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

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Success Stories Feb 2 2009

Here is the second installment of weekly Success Stories from the West Indies missionaries

Elder Olsen - Guyana
From small beginnings, great things are brought to pass! A few months ago we ran into a boy named *** on the street. He had met the missionaries briefly in passing and told us to come over. We started teaching him, but we soon realized that his living room couldn't hold the growing number of friends and family that were attending on a nightly basis. Within a week we were meeting in a converted garage, using the cement wall as a chalkboard. Now *** and his friends are teaching lessons with us to some 20 plus friends, family and strangers who passed by and decided to come back each time. *** has a weekly "Happy Hour" and family home evening. We've seen baptisms for the past three weeks from this underground class and we've got more this saturday! In the words of Johnny Lingo "This is a ten cow area!"

Elder Catherine - Guadeloupe
As i woke up on sunday , i didn't feel happy because i thaught just a very few people would come to church on this morning because of the strike going on in guadeloupe. As we arrived at church, i didnt see anybody in the hll and only 3 cars were parked in the parking lot. As i push the door of the sacrement meeting room, my heart felt pumped up when i saw almost evey single member of our branch sitting and waiting fro the meeting to start. Despite this long and hard strike, the abymes member's faith was strong and their presence to church showed it.

Elder Gray - St Martin
Our success story from this week occurred when teaching *** who continued to have problems with the word of wisdom but was continuing to progress in all other areas. He has been writing down what he is thankful for in his little agenda and out of the blue he tells us that him writing in his journal is like when nephi was keeping the records of his people and that people like ***'s freinds would be able to use his experiences also to help progress. Just a prove of what people can understand when they read the scriptures daily.

Elder Fox – St Vincent

Elder Riding - Suriname
This week we were struggling a little trying to get members with us but as I was calling around I looked out of our front window and saw two eyes looking over our gate waiting for us to see him- ***, a new convert, had been looking for us on his bike and found our house and told us he wanted to "hang out" with us for the day because he was free from work. He did for the whole day and many were touched by his conversion story of overcoming addictions. It was sweet.

Elder Clark – St Lucia
This week we had a bit of a problem with the *** family, who were to get baptized saturday. Their friend told them that they shouldn't get baptized in this church, so they canceled their baptism, even with our talking with them seeing if they would change their minds. They didn't, but they did agree to come to church. While at church, Sister *** started talking to her member friend who has been going through some marital issues with her non-member husband. Sister *** comforted this member and talked with her for two hours, making her feel much better. That night we went to their house and Sister *** talked about how good she felt as she helped this member. I had the impression to share the verses in Mosiah 18 "Mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort." We shared it and explained that those were qualifications she has met to be baptized. She got a smile on her face and agreed to be baptized this coming saturday.

Elder Koenen - Suriname
last week was wonderfull because we had an experience that opened my eyes. friday morning we received some calls and all our appointments fell thru and we didnt really have solid backup plans. so we went by elder and sister ***, they said they had some mail for us so we just picked it up and they told us that an other sister, sister *** was in the hospital for allready 4 days! we emediately went there and i saw i forgot my key for my bike. i allmost thought of going back an other day because now i had to place my cool bike in front of the hospital, unlocked! still we went in and we got into little trouble because it wasnt time that people could visit. we really had to do our very best and in the end they let us in. we searched for the place she was and found it. my companion elder Holtz saw her first because he was the first who could see her when we walked up the stairs. we saw her with a big smile. She told us she was reading about the first vision and when she was finished she looked up and saw two white boys coming in her room! tears filled her eyes when she saw us and thanked the Lord many times. She told us after talking to us her pain went away and also we offered to give her an anointment. she was very happy because her husband was not able to go there today and we could help this little sister. I am so gratefull we can bless other peoples lives beacause of the priesthood we hold! nothing fills me with more joy! she thanked us so many times and i know the lord his ways are not our ways! he even blessed me that my bike was still there when we came outside!

