Monday, August 24, 2015

August 23rd, 2015

Dear Family,

We have been in Guyana and back to Trinidad this week. It was nice to see the members again in the Georgetown area and be able to teach some lessons, go to church and check a few of the sights in the area. Dad was busy interviewing prospective branch president candidates. We both spoke at church and as usual had the opportunity to teach in RS and Elders Quorum. The saints are amazing there and have such strong testimonies....but since they are most often first generation members, they have so many questions and insecurities.

It has been raining a lot so everything is LUSH!
There have been hurricane warnings in the Caribbean, but things as of today have settled down to a tropical storm. Not much gets to us in Trinidad, but they were concerned about the ABC islands.

Today we went to church at a ward in Trinidad about 40 minutes away. We didn't get lost this time so that was a blessing. They close exits down all the time and if you only know one way you are in trouble.Today in Relief Society I asked one of the recent converts how the missionaries found her and she said. "What do you mean...I found them! I just had to know what made them so happy all the time." She was a powerhouse and could hardly sit still because she wanted to praise the Lord for finding the truth.  

We taught with some of our sister missionaries this week at the home of Renni. His door was a curtain. The flooring in his home was the glue that is left when you rip up linoleum. He found a place for us to sit and in his humble circumstances bore testimony of how excited he was to get baptized. He had smoked 1/2 of a cigarette this week after being a pack a day kind of guy. So we challenged him to stop so that he could be baptized.

We also took a minute and went to a steel pan concert in Port of Spain. It was fun to see and hear. We tried their version of BBQ chicken and corn soup. Not too bad! 

We feel very grateful for the blessings that are ours, but also realize that the gospel rings true to people who barely know where their next meal is coming from. The gospel represents a new beginning and a relationship with God that is based on love not fear!

We are tired but happy and feeling blessed to be in your prayers, as you are in ours! Happy Birthday to Jenny and Garrett tomorrow!
We hope you both have a great day!

Love to you all
Trini and Dad

A steel drum 
 BBQ
 Corn Soup
 Lighthouse
 Lilies

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August 17th, 2015

Dear Family,

Whew!!! It was our first transfer this week. We had 16 coming and 9 leaving. I tried to cook 7 meals in a row for the transfer missionaries and I'm still standing. Let's just say that I can see why the previous mission president's wife chose to cater it! It was really great saying hello and goodbye...tearful on both ends actually. Homesick to leave and homesick to return. Lots of mixed emotions. We wrapped the transfers up on Thursday and then left Friday for Guyana. We have been here to select a new branch president and check on our missionaries. Dad is out teaching with a companionship now and we are planning on taking the zone out to lunch tomorrow. It has been hot and very humid here but the people are amazing....Always greeting you with a kiss on the cheek and treating you like you are a celebrity. I taught RS today because the teacher didn't show up. There were just 8 of us and it went well. I think they enjoy being asked questions and what their opinion is. When the church is still in its infancy many teachers are reading the lesson because they don't want to get anything wrong. Dad played the organ in one of the only buildings that even has one. I think the congregation was surprised to have organ accompaniment. We have learned that we always need to have a lesson ready to teach and a talk ready to give. But that allows us an opportunity to share our testimonies and invite them to help using the work. This is a calling that never has a list that gets crossed off...just added to. We feel very blessed to serve these missionaries and members and know that this is where we are supposed to be right now. It is hard to be away from those you love but somehow the Lord fills the void with rich experiences that help you know you are needed here more. We love the missionaries and the members and enjoy being a part of the growth of the church. We love hearing from you and getting pictures of the most beautiful grandchildren on the planet. We miss you and can't wait to hear what is going on back home.

Love Trini and Dad


Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10th, 2015

Dear Family,
It was a very busy week as usual. When we travel our favorite part is to teach with the elders and sisters. We were in Tobago last Monday and Tuesday and were able to teach several lessons. One of the standouts was on the beach with a fisherman named Bertram. He is a 6 foot 6 tall drink of water that the elders hoped could improve their basketball team. It started out that way at least and now he has had 4 lessons.

