandals, and I LOVE them. You can check them out on Zappo's. For jeans...I sent mine home when I left the MTC (you will need them in the MTC, though), so I have shorts - but definitely bring some if you want.

Mom, we walk and take the bus to get to our areas. All my shoes are comfortable :) Haha, no matter how much bug spray we put on, we STILL get bit. Ah well!

Delia, thank you so much for your emails! I'm glad you're enjoying the updates!

Diane, I'm receiving emails from Lucy's mom, so no worries there. Thank for you always sending me Liz's!

Love you all!

Sister Brisson

Oh yeah, I attached pictures! One is of Sister Fraser and I at the airport, another is of our district from this past transfer, another is of Sister Danielsen and I.



CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

You can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Transfer Transfer

Good startling news, everyone!
So, this past week, I got my transfer call. I had to wait until Saturday to receive it, and I was DYING - the anticipation was killing me! And so, here is what I was told:
"Sister Brisson, you are staying in Vieux Fort."
Yes!
"And you will be training Sister Danielsen."
Er....what? Wait, what??
After that, I was preeeeettty much in shock. Dualistically, I think, "of course I can do that!" while thinking "well, don't I feel rather inadequate. Like, really really inadequate." I have no idea how often this happens in the mission field - training after being out for only one transfer, that is. I'm nowhere NEAR the missionary I want to be - how can I lead someone else to become who they want to be? Don't get me wrong - this is what the Lord wants, so I'm going to do it. Whom He calls, He qualifies! And...He won't ask us to do something without making a way for it to happen. I feel humbled, though! Very humbled. Pray for me? :)
And so, Sister Fraser leaves on Wednesday to go back to Guyana. Needless to say, I'm going to miss her. She has been such an example to me of what it means to endure to the end. I hope that when my time ends here, I can be like that - still working up until the last few moments.
Well, the biggest thing I've realized this week is that it's hard to start living the gospel and following your Savior if you don't get the support at home! It's hard to focus and follow on spiritual promptings when things are going haywire around you. That's something I hope to work on this transfer - helping our investigators to be strong in the face of no support and/or adversity. They're never alone in this! The Savior is right there by them, and I want to show them that. Parents, thank you for always supporting me.
Ah, I had a great teaching experience this week! So, Sister Fraser and I have been teaching this girl named Valerie. She doesn't seem terribly interested in the lessons we teach, but she hasn't told us to go away yet so...we're still teaching her, haha. We were teaching her the Plan of Salvation, and talked about how we are ALL preparing to meet God. ALL of us. And at the moment we began talking about it, a thought popped into my head - "How can I help her SEE this?" And literally right as I thought it, the most wonderful analogy rolled right off my tongue! I asked her, "Valerie, what do you do to prepare to go out with your friends?" She laughed at first, but after prompting her, she came up with a lot of things. And then I asked her, "so, what would happen if you skipped or didn't do one of those things? If you didn't shower, or do your hair?" She said she'd be embarrassed. And I said, "exactly! If you don't do those things, you will be embarrassed. And if you don't do the things to prepare to meet God - or you skip some steps - it's going to be a little embarrassing." After continuing on with the lesson, I said "Someone had to teach you what to do to prepare when you were little, before you could do it yourself. Likewise, the Savior has shown us what we need to do in order to prepare."
Now, this might not seem like a huge experience - it probably looks like something that a missionary would do every day. However, I was so, so grateful for that experience. You see, since leaving the MTC, I haven't felt like I've been able to come up with useful, personalized analogies.
Being bereft of them made me feel, to be honest, a little lonely! So, having that experience helped me to remember that as I have the desire to help people, the Holy Ghost will be there - because, you know, that analogy definitely wasn't my own!
That's about it! I love you!
Love,
Sister Brisson
Dad, if you need to make more room on my laptop, you can delete my documents. Just don't delete my music :) I hope you're having a good time! Also, the Riehles as the stake reps? That's so perfect! Alisha, please find that picture! I'll have a favorite scripture next week, Mom, I promiseeee.
Diane, I thought the code was optional! Also, why am I now hearing about some things that transpired a month ago? Hm? PS, I don't know if my sister Linda has been able to forward my emails to Lucy and Liz...would you be willing to take on that task? :)
DIANA SOLORZANO HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm glad it went well! Haha I think about that parody all the time. I haven't mailed any letters yet...d'oh! But I have written them, though!
Alright, bye for real!

