Thursday, June 28, 2012

Barbados

Rachel Brisson will soon be leaving St. Lucia to go to St. Philip in Barbados! Please hold off sending any physical mail to her until we know her new address. Emails are always welcome and very appreciated rachel.brisson@myldsmail.net
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Philip,_Barbados

The Baptism of Marla Charles


Sent Mon, Jun 18, 2012

-Sister Weaver and I with Marla















-Marla and Romeo, the most recent members of the Vieux Fort Branch; Sister Cotter, the first member EVER baptized on the shores of St. Lucia; Sister Baptist, one of Marla's fellowshippers

-Heading out to the water!

-YAY!

-Family Photo


-Marla and Sister Noel

-Marla and I after her baptism!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Sent 06/11/2012

-Let's just say, I decided to make lasagna when we got home at 9 PM.  And it ended up taking two hours.  LESSON LEARNED.
-We planted these water melons a few weeks ago for Marla and they are growing nicely!
-My battles with a cockroach




Sent 06/11/2012

-Romeo's Baptism
-Getting baptized!
-Us with Romeo!  The sun is in our eyes
-Joeguy rode in his baptismal suit on a bike to the baptism
-Baptismal Support Group (St Lucians usually don't like to smile in photographs)
-STINGRAY.  So wonderful!
-Sister Dayton and I try a new candy every Monday.  This is a Bonanza bar! (Zanzibar, with the Zanzi barbarians)
-Sister Nicholas (the branch president's wife) taught us how to make pizza today!  Love how there's flour all over me?
-Same picture, but with a pineapple prop
-Another picture of the baptism













Sent 05/29/2012


-I can't remember if I already sent this one.  Crab with my name tag.
-Kisses!
-Elder Jordan drew me some "Cracked Out Art" before he left.
-There was a TINY TINY lizard that ran around our apartment for a few days, but somehow, it died :/
-Passion Fruit and a wax apple
-I found Monopoly for 23 EC at the store (about 9 US).  Elder Wilson, Elder Yockey, and Sister Dayton










Sent 05/21/2012

-BLUEBERRY MORNING!!
-Kate Hudson.  Why?



Sent May 14th 2012

-GIANT crab that our branch president caught
-I feel like that blue crab is doing a thug life/gang symbol.
-My district/zone from this past transfer.  The Elder I'm standing next to (Elder Whitlock) was in my MTC district and he was our district leader this past transfer.
-Elder Wilson decided to draw Elder Hunt.
-Sometimes, people like to give us stuff.  And we tell them no.  Multiple times.  But they keep insisting.  So we always end up leaving with something.  Cocoa stick, mangos, sour sop, plums, cocoa tea ingredients, water bottles, FLOWERS, nutmeg...
-Another view of the things.  There is a visible Five Finger fruit.
-All the things we received in one day.  Mangos, plums, and the flowers.
-It was Elder Wilson's 20th birthday this week!  We made him a Fun Fetti cake with Rainbow Chip frosting, and put a W on it with Tea Time cookies (his favorite)
-We also got him mint chip ice cream
-So, at Bible study on Wednesday, I got a Book of Mormon out from the cabinet and when I opened it, I discovered this wonderful drawing with the inscription "The Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove."  We figured out pretty quickly that Joeguy had drawn it at some point in time (PS, Joeguy is AWESOME.  He is preparing for a mission right now and is the only active priest).
-So, we were driving home, and there was a HORSE in the middle of the road (I took this while driving...maybe not the smartest idea).
-We collected all four Silly Stirrers from our Trix Yogurt purchases.  YAYYYYYY!













April 30th, 2012

 -President Gamiette and I













-President Gamiette, Sister Dayton, and I














-I made meatloaf!  And that is blue sparkling cider!



















-Unan, Shazy, and Sister Dayton making rice crispie treats. 














-Unan, Shazy, and Jenae



When is Mother's Day???

Sent April 23rd, 2012

Hello Family!


I slacked so badly in writing in my journal this week, so I'm not quite sure what to tell you!


