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, July 1, 2009

Senior Missionary Couples

(Elder and Sister Owens - Guyana)

Let me start by sharing a comment from this blog that delighted me:

"Today as we were watching the slideshow my 10 year old son said “I want to go on a couples mission to the West Indies.”

I don't know what that 10 year old saw or felt - but he got it right! Couple missions are special.

One of the key 'secrets' to success in the West Indies Mission has been the senior couple missionaries.

When I say success I refer to all aspects of missionary work:

Finding - they do it all the time as they go about their daily activities. Over and over again I have watched couples strike up conversations with someone in line, or next to them in a restaurant and invite them to hear more about the gospel.

(Elder Bullock - Guyana)

- the elders call them 'gray power' as they come to lessons and testify from years of experience about the blessing of living the gospel.

(Elder and Sister Naegle - Trinidad)

(Elder and Sister McGhie - Trinidad)

Baptizing - we had a weekend in the West Indies where almost every senior brother baptized. Investigators grow to love 'their' senior couples who friendship and teach them during the conversion process.

(Elder Wood - Grenada)

(Elder Sherwood - St Lucia)

(Elder White - Guyana)

(Elder Colling - Guadeloupe)

(Elder Hymas - St Lucia)

(Elder Larsen - Guyana)

(Elder Leishmann - Trinidad)

(Elder Hatton - St Vincent)

Retaining - a key responsibility (and joy) of senior couples is to find the 'lost sheep' and then love them back into activity. They also watch over new members and make sure they find friends in their new branches.

(Sister Lockhart - Guyana)

(Elder and Sister Collins - Trinidad)

Establishing the Church - in a mission made up of mostly districts mentoring, shadow leadership and training is desperately needed. Senior couples are able to drawn on their years of experience to strengthen branches. Senior sisters do a great work in helping their local sisters strengthen Relief Society, Primary and Young Women programs. They have learned that the auxiliary programs of the Utah Church cannot and do not need to be exactly replicated in the little branches so they work creatively to help organize the essentials and leave each branch stronger then they found it.

(Elder and Sister Langford - Guyana)

(Elder and Sister Platt - Guyana)

(Sister Stauffer - St Vincent)

(Sister Leavitt - Trinidad)

(Sister Hymas - St Lucia)

(Sister Bullock - Guyana)

Conducting the affairs of the mission - maybe not the most fun part of the work, but so essential in the success of the West Indies Mission. Senior couples are able to free up the elders to do what they do best - teach and baptize - by handling many finance, legal and health issues. They act as an extension of the mission office - particularly essential in a mission as spread out as the West Indies.

(Elder Collin - mission office in Trinidad)

(Elder Dunn - Guyana)

(Elder Palmer - training clerks in Trinidad)

(Elder Hymas - St Lucia)

Blessing the lives of elders - almost every missionary in the West Indies takes home a few extra sets of 'grandparents' who have watched over and counseled them during their service. The couples refer to these missionaries as 'our elders' and will stay connected to them all their lives. During the mission they keep an eye on health, apartment cleanliness, emotions (counseling many a homesick elder) and their progress in learning to be great missionaries.

(Elder Malmrose - Guadeloupe)

(Elder and Sister Leavitt - Trinidad)

(Elder Hymas - St Lucia)

(Leishmanns and Barnes - Trinidad)

(Elder and Sister Bullock - Guyana)

They also have a lot of fun and adventure!

(Elder and Sister Platt hunting alligators with Guyana elders in the middle of the night - really!)

(Sister Bullock - being pulled out of a Guyana trench where alligators live - really!)

(Elder and Sister Green competing in sports day - Trinidad)

(Elder and Sister Owens at District Meeting in Guyana)

(President Robison and Elder Wood - working hard in Grenada)

(Elder and Sister Platt - St Martin)

As we gathered with returned elders and couples during the past week I was able to see vividly the bonds of love that had developed during missionary service. There is something indescribably special about working side by side to bring souls to Christ. Age differences disappear and those connections become eternally embedded.

Here's a little peek:

1 comment:

Stan & Isabelle said...

LOVE IT - I so look forward to when we will be serving in the WIM as seniors - we're planning on the next few years. Fun to continue this blog!!