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

You can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I totally forgot about Halloween.



Helloooooooo Family!

So, as the title says, I forgot that Halloween is coming up at the end of this month! Oh, what focusing on the work does to your mind!

Also - I opened my email and gasped at my inbox. Holy moly. Thank you alllllll for your mail!

Alright, I'm attaching pictures RIGHT NOW so I don't run out of time later! All of them are from a few weeks ago, except the one of the Dunkaroo's. Now, I find you asking - Sister Brisson, why did you attach a picture of Dunkaroo's? I will tell you. I haven't seen Dunkaroo's in a store since I was like 8 YEARS OLD. I thought they didn't exist anymore! But they do! In Saint Lucia. And I have photographic evidence.

I hope those attached. If not, I'll try again next week.

One thing I've noticed this week is that I really need to work on the analogies I use when I'm teaching investigators! In the MTC, I could think of analogies so easily! For example, I'd usually give the analogy of being hot and cold for agency. I'd say - because you've felt cold before, you can better appreciate a beautiful summer day, right? Except - winter doesn't exist here! So that's an analogy I have to toss. Another one that has to go - for talking about baptism by proper authority, I'd give the example (as taken from the District) of if an ice cream man pulled you over and tried to write you a ticket, you'd tell him to go away. But if a police man pulled you over, you wouldn't tell him to go away. Why does that one have to go? Very few people drive here, d'oh! And there aren't a lot of ice cream trucks around...

So, here is a better analogy I thought of this week, for when we teach our investigators about reading their scriptures daily. It's like...bathing! You can't bathe once and expect to stay clean! You have to shower daily, or you will get stinky! And if you don't read your scriptures every day, you will get spiritually stinky. Haha, I hope I see a dramatic rise in commitment keeping with this new analogy.

I find out on Wednesday where I'll be going for my second transfer and who my new companion will be. Sister Fraser leaves next Tuesday :( I'll let you know next week. For now, hold off on sending any mail to St. Lucia, if you were thinking about it. I know wherever I end up is where the Lord needs me, but I do hope I stay in St. Lucia next transfer.

And speaking of it being my second transfer soon - goodness! Time seriously flies right by. I feel as though my time here in the West Indies will run out before I know it. I'm working so hard on making ALL of my time productive, since it goes by so quickly.

Also, something I don't think I've mentioned before - I actually come home in March 2013, not February. Just a lil note.

I just re-read what I wrote and I realized I haven't said anything substantial about this week. Well, things are plugging right along with our investigators. They usually keep at least one of their commitments, which Sister Fraser and I are so grateful for. It is an exercise of faith for them. However, they aren't coming to Church. That's the rough part. We pray earnestly that they'll be able to come and have a great experience, but they haven't as yet. We did, however, talk to Tyson a few days ago and he said yes to a baptsimal commitment! YAYYYYYY!

Another thing - I didn't realize how much it would mean to the dear sisters in our branch to have sister missionaries. We're the first set of sisters that have been assigned to Vieux Fort, and as we've worked with the sisters here, I've been touched by their willingness to help us out with teaching.

Dad, I'm excited for that MTC activity! I sent home my MTC schedule to Marcia if you want to take a look at it.

Anyways, that's about all I have to say now. I love you!

LOVEEEE,

Sister Brisson

Post Script time!

JEAN MARIE, CONGRATULATIONS on your mission call! AHHHHHHH, that is so exciting! If you have any questions about anything, I'm not sure how helpful I'd be, but don't hesitate to ask!

