Friday, March 23, 2012

BONJOUR MA FAMILLE!

(The title of this email comes from a dream that a member had. A Gaje is a witch!)

Dad, you asked me about the weather and if I've seen a difference since I arrived. WELL, when I first got here, it was still hurricane season, meaning it was SO HOT. Oh my goodness. SO SO SO HOT. I keep telling Sister Dayton that this weather isn't bad at all in comparison to September and October. From Christmas until now, it's been super, super windy (you can probably tell from the pictures). It's quite difficult to manage our hair when it's like this, but what can we do? When it's this windy, it's quite nice. Although, everyone keeps telling us that this kind of weather at this time of year is very abnormal - it's supposed to be the dry season and very, very hot.


WELLLLL let me tell you about how our week went!


On Tuesday, we had a return appointment with one of new investigators! He's the cousin of a member - he's probably about in his 50's. He owns a tire shop and a bar, and is just the happiest man. We saw him last week and left him with a tract (since we were fresh out of Book of Mormons). We tell his member-cousin that we saw him and she said, "WHATTTTT. I've been inviting him to Church for ages!" We told her that we just left him with a tract since we're out of Book of Mormons and she said "That's fine. I have one that I'll give to him." So, we saw him this week and brought by Sister Baptist while we waited for his cousin to arrive. He patiently and politely waits for Sister Baptist to finish her conversion story, then he tells us, "Okay. So, ever since you came, I've been feeling SO RELAXED. It's like something's working on me! I read that leaflet like 6 or 7 times. I used to feel like...like a hot kettle and now I'm just so relaxed." It was AWESOME. He came to Church this week and enjoyed it quite a bit! He said he'll be back next week!! His member cousin was so happy to see him at church.


Now for another story!


Sister Dayton and I had some contacting time before one of our appointments. We tried to talk to anyone who was home, and when we reached the end of the street, there was this giant hill with some houses on top. So we climb up the hill and call into a house. Someone's home, so they invite us in. Cool, right? So, we step into the doorway and it turns out the person who invited us in DOESN'T live there but is just doing some work there, and the real owner of the house comes in and is like "....Hello?" And I'm like "Hello, my name is Sister Brisson. What's your name?" And she says, "What do you want?" And I say, "Sorry, what's your name?" and then she says again, "What do you want??" And we're like "Uhh...we're missionaries..." Then we just stand there awkwardly in her house. She got a phone call right after that so she takes it and doesn't quite shew us away but we got the hint. WELL, we head over to our appoint and within ten minutes, who walks through their back door but THE LADY WHO JUST SENT US AWAY. She's like, "Oh, uhhh...hi...." and we're like "hello!" and she says to the man we're visiting, "So...they came to see you too?" Ahaha so awkward. ALSO, the wife of the couple we had our appointment with - oh my goodness - she's an older lady, probably in her...60's or 70's. When we first contacted her we told her that we were missionaries, she asks where we're from so we tell her (although I usually tell people Mwe sorti Saint Licie (I'm from Saint Lucia). Then we talk in Patwa!) So she says to us, "Are you sure? You could be spies."



ALSO we found a great new investigator this week named Rye! He's just about to graduate from high school. Most people we teach have a hard time understanding what the Book of Mormon is. Even if we read from the Introduction with them and tell them about it, and read parts of it, they still think it's a retranslation of Genesis and/or a Bible. SO, we are teaching Rye and we were introducing the Book of Mormon to him, discussing how he would recognize the answers to his prayers (we read in Alma 32). His godmother walked in and said "Oh, Rye, is that a Bible?" and he said "No - it's a - Book of Mormon. It's about uh, ancient prophets from the Americas. It tells us how to see answers to our prayers." Hahaha, he got it!


I love you all so much! Mom and Dad, I promise I'll have a favorite scripture next week for my plaquebut - ALISHA I need you to send them that picture I sent you back in like April for my missionary picture. PLEASEEEEEEEE.


Transfers are next week! It came into my heart during companion study a few days that I'll be going to St. Maarten but then again, I JUST renewed my St Lucian driver's license so I told President Gamiette to leave me here.


I LOVE YOU!


Sister Rachel Brisson


Pictures!


-Me with my cutlass! Note: We tried to just take pictures of me smiling with it, but those all looked creepy, so I had Sister Dayton take a whole bunch. Hahahaha she is so patient.

-I made yaco tacos! Unfortunately there's not really ground beef around so we had to use ground turkey instead and I put corn in it. Soooo good!

