Sunday, February 21, 2016


So it appears that I manage to post about once a month. Since last month we have stayed busy with the usual activities in addition to many more visits with the local members, teaching appointments and great random contacts in the community. Two weeks ago we were "babysitting" the Enterprise Sisters apartment while repairs were being done. The property manager lives across the street and I had a great opportunity to discuss the church and missionaries with her. She and I both laughed and wondered why the sisters don't open their windows for air and yet complain about it being an oven! This week we were in the mall making a purchase and we weren't sure which store to choose. We ended up in a store when the operator recognized our name tags as missionaries for the Church. He had had one lesson already and another scheduled. He had some questions, we had answers, and we think he was much more interested in learning more. One of our teaching appointments was with a woman who had many lessons but not progressing. Just before we started, she told the missionary she didn't want to talk about going to Church. And he agreed. Shortly into the lesson a neighbor came by that she knew but we did not. She greeted us as members would and proceeded to bear witness to our investigator of the very principle of attending Church and her experience. She is a member that we don't know who attends another Branch. She has known the woman for years. This neighbor told the missionaries she was willing to friendship and attend church with our investigator which she did. After the neighbor left our investigator was in tears and she said she knew it was not a coincidence but the Holy Ghost. She came to Church and committed to baptism. It was very powerful. our goal is to get the neighbor member to come back to our branch. Every week we seem to have another less active come back to Church. It may not be regularly yet but the want to change. Familiar and cultural environments make this a challenge for them. The young missionaries here in Black Rock are on fire and doing great work. We have had great experiences with the other Barbados missionaries too and love it when we can be with them also. Once again we have just finished apartment inspections. We have finally cleaned out the apartments of all the junk including clothing and shoes left behind by missionaries. Many people have benefited from the donations. This week we will Be cooking for zone lunch again. Thanks to all our friends who have contributed recipes. I have big regrets for not bringing my recipes with me. Both for the two of us and for crowds. Don't hesitate to send me any of yours that are extra yummy. Last Saturday we held a Missionary sponsored Branch outdoor social. Our branch mission leader requested sloppy joes!! It's not what I would have chosen and maybe not all the members were excited by it. But everyone likes to eat and there was tons of food and afterwards there was a game of Rounders- men against women. The men just barely won at the end just before dark. We had quite a few investigators attend and some stayed after dark to hang out with us. Everyone felt it was a great successful activity and some members commented that this is what it used to be like. We have both spoke in church twice now which really shouldn't surprise me, but.... Speaking of church- today was Branch Conference and our Branch Pres was released. He and his wife recently had the blessing of traveling to Canada to be sealed in the temple. We have VERY FEW active priesthood members so Glen was sustained as acting branch leader (not president) with the hope it will be short term. Our missionary district leader is called to be an assistant to Glen. obviously our time commitments will change a bit but we are still foremost missionaries. so that means we need to work harder with our less actives to prepare the Branch to have their own in leadership. on Feb 1 we moved into our new apartment. It really is more like an American townhouse. a gated community. Because we we looking for an apartment at the worst time of year there were very few choices. I feel a little guilty living so well here, but Glen doesn't. He loves the gym and pool facilities. And a place to wash our truck. We are now much closer to the Branch which is good since we are there at least 6 times a week. The downside is we no longer have a view of the ocean and the beach is further away. Our humanitarian missionary couple has arrived and living in our old apartment. Part of his duties will be as mission secretary and she will be in charge all the apartment in the entire mission And then their humanitarian duties. Our mission is desperately in need of senior couples. Especially French speaking. You must be in good health to come here. So spread the word. It was so great to celebrate both grandaughter's birthdays this month. Although Skype isn't quite as good as being there. We thank our families for their support while we serve and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the members and people of Barbados.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Its Time for Serious Missionary Work

We thought you might be interested in our list of duties:
1. Black Rock Branch Leadership Missionary
2. MSF Missionary Support Funds -this means we have cash to help out when missionaries run out
3. Apartments- inspections every 6 weeks, repairs, leases, furnishing, water filters, emergency food and water
4. Autos- repairs, crashes, purchases
5. Bikes- repairs, purchases
6. Cooking for Zone Conference- every three months about 30 people (we did the first one when we had been here only 10 days)
5. Teaching appointments
8. Emergency Medical and dental spots for missionaries
9. Recording Baptims for the entire mission
10. Tracking all of our missionary expenditures and turning in every transfer
11. Letters to parents, bishops, stake presidents every 6 weeks to notify of assignments changes
12. Attend district every week and zone conferences
13. Pick up mail for the young missionaries at the office and post office
Misc items like drivers licenses, picking up cargo, airport and hotel runs

Now you see why I don't post very often.  Our Christmas was very different but enjoyable skyping with our children and grandchildren.  We have managed to get to the beach for a couple hours one day and see a few local sights of interest. One day we decided to venture up the west coast plus have lunch.  We arrived at the lunch spot at 10:30 so we continued to the northern tip of the island before coming back for lunch.  There are nice swimming beaches but not the northern tip.  It is pure Atlantic fury combined with occasional rain. It doesn't take long to drive to most spots on the island. But of course the locals think it is quite far.The East coast is also quite wild and nothing between us and Africa.
During one of our apartment inspections, Glen found the front half of a smoke detector in a hall cabinet. When he asked the missionary why it was there, the missionary responded that it kept going off.  Glen asked where the other half was.  It had been installed ( by whom we do not know) under the stove hood just above the stove!!  So we are now in the process of installing smoke detectors in all the apartments because they were missing. We can't even purchase the co2 detectors here. The missionaries ask if there will be a prize for the cleanest apartment. We are giving them a free pass for the next inspection plus microwave popcorn.
We feel like the members are getting comfortable with us now.  So now it is time to get down to some serious missionary work which means visiting the locals.  If we can find them.  We have been out with the missionaries many times but it is usually to teach investigators.  Some names don't even have addresses and very few streets have signs.  The missionaries know where some are, but we need the active members to help us.
The new browser still isn't allowing me to include pics.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Jump In, the water is Great!