Lair-n Trout, I love you. Thank you for your email! Rest assured, I do miss coming over to your apartment at all hours of the night!

Diane Ellison. Ahahahahahahahahahaha. Oh my goodness. Alright. Tell your roommates about your goal! That way, they can help you or at least be aware of what you're trying to do! As to my new sleeping habits...I don't know if I can give you any useful advice. It still takes me a little while to fall asleep, but I snap awake at random points during the night. Sooo...yeah, not much help. But I love you. Also, St. Lucia is 238 sq miles (27 miles long, 14 miles wide). St. Martin, though, is ONLY 36 SQ MILES (6 by 6 miles). Tiny!

MOM, could you send me the recipes for Lazy Woman Lasagna, Yaco Tacos, and Meat Loaf? Or Marcia, you could send those as well. Alisha, could I get milk toast, please??

NIck, thank you for your letter! I've definitely noticed those things as well.

DIANA SOLORZANO, I know you haven't gotten mail from me yet...but PLEASE email me and tell me the rest of the story! You left me at a cliffhanger!

Ryan Sheldon. Write me a letter, will you? I'd love to hear from you. Same goes to you, Sandro, if you see this! I want to know how your internship went and how school's going.

Lastly....JACOB. Write me! Rachel Ostler's the one who has your television. Go claim it!

K, bye for REAL.

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

You can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

If you want to send packages, please contact Marcia Van Camp for details, 703-473-7300 or myownshuriken@gmail.com




Monday, October 10, 2011

Another little email!

Hello Family!

Thank you so much for your emails this week! Happy Birthday, Casey! I'm glad that all of you enjoyed Conference and are doing well!

Well, this week was...haha, I don't even know what to say! A lot of our appointments didn't go through, so we did tons of contacting and taught lessons as we did so. We're always striving to find more people to teach, for you never know when you'll find someone who's ready for the gospel!

I believe I mentioned in my last email that President Gamiette was visiting. While he was here, he gave a fireside for our branch about Jesus Christ - I wish I had brought my notes with me so I could tell you more about it! We had quite a high turn out from our branch despite it being later in the evening.

Now, what do I mean by it being later in the evening? Well, it gets pitch black around here at about 6:30 PM. Then, there's only a few buses running after that point, so sometimes it's a little hard to get to places.

Mom, you asked how hot it is here. It is SO HOT. Right now, it's the hurricane/rainy season. Degree-wise, I can't really say how hot it is. It's sort of like Virginia in August. Apparently, everything will cool down after Creole Day (at the end of October). We also get random, quick rainstorms here and there. It's windy, which sometimes helps - but it also means my hair gets a little out of control :)

So, a few of you asked what stuck out to me in this General Conference. Here's one thing - A SECOND TEMPLE IN PROVO?? AHHHHHHHHH! I wonder when it will be completed! And another temple in Paris! Ahhh so exciting!

Otherwise, a LOT of talks stood out to me. I loved D. Todd Christofferson's talk. I went and read the chapters in Alma he spoke of - about Nehor and Korihor. Things definitely stick out to you differently as a missionary. A lot of people don't believe in sin, no matter where you are. Yet, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He will ALWAYS call His children to repentance. ALWAYS. I recommend everyone goes and reads Alma chapter 1 and 30. Go do it.

Ah, so many talks I'd love to expound on, but I'm a bit short on time. I also rather enjoyed Elaine S. Dalton's talk. I loved when she said "I loved trying to follow my father's every footstep - and I still do." I thought of you, Dad, when she said that. I love you.

I'm still trying to think of a favorite scripture! I have many scriptures which are near and dear to my heart - so it's difficult to choose just one that will go a plaque that will follow me for the rest of my life! I'll hopefully have one by next week. And for a picture...my friend Diane took a picture of me that I used when I sent in my mission papers, but I'm not sure how you'd be able to get that. Alisha, do you still have that picture? I emailed it to you for you to resize back in April.