-We were driving back down from Castries and we decided to stop along the way at the scenic views!

-Cuddling my cutlass at the service project


-me with a sheep like 2 seconds before we came into town

-creepy abandoned hotel development


-The people at the Patty Shack would call that my "usual."

-Sometimes, Elder Wilson and I get into heated arguments.

-Nicki Minaj Newswoman

-St Lucia is Jurassic Park


-Dennery Valley! I It's so beautiful!

-Me with the creepy abandoned complex

-Sister Dayton didn't get the scowl memo


-THERE WE GO

-Service project! Sister Dayton, Myself, Elder Wilson, and Elder Jordan. While doing this service
project, a slightly tipsy man came over and borrowed a cutlass, clearing in 15 minutes what would take us an hour.

I didn't think of a title before I sat down to email!

Sent: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM

HELLO FAMILY!!!!!!!

Sadly, my favorite internet cafe of all of Vieux Fort is SUPER BUSY
today since the high school students have a giant project due in a few
days. As such, we're at the other, slightly actually more expensive
one, which doesn't have a card reader, meaning I can't send pictures
;_;

What can I even say about this week? Hmmmmmmmm....

We went to stop by an investigator's house just to confirm our
appointment for later in the afternoon. We go up to the door, which
is wide open (if a door is wide open, it means the person is home) and
call inside. We hear someone moving around inside and we're like
"....hello?..." and then around the corner comes this old lady who's
like "HELLLOOOOOO!" Haha, it was our investigator's mother who had
come to visit from the States. We introduce ourselves and Sister
Dayton says, "Hi, I'm Sister Dayton." The lady goes, "WHAT?" And
Sister Dayton says, "my name is Sister DAYTON." And the lady says,
"Sister SATAN?"

We started teaching a new investigator this week! He's the cousin of
one of the members. We had to teach him outside since there wasn't a
woman in the home. Unfortunately, the street was super noisy and
windy. Sister Dayton had just finished quoting the First Vision as
some trucks were passing by. The man stops us and is like, "Wait, did
he say, 'Kill Him?'" And were like "NOOOO he said 'Hear Him!'"

Oh my goodness, let me tell you about Patrick and Waverly! We were
going over baptismal requirements with them, and they're not married,
so it ended up being a discussion on the law of chastity. We were
slightly worried it might have scared them off, but then Patrick came
to church this week! Waverly unfortunately had a toothe ache, so she
couldn't come. The Elders told us that Patrick LOVED Elders' Quorum
and made lots of comments in the class. Patrick also has the best
vocabulary - he told us the other day how if someone tells them they
don't believe in God, he won't talk to them, since that person is very
"devilicious." And as we were talking about the Plan of Salvation and
he said "Where we came from before we were born...that's a very
ticklish subject."

OH YEAH. So, the other day, Sister Dayton and I had a semi-packed
evening. However, our car was running low on gas. We didn't have
time to go fill up, but that meant that...we could very well run out
of gas. So, we go through the evening and I'm nervously watching the
fuel gauge...but thankfully, we get to all of our appointments and
we're doing fine. As we drop off a member who lives 20, 30 minutes
away from us, the ominious, red "YOU NEED FUEL NOWWWW!" indicator
comes up. So, I'm like, "Sister Dayton, I hope we make it home....!"
And I drive as fast as legally possible and as we're driving, a BAT
hits our windshield!!! We make it back to the gas station to discover
we only have like ten dollars, which amounts to 3 liters (or gallons?
I don't even know) of gas. It was nerve wracking!

I'm sad I can't send pictures this week because I bought a CUTLASS!
We had to go to the 3 different stores to find a solid one. Everyone
keeps telling me that I'm going to chop myself. Now, I can finally do
service projects without people trying to stop me! Elder Wilson was
kind enough to give me his extra file. We did a service project this
week for

I don't think I've ever written about Marlyn! Marlyn was one of the
Elders' investigators, and they hadn't been able to see her for a
while since her job became quite busy. Our branch president suggested
we do an investigator "swap" and we've been working with her for about
2 weeks now. We re-committed her to read the Book of Mormon. The
last time we saw her, she said "Yeah, I read. I'm up in...1 Nephi 13?
But I don't understand any of it!" Ahhhhh! We discussed what she's
been reading. She also came to Church this week! She is noticing the
small differences that are coming into her life. She's working
towards April 28 for baptism!

