Monday, February 27, 2012

So...since I stopped putting sunscreen on my face, my glasses tan has become much more pronounced​...

Family!

Oh my goodness. This week. Let's just say, a ton of funny and unrelated things happened.

-I had a dream that the musician Little Ricky asked me to prom. And the other half of my dream was me deciding if I wanted to go to prom with him or not.
-On Wednesday, it was St. Lucia's Independence Day! Prince Edward flew in from England on that Tuesday to be present for it. As we were driving down from Castries, his motorcade went by! Wooo!
-On Wednesday, Sister Dayton and I were driving out of Vieux Fort...WHEN ROLLING THUNDER: SAINT LUCIA STYLE passed us by. They were taking up 1 1/2 lanes of a two lane road...so we had to slow down and let them pass by and kind of get close to the edge of the road...what on earth? The best one was this little old man who wore a giant helmet while riding his motorcycle.
-The Elders are teaching the former bassist for Led Zeppelin. His name is Aagee Simpson. It's legitimate.
-I had stingray for the first time ever on Sunday! IT WAS SO GOOD.
-One of our investigators takes care of her aunt, who is quite old and senile. She's about 82 I believe. So, whenever we come over, we always talk to her aunt in Patwa at the beginning and end of the lesson. This week, I was shaking her hand and then said, "do you want to dance?" and so we start dancing a little and her aunt starts SINGING this song and doing the cutest dance ever. It was so precious!

So, sometimes when we're street contacting, my companion and I "split up" for like two seconds if we run into two or more people/if I'm on the phone. I don't know why, but my companion always gets the argumentative ones. So, the other day, I'm making a call and she goes to contact this man. By the time I'm off the phone, I join them in the conversation and the first thing I hear the man saying "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PROPHETS TODAY" and poor Sister Dayton is like "Uhh...." So, I'm like, "well sir, we could come by and talk about it with you sometime..." Then, the other day, we ran into two men on the street, so I start talking to one while she takes the other. The guy I'm talking to doesn't seem that interested in our message ("I'm looking for a wife." "That's great.") but Sister Dayton is talking to her guy FOREVER. He is wearing this shirt that has all these Dart Vaders on it, but their helmets are all different neon colors. He's telling her "I don't need to go to church...I can worship God in my own way..." And right when we leaves he's like "I'm a prince." Mwe pas sauve i ca de (I don't know what he said).

Anyways, President Gamiette is coming this week to visit Saint Lucia! I am so excited for the fireside he'll be doing for our members here. It's so strange to think that he won't be my mission president forever - he finishes his mission in...July or June I believe. This is the last time he'll be doing a fireside here, so it should be a special experience.

Okay, so a few weeks back, Sister Dayton and I were going to go out tracting, but it started raining. When it starts raining, EVERYONE disappears from the streets, so it's hard to talk to anyone because if you try, they're just like "It's raining WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?" So, it squashed our morning plans. The only thing that I could think of doing was contacting a referral we got from one of our investigators. We head over there and when we get there, the guy is just like "yeah, come on in." They are a great couple named Patrick and Waverly. We had a lesson with them last Monday night where we reviewed a little about the Restoration and we asked Waverly if she'd ever felt like God had answered her prayers. She said, "Yeah. On Sunday, I was thinking that sometimes it's good to find a church, and then you showed up on that Tuesday." AWHHHHHH it warmed my heart. They are so kind. We are going to see them again tonight.

We are also working with a part-member family! The children are members, but the parents aren't. Barbara, the mother, is a champ and loves reading the Book of Mormon. She always says how it leaves "such a joy" in her heart. She is all the way in 2 Nephi 4.

AND we also met with a woman named Julie this week! She reminds me of Hogarth Hughs' mom in The Iron Giant. She is Jose's friend and she let us know that he's fine and should be coming back to St. Lucia sometime soon. We were sitting down with her talking about her views on life and she talked a lot about friendship/her friendships and why they're important to her. It made me so happy because I know that friendships are one of the prime ways that God shows His love for us.