As we got to the beach there was a family vacationing in Tobago, that had bought fish at the roadside market from our Relief Society president Sister Cupid, who owns the stand. They were Muslim and were enjoying the company of Sister Cupid and her boys. She pays the young men to fish for her and then fillets the catch of the day and bags them for her customers. We had a very interesting conversation about religion and really enjoyed their company. They said that they would love to talk again sometime and would let the missionaries in for a drink and talk more about the gospel when they saw them again in Trinidad. They had caught some lobsters in a trap and were roasting them over rocks, wood chips and a chicken wire grill. Of course we tried some. It was good but my mouth and tongue started to itch so I decided since I didn't have my epi-pen I would stop the feast. Dad loved it and even posed for a great picture.

We checked out a couple of beaches on Tuesday that were nice and then headed back to Trinidad for a busy week of incoming/outgoing missionaries. We have 9 leaving and 16 coming. Then we head to Guyana to set apart a new branch presidency and to spend time getting to know our members and missionaries better. I drove today for the first time on the wrong side of the car and road...on purpose! They drive on the left side of the road . It's a different perspective.
We love you all and pray you are happy and healthy.

Blessins' maan

Trini and Dad







August 3rd, 2015

Hello this week from the tropical island of Tobago.I had to set apart a counselor in the Tobago branch presidency yesterday  and so we have stayed a couple more days to meet the members and to work with the missionaries. We set the branch president apart last month and we have had to help teach him with his responsibilities. He has been a member for less than two years.
Saturday we went to four baptisms. Sister Rosaline was baptized in Port of Spain. She is a sweet 76 year old lady who calls Elders Hansen and Padilla her "angels".These are the elders who taught her the gospel. Elder Hansen is six foot five, 250 pounds and played football at Nevada Reno before his mission. Sister Rosaline is probably five feet tall and weighs less than 100 pounds. When she came up out of the water she raised both of her hands and praised the lord. We all had to smile, and yes, cry too.
Last Monday for P-day we went to Maracus Bay on the north side of Trinidad. We had the chance to eat fried shark inside a fresh hot scone! The people in Trinidad call it " Bake and Shark".You will all have to try it when you come to visit. Everyday we have the opportunity to feel the spirit of our Heavenly Father while serving Him on our mission.  We love each of you and are reminded daily of how grateful we are for eternal families.
Love Dad and Trini




Monday, August 3, 2015

July 26th, 2015

Hello everyone! We know that is actually the 29th but we plan on having you receive our weekly email on Monday so we had to post date this week's letter. How are you? We are actually going to be in one place (Trinidad) for 10 days before we are off to Tobago, the ABC islands, Suriname etc. again. Saturday we went to the baptism of sister Suzie in Cueva. Dad had the opportunity of teaching her with the elders two weeks ago.The Cueva branch baptismal font was outside the church building and so sister Suzie had to climb up stairs and then climb down stairs into the font.
The special musical number was a missionary quartet singing How Great Thou Art. After her baptism they had open mic testimony time. The missionaries and Dad and I bore our testimony followed by Sister Suzie. She did an amazing job. The next day she was confirmed at her little branch and the members were the picture perfect fellowshippers. The spirit in the meetings is contagious...I wish you were all here to feel it! 
Tonight we ate our first avocado off the tree in the yard.It's a different variety but pretty good all the same. It was us or the birds and this time we won! Bananas are still growing and the mangos are about ready for the second picking. We love hearing from you so give us a quick hello when you get our email. Love the instagram posts of the kids and the chance to Skype. Keep the faith...
Trini and Dad






I'm not sure why your mom was concerned about flying from island to island. These planes are great!

July 24th, 2015

Dear Family.....

