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

Monday, May 4, 2009

Success Stories - April 20

I am terribly behind on success stories. That's what happens when we travel.

Here they are:

Elder Jones (Blake) - Trinidad
We have been teaching this young family for about two weeks. The mother wants them to be baptized, and she loves what she is learning, but has refused the challenge of baptisms because she believes that her baptism in her other church still counts and she can't do it again. As we were teaching Elder Williams pulled out a scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants... after he read it she asked in a shocked voice...What book did you say that was from? she asked....the Doctrine and Covenants he replied.....she then explained that she had a dream about a month ago, in her dream there was no room in her church so she went to the next church that was above hers, and they were teaching from a book, that book was the Doctrine and Covenants. The lord does prepare people, and he does lead and guide us with his spirit.

Elder Barker – Guyana
Well this Sunday to elder lee and I were looking very promising, we found some cool people, and really were excited. well we had a big eye opener... not one came to church. but amidst all of the confusion of why, we went out that day and went by one of the families we dropped, we just felt inspired to, so we went. and we taught the plan of salvation, after finishing one of the investigators holds up the Book of Mormon and says i have something to tell you, and tells that saturday night she prayed, and asked God to know if it was true, and if it was that he would send us to there home Sunday, well Elder Lee and I both feeling inspired went, and now she says that she knows that it is true and the only reason she really found this out was because we dropped her, and after we didn’t go by for a couple of days, she decided to read more. and it was all because of our faith to drop her, and now they are going to all come to church.

Ellder Moala – St Lucia
We had to speak in Sacrament meeting, "Missionary Sunday". I had prepared a short talk, and then before i went up i decided to put it away. I said a prayer, in my heart, and asked to be guided by the spirit, to say what the members needed to hear. I was so nervous, but as a stood talking, i became calm. The talk went a lot better than i thought. After church, i over heard someone talking saying how they were amazed, because they had a conversation about the things i spoke about, and it was as if i was there listening and that why i talked on the things i did. I know that the spirit does guide us! tHIS IS THE LORD WORK

Elder Averett – Guyana
This week we saw great fruits from our labors it was great. We had been working with a young man. His wife was a member and his little brother is a member. They had been praying for a change in him so that they could go to church as a family. The received an answer to their prayers Sunday morning when he was baptized before church and because his brother held the priesthood he was able to walk into the waters of baptism together and the younger brother was able to help the older brother start a new page in life. It was so great to see them hug each other after the baptism and be able to see the joys of being in this great gospel together it was great.

Elder Jarvis – Tobago
We are blessed! This last week was so sweet! It all started when we really had a solid weekly planning session we set some inspired goals and went to work. So the following thursday we spent the morning planning and afterwards we went and caught a car and Sister *** who we had taught a week previously was in it. So we went up there and taught her and her father and committed her father to be baptized. We also scheduled some service for her Friday morning. So afterwards we had an appointment that fell through and so we were standing on this corner in Mason Hall and looking up the road where we hadn't been yet so we just start walking up there and we find a couple ladies and we invited them to church and then just as we are leaving a man named *** from the same house calls us out and so we go up and teach him and one of the ladies named ***. We commit him to be baptized and she totally felt the Spirit. So we finish and leave and go up the road that we have been concentrating on and we find Sister ***. She is sweet and has two kids and they are getting baptized as well! And to top the week off we had ten investigators at Church! Weekly planning works.

Elder Jones, (Ben) – Trinidad
On Saturday we tried tracting in a new area, but as soon as we got there Elder Sookram had the impression to turn back a little ways to a neighbourhood I had already been to before. Reluctant at first I followed but as we contacted those on the street I began to feel the spirit guiding the same way. We turned down this street and ran into a man outside a house with a maxi parked outside. We went inside and taught him a finding lesson with the spirit stronger than most and it was only after the lesson that I remembered: I had met *** driving that same maxi about 3 months ago and had always wanted to go by him. The Lord knows who he wants in His church and He led us to *** again to share with him the gospel.