Anyways, I'm plum out of time I love you all!

LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE,

Sister Rachel Brisson

PS - I haven't mailed any letters as yet! I hoped to do so today, but it's a holiday and the post office is closed....:(

PPS - I'll get any mail that was sent to the mission office at zone conference in a few weeks! Just so you know!

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

I have officially left the MTC, so you can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hey!

Hello Family!

First off, I apologize if I sounded like a space cadet in that last email. The internet hadn't been working, and so I had to rush. If it didn't make any sense, please forgiveeeee meeee.

Dad, I will think of my favorite scripture + a picture and I'll send that to you in my next email. I did receive Mom's email, so no worries there. Mom, I didn't get to watch the Relief Society broadcast. We'll hopefully be able to watch it in a few weeks and/or read the talks. We will definitely be able to watch General Conference, though! I am so excited for it - what will they say? I also wonder how watching it as a missionary will change my perspective.

Also Mom, I'd like you to know that I have yet to receive a peelingly bad sunburn! I wear sunscreen every day, don't you worry.

I know my emails aren't long, but it's difficult to write sufficiently long correspondence, so I hope that this one will be a tad longer!

For food...I haven't had a chance to try tons of Saint Lucian cuisine. At most restaurants, you can get some variation of a rice + beef/chicken dish. There's usually some type of gravy or sauce on everything. They also have this pepper sauce, which is super super spicy. Oh my, it will make you cry! They also give you huge portions at some restaurants for very cheap, which usually equals out to be two meals if you take it home. We also have KFC and Domino's, the lowest of the fast food food chain. There is a place called the Jamaican Patty Shack, which I LOVE. I try to convince Sister Fraser to go there all the time. But, more or less, we cook for ourselves. Sister Fraser is an awesome cook!

Well, we are still working on finding more investigators, in addition to the ones we're working with. I'd much rather be told flat out that someone's not interested than have them say yes and not mean it. Let me tell you about Tyson! I think I mentioned him in my last email. Tyson is still in high school, and we've taught him the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation. We'll be going over the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week. He is just the sweetest kid. So far, he has kept all of his reading commitments! He's so earnest and inquistive. He hasn't been able to come to church yet, though! Please pray that he'll be able to come this week, family! We're inviting him to be baptized in our next lesson, and I'm so excited to talk to him about it.

President Gamiette is visiting Saint Lucia this week, and he'll be giving a fireside this evening to our branch. I'll let you know how it goes!

Well family, let me know what details you'd like me to fill in and I'll try to answer them in my next email.

LOVE YOU,

Sister Brisson

PS - friends! if you haven't received return correspondence, please don't let that deter you from emailing me again. It might take two weeks to two months for you to get something from me...:)

PPS - Diane, I think I know that guy you're talking about! We had a sociology class together. Ahahahah. I love you. Thank you for writing me every week!

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

I have officially left the MTC, so you can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

So, you asked for my new address. Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here. Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all. If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal. DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number. Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jokes on you!

Hello, family!

So, parents - Elder Gibson knew who I was right away when we first met.  He said I look just like the both of you, combined.  He has been telling me some stuff about our family history over these past few weeks, which I love hearing about!  We thought it'd be funny to just act like we hadn't made the connection and see what you said.

PS, I'm mentioned on the mission blog.  Here are the two entries:

http://thewestindiesmission.blogspot.com/2011/09/missionary-work-its-all-in-family.html (about the crazy family connection)

http://thewestindiesmission.blogspot.com/2011/09/wim-welcomes-fifteen.html (please ignore the fact that my picture is randomly the biggest)

Ahhh, I ALWAYS feel like I have so much to tell you, and no time to do so!  This week, we had a district meeting where we talked about goals for the district and what we can do to improve our work as missionaries.  Then, President Gamiette interviewed each companionship via Skype.  The next day, we had a trainer/trainee training, also via Skype.  What did this mission do before the internet?  We had about 7 or so countries all skyped in.

