Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in Trinidad and Transfer Time

Good Afternoon,

The last two weeks were amazing.  I couldn't email last week because we only had about fifteen minutes and we were skyping anyway so sorry the rest of you missed out.  Thanks for all the Christmas notes.

Christmas was great.  On Christmas eve we went to the mission home and made cards for our investigators, less actives, and members.  Then we had a wonderful devotional and had our Christmas dinner.  It is always fun to see all the missionaries.  On Christmas we went and passed out the cards.  We shared a short Christmas message with those we saw.  It was really cool because even though we shared the same scriptures and basic message, the Spirit was able to teach everyone different things.  It was a great day.

We got fed a lot on Christmas.  We ate over four good sized Christmas dinners and by the end of the night we had to take home food because we were so full.  They were okay with that as long as they got to feed us.  We had lamb, chicken, turkey, ham, pastels, mac pie, rice, lasagna, pepper pot, salad and a lot more.  Trini's are very kind and excellent cooks.  They love their fruit cake and sweet bread on Christmas and they want everyone to try it.

Well... it is transfer week.  I will be serving in Chaguanas, Trinidad with Sister Taufu'i.  I am sad to be leaving my area and Sister Edmonds but I am excited to learn new things and meet new people.  Sister Edmonds is an amazing missionary and friend and I am going to miss her a lot.  She has taught me a lot and we have had some great experiences together.

Sister Grigg was here on tradeoffs and we had a wonderful day.  We taught eight lessons and found four new investigators.  Heavenly Father blessed us a lot.  Sister Grigg is a great missionary.  Sister Edmonds said she had a great time getting sunburned on a bike in Sangre Grande.

Miracle of the Week:  Last week Sister Edmonds and I were tracting at the foot of the mountain and we contacted a group of drunk men.  We gave them Plan of Salvation pamphlets and scheduled a time for us to come back when they weren't drunk.  Well, last Sunday Sister Mehr came up to us before church started and said she wanted to come out teaching with us that day.  We looked at our schedule and guess who was on it.  It was the group of men.  We stayed true to our promise to go see them and brought the Mission President's wife with us.  Only one of them was there and it turns out he is searching for truth and is willing to read the Book of Mormon.  He has a son and he wants to change his life and follow Christ, he just didn't know how.  The Spirit was very strong during the lesson and last time we checked he read the chapter we left him.  It is amazing what the spirit can do.  We are led to people for a reason.

Thanks for everything.


Sister Shirts
A Very Rainy, Muddy Merry Christmas!

Pepper Pot (pig nose, cow heel and all that good stuff)

Santa Claus And His Helpers Stopping Traffic To Hand Out Gifts

Monday, December 16, 2013

Another Great Week

Good Afternoon,

I was able to go to San Fernando for a day this week for tradeoffs.  It is a completely different area.  There are more hills and I was able to see the ocean for the first time in a while.  Trinidad is an island but we are pretty far from the coast and in my area there are mountains that block the view (they are beautiful mountains though).  While there I had a cool experience.  We were tracting in some apartments and we contacted a lady.  She wasn't interested until we mentioned the Book of Mormon.  She hurried us over and invited us to sit down and talk about it.  She was very confrontational at first and demanded evidence, but as we bore testimony and read from the introduction her heart was softened and at the end she wanted more.

Sister Edmonds had a leadership conference thing for a few days so I got to work with Sister Tia again.  She has been out less than a transfer and she is doing a great job.  We were very bold during our lessons and invited someone to be baptized.  He said yes during the first lesson and we are excited to help him prepare.  Following the promptings of the Holy Ghost does bring miracles.

Miracle of the Week:  We had two investigators come to church.  Each has a really cool story.  First Sheldon.  We met him on Saturday and had a first lesson.  He has had a death in the family and is going through a rough time.  He loves God and wants to do the right thing.  He said he has felt the Holy ghost testify to him before and we promised that if he came to church he would feel the same way.  He said he would come.  We waited outside the church for him to come and he didn't so we went up.  (The church is located on the second floor above an electrical store).  Right after the opening prayer he started calling us (our phone was on silent luckily) and we rushed outside.  We waited and he came.  We had to take the Sacrament outside though because he was late for that.  It was really great.  The next investigator goes by Baby.  She has had a rough marriage for years and has a granddaughter living with her who is about 5.  She told us during the lesson that she wanted happiness in her family and we promised her that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was the way to find happiness and we invited her to be baptized.  She accepted.  We then invited her to come to church and caught travel with her.  She had a great experience as well.