And another investigator story! We tracted into a woman's house the
first few weeks Sister Dayton was here. She's met with a lot of
different religions in the past and, for some reason, she stopped
answering our phone calls. We go by to see her and she had actually
been sick for the past week. She is in bed with the flu when we visit
her, so she has sit down in her room with her, haha. We talked with
her about praying, and she mentioned how she felt like she hadn't
really put forth the effort into asking. So, at the end of the
lesson, we suggested we kneel and pray, and she could pray by her bed
AS SOON AS WE LEFT to know if it was true. Ahahahahah. So, we closed
with a prayer, then shut her door as we left.

Well, we went back on Sunday and she told us how her prayer went: "I
was praying and I felt like I was so close to an answer...when my son
opened the door and it broke my concentration!!!

Anyways, I'm about out of time. Sister Dayton and I pray ALL THE TIME
to find potential priesthood holders and families to teach. They're
starting to pop up every so often! Oh, and something I wish I had
thought of before leaving on my mission - I wish I had purchased the
church proselyting movies (Restoration, Finding Faith in Christ, etc)
and had my own copies so that I could use them with investigators.
They're not easy to come by once you're in the field.

I love you!

Sister Brisson

Friday, March 9, 2012

On ne po vlay accepte Jesus Christ (we have to want to accept Jesus Christ)



MA FAMILLE! SO MUCH TO TELL YOU AND SO LITTLE TIME!



First off - Amber, snow in March?! That's insane! Mom, I like that you're doing water aerobics. I remember that swimming days at camp were the ones that wore me out the most.



I guess I'll start off with the funny stuff first:


So, a few weeks back, Sister Dayton and I were out doing our street contacting around 6:30 at night. At that time, it's already dark, and the streets are mostly deserted. We're walking back up, about to go in for weekly planning, when a green van SCREECHED to a halt, and the person driving starts yelling a question at us. Now, this happens all the time as buses are going down and ask us if we want a ride. So, I stop, turn, and look at the man who is yelling. He's yelling, "DO Y'ALL WANT TO GO TO A BIBLE-BELIEVING CHURCH?" It's dark, so I stare into the van and, to my surprise, it's full of white people! It was SO RANDOM, and I'm like, "No...we're fine..." and then they drove away.

In other news, church was AWESOME this week. I love fast and testimony here. It's always so uplifting and spiritual. This week, Sister Dayton and I were asked to teach Relief Society using the 1st Presidency Message for this month. Now, I've only ever taught Relief Society once before, during my freshman year at BYU. In that lesson, I instituted a nap time and I incorporated Single Ladies. Thankfully, this past lesson was bereft of those elements, haha. We started off by listing ALL the social issues that are facing the world today, then we went over what the prophets and apostles have asked us to do. Then, we matched up the social issues with the counsel of the prophets, showing how, as we follow God's servants, we avoid much of the pain and sorrows that plague us today. I definitely received a testimony boost that Thomas S. Monson is called of God :)


So, on Friday morning, Sister Dayton and I went to visit a woman named Marcia (more emphasis on the Mar than the cia). I had taught her during my first transfer, but she was getting married and then transfers happened, so we lost touch. We went back to visit her this week, and she was very accepting. I asked her what she remembered about what we had taught before and she said that she remembered that we'd asked her to pray, which is great because that's one of the biggest commitments! She has such a sincere desire to learn about God and try things out. She came to Church this week! I was so happy to see her there. She's read almost all the introductory things in the Book of Mormon and is in 1 Nephi 3!


AND as I said last week, President Gamiette came to St. Lucia! He gave the members in the branch a great fireside about what our membership in the Church means, the law of chastity, and home/visiting teaching. When he was talking about the Law of Chastity, he showed this new Mormon Message they've made, that was done by RSAnimate! They did that video of education reform that I loooooove.


Oh yeah, pictures! The first is of me with Sister Noel! The second is of Sister Dayton with Sister Noel! Sister Noel is awesome.


Last little story before I sign off. Sister Noel has a daughter who has been coming to church for a little bit. During sacrament meeting, Sister Noel whispers to me, "My daughter wants to bear her testimony, but I told her she can't because she's not a member." I was like, "what, of course she can do it." Her daughter got up and bore the sweetest testimony. Oh my goodness. It was absolutely wonderful. The gospel does change people.


Ah family, I love you all so much. Thanks for your emails this week! It's so strange - I've been in Vieux Fort for 6 months, and I can't imagine serving, or wanting to serve, anywhere else. My ministerial certificate expires on March 5, meaning today, I have less than a year left. THAT'S CRAZY. I don't often think about it, but it is very, very strange.


I love you!


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.