Elder Muse - Suriname
A few months ago I was feeling frustrated because I didn't ever feel like we were being led by the Holy Ghost. I just felt like we were just kinda wingin it'. But after following the studies in Chapter four, I found a few pointers where we thought we could improve. It was mostly small things like, praying for guidance from the Holy Ghost to meet and RECOGNIZE the prepared investigators. So that's what we have been focusing on, is focusing on being led more through the Holy Ghost. Anyways, last week we were sitting down in appointment with someone that we had contacted on the street. It was nothing special, they don't speak a lanuage that we have church material for, and the lessons was a lttile bit rough. The people live in a small house that is divided into sections for renting; and at one point during the lesson, one of their neighbors walked through upon returning from work. As soon as I saw her I had a special feeling. It certainly wasn't, "Oh yeah! She's gonna get baptized if you talk to her!" or a loud feeling. But it was definitely just a strong desire to talk to that person that I don't feel often. So we asked her to sit by the lesson and she really enjoyed and read the Plan pamplhet before we came back. She hasn't been baptized yet, but she is making amazing progress and we're very excited for her future. She is one of the most prepared investigators that we have ever found and I know it was because we had prayed very fervently to recognize the elect people when we met them.

Elder Dayton -Trinidad
there is a man that we are teaching right now named mr. ***. he is an awesome, deep thinking chinese man, we love him. he has progressed so well as weve taught him and has grown in testimony because of the actual doctrine weve taught him. but one thing is, that he was struggling to see results of what we were teaching him because he needed something tangible to "change his life." something he could look to and improve on. when he had said this is when we realized that we needed to get our heads on and hurry up to teach him the commandments. when we did, he absolutely ate up the word of wisdom and law of chastity as opportunities for him to become better. he so loved these commandments, that he insisted that we teach him another. we did, and we saw that smile he often gets when he feels the spirit and knows what weve taught him will benefit him and is true. ya gotta love a guy who is begging for commandments, and that is essentially what mr. *** is.

Elder Chambers - Guyana
Last district meeting Elder Worthington talked about the power and authority we have as missionaries. It was very good. We were, at the time working with a girl named ***. ***'s mother said she did not need to be rebaptized since she had been baptized before. We decided to use what we had just learned about power and authority. We sat down with the mother, and ***, and taught about the priesthood, and the authority of it. We talked about how it was lost for a long time but now it was back on the earth and that we held it. The Spirit was very strong the entire lesson.
At the end of the lesson the mother turned to *** and said what do you want to do. *** said sign the paper I want to get baptized. The mother signed the paper and she was baptized on Saturday.
We truly do have the power and authority to act in God's name on earth. This is our calling.

Elder Young – Guyana
saturday came and one of our investigators was still unsure about baptism this weekend. she had recieved a strong witness of the truth of the restoration and the need to be baptized but was facing some tension from her catholic husband. we committed her just to come to the baptism and pay attention to her feelings, that the Lord would tell her if this was the right time to take the step of baptism. she came that evening and her husband walked in about half way thru just in time for the testimony meeting of my life!
long story short her husband and eldest son attended her baptism sunday morning and witnessed a wonderful testimony from their wife and mother. in her testimony she looked them in the eyes and said "and i trust that my husband and sons will follow suite". we are now working together to make that happen. what a wonderful effect a baptism service can have!

Elder Fillerup - Guyana (new area – Lindon)
Elder Tupou and I had a great week out in Linden. We held the church meeting in a non members home and had about 30 people there. We taught about the restoration and it was great to see the people start to understand the importance of it. Right after the meeting we traveled to the Bambia Creek and the first baptisms in Linden took place. ***, ***, ***, and *** were so excited to get baptized and will really help us get things started out there. The black water creek was good enough but to make it better we had about 20 investigators there to witness the baptism and they all want to know when they can do it too.

Elder J Williamson - Guyana
Two weeks ago we contacted an Amer-Indian man named *** while he was working. He said we could come by later. We checked him and he was gone to the rum shop, so we put him on the back burner. A few days ago we were walking by his house, and we felt like we should check him again, but we figured he wasn't home, since he told us that he works everyday but Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. We still decided to go call in his house. To our surprise he was home. He was recovering from the flu, which happened to be a great blessing to us, because we were able to see him everyday and teach him. He is soaking up the Book of Mormon, and loves everything we teach. He has kept every committment we have left. My favorite part is the way he expressed his gratitude and feelings when we taught him about the pre-existance. It turned a light on in his head that can't be turned off.

