Monday, April 28, 2014

"Spoiled With Many Amazing Miracles"

Good Morning,

Today I will start off with the long list of delicious food we were fed this week:  Rice, homemade chow mein, rice, calalloo, polish dogs (trini style), rice, Bhaigghan, curry mango, rice, coconut chutney, bodi, rice, and trini scrambled eggs on a hot dog bun.  Delicious food that we were very grateful for.
Coconut Chutney

Bodi (very slimy)

Trini Sunday Lunch

Curry Mango

Now that I got that part out of the way it is time for a story:  We went over to a less active's house to have a lesson.  We got there and they said "it will be a few minutes.  Something just came up and it is an emergency."  We got really worried because it sounded like someone was hurt or died.  We sat down outside and waited.  Then we heard someone yell "it is under the stove.  Let's just take the whole thing and put it outside and get it."  We asked if we could help.  It turns out they were trying to get a mouse out of their house and they were trying to come up with a strategy of how to get it out.  In the end Sister Schindler and I sat with our legs out to block the mouse from running in the wrong direction.  They got a broom and pushed the mouse outside.  Then the mom yelled really loud and beat the mouse to death with a broom.  That is how they do it here in Trinidad :)

Elder Petersen started teaching piano lessons at the church on Thursdays.  It is going well and less actives, investigators, and active members come.  It is a great way to share the gospel in a way that helps people learn new things.

Church was wonderful.  We had over sixty people there.  A lot of less active families came.  The Deonarinesingh family we have been working with came.  We had a very spirit led discussion on the Sacrament and the Atonement and when we committed them to come to church Brother Deonarinesingh immediately said yes.

This week we were spoiled with many amazing miracles so I narrowed it down to two.  #1 Brother Thomas has been very nervous about receiving the priesthood.  We had a lesson with him about how it is an opportunity to learn and progress to becoming like God.  He seemed more comfortable and...on Sunday he was ordained to the office of Priest.  #2  The Gerard family were baptized and confirmed.  All five of them as a family.  It was the most spiritual baptism I have been to on my mission.  The testimonies shared were focused on the temple.  That is their goal.  An entire family getting baptized at the same time is very unusual here.  It was the first one most people had seen.  It was a really cool experience and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to work with them.

Thanks for everything.

Sister Shirts

This is how to kill cockroaches

Trini gas station

Count the toes

Cool Spiderman truck

burnt "planning" popcorn

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Still Working Hard

Good Afternoon,

This week a lot of people decided they wanted to feed us.  There was one day we got fed four times.  We took most of it to go because we have been very busy these past few weeks.  I had peilou, bhaggie and sada roti, sugar roti, fried rice, stewed chicken, curried pumpkin, vermicelli, and bake.  All wonderful as usual.  I love the food here.  Random food fact:  they literally eat the whole chicken here- to the bone marrow.  I stopped trying to figure out what part of the chicken I was eating a long time ago.  Heart, neck, feet, back... who knows.  It all tastes the same when it is curried :)
bhaggie sada roti, sugar roti, tuna salad
curried pumpkin vermicelli (a dessert)

We had tradeoffs this week so I was with Sister Edmonds.  We went with a member to meet some of his friends and we ran into a geriatric home where we met a 102 year old man.  The spirit was very strong there and we prayed with all of them.  We are going back tomorrow to sing hymns to them.

The stake put on the second half of the Savior of the World play.  It was very good.  They performed it at the University of the West Indies in one of the auditoriums.  The costumes were great and the props were creative.  They did a wonderful job inviting the spirit.  the songs were my favorite part because they had a Caribbean twist because of the style of their singing here.  The Gerard family all came.

That leads us to the miracle of the week:  When we were on tradeoffs, Sister Edmonds and I taught the Gerard family about the importance of the Atoning sacrifice of the Savior.  They all shared their testimonies and the spirit was very strong.  They have very strong testimonies of the restoration as well.  We taught them about the word of wisdom and they threw out their coffee.  They readily accepted it.  they are doing great.

Thanks for everything.  As always I love you all and am grateful for your prayers.


Sister Shirts

Funny story about eggs:  You can only get brown eggs in Trinidad.  When you try to dye them they still come out brown.

stickers work better
Hindu display

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Nothing Happens By Chance"

Good Morning,

To start off the week we went by the Monsons and had a delicious lunch cooked by Sister Monson.  Then she cut my hair.  They are leaving soon and I am going to miss them a lot.  They are wonderful.  Later that day we got the wonderful news that I will be staying with sister Schindler.  She is 22 years old and from Washington.  We work very well together.

I have tried a few new things to eat.  I had Mook (what we call muscle in the States) that was curried so of course it was delicious.  A member made it for us as well as stewed chicken and sada roti.  I also finally tried coconut water from a coconut and the jelly.  It is about time!  The Gerards gave it to me because I wasn't feeling well and coconut water is the cure all here.

