The Church is also planning a big celebration in the West Indies Mission for the 25th anniversary of the start of missionary work here. All the Caribbean countries are involved in this celebration. There will be shows and contests put on throughout the next couple of years to get ready for this event. This will involve all the Wards and Branches and any nonmember friends they want to invite. They want to get the media involved and make this a big event. I'm sure you will read more about it in the Church News as time goes by. We will also be helping out the District in Suriname to get this going.
President Mehr also mentioned that in the next three months ten Senior couples will be completing their Missions and going home. Because of all the newly created Missions in the Church, that has left a shortage of Senior Couples. There will only be three couples to replace the ten that are leaving. Plus, the number of missionaries will increase. He is issuing a plea for Senior couples to go on Missions. He is also issuing a plea that you put down West Indies Mission as a preference. The Mission has four French speaking countries and all of the Senior couples assigned to those countries are going home, with no French speaking couples coming out. So, all you Senior couples that know French, WE NEED YOU!
It was great to see all the Senior Couples and also to meet up with the Seniors from Trinidad. We have gotten really close to them and have a great deal of love for them. They are all awesome people and have sacrificed so much to be on a Mission. It was truly an honor being with these great people. We are getting more and more use to Suriname and really enjoy the missionaries and the members. They are having a lot of success here, with baptisms nearly every week. Elder and Sister Olpin, a Senior couple serving in Barbados (Sister Mehr's parents), were here to give some members Patriarchal Blessings. They are such sweet people. We were honored to help drive them around. They told us of a man and his son who recently joined the Church here in Suriname that received their blessings. The gentleman, who was Roman Catholic, always thought there was something else out there that answered many of his questions. He knew immediately that it was the LDS Church when he met the Missionaries. I think if more people asked questions and tried to find the answers that the work would progress rapidly. Many people are indifferent and do not care. There is a bad problem with immorality in the Caribbean and it is creating serious problems with the youth here. The children are raised by their mother with no father in the home and they have numerous brothers and sisters with different mothers. The men often boast at how many children they have sired. It is a sad situation and it breaks my heart for the youth and the children.
The Lord is hastening his work by the amount of Missionaries serving all over the world. I'm thankful to be part of this great work. I know the Church is true and I'm so thankful to be a part of it. I know there is a true Prophet of God on the earth today. Why wouldn't Heavenly Father have a Prophet for us today? I'm excited for General Conference which is coming up in a couple of weeks. I love listening to the words of the Apostles and Prophet and all the other leaders of the Church. I am currently reading the Book of Mormon for the 2nd time. I know it is the Word of God and really feel the power and the spirit of this great book. It has the fullness of the Gospel in it. I'm thankful for all my family who support us on this Mission. We couldn't do it without them. I love all of them very much. I'm posting late pictures and will post more pictures as I get them.
Sweet sister recently baptized
Elder Gubler & Elder Hall
Elder Westra & Elder Alpeter
Elder Northrup & Elder Reise