Hello Family and Friends,
How are all of you? We have been busy with mission transfers this week. Getting 6 new missionaries settled into their areas and sending 14 home. Due to the off balance of missionaries coming and going we had to close some areas of the mission until we can build up the missionary force. We have a greater surge of missionaries in the summer months and as school has started the numbers seem to dwindle a little. We had 2 English 2 Dutch and 2 Spanish speakers arrive. They were all excited to get to work.
After transfer week we headed down to Guyana for a multi branch conference in Berbice. It is like going back in time. Way out in the country about 2 hours from Georgetown the church has 6 small mission supported branches. We have been training the leadership and setting apart priesthood members in their callings as well as Dad providing interviews for temple recommends they hope someday to use.They do speak English here so that is nice but trying to understand their English can be a trick. We just ask that they slow down.....kind of like understanding your Dad's English.
The people have nothing but their heart to give to the church and transportation keeps them from being able to come to church as often as they would like. They work all day at the market selling their vegetables, fruit or chickens etc to bring home about 8-10 US dollars. They are determined to be self-reliant and it is so admirable. Some work in the cane fields cutting sugar cane and some work in mining in the interior. The people are of East Indian, African, Muslim and Hindu backgrounds and all love God in one way or another. They are very genuine and happy but live at poverty level. We went to visit one family who gave us a drink and a cheese cracker as the rest of the family looked on. They are so giving of what little they have. We are truly spoiled with so many things. Please appreciate all the many blessings and privileged things of life that you have. We saw them cooking dinner over a fire and showering out of a bucket. But that is life in Guyana...very hard! The members are very kind and just are living day to day doing the best that they can to survive. It is very humbling. Their only way out is eduction so they try to help their children go to school but often need them to drop out to help with the family income when they are about 13. It is very sad but it is all they know. We are planning on teaching with the elders tonight before we leave Berbice tomorrow morning.
We just got back from teaching a family of 8 in a house the size of the dining room. There was no electricity so the mother brought in a small oil lamp that helped the 10 of us see well enough to read a few scriptures and explain the restoration. There are no words to explain how poor this family was. Most were on the floor and a few had a chair or part of a chair to sit on. The 11yr old, Eaton, knew every answer to the elders questions and was helping his little sisters understand the pamphlet. It was very humbling. As we said a prayer and left their little home I wondered what gives them hope for a better tomorrow. The only answer was the Savior Jesus Christ.
We just traveled 2 hours back to Georgetown to visit a sister who is sick in the hospital and then we will meet the elders to take them to dinner. We head for Trinidad tomorrow morning at 4 am and will get to be home until Friday when we head for Tobago.
We send our love and prayers and hope you and your families are doing well.
Trini and Dad
The animal and car road in Berbice
The backyard of our neighbor this weekend.... complete with shower and outhouse
Most homes in Berbice resemble this one
The Berbice kids at church in their Sunday best