Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Launching of our Self Reliance Center - November 26, 2013

November 26, 2013 was the launching of our Guyana Self Reliance Center.  Elder Gay, Brother Mike Murray, and Elder Cornish were here on October 22, and after their visit they gave approval for a Self Reliance Center in Guyana.  Many people have been working to help get everything ready.  We have had Self Reliance Committee meetings, a meeting to teach the doctrine of self reliance to the district and auxiliary leaders, Brother Negron arrived and trained the SRC committee, and the new staff for the center.  Yesterday we took Brother Negron and picked up Brother Alvarado at the airport.  On the way home we stopped to pay a visit at MaCorp.  Miguel Oviado, who is over the training there learned about our returned missionaries and their dedication and a plan was made to teach a mechanics course at the church.  Then we had a nice lunch at the Pegasus and hurried to get the rooms set up and ready.  Elder Beecher and I had to go purchase a couple tables.  We were surprised to see that the tables were mity-lite tables manufactured in Orem, Utah.  
We cooked a dinner for the district presidency, Elder Gamiette, our Area Seventy, Brother Alvarado, and Brother Negron, President Goodluck, and ourselves.  Then a training for all the district leaders, after which there was a Devotional and ribbon cutting.
The talks were all about the hastening of the times, and how Heavenly Father is ready to bring his people out of poverty but it all begins with personal righteousness and paying tithing.
Our center will have regular hours, and one-on-one mentoring.  Many workshops will be taught; Planning for Success, Career Workshop, Self-Employment Workshop, and others.  We still have a lot to do to get everything lined up, but it is an exciting time. 

President Bharat, President Benn, President Sobers, Brother Alvarado, President Goodluck, President Reese, President McKenzie, Elder Gamiette, and President Chin cutting the ribbon for the new Self Reliance Center.

Elder Gamiette, Brother Negron, President Goodluck, and President Sobers.

Brother Alvarado, Elder Gamiette, Brother Negron, President Benn, President Goodluck, and President Sobers.

                     President Goodluck, Sister and Elder Beecher
Elder Beecher, Brother Negron, Brother Alvarado, and Elder Gamiette

President Sobers, President Goodluck, and President Benn

Christopher Jordan and Geoffery Watson

President Sobers, Chairman of the SRC and Brother Barrow, Vice Chairman of the SRC.

Sister Singh, Christine Jordan, Elder Gamiette, and Suzy Wong-yip

In the center, Sister Johnson, our District Education and Employment Specialist, and President Bharat from the Vreed-en-Hoop Branch.

Sharmain Ramsay and Sister Chin

Sharon Surujbhan, Sister Murray in the back, Roger Ramnarain in the black, and President Benn

Christine Rawlins in brown, and Candacy in the pink

Top picture: Christine Braithwaite, Suzy Wong-yip, and Sharmain Ramsay.
Bottom picture: President Reese, Sister Norris, Samantha Reese, two sisters from Prashad Nagar, and Sister Goodluck

Sister Rowena Bowen who is over public affairs for Guyana.

A sister from Demerara, and Sister Baccus, RS President from Prashad Nagar

Nicole Baccus, the employment specialist for Prashad Nagar.

We had a nice crowd at the Launching.  I think there were over eighty persons in attendance.  We need to set our hours, advertise, train our mentors, and get started!  We see Heavenly Father's hand at work.  Things are happening.  This SRC will bless many lives.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Senior Conference in Trinidad

All the Senior Couples met in Trinidad for our Senior Conference.

Here I am with Sister Carter

The couple at Norma's Bed and Breakfast who took care of us.

Sister ? and Sister Jenkins

Elder and Sister Belgrave who live on Trinidad

Elder and Sister Bird who were public relations missionaries.

President and Sister Goodluck, our good friends from Guyana.  Her name is Vo Nella and he says he is Chocolate.

