Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I still have issues with feminist rage.

Sent April 16th, 2012



This past week at district meeting, our district leader, Elder Whitlock (who was in my MTC district as well!), asked Sister Dayton and I to do a musical number.  We sang a medley of "Guide Me to Thee" (#101) and "Lean on My Ample Arm" (#120) to the tune of "Nearer, My God, to Thee."  I thought it went well!

This week has been the week of CAR STRUGGLES.  So, the week before last, we noticed that our tires were beginning to wear out because of our alignment, so we wanted to take it in to get it fixed.  Well, the Elders were out of the petty cash, so we couldn't get it fixed on that preparation day.  So, on the NEXT preparation day (the day after Easter), we wanted to take it in, but everything was closed because of Easter Holiday.  We still drove it up to district meeting, with the hope of getting it fixed on Wednesday.  WELL,  we take it in on Wednesday to the NAPA and they say, "Oh, we're busy now, bring it back tomorrow." So, we leave and come to email.  After we email, I'm pulling out and the car goes, "Thud.  Thud.  Thud."  I pull back into the spot and YOU GUESSED IT, one of our tires is FLAT.  Thankfully, the senior couple happened to be in Vieux Fort and got the spare on it.  BUT IT DOESN'T END THERE.  The NEXT DAY,  we take it to NAPA and they're like, "Oh, we don't have new tires in that size.  You have to go somewhere else."  We leave, go to a tire service, THEN RETURN to NAPA.  Then, we had to go back for weekly planning while they were fixing our car....Anyway, I'm glad it got fixed and that we weren't driving when these problems arose.  HOWEVER, this morning, we go to start the car and it clicks, but doesn't start.  We start cleaning off the battery connector, but that's not working.  We ask our neighbor (he's a mechanic) about it and he says, "Oh.  Just pour coke over it and should work fine."  Who knew?

But, I sent two pictures of the tire.  Yes, there are two tears in it.  We destroyed it :(

Also, there's been a change of plans.  We aren't going to Guadeloupe at the end of the month - President Gamiette has decided to come to St. Lucia instead.  Not to beg for handwritten letters or anything, but if anyone wants to handwrite me a letter, it'd be best to do so and send it in the next few days, so it can get here in time for Zone Conference.  If it doesn't make it in time for Zone Conference, I won't get it probably until the end of this transfer or the next.

Well, we had two of our investigators come to church this week!  One of them is a man we met two weeks back.  We had been on our way to an appointment and he said hello to us.  After our appointment, we stopped by and he was like "I want to change my life."  We had a lesson with him; he wants to stop smoking quite badly.  We didn't get to see him this week (due to the car problems), but he called us to say he wasn't coming to church - then called us later to say he was on a bus on his way!  He could only stay for sacrament meeting, but he asked Sister Dayton a lot of questions about what the meeting would be like.  He seemed to enjoy it.

And Marla came to church AGAIN this week!  That's her 4th time!  Sister Dayton and I tried to set a date with her, but she said she's still not sure.  She really enjoys church and has been asking great questions in the Gospel Principles class.

I taught Relief Society again this week!  I really like that George Albert Smith book.

Family!  I love you all so much.  It's so weird to think that I'm a missionary - no joke!

I love you!

Sister Brisson

Monday, April 9, 2012

Transfer Transfer Transfer Transfer Transfer Transfer

Sent: Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Hello Family!

This week was so great!

On Tuesday night, our investigator, Marla, invited us to a women's retreat at the Catholic Church in Laborie. The closest thing I can say it reminded me of is a fireside. They had a visiting priest from Nigeria who was speaking about the gospel of Matthew. There was about a 30 minute section of singing and they did a rosary. It was an interesting experience because it made me keenly aware of what it would be like for an investigator attending our services for the first time.

Since Conference was later than our regular sacrament meeting, we were able to attend the Harvest Pentecostal church in Pierrot, where our investigator, Nazie, attends. We arrived during the "Praise and Worship" section. The set up when we got there was there was one main, female vocalist backed by four or five other vocalists. They had a drummer, a bassist, and a keyboardist. Everyone up there singing or playing in the band was quite talented. They had this one segment where they offered a prayer about tithing, then ushers held baskets up at the front so people could come up and put their tithes in as the band played a song about it. They also had another segment where people went around to greet and hug each other.

