Monday, June 24, 2013

More adventures in Barbados

Hello everyone,

This week has been great.  Sister Herrick and I swept the church on Saturday and cleaned up piles of potato bugs and a cockroach.  It was fun.  I had my first real mango and also had some five finger fruit (very sour).

We had a tropical storm this week and all of our appointments canceled on us because they don't do anything here if it is raining.  It is the ultimate excuse.  Unfortunately it rains a lot so it is a problem.

Earlier last week a sister from Trinidad was able to visit because she had to leave the country and then go back to get a visa so she decided to come here.  We went and got ice cream with her and visited for a few minutes.  Sister Taylor is the one who took me out my first day and taught me how to contact so it was fun to see her again.

We had an interesting experience with a less active.  I don't know if I mentioned her last week but her name is Sister Gittens.  She is crazy.  She has a crazy dog that tried to eat us when we stopped by to help her in her garden.  She also has a crazy neighbor and they yell at each other.  They were calling each other witches and devils and other not so nice things.  On the bright side we did get some mangoes from her.

The success story of the week is Maralda and her family.  Maralda is an older lady with lots of grand kids.  We have taught them a few times but our last visit was great.  She has a 12 year old son that has been participating and he loves to read the scriptures.  She works with a member in our branch so hopefully we can take the sister teaching with us some time.

I hope you all watched or will watch the leadership broadcast.  It was great and shared how all of us can help the missionaries.  I know member missionary work is important and it really does help the missionaries.  Keep in mind people you know that don't have the gospel in their lives so you can help the missionaries.  We are told that the members are the finders and the missionaries are the teachers.  The people who are found by the members find friends in the gospel and they have people they can relate to.

Thanks for all your support,

Sister Shirts

Monday, June 17, 2013

Continuing the Lord's work in Barbados

Good Day Everyone,

The work in our area is really picking up. We have been meeting a lot with the members and less actives. The mission president really wants us to build up the members and get referrals from them. Church has been great and the members are getting more and more willing to help us out.

People love my last name. They don't remember Sister Herrick's name but they remember mine.

We have been living off of spaghetti noodles and rice. We have been experimenting on different sauces we can put on it to make it taste better. My favorite so far is breakfast spaghetti (spaghetti with eggs and stuff). We bought ham from the store last week. When I smelled it, I decided it wasn't ham. We looked on the ingredients list and it said chicken. So basically our ham was like a hot dog and there wasn't even any ham in it. I also tried doubles which was great (there is a picture).

The mosquitoes here bite me like crazy. Sister Herrick said they stop after a while. There are also other bug problems here. One evening I went to get clothes to change into after showering and my drawer was full of ants. We got the bug spray and I took all my clothes out and sprayed them until they were all dead. Now my drawer smells bad, but hopefully it will get better.

I have heard that Barbados is the Bible belt of the West Indies. It is true. The people in Barbados love the Bible and they know everything about it. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

Funny story about contacting: We were tracting and we came up to a house. We looked down and there was this huge iguana just sitting there. We were scared for a minute but then we thought it was cool. Sister Herrick pulled out her hand sanitizer and went to poke it was fake. We thought it was real and were panicking for nothing.

We went walking on the beach one morning for exercise. It was nice. I haven't been for p day yet so maybe we will go next week.

We found a family who is very interested in hearing what we have to say. We taught them about the plan of salvation and they really want to get to the celestial kingdom. Even better, they realize they aren't living the way they should to make it there. Hopefully they continue to have the desire to learn more.

Heavenly Father has blessed me so much this week with finding people and helping them take the steps necessary to live with Heavenly Father forever. We have been working hard and Heavenly Father recognizes it.

Thank you for all your support.


Sister Shirts

West Indies Sisters at the MTC

Barbados beach


View from airplane flying to Barbados

A lighthouse found while driving around lost

Monday, June 10, 2013

Barbados: The blessings, the challenges, and a "P" day comedy

Good day everyone,

I arrived on Barbados on Wednesday and have finally adjusted to the humidity. The heat isn't too bad and it is cloudy because rainy season is about to start. I have already started my awesome tan lines.

It is beautiful here. The beaches are really nice (we haven't been yet but we drive past every day) and the island is full of palm trees and flowers. We have wandered around our area many times so I am pretty sure I have seen what there is to see as far as plants go. One day when we were driving home we had to stop because there was a bunch of... Monkeys.  In the road. Just like deer back in Utah. There are also creepy black birds with bright green eyes. We also saw a monkey over in a park by our apartment.

I am serving in the St. Phillips area with Sister Herrick. It is more of the "country side" of Barbados so it is very spread out. We have a nice apartment and a car. We even have a chapel here, which is more than they have in a lot of other areas. We have been trying to find our way around which is fun. They don't have house numbers in most areas so we get told a general area and we have to find out which house is the right one. There are random roads it gets very confusing, but we have been blessed to find most of the places we need to know.

We have had a few appointments that have gone well and I am excited to get to teach more. There is a lot of work for us to do but with the Lord's help, I know we will be led to those he has prepared.


Sister Shirts


We have been working hard but we are starting out pretty slowly. We haven't had much success finding people and the roads are crazy here.

