Dear Family and Friends,
Sorry we are behind on the weekly letters! Things the past two weeks have been a whirlwind. We had to move up our transfer a few days to accommodate the arrival of Elder Renlund from the quorum of the twelve. Although we were thrilled to have him visit our mission, we found out that his assigned week was the week of transfers....so you can imagine the craziness. We had the 9 outgoing missionaries come in first, to honor them and then they had to stay around Trinidad for a week waiting for their scheduled flights home, since they had already been booked. Because our missionaries are separated by water and languages, they never really get to meet each other, so it was fun for those missionaries from the ABC islands and Suriname to get to be with the missionaries in Trinidad.
Then we welcomed the 6 incoming, held a full day of orientation and sent them off with their new companions. That same night, we headed to the airport bound for Guyana, so that we could be there in time to help with the arrival of Elder Renlund and his wife. We had a mission devotional the next day, followed by a member devotional at the cultural center. The center was air-conditioned and could hold more people than the church without air conditioning. So that was a great idea. We had about 500 in attendance and they were very grateful to be in the presence of an apostle...so were we! Elder Renlund shook hands with every one of the Saints that wanted to meet him following the meeting. So he shook hands with all 500! They were all dressed in their Sunday best and most sacrificed greatly to afford transportation to the arena from outlying areas up to 3 hours away. The next morning, we flew back to Trinidad, to repeat the same schedule of events here. Our missionaries were on their best behavior and were very appreciative of the chance to meet Elder Renlund and his wife. We also had the pleasure of hosting Elder and Sister Martinez in our home for three extra days following the Renlund's departure. Elder Martinez and his wife accompanied Elder Renlund as the visiting seventy. While here, they had a special devotional with our missionaries, another with the senior couples and we are headed to church together tomorrow. Then they will head back to the DR on Monday morning.
Preparing for an apostles visit has made us realize the blessings of the priesthood and the leadership we are so blessed to have in this church. Elder Renlund and his wife had been on the road for 10 days but always made time for the individual. It was a great lesson.
While we were in Guyana, we received a phone call from a sister in Canada who was born in Guyana. She had since joined the church and was worried about her brother who still lived in Guyana. His daughter was diagnosed with kidney failure and she wanted her niece to have a priesthood blessing. Her brother agreed and she was praying that there were missionaries in the area that could fulfill the request. We called our zone leader in Guyana and he found out that the address of her brother was 2 hours away from the closest missionaries. He said that when he spoke to the man, he said that he had been waiting for the missionaries to come and bless his daughter. With permission they took the mission van to the river, crossed the river by boat, and then took transportation to the village where they met with the family. They blessed the little girl and then gave the family a Book of Mormon with their testimonies. It was something that we figured the Lord would make time to do and a great spiritual experience. Ministering to the one was really the theme of the past couple of weeks.
We are grateful for the blessings that are ours and appreciate everyday the little things that are so easy to take for granted. We love each of you and pray for your happiness.
Thank you for your support and love,
Trini and Dad