Marla came for BOTH Saturday sessions of Conference!! Ah, it was so great to see her there! She initially was planning on just staying for the first one, but she liked it so much that she stayed for both. Marla is incredible. Essentially, for some reason, she keeps running into people who tell her a lot of false things about the church. This past time, a pastor told her that the Book of Mormon is fake. She's enjoyed reading it, and she HATES it when people criticize other churches. So, because the pastor said that to her, she came to church two weeks ago, came last week, and was there for conference on Saturday.

It's also interesting to see how much attending church helps the progress of investigators. Since Marla came to church, the way she's been talking about her prayers have been different, the way she talks about how she's feeling is different. The Spirit is working on her. It's the same with Patrick and Waverly. And it is so, so beautiful.

We also recently started teaching a mother and a daughter named Andrea and Earline. We taught them last Sunday, then had a return appointment with them yesterday. Earline had read the Restoration tract, and we asked her if she had prayed about it. She said, "Yes. I believe it." Later on, she said, "You know, the other prophets are dead. It's time for new ones." AHHHH it was so great! We're seeing them later this week and I am so excited! Also, during our first lesson with them, we were sitting outside because it was so hot. Their cat, who was inside, kept coming to the door and mewing like CRAZY. Andrea kept saying, "Puss! Go back inside! Go back!" (PS, every cat in St. Lucian is called and responds to puss/puss-puss). It turns out that their cat was GIVING BIRTH during our lesson and we got to see NEW BORN KITTENS right after our lesson!

I received the package that Marcia sent me! I was especially grateful for the hair things!

Mom and Dad, I finally chose a favorite scripture. John 15:12-15. I emailed Marcia about the picture, so she should send it to you this week.

Phew! I am typing like a madwoman because I have so much I want to say! Now, let's move on to CONFERENCE! Who thought Elder Holland's talk and President Monson's closing remarks were foreboding and ominous?? We were able to watch Conference at the church via the wonders of the internet. It kept freezing though, so during choir and congregation hymns, we would be singing and then the music would stop, which was funny. I LOVED Elder Scott's talk, I cannot wait to read it! I also liked Elder Donald L. Hallstrom's talk - one can be completely active in church but inactive in the gospel. Elder Rasband's talk was touching. Conference seemed to focus quite a bit on families and forgiveness. I was also sad to see Julie B. Beck released! I've recently read several Ensign articles she's written and my, she is such a bold lady! David S. Baxter's talk was special to me, for a lot of our members are single mothers. Lastly, I enjoyed Elder Ballard's talk. Family values are not passé! So many beautiful and eternal benefits come from marriage.

Oh yeah! This week, we got to shell castor oil seeds!

We received our transfer calls a day early! Sister Dayton and I were driving to an appointment when the phone rang and I automatically pulled off the road. I am staying in Vieux Fort with Sister Dayton this transfer.

Family, I love you so much. I am so grateful, SO GRATEFUL, for you. Linda, I had a weird dream where I ran into you and Nick in the grocery store and you were like, "Oh! I'm glad we ran into you! We have good news!" You had had your baby like a moment before I ran into you and you were going home to show Mom and Dad (but why were you at the store...?) and you said "Luke doesn't even know yet!" You showed me your daughter and she was a little big for a new born. It was awesome. Also, I was still a missionary in this dream.

Sigh. I love being a missionary, family. But! It is probably the hardest thing I've ever done. Teaching for teaching and teaching to enable conversion are very different - one is easy and the other is difficult! I know that the Lord is right here with us. I know this gospel is true and it is the avenue and the way we can achieve happiness! A happiness that is a foundation and isn't fleeting. Whenever someone says "oh, but you were raised in the Church...", I want to say "And you're lucky! Because I've got 22 years of experience with the gospel to give you that can help you."

Time to go!

I love you!

Sister Brisson

Happy Tuesday!