A few weeks back, we had branch correlation, and our branch president (President Nicholas) suggested that we set up a fireside in place of our regular Bible study.  We invited people to come to it for 2 weeks, and it went so well!  Patrick, Waverly, and Marla all came!  AND A SURPRISE INVESTIGATOR, Rosalyn!  We had mentioned our Bible study class to her WEEKS ago, and we hadn't been able to see her for a few weeks.  She just showed up!  We watched The Testaments (which honestly, we end up watching often).  Overall, there were 6 investigators there and several members.  One of the youth in the branch, Joeguy, brought a friend.


We had 3 of the people we're teaching come to Church this week!  YESSS!  Patrick came for the 4th time!  Annndddd a couple we've been teaching named Tracy and Samson came as well!  Haha I felt bad for our investigators this week, though!  President Corbin (counselor in the mission presidency) was here for Branch Conference, and he spoke on tithing.  Then, in combined Sunday School, he talked more about tithing.  So, our poor investigators were probably like "what is going on...?"


So, in St. Lucia, there are a lot of missionaries who pass around from the different religions.  Several of them specifically go and pray for those who are sick and/or old, which I love!  It provides those who can't come to church because they're home-bound with a religious outlet.  However, when Sister Dayton and I are out tracting, people often think that's what we're here specifically to do, so it always causes confusion.  Even after teaching someone a lesson, they'll still sometimes think that that's what we're here to do.  Well, on Saturday, we had lots of open tracting time.  We start with contacting one referral, which ended up leading us to LOTS of home-bound people.  So, we ended up doing exactly what we have to explain to people what we don't often do.  Ahahahaha.  I think this story didn't make sense, oh well.


I have a special story to share with you this week.  At the very beginning of my mission, back in September, I taught a young woman named Valerie with Sister Fraser.  She was living with her boyfriend, who is an inactive member, and his mother (a recent convert) and grandmother (Sister Baptist, one of the most stalwart members in the branch).  Valerie is reserved - she's shy.  She's 18, and grew up in Martinique.  On my 2nd transfer, Sister Danielsen and I continue to teach her.  She would never say much (even when we would ask the most open-ended questions), but she began coming to church.  In November or December, we found out that she was a few months pregnant and was due at the end of March, meaning she couldn't be baptized until she had the baby.  (I'm not sure if that's church policy or West Indies policy, but those pregnant out of wedlock can't be baptized until after they give birth.)  Back then, I thought there was no WAY I would be here until then.  She became more open with us over time.  Eventually, we turned her over to the Elders, since she lived in their area (we taught her since we were visiting the recent convert who lived there), so I haven't taught her in a while.  A few weeks ago, Valerie moved out!  She started going home to Choiseul (45 minutes away) during the week, then coming back on the weekends so she can go to church.  She's started bringing her younger sister, Carzia, to church, and she brought her mother this past Sunday.  Over time, Valerie started dressing more modestly when she would come to church.  A few weeks ago, I asked her, "Valerie, why do you want to be baptized?"  She responded, "I want to show God that I am willing to keep His commandments.  I want to be an example to my child, and I want to raise them in the Church."


Valerie is way past her due-date, so the doctors recommended she have a C-section, which she went in for last night.  She asked Sister Dayton and I to come visit her in the hospital today, which we are doing after we finish emailing.  Family, I am so happy that I get to be here  for this.  I can't wait to see the baby!  She hasn't missed a Sunday since the middle of October.  In a few weeks, we hope to start working with her again (since she now lives in our area!) and getting her ready for baptism.


I know Jesus Christ lives.  I know that this gospel changes lives, all for the better.  I wish I could tell people I know from home not to give up on religion, not to just settle for their own conclusions because THERE IS MORE to life.  So much more!


I love you!


Sister Brisson


PS - I want to write back some of my friends, but it's that time of year when people are moving around, going home for the summer, switching apartments, etc...SO, please send me updated addresses, please!



Sent April 11th, 2012

HELLO FAMILY!


So, Saint Lucians love holidays!  Since Easter is on a Sunday, the Monday after was a national holiday and everything was closed!  Thus, I am emailing you today!


Mom!  Congratulations on making it into Chorale!  I hope it goes well.  I did write Grandma - did she ever get my letter?  I sent it back...let me think.  After Elections, so around the end of November?  She should have received it two weeks after that. 


Dad, you asked about Easter.  From what I gathered, Easter isn't a huge holiday here.  Most people go to their respective churches, then it's like any normal Sunday.


Well, I have a great story for all of you!


On Tuesday, we had district meeting up in Castries, which is about an hour away from Vieux Fort.  I had been asked to teach a lesson about how "No Culture Is a Bad Culture."  We read in uhhhh Romans or Corinthians I think where Paul says he became Jew, Gentile, weak, with/without the law, all so that he could save some.  Well, after district meeting, there was some three layer dip for us.  Looking at it, I noticed there was guacamole.  I thought to myself, "Hm.  Every time I've had guacamole, I haven't felt super good.  OH WELL, THAT WAS THE OLD RACHEL, I'M SISTER BRISSON NOW!"  So, I ate it.


We say our goodbyes to the district, and we begin to drive back down to Vieux Fort.  Within 15, 20 minutes of driving, I do not feel good AT ALL.  Remember, I'm driving.  I drive for 5 more minutes and say to Sister Dayton, "Sister Dayton, I think I'm going to throw up."  Of course, she says that I should pull over.  We do, and, yes, I opened the car door and threw up.  MOST LADYLIKE THING OF MY LIFE.  hahahaha I hope no one saw me!  Although there were some people further down the road...whoops!


We stopped by to see Marla on Monday night.  She hadn't made it to the Sunday sessions of conference, but she told us that she had looked it up online.  We asked her if she'd prayed about the Book of Mormon.  She looked at us, then said, "Yes.  And I believe it's true."  I flipped out, I was so excited!  She said, "I always believed it was true...but I guess I just let other stuff get in the way."  We had a Family Home Evening with her this week, where we watched the new Prophet of the Restoration film.  Family, EVERY TIME Hyrum Smith gets shot in the face, I lose it.  Automatic tear up!


We found two AWESOME PEOPLE this week!  Their names are Zeshua and Sazayn.  We had street-contacted them a few weeks ago while they were out on a family walk with their 3 month old baby.  We called them a few times, but the timing never worked out.  Eventually, we got to see them this past Saturday.  It was the best lesson of my mission so far.  They're both young, about 19 or so, and they plan on getting married at some point.  They understood the Restoration very well and seemed really excited to pray about it.  At points in the lesson, they asked the PERFECT questions of Sister Dayton and I that led into the next points.  They also had a lot of questions about Thomas S. Monson.  AHHHH IT WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOO GREAT!  At the end of our lesson, we asked them if they had any questions and Sazayn said, "Yes, I just have one question.  When can you come back?"  Yes!


On Wednesday, I taught our Bible study class again.  We spent the whole class going through the New Testament, examining the priesthood and the church organization that existed in Christ's Church then and today.  It taught me a lot, actually.


At the end of the month, we're going to (My Lady of) GUADELOUPE (Hilgado) for Zone Conference, along with the islands of St. Maarten and Martinique.  Really random place for us to go, but cool nonetheless.  Probably won't attempt using my French :)


ALSO forgot to mention last time that I saw 3 people I know in the MTC choir!  Anne Vom Lehn!  Someone tell me where she's serving, please!  I also saw my freshman year Family Home Evening group leader!



So, when Elder Whitlock's new companion arrived last week, he brought our mail from Trinidad! Elder Whitlock told me I had mail from Elder Larson, Elder Garrett, and "Krista."  "Krista?"  I thought.  "I only know one Krista, and I didn't know she had my address. Cool!"  So, yesterday, when we got there, I saw my mail and GASPED because it was actually a letter from LUCY BRIMHALL!  Krista is Christ in Czech, I guess, ahahaha.  She sent it all the way back in February.


Last little thing before I sign out.  In Saint Lucia, Good Frida is a big holiday!  Everything shuts down, and people make fishcakes.  Lots of religious movies play on television!  It was awesome - Patrick and Waverly and Marla gave us fishcakes.


I love you all so much!  Thank you so much for your emails this week.  I really, really appreciate them.


Love you!


Sister Brisson


-Elder Jordan with Lawnel
-Sister Dayton with Olivia
-Not pictured: Elder Wilson and I
-Me with my mail + letter opener!  I sent this version because the letter opener is SHINING.