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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Crazy, Busy Weeks!

It has been crazy the past couple of weeks.  Transfers went smoothly and we're enjoying the new Missionaries that transferred here.  We had a wonderful Senior's Conference.  It was fun to see all the Senior Couples and to spend time in Trinidad.  That will be the last time we will be at a Senior's Conference and to see Trinidad again.  The last Senior's Conference we went to, we were one of the newer couples out and now we are one of the older couples.  All those who are going home in the next seven months bore their testimonies at the end of the conference.  We love President and Sister Mehr so much.  They each gave inspirational messages and ones that I really needed.  I have felt that I haven't been doing all that I should on this Mission and President Mehr spoke that the Savior knows our innermost desires and thoughts and that with our efforts will qualify us for Exaltation.  I love Missionary work, I've had some of the most spiritual times in my life, but yet some of the most difficult times as well.

Two weeks ago, Elder Gubler was made a Branch President down in Vieux Fort.  President Nicholas has been in for seven long years and was released.  We were hoping that it would be possible for him to serve longer, but it was time for him to go.  The Vieux Fort Branch has been struggling and we have our work cut out for us.  We still plan on living on the Northern part of the Island, Gros Islet, and commuting down to Vieux Fort, the Southern point of the Island, about three times a week.  A lot of our business concerning the Mission is in the area which we live. President Mehr came and released President Nicholas and called Elder Gubler.  We both bore our testimonies along with the Nicholas'.  President Mehr gave an excellent talk on asking questions.  One thing that I've learned on this Mission is to ask inspired questions when we're praying.  I'm not use to that, but it really makes sense. 

When we got home from Senior's Conference, the airline lost our luggage, the refrigerator went out in our apartment, plus other things happened that I don't want to get into.  We are certainly being tried and know that Satan is working hard to get us to leave.  This all happened on Friday before Elder Gubler was called as a Branch President.   We are excited for the challenge and know that we have a lot to do before our Mission ends.  We will certainly be busy.  Elder Gubler is worried about the drive back and forth, but I know the Lord will bless us.  The drive is grueling, hairpin turns, up and down Mountain passages and narrow roads.  Elder Gubler is an excellent driver and so far no accidents.  The Missionaries down in Vieux Fort are awesome and we're looking forward to spending more time with them.  In fact, they had a baptism on Saturday.  We will miss the Castries Branch as we have gotten close to a lot of the members. 

Elder Gubler has one Counselor, Brother Hippolyte.  He and his wife just started getting active this past year.  She was baptized in the United States working as a nanny for an LDS family and served a mission in Hawaii. She converted her husband when they were married. They have two darling daughters.  They are working towards going to the Temple this August.  The problem they face is that they live so far away from Vieux Fort.  They don't own a vehicle and have to rely on public transportation which is very limited on Sundays. But, Brother Hippolyte has a strong testimony and knows that the Lord will provide a way if they make the effort.  They often have to walk an hour into small villages looking for transportation.  He lost his business and home because of the bad economy and has had some real struggles financially. We took them home on Sunday and they do live a long distance near the Grande Piton, a dormant volcano.  We were nervous our van wouldn't make it on some of the roads leading up to their home, single narrow lane and pot filled roads. They live in a humble home without a lot of amenities.  She has to cook on a stove with only one burner.  Unfortunately, it is the opposite way of where we go home, which means we traveled all the way around the Island on Sunday.  It made for a very long day. We started at 8:00 and didn't get home until 5:00.  I know that the Lord will bless them for their efforts. We were both exhausted at the end of the day.

There was one point on our Mission that we thought we were going back to Suriname, because we had a visa and also we're familiar with the area and Elder Gubler can speak Dutah.  Elder and Sister Vanderbeek, the Senior Couple there,  left for home after the Senior Conference.  There are currently 20 Missionaries there, with two new Sisters.  We were asked to stay here because Elder Gubler was asked to be Branch President.  We are glad that we're still here.  This Mission is in need of Senior Couples.  President Mehr said that six couples are leaving in the next six months and he only has two coming to replace them.  I hope they have one for Saint Lucia, because they are certainly needed here.  So, this is a plea to all seniors who are able to serve a Mission to put your papers in and request the West Indies Mission.  There is a great need here as the Church is so new and is struggling.


Sister Surujbhan, Senior couple 
from Guyana, serving in Guyana
at Seniors Conference.


Angie's baptism


Shermina's baptism



Larry Marquis, baptized by his father.


Elders Morrison and Watson with
Corey


Pitons


President Mehr handing out insect
repellant for swamp tour


Senior Conference, waiting for swamp tour.


Cerroni Swamp


Black termite nest in tree.


Red Ibis


President Eclar from Guadalupe, 2nd Counselor
in Mission Presidency.


The Samaroo's and Richmonds


We had beautiful music with Sister Mehr singing, Sister
Smith on violin, and Elder Ray piano, "Savior, Redeemer
of My Soul"


Sister Kirton, left, from Guyana on a mini
mission awaiting her full time mission to Florida, 
with Terry and Sister Shelton at Terry's baptism.


Sister Taylor, sister trainer, Sister Kirton, Sister Shelton


Elders Woodruff, Fauchier, and Reyes at Terry's
Baptism all from Vieux Fort.



Sister Baptiste with grandchildren from
Vieux Fort.



Nadia's family, she lost her home in a fire.


Sisters Shelton and King. Sister
King transferred to Suriname, 1st
Sister Missionary in Suriname.


Sister Shelton & King with Elder St. Rose.



Elder Juchau and Elder Smith. Not sure if
Elder Juchau liked the food.


Elders Fiame, Sorensen, Sister King, and Elder St. Rose all
transferred from area.



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