Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
- a little writing (editing the draft of the book I'm writing about one key piece of Mom's life: "Her Father's Violin"
- watched a fun movie (I would have also enjoyed a Dr. Pepper while watching, but none were to be had here today) and two HGTV decorating shows
- called a few friends
- did some scrapping of photos of the kids and the grandkids, including Hunter, the newest grandchild (while watching t.v.)
- made some bread
- read about half of a novel
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Here's the hardest part of serving a mission: a new grandbaby and we can't hold him!!
Welcome to the world, little Hunter Gabriel Carr! Well, from the photo you can see that he's not so "little," but we love him and are so proud of his mom and dad - Shelby and Dave in Orem, Utah.
I'm trying not to think about the fact that Hunter will be 13 months old when we get to hold him for the first time or that he'll think this Grandma and Grandpa are just two funny people on the computer screen (thank heavens for Skype!).
Happy Birthday, Hunter! Grandma and Grandpa will get there as quickly as we can.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
We had two Dutch, two English and two French speakers. They are a wonderful group of men and we had so much fun with them.
The second day of the conference, Elder Myers and I were in charge of the lunch. So we order pizza for them from Pappa John's and had fruit and cookies for dessert. Well, the chocolate cookies seemed to be the hit of the day. All the Elders were raving about them and devoured what amounted to four cookies apiece and still were looking for more.Then that evening when our six Elders returned to our home, they walked in and greeted us by saying, "Oh, Sister Myers, those chocolate cookies were so good today!" So I pulled out the stash of them I had saved here at home just for our six Elders. They never suspected I had saved some for them, and they were thrilled. So before they started munching (almost), I had them pose for this photo I labeled "Cookie Monsters".
Front row (l-r): Elder Snow (English-speaking), Elder Riding (Dutch-Speaking), Elder Kinghorn (Dutch-speaking), Elder Cronin (English-speaking), Elder Neff (French-speaking)
Back row (l-r): Elder Myers (Texan-speaking!) and Elder Biver (French-speaking). (He's actually from France; the others are from the U.S.)
Our thanks to the families of these young men for sharing their sons with us!
Friday, May 15, 2009
A couple of weeks ago I got a call from President Hendricks of the Dominican Republic MTC. It seems one of our new local missionaries, also assigned to our mission, was there but his companion from Jamaica didn't arrive. He asked if I could find one of our local missionaries who was assigned to attend the MTC in the future who could drop everything and hurry to be a companion to this Elder.
I knew Elder Gossai from Guyana was just working and waiting for his July MTC date, so they contacted his district president and before we knew it Elder Gossai was on his way to the D.R. On the way he stopped in Trinidad for a few hours between flights. It just so happened that that day was our zone conference and all the Trinidad missionaries were gathered at the mission home for conference. Elder Myers picked up Elder Gossai and took him to the mission home. The meeting was just concluding when we got there, so all were still gathered as President Robison introduced Elder Gossai and proceeded to set him apart.
Well, as it turned out Elder Cottam, one of our office Elders, and a couple of others had known Elder Gossai when they served in Guyana. They were so excited to see him! Elder Myers caught this shot of Elders Cottam and Gossai embracing one another.
It was such a moving moment and we all appreciated the great opportunity to be a part of this moment as this great young man was set apart with a very special blessing to serve as a missionary in the West Indies Mission.
The following week Elder Cottam was transferred to St. Martin so had Elder Gossai's MTC date not been moved up they would not have had the chance to share this experience.
(photo to follow - when I find where I saved it!!)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
You should understand that packages arrive here at the mission office daily. They're always for the young Elders from their moms or girlfriends, but rarely for we old folk So a package for the Myers was the talk of the office. Oh, the package arrived. Very late apparently. And, oh, was I surprised when I opened it! In fact, the entire office was! Here's why:
I read the customs claim form aloud as the anticipating crowd looked on. It was from Tara Mason, a dear young mother in our ward in Grapevine that I so love and admire. She's just a terrific mom!! Tara had told me they would make us some cookies sometime, so I was excited to tear open the box.
The customs form indicated there were also some Dove chocolates inside as well as the cookies. Yummmmm!!
So with great anticipation we all opened the box. And inside there were no cookies and no Dove chocolates. But there were three items instead of two:
- A heavy, thick velvety pair of white sleep pants with a big, bold, black design on them - far, far too heavy to wear in the West Indies and far too small for anyone in our house!
- A box of note cards called "Great Moments in Art" - this includes a set of 16 cards where 4 different famous painting are redrawn - in stick figures.
- A box containing a "lip plumping kit." Inside were two applicators filled with who knows what. The actual name and description of this item is not something I can print - you can see the pink box says SEXY - nor is it something any good missionary should have around!!
Sadly, there wasn't a cookie in sight! We don't know who got our cookies and candies, but we didn't want two sweet little boys to know that their package had been raided in Customs and junk put in its place!
The first photo is little Sister Williams from the Couva Ward here in Trinidad. Every Sunday during Sacrament meeting she walks around taking all the hymn books one at a time off the chairs and carries them over to the ledge at the side of the room where she neatly stakes them. She does this every Sunday! If you want a hymn book, you don't dare put yours down for fear it will be in a stack of pilfered books over near the windows and you'll be humming along with the songs. Isn't she adorable?