Heavenly Father is blessing our area a lot as we are exactly obedient and listen to the counsel of our leaders.  I love serving here.


Sister Shirts

This Is An Example Of What Some People Live In

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Investigators, A Giant Dog And A Purple House

Good Morning,

We had a wonderful, amazing week as always.  We taught a lot of wonderful new people (we found ten new investigators), and met a lot of people.  I love sharing the gospel.

We had a great Family Home Evening lesson with the Clarke family and talked about the Armor of God.  We read the scripture in Ephesians and had the kids go around the house and find things to represent the Helmet, the Shield, and everything.  Then they dressed up their dad in the whole Armor of God.  It was fun and the spirit was strong as well.  They were able to discuss what they can do as a family to put on the Armor of God and protect their family.  We ended with a wonderful dinner and homemade cookies.

We are still helping our doubles man paint.  We painted his house purple this week and it actually looks pretty good.  It is interesting how the people here randomly decide to paint their houses weird colors.  In the States that doesn't work but here it is fun.  It isn't weird.

We had some fun tracting experiences.  We went up a street that led to a dirt path in the mountains.  Sister Taylor had taught some people up there so we went to see if we could find them.  We didn't, but we found some new people.  The grass was wet and we almost slid down the mountain.  Our shoes were pretty dirty after but it was worth it.  Yesterday we went tracting around our neighborhood and we called into a house.  All of a sudden a giant dog jumped up and barked really loud.  We panicked because it had almost jumped over the gate.  The gate was almost as tall as us and the dog nearly made it over.  We started laughing after because it kept jumping and couldn't make it over.  He did it for a good five minutes.  The owner finally came out and we are going to teach him this week.

Driving in Trinidad is just as lovely as always.  I have been driving every other day and I still don't really like it.  Driving in Trinidad is not like driving in the States.

Miracle of the Week:  We have an investigator who is going through a really hard time right now.  She is a teenager and is pregnant and has a young daughter.  Her family situation isn't that great either.  We had a great lesson on the Sacrament and the power of the Atonement and committed her to come to church.  She said yes.  We asked her if she would need help to get up in the morning and she said it would help.  She doesn't have a phone so we woke up extra early and got to her house by 7:15 am to wake her up for church and helped her get her little girl ready.  Then we caught the maxi with her.  It was a wonderful experience for her and she was smiling the whole time.  The best part is we got there early and she sat down and got settled.  A few minutes before church started a member we have taken by her a lot came in.  She looked at us and told us to move so she could sit by her friend.  Members are so important in this work.  Investigators need a friend.  Of course we were happy to grant her request.  We would much rather her sit with a member than with us.

That's it for this week.  Thanks for everything.  I would still love more testimonies of the Book of Mormon to put in the books I give out.  If you could send me your testimony about the Book of Mormon that would be wonderful.


Sister Shirts

Monday, December 2, 2013


Good Afternoon,

Thanksgiving was great.  We had great food at the mission home and had a lot of fun caroling in the Trini rain.  We got soaked but it was fun.  President Mehr gave a great talk on gratitude.

I am grateful I have the opportunity to serve here in the West Indies.  I have received a lot of blessings from Heavenly Father.  I love being a missionary and serving the people here in Trinidad.  I am grateful for my family and all they have done for me.  I am grateful for my awesome companion Sister Edmonds.  She is an amazing missionary and friend.  I am grateful for my Trini mom and dad:  The Rampersads and my Trini aunt and uncle:  The Clarkes.  Love them a lot.

We had fun helping the Clarke family put up their Christmas tree.  They were able to invite a friend over and we were able to talk to her.  Hopefully we get to teach her soon.

I was with Sister Jex earlier this week and with Sister Schindler for a day.  Sister Edmonds went to Chaguanas and Sangre Grande.  She got to ride a bike this time:).

Funny story:  One day during trade-offs we got a call from the Chaguanas District Leader.  He was worried because Sister Edmonds and Sister Taufu'i didn't answer their phone the night before or that morning.  He asked where their last appointment was and it was in a sketchy area.  We got in the car and went to Chaguanas.  It took us two hours to get there (it usually takes 30 minutes but traffic was bad).  When we got there the sisters were like "what's wrong?"  We told them the problem and it turns out they dropped the phone in a disgusting ditch full of who knows what and they had been trying the rice trick with it.  When they tried to turn it on... it worked.  We went through all the hassle for nothing.  Then it took Sister Edmonds and I another two and a half hours to get back to our appointment in our area.

