Monday, February 24, 2014

A Brand New Member!

Good Morning,

Let's start off with the miracle of the week:  Fred got baptized!!!  Friday was the big day.  It was one of the best days of my mission.  His interview was Wednesday and he passed.  Elder Petersen baptized him and Elder Jeppson confirmed him.  It was wonderful.  Fred was so happy and his dad even came.  We have been over to visit him a few times since his baptism and he is still glowing.
This water isn't looking very clean.  The font is outside behind the church building.

Almost there

Just baptized!

After he was baptized we went to Yogurt land and Subway to celebrate on our lunch break.  It was delicious and I am glad we found those places.  There are also some great Chinese restaurants here too.  I have been fed curry up to my neck this week (including goat).  That's okay because I love it.

We had a great service project with Brother Patrick.  He had a hole in the ground about five feet deep and across filled with water (pretty much like a pond).  For four hours we went with buckets and bailed out the water and mud.  I was pretty sore after but it was fun.  There was a lot of baby fish, tadpoles, and we even found a turtle living in it.  Best service project ever.  We got very muddy and wet.

Stake conference was yesterday and it was amazing.  Fred came and he loved it.  President Mehr was his favorite speaker ("the first white man").  They really focused on the doctrine of repentance and what it really means to repent.  The priesthood is so important and no one can fully be cleansed/sanctified from sin without it.  That is why it is so important to be baptized by the proper authority and take the sacrament that has been blessed and passed by that authority.  It is amazing how everything connects.  He also liked Sister Mehr's talk and he remembered she came out teaching with us to go see him.

We had a really good week.  Sister Rampersad and Sister Taufu'i are great.  Next week is Carnival so we have to stay in Sunday after church, Monday, and Tuesday so my letter will be late.

Thanks for everything.


Sister Shirts

p.s. Ignore the dates on the pictures.  Somehow the date on the camera got messed up.

Fred's duck

Notice the stove and dryer are outside the house

Cows wander around all over

Beautiful Trini Sunrise
Accidents happen all the time in Trinidad.  This is #3 for Sister Shirts.  (None of them have been the Sisters fault).

Monday, February 17, 2014

"I Love The People Here"

Happy late Valentine's Day!

Week one in a trio was wonderful.  Sister Rampersad from the Curepe ward is serving with us until her visa comes so she can serve in Jamaica.  It is cool serving with her because I was really close with her family when I served in Curepe.  She is amazing.  She went to the MTC and is back here waiting for her visa.  She is a really good teacher and is nineteen years old.  We all get along well and we are able to help each other out.

They celebrate Valentine's day very similar to how they do in the States.  Chocolate, flowers, notes... the same thing.  We didn't do anything special.  Just sharing the gospel with all our heart, might, mind and strength ;) as always.

Brother Patrick is doing well.  We are helping him memorize scriptures he can say when he is tempted to break the Word of Wisdom since he can't read.  He said he is going to the swamp for carnival in a few weeks and he is going to catch us fish and cook it for us.  Should be great if he remembers.

We also found a great less active family to work with.  They have a huge family and they live out in the bush.  It is hard for them to come to church because they have to catch travel (maxi) and they don't come out that far.  They all have strong testimonies and the oldest is considering serving a mission.

Stake Conference is coming up this weekend.  We get to go to the Port of Spain chapel because they are not broadcasting it to our branch.  It will be strange going to a church building.

I love the people here in Trinidad.  They are so generous and kind.  They give so much yet a lot of them live in very humble circumstances.  They almost always give us something to eat or drink or take with us.  Even the random people we meet give us stuff or let us sit down and teach even before we have time to say our names.  It is amazing how humble they are.

As far as food I was fed this week:  I had potato pie which was delicious.  That purple thing I was talking about last week is called climate.  I enjoyed curried shrimp and Dhalpourie, curried mango, curried peas, peilaou (probably not spelled right), and paudo.  Paudo looks like a pea pod.  You open it and there is a seed covered in white stuff.  You suck the white stuff off and spit out the seed.  My favorite part of eating here is they use their hands.  Rarely do we eat at a home and get a spoon (they use spoons more than forks).

Curried shrimp, curried mango, curried peas and dhalpourie (roti)


Miracle of the Week:  Fred... again.  Fred works construction and sometimes it is hard for him to find work.  He didn't finish a job as soon as he wanted.  He had a choice to finish on Sunday or have to work an extra day next week.  He chose to come to church and keep the Sabbath day holy.  He is doing so well.  He is still reading and praying daily and is doing great with the Word of Wisdom.  He is being converted and still really wants to be baptized.  I remember when he said he would never come to church or be baptized.  That is the power of the Spirit working on a person's heart.