Elder Thomas (Tyler) – Trinidad
Elder Nielson and I have been really trying to get the members to get excited and help with the work in San Fernando but hadn't been seeing any results from our efforts. A few nights ago we were at a recent converts house teaching the recent convert lessons and some of her family came in and had a whole bunch of questions for us. Our recent convert boldly shared her testimony with her family about the things they were asking and about how she found out about the truth. As she did the spirit testified firmly with her and I know at least some of her family felt it. If just a few members can be excited about spreading their testimonies like she was I know that the work will catch fire in San Fernando.

Elder Barton – Tobago
this week was wonderful as there were two baptized and confirmed. the great success in it was that about two weeks ago *** was baptized who is 25 years old. he has helped us in teaching his father and mother for a little while and on "Good Friday" *** actually Baptized his mother and participated in his father's baptism. one of my happiest days and more so one of that *** family's greatest days. Brother *** had tears rolling down his cheeks on that morning. then in church on sunday, after they were confirmed, again *** participated in giving his father the priesthood. it was amazing. member work is great.

Elder Rosales – St Lucia
This week we saw the power that comes when the branch President is your best friend. We were able to set 2 hard dates with two of our investigators. Both of them had concerns we couldn’t figure out, because they were social concerns. The branch president was able to see them and resolve them. Hurrah for the branch president in the west indies

Elder Butler – French Guiana
this week, we planned to teach baptism to the *** family. a beautiful family of a single mother and 4 kids. i had never taught anything from lesson 3 before, in english or in french. elder taerea helped me plan out the part of the lesson that i was to teach , trying to make it real simple, for the kids. with practice, preparation, and a lot of prayer, it worked. my french was simple and broken at times, but the message came across, accompanied by the spirit. i know that through preparation, diligence, and prayer, this work is possible, even for "bleus" like me.

Elder Kelly – St Martin
This week, we were really getting frustrated about not having anyone good to teach, and we had dropped most of our investigators for not progressing. So, we decided to have a special fast to ask for the Lord's help in finding people. That same day, we found some amazing people. A humble family of 3, a great younger guy, and another potential priesthood holder who was so excited to hear our message, that the first question that he asked us was "How would I become a member of your church?" ;-) The Lord really does hear and answer our prayers when we show a little faith!
Elder Christensen – Guyana
Well this week we were really stressing service, and we just so happened to come across a family pushing their broken down bus home. So we just started pushing it home with them and when we got home we started talking to the father and we told him about the church and he told us that he wold love to come with his family. The *** family is really sweet and we have been meeting with them almost everyday and they are all pretty set on being baptized now. So its really strengthened my testimony on service.

Elder Cottam – Trinidad
This past week has been full of miracles. Miracles surround us daily. We are working with ***, who I found with Elder Powers, a new missionary, his first day on his mission. She had a problem with smoking, it has been a problem for years, and had a great desire to change and to stop. She came to church once and loved it and came again, and loved it. She had a burning desire to change and get baptized this Saturday. Only she had one issue, the smoking. During church I felt prompted to give her a blessing, so when we went over that afternoon we gave her one. In the blessing she was told as she does her best to read, listen the CD with select Book of Mormon chapters, prays, and does all she can, she would have the power to quit smoking. The next day we went over and she smoked only one. Yesterday, on 24 hour exchanges, Elder Romney and Elder Westover went by her. She had stopped her smoking and nothing would and will get in her way of her baptism on Saturday. The Lord has blessed us a missionaries to help others overcome their sins. I am humbled to hold the priesthood, the power of God, to help others. Because we were worthy, ready, and willing, and she was ready and willing to do whatever she could, she was able to stop her smoking and is receiving the ordinance of baptism this Saturday!

