Monday, September 29, 2014

week 10

First thing first is i got a haircut.  it is not yet complete but all elders in french guiana have french haircuts.  you gotta look like a french man if you want to speak like one.  so right now, i still need to grow my hair a bit longer but its a work in the process.  

Ok lots of really funny and good stories this week! 

Tuesday in french guiana: we have to use three locks when we lock up our bikes because everyone steals down here.  so we had just taught a lesson and we were going out to our bikes when I realized something is missing on mine.  we locked the wheels and the frame but the crazy people down here stole my bike seat.  Who even wants a bike seat????? anyhow i rode my bike like a straight harley: i sat way back on the basket on the back of my bike.  it doesnt help that my bike makes a squeaky noise so everyone was staring at the goofy american riding his bike without a seat.  

The Suriname trip:  We wake up early and drive three hours through the jungle. the only cool animal i saw was an armadillo so that was a let down.  than we get in a motor powered canoe and it takes probably ten minutes to cross the river.  than another three hour car ride where me and three other elders had to cram into a space that was probably big enough for two to sit kind of comfortably.  Because the west indies is such a big mission in 12 different countries, we only have zone conference... never mission conference.  So we get there and we room with two other elders: elder dam and elder wheaten, who were both super sweet. 

random fact about Suriname: they have a bus system there that is comparable to taxis. There are hundreds of buses everywhere you just wave one down and they will literally swerve through traffic hop the curb drive on the sidewalk and pick you up.  The only way i can describe the bus rides is in harry potter the midnight bus thing or whatever yeah they kinda drive like that.  

There is a store in Suriname called chois and it carries american brands. i dont know why, it just does.  i wont tell you the mission fund of french side missionaries but Suriname elders get 900 SRD.  me and elder smith have been starving ourselves so we can spend as much money on food as possible.  We spent 500 SRD in Suriname....  yeah we stalked up big time.  

Brief spiritual thought:  6 monkeys are placed in a cage that has bananas in the center.  every time a monkey reaches for a banana all 6 monkeys get sprayed with cold water.  pretty soon no monkey dares going for the banana.  Then 3 monkeys are taken out of the cage and a new 3 are put in.  when the new 3 reach the other 3 beat them down and yell at them knowing that they will get sprayed with water from past experience. soon all 6 wont touch the bananas again.  the first 3 are taken out and now we have 3 new monkeys when they reach the other three beat them down even though they never had the experience of being sprayed.  all 6 monkeys are enslaved by the past failures and ideas of the previous...In other words, don't let the past enslave or stop you from reaching your goals.

Elder Logan Robert Sackley

Monday, September 22, 2014

week 9

hello everyone!

It is a burning probably 100 degrees here... actually i dont know.  

quick random thoughts than a quick message: I am in French guiana and there are tons of iguanas and lizards like everywhere and at night bats just rule the sky.  Everyone here is super humble and i have decided that i will never be able to drink juice from back home because the stuff here is to die for agh its so good. 

 French bakeries, brazillian grill, and french meals are going to make a fat elder sackley.  Thank goodness I am on a bike and its so hot its keeping me balanced. Also, nothing will make you feel so unathletic than playing soccer with a ton of south americans. gosh i dont even know if i have any athletic ability left.

 Ok serious note:  Through out my life I have loved sports and competing. One of my favorite quotes is... 

its a lack of faith that stops people from meeting challenges and i believe in myself" - muhammad ali.

 In our mission, traditionally french speaking is the driest in baptizing. But down here in french guiana we believe and know we're going to change that.  Just like in sports you always believe you are going to win and have that killer mentality we belive we can bring others unto christ and always have a sharp, strong mental state.  Its a lack of faith that stops missionaries from meeting challenges and i believe in God.  That is not cockiness, it's knowing that God is with us and knowing that believing that good will come is what gets you places.  Always believe in yourself in what your doing but ultimately in God. 