Thanks for everything.  Love you all lots.


Sister Shirts

Look close and see if you can spot the pet monkey.

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Overwhelming (In A Good Way)"

Good Morning,

Sorry this email is so short.  We had a pretty normal week.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  We shared the gospel and met a lot of great people.

We had the opportunity to go to Hindu prayers.  We met a man at the beginning of the last transfer and we taught him a lesson.  He wasn't interested but he did invite us to go to his birthday celebration where they would be doing the prayers.  We accepted of course and it was on Saturday.  It was a really cool experience.  They sing their prayers and the music is beautiful.  I love the style of music.  Their dresses and suits are beautiful, the decorations were beautiful, the colors were beautiful.  I am glad we got to go.  It was really cool.

There is a really nice family we met that has started feeding us every Sunday after church.  They are investigators.  Yesterday she fed us curried goat, curried mango, curried peas, and buss up shut.  It was delicious.  She is a wonderful cook.  I also tried some weird slimy purple fruit that was delicious and also a potato thing called edos.  It tasted very similar to a potato but it tasted like it had some seasoning but it was natural.  Very good.

We are working with so many people it is overwhelming sometimes (in a good way).  There are a lot of people searching for truth and I am glad I get to be a part of finding it.  They want something more but they can't find where to get it.  Serving a mission is the best decision I have made.

Miracle of the week:  Fred of course.  He is well on his way to baptism.  We fasted with him to help him with a Word of Wisdom problem this week and so far so good.  He is amazing.  He is coming to church, reading from the book of Mormon, reading general conference talks, praying... he is great.  He wants to be baptized in a river and we are looking for one.  He loves learning more and you can see the light in his eyes.  He is almost thirty years old and he has been searching for something.  He said he has gone about life with a hole but he feels like the hole is filling up.  He is amazing.

Thanks for all the support.  The work is doing great.


Sister Shirts

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Great Week!

Good Afternoon,

To start it off I have some more Trini slang for you:

Ent? = Right?  They will say something and add it at the end.  For example:  You drive the blue car, ent?

XYX = and so on

Right straight through = keep going straight

When you ask how they are doing, often they will say "just cool"

We have been running at a park near our apartment.  We go at least three times a week.  It is a great way to start the day.  My running shoes are getting put to good use.  I love running.

The weather has been nice.  I have actually been getting cold.  I am going to freeze when I get home in December,  I can't even handle the A/C being on.

The branch has started doing a fun night every Friday.  We had a great turn out.  We were in charge of the game.  We played a fun trivia game and everyone enjoyed it.  After we had some delicious Trini snacks.  They love their crackers and tuna here.

I love working with Sister Taufu'i.  Great things are happening in our area.  We have a lot of people preparing for baptism and we found even more people this last week.  We are working with members to get referrals because it helps us a lot.  We are also doing a lot of less active work.  The branch has already seen a lot of growth this year.  We had 53 people at church yesterday.  The branch is doing such a great job with their missionary work.

Miracle of the week:  On Friday we went over the baptism interview questions with Fred and focused on the Sabbath day because he hadn't been to church yet.  We had been trying to get him to go for a long time but he always said he wasn't ready to take that step yet.  We called him on Sunday morning and he was already up getting ready to come.  He actually beat us to church.  He answered a lot of the questions in Sunday School and the Stake President was very impressed with him.  In Priesthood they talked about Lehi's dream (Fred's favorite part of the Book of Mormon) and Fred answered almost all of the questions.  He is doing so good.  He really enjoyed church.  He is still working towards baptism.

Fast Sunday was wonderful.  I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have a plan for each of us and that if we do our part we can have all the blessings they have waiting.  They are always there and ready to help if we let them.  Through Christ we can all make it back to live with god as we use His Atonement.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be here and to strengthen my relationship with Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father.

Thanks for all the letters you send.  I love getting them.

Thanks for everything.  You are all great.


Sister Shirts

Those aren't logs swimming in the water.  This is just down the street from where Sister Shirts lives. Caiman are similar to alligators.

This is what they found when they got lost going to a funeral.
This is the largest statue of a Hindu god outside of India.  It stands 85 feet high.  Trinidad has the largest Hindu community outside of India.

Hindu Temple
Hindu Temple

Pday was spent going to Maracas Beach

These are the missionaries in her zone.

Sister Taufu'i and Sister Shirts 

Of course you can't go to the beach in the West Indies without having a nametag in the sand picture. 

This is bake and shark.  There are huts along the beach where you can get this fried shark treat.  The last time Sister Shirts tried it was before she had her gallbladder surgery so after eating it she was in pain for days.  This time she enjoyed every single bite.