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 11, 2009

Success Stories - April 27

Elder Gilley - Guyana
We told a family on Saturday how church would be. The family said church would be boring because they found out we don't clap and play drums and things like that. We were worried they wouldn't like it. They actually came and they said they loved it. We know they loved learning at church and that God helped them realize that the church was good.

Elder Butler – French Guiana
this week, we contacted ***. she seemed mildly interested and we set a return appointment for saturday. when we returned, *** wasn't there, but her 3 daughters were. initially, they only agreed to a 15 minute lesson, but it ended up going for well over half an hour because they were so attentive, so interested, and had great questions. they all agreed to read and pray to know if Joseph was a prophet and seem enthusiastic about our next visit next week. it's worth it, trying to teach everyone. you never know who's going to be interested.

Elder McNeal – Trinidad
I can't quite explain how I felt Tuesday night other than spiritually full! Elder Cottom and I were on exchanges and we checked on one of our investigators, ***, who didn't come to church last week. He was real disappointed in himself and felt bad for letting us down. He promised to come next week and said he wanted the Bishop to 'pray for him.' I told him we could do it so we gave him a blessing. I felt very unsettled after the blessing because no one felt any different, not even ***. The words were inspired but the Spirit wasn't felt. I felt prompted to say "Whatever you're doing wrong you need to stop it now!" He kept asking, "What is it, what am I doing?" So I asked him to come outside so we could talk privately and away from his family. I wont tell you what was said but I was blessed with the gift of discernment and without even thinking, words came out of my mouth that caused us to discover his 'ice-burg' that was holding him back. The Lord knows everything and through the Priesthood and the Spirit we too can be given knowledge to help our brothers and sisters.

Elder Cottam - Trinidad
What a splendid week it was! *** was baptized! At the beginning of the transfer, I was blessed to take out Elder Powers, a new missionary finding. We went by an investigator and her neighbour, called to us “come pray for me nah.’ Elder Powers and I taught her the first lesson. She ate every word. We went by her for a month and she was able to quit her smoking and be baptized on Saturday, the 25 of April 2009. It was a miracle watching her change. Now that she is baptized, she has a greater light in her eyes, a firmer determination to do right and stay strong. She has a strong desire for her family to follow her. This taught me how I must talk to everyone, no matter what their first impression is.

Elder Weiderhold – Guyana
On Thursday we were walking around trying to find a family and we passed this young man, we contacted him and he seem committed to come to church and learn more so we set up an appointment for the next day. Friday came we went to go visit him. When we got talking with him we found out he worked with a member who had taught him a lot and when we started the restoration it ended up him telling us the lesson. He believed it all and knew it was all true, so committed him to baptism and he excitedly accepted. We taught him more on Saturday and also met his cousin, then Sunday came and they both came to church on their own, just what a miracle and *** has already started talking about him wanting to serve a mission!

Elder Barton – Tobago
this week, as well as last week, it has been amazing to see the effects of careful, patient, prayerful planning. as we worked to set realistic and stretching goals, we have seen the results. with investigators at church especially. we ended up setting a high goal and remembered about on saturday that we had planned on 9 investigators at church. we were intimidated, but still continued to pray and work for it. well, on sunday there were 10 investigators there. it was pretty amazing. the Lord is waiting to guide us in all aspects, even our goals. if we take the time and effort to take his revelations from goal to actual, we will see results.

Elder Parrish – Guyana
The other day we were at the branch presidents house. Sitting in front of his home discussing the needs of the branch and how we can help, there were many people that would just walk by us. He called some people to talk to us they would listen for a bit then leave. I got the idea to call everyone that passed into the home, so we were contacting people and dragging them into his gate, and sit for a bit and talk. He always knew everyone that we were talking to and it was a perfect way to contact and find people. It was fun and we were able to meet one of our investigators Garfield that way.

Elder Biver – St Vincent
This week we had something really cool happening. We were working with the *** family the previous weeks, and taught one of their friends, ***, whose two kids went to church twice in a row, so we kept trying teaching them. The mom was not really receptive though, but thanks to this family we met Juliette. She also has three kids and is much more receptive. She felt the spirit during the first lesson we had, and even though we were not able to see her for almost two weeks, we kept trying. ten days ago we were able to invite her to church. She was not really committed at first, and we decided to testify of the restoration. It brought the spirit and she came to church the following Sunday. Last week we taught her at the cupids and with bro phillips, and she kept feeling the spirit. She read in the book of mormon, and prayed about it. When she did, she had a vision with people she didn't know telling her that it was all true. This sunday, she waited under the rain with the kids until she caught a bus. Later in the day, she told us she wanted to come because she knew what we teach is true. She has so much faith!

Elder Fisher – St Vincent
Tuesday afternoon time we got a call from the Calliaqua elders. They said that a recent convert from their area was sick and in the hospital which is in our area. They wanted to pay her a visit and suggested an exchange the next day to do it. That put Elder Biver and I on foot in my area, which I'm not used to. It ended up being great. It allowed me to street contact at times and places I normally wouldn't have. I ended up meeting a man named Shane, around our same age. He told me about a life-changing dream that he had some time back. He just told me about it briefly, but it all reminded me of a lot of stuff in the Book of Mormon. We have taught him this week a few times. He loves the message. He has a great testimony that the Book of Mormon is true. He accepts everything we teach him and seems to be wholly prepared.

