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

Saturday, February 28, 2009


(here's a link to an online version - http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161441342)

Elders Palmer and Neilson, who are serving in San Fernando, Trinidad were just getting off a mini-bus ride (maxis in Trinidad) and saw smoke coming out of a home. Next to the home was a women that appeared a bit disoriented, but was safely out of the house. They first asked if the fire department had been contacted and then escorted the lady across the street to keep her safely out of the way. Soon the home was engulfed in flames and a crowd of 300 had gathered. One of the members of the crowd was a photographer, who seeing two missionaries, escorting a woman away from the house, thought he had a great story. Although the facts in the article are embellished, none the less, it is nice see the positive comments in the newspaper.

I do believe angels go before them.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Special Trinidad Zone Conference

Elder and Sister Andersen are in Trinidad for the Stake organization this weekend. The Trinidad elders were able to have a wonderful zone conference session with them.

I was only able to get a few photos - here they are.

Elder Andersen shaking hands with each missionary

Choir practice after - in preparation for the Sunday Conference for the creation of a stake

Here's a few close ups of the big group picture

(six prospective missionaries in this one)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Success Stories - Feb 23

Here are the latest success stories from the elders.

There is power in this work - particularly through the Book of Mormon

Elder Holtz – Suriname
This week we've found some incredible potential priesthood holders that have all had incredible experiences with the Holy Ghost as they have put forth their effort to come closer to Heavenly Father. One of them said that he felt "Glorious" and "the hair on my arms stood up while I was reading [The Book of Mormon]." Another said that while he as in church he could feel that this church had that truth and that he wanted to go farther. It's great to see the blessings from the Lord as we keep his commandments.

Elder Schroath - Suriname
This week we had a success in getting recent converts to institute. I heard that the class was normally one person. This week we invited all the recent converts (a lot of them are between 20 and 25) to come and even our investigators. With the help of that one person that went always, the class size increased to 6 this week and hopefully more next week. Everyone loved it and are excited to do the homework and talk about it with each other during the week.

Elder Koenen – Suriname
yesterday we saw something wonderful happen with this 16 year old kid ***. we taught him about the Book of Mormon and he read some scriptures and he was smiling all the time. He said he felt like he was praying. We explained him that it was the spirit from God that made him have those feelings. He smiled again and he asked what he needed to do to follow God. we taught him parts from the word of wisdom and the entire law of chastity and he said he never new those things. He said he was happy we told him so now he was able to repent and live like the Lord wants him to live and prepare for baptism in march! the Lord prepares those around us and they are in the dark, they rely on us to see and find the light! shine your light! those prepared are not far from us!

Elder Olsen – Guyana
Every now and then you have to drop a good investigator. It's sad, but they just aren't progressing. We had to let go of *** last week, but we were up for quite a surprise last night. As we were teaching a lesson to some investigators who are to be baptized on saturday *** and his friends came in to join us. When we finished we asked if anyone had any questions or comments. Imagine my shock when *** asked if he could bear his testimony. He did and it was very sincere. The spirit has greatly softened his heart. Prayers are answered!

Elder Shakespear – Suriname
WE had a really cool experience Saturday. WE were in-between appointments and planned on finding for a few minutes. Elder Lubberink stopped a lady carrying a table on a dirt road. WE offered help. It was her birthday, and she couldn't find any help to set up her party. WE helped her and her sister for the next few minutes. She was so happy. WE set another appointment. The next appointment was great. I know if we look for opportunities to serve, the Lord will set good people in our path.