Mailing packages and letters will probably be hard because we don't really have an address, just a street.  For now all I know is I live in Gemswick, St. Phillips, Barbados but we don't have a house number

Like I said the work is going slow here which is kind of frustrating for us. Apparently Barbados is the hardest island in the mission and people are not open to hearing the message. They are nice until we mention the church and then they don't want anything to do with us. We are going to try service like Ammon as our next approach. We haven't had much success yet.

Our apartment is way nicer than what they have on most islands and most people here live in humble homes. We figured we were given a nice apartment because we will have a lot of stress so we need somewhere nice to come home to. Our water takes forever to warm up (if we have warm water) so we take cold showers most of the time.

We spent some time on Trinidad and they live in very humble homes. The sisters live basically through a "junk yard" and have their kitchen outside. I really want to go to Trinidad or Tobago eventually. I hear the people there are more receptive to the gospel and friendly.

We are not supposed to be out wandering past 6:30 pm unless we have appointments. We are carefully following the rules and we haven't had any problems yet.

We eat a lot of chicken here because the fish is too expensive. Chicken and rice. We were fed by one of the members yesterday and that is what we had. At home we have been living off of cold cereal and peanut butter sandwiches. We have other things but we don't really have time to make food yet and we haven't been to the store.  I am trying to catch a monkey on camera but so far I haven't been successful.

I forgot to tell you I drove. On the left side of the road. We got lost in some back roads so I figured I would give it a shot. It was like learning to drive all over again. I only drove on the wrong side once ;) . You might have a few random emails because we are waiting for the elders to bring our car back.

Our car hates us. It locks us out and the alarm goes off when we try to get in. The window gets stuck going up and down unless you close it a certain way and one of the headlights are out so we have to get it replaced. Other than that the car is great.

The people in Trinidad drive crazy. They swerve and stop and don't signal. I am glad I get to learn to drive here. On Barbados they communicate with their lights and their horns. It will be an adjustment.

We met a guy named Wayne. He has a family and he wants to learn more. His wife is strong in her religion but he wants to know more. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he acted like he really wanted to read it.

So far P day has been spent at the doctors office and emailing because the Elders needed our car so they could go shopping. We have been walking in the mornings which is nice. It isn't jogging but it still counts.

Thanks for sending the Missionary Library. We have been in early because we can't seem to get any evening appointments. Rather than sit around I continued reading Our Search for Happiness. It is really good and interesting. It was written for people who are not LDS but it is definitely for members as well. I have enjoyed it. I have been reading from the Book of Mormon every day. We have a 12 week Book of Mormon reading plan that the whole mission uses. I have also been studying a lot from the New Testament. The people here know the Bible very well so we are trying to help them see that the Book of Mormon supports the Bible. The Elders brought some investigators to church and they wanted to know where things are in the Bible so they can have proof. We are trying to include scriptures from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon in our lessons so we can help people see that they support each other.

There are ants and mosquitoes in our apartment and I have quite a few bug bites on my legs. They also have sand flies here.

The rain here isn't bad yet because it is the beginning of the rainy season. It randomly pours for like 5 minutes and then stops. The roads get pretty muddy because the majority of roads in this part of the island are dirt and the paved roads are not very good. The roads are super narrow here. Just barely wide enough to fit two cars and sometimes not even that. A lot of people we have been to see live on random roads off main dirt roads (like tire track roads). It is an adventure. We get lost and end up in random places which happen to be beautiful. We look at each other and say P day and drive away. We found a lighthouse and we are planning on going today if we can.

I am pretty sure there are 6 sisters on Barbados right now.

The Elders have a baptism on Saturday. We will be going so you might get pictures from it. Hopefully we can take some of our investigators with us so they can see what it is like. It may be an ocean baptism if they can't get the font to work.

The Elders came back to get their keys so they could take the food back to their apartment (we are emailing in the Branch president’s office with his permission). They shut the door and unfortunately the door locks. We are locked in the office and we can't get out until they come back. We haven't had lunch yet and we had an early breakfast so we are starving.

Just thought I would let you know why you are still getting random emails. I am really bored so we are taking turns emailing people until they come back because there is nothing else to do.

Barbados Flag

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I made it to Trinidad.  We woke up at 1 in the morning and went to bed at midnight.  It is so hot and humid here.  When I walked off the airplane it hit me like a wall.  It is beautiful and the people here drive really fast.  I found out that all the sisters get cars for safety, but they expect you to walk most of the day to save money on gas.  (Mom's note:  she was afraid she would have to drive.  She didn't like driving at home so she is going to have to learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road with the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car.  There are really no rules and no speed limits there.)

The Mission President and his wife are great.  The mission home has bars on the windows and the doors have an extra layer of bars and are padlocked closed.  There is also an electric fence around part of the home.

I met Mrs. Allred's sister.  She is really nice and we had a lot to talk about.  (Mom's note:  Mrs. Allred is a favorite teacher at the elementary school.  She and Jasmine share a great love of reading.)

I leave for Barbados tomorrow morning.


Sister Shirts
 The newly arrived Sisters and Elders

The new missionaries with the President and Sister Mehr (in the center back row)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Phone call from the airport

We got to talk on the phone for a little while this morning.  She was on a layover in Houston.  She sounds really good.  According to her flight information, she will be in Trinidad until Wednesday morning then she flies to the beautiful island of Barbados along with 2 of the other Sisters.