Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Dear Family and Friends,
We are behind on our weekly emails due to some new stumbling blocks placed in our path that we are still trying to sort out. Sadly, we do not have control over the situation, so worrying doesn't get us very far.
Who would dream that the immigration process could get worse? We have 2 association bonds that sponsor the names of our Trinidad missionaries and guarantee their financial stability. The one that we are on,
is up for renewal and if the government does not approve the renewal of the bond by May 24th, we too,will have to leave Trinidad along with 6 of our missionaries. This presents some issues like, where do we relocate
the mission home and office? What other area in the mission can facilitate the location, flight paths, and member strength that we need for a mission headquarters? Etc Etc Etc Guyana has also revised their
immigration requirements and so the one country in our mission that used to be easy to get missionaries into, has now tightened its entrance gates. It must be the last days! We are experiencing many challenges,
but are still blessed to have the work move forward. We have just had the first elder and sister from Trinidad called to serve in our mission. The Missionary Department of the church is mindful and the Lord is now
calling locals to fill the void.
We have just finished hosting a senior couple conference in Trinidad and are so grateful for the amazing senior couples that help this mission move forward. Sadly, we will be losing half of them by June, with no
one to replace them in the pipeline. We have such a testimony and love for senior couples and the sacrifices that they make to serve. Missions can not run without them...especially ones that are spread out over
1500 miles! Spread the word that we would love to have any interested couples contact us, who are thinking of serving.
We have been in Guyana all week for Zone Conferences, the reorganization of two branch presidencies, the consolidation of two branches into one and the formation of the Berbice Guyana District! It was a very
busy weekend of interviews for Dad with all available Melchiizedek priesthood candidates.A new district will strengthen the 6 mission dependent branches and allow a little more autonomy for them to learn how to
operate the church in preparation to become a Stake someday. There were 205 Saints that showed up Sunday morning! They are very excited to see the church grow and have their own priesthood help to preside.
Dad will still do temple recommends and certain priesthood advancements, but there will now be a District President on the ground that Dad can work through. It was a very spiritual meeting and everyone seemed
to be excited about the changes.
We just landed in Trinidad an hour ago and are busy getting ready to turn around and fly to the ABC islands tomorrow, to do the last of Zone Conferences and return to prepare for transfers. Never a dull moment!
It will feel good to get one night in Trinidad at the mission home as our days are looking numbered.Thank you for your letters, instagrams, emails, texts and most of all your love. They make our day!
We love you,
Trini and Dad
Dear Family and Friends,
It has been an inspiring week in the ABC islands. We have been back and forth to Aruba and Curacao twice in one week to finish Zone Conferences and then to attend the semi-annual ABC District Conference. I had the opportunity to re-organize a new branch presidency and spent an afternoon and evening with the District President interviewing fourteen potential candidates. After our decision had been confirmed by the Lord, we called the new branch president and his wife back to the church to extend the calling. We then encouraged him to choose two counselors, from those that had been interviewed earlier. Two days later, he gave us the name of his counselors.
His first counselor was a member from Venezuela who had come to Aruba to find a job. His intention was to secure a work visa so his family could join him as soon as possible. When I extended the calling, he became very emotional. He said that for the past two weeks, he had felt as though the Lord had sent him to Aruba for "another reason". He had been inspired that he would receive a new calling and that if he accepted the calling, his family would be blessed. I felt impressed to have him read D&C 100:1-2.
"Your families are well; they are in my hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power.
Therefore, follow me, and listen to the counsel that I shall give unto you."
I promised him that his family would have the opportunity to come to Aruba if he trusted in the Lord and accepted the calling. This was the same scripture that Elder Eyring read to Mom and me when he asked us if we would be willing to leave our family for three years to serve the Lord.
His second counselor was a young man, who I had been working with for the past year, to be able to have him return to full fellowship in the church. His humble, repentant attitude had worked a mighty change of heart and he was now worthy to serve as the second counselor in the branch presidency. When we asked his wife if she would support him, she began to cry. She was so grateful to once again have a worthy priesthood holder who could bless their home and the homes of other families in the branch.
It was a choice experience to see the member’s faces as the releases and sustainings took place on Sunday during District Conference. We all felt confirmation that the Lord’s will had been done. The spirit of the conference was amazing and we grew to love the Saints even more in the ABC islands. We hope you had a wonderful week and realize the great blessings we have as members of the true church of Jesus Christ.
