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