Miracle of the Week:  Fasting with the same less active I was talking about last week.  We went over and had a short lesson about fasting.  We shared the "Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief" story from the bible.  We invited her to open the fast and when she prayed the Spirit was so strong.  When she opened her eyes she was crying.  She really wants fasting to work and she has the faith.  It is experiences like this that makes me love being a missionary.  There are people ready to change their lives but they don't know how.  The Savior is reaching out his hand and they just need to stretch to grab it.  I know He is there waiting for us to come.  All we have to do is show our desire by acting on our faith and then you can expect miracles.

I can't believe I only have one year left on my mission.  One year from today I will be on my way home back to the states.  It is crazy how fast time flies.  I have already been on my mission six months.  It is strange to think about.

Thanks for everything.  I love you and hope you enjoy the Holiday Season.


Sister Shirts

Monday, November 25, 2013

Christmas Challenge Reminder

Good Morning,

Transfer week was crazy as usual.  We had sisters in and out all week.  It was fun though and we love taking care of them.  We had a brand new sister stay with us names Sister Tia.  She is from California.  We got to tell her stories about the wonderful (and strange) things we have experienced and we treated her to doubles.  I don't think she liked them very much but I sure did.

Sister Edmonds and I are having wonderful experiences as usual.  We love working together and we are working hard.  She is a great missionary, teacher, example, and she keeps me up and going.  We have had some amazing spiritual experiences together.  We have also gone through a lot of trials and testing as we help our area progress (as all missionaries do) but we have both grown a lot spiritually because of it.  We continue to get along very well.  We also have a lot of fun together as we share our message of happiness with others.  We even laugh when we are drenched in rain or get splashed or have to wade through giant puddles...we love missionary work a lot:)

We have a great opportunity today to go caroling.  All the missionaries in Trinidad are going to the city to testify of Christ through song.  It will be a really cool experience because there are a lot of missionaries in Trinidad.  After we are all going to the mission home for our Thanksgiving dinner.

We found a lot of new people to teach this week.  Sharing the gospel is wonderful.  Speaking of sharing the gospel - how is the Christmas Challenge?  For those who may not know (or remember), there was a challenge given in General Conference to find one person to share the gospel with before Christmas.  The deadline is coming up so I hope you have been looking for someone.  It doesn't have to be anything scary.  Some ideas are giving them a pass along card with the phone number of the missionaries, inviting them over for dinner with the missionaries, inviting them over for family home evening, inviting them over to watch a movie about Christ, inviting them to church...the possibilities are endless.  No excuses.  I can promise that as you do the challenge many blessings will come because you will be doing the Lord's work.  Keep up the search for your brothers and sisters who need to learn about the Savior so they can have the same happiness you have.

Miracle of the Week:  We have a 24 year old less active we are working with.  We went to her house to see her cousin but she wasn't there.  The less active had just returned from work (she works shift and got called in so she couldn't come to church).  We had planned to watch Finding Faith in Christ with her cousin but the Spirit told us to watch it with her instead.  The Spirit was very strong during the movie and after we were able to bear powerful testimony of the Savior and the power that faith in Him brings.  The spirit taught her during the experience and we will be fasting with her this week.  The Holy Ghost is amazing.  We didn't have to say much because He told her what she needed to do.

Thanks for all the support and prayers.


Sister Shirts

Monday, November 18, 2013

Zone Conference and Two Baptism Dates Set

Good Afternoon,

Transfer calls this week...I am staying in my area with Sister Edmonds again.  We are both really excited to keep working together.  She is such a hard worker and we have the same goals for our area and our missions.  We have a lot of similar strengths which turn into our super strengths as we use them together.  We love working together and we get along well.  We are able to teach in unity and the spirit is very strong when we follow the promptings.  We love being missionaries in Trinidad.

We had a wonderful Zone conference.  We talked a lot about aligning our will with the will of Heavenly Father.  If we have the desire to serve God we are called to the work just like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 4.  As we have that desire we can work miracles here in the West Indies and the work will continue to go forth.  It cannot be stopped because it is the work of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  A few weeks ago we were asked to memorize 10 or more consecutive scriptures from the book of Mormon to recite to President Mehr in our interview.  I memorized 3 Nephi 11:1-11.  It was amazing and the spirit was strong when I recited it.  There is power in the Book of Mormon.  President said that one of the reasons he had us memorize the scriptures was because those scriptures become a part of us.  It is true and it is a great experience when it happens.