While in Guyana two weeks ago, we got a cute photo of little Lisa running around the house. Do you see the fruit in her hand? Anything edible that falls from the trees or can be picked has no particular ownership. Lisa had found this fruit and then began to eat it . . . after she posed for the camera. She's actually really shy, but you couldn't tell it from this pose!
Later we got a shot of her older brothers - Joshua, Kevin and Boy - when we took them to get some ice cream at Spready's.
These boys are the dearest of the dear. The older two always hold the car door open for me and are so polite and kind in their manner of speaking. Their family can't afford for them to go to school (the family of six lives on about $20 US per month), so they're attending a reading class at the church Monday through Friday afternoons. I so hope they're going to be able to learn to read so they have hope of a better future.
Then on another day we took Lenardo and Reynaldo (plus their grandma Barbara who is raising them and their aunt Michelle) to get an ice cream at Spready's. You'll remember the story of Reynaldo who turned 8 on December 14 but wouldn't let the local missionaries baptize him because he wanted to wait for Elder Myers to come back and do it. So in January we went back to Rose Hall so Elder Myers could baptize Reynaldo.
When we took them for ice cream, we sat down outside waiting for Elder Myers to get our order and I gave them the scripture story books for the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. Lenardo (in the blue shirt) flipped open the Book of Mormon Stories and pointed and exclaimed, "That's Joseph Smith when he prayed and saw Jesus and Heavenly Father!" Then flipping the pages, he pointed to a picture and said, "Oh, and those are the golden plates. They were hidden in the mountain until the angel told him where to get them. They became the Book of Mormon." He was so excited to tell the stories.
Then Reynaldo (in the red shirt) opened up the New Testament and did the same thing with story of Jonah and a couple of others. Barbara is teaching them so well, and they are such great boys.
One day Lenardo and Reynaldo will be terrific missionaries along with Kevin and Boy!
I did miss hearing the beautiful voices of the Grapevine Ward Primary children singing "Mother, I Love You" or whatever song they sung this year. That's always a special treat even for we old mothers as it brings back so many memories of our own children singing those sweet songs to us on Mother's Days gone by.
Since Mother's Day is one of two times a year the missionaries get to call their families - specifically their moms - we had made plans to have six Elders come to our home to use the computers to call their parents plus have dinner in the process. We had the video camera set up and had communicated with the families in case they wanted to hook up their cameras as well so they could all see one another as they talked.
Somehow we ended up with 14 Elders instead of 6! But there was plenty of food for all, and the old adage "the more, the merrier" prevailed! What fun we all had. It was so great to watch the Elders talking with their families. When we checked on the Skype directory to see if Elder Hickenlooper's parents had Skype, he jumped up and down he was so excited because he knew his dad had a camera on his computer and he'd be able to see his family when he called.
Each Elder is allowed 45 minutes to talk, so Elder Myers had to watch the clock and keep them on schedule. We had so many that they were using phones and computers and eating and drinking in between while they waited for companions to also get their 45 minutes to talk. Here are a few of the shots we got of the group.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
As you can see, it's blue with white trim. Most of our friends and especially our children would say, "It's a Jan house," because it's my favorite color. It has two bedrooms and two baths plus a living, dining and kitchen with plenty of room downstairs for fun and games (branch parties!) plus parking the car.
We will be assigned to the Canje Branch (with the only actual LDS church in the area) plus one other branch, we assume. The Treseders are in Rose Hall and doing a fantastic job, so we aren't needed there, but great things are happening further south in the area of Crabwood Creek and Skeldon where we used to work as well, so there may be a need for some help down there.
No matter what our assignment is, we'll delighted to go back to proselyting and member and branch support, spending our days and nights with the leaders and members of the church as well as teaching and baptizing.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
What a surprise!
We love you!
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
While we were visiting in Guyana last week, we really wanted to get to see one of our favorite Elders from our days back in Rose Hall. The last day of the trip we planned to spend in Georgetown with most of the day making the trip to Linden, a newly-opened area.
On our way to Georgetown from Canje we placed a called to Elders Averett and Clark to see if they would be available to have dinner with us that night. But no luck. All we got was voice mail, so we left a message.
We called again before we left Georgetown, but still now answer. Left another message. I was sure if they thought they'd get a free dinner, they'd call us back when they could.
So on we went with Elder and Sister Evans to see Linden for the first time. We arrived there at about noon and went to the downtown area (basically a block or two on one street) along the river that divides the city.
There we found a Church's Chicken and decided to stop for lunch. We sat down to wait for our orders to be completed, and as we chatted, to quote a well-known story, "What to my wondering eyes did appear . . . " not a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, but something even better: Elders Fillerup and Averett! Elder Averett had come to Linden that day on a split and we got to have lunch with them!!
What great missionaries both of these young men are, and we so love them. Just remembering looking up toward the door and seeing Elder Averett appear like in a dream puts a big grin on my face. When you get to see these elders grow, when you get to teach with them and share of their testimonies and see the impact they are having in the lives of the Guyanese, it surely makes your heart swell with joy!