Elder Cotton-Betteridge – Guyana
This Thursday, as of yesterday, we are baptizing an older lady that was a huge miracle. She was shown to us by a neighbor not very interested in the gospel at all. We asked her if she knew anyone that needs to hear a message of Jesus Christ. She took us over there, and it didn't seem so promising, but turned out very well. Sunday she, this older lady, brought three of her grandchildren, all baptismal age, and they loved church. Miracles all around because we do what PMG says.

Elder Lee – Guyana
This week we were trying to get investigators to a baptism so they could feel the Spirit as they watched the sacred ordinance of the church. After we had gone by and asked people to come we didn't see much response. It was a long way for people to go, especially on their salaries. We prayed. We went by the last family of investigators we had. We didn't know if they would be able to come since they didn't make much money and had been out of work for a while. When we told them there was a baptism in the next 30 minutes a light came to their eyes and their faces brightened up. The family even came with us. We asked the taxi driver if he wanted to come... and he did! The Holy Ghost touched each of their hearts and they understood more clearly the importance of baptism.

Elder Clark – Guyana
This week, my companion and I decided to try power finding in a new area called Windsor Forest. As we were walking down each small street, calling into houses, we found quite a few families who seemed interested but wouldn't commit to anything. As we started down 5th Street, we passed a house where a woman called us over. She asked if we were from a Christian church, and after telling her that we were from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she asked if she could be baptized. She had just been through some illnesses and had decided that she now needed religion in her life to help "heal her". This was a testimony to me that the Spirit does go before us when we plan where we will go and what we will do. There are people who have been prepared to hear about the Restored gospel.

Elder Jones (Ben) - Trinidad
Wow, at the beginning of this week we didn’t have anybody ready for baptism. We were going through our area book and trying to find anybody who had been to church enough times to be baptized this week. We prayed and fasted hard for us to find someone who was prepared for baptism. On Friday night we had an appointment with ***, a man who had been taught off and on for over a year. We almost missed the appointment but the spirit told us to go back and when we did we discovered why. We had this lesson all planned out to commit him to baptism but when we got there the spirit told us to put it aside and listen to him instead. He told us of the really tough times he had in his life these past few weeks. We were sharing scriptures to bring him comfort and I felt the spirit tell me that he was already waiting for the invitation to baptism. So I committed him. Two day’s notice and he said yes! He was baptized Sunday morning and now his life is changed around. He took us to meet his family and friends and now we are teaching them as well. I know that the Lord has people prepared for us and that we will find them if we strive diligently to magnify our calling and pray with all our might. The Lord gave us the miracle we asked for- *** was 100% prepared!

Elder Averett – Guyana
This week we have seen a lot of success in working as hard as we can and being as obedient as possible. We went about Sunday morning to try and pick up some people for church and there was really not too many people that were looking to solid it really had me worried we called all the people that we could to try our upmost best to get all the people there that we were teaching. No one came I was feeling a little bit sad and depressed and I had a feeling to pray and plead with the Lord to allow someone to show up to church to feel of the spirit. It took a minute and it was a little bit scary but then some people walked in I was thankful for the opportunity to see that happen then at the end a member came up to us and said oh by the way elders here is one of my friends that wanted to come to church with me it was so great and the Lord blessed us with success.

Elder Baantjer – Suriname
this week elder harding and I have been working with a lot of new people that we just barely had made contact with. we were looking for a guy and came in contact with his brother. *** was a neat guy he did what we asked him and when Sunday came he went to church and when we talked with him about how he liked the church he said 'I am going to bring a note book next time so that I can remember more and it is just what I needed'. It was great to hear an investigator say that this is what they needed and realize that they had found what they were looking for.

Elder Swart – Suriname
A week ago we baptized a Brother called, ***. He already wanted to serve a Mission. This weekend I ordained him as a Priest and the branch presidency set him apart as a Assistant Branch Mission Leader! His determination to serve the Lord becomes bigger every day! True conversion comes through teaching him everything P.M.G. tells us to teach! I love it!

Elder Ash – Suriname
Last monday, we visited one of our investigators. He came to church the 2 sundays ago. We went to visit him last monday night, and he was completely drunk. His wife had just left him, and he wanted to dull his pain, and clear his mind. He like many other people in this situation, began to drink. We talked to him and tried to get him to throw out the alcohol, but he wasn't cooperating. We had to just leave his house. The next day, we visited him with a member and taught the Word of Wisdom. The member gave an awesome testimony and personal experience, and it really touched our investigator. He decided to stop using these things in his life. The next day he went from 20 cigarettes, down to 7. He's been smoking between 7-10 cigarettes during the week, and he made a goal to stop by this wednesday. He replaced coffee and tea with hot chocolate, and he committed to never drink alcohol. He has seen many blessings because of this. His wife came back, he came to church, and I have seen a new person beginning to form. He is now happy, and he actually smiles and laughs. He is motivated, and keeps his commitments. He understands the atonement. We will be planning on baptizing him in a couple weeks!

Elder Chambers - Guyana
The other day my companion and I were just walking contacting people on the way and what not, of course. And we saw a guy on the corner. His name was *** and we contacted him and committed to church back on Wednesday. However he did not seem that interested. So that was that. However on Saturday night at about 8:30 we were walking sort of making our way home. Not really paying attention to where we were. All of the sudden we get called out. And who is it? ***. We went up and shared the restoration. I asked him how he felt after hearing the Joseph Smith story. He said he felt light and that he could go run a mile. I asked if he felt it was true and he said he new it was. We told him we would pick him up in the morning for church. He came and he is awesome.

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