We also had a great District meeting where we talked about making effective plans for each day and week.  We talked about how every time we plan it is like we are having a war council because we are fighting a war in a sense.  A battle against Satan and the world.  As we plan each day with inspiration from God our days are how he wants them and miracles are able to happen.  Sister Edmonds and I saw that on Saturday.  Heavenly Father blessed us with another nine lesson day along with a lot of contacts.  It is amazing how if we follow the will of the Lord the work progresses on such a higher level.  We are more in tune with the spirit if we do his work and not ours.

I tried some new weird foods that I can't remember their names but for lunch today Sister Edmonds and I had Dhal Roti and Buss Up Shut with goat and chicken.  It was really good.

Miracle of the Week:  We have been working with a less active's family.  We went over on Saturday to have a lesson but things were crazy (there are like 20 people living in the same small house) so we felt like we should just watch the short Restoration movie.  We started the movie with about eight people in the room.  By the end there was only one left (one of the family members we had been working with).  During the movie I felt like we should invite her to be baptized on a specific day and I had no idea why.  I looked at my planner at the day Sister Edmonds and I had discussed during weekly planning.  After the movie was done we asked her how she liked it.  She said that she just received her answer about Joseph Smith while watching the move.  The Holy Ghost was able to testify to her that Joseph Smith restored the church.  We were able to set a baptism date with her.  She was so excited.  She is 19 and has a son.  She loves reading from the Book of Mormon.

It didn't end there.  We met with another member of the family a few hours later and she has progressed a lot too.  She loves learning from the Book of Mormon and because she has felt the spirit during her lesson, she now has a baptism date as well.  Heavenly Father blessed us a lot on Saturday.

Thanks for all your support.  I love serving here in Trinidad and I am excited to serve her for another transfer.


Sister Shirts

Monday, November 11, 2013

Busy Week

Good Afternoon Everyone,

This week in district meeting we were given the challenge of contacting as many people as we could.  It was fun.  I was with Sister Lewis for a day and she loves contacting.  We talked to almost everyone we saw.

This week was a week of exchanges.  We had three.  Sister Edmonds went to San Fernando and I went to Chaguanas and Sangre Grande.  No tradeoffs this week though.  We get a break for zone conference.  It was nice spending time with Sister Lewis, Sister Jex, and Sister Grigg.  Like I said before, the best part of being the Sister Training Leader's companion is I get to go places and learn from a lot of sisters.  While I love it, three exchanges is a lot and Sister Edmonds and I were exhausted after.  It will be nice to have a semi normal week.

We contacted an ice cream man a few days ago.  We were heading to his appointment and guess who we saw pushing his was him.  He wasn't even home.  We stopped and bought some of his over priced, freezer burned ice cream sandwiches (which didn't taste that great).  Then he missed his next appointment.  We will try again of course but we won't be buying his ice cream again.

We got to help France (doubles man) paint his gate.  We have been trying for weeks but it is always raining.  We finally had a day when it wasn't raining and we booked it over so we could at least get started.  We had to chip the paint away with a giant knife and I got a few lovely blisters on my hands.  Then we painted and got paint all over our hands and feet.  It was fun.  Franco repaid us with some pig tail soup (very good as usual).  Franco always makes good food, no matter what animal parts it contains.

Miracle of the week:  We had an amazing family home evening lesson with a family.  the mom is less active so we have been trying to get her to come back to church.  We watched the "He is Risen" bible video and read from 3 Nephi 11.  The spirit was strong and He was able to teach each one of us something.  We were all taught different things and were given guidance on what we can do better.  It was wonderful.

That's about it for this week.  Thanks for all the support and I am working hard.


Sister Shirts

Pretty drive we went on when we got lost in the mountain for about 20 minutes. It was nice though.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Short Trip To The Beautiful Island Granada And A Fast Sunday Miracle

Happy Halloween and Divali everyone.  I spent part of the week in Grenada.  It was beautiful.  We ended up spending most of Halloween at the airport because our flight was delayed.  While in Grenada I spent most of the time walking because there was one car for two companionships.  Sister Edmonds got the car but that's okay because I love walking.  It was up and down hills and was almost like a hike most of the time.  It was a lot of fun.  There are a lot of white people in Grenada because they have a medical school.  This week I get to go to Sangre Grande, Trinidad again and ride a bike with Sister Grigg.  Should be fun.

Divali was exciting.  There were fireworks and explosions all night.  People put up Christmas lights and lit candles to celebrate/worship.  It was pretty.  We were only there for part of the day because of our delayed flight back into Trinidad (again).  We got to try some Indian sweets on Sunday (we didn't eat it on Saturday because we were fasting).  It was some bread stuff with some fruit in it.  I don't know what it was but it tasted good.  I try everything and most of the time I love it.