Elder Tholen – Suriname
Last night we were finding with a member and having a little trouble due to a couple appiontments that fell through. After consulting with my compainon and finding that the next best place to go was a 20 minute bike ride I asked this member where he wanted to go. He pointed down THAT street, the one you have tracked 6 times in the last 3 weeks, and instead of saying uhhhh lets go this way i decided to take that advise. There was noone on the street, so we started to klop houses. At the 4th house a simple old man came tothe port to talk to us, quickly he invited us in. Every single restored principle that was shared the light in this mans eyes grew. You could feel that he was want to learn more and wanting to know the truth. Every question we asked he sat straight up in his chair and if he couldnt answer it waited and accepted our answer. The spirit was so strong, afterward the member told us that he had never taught a lesson like that before. He said he has never taught the about the church in such a way that someone readily accepted it. I know that through following the spirit and working with the members EVERYONE gets blessing from it.

Elder Jestice – Suriname
This week we had an awesome baptism of one Brother ***. He's a quiet, soft-spoken, shy man, with a heart of gold. We went by his house later that day to see how he felt and shared a great lesson with him about missionary work and his task to share the gospel now. It was already 7 o'clock in the evening on Saturday night, but we committed him to invite someone to come to church with him the next day to see his confirmation. The next morning we waited by the church and sure enough, 15 minutes before the meeting started, up walked *** with him mother.

Elder Harris – Guyana
The Lord really blessed us this week. It never ceases to amaze me how much the Lord blesses us. We have been working hard all week long. We have been doing everything to try and find new investigators. We found about 10 new investigators this week who said they were going to come to church. We pray all week to get the investigators there at church. When church was starting none of our investigators we were planning on came to church. There was one man though. ***, we never taught him. We just stopped at his shop one night and got some water after a long day of tracting. We went to visit *** after church, him and his wife, ***, decided to be baptized. The Lord alwyas answers our prayers. Not always the way we want it to be answered though, but it always works out.

Elder Fox and Elder Biver – Guyana

Elder Green – Guyana
This week we worked really hard on getting our contacts every day, so we were able to see so many miracles come from that. One night we were walking home and I was on the phone with one of the Elders in the zone and ELder Marshall contacted a man. At first he seemed alright and so the next day we called him to see if we could set up an appointment that day and he told us that he had been waiting for us to call him and he was so excited to hear from us. We met with him and he was just a great, humble man willing to learn. Unfortunatley he was in the interior Sunday...

Elder Averett - Guyana
Success: This week we bumped into a former investigator family that Elder Youngyen and Elder Wiederhold taught while they were together. they are part of a really huge part member inactive family. So we decided to set a return appointment and go and visit them to see the progress that they had made sense the drop. We went over and sat with the whole family and taught a good lesson and then we left as we were walking away Elder Wiederhold turned to me and said wow that is the first time that we have ever been able to sit with the whole family. This got me really excited so we went back and we had a few appointments with no member set up so we took one of the young men of the family with us. As we were walking he turned to me and thanked me for bringing him out with us I said why are you thanking me. He told me that if he would have been home right now he would just be getting into trouble. On Sunday he came to church and was really enthused about missionary work again he was really happy and he brought his soon to be sister in law to church with him it was a wonderful blessing.

Elder Dayton - Trinidad
Elder Noah and i spent our first days in the area of sparia this week. we didnt have much preference as to which area to work first, so we just went to a near by street and tracted it out. one of the very first homes we called into was that of a lady to whom we taught a restoration lesson. after the lesson we asked her to pray about joseph smith. she didnt know how, so one of us spoke as she repeated what we said. the only thing that we had her say in the prayer was, "is joseph smith a true prophet? in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." after the prayer she couldnt beleive the feeling she was getting. she went on and on about the feeling in her body and heart and began to cry. she cried and cried and attempted to describe her wonderful new feelings as she said she knew it was true.

Elder Riding - Suriname
So this week we had a sweet experience with one of our investigators which was really refreshing being opposed to much opposition we've been seeing in our branch. *** forced himself to just pick up the Book of Mormon and read beginning where he had left off in 3 Nep 11. He has read now almost all of Christ's ministry in the America and has talked about how his whole attitude about life, work, study has changed. His perspective is totally different because now he believes. That's what he told us. There was such a light in his countenance. The spirit we felt that night was undeniable even though neighbors across the street were blasting music (not efy or motab) His long planned marriage will be taking place saturday, then we're just waiting on his girlfriend/wife to believe in these things and it's coming.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Your Sons

I received this note from Sister Monlouis - a member who lives in Guadeloupe. She gave me permission to share it with you.

