Tuesday, March 31, 2015

week 36


Weekly letters home are a joke and i feel like any RM can understand why-  I can write a massive letter for everyday of this week because there is just so much to tell! The week was so great, but I will only share two different moments:

Saying bye to Ephraïm was a depressing moment for sure. 
People told me before my mission that I would meet specific people that have been waiting for me to teach them. I feel like Ephraim was one of these specific people that I needed to find and teach so that he could teach me. As I reflect on our time together, I've realized he taught me a lot more than I ever taught him. When you start a first lesson your investigator rarely says; "I need to get baptized so i can have the holy ghost with me at all times so when can i get baptized?" and even if that does happen, Ephraim is probably the first ever to then say; "My baptismal date is too far away can i get baptized sooner" and  "My goals in life are go on a mission and be married in the temple and have a big family"

Maybe you have seen this, but Ephraim is the first I have ever known to leave the country and everything behind to insure he could realize this goal

But that was Ephraïm.  He will be in a city in the north for the next couple of months and then travel to Goiana. After a couple months there he plans on going back to Haiti and tackle all his goals.  Im going to miss him a lot for sure!

The Second story is of a less active man named Frere Anthony. 

We set off this week to find him, but all we had was a disconnected phone number and an address. His house is hidden back in a tight neighborhood...As in we squeeze through alley ways to get to the houses close to his. After walking through all the little alleyways, we finally got to the address and called out for him....and of course, there was no answer. We had gone all that way however and decided instead of turning back that we would hang out and ask some neighbors a little more about Anthony...of course, nobody could help us so we turned back down the alley and started walking back down the normal road. 

My favorite thing to do is to contact the first person I see after a lesson falls through-I honestly believe there are always reasons why the lesson falls through, and since we are in the area, there must be some reason for us to be there besides the canceled lesson....So down the road comes gold teeth sun glasses and some black shiny shoes. I comment on his fresh shoes and we start talking to him. After a while of talking though, I realize he wouldn't look me in the eye and kind of ventured off and went into the alleyway we had just came from.

Elder Chidester looks at all confused about what had just occurred...and right then I realized we had just found our less active. We both kind of paused for a second, and then of course ran right back through the alleyway and straight to the house we had just left...just in time to catch him going inside. That's where i decided to get all sneaky on him and called out; "Frere Anthony i didnt recognize you!"

He then shrunk into looking like a child caught stealing candy. We started talking and I saw his garden was in bad shape.He then agreed to let us come back this wednesday to help him in the garden.  

As we were walking away Elder Chidester asked me how I knew it was Anthony. 

I realized that I had no idea how I had figured it out, just that I knew I needed to contact him. 

It was a simple remnder that if we do all we can we will always be in the right place. 

Elder Logan Robert Sackley

They don't have lawnmowers so instead I cut the grass with a machete

Storm over Cayenne

Goodbye to the realest Ephraïm

wedding reception

well dont mind if i do

Raphiel was looking like Metro Pole Tony Stark

this brazillian RM we found he doesnt speak a lick of french but he loved showing us his tats.  Were working on it

Elder Chidester made friends with a drunk brazilian grandma


Monday, March 23, 2015

week 35

hmm this week was dang packed so I am just going to start listing stories off:

1. There was supposed to be a flood this past Saturday. The ocean apparently was supposed to rise 4 meters and everyone was telling me it was going to be the end of the world: "Worst flood ever."  Well it ended up being super hot on Saturday and I honestly think that the ocean went down four meters instead of up...Moral of the story: the hype is never real.

2. I am going to have to rewind a couple months to give this story justice...

It was a Sunday morning and we were standing outside of a little shack building where our investigator Ephraïm had been renting a room- he came outside with his eyes full of tears and told us that he was completely out of food, and felt like he just couldn't keep living-he felt as if there was nothing he could do to improve his situation. Well how does a 19 year old boy from America respond to that? Easy. You don't. Collectively, we made the decision to go to church with the hope he would be given some blessing for attending church. For the next few months, Ephraim was able to find little work, but not enough-as in he has enough food and a place to sleep but that's about it.  

We have worked with Ephraim for months on helping him find work. He has been meeting with the Branch President and finally this last Wednesday I went to see him and get blindsided as he told us he was leaving for Brasil. 


He goes on to say that he had found a stable job there that would help him much more than anything here, and he can progress in the church work towards his goal of a mission by having such a stable job. 

I dont think I have felt so down as I did last Wednesday. I am excited for Ephraim, but I feel like I am just going to miss seeing him progress so much! I love that guy, and it's hard to accept he really is leaving. The first night I met Ephraïm we talked for maybe a total of 2 minutes, but I knew he was someone special-someone I feel very grateful to know.

He will leave this week for Brazil- so I will write a little more about this whole experience next week, but until them remember him in your prayers! 