So, you asked for my new address.  Here it is, but be aware that letters can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months to get here.  Please write me emails - I can print them out, so it doesn't eat into my internet time at all.  If you want to use it, here it is:

PO Box 923
Gablewoods Mall South
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia 00124

You can also send packages to this address, but it's the same deal.  DHL and FedEx are the fastest, but you have to have a number.  Since this goes up on the blog, I'll send the number to Marcia, and you can ask her for it.

ALRIGHT.  So, this week, we have been working working working on finding investigators.  Many people are willing to listen, but sometimes, that's the extent of their interest.  We've been working with Merlisa, and have started teaching her sister Evanelle as well.  Sister Fraser and I have been teaching them about baptism, and why it is vital.  I began to study it out further, beyond the scope we had discussed with her before.  I wanted her to understand it, to see the WHY, not the what.  And oh my!  The lesson went so well.  That is what truly wakes me up as a missionary - when I have studied out a concept for my investigators, and present it to them, FOR THEM.  I love doing that!

Let me tell you about another investigator.  His name is Tyson, and he's in high school.  We contacted him on the street and asked him if there was a time we could come talk to him.  He said the next day!  So, we met with him.  His uncle is an atheist, so Tyson pegged with his uncle's issues with Christianity.  Now family, I don't think I've told you before, but I love talking to people who don't believe in God!  I LOVE IT.  I didn't get to tell you - while I was in the MTC, we had a zone teaching where someone played an atheist friend of theirs that they knew well.  It was one of my most favorite lessons I've ever taught.  I totally cried about Nietzsche and how much his writings actually strengthened my testimony.  With Tyson, some of his questions pertained more to the Plan of Salvation, so I can't WAIT to have that lesson with him.  I can't wait!

Now to answer some questions!  I haven't tried a ton of Saint Lucian food, but from what I have had, it's really good!  The area we're in isn't super tropical - lots of it looks like home, with a few palm trees and beaches thrown in for good measure.

Ahhhhhhh, I'm out of time.  Family, I love you so much.  I know this gospel is true.  I know the Lord loves us, and wants us to return to him.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored.  I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and EVERYONE needs to find that out for themselves.

LOVE YOU!

Sister Rachel Brisson

PS!  Diane and Diana, I've written you back.  I hope you receive it!  I'll mail it in the coming week.

Some last minute advice for any outgoing missionaries!  The Scrip Pouch scripture case that I bought in the MTC Book store is AMAZING.  Get yourself one.  It's water proof, and doubles as a purse...ahhhh I love it.  East 5th skirts don't wrinkle!  Andddd I bought these Merrell Abyss shoes, and my feet NEVER hurt when I'm wearing them.

K, for real - love you all!  Bye!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saint Luciaaaaa!

Family & Friends!

Ah! So many things to tell you! Happy Birthday to Dad, Spencer, and Luke!

First off, I have been assigned to serve in Vieux Fort, Saint Lucia. It's the southern-most part of the island. The area has been split between us and the Elders. We have the eastern half, containing Contonement, Laborie, and Saltibus, while the Elders have Vieux Fort proper. This area has never had sisters before!

As I believe I said in my last email, my companion is Sister Fraser. She is from Georgetown, Guyana, and this is her last transfer. We laugh ALL the time. She has been very patient with me, and she's fabulous. The elders in our branch are Elder Austin and Elder Jensen, both from Utah. They are quite kind and have been so helpful with showing us the area. The senior couple here is Elder Gibson and Sister Gibson from Alamosa, Colorado, who have also been so willing to help us.

Because this area has never had sisters before, we are working on getting our footing here. We've been working with the branch to see where we could be of most use. They only have a few young women here, just like all my teen years. This week, we're going to go visit the less active sisters. So far, we have taught a few lessons, and we've done tons of tracting. It seems to me that people have heard of the Church, but haven't heard any real details about it. I cannot wait to start teaching this week!