-Elder Logan Robert Sackley

ps: soooo this Thursday is zone conference hold onto your seat and listen to how sweet this is.  We wake up and all jump in a van and drive three hours to the Suriname border.  Than we jump into a canoe and go across a river that takes 20 minutes, then three more hours into Suriname   Soooo sweet so yes i will have gone to Suriname by next week.  there is also an american convience store there and we plan to drop 150 euro on american food and candy so we have starved ourselves for a couple weeks.  Sending love from French Guiana and Suriname 

pss: the creepy photo from last week? it's where one of his investigators live. apparently it was pitch black! 

our little building!
downtown cayenne
The spider is self explanatory, I only have bad words for my interaction
i wear a hat to blend in with the locals
downtown cayenne

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

week 8

bonjur bonjur bonjur

ok where to begin...I arrived in Trinidad and i swear the english down here is harder to understand than the french.  we spent two nights and a day in Trinidad. I roomed with an Elder from the Netherlands going dutch side, he was suppppper cool we bonded fast.  
List of countries i have been to so far:  Trinidad, Grenada, Barbados, I spent a day in Martinique, and now French Guiana.  Our mission is the second most expensive mission in the world, but I don't know whats first.  Anyways tons of travel.  its funny they only stopped the missionaries at customs, everyone else they just let through.  

ok Martinique is beautiful.  my very first lesson ever were teaching an 18 yr old and these two little kids were above us on an apartment landing.  and they are just chucking batteries and toys and who knows what at us.  thank goodness they were like 4 and had horrible aim.  Then one started yelling (all translation from french)  "i am going to pee on you white boys!!!!!" agh thank goodness he didn't! Anyhow i understand like 80 percent of what the french people say like i was way impressed how much i understand.  problem is so far we have taught in french, Haitian creole, other forms of creole, spanish, Portuguese, and the hardest language of all to understand... the english! 

the fruit and juice here is sooo good.  Elder Smith my father is super nice and cool.  I like him a lot he is from Utah i don't remember where.  I gave a talk in church yesterday im not sure if anyone understood it but the other elders said it was good so hey I'll take it. We're on bikes here; i have not ridden a bike since high adventure two summers ago so i look so goofy.  We also play basketball against the kids in the hood.  Supposedly they are good but even with ties, and dress shoes we smacked them. 

 The mosquitos are not horrible they are just mean.  Places i have been bitten; achilles, toes (slept with my feet uncovered), elbows, and inside of my wrists.  they tactfully bite in the worst places. There is no senior couple in french guiana so we run wild.  just kidding. The work is great last year there was 4 baptisms here in the whole year in the past 4 weeks we have had 5. and elder smith and i have 8 people with baptisms dates the gospel is exploding here its awesome.  

My address is 
RTE DE Baduel Bat. E app 2 Residence Pont Maggi 
97300 Cayenne, 
French Guiana.  

Do not send stuff to the mission home, I will never get it.  Also I have sweated more here than i think i have in the past 2 years combined. It is super hot and super humid. Stay Sweet or in my case sweaty...gosh I'm funny.  Actually no one here gets sarcasm it doesn't translate well. or else i would get punched a lot.

Elder Logan Robert Sackley

Elder Sackley with his companion

(Madison note: He sent us these photos with no caption or reason to if anyone knows what they are....let us know!) 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letter from the President

Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Dear Parents of Elder Sackley, 
We are so pleased to welcome your son to the West Indies Mission! He arrived safely in Trinidad & Tobago on 08 Sep 2014 .  On Tuesday, he and fourteen other missionaries from the MTC were given a tour and brief training in the mission office, attended a district meeting for the first time in Port of Spain, Trinidad, were interviewed by President Mehr, and then received instructions from the assistants to the president. We spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening with him in the mission home for a welcome dinner and a spirit-filled devotional. We have loved getting to know him and we love him already. He is a bright and thoughtful young man, and is clearly excited to go to work teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Each new missionary will either fly or drive to their assigned area. Elder Sackley has been assigned to labor in French Guiana, French South Zone. There is a growing population of members there, and the missionaries enjoy much success working closely with them. His new companion is Elder Smith, an experienced faithful missionary who will guide your son through a 12-week training program. 

