We have frozen this blog as a historical, yet informational view at what life is like in the West Indies Mission for all those called to serve. This blog was designed for the families and friends of those missionaries serving in the West Indies Mission from July 2006 to July 2009. Every six weeks, photos taken at zone conference as well as a new slide show including every person baptized were posted on the blog. All of the slide shows are also available on our You Tube channel. The current West Indies Mission blog can be found here. Posts on our missionary experience can be found here and earlier. And finally, if you are a returned missionary who served in the West Indies, there is a current blog for you. Click here or visit westindiesrm@blogspot.com

Sunday, October 5, 2008

President Monson Gives Example of A Senior Couple Mission

Couple missionaries are making a tremendous impact upon the West Indies Mission. Three years ago there were just 4 proselyting couples, a humanitarian couple and a CES couple in the West Indies. For the past two years, the mission has enjoyed the service of 23 couples at any given time. The influence they are having is notable. Attendance is up at meetings, two districts are nearing qualification for stakehood, retention is up and baptism success is significant.

Last evening in the Priesthood Session of General Conference, President Monson shared an example of the impact one couple can have in this great work. He shared the missionary experience of Juliusz and Dorothy Fussek, who were called to fill an 18-month mission in Poland. "Brother Fussek was born in Poland. He spoke the language. He loved the people. Sister Fussek was born in England and knew little of Poland and nothing of its people.

Trusting in the Lord, they embarked on their assignment. The living conditions were primitive, the work lonely, their task immense. A mission had not at that time been fully established in Poland. The assignment given the Fusseks was to prepare the way so that the mission could be expanded and gain permanence, that other missionaries be called to serve, people taught, converts baptized, branches established, and chapels erected.

Did Elder and Sister Fussek despair because of the enormity of their assignment? Not for a moment. They knew their calling was from God, they prayed for His divine help, and they devoted themselves wholeheartedly to their work. They remained in Poland not 18 months, but rather served for five years. All of the foregoing objectives were realized. Such came about following an earlier meeting where Elders Russell M. Nelson, Hans B. Ringger, and I, accompanied by Elder Fussek, met with Minister Adam Wopatka of the Polish government, and we heard him say, "Your church is welcome here. You may build your buildings, you may send your missionaries. You are welcome in Poland. This man," pointing to Juliusz Fussek, "has served your church well, as has his wife. You can be grateful for their example and their work."

Like the Fusseks, let us do what we should do in the work of the Lord. Then we can, with Juliusz and Dorothy Fussek, echo the Psalm: "My help cometh from the Lord."

This is the impact couples are having on the West Indies. In St. Lucia, Elder and Sister Farrer first paved the way for Elder and Sister Sherwood and Elder and Sister Williamson to establish the Church in Castries and in Vieux Fort. Due to the labors of these three couples, the Church will likely gain official recognition from the government this December.

In St. Vincent, the Hattons (who were aided by the Whites, the Collins, and the Stauffers) are rebuilding relationships with the local citizens. Up until his death the former prime minister in that island was a member as were 400 other people. Since that time couples and elders have been laboring tirelessly to regain the image the Church enjoyed at one time.

On the island of Trinidad, the Mortons, Collins, Rosses, Colemans, Greens, and Farrers are building relationships of trust laying the foundation for the first stake in Trinidad. Their immediate predecessors, the Leavitts, Conks, Dunns, Lockharts,Naegles, Allens, and Wheatleys have helped the work progress to the point where weekly attendance is consistantly 90 - 100 in the units and the relationship with other religions and the governments has improved.

In Guyana, the Evans, Owens, Larsons (two couples - two brothers), the Bullocks, the Myers, the Langfords and the Tanners continue to work long hours as Georgetown is now close to having a Stake and Canje is growing dramatically in that direction.

Joined by the Woods in Grenada, the Platts in St. Maarten, and the Collings in Guadeloupe,(who succeeded the Taits, the LaQuembes, and the Malmroses) ... the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear." Linked arm in arm with the greatest elders in the world, these wonderful, magnificent couples are following in the footsteps of Elder Juliusz and Sister Dorothy Fussek and are making a difference in the West Indies.

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