I wish I could write to you in more detail about my final week at the MTC. It was so wonderful, and I miss it. There is one thing I will tell you about - ELDER HOLLAND GAVE THE TUESDAY DEVOTIONAL. At the beginning of his talk, he said he had a few introductory things he wanted to tell us about - which took up about 30 minutes! He said that essentially all the missionary work of all time is being done NOW. Every ancient prophet saw our day, and they had a lack of success so WE could have success; we are what they dreamed of. He said that missionaries are the closest image of this dispensation, so we have absolutely no right to damage that image. Missionaries who go inactive make him mad. People have the right to think missionaries are perfect. He was so choked up - he kept pounding on the pulpit. Then, he moved on to Q&A, where he said that missionaries are the most similar to what he does as an Apostle.

I'm almost out of time! I love you all so much! As Elder Holland said, we are among the most prayed for people on the planet, and I'm definitely feeling that here. I've attached pictures and wish I had time to caption them all!

LOVE,

Sister Rachel Brisson

Time for some post scripts!

Diane! Thank you for forwarding me Liz's emails! And thank you for your emails! I'm working on writing you back!

Diana! You didn't send me YOUR address. How can I write you back, hm?? Email it to me soon!

Elder Larson and Elder Harless! Thank you for emailing me! It turns out I can only email my family - but I'm writing you back, don't worry!

Jessica Read,JeanMarie and Anna Peterson! I also thank you for your DearElders! Also writing you back!

I think that's all for now!

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

I have officially left the MTC, so you can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson

West Indies Mission

PO Bag 543

Valsayn

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago

Packages are difficult and expensive to receive but if you need it, here is the address for packages:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson

West Indies Mission

PO Bag 543

Valsayn

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago

MTC Pictures!












Monday, September 12, 2011

Trinidaddy and Tobagel

FAMILY & FRIENDS

I only have a few moments with which to write you!

So, as all of you know, we were stuck in Miami for a day because of the flight delay and our missed connection. So, we flew out yesterday around 7:30 PM. We got in to Trinidad and everything went smoothly at Immigration and Customs. The mission president, the APs, and one of the Senior Elders were there to pick us up. The sisters and I stayed at an apartment last night that a senior couple had stayed in before leaving - we'll stay there again tonight before we fly out to our areas!

Today, we went over to the mission home and met again with President Gamiette and Sister Gamiette, in addition to some . We went over several items of mission specific information and the administrative side of things. Sister Gamiette gave a brief talk about declaring the word. Then, President Gamiette spoke with us about how we could be more effective missionaries and how goal setting is an instrumental part to our success as missionaries. Afterwards, we had a delicious lunch prepared by Sister Gamiette, met the rest of their family, and then left for the mission office, where I am now!

So, a small item I found out today - don't send me packages. Even if you pay to ship them, it gets very expensive to pick them up. Just put money into my account and I can buy the things here. Sister Gamiette said packages for Christmas were fine, though. Letters are usually reliable, so those are fine to send.

Also, I found out my first area! I will be serving in Vieux (sp) Fort, Saint Lucia. It's the southern side of the island. My companion will be Sister Fraser, and I will get to meet her tomorrow when I fly out.

Anyways, the purpose of this email is just to let you know that I made it safely. I wish I had time to read the emails in my inbox! I love you all dearly. My P-days are Monday, so next time you'll hear from me, I'll be in St. Lucia!

LOVE YOU!

Sister Rachel Brisson

CURRENT ADDRESS INFO:

I have officially left the MTC, so you can email me at rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net (because I can receive but cannot respond to your emails, please include your mailing address so I can write you back!). You can also continuing using www.DearElder.com for the cost of a stamp, or you can write me at the mission office address:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson

West Indies Mission

PO Bag 543

Valsayn

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago

Packages are difficult and expensive to receive but if you need it, here is the address for packages:

Sister Rachel Anne Brisson

West Indies Mission

PO Bag 543

Valsayn

Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago