Monday, December 30, 2013

Staying in St. Maarten!

Transfer calls happened this week and Sister Tia and I are here in St. Maarten together for at least another 6 weeks!

On Saturday we had a baptism and it was really great to see the love and support that the branch demonstrated for this new sister.  We also had a great sacrament meeting at church.  One speaker posed a question that I love -- he challenged all of us to ask ourselves "where do You stand with the Lord?"  I just keep on thinking about that, and how real it will be to see and be with our Heavenly Father again.

We are teaching some really great people and they are coming to church.  I can see that with sincere prayers and fasting the Lord will help us find those who He has prepared to receive this gospel.  It takes faith (combined with LOTS of courage) and obedience to receive these blessings.

This morning we went up the highest point in St. Maarten called "Pic Paradis."  We got up super early to be up there for the sunrise.  When the alarm went off at 5:30 I woke up my companion and she asked me a question I couldn't understand.  I had to ask 3 times before she realized she was speaking her native language, Samoan.  With all these different languages here (French, Spanish, Creole and now Samoan) I don't know how I can keep up! haha

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and that everyone will have a safe and happy New Year!

Much Love,
Sister Crompton
The baptism
 Pic Paradis
St. Maarten sunrise

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas in St. Maarten

Christmas here on St. Maarten consists of plenty of people on the roads and lots of traffic, but despite all of that we are having a great holiday season.  Our Branch put on a Nativity on Saturday and it was really cute to see the Primary and the Youth and everyone work together to put it on.
We had some investigators come and one of the investigators came to church bright and early the next day.  We found him a few weeks ago and we had our second lesson yesterday with him and he's so excited to get baptized.  He is very excited about the gospel and we can really see that there really are those that are prepared to hear this gospel, we just have to find them!
We have a baptism on Saturday and it's the mom of the only missionary that is out from St. Maarten.  He is currently serving in Haiti.  We're really excited for her and so is the Branch.
I don't have too much time but I hope that everyone is having a good Christmas Eve and will have a great Christmas tomorrow.  Christ is the center of this gospel and our lives, and this is such a blessed time where we are able to celebrate his birth.  I am so grateful for our kind Heavenly Father who sent His son to suffer for our sins so that we could return to them.  I know that Jesus is the Christ and that this gospel is the answer to all of our life's questions, problems and trials.
Much Love,
Sister Crompton
 The youth/primary Nativity scene
Yuletide photobomb

Monday, December 16, 2013

Trinidad Leadership Conference

This week there was a Leadership Conference in Trinidad that I was to attend along with the Zone leader from here. Our flight to Trinidad was in the morning so we were at the airport at 6am.  Well, due to flight cancellations and the airlines down here, we didn't leave for Trinidad till 7pm. Yes ... 13 hours in the airport waiting.  We finally got to Trinidad (without any luggage of course) at 3am on Thursday morning and the conference started around 7am that day and ended at 9pm.  I'm surprised that I didn't fall asleep mid-testimony meeting.

But the Conference was so great!  We had all of the Zone Leaders and Sister Training leaders (all 3 of us).  It was truly amazing and inspiring to hear our leaders and feel the Spirit that was there. We returned only 2 hours later than our scheduled return and, of course, no bags ... so, yes, I was surprised that I could pull off the same-outfit-3-days-in-a-row routine.  Of course the missionaries wanted to take a picture by the Christmas tree in the airport upon our return -- so Happy Holidays from the St. Maarten Missionaries.

We talked a lot about the importance of home and visiting teaching and how we'll be doing missionary work through home and visiting teaching efforts.  It's amazing how much the Lord wants to share the joy of helping others that He's provided organizations and programs just for that.

We've had some amazing experiences after returning.  We fasted with members for help in missionary work and held some specific fasts for certain investigators and we're truly seeing miracles because of it.  We have one investigator who is planning on being baptized at the end of the month and is getting more and more excited for her day.  I truly do feel that the work is progressing down here.  It all comes from lots of faith that growth will happen ... and it is happening. We're having a Live Nativity this week so we're pretty excited to invite investigators and everyone. 

I hope everyone is able to remember the real reason behing Christmas!(

Much Love,
Sister Crompton

Aerial view of St. Maarten
The three "training sisters" of the mission - Sister Wilson, me and Sister Edmonds
Reunited with Sister Edmonds (my MTC companion)
Little sleep and no clean clothes ... what a great time for a group photo

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rainy Week in St. Maarten

Well you might be thinking that I'm living in Paradise and that it's beautiful weather all the time, but I'll have everyone know that it's been so rainy these past couple days.

On Saturday we usually go and clean the church.  This week it was sort of a beautification project and it was POURING rain.  But I guess it was better for Sister Tia and me as we were weeding because the weeds came out easier.  Suffice it to say we were drenched by the end.  You wouldn't think that a former BYU-I student would get cold down here after enduring frigid Rexburg, but it was the first time that I was actually cold.  It was a good service project though and the grounds of the church look a lot better.

The Wrights left this week which was sad, but we had some fun with them during their last English class here which is the free class that we put on as missionaries for finding opportunities.  Most of the students come from Haiti and speak French, and some others come from Dominica and speak Spanish.  I usually work with the Spanish speakers now and I feel for Hermana Crompton who is probably fluent already in Ecuador.

We have an investigator that is working for baptism for the end of December.  Her son is on a mission and it's interesting to see what the parents feel and think about their kids serving while we're away.  She's been coming to church almost every Sunday now and we're excited for her date.

There are a lot of tourists coming in December so traffic is kinda crazy.  Who knew that this tiny island can hold so many people … and most of them aren't even originally from St. Maarten!!

We're having a live Nativity with the Primary kids and the Youth here on the Island that we're all helping out with.  So we hope to be able to have a good amount of investigators and non-members come and enjoy the real meaning of Christmas these holidays.

Everything else has been going good. Oh and thanks to Mom for the little package and the letter from Chelsea!  I love hearing about all the missionaries that are serving from the Annandale Stake, it's awesome!

Much Love,
Sister Crompton
This pretty much sums it all up!!
English class
Me and my companion
Taking a break from the work

Monday, December 2, 2013

Finding Members

I don't have that much time this week but things have been going pretty well for Sister Tia and I.  She may be new but she's ready to face everything that the mission throws.  We both get a long really well together.

We've been focusing the past few weeks on finding those members who haven't been in contact with the gospel for quite some time.  It's been pretty difficult to find where they live and who they are, but we've seen how the Lord is laboring with us in this effort.  Often when He leads us to one person who is less-active, and that member will lead us to yet another person.  As we talk to these members we see that they truly want to come back but just need that little nudge.
We're fortunate to see some members catching on to their role in this great work and there's a reason why member missionary work is so important.  This effort is not only essential for a functioning branch but there's so much more joy in it when we all work together.

We'll be sad to be saying good bye to the Wrights this week.  Below is a picture we took with the whole branch.  Hope everyone has a great week. 

Much Love,
Sister Crompton

The Branch
Me and Sister Tia
Another beautiful sunset in St. Maarten

Monday, November 25, 2013

My New Companion

So this week was a very odd week.  It was sad saying goodbye to Sister Joseph at the airport and despite some difficulties she did end up getting to Tobago safely.  After dropping her off though, we had a few hours where I had to stay at the senior couple's home because there are no other sisters on the island for me to be with while waiting for the new one who was planned to come in a few hours later.  Well, after waiting a while in their apartment we found out that my new companion's flight from SLC was delayed from the MTC and she wasn't coming in until Friday morning which would leave me with 2 days and nights with no companion.
It was a great experience, though, because I spent the time with the Wrights (outgoing senior couple) who had their daughter and son-in-law come in and they showed them around the island.  That night we had shwarma's, which is kind of like a gyro but even better (see picture below).
That night Sister Thompson (the Thompsons are the new senior couple) stayed with me and it was really great to get to know her more.  The whole next day I was with the Thompsons while they were moving in.  I think it was meant to be that Sister Thompson was staying with me the next night because she's a registered nurse and I woke up sick for the first time on my mission.  She thinks I caught some virus that's been going around on the island.  Of course it's the morning that my brand new companion was coming in.  I felt so bad that the first few days on her mission she had to stay inside with her sick trainer.  I'm feeling much better now and am so grateful renewed health.

My new companion, Sister Tia, is awesome.  She's originally from Samoa but grew up in California.  It's been really cool to hear about all of the Samoan traditions and culture.  She is so prepared to be out here and even though we've only had  few lessons because of my illness, we've been able to teach in great unity despite our inability to practice and her newness to the mission.

Our Branch Presidency changed this week and I think that there will be even more miracles happening on this island very soon.  We have such great members here on the island and I'm excited to be working with such amazing spirits.

I hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving this week.  Thank you Mom for the package and if you haven't gotten my card yet -- Happy belated birthday!  I love you!

Much Love,
Sister Crompton
Goodbye, Sister Joseph!
St. Maarten missionaries (with senior couple, the Wrights)
A shwarma
A beautiful vista!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Having Peace During Trials

Before I forget, I want to start and give a shout out to Carol Baker and Grandmommy for the letters.  Thank you so much!

This week will be transfers and I'm sad to say bye to Sister Joseph.  She will be going to Tobago and I will be staying in St. Maarten.  All I know is that my new companion is named Sister Tia (I think) and that she's from California.  I also understand that I will be going to Trinidad in a few weeks to do doing training tradeoffs in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

The new senior couple (the Thompsons) arrived this week.  We also had a nice visit from the Monsons (not THE Monsons, but another senior couple) from Trinidad who came up here to show us the 2015 celebration presentation -- which is basically a huge celebration to commemorate the West Indies being dedicated for missionary service 25 years ago.

There was a member who passed away this week and while the branch members were helping out with the funeral service etc, I couldn't help but notice their peace and calmness throughout the process. I was comforted in the fact that all of the members had that peace because we are so blessed to know about the Plan of Salvation.  There is life after death and Heavenly Father has prepared a place for all of His children.  I am so grateful for this knowledge and the doctrine that we know to be true.  It truly is amazing.  As I've been studying D&C 59 so much (because we've been asked to teach the Sabbath day to the members) I've come to know how true D&C 59:23 is: "But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come."
Much Love,
Sister Crompton

Monday, November 11, 2013

Zone Conference in Guadeloupe

So last Monday we left for Guadeloupe.  It’s beautiful there and I didn’t have much time to take pictures but I snapped a few.  It was really great to meet and reunite with the sisters.
President Mehr asked us to memorize ten scriptures from any chapter we choose.  So the whole week before I had been trying to memorize mine, and Monday night all of us sisters were practicing on ours.  I kept on asking my companion all week if she had hers yet and she said … nope, but don’t worry about me.  Well she’s some sort of genius because she literally looked over her section 30 minutes before her interview and had it completely memorized.  She’s amazing.  I picked 2 Nephi 2:3-11, 14.  And we’ll be memorizing and reciting 10 new scriptures every zone conference from now on.
The conference was for Guadeloupe, St. Maarten and Martinique.  So pretty much everyone there except for me spoke fluent French.  I probably felt like Hermana Kallina Crompton when she first entered the MTC in Mexico.  I had no idea what people were saying.  I could understand a few things but my phrase for the whole conference was “je ne comprend pas” or “je comprends un petit francais”
The conference was good and we learned a lot of great teaching skills to implement.  There are only 6 of us sisters.  The Guadeloupe ones are Sister Hawkes (yes my old FHE sister from BYU-I) and Stahle and the Martinique sisters are Sister Bouchaut and her temp companion Sister Occolier.  So that night all of them were fluent French speakers and they were trying to see what I understood.  It was pretty entertaining for them, ha.
Guadeloupe is very … Frenchy.  The toilet paper is pink and there are flower and bakery places everywhere.  Sister Hawkes make us crepes the next morning for breakfast … yum.
I was able to do some training and then be trained to learn French during their language study.
We went out with the Guadeloupe sisters after the Martinique sisters had left and I got my dream to ride bikes with Sister Hawkes.  It’s amazing and a little difficult how the gospel is the same but the people are so different on every island, so I tried to learn to adapt to their general concerns and questions fast.  It was cool to experience the teaching in Guadeloupe even though I had to be translated to every 2 minutes.  Maybe one day I’ll learn French.

Later that day we went to the church where Elder Gamiette and Sister Mehr had a fireside for the 2015 Celebration, which will celebrate 25 years since the Caribbean was dedicated for missionary work.
We flew back early the next morning and even though our week was short we had some lessons and even extended a baptismal date for an investigator whose son is on a mission in Haiti now.  We’ve been working with her for quite some time and the Lord really does soften hearts and bless the families of serving missionaries.  It’s amazing.
On Sunday we taught the 3 hour of primary and it’s an interesting experience trying to teach 7-10 year olds about the Sabbath day.  We mentioned how we refrain from doing chores like sweeping the floor and one kid yells out “my mom NEVER sweeps the floor, even on days in the week!”  It was really funny.  We are getting ready for another senior couple to come to the island, the Thompsons, so I guess you’ll hear more next week!
Much Love,
Sister Crompton
The Guadeloupe Zone Conference 
The St. Maarten, Guadeloupe and Martinique Sisters
Me and my companion, Sister Joseph
Some of the vistas in Guadeloupe

Riding bikes

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day of Service

Well this week was pretty exciting.  It was the International Day of Service for church members in the Caribbean.  We were fortunate to volunteer for two different projects.  We helped finish painting an Elementary school (some of the primary kids actually attend the school) and we also picked up some trash on one of the beaches to help out with the nature foundation.
The beach needed some cleaning to help out with the turtles who've been nesting for some time, and the trash was in the way of them getting to the ocean when they hatch.  I came late so I only saw one little turtle, but it was cool to see how they just go straight into the ocean when they hatch.
It was great to see us come together and the members here are quite amazing.  We'll be going off to Guadeloupe in a little bit for zone conference, so I don't have much time.
Much Love,
Sister Crompton
Our service vests
Ward members helping to clean up the beach
Newly hatched turtle
Turtle eggs

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sharing our Talents

Well there's not that much news this week.  First I would like to give a shout out to Carol Baker for the letter.  I didn't know I could still get letters from -- so that was a nice surprise!
This week it rained really hard for the first time since I've been in St.Maarten.  The roads aren't really made for rain, so it felt like we were flooded even though it rained for a short time.  It made me a little nervous, however, to think what it would be like if a hurricane came through.  Luckily we're near the end of hurricane season.
On Saturday we had a branch talent show.  Because -- as missionaries -- our talent is sharing the gospel, we just did a little skit on "Things that West Indies Missionaries Say."  It was funny (well at least us missionaries thought so, haha).  But it was really great. We had 3 of our investigators come.  Earlier that day we also met a Sister (former Sister Kelsch) who served here just 6 months ago.  She happened to be on her honeymoon and the cruise ship stopped here for a day.  It was really nice to talk to another West Indies Mission sister because we are so rare :)

We've been having some good beginnings with member referrals and we are excited for what lies ahead these next coming weeks.  Next week we'll be going to Guadeloupe for Zone Conference so I can't promise there will be a post next Monday (not that many people actually read this, haha)

Much Love,
Sister Crompton

Former WIM missionary, Sister Kelsch

(Editor's Note: Sister Crompton indicated that she would be forwarding other photos to accompany this update, including some of the talent show ... but it appears that the attempt to load those photos into her Dropbox account was not successful.  Therefore, I will update this blog by adding those photos when they become available in the near future.)


Monday, October 21, 2013

People Are Being Prepared

This week has been very busy but very eventful.  There was a fire in our area down the road that burned up a place where over 120 people lived.  Everyone was able to get out safely, but many lost everything.  A few days after the fire we helped the Red Cross organize clothes and things for those who have lost all their things.
This week was also very exciting because one of our investigators was baptized.  Her sister is a member and it's been amazing to see her testimony and knowledge of the gospel grow.  We're so happy for her and excited to be working with even more of her immediate family.  The Lord truly is preparing people for us and it's just up to us to be obedient and faithful enough to find them.
Yesterday we did a little devotional for the youth that volunteer for the Red Cross.  About 20 kids were there and it was a great opportunity for us to share what the church teaches in the For the Strength of Youth.  We showed some of the videos from the lds youth site and it went really well. The teens were very open with us and had a lot of great questions.  I overheard some girl say to her friend, "this church sounds really cool" (mission accomplished).
We are still seeing benefits and miracles coming from teaching members about the Law of the Fast and the Sabbath.  I can really see how the Lord simply wants us to be happy and has provided laws for us to obtain those blessings.  It's all up to us to act for ourselves and receive them.
Oh, this week we also met a new friend (see monkey below :)
Much Love,
Sister Crompton
Our new friend
The baptism this week
The chapel spire in St. Maarten
(Editor's Note: Sister Crompton did not forward the following photographs with this week's blog entry; however, she did download a large batch of images from her first few months in St. Vincent.  I thought I'd share a few of those for your enlightenment and entertainment!)
The St. Vincent landscape
Yes ... it's a chicken's foot