I had a surgery so I couldn't do anything for a month.
The surgery was ok, but now I have a little problem. I have to see the doctor again.

Let me tell u something that happened in the hospital:

I was still in the hospital on 14th February and I heard someone asked for Claudine Monlouis to a nurse.

I saw 4 angels named Elder Julian, Elder Roberts, Elder Snow and Elder Neff.

It was like a french song :

"4 angels came to see me this night
Brought me good and marvelous things,
one of them has a "heart-cinnamon-chocolate"cake,
the second a red rose in a "i love u" pocket
the third a pink rose in a "st valentine" pocket
and the last one had a spiritual thought"

It was wonderful. "MY" sons are wonderful. I did not think that they could come and see me in the hospital.

So I could talk about the church to the nurses 'cause the didn't know anything about the church.

The only thing they know is : the Mormons are polygamous.

Sister Eclar told me that there are any missionaries in Guadeloupe because of the strike.

If we hadn't the testimony of reserves, now we had it !!!

Our Lord knows everything, we have to obey.

Because of my faith, I was prepared so I'm not afraid.

Have a good day !


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Images of Carnival

Carnival + nice camera lens + Photoshop = art

Here are a few images from behind the scene at the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival queens contest I captured and played with yesterday. See the previous post for more about Carnival.

The Art of Carnival

No - Elders Jones and Guy are not participating in Carnival this year. But, they did help us meet a wonderful Sister who is.

Elder Jones 'hooked' me by showing me this incredible picture he took of just a small part of the Sister's Carnival Queen's costume.

Carnival is deeply woven into the culture of Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, it is an integral part of most of the counties in the West Indies Mission. Here is a good link - if you want to read more about carnival in Trinidad

This weekend is the big celebration in Trinidad but events have been going on for over a month now. Some of carnival is uplifting and fun, but much of it is not appropriate for missionaries, so the elders have been instructed, in some key areas, to stay inside or move to other apartments during the weekend.

President Robison and I were able to attend the Queen semi finals last night. It is a costume competition - but these are costumes like I have never seen before!

Gloria Dalsingh, a long time member in the San Fernando branch and a big fan of Elders Jones and Guy, was competing. She has incredible talent and has been creating queen costumes for many many years.

Isn't she beautiful?

She is very open about the fact that she is 62 years old!

She has been working on this fantastical 'under the sea' costume all year.

Don't you love this giant fish?

President Robison got to learn all about it (I was there too - but having too much fun taking pictures!)

It's heavy! How does she carry that????

We were able to peek behind the scene where the costumes are assembled after transport and readied for judging

When everything is ready, each contestant dances to soca music across a stage in front of the judges

Sister Dalsingh is in there somewhere!

The results won't be announced until tomorrow.

I think Sister Dalsingh's is the best.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Just had to share

Our youngest grandsons

Success Stories - Feb 16

Here is the next sampling of the missionary's weekly success stories:

Elder Holtz – Suriname
Yesterday we had a chance to complete a goal... Ralph is waiting on his mission call to come back in and before he sent them in he made a promise that he would bring two people into the church before his mission. Yesterday his goal was accomplished! 3 weeks ago Ralph called us and said his buddy wanted to talk to us AFTER Ralph had told him just about everything about hte church.... everyday at work for the past 3 weeks Ralph has been busy and work teaching *** on top of our lessons to prepare him for baptism. Well, yesterday Ralph had the chance to baptize his friend, bring a soul unto Christ, accomplish his goal and you could see the overwhelming feeling of joy he had clearly on his face! Member missionary work is what makes the missionary work successful!

