Monday, November 23, 2015

November 15th, 2015

H A L L E L U J A H!

The bubble finally dissolved on Sunday afternoon from Dad's eye and we were on a plane the next morning headed from the Dominican Republic to Panama, then to Trinidad, and onto Suriname in ten short hours. We arrived just in time to take care of zone conferences with our missionaries there and then work with members and leaders the next day. We actually took a minute and found a little Dutch cafe that served pannekoeken and poffertjes for breakfast so Dad was in heaven. It really was delicious. Then we came back to the hotel and got caught up with emails until I went out teaching with the sister missionaries and Dad met with the members and leaders for temple recommends, PPI's, etc.

The next morning we were off to Guyana to repeat the same agenda in Georgetown for zone conferences. Yesterday, we drove out to the countryside in Guyana for more leadership meetings. Today, Dad set apart a twenty year old to serve as a branch president! It was really special.He has faith and loves the Lord, but some in the congregation think that a mere child has been called to be their judge in Israel. We are trying to give him the strength and support that he will need to perform the duties that he will have on his plate. Thankfully the Lord qualifies those He calls.

We got back to Georgetown before sunset so we wouldn't run over cows, pigs, horses or PEOPLE that are walking down the middle of the road. Our flight leaves at 6am tomorrow and arrives in Trinidad by 7:45 hopefully am. You never know in the Caribbean when you will depart and arrive for sure.

It has been so great to be with our missionaries again and we are really looking forward to going home for three whole days to take care of zone conferences in Trinidad. Then we head for the ABC islands to do the same there and return home for Thanksgiving week the following Monday night! Can't wait to have Marielle, Conner and McCrae come for TURKEY DAY!

Thank you for all your prayers and love,
Trini and Dad

Dutch Cafe
Always better with your eyes closed!
My favorite country house in Guyana
Primary Kids

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 7th, 2015

Dear family and friends,

We have now been in the Dominican Republic for almost two weeks. We came here originally to attend a mission president's conference for four days but ran into some unexpected difficulties. The night before we left for the trip, Dad was playing the piano and noticed that there was a circular shadow right in the center focal point of his eye. Being a migraine sufferer, he thought he'd better try to sleep it off but it was still there the next morning. When we arrived in Panama on the layover to the DR, he couldn't see much at all through his left eye. We landed in the DR at 1 in the morning and went to the hotel and were in bed by 3 am. The next morning we were able to go to the Santo Domingo Temple with all the other mission presidents and wives from the Caribbean. When we finished the session and were having lunch at the temple, Dad conferred with two members of the Area Presidency who are also doctors. They both had some connections with opthomologists in the city and we were able to be seen that day. Dad was diagnosed with a Vitreo Macular Adhesion. It required surgery and they happened to have a space available the next morning. After Dad consulted with friends of his in SLC at the Moran Eye Center, he felt like he could get it done here. We were very impressed with the doctor. He had attended Duke and Emery for his schooling and had begun an eye institute in Santo Domingo where he taught 12 residents a year. The surgery was textbook and we were very blessed to have been here in the DR because we would have never been able to get it done in Trinidad with the medical care there. Because they placed a bubble of air in the back of his eye, between the tissues for healing, we have had to wait until it dissipates before we can fly home due to pressure changes. So he has had dark glasses on and his head down for 12 days checking out everyone's shoes and trying to be patient.
We have definitely felt the prayers of family and missionaries alike. We have been staying in a senior apt on the temple grounds and the MTC campus. We have had 3 meals a day and LOVE rice, beans and meat! Everyone has been so kind.
These trials of faith have been a tender reminder of the fact that He knows us individually and by name.

We have been able to go to the temple three times and that has been a huge blessing. It has made us appreciate and feel the blessings of being an eternal family. We are very ready to get back to our missionaries as we have missed a transfer of 6 incoming missionaries but at least no outgoing. Somehow nothing has fallen completely apart, but it is really hard to do this job when you are in a different country. 

We actually got out of the apartment yesterday and were able to visit the tomb of Christopher Columbus and the oldest church in the Americas. We were taken by the MTC president and his wife. It was really nice to get some fresh humid air.We are praying for the bubble to burst asap so that we can be ready to go throughout the mission again for zone conferences which start on Tuesday. Please keep us in your prayers. We have definitely learned why PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE.

We love and appreciate all that you for us and each other.

We Love You...
Trini and Dad 

Dad still numb after surgery..therefore the funny grin
Columbus's tomb
Oldest church in the Americas
Flowers on a building I loved 
Santo Domingo Temple

October 28th, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

What a crazy week this has been. We were in Guyana for most of the week. We had zone meetings and interviews with our missionaries in Georgetown and then headed for Berbice to do the same. Dad called a 20 year-old to be the new branch president of a congregation called Rose Hall. Right now, Elder Avondette has been acting as branch president for almost a year. (Sr couple) If he continues to lead, then they are happy to follow.But if we can call a local priesthood holder they learn to govern themselves and understand how to run the organization of the church. That has probably been the most difficult part of this mission.The lack of training that the leadership of the church has, had leads to confusion and personal interpretation. Especially when you consider that there are literacy issues that inhibit understanding as well. Many simply can not read. One of the branch president's sent us an email regarding his tithing contributions for the branch that read : (now with many spelling corrections)

Dear President Egbert,
I had no priesthood to help with the tithing at church today. I knew that I could not count the money by myself without two witnesses, so my wife and my 11 year old son watched me. I hope that was ok president. I had them sign their names on the paper as witnesses. I don't know if that was right or wrong but I hope that Heavenly Father will understand and accept the offerings.

We both just cried to see how humble and concerned he was about making things right in the sight of God. It was just one of the many tender moments we experience every week.
After meetings and  interviews there, we left at night to travel back to Georgetown. When the sun goes down, there is NO LIGHT! For two and a half hours Dad had a white knuckle drive back to Georgetown trying to avoid late night impaired drivers with their brights on, animals crossing the road and people out walking on the road,who are as dark as night itself. We will never make that night drive again! It would be so easy to run over something or someone.

We have arrived back in Trinidad and are home for two days before we begin preparing to attend the annual mission president's conference in the Dominican Republic next week.We are excited to be able to attend the temple and meet with the other president's of the Caribbean Missions, the Area Presidency and Elder Christiansen of the Presidency of the Seventy. Remember, he was the one that was with Elder Holland when we were set apart. So it will be wonderful to see him again.

Can't believe it is HALLOWEEN! Have fun trick-or-treating. 
Love, Trini and Dad

Dear Kids and grandkids,
Just wanted to update you on Dad and Papa. I'm afraid that the emails I sent have not arrived. He was in surgery for about and hour. The surgeon came out and said that everything went perfect with the procedure. Thank you for your prayers. He has a  bandage on his eye until tomorrow morning when we go in for his post op appointment and has been trying to rest since we got back to the hotel face down...a little harder than it sounds. But can you imagine your Dad in one place or position for very long? We love you so much and certainly believe in the power of prayer. 
Thank you again,
Mom and Dad
Papa and Grammy