On arrival we were met by President and Sister Herrington and our 4 bags filling the car.  They took us directly to our temporary apartment and we were joined by Elder and Turner.  The Turners worked miracles getting the mission up and running and answering our questions before we came. They helped us get settled here in the first three days and then we were on own own including starting to drive and find our way around.
Our first P(preparation)Day fell on Independence Day and is a holiday.  Glen and Elder Turner attended the Parade held on the grounds of the Historic Garrison with old buildings and cannons. Generally it is used for the island horse race track.  Because they arrived a little early and were wearing white shirts and ties they were ushered into the VIP section! They didn't say a word.  Later the real VIPs were wearing suits! It was quite the affair with military units, Boy Scouts, church groups, youth groups, police horse unit, and the Governor General reviewing the parade.
Then Glen and I ventured to the local beach for the first time. We haven't had time to get back.  The waves are fairly large, not exactly meant for swimming.  Bogey boards are a good choice.  It cost BBD 30 to rent 2 chairs and an umbrella and were told it was a "special price".
BBD Barbados dollars is the local currency. Divide by 2 for US dollars.  Everything is expensive here and then add the 17.5% VAT tax!  It makes it difficult for the young missionaries to eat healthy.
Our first day we bought a few basic groceries totaling 3 plastic bags and it cost $113 US.
Our area headquarters is in Dominican Republic.  That means we have a distance equal to Seattle to Miami. So that is most of the islands of the Caribbean with so many being a separate country with different languages and customs.  It's a huge challenge in so many ways.
Barbados was at the tail end of the rainy season.  June-Dec. Most of the time it only rains for 5-10 min and then is done.  But it is usually a hard rain and then again several times a day and night.  With the sun shining in between.  Most of the buildings here have corrugated tin roofs, so you can imagine the sound.  It always wakes me up during the night.
Our propane gas stove did not work for the first 3 days until our very friendly neighbor came to show us what to do.  The Bajan people are so friendly and helpful.  Even the children greet you and very polite. Most locals use the term Bajan referring to themselves or something local.  But we have also heard Barbadian.
Almost if not all homes/buildings have solar heated water. That sounds great but in reality it means inconsistency especially in the mornings.  I heat water in an electric teapot to supplement but in the evenings it's not a problem.
Our apartment is meant for the Humanitarian couple but the last ones left in Sept and the new one doesn't arrive till Feb.  Thank goodness it is after we move to our permanent apartment.  It was difficult to find a suitable apartment specifically in the mission price range because it is the high season(tourist) till April and the locals like to rent short term to make more money. We ended spending more because we had no choice.
The first Sunday we attended the Black Rock Branch which is our assignment for the Member Leader Support portion of our mission.  It is very small with very few priesthood and mostly women.  Just a couple children in Primary and a half dozen YM/YW.  So the list is very long for reactivation. That day was their Primary children's program and they managed to have a turn out of 5 children.  Sister Turner had helped to organize it.  We are still struggling to learn everyone's names.  They may be speaking English but it might as well be Swahili. But like everyone else they have welcomed us with open arms.  There are 4 elders and 2 sisters assigned to the branch and they organize Family Home Evening on Mondays, scripture study on Wed nite and movie nite on Fri.  They're not very well attended but we are always there to help friendship. They had an Independence Day celebration telling the history with songs, skits, poetry and food.  I have already found some foods that I want to learn to make.
Thanks for the comments thus far.  We miss you

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The MTC has Come and Gone

So much for soon!!  I will catch you up on the events since we entered the MTC on Nov 16.

The MTC was a great experience and definitely helped us in our preparation to share the gospel.  I was very nervous but this is a very happy place and they know how to put seniors at ease.  It was a very busy time with homework every night.  It was a light week for senior missionaries so Our district consisted of 3 couples! Several times a day we were referred to as Elder and Sister Barbados or some other way there was a reference to our vacation mission.
We met so many interesting missionaries but we loved our conversations with Elders Chir Chir and Babu from Uganda.  We met them in the cafeteria right after their arrival.  They continued to wear their jackets while getting used to the Utah climate.  They will be learning Portuguese then travel to Mozambique for their missions.  They are both recent converts to the Church but have strong testimonies and desires to become stalwart members of the church. I wish I could post more pictures but we are having trouble connecting between our devices.
It was so hard to say goodbye to our children and grandchildren via Skype.  Glen's family in Utah was so good to us; shuttling us from place to place.  We finished at the MTC on Friday at noon but didn't fly out until Sunday at midnight arriving in Barbados at 2:40pm with no sleep.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

New Adventures coming soon

Glen and I will soon be serving in the Barbados Bridgetown Mission. We report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on November 16.  We will be there about 5 days if our visas come through then we will be off to Barbados.  We will add a photo when we get there.