Elder Ash – Suriname
A few days ago, we were riding our bikes down a road. Some people yelled at us, and I don't like to respond much to when people yell because most of the time they just want to cause problems. So we rode on a bit more, then my companion and I both got a feeling to turn around. We went and talked to these people, and they ended up coming to church. They used to be old investigators and they had the Book of Mormon.

Elder Olsen - Guyana
Alright, Albouystown members are the best ever. This thursday I was sick with the flu and down in bed, whole day. It was just a normal sick day until I got a call from a member. He asked why we hadn't picked him up to go work with him. When I told him I was sick he asked if he could go visit our investigators and recent converts. Ha! I love how willing the people are to work with you once you've established a friendship!

Elder Lang – Guyana
These last couple of weeks I've found people who will receive me. They've been taught by some of the missionaries before, but never accepted. A few weeks ago Elder Jones and I contacted a referral to this family and they believe everything we say. I'll ask them "Do you have any questions?" and they'll say "No, we know that everything you say it true." I know that the Lord leads us to those who he has prepared.

Elder White – Trinidad
saturday the aunt of a member asked us for a blessing, and we were able to give her one. it was miraculous just the way her moans stopped as we invited to spirit with a hymn and knelt in prayer to ask heavenly father to heal her before we blessed her. it was a very sweet experience and the spirit was very strong there

Elder Kinghorn – Suriname
We had a real wakeup call about the power of the Book of Mormon this week. We asked an investigator to read 3 Nep. 11. She did it and had questions for us. So we showed her how to search for answers in the scriptures herself. Now she is reading on her own and is learning on her own. She doesn't need us to tell her everything. She also came to church completely by herself and accepting a baptismal date readily. That's the power of the scriptures and personal conversion!

Elder Payne - Trinidad
We were able to teach a man who is truly Converted. *** was able to recieve the Aaronic Priesthood and he is continuing to grow. He was found 3 Weeks ago and he was baptized and Confirmed. and A week after he recieved the Priesthood. That was indeed a Miracle that we were blessed with. He is also reaching out and we are teaching people that he knows and he is excited to share the Gospel. The thing that is Key in his conversion is that he is reading the Book of Mormon. and he has learned how to pray to Heavenly Father. Those combined has helped him and will continue to help him to change. The book of mormon has indeed Great Power.

Elder Damm – Trinidad
We had the baptism of Sister *** yesterday. She told Sister Collins in the car that she had us fooled at the beginning when we started teaching her and Tevin. She wouldn't sit down with us but she told Sister Collins she was always listening to our lessons. Then she started reading the Book of Mormon. Then she was caught she had no choice but to follow it and be baptized and that's exactly what happened

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February's New Elders

This is a mighty group - in size and spirit

Doris is helping you see just how big and strong they are

Elders Warhurst, Lundberg, Welch, and Gilley

They had a fabulous first day

One reason is these fine elders

Elders Garotta, Williams, Mundy, and Mcdaniel

Because of the strike in the French islands, Elder Williams (serving as a 3rd assistant for a month) and Elder Garotta (here for a few days before going home) are here with the assistants helping out in Trinidad. They are all talented, experienced and loving missionaries and they got to pair up and work with the new elders yesterday. Those four young elders had a fabulous time. They were so excited about the work they did!

Of course, we first fed them President Robison's famous sour dough pancake breakfast

with a little help from Elder Mundy juicing oranges from our yard

After breakfast they had a study session with me while President Robison interviewed each missionary. Next they headed to the mission office for training, and then out for a lunch of Trinidad's famous doubles.

Finally they they got to what they came for - good hard work - finding, teaching, challenging, and inviting

At the end of the day they gathered back at the mission home just in time for sunset pictures in the yard

followed by dinner

They liked my fancy napkin folding (you can find anything on the internet!)

We finished the day with an evening devotional and testimony meeting.

Those are mighty fine young missionaries!

