On New Years Eve we decided to celebrate by inviting the senior couples in Trinidad over for a soup and salad bar. It was fun to have a moment to thank them for all they do to help us run this mission. We are very grateful for the Rasmussen's, Gertsch's, Steckers and Allman's. They are amazing examples of selfless service.
Believe it or not, we have marked the halfway point in our mission. Dad's been encouraged to burn a tie, but he says he needs them. The missionaries always want to trade him a tie, but he isn't too sure that the trade is a fair one. I've happily thrown a couple of wardrobe items in the garbage to celebrate, as the mission wardrobe does wear out.
Following the ringing in of the New Year, we began our Zone Conference tour of the mission. We have been in Suriname this week and arrived in Guyana today. It is the rainy season right now and feels like a sauna! We have a dehumidifier in our hotel and have emptied the gallon container 3 times already.
One of the highlights in Suriname was meeting Vincent. He is the bike repair shop owner for Suriname. He received a call late one night that a major fire had broken out on the block where his shop is located. Vincent called the Crawford's, our senior couple, who always brings him the missionaries bikes and asked if they would pray with him, as the outcome was in God's hands. The fire burned right to the wall that divides his shop from the neighboring gas station. It was a miracle that the gas tanks didn't explode. The selfie of the five of us shows you his contagious smile! I'm pretty sure he has "branch president" written on his forehead. His bike shop is his livelihood and supports his wife and four children. He is a very religious man and kept praising God for His goodness. He and his family are preparing for their second missionary lesson tomorrow.
While I was waiting for Dad after conference, a missionary gave me a chocolate covered Stroopwaffle. It was the Dutch version of a Twix. YUM! I wish I could send some home, without them becoming a chocolate puddle in the mail.
How are your New Years resolutions coming along? Here are President Uchtdorf's thoughts on the subject.
"One day we will look back at our lives and wonder if we could have been better, made better decisions, or used our time more wisely. To avoid some of the deepest regrets of life, it would be wise to make some resolutions today. Therefore, let us:
Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.
It is my testimony that many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today. If we have sinned or made mistakes—if we have made choices that we now regret—there is the precious gift of Christ’s Atonement, through which we can be forgiven. We cannot go back in time and change the past, but we can repent. The Savior can wipe away our tears of regret and remove the burden of our sins. His Atonement allows us to leave the past behind and move forward with clean hands, a pure heart, and a determination to do better and especially to become better." President Uchtdorf
Dad and I are learning and growing daily and are grateful for the tutelage of the Spirit. We are so proud of all of you and share our testimony of the Savior and His perfect example that gives us hope for the New Year.