Friday, October 25, 2013

Self-Reliance Market

October 19, 2013
We had our first Self-Reliance Market.  I sold all my honey roasted peanuts, and Elder Beecher sold his tub of soap bubbles that he was demonstrating.  Next time we hope more people will come out, and more people will bring things to eat.
Sister Graham, Sister Norris, Sister Goodluck, and Brother Barrow - who is in charge of the market.

Brother Baburum and Shania Thorn

Here I am before our table filled up getting a sunburn.

Sister Ramnarain behind the table.

Courtney Douglas, Omar Bart, and Elder Beecher

Shania Thorn with all her floral arrangements.

I loved the this tree in the background.

Sister Johnson sitting by Sister Reed's paintings.

Megan Anderson, a non-member, who visited our church for conference.  She heard about our market and we invited her to come and sell her paintings.

We thought that we got off to a good start with our market.  We hope to round up some more people before our next one.

Elder Cornish, Elder Gay, and Mike Murray

Elder Beecher, Brother Murray, Elder Cornish, and Elder Gay
          Cheddi Jagan airport at 5:00 a.m. on October 23rd.
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013 was a very exciting day for us.  Elder Cornish, the counselor over PEF from our area presidency, Elder Gay, who is over PEF for the church, and Mike Murray who is the vice-chairman over the PEF Committee came to Guyana to visit.  We just learned they were coming the weekend before.  We went with President Goodluck from our mission presidency to pick them up.  They arrived at the airport at 8:30 in the morning.  We took them to see the D'Oliveira's chicken operation.  Then went to IPED, where they give small business loans.  Then we had a luncheon for them with some of our humanitarian friends and friends of the church.  After lunch they visited with the church attorney, Nigel Hughes.  I went home to fix supper, and they went to the Republic bank to see about loans there.  Elder Beecher and President Pooran took Mike Murray to the cemetery to see if they could find any information about Brother Murray's great great great grandfather's brother who came to Guyana from Scotland in 1819.  He was a doctor.  He lived here until 1832 when he died at age 39.  They could not get any information, but on Wednesday we went again to the cemetery and to look for records.  We submitted a search for his death certificate.  Hopefully something will turn up.  We took pictures of where the records were kept, and looked at some old crumbling records.
The records were kept in a cement room with all the cleaning supplies.

Then they took the Brethren to the Pegasus where they were staying to check in.  They didn't have time for supper, so I took the supper, baked ham and cheese sandwiches, pumpkin bread and oatmeal cookies, and shadock (a giant grapefruit type fruit) to our PEF and Employment meeting where they came to teach us.  I am putting in the notes from our meeting.  We were taught the doctrine of Self-Reliance and it was wonderful.  Elder Cornish wanted Elder Gay and Mike Murray to come because we and our employment and PEF committee members were doing such a great job down here.

PEF/Employment meeting with Elder Gay, Elder Cornish, and Mike Murray
October 22, 2013
Moses 7:18  “ And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.”
When did the Gathering of Israel start?
Article of Faith # 10  “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.”
·        Gathering of Israel – started with Joseph Smith
·        Restoration of 10 tribes – is happening now with missionary work
·        Zion on the American Continent - throughout the Earth in the Stakes of Zion.
·        Christ will reign personally upon the Earth
·        Earth will receive its Paradisiacal Glory
Three requirements:  One Heart, One Mind, Dwelt in righteousness, and (then there will be)
No poor among them.

New Self-Reliance Program will:
1.      Help people get adequate jobs
2.      Educate them to get a job.
3.      Self-employment – They need hope and help.

This is an ambitious goal!  Can we take on this Initiative?

·        Moses gave the keys of the Gathering to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple in 1836.
·        Earth was divided into 70 nations at the time of the Tower of Babel
·        The House of Israel was gathered in Jerusalem, but didn’t keep their covenants and they were scattered again.
·        Joseph Smith in 1836 was given the keys to gather everyone, prepare them to receive their temple ordinances and prepare for the Second Coming.
D & C 88:73 “I will hasten my work in its time.” We have to sacrifice to become like the Savior. The Savior is all loving, merciful, perfect, self-reliant etc. We need these qualities to become a Zion People and to lift people out of poverty.