3. So this past weekend Elder Cornish of the seventy came and visited Cayenne.  Everyone was so excited to have him come so we had a big fireside on Friday night with him presiding.  Frere Smith was asked to give the first talk which was essentially his story of conversion.  It was a super good testimony-he killed it! Elder Cornish ended up referring to Smith's experience throughout the fireside, which made him feel good. Our zone conference with Elder Cornish was the next day.  He shared a story with us which I am going to do my best to retell...

There once lived a poor boy with his widowed mother. They lived in a shack on the outskirts of a town.  They owned one cow and were dependent on it for survival. If the grass did not grow as much one year the cow did not eat and the family suffered. One day a wise man entered the village. News spread fast that he was there and the boy ran into the city to talk to the man in hopes of finding some cure to the family's poverty. After hearing the boy's story, the wiseman exclaimed that he would like to help the family, so they went back to the boy's home. 
So they went back to the shack and the wiseman went to the cow. He then walked the cow to an edge of a cliff and gave it a nice shove and of course then, the cow fell over the side to its death.  

The wiseman then looked at the boy who was stunned beyond comprehension and told him that he would return to see the boy again in 10 years.

-10 years pass-

The wiseman returns to the city to find a huge mansion built right at the city center.  He asks a man walking on the street who lived in the beautiful home...(And of course after some peering around, the wise man found that the young boy and the widow lived there.) The wiseman nodded in acknowledgment, and then left the city. 

Elder Cornish then relayed that to our mission work, in that sometimes we limit our capabilities by simply living off a "cow".  We become totally dependent on something to the point that we no longer see our full potential. The message of course then, is to kill your cow- eliminate the things that are holding you back from your Heavenly mansion. In other words, set your vision on a higher standard and create bigger goals then what you think you could possibly do. God sees our full potential like the Wiseman saw the boys potential, and allows us to go beyond our comfort zone in order to get there.  

Have the faith to kill your cow, 

Elder Logan Robert Sackley

young bloods challenged team missionary in soccer.  Church is true we won 10 4

there is no one quite like Fréré Bady

Monday, March 16, 2015

week 34

brothers and sisters bonjur!

So I am walking down a road with my companion and we're passing by the chicken fight place for the millionth time... But this time the door is open and a guy is sitting outside the door. So I decide that we just have to get in there and see it.  So I tried to convice Elder Chidester to contact the guy, but he wanted no part of it.  So I took matters into my own hands and I walked up to the man and put my arm around him and said;  "You know I am quite the chicken fighter."  He starts cracking up and we talk for a little while.  I inch my way to the door with a grin on my face and asked if we could look around.  He's still laughing and he lets us in.  It was super sweet.  Grand stands with two drop cages above the ring.  Its 5 euro a person...maybe I'll drop in when they have an actual fight?

Spits balls and less actives

"1/6 of you will be inactive 2 years after your mission."  7 months ago I was sitting in the MTC when this statistic was anounced.  It has been on my mind ever since then because well, how is that even possible?

Now, as a missionary I am now more convinced then I have ever been before that when we are baptized and become members of the church, a light is opened up inside of us... some sort of chamber or part that was never there before.  This past week we spent a lot of time teaching less active members of the church. And after teaching so many this week, I have realized that even if one goes inactive in the gospel, when the chamber opens it never can be fully closed.  

Sitting across from someone who claims they have no testimony or don't believe in the church any more is a tricky game.  You can try helping them realize they do or that they have had real experiences but more often then not they have no desire to remember such experiences. It really can become a game of shooting in the dark as we attempt to find their inner light they've somehow forgotten they possess. 

This week we taught an inactive youth an inactive Returned Missionary and an inactive mom.

That being said, there was a lot of us shooting in the dark, and attempting to find some sort of connection they had with the gospel. After each lesson however hard it was though, I knew we had found that inner light in each of them. However dull the light within them had become, when we began talking about their testimonies their lights would begin to light up again. I have been working with the inactive mom for a while now and she has been able to come 3 weeks in a row (which means she has officially become active again!) 

With all three cases this week I realized that we needed to ask God for help. I realized quickly that there was no sure answer for everyone's problems, and therefore we really relied on the spirit throughout the lessons. I know as we strive to stir up their remembrance of what once was that they will come back.  It takes time and sometimes a lot of throwing out random questions you don't think will mean anything to them, and yet it somehow works out. I realized this week seeing a chamber be renewed with a less active is more joyful for me then seeing it be opened for the first time with an investigator.

I know with all less actives and inactives they can come back to the gospel and be stirred to the remembrance of what they once knew to be true-all it takes is stepping into the dark and finding that light switch. 