Elder Brenkmann – Guyana

About a month ago a 17 year old young man named *** came to church out of the blue. We got his contact info, but he wouldn't let us come over. That week we never were able to meet him because he was studying for a big test at school. The next week he came to church again. Then his cell phone number got cut. For 2 weeks we never seen him and couldn't find him. Then he shows up at General Conference, 30 minutes away from his house. It was great. We were able to meet *** and teach him throughout the following week. On Saturday *** was baptized and announced that he was planning to go on a mission. The Lord really knows who he wants in His church, and its great that he really helps us out to find and get them.

Elder Bryan – Trinidad
We were teaching this 17 yr old boy, and we taught him the word of wisdom. He said that he smoked two packs a day, so we told him to cut out two a day. We also left him with Alma 36 to read and when we checked back two days later, he said that he only smoked one cigarette and when he did he felt really guilty and went and asked for forgiveness. He loved the story of Alma, and i know that it is because the power which is in that book that helped him to quit smoking.

Elder Clark (Jordan) - Guyana
We have been teaching an investigator now for about a week. Both of her sons are members and she has recently become interested in the gospel. She lives down a track and is surrounded by family members. Each time we have gone by to teach a lesson, one or more of her nieces and nephews have shown up to listen and participate. They all pray for there "auntie" to be able to be baptized. It has been really cool to see how the gospel can attract the attention of so many different age groups. It is also nice to see that families really are our most important support system while here on earth.

Elder Warhurst - Guyana
We were at a member’s house one night getting ready to teach them a lesson. We saw a boy that was not one of there’s and asked him were he stayed. He told us and we asked if we could stop by and visit his family. We visited his family and it turns out that they are a well educated family that is ready for the gospel. The mom reads from the book of Mormon every night and came to church. We are going to baptize them in a couple of weeks.

Elder Barton – Tobago
this past week many miracles happened. through obedience to the many rules and humility to seeking guidance from the spirit, the Lord led elder Jarvis and i directly to a road in mason hall where we were able to find many investigators that 10 of which came to sacrament meeting on sunday. one of those days we called into one house where two people said they would be baptized and felt the spirit while sharing the "first vision". the next house we went to was a lady that was praying to know which church she should go to right when we called in. the next house was a lady and her father that he accepted a baptism date and she was very interested. of those three houses we got into teach in a row, five people came to church. the success was unbelievable. it all came from seeking worthily the guidance of the spirit in this great work we are a part of.

Elder Payne – Trinidad
As we were persistent this week we were able to get the assistance of the members to help us in teaching and getting involved in missionary work. As we met and discussed it in a meeting we were able to find members who were willing to fellowship our investigators. We have a new excitement about missionary work. The Branch is so capable of bringing souls unto the Lord. Sometimes they don't know how to do it. As we work with them and we do it together the work will prosper. That has been my focus and we have seen our investigators change and respond different when the members bring them in and help them.

Elder Swart – Suriname
3 weeks ago, when I came in this area we had a investigator named ***. He is such a nice kid. He is 21 years old. This weekend he got baptized. But before baptism I was talking with him, and we where looking at a picture of the temple. I told him how holy it was. And then out of nothing he said, I will go serve a mission, and the temple is my goal! A TRUE CONVERSION! I could just jump in the air of happiness!

Elder Ash – Suriname
Yesterday we were at an appointment with our branch president and some new investigators, *** and ***. They are not yet married and they have a child on the way. *** said that a few days ago, he was really troubled. He didn't know what he needed to do, but he knew that God was there to help him. He said he had a few restless nights and one night he got up and went outside at 3am and prayed. He told God he needed help. He said the next day, as he was walking down the street, we (the missionaries) stopped to talk to him. We told him that God has a prophet on the earth again to lead us and help us. He believes that this is an answer to his prayers. We assured him that it is, and that God sent us for a reason. It was the perfect lead in for a commitment, and they are now excited to read, pray, and learn about the Restoration of the Gospel.

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