Personal righteousness is the key to lifting yourself out of poverty!
Joseph F. Smith said that if you cannot save members temporally, you cannot save them spiritually.  To Heavenly Father temporal and spiritual are the same.
Brigham Young had an amazing assignment.  He had to take a large group of people someplace else and they would know it when they got there.  (That is what needs to happen.  We need to take a large group of people from around the world.  Help them to become a Zion people and lift them out of poverty.)
Most of the inhabitants of the Earth are incapable of dictating and devising for themselves, not able to develop talent…  All those who are baptized are in a condition to be taught by Him.  He has raised up authorized teachers to do His work.It is our duty to teach our brothers and sisters how to live.  Barriers need to be knocked down; such as fear, poverty, low self-esteem, lack of motivation, discouragement, cultural traditions.
·        First step is to help members have a deeper conversion.
How to become Self-Reliant
Handbook of Instructions Section 6.1.1 Manual 2
Self-reliance is the ability, commitment, and effort to provide the spiritual and temporal necessities of life for self and family.  As members become self-reliant, they are also better able to serve and care for others.”

What we can learn from Joseph Smith’s first vision.   His vision was a powerful opening to this dispensation. 
Joseph Smith was a young boy with a problem.  He went to the Sacred Grove to pray to find out which church to join.   He was attacked physically and emotionally (darkness so deep).   He prayed and light descended and he found himself delivered.  The Lord showed us and testifies that He has all power to deliver us.  He can help us physically and emotionally - in all ways.
We need to first teach spiritual self-reliance.  Before we can do this people Need Jobs.   No one has enough, or it doesn’t matter how much money you make, unless you can control your wants.
The challenge is to help every family to have enough by:
1.       Finding jobs for people (Two ways)
Talk to businesses and find out what they need.  They will appreciate the help.  Have a business round table and meet with the businesses once a month.  Help them fill their jobs.  (Get jobs for people from the top down – working with employers.)
2.       Job vacancy cards.  Find people jobs in their community, so they don’t have to travel so far.  Members can watch for jobs and share the information.  It will teach us to love and care about other people.  Best network in the world – Mormons – do it in love.
People need to figure out, what am I good at, what do I like to do.  Train people for a specific job.  Ask an employee exactly what he wants and train a person.  Sometimes training will be provided for free.
We have a special new training called the Self-employment Guide.
3.       Follow-up.  People need to know how to keep a job.  They need mentoring and follow-up.  

How do we get started?
1.      Every branch president and council needs to make a list of names of persons who need help to provide for the necessities.
2.      New training – 70 videos.  The curriculum is about jobs, starting businesses, and schooling.
3.      Twelve habits and doctrines to teach.
4.      Twelve lessons on starting a business.
5.      How to get a micro loan.
All this will be taught in Self-Reliance Services.
We need to be obedient, pay tithing, love our brothers and sisters, follow through and give support.
Our committee should meet at least once a month, and have frequent communication with the branches.

Elder Gay told us that he was called to serve in an Area Presidency in Guatemala.  The brethren also told him that they wanted him to think about PEF and what direction Heavenly Father wanted the church to go with the PEF program.  As he pondered and studied he realized that PEF alone was not enough.  The Lord wants His people to be self-reliant.  He worked with the First Presidency, and after a few weeks they called him to serve in SLC, and to expand the PEF program and incorporate employment which is evolving to be the Self-Reliance Services.  He called up his good friend, Mike Murray, out of retirement to be his vice-chairman.  Elder Gay has owned businesses and done work with finances all over the world.  Mike Murray was one of the top five people with Apple, and then with Microsoft.  He is very creative, passionate, and visionary.  Elder Cornish is our wonderful PEF advisor in our Area Presidency.
Elder Gay told us that when Elder Cornish suggested that he would like Elder Gay and Mike Murray to go to Guyana while they were doing training in the D.R. they told him that they could not fit it into their schedule.  Then when Elder Gay was in Kirtland Ohio he was at the Isaac Morley farm.  He learned that Isaac Morley wanted to help the early members of the church to become self-reliant.  When Elder Gay heard that story, he felt impressed that the Lord wanted them to come to Guyana.  He called Mike Murray and told him.  Then to their delight Elder Cornish decided that he would like to join them.  Elder Cornish told our PEF and Employment committee members that they were not going to tell them they needed to implement this new program.  He left it up to the committee to decide whether or not they wanted to put forth the effort.  He left it up to them. 
Our committee decided that if Heavenly Father loved them enough and had enough faith in them to send these three brethren to visit them and teach them, that they needed to move forward with faith.  The Spirit was present in abundance.