Elder Sackley's faithful studies in the Book of Mormon, Preach My Gospel and the 12-week training program will prepare him to be an inspired teacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please encourage your son as he begins this challenging but extremely rewarding work. His gospel study and diligent obedience will help him teach effectively by the Spirit and to grow in his own testimony and conversion, which will be a foundation for his mission and also for the rest of his life. 

Your son is encouraged to email his immediate family and his mission president every week on Monday, our preparation day. 

We look forward to getting to know him and working with him in the great work of salvation in the West Indies Mission. Thank you for sharing him with us! 

President and Sister Mehr

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

week 6

Oh boy one more week and I'm off to the races.  First off congratulations to Jaycee and Jacob Gerber you guys are going to rock it.  If anyone else received a mission call i apologize i hear like nothing from the outside world.  Anyhow.  This week was awesome. I have two stories. So first for those who don't know at the MTC we teach mainly RM's (return missionaries) or just members that volunteer.  For the most part we teach in our assigned language.  But there are some people who are paid employees who walk around wearing these gold tags.  Almost all are members just pretending to be investigators or some dont even pretend ahah.  But there are a select few that are real non members and oh my goodness we hunt for them.  

Teaching actors is fun and all but we're all here looking for the real deal.  So we meet a Gold Tag named Chae.  She is from medford oregon whoop whoop and we set an appointment up with her because she is super cool and has super awesome questions and we wanted to practice some teaching.  So after we walk away our teacher comes out to us and tells us she's a non member.  We were so pumped like finally a non member! But than it was more of like oh crap we cant mess this up.  

So we head into the appointment, and get to know her for a long time and than we just start asking about questions and what she ultimately narrowed it down to is how is the gospel going to make me a better mom.  Of course im searching and searching for some scripture that could explain it.  But Elder Argyle hits it right on the head.  "In our church we try to follow Jesus Christ.  We believe he is perfect and lived a perfect life. As we try to make our lives follow him we get closer and closer to his perfect example."  

Thats what made a light go off in my head. I love my parents and one of the things i love most is they did vocally teach me a lot of things.  But the stuff i picked up on most was how they acted.  How they taught me by example.  We than talked about how her kids do the same to her and as she tries to lead a perfect and good life her kids will learn.  There is no parenting book or class that can teach it as simply or easily as that.  As we follow the perfect example we set a good example for everyone watching.  And there is always someone watching.  

Second story.  In our branch they always give us a subject to talk on and than they randomly select one elder and one sister.  Elder Iund was sick so i stayed back at the residence and i thought hmm well im not going to church so i dont need to prepare a talk.  To my luck ten minutes before church starts they exchange an elder for me so i can go.  I didnt think much of it.  I mean i still had a 1/40 chance of being picked.  So i walk in and president Merill is just smiling at me.  I thought it was just by chance but he locked in on me.  In a panic i found a scripture on the atonement (the topic) and than low and behold he selects me.  Its a five minute talk in all french. 

 Im pretty confident in speaking in front of people if he would have said 20 minutes in english with a couple notes i would be golden.  But all freestyle in french!  I love DC 84:85  but i was not sure if it applied to a kid that speaks broken french.  I got up had a prayer in my heart and rocked it.  I spoke some of my best french I have spoken here so far and had all my thoughts organized.  After the meeting the elders were all asking me if i memorized my talk because i never looked down.  I dont tell this story to boast because it really has nothing to do with my french speaking ability.  But to show the lords promises are not bound by language, country, time, or place.  trust in him and he will do the rest. 

 I love you all have a good week!

The sisters from new caledonia!  Coolest people i have met here.  They are the best volley ball players and people

Elder Argyle and my teacher Soeur Echols!

Dont we all look the same?  Elder Li and Elder Ho from Taiwan!

Elder Prince and me

Me and Elder argyle dont play around

So we TRC skyped a guy in canada named clarence and i wanted to get a pic of him without him noticing it was pretty tough

Skyping natives

me and mark!