I'm about out of time this week. Thanks Mom, Dad, Linda, Marcia, Spencer, and Amber for your emails this week! I love hearing from you. I love you all so much! Mom, I love how you're trying all these new things! Marcia, half your email didn't print earlier so I didn't get to read all of what you wrote me. BUT from the little part I did read (and will finish reading later) it sounds VERY FUNNY. Linda! A baby for Beyonce and Jay-Z?? Send me a picture! ALSO the other day our neighbor was playing that song from the video where the guy is running around playing the saxophone. DAD! I'm glad you like the frogs, haha. There are also lizards running around all the time. Spencer and Amber, I just wrote back to you individually. :)

LOVE YOU ALLLLLLLL!

Sister Rachel Brisson

PS - I've decided to stop doing shout-outs more or less BUT I have one request. DIANA SOLORZANO I know that you just joined LinkedIn and it hooks up with your email but make it stop sending me requests! PLEASE! PS your letter should be at the FLSR by now, you should ask your roommates!
And Diane, are you forwarding my emails to Liz and Lucy? I can't remember if we ever got that sorted out.

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, February 21, 2012

SIX MONTHS OUT OF EVERY YEAR (and a half)

Date: Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 11:21 AM


HELLO FAMILY!

First off - here are some pictures! The first one is an artsy shot of my last District before transfers. Elder Jensen is in the back and Elder Wilson is in the front. Sadly, Elder Jensen got transferred to Guyana! Meaning that I am the only remaining missionary who remembers the Gibsons. Elder Wilson (wearing the yellow tie) is still here and his new companion is Elder Jordan.

Next picture - chickens!

Next next picture - It started with just ONE frog being by our sink. And now we have THREE!

Next next next - Just another picture of my last district.

Haha Mom and Dad, YES I am staying here in Vieux Fort, same area, same same same. I am staying with Sister Dayton.

LINDA!!!!!!!!!!!! A BABY GIRL! AHHHHH! What's a baby? I am so excited to meet little United States of America Peterson. Goodness gracious. This also leads me into my next request of you, my family....:

SEND ME PICTURES PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. Especially of my nieces and nephews! Marcia, that picture you sent me of Alisha and Evelyn was SOOOOO CUTE. Ah so adorable! Anyways, I would LOVE more pictures of all of you, since I didn't bring any with me.

Okay, so a few weeks ago, we came to district meeting with a sour sap/sop fruit to share with the Elders. We brought it in a pot with a little knife and some spoons. So, we start eating and are like, "Eh, maybe we should make it into juice." We don't have a blender, so we give the Elders our pot with the sour sop and our knife so they can go juice it at their apartment. A few days later, they stop by to give us our half of the sour sap and return our dish ware. I take the pot from Elder Jensen and ask, "Wait, where's our knife?" And he says "Uhhhh....well...it got...stolen." And I automatically blurted out, "WHAT?" So, he proceeds to tell us that he was waiting for the bus with our pot, sour sop, and knife. This lady was standing next to him and noticed it and said, "Give me that knife, I have to cut some breadfruit." SO, he hands her the knife, thinking that she's just borrowing it, but she TAKES IT and WALKS AWAY WITH IT. He didn't try to retrieve it. Now we only have one knife :(

Also, the other day, I was talking to a member on the phone, and asked her if she'd be willing to come to an appointment. She replies, "Oh, I can't. I'll be a little busy - my cousin just got married." And I say, "Oh! Married! That's great! Well, it's okay if you can't come -" BUT THEN I REALIZED WHAT SHE ACTUALLY SAID. "Wait, did you say that your cousin got BURIED or MARRIED?"

"Buried."

AHHHHHHHHH. I start laughing SO HARD but then apologizing profusely for my insensitivity but also laughing and eventually I just had to hang up.

This week, we went to visit one of our investigators (the one who sounds like James Earl Jones!). We recently tried to start teaching his wife as well. They hadn't really progressed, so we were planning on telling them to call us when they were interested. So, we head over there, and after a few minutes of waiting, the wife sits us down quickly, has her Book of Mormon and says, "Let's get started. Okay, I'm going to pray." We're both like "...okay..." SO, she prays and then automatically starts asking us all these questions about it. She had read from the Title Page to the "A Brief Explanation" and kept saying "This is really interesting. Really interesting." Haha, I was so happy! She set the commitment for herself to keep reading it. That's my favorite thing - when people say, with nary an invitation, that they're going to act. We're seeing them again this week!