Sent: Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 2:22 PM


I apologize for not emailing yesterday! I know you were all probably DYING to hear from me and waited all day for the email that never came (I'm reminded of how Frye's dog waited for him in Futurama even though I've never seen that episode, hahaha). Sister Dayton and I went to hike the Gros Piton yesterday! It was a much more relaxed hike than the Petit Piton (which is just straight up the face of the mountain). This one was much more professional. It took us about 2 1/2 hours up and 2 1/2 hours down (it's supposed to take only 4 hours altogether, but I'm a slow hiker). It was quite fun. Our tour guide's name was Chad! So, we got back in time to do the rest of our preparation day activities, right? WELLL unfortunately, I don't know what it is about hiking, but I got SICK on the way home! We went over to the Elders after getting back and I got a blessing, and just had to sleep it off. I don't know why, since I don't get sick when hiking at home. I suppose it probably has something to do with how much balance it takes to hike here (every few seconds, you are going over uneven terrain and could fall). ANYWAY, the Piton was great!

Also, I guess you were expecting the title of this email to refer to Transfers. HOWEVER, everyone is having a seven-week transfer (to put us back on schedule), so we find out this Saturday where we'll be going.

On LDS.org (so the Elders tell me), it says who our new mission president will be! Apparently, his name is President Marr.

ALRIGHT FAMILY let me tell you how our week went.

We taught Rye twice this week! Usually, when teaching someone for the second time, we have a brief "Restoration review" lesson with them to see if they remember any of the key points. So, when Sister Dayton and I begin the lesson, we ask him "So, Rye, what do you remember from the last time we taught you?" He remembered EVERYTHING (I swear that never happens!). He could quote back especially the parts about Joseph Smith. Sister Dayton and I were slightly taken aback! Haha, our whole lesson plan went out the window at that point. He said he had prayed about it and had a "very good feeling." We introduced the Book of Mormon to him and told him how it answered life's questions. He wanted to know about life after death, so we discussed the end of the Plan of Salvation. The lesson was a little clunky, not going to lie, but he seemed very intrigued. So, we went back on Friday night to teach him the first part of the Plan of Salvation. We covered Pre-Earth Life and the Creation, and he loved it. In our first lesson with him, he had mentioned how he used to think that Jesus Christ and God were separate, but he now knew that they were combined. So, at the end of our lesson with him, I said, "Oh yeah, Rye, so you had mentioned that you thought they were separate, but now you say they're combined. Well, actually - you were right the first time" (give or take, it's not verbatim). He looked a little thrown off and said "what....I had a pastor explain to me for a long time how they're the same." He seemed a little unsure by the end of the lesson, so we hope it didn't get him too off-track. We also asked if he'd read in the Book of Mormon and he told us he'd read a little, but then his mom started reading it and really liked it, so she borrowed it.

So, on Sunday, Sister Dayton and I had an appointment with a young man we had contacted last week. We call him to confirm, and he tells us he'll be back in time for our appointment. We call him a little bit later and ask if we could push the appointment back 30 minutes (since we were at the branch president's house), but he tells us he'll have to leave at 4, so we would have to come at 3:15. Sounds solid, right? We get over there, park, and look for his house. We call him and he comes outside. He walks up to us and says, "I'M DRUNK." He has a drink in his hand and I just start laughing and laughing inside. We're like, "well, we can't teach you when you're drunk." He says, "well, this is my third/fourth drink, and after this I'm stopping. It'll take about 30 minutes for me to become drunk, so we can still have a lesson." Well, unfortunately, Sister Dayton and I didn't think that was a good idea, so we told him we'd have to reschedule. Also at this moment in time, another drunk man came over and tried to buy us drinks. We told him no thanks, since we don't drink, and then he asked us if we were camels.

ALSO Patrick and Waverly came to church this week! YESSSS! We had a lesson with them last night about following the prophet and they are committed to come to General Conference this Sunday! Patrick is going to go buy better glasses this week so he can read in the Book of Mormon. Waverly remembers EVERYTHING. She always remembers which one of us prays at the beginning of each lesson. Ah, I love them so much. I wish I had more time to write more about them. Another one of our investigators, Marla, came to Church for the second time in a row this week! We're going to a Catholic church service with her tonight.

Sigh, I'm out of time!

I printed out all your emails but did not have time to read them. Any questions you've asked will be answered next week!

I love you!

Sister Brisson
-A few from the top. You can see most of the south side of the island and Maria Island, a small island off the coast of Vieux Fort that has some rare wildlife.

-There was a 250 year old Mango tree at the Point of No Return. I am hugging it to show my eco-friendliness.

-Me being happy

I've attached pictures but I have no idea what I've attached. Here is what I think I've sent you: a view of the smaller Piton