Wow!!!!! the last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind as we have traveled to meet all our missionaries and members in Trinidad -Tobago- Aruba- Bonaire -Curacao- Suriname and Guyana. I now realize how diverse this mission is. With four languages .....plus dialects, different currencies, immigration laws etc there has been much to learn. But everywhere we have gone we have been blessed with great missionaries and members, as well as very interesting food and culture. We have attended a wedding, some baptisms, eaten curry curry curry, and tried to keep the mosquitoes at bay. It has been warm and humid but not overbearing. The few times in the day that we have AC are a blessing. My hair is always trying out new styles on its own and I have pretty much embraced it! The Saints are amazing but so young in the gospel. They need help to administer more than minister. They are quite helpful with the missionary effort and are so loving. Everyone greets with a huge hug most often followed by a cheek kiss.
On our travels we taught with our missionaries in every country. Dad met a woman outside the church in Curacao that had walked early to church so she wouldn't be late. She was in the parking lot waiting for someone to arrive when we pulled up in the car. Dad spoke to her in Spanish and hers sounded different. She said she was from Suriname and they began to speak Dutch. After church she approached him crying and saying that she had prayed for 18 years that someone would speak Dutch from the pulpit. It was a neat experience. I have loved teaching with the sisters...they are so critical to missionary work. They just have such a special witness to share and do it boldly. It's fun to be part of the work! We have met some people with ties to Utah that I'm pretty sure aren't a coincidence! The first investigator that we taught in Aruba was the cousin of Romanita who had been teaching Dad Papimiento.The second connection was the Avondet's  a senior couple whose father leased land to Gpa Egbert for the horses that Dad grew up with in Ogden. Dad said he looked just like his Dad did. So they chatted about hauling feed and water etc. and then we met the Van de Veer's in Bonaire whose brother baptized Dad's Dutch study buddy, Mr Bloem in SLC. Anyway the world gets very small in the church sometimes. All in all the first 3 weeks has great but tiring. There are just so many things that we want to accomplish so we decided that had better get on a schedule and try to stick to it. We receive our first set of missionaries on August 11th so that will be a crazy week. They are here in the mission home for a day and a half and then leave on assignment just as those who are going home come into the mission home for dinner and their last interview. Just wish that I had a Smiths nearby because fresh food and refrigerated milk, like I'm used to, can be difficult to find if you don't arrive on the day of the shipment. Speaking of shipment we just had ours delivered today. So the 5 outfits that Dad and I have been continuously wearing will get a little break! Life is good Mahn! We be trying to be goo! They drop the begins and ending of many words but we are getting the Trini talk down. We send all our love to you and  want you to know you are in our prayers.
Love and Blessins,
Trini and Dad

Here are some pics of the last 2 weeks adventures:

Lily---3 feet tall all over Guyana

Bonaire---baptism sight

Sister missionaries---- in Suriname on bikes

First Email-July 13th, 2015

Dear family,

We have been on a whirlwind tour of the mission and are presently having breakfast on the beach in Bonaire. We have been to Trinidad, Tobago, Aruba, and Curacao and will finish up here tomorrow and then head for Guyana and Suriname. We will be gone 14 days and wanted to just touch bases since the internet has been a little unpredictable.The members are amazing and so friendly but need so much help regarding how to administer the church. We have been in meetings or speaking on every island and I have been sitting and smiling a lot waiting for Dad  to finish. We are so tired we don't even have to think about not sleeping since we are getting about 4 hours a night. The Lord somehow helps us get up the next day and do it all over again.
The ABC islands are very interesting and are really deserts in the middle of the ocean. But no mosquitoes!!!! at least compared to Trinidad. The food in these islands is very Dutch...we had bread with cheese and chocolate for breakfast...Dad was loving it. Im headed to the home of one of our Sr couples to wash a quick load and then we will be off for interviews and more meetings. Monday is our prep day so maybe you could all email during the week so that we could answer you every Monday.
We love and miss you more than you will know but are completely sustained by the Savior and and the spirit...which we have felt abundantly!

Hugs and kisses
Trini and Dad


Arrived in Trinidad

Airport.


Mailing the first letter!

President and Sister Egbert's pet iguana.

Off to the MTC

Off to the MTC




Set Apart as Missionaries

Set apart by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Farewell

Farewell day.


Called to Serve

Announcing their mission call to the Trinidad, Port of Spain mission.

Church news announcement.

Skype practice.