We're also still working with Joanna. Sister Dayton and I are at a LOSS for what we can do for her. This past week, we visited her and asked her if she'd been praying about the Book of Mormon. She's been praying for understanding, but hadn't asked if it's true. So, I challenged her to pray with us right then and ask if it was true, since she hadn't done it on her own, despite our many many invitations. And...she wouldn't! We tried EVERYTHING to help her, like EVERYTHING, and so we told her we'd have another appointment with her in two weeks, but we'd stop by to see her in between.

Dad, you asked if any of our investigators are progressing towards baptism. And the answer is...not at this moment. Sister Dayton and I had a long planning session last night where we looked at what we can change in order to help people progress. Our biggest problem is getting those we are working with to come to church. Jose is still out of St. Lucia right now, and we hope he comes back soon.

Six months this week, family!

That's all for today. I love you all so much!

Love,

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, February 13, 2012

Transfer Transfer Transfer Transfer Transfer

So, I totally left my planner at home, which had ALL my notes for what I wanted to talk about this week! Super, super sad.

First things first: Transfer calls!

Elder Dyson: Sister Brisson, you are staying in Vieux Fort, and you are staying with Sister Dayton.
Me: Great!
Elder Dyson: May I speak to Sister Dayton?
Me: Sure. *hands over the phone*
Elder Dyson: Sister Dayton, you are going to Dutch-speaking Suriname.
Sister Dayton: What?!

ALSO, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! Mom, I didn't read all of your email yet but they do celebrate Valentine's Day here. I'm not sure how much they do, but they definitely have Valentine's candy in the stores and we just went by a restaurant that's having a Valentine's special.

Linda! I want to know the gender of the mystery baby! I hoped it would be in my inbox when I got here. :(

Another small thing of note I forgot to mention a while back: I received a Christmas card from the Mt. Vernon Stake Youth! Ah, it was great! And also very surreal, since it wasn't that long ago that I myself was doing the exact same activity. SO WEIRD.

This past week, a part-member family allowed us to come do some yardwork for them! I think I've mentioned this before - usually people will not let us do service projects since we're women. Oh my goodness. Family. I LOVE using a cutlass (more commonly known as a machete). I LOVE IT. It's so much fun! We and the Elders had a great time tackling their yard.

We are still teaching Joanna! She came to Church last week, but wasn't able to come this week. She has been reading in the Book of Mormon and the teaching tracts, and has such a strong desire to follow Christ. As you all know, I don't enunciate well - which is a problem when talking to someone who's hard of hearing! So, we were teaching her about the Book of Mormon, and we couldn't quite help her to see WHY we needed it. So, I just started praying like crazy and was like "So..." and then it just came to me. The Spirit works, people! I told her about how everyone interprets the Bible SO DIFFERENTLY, but God would only have 1 understanding, and how the Book of Mormon allows us to have that. It's something we'd definitely talked about with her before, but it clicked with her this time and she was like, "oh. Yes, I will definitely pray about it." YES! It's so interesting to me how certain principles mesh at certain times.

Oh yeah! Our mission has a certification program and I just finished Level 1! Wish me luck as I go on to Level 2.

Sorry this email is so short! Since the pictures are having issues attaching, it's eaten up a bit of my time.

Anyways, I'm about out of time. Thank you for your emails this week! Family, seriously - I love you so much. Friends, I love you, too! As I've been in St. Lucia, I've just been more aware of how incredibly lucky I am to have people around me who care. It makes such a HUGE difference. It makes me so happy to read your emails every week. I love this gospel!

Love you all!

Sister Brisson

Pictures!: A Preparation Day Photo Shoot
1) I found the Ensign with the girls of Kimball house!
2) Washing the car...look at my hippie hair! Also Spencer, it looks like your camera is slightly broken :/
3) The jungle near our apartment.
4) Appwend Patois (Learning Creole) All Day, Every Day
5) Mailing Letters (Shocking, I know!)












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, February 6, 2012

A Title? A Title? We already have a title, and need no more title!

BONJOUR!