Elder and Ray, Elder and Sister Olpin, and President and Sister Mehr

September 16 to the 21, 2013
We loved the mission conference in Trinidad.  We were surprised to find that we were on the list of departing missionaries.  All the missionaries that would be gone before the next conference were on the list, so even though we had nearly six months left we found ourselves on that list.  It made us realize how fast the time is going.  
We arrived in Trinidad from Tobago and the AP's picked us up at the airport and took us to Norma's Bed and Breakfast where we stayed.  It is close to the mission office.  We got organized and they picked us up again to go to the Mission Home for dinner and a devotional.
I took a few notes of the messages we received.  Here are some of the things that were discussed: 1.  Write mission experiences in a journal or blog.  Our priority is the Work of Salvation: 1.  Baptism, 2. Reactivation, and 3. Retention.  Sacrament meeting attendance shows real growth.  Real growth is our main focus.  Every new member needs a friend, a job, and nourishing by the good word of God.  
In the West Indies Mission we have 5 Areas of Focus:
1.  Obedience, eye single to the Glory of God.  Preach my Gospel was written in Heaven and compiled on Earth.  Help the missionaries to be obedient.
2.  Preach my Gospel
3.  Book of Mormon and the Spirit - the greatest tools for conversion.  A man can get nearer to God by reading the Book of Mormon than any other book.
4.  Standards of Excellence.  We need to set goals.
5.  Member Work - branch council, home teaching and visiting teaching.

We enjoyed our association with the other missionaries and Pres. and Sister Mehr.  We learned so much.  Now is the time of the Hastening of the Lord's work.  We need to be patient and kind and teach the leaders with love.  We need to help bring the Church out of obscurity.  "Starve our problems, and feed our opportunities", and look at our challenges as opportunities.
We received new assignments to help with the Caribbean Cultural Celebration which will celebrate the Church being in the Caribbean 25 years in 2015.  All the Senior missionaries are now humanitarian missionaries, and we need to write projects that will influence for good the leaders of our countries and bring the Church out of obscurity.  We also need to help coordinate and support the Hearts and Hands International Day of Service on Nov. 2.

We were taught in the mornings, and had a few hours in the afternoon for relaxing activities, and then dinner and devotionals in the evenings.  Here are a few pictures from the conference.
In this picture we have the Wrights, Beechers, Carters, Samaroos, Belgraves, Esplins, and Jenkins.

Here we are at the Bamboo Cathedral.  It was so peaceful and nice.  We are with Elder and Sister Bennion, Elder and Sister Bird, and Elder Monson.

We loved the afternoon outings.

Elder and Sister Bird, who serve on St. Vincent.

Elder and Sister Bennion, who speak French, and serve on Guadaloup

Elder Carter.  He and Sister Carter serve in Berbice.

This picture was taken at our place in Georgetown.  The Mehrs returned to Guyana with us after our conference, and the next day, Sept. 22, was President Mehr's birthday. We conspired with Sister Mehr to see what he would like for his birthday dinner and we served his favorite meal; beef hotdogs, canned baked beans, applesauce, jello, and german chocolate cake.  He was surprised:)
Elder and Sister Samaroo

Visit to Tobago September 15, 2013

Before our Senior Missionary conference started on September 16, 2013, we took a day off and went to Tobago with Elder and Sister Beutler, Elder and Sister Carter, and Elder and Sister Esplin.  We met the Linton's there and they helped arrange for our stay.  We arrived in the afternoon and pulled our suitcases down the road to the motel about a block away and right on the beach.  We changed and went down to meet our glass bottom boat.  It was rainy, but whoa, we were on a white sand beach!  We sailed out to a coral reef where we were able to snorkel.  It felt so great to be swimming around in the water, and there were some fun fish and lots of coral to look at.  Then we moved on to the "Nylon Pool" where we climbed out of the boat and drifted around in the water and visited.  The water was clear and smooth and a sea green color.  The temperature was like a luke-warm bathtub.  The visiting was very enjoyable.  It was very relaxing.
Elder Beecher enjoying breakfast on our little patio on the beach.

Sister Beecher with Melanie's tiger:)

Sister Esplin, myself, and Sister Beutler were having a pink day!

We hung out while we waited for our ride.
Then we went for a drive to see the island.  The beaches are beautiful.  The water is blue!  It is not brown like in Guyana.  We drove through town and then through little villages and then ended up at a place to eat on a beach.

Elder Linton looking through the rain at a nice market.

They had just been celebrating an anniversary in Tobago and these signs were all over.  It made us think about the good old USA.

The Carter's at the King George Fort

Cocoa pods on the tree.

It had been raining and there were waterfalls on the hillside.

Elder and Sister Beecher, Elder Glen and Sister Helen Esplin, Elder Joseph and Sister Nettie Linton, Sister Lois and Elder Joseph Carter, Sister Carol and Elder Melvin Beutler

The Esplins out in front of the restaurant where we had fresh tuna steaks.

Elder Beecher with the Linton's.

This beautiful garden has a sign that says,"Blessed is everybody that hear the word of God, For every word of God is Pure..."
We enjoyed our time in Tobago, and now we are off to Trinidad for the Mission Conference.