Today we went for a hike to the Maracas Waterfalls with the zone.  It was short but beautiful.  There wasn't much water because it hasn't rained in a few days but it was still nice.

Not a good tree for climbing

Miracle of the week:  On Sunday morning we called our investigators and less actives to remind them to get up and come to church.  Both of our "solid" investigators said they couldn't come.  Angela said she couldn't come because she had to go to market to get food.  We reminded her of the miracles she had seen and promised her blessings.  She said she wouldn't be able to come.  We went to church slightly disappointed.  We had worked so hard to help people and they still didn't want to show their faith.  We sat down and did the usual.  After the Sacrament, Sister Edmonds poked me and said "guess who is here?"  I looked and it was Angela and her son.  We had the biggest grins on our faces the rest of the meeting.  Not only that but we had several less actives come and bear their testimonies.  It was a great fast Sunday.  After the meeting she said that she had gotten ready to go when her mother-in-law, who had been giving her a hard time about meeting with us, told her that she would go to market so Angela could come to church.  Fasting brings miracles.

Thanks for everything,

Sister Shirts

Night driving in Trinidad

Pictures from Grenada

Monday, October 28, 2013

Service Works Miracles

Good morning,

We had a great week.  I went to Grande, Trinidad on Friday and rode a bike.  It was a lot more fun than I thought.  I want to be in a biking area sometime on my mission.  You just have to watch out for the crazy Trini drivers who don't look where they are going.  I was with Sister Taylor.  I learned how to make coconut bread and we had a fun time at ward family fun night.  I got to meet Samantha, the 16 year old temp who was with Sister Edmonds while I was sick.

I met a lady that has a pet monkey.  I didn't get a picture because we were just walking past.

Funny story time:  We went over to a member's house for a birthday dinner.  After the mom dished our plates I turned to Sister Edmonds and said "do you know what that looks like?"  She looked at me funny and I said "a pig nose".  She turned around and asked what kind of meat it was.  It was pig snout.  The dish is called pepper pot and not only did it include pig snout, it had cow heel and cow stomach as well.  The cow stomach was fuzzy looking and the cow heel was strange as well.  It all tasted fine.  It was just rubbery.  The pig snout tasted like ham and the cow parts tasted like beef.  Sister Edmonds couldn't eat it and was trying not to throw up watching me eat it.  I love trying new foods.  I also had aloo pies, papaya, pamsitae (a kind of fruit thing), and hot dogs covered in coleslaw for breakfast (hot dog=sausage in Trinidad).  I tried a lot of new foods.

Miracle story for the week:  We have been doing random service for an older lady for a few weeks now.  We just stop by when we are in the area and ask if she needs any help.  She hasn't let us share a message yet but we have been trying to soften her heart with service.  On Wednesday we went over and helped her clean all her windows (it took over an hour).  When we were on our way out she asked if she could see the bible I had in my hand.  We explained that it was the book of Mormon and she wants us to come back this week and explain what it is.  Service works miracles.

I love this work and I love the people of Trinidad.  I am excited to continue working hard and to meet new people.


Sister Shirts

Behind the apartment

Cleaning (at least they have fun doing it)

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Very Rainy Week

Good Afternoon,

We had a wonderful week.  It rained almost every day this week and we have been soaked to the bone.  We don't dry off very quickly here.  Must be rainy season and we love it because it makes it more of an adventure.

We discovered that our investigator, Angela, has two turtles.  We had fun playing with them when we went over for her birthday.

While contacting we found a Hindu lady who invited us to her house and fed us Aloo (potato roti stuff).  The best part was when we asked if anyone else would like to join us she called into the house and...out came her pet parrot.  She told it to sit on the chair and it did.  It sat there for the whole lesson.

One day we were trying to contact a referral and the lady wasn't home so we went to the neighbors' house.  We found a great family who are strong in their church.  We followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost and gave them each a copy of the Book of Mormon.  They were very excited and said they would read it.

The highlight of the week is Angela came to church as well as a lot of the less actives we have been working with.

Elections are today.  We will be happy when they are over because the traffic and loud music will decrease.  We haven't been able to wear red, yellow, or green because those are the colors of political parties.