Zone Conference was great.  We got to sing "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd" for the musical number.  We were combined with south zone so I got to see Sister Taufu'i.  We learned a lot about justice and mercy and how it relates to why we need to be diligent as missionaries.  The spirit was very strong as always.

The Gerard family is preparing for baptism pretty soon.  They all came to church on Sunday and have testimonies.  They really want to go to the temple and be sealed together.

Miracle of the Week:  On Friday our interviews with President Mehr got rescheduled to a later time so we had to shift our schedule to fit it.  Then we got a call later that day saying that he was ahead of schedule so we needed to rush over to get there in time.  Interviews went well and we headed back to our area.  We had some empty space in our schedule because that is where our interview was supposed to be.  We had some people we wanted to check so we started heading over.  The Curepe Sisters sent us a text telling us to call some lady ASAP.  We did and she said her name was Geeta and she was from Guyana.  She wanted to come to church.  I tried to explain how to get there but she doesn't know Chaguanas so I asked where she lived so we could set up an appointment with her.  By some miracle she lived five minutes away from where we were at the time so we headed over.  It turns out she is a member of the church and has been trying to find it for a year.  She was in tears when she saw us and thanked us for coming.  We traveled with her to church yesterday and she had a wonderful experience.  Nothing happens by chance.

Thanks for everything.  I really appreciate all the letters and emails and support.


Sister Shirts

Cool Palm Tree

Found another doubles man to teach!  Yum!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Thoughts About General Conference

Good Morning,

To start off the week we got a "new" car.  It looks just like the old one except it has less problems.  Missionaries have a tradition of naming our cars.  I named this one Mink.  It is the first word/name that came to my mind and it stuck.

I hope you all enjoyed General Conference.  It was hard to pick a favorite talk but right now my favorite is Elder Scott's talk on helping people with their conversion.  I liked it because as a missionary it is what we do every day.  I also like Elder Ballard's talk.  Once again he has raised the bar of member missionary work:  One person every quarter of the year to meet with the missionaries.  I am excited to help the members with this new challenge and to do it when I get home.

We just had that wonderful General Conference and now on Thursday we get to have a great Zone Conference.  I am excited to learn from the leaders of the mission and be enlightened even more.  It will be great.

Guess what?  I have a new companion again.  Sister Hendricks was needed in Grande so now I am with Sister Schindler.  It is exciting.  I am going to miss Sister Hendricks but I really like Sister Schindler.  We are going to do great things together.

This week we got to do service for a less active family named the Hustons.  I have talked about them before but just in case you forgot they are from Guyana.  We helped in the garden and they told us stories about their garden back home.  One of them involved a tiger that lived near their home so they had to move.  It was fun to get to know them more.

Working in the garden with a cutlass

Miracle of the Week:  Brother Thomas (Fred) had a great experience at conference.  He came on Sunday because he was working Saturday.  The video wasn't working because the internet connection was bad but we listened to it.  He said he could tell when the Prophet was speaking because he sounded more spiritual and he felt the spirit even more.  He is learning very quickly.  He loves being a member of the church.

Thanks for everything.  Love you all.


Sister Shirts

Mook (muscle), dahl, rice

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Companion

Good Afternoon,

This week was amazing.  Full of changes and progress.  The last few days with Sister Taufu'i and Sister Rampersad were wonderful.  I am going to miss them a lot.  They will do great things in their new areas.

Sister Hendricks and I are getting along well.  She loves to read and write.  She wants to be an author when she "grows up".  She is having a hard time picking up on the Trini accent and slang.  She says they talk really fast here and are hard to understand.  I remember that I had a hard time when I first came here.

Our investigators are doing great.  We are working with a couple who really want to be baptized but can't because they have to go to Guyana to get divorced and they can't afford to.  We set a baptism date with them in May and they are doing well.  They are expecting a miracle as this is the day they prayed about.  God will provide a way.  Brother Patrick (the man that hunts caiman)  is doing well.  We caught him drinking rum the other day and he tried to hide from us.  We taught him about the Word of Wisdom and he said he isn't going to drink any more.  We are also working with the Gerrard family still and they are progressing a lot.

People fed us a lot this week.  I got to eat homemade chow mien, rice, stewed chicken, aloo pie, and a thing made of cornmeal and raisins wrapped in a fig leaf (picture below).  All very good.

For April Fool's day the Zone leaders played a joke and said that the mission has grown so much that they were splitting it into three:  Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Islands.  We all believed him.

Miracle of the Week:  We had two less actives come to church that we have been working with since I got to this area.  Sister Taufu'i had been working with them as well.  They hadn't come for at least nine months.  They really enjoyed it and are excited to come to General Conference.  We have been teaching a lot of people about the importance of coming and listening to the Prophet.  Great things are happening.

It has been a while since I shared my testimony so here it is:  I know God lives and is there for each one of us.  I know the only way to make it back to live with him and our families forever is through His son, Jesus Christ.  I know President Monson is a prophet and that listening to him and the other speakers will bring blessings and answers.  They are called of God.

Thanks for everything.  Love all of you.


Sister Shirts

This is what some houses look like