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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A preparation day to remember

In the words of Elder J Williamson and S McDaniel:

Striving to light a fire within each missionary, the zone leaders and assistants drove both mission vans to Maracas Falls. Before beginning the hike, Elder Hickenlooper was asked to say an opening prayer. Elder Sturdevant invited all the missionaries to walk quietly to our destination, while viewing the beautiful creations in our mission. The hike, though dotted with slippery wet rocks and mud, seemed to go by rather quickly. Impressively, the missionaries walked silently, cultivating a climate for the spirit. As the single file line of missionaries entered the arena like basin, they were asked to quietly sit on the rocks below the waterfall, observing and listening to the splendid rush of water. When all the missionaries were seated on the moist stones, Elder McDaniel welcomed everyone to the majestic Maracas falls, and began to conduct the meeting. The group stood tall like God's army as they sang the opening hymn, "We'll Bring the World His Truth". The spirit filled the basin as the words, "We are as the army of Helaman" sprang forth from the mouths of each eager missionary. The power and beauty of that song is a moment that will never be forgotten by those present. A prayer was then offered by Elder Lloyd. The Trinidad North zone leaders, Elder Sturdevant and Elder Fox, stood on a rock that overlooked the group, with the waterfall glistening in the back ground. Out of Elder Fox's pocket came a rolled up scroll. He unrolled it, and began with a roll call, calling the name of each area in which the missionaries served.

Each companionship gladly stood and yelled out, "Aye" to make known their attendance. When the last companionship sat back down, Elder Fox rolled up the scroll, turned to Elder Sturdevant and said, "Elder Sturdevant, all present and accounted for." Elder Sturdevant then rehearsed the story of the army of Helaman. After every battle, Helaman and his generals were able to take count of all the stripling warriors and say, "all present and accounted for." Not one soldier was lost. Looking each missionary in the eye, and pointing his finger, to express his seriousness and excitement, he related the 2000 plus stripling warriors to our goal of 2008 baptisms in 2008. He created a vision in the minds of each missionary, expressing how great it will feel, when we are able to say that our 2008 baptisms are, "all present and accounted for." Immediately following, each companionship stood in unity, area by area. They read their favorite "pump me up" scripture, and expressed their faith and strong desire to reach our goal of 2008. Amazing scriptures were shared, with not one being repeated. It was a unifying, and spiritual moment.

Then it was Trinidad South time. Elder Guy started off their part of the meeting by sharing inspiring scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants, rallying the Elders and preparing them for the speech of Elder Mundy. Following his remarks, the focus shifted to Elder Mundy. He read from D&C 123:17, loudly declaring that all should, "Stand still...to watch the Salvation of God." He rehearsed to them the number baptisms that we need, as a Band of Brothers, to reach 2008 and be able to say, "All present and accounted for!" Then, he delivered his famous "Brave Heart" like speech, "Lying in your beds...many years from now...would you be willing to trade all the days? From this day to that, for one chance, Just one chance, to come back here, and tell the people, that in 2008 we baptized 2008!" During that speech, without notice, the Assistants (Elder Williamson and McDaniel) snuck off and around the luscious green hill that the Elders backs were turned to. With the blood pumping and the elders on the edge of their seats, Elder McDaniel then walked around the side of the hill and yelled, "My brothers..." Heads snapped to attention, facing the area from whence the voice came. He began describing the attributes of the great Captain Moroni and relating it to them as missionaries, called to serve here in the land of the Book of Mormon. His address was concluded with, "You are a chosen generation, a Royal Priesthood!" Just when everyone thought that the hilltop display was finished, Moroni, also known as Elder Williamson, appeared on the higher portion of the hill waving his Title of Liberty and exclaiming, "What say ye my sons? Will ye go to battle with me? Will you fight manfully for your Lord and Savior? Shake off the chains which doth bind you down to destruction, and we will baptize 2008! HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!" His shout was followed by a combined shout of every elder, "HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!" Following Moroni, the Band of Brothers stood and sang "Called to Serve." The spirit filled that little basin that day as all of the Elders remembered their call to serve and gained a greater excitement for bringing souls unto Christ in this great month of Thanksgiving, which West Indies Missionaries have decided to dedicate to the Lord as a month of gratitude. A Closing prayer was then offered by Elder Huntsman, who prayed fervently for the success of the mission. Not only was there a greater sense to go out and do the Lords work, but their was a greater sense of unity and love among all the elders gathered that day. Everyone wandered around the beautiful sight for a few minutes, taking pictures of the great beauty that surrounded them before heading back down the mountain.

To many of the elders, it seemed as though P-Day was over and that everyone was going to head back to their areas. But just a couple miles down the road, the buses stopped again, and everyone piled out of them and onto a futbol (soccer) field, where the game commenced. After a little over an hour of play, both teams were a little tired and about 11:00 a.m. the fiasco ended, and everyone returned to their areas with a greater sense of urgency, than they had a few hours ago, to do the Lords work, and to do it to the best of their ability. All in all, it could be said that it was a great success of a p-day morning!

1 comment:

Linde said...

WOW!!! What an amazing meeting! I can feel the spirit just by reading about their experience. I have complete confidence that as each missionary serves valiantly the Lord will lead them to the elect. There will be 2008 baptisms in 2008. Thank you for sharing with us! We love this mission!