Monday, October 14, 2013

Our Week of Service

This week has been a great week of service.  We've focused on serving the members, investigators and the community.  We helped some people clean and organize their houses.  One even asked me for service and wanted me to cut her hair because she said that "I looked like someone who can cut hair."  Haha.  She's loving her new cut.   I'm sure that she's glad that we're in her area.  I can't imagine watching an 18 year old Elder try and cut hair!

We also went to a Foster Home to have a little devotional.  The kids ranged in ages from 3-16 years old.  We sang songs, taught them " I am a Child of God," and hand symbols to help them remember the 10 commandments.  We also talked about some of the things mentioned in the Strength for Youth.  The kids were VERY energetic and sweet.  We're hoping to come again to talk especially to the teenagers who weren't there (ages ranging from 13-18 years).

President Mehr asked us to teach members here about the Law of the Fast.  We taught a member about a month and a half ago, and we were fasting especially for missionary opportunities.  We've been teaching her sister ever since and now she is being baptized on Saturday.  We're really excited for her and it's been an amazing experience to teach and see the blessings of helping families come closer together.  Another great benefit is that the member makes amazing food (see curry below) and has even taught us to cook some Guyanese dishes :)

We're now teaching many about the keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and are excited to see the blessings that will come out of the branch because of it.

I hope everything is going well with everyone who reads this.  I know that the Lord loves us and answers our specific prayers.

Much Love,
Sister Crompton

Our last district meeting before the end of the transfer
A curry dish made by one of our members
Signs at a member's home about no peeing in the pool!  haha

Monday, October 7, 2013

Staying in St. Maarten!

We'll we got transfer calls last night.  Sister Joseph and I will be staying here in St. Maarten together.  The only shocker about this coming transfer is the fact that I've been called to be the "Sister Training Leader" for St. Maarten, Guadeloupe and Martinique. I'm definitely nervous about the fact that I'll be training these sisters when I myself still need some training, haha.  But suffice it to say I'm putting a LOT of my trust in the Lord to assist me with helping these sisters.

This weekend was General Conference and, like always, it was amazing.  I couldn't help but think that a year ago on Sunday I was sitting in the Conference Center listening to the talks while my mind was still in shock from the previous day's announcement.  Something that I learned in seminary was to write down questions that I have at the moment right before conference and try to receive answers from the prophet and apostles ... it works every time!  I especially loved all the talks about member missionary work (hint hint), especially Elder Ballard's.

Also shout out and thanks to Aunt Kim for sending me the dress -- my favorite color :)!

We were happy to have our investigator who's getting baptized this month come to 3 out of the 4 conference sessions (and this was her first time hearing about conference ... she's a rockstar!)

It's amazing that we're able to have a living prophet today and apostles.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity we have to hear them.  There were many great talks and I noticed in a lot of them they were simply talking about keeping the commandments.  This gospel is so simple and that's what makes it difficult for people.  But as long as we stay true to the principles, we will be truly happy.

Much Love,

Sister Crompton

 The chapel in St. Maarten
 My sneaky companion, Sister Joseph
Our awesome investigator