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Mission President

We are thrilled to announce the new West Indies Mission president!

He will be Claude R Gamiette from the island of Guadeloupe in the West Indies

He will begin serving on July 1, 2009

He is an absolutely wonderful leader and teacher

How do we know this?

He is currently serving as President Robison's 1st counselor in the Mission Presidency and before that he served as President of the French District in the West Indies. We know him and his family very well.

And he knows this mission well

People here love him and his family

We do to!

West Indies missionaries will be blessed under his leadership

We can't think of anyone we would rather see take over this mission

Sister Gamiette is a great mother, beautiful sister, and experienced returned missionary. She is also lots of fun (and makes amazing french chocolate cakes!). Here is a funny little story I did on her last year.

The family is darling. I think this may be the first time a family has lived in the mission home. It will be so nice for the missionaries.

Here are pictures of a story that was done on the Gamiette family in the February 2009 Liahona and New Era.

The missionaries all found out the news this morning in an email. Those that know President Gamiette have been wondering and wishing - now they get their wish!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Testimonies of Conversion

We had our every-six-weeks mission home fireside tonight. New members, investigators, and their friends were invited. It was a powerful group.

I met 11 year old Tracy

She was the first person Elder Mundy found and baptized on his mission - almost 2 years ago.

She has read the Book of Mormon twice.

Last December her mother and younger sister were baptized

Yesterday her Grandmother was baptized. She loves learning from her daughter and granddaughter

Here they are

The entire family is growing in the Gospel, reading the Book of Mormon, and having family home evening. Even the Dad is starting to get involved. Three generations in the church - that's what it is all about!

I heard this fine man, taught by Elders Payne (in picture), Guy, and Hickenlooper, bear his testimony tonight.

He said, "I love this book. (holding the Book of Mormon). I can't stop reading it. I read every night until 2. It has changed my life" He was baptized last week.

I met a mother and daughter.

This daughter was recently baptized and wanted a way to draw closer to her mother.

She found it

Today her mother was baptized by Elder Collins and now they are 'sisters'

I met Stacy, who is being taught by her 'tall tower' missionaries - Elders Palmer and Nielsen.

She will be baptized next week.

Missionary work is wonderful!

D&C 16:6 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Success Stories - Feb 9

Here is what some of the West Indies missionaries have been up to lately:

Elder White - Trinidad
We received a referal from the elders in marabella to a wonderful family who decided this year to make things right. The husband comes from a christian background, the wife (common law) comes from a hindu background, but she wants to become christian and is very humble about the whole thing. The children are a little rambunctious, but the older one (ten) listens. we came back and asked them if they had prayed, and Anna replied that she was not sure how to pray-- we taught prayer again, and it was interesting how the husband assumed that he knew how to pray already, and how the wife was always belittling herself about how little she knew because she didn't grow up "in a church" while explaining how to pray, we asked her to tell us about things that she was greatful for and things that she wanted help from God with. Then we invited her to pray, emphazing that she was just talking with God and not to worry about how fancy her words were--- what followed was one of the most conversiational prayers I have ever heard. Her voice didn't change in tone, she just talked to God about the same things that she had told us about. she was humble enough to teach, and she was able to learn and to grow. it made me think about how much we miss because we "know it already".

Elder Lang - Guyana
Success story: This last little while has shown to me that the Lord answers prayers. I prayed that we could find men to teach, and out of nowhere we met two adult men that are accepting and ready and who are to be baptized this weekend. I know they'll really help the branch.

Elder Biver - St Vincent
This week we had a hard beginning of Sunday afternoon. None of our investigators came to church and all our appointments for the beginning of the afternoon fell through... We were trying to keep our energy and continue to teach people. We visited members in the area and one of our investigators, and had a really spiritual lesson. Just after that, we decided to visit somebody else and on our way, a young boy waved at us. I waved back and he asked what we were up to. We said we were teaching families about jesus Christ, and he said to us "you need to visit this house!". We asked for direction, and he led us directly to his house. We met his sister and his mum, who was really nice. She had a great smile when greeting us, listened carefully to our message and said she would be happy to let us come back the next tuesday to visit the whole family. We felt so good after that, and we could really saw that the Lord had helped us find a receptive family.