Miracle Story:  We taught our investigator Angela (we love her a lot) the Word of Wisdom.  She said she loved coffee and couldn't give it up (this was last week).  When we went by her on Wednesday for her birthday she said that she decided she wanted to follow the Word of Wisdom and prayed that the temptation would be taken from her.  When she woke up that morning she didn't even want to touch the coffee.  We have checked up on her and she still hasn't had any.  Heavenly Father helped her stop.  That is just one of the miracles we have seen happen to her and her family.

I love this gospel and being a missionary.  It is the greatest thing in the world.


Sister Shirts

Monday, October 14, 2013

Earthquake, Bed Bugs And A French Speaking Sister

Good Afternoon,

Our car problems have continued.  We noticed that one of the tires is always low no matter how much air we put in so we went to get if fixed.  It turns out there were four small holes and the air was leaking out.  While it was getting fixed we got stuck with an old car that used to be the Elders and it smelled really bad and made noises every time we turned.  It was bad.  A few days after we got our car back we were getting supplies.  We went to open the didn't open.  Now we have to get into the trunk through the back seat.

We had the opportunity to take care of a Sister from Guadeloupe who will be serving her mission in a different country.  It was an adventure because she only spoke French.  Let's just say we used a lot of hand signals and talked slowly for a few days.  The cool part is we got to sit in while she was set apart.  President Mehr gave the blessing in English while Sister Mehr translated it into French so she could understand.  The spirit was very strong.

One night we came in and planned for the next day (the usual).  As we were getting ready for bed there was a vibrating noise and the house felt like it was moving.  I asked Sister Edmonds "why is our house shaking?" and she said "it's an earthquake get in the doorway!!!"  We stayed there until the shaking stopped.  It was a small earthquake and we were shocked at first but we were laughing about it for the rest of the night.

I love working with Sister Edmonds.  She is a very hard worker and we are getting a lot of work done here in Trinidad.  We put in very full days here in my area.  We begin proselyting at ten and come in at 9:30 at night.  Often we don't get time to sit down and eat (unless people feed us) so we pack our food.  I love it.  I enjoy the hard work because I know that it will pay off.  Through diligence and exact obedience miracles happen.  We are enjoying our time together here in Trinidad doing the Lord's work.  President Mehr said that our combination is strengthening the people here a lot.

It turns out we have bed bugs and we have been getting bit at night.  No worries.  The Monsons came and washed all of our bedding in hot water at their apartment, dried it, and sprayed our furniture.  Our bedding is nice and clean now.

Spiritual experience:  On Friday we were very discouraged because we haven't been able to get members out to lessons no matter what we tried.  Either they would cancel or the investigator would.  We have been trying to get members out with us for weeks.  We had read in the Book of Mormon that day about the power of fasting and prayer and decided that is what we would do.  Starting Saturday at lunch we fasted for member present lessons, member referrals, and a few other things.  That day we had two member present lessons, four other lessons and three less active lessons for a grand total of nine lessons.  I have never taught that many lessons in one day on my mission.  The spirit was very strong in every lesson and it is all because of Heavenly Father.  It was the best day on my mission so far.  Fasting and prayer brings miracles.

Thanks for everything,

Sister Shirts

Monday, October 7, 2013

Transfer Week! Staying In Curepe, Trinidad

Good Morning,

Great news.  I am staying in Curepe with Sister Edmonds who has been called as the new Sister Trainer Leader over Trinidad, Tobago, and Grenada.  That means I get to do a lot of exchanges.  Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Sister Lewis yesterday, but she will be serving another mini mission in San Fernando, Trinidad with Sister Herrick.  They will be opening the area for Sisters.

I tried some new food this week and had some favorites.  Of course we had doubles on Saturday from Franco.  I have had Suck-a-bag (like thin ice cream in a bag that you suck out), a lot of roti, trini corned beef, and pig tail.  One of the members is going to start teaching us how to cook.  I also tried peilou (don't know how to spell it) at Franco's house which was delicious.

Funny story:  The same day we had exchanges we also had apartment checks.  The Monsons came over and left like they normally do and we went out to our first appointment.  They were not home so I asked Sister Lewis to call their cell phone.  Sister Lewis said she didn't have the phone.  I checked my bag...I didn't have the phone and neither did Sister Jewell.  We pretty much ran home to find it and looked everywhere.  It wasn't there.  We tore the apartment apart and searched the car... no phone.  Finally we went to the owner of the apartment and asked if we could borrow her phone to call ours.  Guess who answered our phone... the Monsons.  Sister Monson accidentally stole our phone and we didn't have it for the rest of the day because they were doing apartment checks in Port of Spain.  It was funny and led to a crazy day because we couldn't call anyone to remind them or set up appointments for the day.