Elder (Benjamin) Jones - Trinidad
Success Story: Two weeks ago we contacted a man who was smoking. We told him it was bad to smoke and he said you’re right and threw that cigarette away! We walked with him to his home and found out he had a broken foot. We taught him a finding and afterwards he told us about how the night before he had a dream about two white doves that were flying in the air to help him out. He said that we were probably the doves because of our white shirts. Well, later that week he missed the return appointment, and didn't make it to church so we dropped him. A few days ago we get a call out of nowhere from him asking when we are going to come by and where the church was. We told him and yesterday he came to church! He was 15 minutes early and walked about a mile on his broken foot to get there. This man was prepared!

Elder Hamilton - Grenada
The day after we got home from Zone Conference, we were able to come in contact with a family. *** is the daughter of a member. She has two daughters. We had a terrible day but it came 8:00 and things took a huge turn for the better. We had remembered the Wood's talking about how somebody had moved into the house across the street from the church. We decided to go by them. *** and her family were willing to come to church. We went by Saturday and they were to busy to meet with them. We figured she had been telling that to missionaries for years she would come. We went by Sunday to pick them up seeing as they lived so close to the church. She said she would send her daughters but she wasn't coming. We talked to her for a little bit and she said she would come. Come 10:00, there she was and better yet she had even brought a friend. They all loved church and they all want to be baptized. She told us after church that missionaires had been inviting her to church for over 2 years but she had never come before. I love how Heavenly Father directs all of our lives. She probably would have never come to church if she hadn't moved closer. God not only directs missionary work but he also directs the lives of those we come in contact with. There is much more to the story but it's just hard to explain it all in words. Missionary work can change your entire day, week, month. That's why its so important to talk with everyone so when that one person walks down the street, we will be right there to bring them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Elder Baantjer - Suriname
Elder Riding and I had been teaching a Hindu lady named ***. She had strained her leg and couldn't walk very well. We gave her a blessing and she had slowly been improving. She said ever since we had done that she had begun to feel better. She still had pain and to come to church on Sunday she had to walk a bumpy dirt road to the main road so that she could catch a ride to the church. She did it anyway she walked the dirt road and came to church.

Elder Kelly - Guadeloupe
Success Story: We had a great experience this week with Prayer and finding. We had been having a difficult time finding people to teach while we were working in Moule this past week. Most of our amis live in Morne A L'Eau, but with the Strike, we couldn't go see them very often, so we were trying to find some new people close to home. It didn't seem to be working as well as we would have hoped, and we were starting to get discouraged. Then, we decided to put our trust in the Lord, and we found a quiet place to pray and ask the Lord to help us, to guide us to someone who was ready. After we finished, we set off walking, and not 5 minutes afterward, we contacted a nice woman named *** in the area, and had a great first lesson with her. She was receptive, and asked many questions, and in the course of taking to her, we found out that she had already come to church before, that she had a friend in the branch that had recently moved back after being in France. It had been a while, but she really seemed receptive, and agreed to keep seeing us. :-) I KNOW the Lord knows us, and answers our prayers!

Elder Tholen - Suriname
We had a tough time getting ahold of a new investigator named ***. He worked late and just wasnt home, but almost everytime we went to his house the people upstairs told us he wasnt home and of course we gave them an invitation to come to church. It was 2 older woman and their 3 kids, since they didnt have chairs we couldnt really shared a lesson with them but made sure they got an invitation. Sunday roles around and well just as sacrament was starting these 6 people show up outside the church. *** brought these women and children with him to church. The Lord knows who is prepared to come into his church, sometimes those people work together to do it!

Elder Schroath - Suriname
The success story this week is about ***. *** is a member that was in french guiana working for more than a year that came back just last december. When i first met him i wasn't sure if i'd ever see him again, i kind of assumed he was just dissappear again. But instead he's progressed and changed from not really wanting to come to church. To coming this last week without us reminding him or going with him, and he accepted a calling as a sunday school teacher and the assignment to give a talk next sunday in Sacrament meeting. I've seen such a big change in him and i know it's come as he's been reading the Book of Mormon and worked with us.

Elder Palmer - Trinidad
We are teaching a woman that we tracted into named *** that is amazing. She is spiritual Baptist. Her best friend whom recently died was a member of our church. She literally sits in amazement as we unfold the plain and simple truths of the Gospel for her. She wept like a child last Saturday as we taught the plan of salvation to her. She says that as we teach "There is a great awakening in my soul, I can feel truth flooding into me!" She was supposed to come to church this Sunday, but health problems put her into the emergency room at around the same time as church. She was released later that day, and we have briefly visited her since! I have a good feeling that she will get Baptized, and probably not to far distant!

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