Elder Holtz - Suriname
This week we've been able to see the work of the Lord and his many blessing he gladly gives to his children. We've got an investigator now that is preparting to be baptized this weekend that has a very difficult life. He makes basically enough money to survive on, lives in a very old broken down house and still his got the faith to count his many blessings. Money is hard to come by for him and yesterday we decided right before the lesson to switch things up and teach him the Law of Tithing and the many blessings we can receive if we are faithful. We taught a spirit filled lesson and when it came time to commit him to live the commandment he said that he would gladly live it because he knows that the Lord will take care of everything if he did his part. The confidence in his voice when he said that and the assurance he had were amazing to hear!

Elder Young - Guyana
last night (sunday night) elder green, myself and bro. *** were standing outside of a supposed appointment, (having been scamped by a contact the day before) adjusting plans for our next step. elder green and i frankly wondering why we had felt so good about the individual who scamped us. we contacted a man coming home with groceries and in contacting him asked if we could come visit his family and share more. when he said yes we then asked how about right now?
we met with the family and i felt so great in their home, we had a wonderful brief lesson and will be returning tonight. i am confident that we were meant to find them, i believe they have been prepared for the message. i know the proximity principle is true- if we are doing everything we can do, God puts us where he wants us.

Elder Brenkmann – Guyana
Well, this week we baptized a mother and two of her children. The family is really cool and loves church. For a few weeks we've been trying to get ***, the husband, to church. He's always had to work. Last week we were finishing up a lesson and were extending another church commitment to ***, when Sister ***, his wife, starts to go and bear testimony to him on the importance of families and church. We didn't even have top ask her too, she just started testifying and extended the commitment for us. It was great to see someone, who isn't even baptized yet, catch the fire and go with it. She wants to share her joy with others. *** didn't come to church, but Sister *** brought his mother, 2 nieces, and her sister and kids, to church Sunday and wants to help them all get baptized.

Elder Packer - Guyana
My success story this week is that our members in this area are just fantastic. we went by one of the recent converts in the branch (sis. ***) and as we were about to knock on the door we could hear her voice inside "...so he read a scripture in James 1:5 - if you lack wisdom ask God" what? she was teaching the restoration to her neighbor! it was so cool. We gave him a date and we want to go see the rest of his family too. The Lord is blessing us very very much.

Elder Shakespear - Suriname
Our success story for this week, we contacted a guy, and set up an apointment. The apointment was a fake. The family that was home invited us in and we shared a les. They were in church sunday. Wonderful!

Elder Koenen – Suriname
normally the rain will prevent people from coming to church, this time it didnt! it brought an entire family to church! sis. *** got baptised and was about to be comfirmed on sunday. Her husband allways goas to the market to sell cd's. We prayed to let the rain stop and i guess her prayers where more important and the rain felt down harder! because of that the man could not go to the market and finally he went with her to church and brought there two kids from 13 and 9years old. They could all support her and feel the spirit feel the church when she was confirmed! sweet blessings! the little girl felt so good and wants to be baptised also. The work is not ours! It is His

Elder Olsen – Guyana
Never underestimate anyone! This past week there was a twelve year old boy named *** who attended one of our lessons with a friend. He wasn't super attentive, but still participated. I told him during the lesson that he would be really happy the next day and it would be because he was going to pray about our church. Imagine my surprise when *** runs up to me on the street and gives me a hug the day after. He told me that he'd had the best day and knew it was true. That kid is a machine! He's reading up to ten chapters a day and gotten his mom, neighbors and friends all involved. WOW!!!!

