May 20, 2013
When it rains, it pours! Well, it is the rainy season here. A couple mornings last week we came home drenched from our morning walks. The Guyanese don't like to be out in the rain, so we walk pretty much alone and it's nice and peaceful in the Botanical Gardens.
We also feel a little drenched from all our new assignments and projects. When it rains, it pours.
At our zone conference, President Mehr asked us to work with three branches. We were already working with LaGrange and Vreed-en-Hoop, so now we have added Diamond. We were to ask the Branch President for a blessing, attend the branch council meetings and do our best to help, and ask the branch president for 10 families to visit. We have had wonderful blessings from two of the branch presidents, and attended two branch council meetings, and the branches are working on ways we could go with someone to visit people.
We spoke with the Cooks, our humanitarian missionaries. We are working on a project with them and their leaders. They don't have a replacement yet, and they go home the end of July, so their leaders asked them to ask us if we would be willing to be trained in the humanitarian procedures, and carry on with the projects they have to finish, and then train their replacements. So we said okay.
We received an email from Elder Gamiette, the Caribbean leader for Seminaries and Institute asking if we have had our Educational Devotional. That is the new PEF Planning for Success Fireside. We hadn't, so we need to work with our district leaders, Seminary and Institute people, and our district employment and education specialist to get the fireside going.
Elder Beecher has been working with a District President in Barbados, trying to help him get a PEF loan. It has been an amazing process since they don't have PEF in Barbados. Our PEF leaders in the D.R., Elder Cornish of the area presidency, Bro. Negron in Puerto Rico, Elder Gamiette in Guadaloup, plus at least 5 people in the PEF office in S.L.C. have been emailing back and forth for three weeks trying to help him. I think the loan will be approved in S.L.C. this next week.
Elder and Sister Monson from Trinidad were here a couple weeks ago to train us in the YSA program. We set up meetings for them and we are working still with the YSA, but now we know what we are doing. They taught us to come up with a gospel application for the activities. It's great. We are also encouraged to help the youth groups to make sure they are using the new curriculum. The Monsons are coming back this week to help with the big Water Fight activity. We are excited to have them come back.
Elder and Sister Dunford came yesterday, they are the Public Affairs missionaries in the D.R. We picked them up at the airport and took them to visit the D'Oliveiras. The Dunfords are working on a new video to introduce the church to government leaders. They interviewed Sister D'Oliveira and took pictures of her and her chicken pens. She is very industrious and a great planner. She did well in her video.
Brother Negron was here from Puerto Rico at the same time that the Monsons were here. He is our Employment Leader. We set up meetings in Berbice and Georgetown with the Employment Specialists we have trained. The Guyana LDS Employment website has just been launched. He would like us to get all the PEF participants, and all the members signed up on the website plus, have them fill out the Resource Surveys so they can mentor each other. The plan is to have wifi in the branches soon, so maybe we can do one branch at a time as they get their wifi.
We are still teaching piano lessons. The branch council meetings have put a crimp in our piano lesson schedule, but today our students were willing to wait for us to get out of our meeting for their lesson. We have between five and eight piano students. They are coming along slowly. Two of them were Laman and Lemuel in our play.
We are working regularly with our PEF participants, checking on them and helping them with their auto debit accounts, and cheering them on.
Our CXC preparation classes that we have been working on since January started this week. We have Math and English classes in four of the branches. In a month or so we will start some computer classes. The teachers are qualified, and we hope they and the students will be committed. We are so hopeful that they will go well.
We hope we can keep our heads above water! We are learning much and especially enjoying the people who come to visit and the people here.