Brother Alvarado will come or send trainers to help us.
            November 5th at 5:00 is our next meeting.
Additional scriptures:  D & C 104:14-17  D & C 130:20-21,  Moses7:18,  2 Nephi 2:26, Proverbs 29:18,  Malachi 3:10-11,  Elder Bednar’s conference talk on Tithing
Senior missionaries should be looking for NGO’s that train and help people find jobs, and give loans.  They then need to make partnership relationships with those NGO’s who help with job finding and training and schools and other training institutions.
They need to look for financial institutions who can help: IPED, Guyana Youth – which also trains people, Republic Bank.
Make sure jobs are Value-Based – we don’t want to find persons jobs where they have to work on Sunday or compromise other values!

People looking for a job need something that:  1. They are good at. 2. They like it – salary and schedule, and 3. It feels like their calling – they are meant to do it.  We will have formal testing for assessing skills. 

After the Brethren left the meeting, President Sobers told us that he had been praying about what God wanted him to do.  He felt like he had the answer to his prayer.  He said that if Heavenly Father loved us and cared about us enough in Guyana to send the three brethren to teach us we needed to have enough faith to move forward.  It was a sweet meeting. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Converts and Baptisms

September, 2013

We have been so blessed to have a bunch of young men get baptized this past month.  In our mission we have been teaching keep the Sabbath day holy and have a 24 hour fast with no water and pay your fast offering.  We have been receiving many blessings.  The members are giving referrals and going out with the Elders to teach.  We can feel the "Hastening Happening"  
Elder Beutler went on his first mission to Taiwan.  He met James in Guyana when James came to conference at the church.  The Elders taught James, but Elder Beutler went along to help James with English.  I believe it is a miracle that James found someone who spoke his language.  James is from China and is an Electrical Engineer.

Sheryl, Jean Zepher, and Elizabeth Taylor.  Jean is the mother of Sheryl and Elizabeth.  They were converted because of the vision project we had last February.  

Elder Moya, Travis Eastmond, Mario Moonsammy, Brother Surujbhan, President Pooran, Elder Stewart, and Victor Allicot.
Three great men were baptized on September 28.

Self-Reliance Exhibition

September 14, 2013
Georgetown District had their first Self-Reliance Exhibition.  Brother and Sister Barrow have been working for a long time to  have a market where members could sell their arts and crafts and snacks to make a little extra money.  We have been working with them and together teaching different groups to make jewelry out of recycled materials.  We had this self-reliance exhibition so that members could bring things they had made to exhibit.  We had a fun time and a pretty good turn-out.  It was decided that we had enough people interested and with items to sell that we could set up a market.  Our first market will be held down on Main Street next Saturday.
Sharmain Ramsay, Sister Norris, and Sharon Surujbhan

Sisters rolling paper beads in the front.

Sister Parris with her crocheting

Shania Thorn made the arrangements and did the Barbie skirt with petals from silk flowers.

Shania also did the picture in the back and decorated the shoes with jewels.

Sister Norris made this cute crinkly red skirt and other things.

Sister D'Oliveira with her herbs and plants.

Brother Baburam and Sister Barrow.  The Barrows have painted bottles, embossed tin, made bracelets and jewelry out of paper and covered egg shells with layers of paper and sanded the paper off in places so that different colors show, and now they will shellac them.

Courtney Douglas and his new wife Aneeza painted these pictures.

The brethren were having a domino tournament at the church, so they came over to check it out.
President Pooran in the green and white.  We work with him on all the humanitarian projects.  He is close to 30, single, and an eligible bachelor.

Sister Surujbhan brought all her cosmetology equipment and she is doing Suzy Wong-yip's hair.

