Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mission Couples Conference

January 26
Wow, this month has flown by.  On January 2, we planned to fly to Trinidad for the mission couples conference.  We were on our way to the airport and the Treseders were driving.  Elder Beecher suddenly remembered that we forgot our passports.  Ackk.  Elder Treseder turned the car around and we raced back home to get our passports.  We were 45 minutes down the road when he remembered, so by the time we finally made it to the airport they had closed the flight.  There was still a half hour before it took off, but we were too late.  We called Sister Galbraith, our mission travel coordinator and she tried to change our flight to the next morning, but they said that we were already on the flight that we had missed.  We went back into the airport and tried to convince the man at the counter that he had signed us in on the flight that had left.  He would not even listen to us.  Forty five minutes later  after we had lost our cool and asked to speak to his supervisor he checked and found out that we were right.  He booked us on the flight the next morning at 5:30.  Elder and Sister Treseder drove us back to Georgetown, an hour drive, and we took them out to dinner (the least we could do).  Then we  went home to bed and woke up at 2:00.  So that we could be at the airport at 3:30.  We were there in time for the conference to begin on Thursday morning, but missed the activities the night before.
It was great to be at the conference.  There were twenty some couples there and a couple single sisters.  It was wonderful to meet all those missionaries and feel like we were a part of something great, not just working away on our own.  The conference was inspiring, uplifting, and motivating!  Here are some of the things I came away with: " Preach the Gospel all day every day.  If you need to use words."(President Uctdorf)  Starve your Problems - Feed your Opportunities.  Before you speak, Taste your words.  How to obtain real growth - train a replacement.  Where there is no vision, people perish. What is that feeling you are feeling?  Follow that feeling.  Understand and honor your covenants.  Review covenants you have made in the temple.  Help the Elders be obedient.  Help members prepare for new missionaries.  Work with councils. Study Preach my Gospel.  This is true on the earth in which you stand.  Know the the thoughts and intents of the hearts of those you teach. (Ether Cha. 1 & 2, Ether 2:14, Alma 10:17, Alma 8:16, and Moroni 7:38-47) and many other things.

Mission Conference in Trinidad

We all fit into one boat.
January 2 - 5, 2013
Our Senior Missionary Conference in Trinidad.
One of the most enjoyable parts of our mission conference was going on a little boat ride to see the scarlet ibis.

This ride reminded us of Puerto Rico with all the mangrove
 roots going down into the river.

Snails attached themselves to the roots .

The scarlet ibis have a little black on their wingtips.  They were magnificent!

 There were white ibis mixed in with the red
roosting on the island.

A snake curled up in the tree above us as we floated down the river.
We learned so much at the mission conference, but we also had the opportunity to take a little boat ride down a river to an area where the scarlet ibis come to roost on a little island every night.  We saw some viper snakes curled up in the trees up above us, and lots of tri-colored heron, and white ibis.  The scarlet ibis were definitely my favorite.  They are a fairly large bird with a wingspan of about 30 inches, long legs, long neck, and a long bill.  They would fly in in flocks of 20 to 50 or so and land on only this one island.  We were there just at dusk and they just kept flying in.  The guide told us that there are between 1,500 and 2,000 of the scarlet ibis who come there to roost.  They are a bright scarlet color and when the sun shown on their wings they would almost glow.  It was like a spiritual experience for me.  It was so breathtaking.
The Summers who serve in Guyana.
January 2013
Our couples mission conference in Trinidad was wonderful.  It was so inspiring to meet with all the senior missionaries.  There were 20 + couples and two sisters, our nurse and our sister who does the travel arrangements.  It was great to get to know them because we never see the couples who are on the islands or in Suriname and French Guiana.  We loved feeling the unity.  There are 12 countries in the mission and 5 different languages.  I'm sure that the conference cost a bunch just to fly everyone in and put us up in the Marriott.  Every time there are transfers, they deal with the travel plus all the immigration requirements, police reports, and visas.
All the Senior Missionaries in the West Indies Mission

President and Sister Mehr

President Goodluck, President Mehr
 and President Bennion

On the right are the Beutlers, our downstairs neighbors.

 Treseders on the left.  They just returned home.

The Cooks, Humanitarian missionaries, 1/2 time in Guyana

We had four couples serving in Guyana.  The Treseders just left to return home to Queen Creek Arizona. We will miss them so much.  The Summers serve in Linden and we are with the Beutlers here in Georgetown.  The Cooks come to Guyana from Suriname regularly.  We love our association with the other couples.  We are blessed.  Most of the couples are out on an island on their own.