So our trip to Linden was made much sweeter by the surprise of seeing Elder Averett!
Even more beautiful are the people who are prepared to receive the gospel. Already 45 are attending church each Sunday. The missionaries tell us people walk up to them on the street and ask, "Can you tell me what all the excitement's about?" Of course they can!
We went to see where the missionaries are living and next door was an adorable black lady, making a lot of noise. I went to say hello to her and realized she was pounding on some blue jeans – she was doing her laundry!
Her name was Beverly and she would scrub the jeans with a scrub brush, and then pound them with a flat board, then rinse them and hang them on the line (with her teenaged daughter looking on, but not helping!). She's wearing a piece of white plastic over her clothes to protect her from the flying water.
I asked if I could take her picture so I could send it home to our women's group at our church in Texas to show them how the laundry is done in Guyana. So for all of you, and especially the sisters in the Grapevine Ward Relief Society, these pictures are for you.
The women here have such hard lives compared to ours. And yet they serve their families - and the church and each other - without complaint. They are such an inspiration to me! I hope they are to you as well!
Be sure to hug and kiss your kids today. You might even give your washer and dryer a pat for a job well done! ;-)
Note: I have absolutely no idea why the font keeps changing on this one post, and though it's not like me to give up a fight, this one will have to wait - there are too many other things to do right now. Ugh!
Friday, April 10, 2009
This week we've had the absolute delight of having Elder Dayton's family come visit. Originally they were coming to pick him up, but he extended his mission for 30 days, so they came anyway. They did get to spend a few great days with him and his companion, Elder Mundy, in Guyana meeting all the people Elder Dayton has baptized in the many months he's spent in Guyana, several of which were with us.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
We generally have four Elders who spend a great deal of time at the office - the Assistants to the President and the two Office Elders. The Assistants travel with the President so they're often gone. They do an unbelievable work in getting Elders to where they need to go, teaching them to lead, and encouraging them to work harder, better, smarter.
The Office Elders as of this transfer are Elder Cottam and Elder Romney. Elder Cottam has been in the office for several transfers, I think maybe four or five now. He's so great on the computer and has been such a big help when we can't figure out how to do something. Right now he's working on a huge project to alter our outdated data base to allow us to retrieve information from it better. He's a life saver. I took this crazy photo of him at the birthday party last Friday.
He's so much fun, an all-around life saver, and we really love him!!
Fourteen new Elders (photo ar right) came in from the MTC and 14 old ones went home. In addition the office sisters cooked two sit-down dinners for the mission home, one for Tuesday night for the incoming Elders and one for Wednesday night for the departing Elders. Then we cleaned up the kitchen and went back to working on transfers each night.
Because there were so many incoming and departing Elders, they didn't all fit at the mission home so we had five Elders at our home Monday and Tuesday nights as well as the Dayton family who came in Wednesday night.
The photo to the right is the five Elders we hosted Monday night. They're all French speaking. From left to right they're: Elders Nelson, Olsen, Copa, Krause and Butler - all from the US except Elder Butler who hails from Australia. Just imagine French with an Aussie accent! ;-)
Before these departing Elders left our home Wednesday morning for the airport, we fed them sour dough pancakes. Lef to right they are: Elders Olsen, Montgomery, Krause, Copa and Nelson.
Wednesday I worked from home so I could change all the linens the Elders used, do 10 loads of laundry (we have a small washer and dryer), clean the bathrooms, remake the beds, and cook dinner for the mission home. In between, I did the office work.
The Dayton family (mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and brother Bo) arrived that evening and we took them to the mission home to meet the departing Elders who were in Elder Dayton's group as well as President and Sister Robison. We sure enjoyed their company that evening in our home for a few hours, but they needed a little bit of sleep as they had to be back at the airport at 4 a.m. to catch a 6:00 plane to Guyana to see their son, Elder Dayton. They'll be back here on the 9th so we can visit again before they go home.
By Friday we were trying to clean up the mess left behind by transfers and starting to move forward again toward the next transfer and the changing of the guard when our new president begins July 1st. We also were grateful for some R&R on the weekend which was mostly some time at home, two full nights of sleep, and enjoying General Conference.
Meanwhile they were replaced in the office by an absolutely delightful couple, the Lingrens who are from Washington state. They're busy learning their new jobs and Sister Lingren handles all the travel arrangements and barely survived her first transfer last week, probably because it was the biggest one we've ever had . . . not an easy transfer to start on.
But we love both these couples and are grateful to get to serve with them. Before the Collins left, we all went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday's for a final celebration. I think we need to take a break and go to St. Lucia to visit them!!
They really caught on quickly to the ideas we shared with them, and they're going to be really great teachers and such a good influence on other teachers in the Curepe Ward!!
After we took photos, they gave us each a gift. Elder Myers got a beautiful red tie and a tie tack with steel pans on it. They gave me a gorgeous necklace with matching earrings and bracelet. We were so surprised and delighted by their generosity in giving us these lovely gifts.