Elder Barton - Tobago
this week as we have been stressing our 20 contacts every day, the Lord immediately blessed us. while walking down the street, a man came up to us and began asking about religion. in a nutshell, the man began asking about the history of the truth and that he did not believe that there was only prophets toward the middle east around the bible but what about russia, africa, asia, and over here in america. the Carribs and amerindians. well ofcourse we taught about the Book of Mormon and he is really "thirsty for that book" as he said. we are planning on giving it to him next visit. really cool.

Elder Julian – Guadeloupe
well because of the stike me and elder roberts didnt have alot of things to do and he wanted to know the members, so we went to a recent converts house. we rang the door bell and her son answered and invited us in. when we went in there was a visiter and she was talking to him with all her recent convert things. after we asked what she was doing and she said this was her friend from her old church and he is interested in what he can learn. then she told us she gave him the first lesson and we finsih and answered questions she couldnt. we set up a RDV for saturday to talk more. that saturday he asked about baptism and wanted to be baptized. we answered all his questions and set a date with him for the 21 of feburary and he is as golden as anyone could be. the fruits of the lord are coming to help us in our time of need in this strike.

Elder Chambers – Guyana
This week it was raining something terrible in the morning, foolishly I had in my head "no one is going to be at church today because of the rain". As we went about picking people up and checking on them my fears seemed as though they were going to become a reality as people kept saying they could not come to chuch because of this thing they call rai n. I thought we were going to get two and if we were lucky three people at church. Well this is were is was proved to be foolish in my thinking. Once again the Lord streached down his arm and helped out when we needed it most. We ended up with eight investigators at church it was awesome.

Conference for the Creation of the Trinidad Stake

That is so nice to type!

Here are the details on the creation of the first stake in Trinidad (and in the entire West Indies Mission):

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Presidency of the Seventy will create the stake on March 1, 2009 in Port of Spain Trinidad. He will be accompanied by Elder Francisco J. Vinas, first counselor in the Area Presidency.

There will be a Priesthood meeting from 3:00-4:45 p.m. and an adult general session from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 28 in the Port of Spain chapel. The Sunday session will be from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on March 1 in the Cascadia Hotel and Conference Center.

We are looking forward to that momentous weekend.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The rest of zone leader council

I kind of jumped the gun yesterday posting pictures of the end of our zone leader council meeting - but that Stake announcement was just too exciting!

Here is what we did for the rest of the conference.

Yesterday morning, early, we drove up to Fort George up in the mountains overlooking the island of Trinidad. The plan was to have a devotional there about establishing the church and strengthening the branches by studying the genius and dedication of Captain Moroni.

Unfortunately, it was raining. So we huddled up in a little shelter and studied.

The scriptures were wonderful - so many insights into our work as we compared it to flags, armor and fortresses. We learned about Satan's quest (represented by Amalickiah) to gain power and control over others contrasted with Moroni's desire to maintain freedom, church, and family. We saw how Moroni invites and inspires (title of liberty) rather than controls. We saw that he found innovative ways to strengthen individuals (armor) and branches (fortresses). Above all, we learned that if all men would be like Moroni, "the devil would never have power over the children of men" (Alma 48:17).

The rain let up a little so we went out to the edge of the fort and sang "Armies of Helaman"

We spent the rest of the day back at the mission home talking about 'best practices' - a tradition in our zone leader councils. We share what is working best in each zone and discuss how to build upon it. It's always electrifying.

The elders are dedicated and creative (just like Captain Moroni, I guess)

Elder Williams shared his experience with tracking continuing conversion using the teaching record

Then he had all the elders try it out

We finished with some numbers (look carefully and you will see what we think about the West Indies missionaries)

and a final check on the questions they had posed at the beginning of conference. Each elder had received ideas and impressions on these issues.

We then had the privilege of hearing the testimonies of these fine young men

"These were days never to be forgotten"
Oliver Cowdery (PGP, p 58)