I hope everyone enjoyed conference.  My favorite talk was the one about spiritual endurance and strengthening your testimony.  One of the best ways to strengthen your testimony is to share it.  In this light I have a request:

Please mail your testimony of the Book of Mormon to me on a piece of paper that I can tape inside a soft cover copy of the Book of Mormon.  It doesn't have to be extravagant, just a simple testimony would be wonderful.  I know that it will help investigators have a greater desire to read from it.

I would also like to remind you of the challenge Elder Ballard extended to all members:  Reach out to one person between now and Christmas and invite them to hear the gospel.  Read the talk again.  It was amazing.

Thanks for everything,

Sister Shirts


Suck A Bag
Trini Corned Beef
Eating Trini Corned Beef

Franco the Doubles Man

Sister Lewis, Sister Edmonds, Sister Shirts eating doubles
Sister Edmonds, Sister Lewis, Sister Shirts Watched Conference at the Churck

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Birthday Full Of Miracles

Good Afternoon,

Thanks for the birthday wishes.  I had a great birthday.  I got up and showered and when I came out the Sisters threw cotton balls at me and sang happy birthday.  Then I opened up my birthday package and we played with the gifts, since right after I showered, the water shut off and the others couldn't shower.  We had a miracle day and Sister Edmonds and Sister Lewis planned a surprise birthday dinner at Franco's (the doubles investigator) which was delicious.

We had a pet named Clifford.  He is a lizard that appeared in our apartment for a few days and then he disappeared.  Hopefully he isn't in our clothes, food, or shoes.

It was a miracle fast Sunday because we were able to get an investigator (Angela) to come to church.  I will make a bullet list of some of the miracles that had to happen for her to come.

1.  She was home when we went to pick her up.
2.  We asked her to come with us but she said she had too much work and her husband would be upset if she went.  She finally let us help her work even though she wasn't coming.
3.  While we were cleaning she said "call my husband I am going to church".  She called and we all prayed in our hearts and he was fine with her leaving.
4.  She called her step father (Franco with the doubles stand) and asked if it was okay if she cooked when she got back.  He told her he would cook for her.
5.  We were able to get yer young son ready to go.
6.  While on the maxi she only had $100.  We didn't have change, no one on the maxi had change, the driver didn't have change.  Once again we said a prayer in our hearts and she found a $20 in her purse.
7.  We were very late leaving her house and we were on a maxi and we prayed in our hearts once again that we would make it in time for the sacrament.  We got there just as they were starting the sacrament hymn.

Like I said, blessing fast Sunday.

We went for our doubles run on Saturday to Franco's stand.  I ate 2 1/2 doubles and they were very good.  I also tried chicken foot at Franco and Angela's.  Franco cooks the best food here and has the best pepper.


Sister Shirts

Welcome Home Party

Happy Birthday Sign and Sister Lewis

Chicken Foot Soup

This Is How To Eat Chicken Feet - With Your Hands

Giant Cactus

This Is The Chapel Decorated For A Young Single Aduly Activity (the chapel is used for many things besides Sacrament Meeting)

Sunrise This Morning

Sunrise This Morning

Monday, September 23, 2013

So Glad To Be Back

Good Morning Everyone,

I am glad to be back in Trinidad with Sister Edmonds and guess what?  I am in a trio with Sister Lewis.  she is one of the temporary missionaries who was with Sister Edmonds while I was home and she will be with us for the rest of the transfer.  She is 16 and has a really strong testimony.  I love working with her and she brings the spirit so much.

I am driving now.  Sister Edmonds kindly forces me to drive with all the craziness.  It really isn't that bad, we just drive slow.  I haven't crashed the car or killed us yet so that is a good sign.

We decided that we really don't like driving and we don't get to meet as many people when we are driving so we are pretty much ditching the car unless we need to drive far away.  We have been catching Maxi and walking a lot more and we have found some great people to teach.

We have been experimenting with our contacting methods.  Sister Lewis is such a great missionary that she tried to contact a guy walking down the street while we were stopped at a stoplight through the car window.  She also tried to contact a KFC (they really love fried chicken there) delivery driver (on a motorcycle) from the car window but he drove away.  The best is when we were walking and there was this old guy in the back of the truck.  Right when she started to talk the guy drove away but she gave him a Plan of Salvation book.  Yesterday we were contacting and this drunk guy on a bike came up to us and started asking questions.  He had a bottle of beer in one hand and was trying to steer with the other.  Sister Edmonds gave him a Word of Wisdom book.  He reminded me of a rasta Jack Sparrow by the way he was talking and riding his bike.

