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Friday, April 11, 2014

A busy month!

The months are going by faster the longer we are on this mission.  On April 15, we will hit our year mark and only have six months left.  We have been busy since I last wrote on my blog.  The Zone Conference that we hosted was a success and enjoyed by all.  Things ran smoothly and was a real inspirational conference.  I was worried about the food, but we had plenty and it was enjoyed by all.  President and Sister Mehr do a wonderful job instructing the missionaries.  They all have a great love for them and do their best to follow their counsel.  We have not had any problems with the missionaries that we have worked with. They are very obedient and put all their effort into serving the Lord.

We did have a little hitch before the Zone Conference.  On Monday before the conference, the Elders who live under the Church had a bad infestation of termites hatching out of their eggs.  I don't know if I mentioned it, but this is a real problem with the building that the Church is renting.  In fact, termites have devoured a lot of baseboard and moldings in the Elder's apartment.  We have been trying to work with the Landlord, but to no avail.  Finally, this was the last straw.  The Elders encountered a room so full of the disgusting bugs that they couldn't stand it anymore.  I think the Landlord got the message that we didn't have to rent the apartment and would move out if he didn't do anything about it.  He got on it right away by spraying and had to tear out the sheet rock and baseboard in the one room as well as the kitchen upstairs in the Church.  We told him that he had to get it done right away because we had to house 14 missionaries from St. Vincent.  We ended up putting a lot of the Elders up at the Church in the Primary room and the Sisters stayed with us.  It worked out and the work on the apartment and the kitchen was finished quickly.  The Elders are very thankful and feel like they have a new apartment with no bugs and new doors, baseboard and paint.  Sometimes these things are blessings in disguise.

The first of the 2015 Celebration is scheduled for next Friday.  I'm very proud of Saint Lucia, especially Vieux Fort because they have done this on their own.  This is their celebration and not ours.  We will have two Senior Couples as guests, the Monsons who spearheaded this Celebration and who will be leaving the first part of May and the Francoms who just came out and will be taking their place.  It will be a fun event and we're trying to finalize all the preparations.  

We enjoyed General Conference over the weekend.  We watched all four sessions at the Castries Church and I even stayed for the Priesthood session and didn't get home until after 10:00 Saturday evening.  We watched all the sessions live and because it's two hours later here, it made for two long days.  We had many in attendance on Sunday and they stayed at the Church between the sessions and brought sack lunches.  We even had some investigators come.  It was a great day on Saturday with a baptism held in between the two sessions.  The work seems to be picking up here in Saint Lucia.  I've seen some very faithful new converts join the Church the past little while who will be real assets.  One of the Sisters, Sylvia, who was baptized in January has been exceptionally faithful.  She came to the conference sessions in spite of being sick and took notes throughout the conference.  She was so excited to hear from a Prophet of God and Apostles and new how important it was.  She and I have grown really close and feel like we knew each other in our premortal life.  She is a real inspiration to me and I love her very much as well as all these special members here.  We already have about four youth in the Castries Branch that are preparing for missions in the next year.  I love teaching seminary and associating with these young people.  

It has been great getting to know our new missionaries that have transferred in.  A new Sister, Sister King, that will be serving in Suriname and learning Dutch is here waiting for her Visa.  She with her companion will be the first Sister Missionaries in Suriname.  We also have three Elders from the Caribbean serving in Saint Lucia.  They have a real impact with the people here and will do well. 

I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve the Lord.  He is my strength and has helped uplift me so many times on this Mission.  I have a real testimony of prayer and know that God hears and answers prayers.  The Church is true, the Book of Mormon is true and this work is the Lord's work.  He is at the head of this Church.  I'm so thankful for my family.  They have been a big help and big support while on this Mission. My grandson, Connor was baptized March 30.  It was hard not being there, but we are very proud of him and the wonderful boy he is.  Thank you to all our extended family who came and supported his baptism.  We all miss you and love you very much.

Xavi's Baptism, his mother was baptized
in December

Cute picture after his baptism

O'Brian's baptism

O'Brian's family, two kids, mother (Dorothy),
brother (Felix) and Felix's daughter.  Felix
was baptized Saturday after conference. Dorothy
will be baptized in a couple of weeks. Very
strong family excited about the Gospel.

Paul's baptism, he is missing a leg and this was
a sweet picture of the Elders helping him after
his baptism. There were three baptisms that day.

Rizaria and Xavi, couldn't get Sanaii-Rei to turn
her head.

Still couldn't get her to turn around

Not yet, mother frustrated


The day before transfers at District meeting. Four 
of our Missionaries left.

Zone Conference

Sister Shelton and Sister King

Sister Taylor and Sister Worthington who stayed
with us during Zone Conference.

A big relief at the end