We love you,
Dad and Trini
Dear Family and Friends,
Our journal is behind a week or two and we are on a plane back from Curacao after spending a week filled with church business and family fun. We began the trip by escorting three sisters to Curacao to begin assignments there. They were all from different countries and it was a small miracle that we were able to have them make it through the tightened immigration processes we face throughout the mission. After getting them situated, Dad and I headed to the hotel to prepare for meetings over the weekend.
Saturday morning we took the missionaries to breakfast at Denny’s. It was a “grand slam” for the missionaries. Later that afternoon, Cameron, Tiffany and the girls arrived and we had five wonderful days with them.
On Sunday, Dad and I spoke in church. Dad spoke in Papiamento, which is always a hit with the congregation and I had one of our missionaries translate. Doug and Nancy Knight were on the island with business rewards and we were able to see them at Sacrament Meeting. It was a great reunion.
I took Cam and his family back to the hotel after the meetings and Dad stayed to meet with the branch president, interview our missionaries and conduct member needs. He got back in time to walk to the plaza for the Children’s Carnival Parade that evening.
On Monday, we stayed around the hotel and got acquainted with the beach and pool areas and all the waiters and waitresses in the restaurants. Piet is a special waiter who has become a good friend. He wears a vest covered in collector pins. The girls each brought him a pin for his vest and he was really touched. He has angel Moroni on his shoulder, the temple over his heart, a Snowbird pin on his chest and a just “Moosin’” around pin waiting for the right spot! He makes the dining room so much fun.
Tuesday we went to the aquarium and to Mambo Beach. We got more than our share of sun, fun and food. When we got back to the van, the battery was dead and a very nice security guard gave us a jump and we were on our way. The next morning we were headed to the Ostrich farm and the girls had a crash course about this crazy bird and also took a ride on an ostrich. That evening Dad and I took Londyn and Dylan out teaching with our missionaries. They both did an excellent job as sister missionaries. Each had an opportunity to bear their testimony, read a scripture and say a prayer. It was a proud Papa and Grammy moment to watch these little sister missionaries in action.
Thursday morning Dad interviewed the elders and the rest of us made sure we kept eating and enjoying the last few hours of surf and sand. We headed back to Port of Spain late that afternoon and Cam and his family left before the crack of dawn the next morning.
It was a fun few days and we loved being able to have FAMILY around.
When we got to the airport, we met up with one of our sisters who was on a visa run out of the ABC islands. She was on our flight and since we got home at almost midnight she stayed at the mission home. After a one day stay we were back on a plane to Tobago for the weekend. We flew standby and arrived just in time to witness 9 year old Josiah’s baptism (at the beach where Bo was baptized) and then were able to go out teaching with the elders. Dad interviewed Brother Murray for baptism. He is 89 years young and quite a golden investigator. He has lived 2 doors from the church for many years and had never been contacted. He passed his baptism interview with flying colors and is ready for his March 11th baptism.
Every day brings many blessings and miracles.
Love, Trini and Dad
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been filled with challenges, as they all are, trying to run a mission and 116 missionaries before transfers. But somehow, the spirit makes you forget all the difficulties. We attended the baptism this week of 18 year old young woman named Angel. Just a little background. She was visiting her aunt one evening, who happened to have an appointment with the sisters. Out of curiosity, she sat in on the lesson and had a million questions. She had seen elders before in Port of Spain, but had never spoken to them and wondered about the church they represented. The area where the sisters were teaching had just recently been re-opened after being closed for two years. Angel's family lived in another area of Trinidad and they temporarily lost track of her. Dad opened up new area in Trinidad to missionary work and guess who they found? Angel !!! She knew it was not by chance and began to speak with the missionaries again. She became well acquainted with two sets of sisters over the last 41/2 months and was baptized Saturday and confirmed today.
Her baptism was performed by a member of the ward who had known her since she was 4 years old. Brother Ramatar was the bus driver for her school route and had always thought she was a special little girl. Imagine the joy he experienced when he saw her come to the church for the first time and they recognized each other. He paid her and her family a special tribute at the baptism. Her family is Muslim and they all came to support her at the baptism. Her six year old little sister, Fairee, stood during open testimonies at the conclusion of the baptism and said, "I was so excited to come to my sister's baptism today. I want my whole family to be baptized and love Jesus! The power of the spirit was undeniable as that little girl spoke from her heart and politely took a bow.
Angel and her little sister came to church today. She was confirmed and then later in the meeting declared from the pulpit the truthfulness of the restored gospel, her love for her Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ and the gratitude she had for missionaries who would leave the comforts of home and family and come to Trinidad to teach her the truth. We left our home and family for days like these. We are grateful for wonderful new converts and pray for their continued conversion to the gospel, as we do for yours, and ours!
Trini and Dad