Sister Edmonds started teaching a man named Franco while I was gone.  We became best friends when he told me he owns a doubles stand.  On Saturday for our morning exercise we ran to his doubles stand and he gave us free delicious doubles.  He also feeds us almost every time we go over there.  Last time he fed us goat and roti which was really good.  He is an amazing cook.  He always brings out the pepper for me.

The success of the week is the Singh and Persaud family.  A few weeks before I left we had tracted into a young boy named Kevin.  We went back a week later and he wasn't home but his sister was so we had a lesson with her and told her she was a daughter of God.  After I went home Sister Edmonds was able to make contact again and teach the whole family.  They are really cool and they love reading the Book of Mormon.  The mother carries it with her everywhere and they recognize that same spirit they feel when we come can be felt as they read from the Book of Mormon.

Funny story:  Let's start by saying there are homes in Trinidad that are very humble.  While we were in a lesson with the family I was just talking and a cockroach ran across the floor.  Sister Edmonds and Sister Lewis freaked out and I just sat there.  It ran underneath the furniture in another room and we continued the lesson.  About 15 minutes later something flew into the room.  It was the same cockroach.  Sister Lewis ran outside the house and wouldn't come back in until it was gone.  We also saw a few mice and lizards in the house.

Thanks for all the support while I was home and for the prayers.  I am very happy here in Trinidad as I am now able to continue to do the Lord's work.


Sister Shirts

I will send pictures next week.  I ran out of time today.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Post Op Gallbladder Surgery

I had the gallbladder surgery and all went well. I also had the check up with the surgeon and my incisions are healing quickly. I haven't felt the same pain I felt since the surgery so they must have fixed the problem. The surgeon said my gallbladder was bad for my age and that I shouldn't have any problems with it now. The day of the surgery I walked a mile. I was off the pain medication in less than 48 hours. By day three I was walking around five to six miles. I have been increasing my walking daily and I am back up to missionary standard. I have been blessed so much during the healing process. I have healed very quickly. I was cleared by the surgeon on Monday and cleared by the missionary department on Tuesday.

Even better news: We just got an email from the Stake President with my travel information. I am leaving bright and early Monday morning. My flight leaves at 6:50 am and arrives in Trinidad at around 8:00 pm. I am traveling through Houston and I have a layover for a few hours.

I am excited to go back to Trinidad and resume my mission. It has been nice being home, but I have been ready to get back to work the day I came back. Being at home was hard because my mind and heart have been on my mission. I suppose I just love being a missionary too much! 

Thanks for all the support while I have been home. I really needed it.

Sister Shirts
After surgery with my awesome compression socks

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

After the HIDA...

Went in for a HIDA scan today and found out it is definitely my gallbladder. They injected radioactive tracers and my gallbladder was supposed to show up within an hour. It didn't, so they injected me with a small dose of morphine to get it to show up. The doctor said it needs to come out and hopefully I can get the surgery this week so I can get back to work in the West Indies quickly. 

At zone conference President Mehr talked about being patient in times of trial. The people in this scripture were righteous but they still had to go through trials. The important part is their attitude. 

Mosiah 24:15 says:

"And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

Just a reminder of who is in charge and that if we submit cheerfully and with patience, the Lord will strengthen us in our trials. We are given experiences to make us stronger and to build us up. Even though it seems hard not to do things our way, sometimes we need to step back and see what the Lord's way is. It is the way that will work.

Sister Shirts
HIDA scan

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hidden Blessings

This is Sister Shirts in the flesh typing this blog post. I am home on medical leave to figure out why I am sick. They think it is either an ulcer or something wrong with my gallbladder. As soon as it is taken care of I will be back in Trinidad ready to work.

It was really hard when President Mehr called and strongly encouraged me to go home to get it taken care of so I am not sick my whole mission. Naturally I was really discouraged and reluctant to come home but on the airplane ride to Utah I thought of all the hidden blessings that are coming from it. Seeing my family, seeing my friends, restocking supplies for my mission and countless other blessings. It would take a lot of space on my blog to write them all.

We have already seen the Lord's hand in the process. The doctor wanted me to get an enteroscopy and it usually takes around 3 weeks to get an appointment. I was able to get in tomorrow morning. It is amazing the miracles that can happen. I know I am needed in the West Indies and I am getting help from heaven to get there back as soon as possible so I can work.
Picking me up from the airport