Keon Taylor and Naomi Frazer's Wedding

September 28, 2013
Keon Taylor and Naomi Frazer, both returned missionaries, were married at the Prashad Nagar Church.  They were married before by civil authorities, and then had this wedding celebration at the church.  Elder Beecher was one of the speakers.  He talked about the recipe for a happy marriage.  Sister Sobers was the other speaker.  They had a simple ceremony, went away somewhere to take pictures.  Then they had a dinner in the Cultural hall.  Sister Beutler and I made cinnamon rolls for the occasion.  Interestingly, some family members didn't come for the ceremony.  They just came later for the party.

Naomi and Keon at the wedding.
Keon was so excited to be married.
Candacy Grenada, Cameta Williams, and Sophie Henry all dressed up for the wedding.
Elder Stewart and Elder Moya taught Geoffery the Gospel. ( He is standing a step below them.)
Maybe I need some high heels??
The groom with President Pooran.
The bride with Sister D'Oliveira.  The bride's dress is beautiful.  Sister D'Oliveira is wearing an East Indian outfit.

Geoffery Watson and Cameta Williams.  Cameta is Geoffery's girlfriend.  She introduced him to the church and he was just baptized.

Visit to Berbice Aug. 2013

We have been working on a humanitarian/education project with The Business School in Georgetown.   Brother Acosta, our humanitarian leader from the D.R., went with us to visit Mr. Bovell at the school and we talked to him about his needs at the school.  He determined that he really needed a generator because there are blackouts quite often.  He was willing to give us scholarships to his school in exchange for the generator.   Our branch presidents worked with applicants to determine if they were worthy, needy and ambitious.  Then with President Mehr's guidance, our PEF committee determined the scholarship recipients.  Twenty one scholarships were given about half of them to return missionaries.  Students are either taking CXC classes so they can complete their secondary education, or they are taking business classes.  Because the school has a campus in New Amsterdam which is out in Berbice, we were able to give four scholarships to members out there.
We went out to Berbice to talk to the scholarship recipients and Steve at The Business School out there.  We also visited with some of our PEF participants.  We stayed with the Carters in East Canje.  Here are some pictures from our morning walk.
Taken from Carter's porch.  They live in Canje out in the country.

Many houses are on stilts, I think because of flooding.

The horses in the country look well fed.

The red fruits are just decorative.  You can't eat them.

Scruffy looking black hawk.

Some yards are beautiful and well maintained.

A fellow selling crabs on the roadside.

Glad this fellow is on the other side of the trench.

Red breasted blackbird.

A man came chasing us down the road to give us this sack of
star-apple (purple) and guava (green) fruit.  Maybe he thought we were the Carters.  We liked him better than we liked the fruit:)

Back in Georgetown Elder Beecher was turning right and someone was passing him on the right at the same time.  The fellow's name is Mark McKenzie and he wondered if our church had a Sunday School for his children.  We need to send the Elders.

Here we our having piano lessons outside because there was a blackout.  This is Kwame King.

Kwame's brother Martin.

Keon Taylor, whose wedding pictures are coming up.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

August Activities

August Activities
 YSA Activity at Garden Park
The YSA were taught how to do embossing on metal plates by Brother Barrow, and how to make pizza by Sister Beutler.  Suzy Wong-Yip taught how to decorate a cake.  Only 10 YSA came, and not one of the YSA leaders, but the ones who came had a great time.   The pizza was delicious.
Leon Wilkins.

Candacy Grenada and Cameta Williams decorating the cake with fruit.  Cameta is from a Muslim family and the only member in her family.
Cameta, far left, brought her boy friend Geoffery Walton, James Liu Xaing, Sister Johnson, Sister Barrow, and Sister Surujbhan's daughter from Canada.

Here are some pictures from our morning walks.

Homeless man asleep in the Botanical Gardens

Sister Beutler and a new addition to the sea wall.  The sea kept flooding over, so they have added 30 inches of concrete to the top of the sea wall.
This lady had a cute skirt and shoes that matched her top.

The Elders unloaded a container for the Bernice Mansell Foundation.

The Elders are unloading a container full of clothes, shoes, school and hygiene kits, quilts, and blankets.  It took quite a while to get the container open.
President Pooran and Zarina from the Bernice Mansell Foundation at the Handing Over Ceremony
Elder Fiame in the trailer, Elder Stewart, Elder Brown, Elder Moya, Elder Beecher, Brother Augustine, and Elder Beutler in the blue shirt by the fence.  The elders worked so hard.  Those containers hold a lot of stuff.