Elder Logan Robert Sackley


the arena
my life motto

just taking my goats out for a walk

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

week 33


Well this week was way sweet so let's hop right down to new of the week:

Elder Chidester finally arrived!
He is from Sacramento California, and graduated in 2014...so he is 18 years old. He was into skateboarding throughout high school and all I can say to him about all that is that I know tony hawk has a video game and nitro circus makes me laugh... He is also a hipster-like he's working on making a pair of short denim shorts right now...don't worry, it's still the beginning of his training so I'll work on that one. He's a goofball and I like him a lot.  It gives me déja vu doing the whole trainee/trainer thing again.  But all is well in cayenne!

This last saturday we had a baptism!
so now the conversion story of Fréré Manuel
A few weeks ago we had planned to meet with a convert after having family home evening with another family. It was planned to just have a quick lesson with him before heading home for the night. We were sitting up against a wall just waiting for this guy to come for the lesson. There was an intersecting road in front of us and we could see a guy on a bike slowly coming down the road towards us.  As he got closer to us it was easy to tell he was drunk...and the wiff of air when he approached us confirmed it. He then said hello...and then:

"I have done something terrible i need to change my life i want to change my life"

I dont know why but right there i turned to Elder Smith and said lets teach him.  We shared a brief message and set up a return rendezvous. He told us we could follow him home to his house to find the address.  As we were riding to his home he pulls over to the side of the road and starts talking to some guys and begins to drink again, so of course, we shrug it off and go home.

The next day Elder Smith and Elder Belnap were on exchanges in the area and by a miracle found the drunk guy's house.  His wife turns them away but another women in the house tells them he is there. With lethal persistency on Elder Smith and Elder Belnap's part, the wife finally lets them come in.  They have a little lesson with Manuel-who is hungover. They then gave him Alma 7 to read and set up a return date.

Later, Elder Smith got me up to speed on Manuel, and we decided to go over and see how his reading went. When we got to his house however, we were greeted by an entirely new Manuel. He told us he had read Alma 7 three times and that he was ready to change his life. 

From that day on we taught him four times a week to ensure he was changing.  After Elder Smith left to Remire, Fréré smith and i made sure to pass by multiple times to check up on Manuel and see if he was progressing. He was true to his word, as Manuel had been born again and really had changed. He has not touched alcohol since the night we met him and has instead, became a book of mormon junky.  

When this past Saturday came around i felt like a dad.  We went to his house before the baptism and taught him how to tie a tie and fix his newly-bought white shirt for him.  You have never seen a guy so happy to be baptized.  Fréré smith baptized him on Saturday, and I gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday during church. 

Manuel's story has really brought to life the hope and change that comes along with the gospel and it has really changed me as a result.  I am very grateful and humbled to have met him.  

Elder Logan Robert Sackley

baptism shenanigans
his first double madras

Esthefany is still the realest

Hatian Creole plaque welcome to the family

make shift umbrellas with Elder Moux

Monday, March 2, 2015

week 32

hey y'all

Well I would love to tell you all the sweet things about Elder Chidester but I'm afraid he's not here.  There was some confusion when he was going through St Lucia so he had to spend the weekend in Martinique.  He comes in tonight so next week i'll fill you in.  

So for the week I was off with the zone leaders in Remire. Which was unfortunate because I didn't get to be in Cayenne as much as I hoped but it was still good.  Something that was sweet was Frere Smith was my mini missionary for most of the weekend, so he stayed with me all day long and taught lessons with me.  It was super fun.

I took him contacting (knocking on doors) and intially he was hesitant-he would turn to me when he got nervous talking to people but by the end he was on fire.  One girl threw out an awful excuse on why she can't meet with us and smith would not have any of it. It was something really special to be honest. 

We went to teach our investigator Manuel and during the lesson I had Smith share his conversion story.  It made me flashback to when we were initially teaching him his first lesson, and meeting him and the person he was, and then seeing him today just 4 months later as a mini missionary with me...It was a really sweet moment. 

We are wrapping up the lessons with manuel this week with his baptism is this Saturday.  We were about teaching persevering through life to return to live with God. Something that I have kept in my mind my whole mission and something I will keep for the rest of my life is this day dream that I sometimes like to share with investigators: Jesus Christ will one day stand as our advocate before God.  He will plead our case for us. Imagine how its going to feel when Jesus presents you simply; "This is Elder Sackley he has done all he can. I am proud of him."

I like to meditate on this thought and then resolve in my mind how I can get to being the person I want Christ to introduce me as.  I know this day dream can be reality for all of us. The choice is now ours to do the things to get there.

Elder Logan Robert Sackley
im gonna fry this bad boy up-like the locals! 

Elder smith banged his head and earned himself a couple staples

 Frere Smith aka my companion for the weekend just with his swaggy umbrella

No im not fat i dont know why i look so gosh dang fat.  You will be missed Elder Savage Guadelope and Elder Dayton St martin

Frere Jose fears no snake

Esthefany broke her wrist this week and you best believe i got the most real estate on the cast