In a stroke of genius, my companion and I paid for 15 minutes of internet so we could print out our emails and email President Gamiette, THEN go eat lunch and return to have 45 minutes of just PURE EMAILING.  BRILLIANT!


As I've read your emails already, I will address some of the things you've said!


Mom - I am doing fine on everything.  Our MSF covers mostly everything, except clothing, so I don't need much in that regard.  For Grandma Carey, the address that she should use is the one for the mission office (the address for Trinidad).  I believe it's the one at which I told her to write me.  That way I'll be sure to get it at some point during next transfer.


Dad, I'm glad the mini-MTC experience went well for the youth!  Ah, I wish I had been able to send you a My Missionary Journal - it's basically a little booklet we use when planning with members.  It's quite useful.  Maybe I'll send it to you next week.


Linda!  I'm so excited to find out the gender of the mystery baby.  Yay!  Oh yeah - yesterday I was thinking about ONEY JUDGE ahahahaha.  And Nick!  Congratulations on winning that prize and being the most hardcore law student of all time!


Jacob, you heard PlayRadioPlay! in the bookstore?  That's crazy!  What song was it?  Also, congratulations on going on the hiatus - it will be very beneficial, I can promise that!


Alright, now to tell you about my Life in Lucia (that totally sounds like a Disney Channel show).


First thing - I AM IN DESPERATE NEED OF A HAIRCUT.  My hair has reached to new hippie lengths!  Haha Mom, if you could see me right now, I can just imagine you saying "YOU NEED A HAIRCUT!"  There are a lot of hairdressers/stylists around here but they're all specialists so...trying to figure out this one.


Also, TRANSFERS ARE NEXT WEEK AHHHHHHHH!  We get our transfer calls this Saturday.  I hope they leave me here - I still have to train Sister Dayton, after all!


In other news, I FINISHED MY FIRST JOURNAL, EVER!  However, the months of December and January are mostly nonexistent.  Dear future children: I apologize for the lack of details about my mission!


We had a spiritual lesson (I guess that's not descriptive...I mean, EVERY lesson is spiritual).  Okay, a lesson where we cried might describe it better.  We had tracted into this lady named Teresa's house two weeks ago.  She is quite old and has some health issues that are restrictive.  We went back to visit just to sit down and talk.  She told us about her life growing up around where she lives and what she likes to do.  Sister Dayton read 3 Nephi 17 to her, and she (Sister Dayton) started tearing up.  Teresa started crying as well and said, "you came to visit me. Thank you."  We are going back this week to help her out around the house.


We also taught a woman who is in her 20's who is facing SO many sorrows and challenges that someone her age shouldn't face.  We sat down and she was telling us about herself and my heart just about broke.  We are seeing her again this week and teaching her the Plan of Salvation.


Okay, so a few weeks back, Sister Dayton and I had gone to visit Joanna, when we contacted a young man along the way named Endurance!  He's a medical school student.  We hadn't been able to teach him because of some scheduling hiccups.  So, the other night, Sister Dayton and I were walking down the street when we ran into him again.  He saw us and said, "oh!  You can stop by tonight - I'm not going out."  We had such a great lesson with him.  He told us how God has been blessing him immensely while he's been in medical school, and how he wants to show God his dedication and appreciation for those blessings.  We were teaching him about the apostasy, which isn't easy to teach - or help people understand.  I had read that morning in my personal study Ephesians 5:19-20 so I decided to try it out and - it worked!  It was wonderful to see it click for him.  The only sad part is that he's going home for 3 months!  Meaning we'll have to wait a little.


Our member work has gone from SPIKE to SKYROCKET.  We've continued to take out Sister Baptist this week.  If anyone's read Redwall, she reminds me of Constance the Badger.  Sister Baptist SET UP a teaching appointment for us.  We visited her daughter and it went well!  She set up another one for us this week. 


And on Sunday, we had a beautiful Fast and Testimony meeting.  Shazy, one of the older Primary children, bore a sweet testimony about prayer and concluded by saying, "everyone, invite a friend to Church, so they can receive blessings."


Anyways, that's all for now.  Family, I love you so much.  Friends, thank you so much for your emails this week.  I love you all!


Love,


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.