Monday, September 30, 2013

Receiving Answers

This week were able to continue teaching our members about the Law of the Fast.
I've really come to know how much the Lord blesses us when we put our prayers and trust in Him when we fast.  I was looking at my journal from entries about a year ago.  Last year, the Sunday before October General Conference, I was at school and I had fasted for help and guidance for what I should do the next few semester for school.  That Saturday the announcement came out (about the age change for sister missionaries) ... so the Lord definitely answers us and I know the power and the Spirit that comes from sincerely fasting with a purpose.
We've been focusing a lot on trying to get member referrals because that is how the church is going to grow and within the past 2 days we've received 3 member referrals.  It's been great and I know that the Lord is performing miracles here in St. Maarten.
We had an investigator who was working towards a baptism date but was still waiting on her answer to know if these things are true.  During our class on Sunday she received her answer that these things are true and she truly wants to get baptized.  It just goes to show how important members, church and sincere prayer is towards receiving an answer from the Lord.
Were able to run into a family who had been taught about a year ago by the Sisters.  There are 7 kids in the family, four girls, and they are sooo adorable and fun-loving.  They remembered the missionaries and were all over us when we came.  The family may not have been ready then, but we're hoping and praying that they'll be ready now.  It goes to show that the work that we do is never wasted, even if we feel that people aren't into the gospel.  It's all about the Lord's timing.
I'm really excited for General Conference this weekend.  I can't believe that it's almost been a year since I was even given this opportunity to be out here at this time!
Much Love,
Sister Crompton
P.S. - For all who knew my love for the Shaytards, you can guess my excitement when I saw this on Mormon Messages :)

Sister Hanley (a 90-yr old member here) and my companion, Sister Joseph

A few days ago we were by an investigators house and these two little boys were dancing and singing (one decided to wear my glasses to look more "cool").


Monday, September 23, 2013

Law of the Fast

First off I want to "shout out" to Grandmommy, Catie, Brooke Green and Madison Telles for the letters this week!  They all were just what I needed.
This week we were able to see who is really progressing and who's not.  We've had some great success with some of our referrals from members.  But we've also had some sad moments with some of the family members of our investigators saying they no longer want us to come to their house to teach.  You can't win them all, but it's still really sad to stop teaching people that want to be taught.

We have English class here 2 times a week and it's really interesting because the students are trying to learn English from me and I'm wanting to learn French from them -- so when I try to pronounce their words, they all just look at me and laugh.  I probably sound ridiculous and we all just laugh at the table.

I don't have much time this week but know that things here are going well.  We've been asked to teach more members about the Law of the Fast, because most of them have never fasted before and we've already seen miracles when members have fasted with us for missionary opportunities.

This week we were also able to have a meeting with the Red Cross and they want us to do a devotional for their youth in the end of October.  We are really excited to be working more with the community down here and we know that it'll bring good things to this little branch here on St. Maarten!

Much Love,
Sister Crompton
 Today when we hit some golf balls into the pond


Monday, September 16, 2013

Pay Attention in Seminary!

So things here in St. Maarten have been going pretty well.  It's really hot, and I'm convinced that there won't be a day where I don't sweat while I'm down here.
Last month our mission president asked us to teach the families here the law of the fast, and specifically ask them to fast for opportunities to find and teach the gospel.  Since then we've been seeing success in the member referrals we already had as well as having a lot of great beginnings with new investigators.
We were shadowed by the Elders again this week so that we can actually have some sort of training as a companionship ... and we were able to learn a lot.  We had a lesson with a friend of a member and it went really well.  He even came to church on Sunday.
The member that helped us teach his friend is young (around 17 or 18) and served a mini-mission -- so he is a missionary machine.  He was using his scripture mastery cards and things he's learning in Sunday school.  So ... for all you youth reading this ... PAY ATTENTION IN SEMINARY AND DON'T FALL ASLEEP!  You will end up using what you learn!
We've had to get pretty creative with all the different language barriers here.  Yesterday we had a medical student come with us who served in Argentina and also a local member who speaks French.  The French member would speak to my companion, Sister Joseph.  She would then translate in English, then the medical student would translate into Spanish so that our investigator would understand.  It turned out to be a really good lesson.
This morning we went to Maho Beach where the planes fly in close to the beach.  There weren't any huge planes, but I tried to get a few pictures.
Other than that things have been going well.  Before I sign off, there was a scripture that really impressed me this week.  It is in 2 Nephi 10:23 :) remember that happiness is a choice!
(Editor's Note:  2 Nephi 10:23 reads "Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves -- to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.")
Much Love,
Sister Crompton
 (Editor's Note: Is this REALLY ice cream and Pringles chips?)
 Sister Joseph making breakfast
Planes landing at Maho Beach