Monday, November 2, 2009

To go or to stay. That is the question.

Today President Gamiette called us into his office to offer us a move to another location. At the end of this month it will be one year since we came to work in the office in Trinidad, and we've hoped for a chance to get to be back in the field again before we go home.

Thinking I would show you a few photos of the proposed location for the remainder of our mission, I found these photos on Sister Robison's blog.

Do you recognize this first shot from Pirates of the Caribbean? The film was shot in and around this island.

We hear the roads on this particular island are narrow and windy (not necessarily good for my weak stomach) and that one must watch carefully to avoid falling into the gutters alongside the roads.

Thank heavens Larry would be our driver!

The proposal is that we stay here in Trinidad until about December 12 so
we can walk our replacements through the next transfer and then head for the island.

We'll make a decision by the first of next week. It just so happens that the couple who would be trading places with us is coming Thursday to stay with us and attend some training. So we'll all four get to answer questions for each other like how much does it cost to live on a beautiful island like this.

I received an email from our former mission president today, President Robison, in which he said in part,
"Congratulations on your move to St. Vincent. What a nice little yellow house overlooking that beautiful island. Sounds like a heavenly way to finish a mission."

So now you know we gave up "our little blue house" in Guyana last June to stay in the office to help our new mission president, but now we may get to have a "little yellow house" on the beautiful island of St. Vincent to finish our mission. Mostly, we would be able to teach and work with the people again.

So, assuming that we agree to extend our mission a few months and go to the island of St. Vincent, does anyone want to come visit?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Getting to the Blog

You may have noticed that my blog posts have come to a screeching halt over the last several months. For this I apologize and will attempt to do better. It's not that I have nothing to write about, although our lives are not as exciting as they were in Guyana where "journal material" events occur every day! Mostly it's that I spend 10 hours a day at the mission office working on the computer and by the night we finally get home at night, I don't even want to look at a computer, even for personal things.

But one day our mission will be over and I'll wish I had written more, so I'm going to try to do better for the last six months of our mission. Speaking of finishing our mission, we've decided
that if we stay in the office through the end of the year, we'll just stay and go home in March (our 18-month finishing date). If we get to go someplace else and get back to teaching the gospel, we'll consider extending to 23 months which would get us home in August.

We leased our house in Grapevine until August on the assumption we'd be in the WIM for 23 months. But we didn't expect to be in the office for so long. Next month it will be a full year that we've run the mission office, and although it's an essential role, it's not what we had in mind for our mission. There was mention a week ago about the possibility of us going to an island but nothing further has been mentioned about it. It all depends on finding replacements who can both use the computer software required - and that's no easy feat - so we'll keep you posted about our comings and goings.

One note: If we go home in March, we'll be homeless. Anybody got a spare bed? If not, how
about saving a couple of big boxes and we'll sleep under an overpass. ;-)

Maybe it won't be so crowded under 360 and 121!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy "My Mother's Day" 2009

Today is the day I call "My Mother's Day" in tribute to my dear mom. Following her much-too-early death in 1996, I decided that each year on her birthday I would take the day off from whatever my usual activities (then it was a job, today it's working in the mission office) and do all the things Mom would have enjoyed doing if she had a day to herself. It works because we're two peas in a pod and I enjoy the same things.

So in addition to reminiscing and thinking about the wonderful mother she was, and is, I did the following:
  • 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
and did it all in my pj's!! You gotta love it! It's been an awesome "My Mother's Day" and Mom would have loved it, too. The best part was thinking about her the whole day through and remembering our lives together. Gosh, I miss her still!

A couple of days ago I sent out an email to all those in the mission who needed to know that I wouldn't be available today. When they asked what I was doing instead of my usual Wednesday in the mission office, I told them about my annual celebration of "My Mother's Day". Several asked if they could steal the idea and pay a similar tribute to their mothers as well.

So to all who may read this, whether your mom is still here or not, please do "steal" the idea and annually pay tribute to your dear mom on "My Mother's Day" (her birthday) each year. Do it for her and do it for you!

I love you, Mom!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sister Missionaries Serving in the West Indies Mission!

We did it! Sister Girdharry (on the left) and Sister Camejo (on the right) are on their way to the Missionary Training Center in the Dominican Republic . . . the first sister missionaries ever to serve in the West Indies Mission!

President Robison (who went home June 30th) was working to bring this about while he was our President, and now his efforts have come to fruition with two of the loveliest young ladies you could imagine--Sister Bibi Girdharry from New Amsterdam,
Guyana and Sister Chennell Camejo from Port of Spain, Trinidad. And what a blessing for us to be able to work them in the preparations leading up to today.
Sister Bibi flew from Georgetown, Guyana to Trinidad where Elder Myers and I picked her up at 12:30 and took her to TrinCity to have some lunch.

After lunch we killed some time walking around the mall. We laughed and had a great time as Sister Bibi spotted a beautiful dress in the window of a bridal shop. We both thought it was gorgeous and laughed when I reminded her that she won't need it for two more years. We laughed and joked about it the rest of the afternoon - "in two more years". She doesn't have a boyfriend yet, which is really good, but we had fun laughing about it.

We then headed back to the airport in time to greet her new companion, Sister Camejo, who arrived with her family and her Bishop. It was the sisters' first time to meet, although we had told each of them about the other one, and they were fast friends.

Once we got Sister Camejo checked in for the flight, she and I rejoined the group and had a good time meeting every one and laughing.

Sister Camejo's mother, however, was crying and very sad. Sister Camejo is the youngest of nine children and the last one at home. So you can see why her mom would have a hard time letting her go. Especially because she is not a member of the church. But she has promised her daughter that she will go to church every Sunday while her daughter is serving her mission.

When Mrs. Camejo sat down in the seats along the windows to wait for them to leave for the gate,
Sister Bibi went over and sat next to her, put her arm around her, and told her she would take good care of her daughter. It was so touching that Sister Bibi
could be so sensitive to the needs of someone she had just met.

Finally the time came to send
them on to their gate to catch their flight to Panama City and then on to Santa Domingo. Neither sister had flown before today, so this was all new
to them. I coached them as best I could and gave them written
instructions in case they forgot what I told them.

They were laughing and waiving as they walked through the doors to the international gates. Two absolutely delightful young ladies.

It's days like this that make working in the mission office an absolute joy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Baby Hunter is Born!

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

Cookie Monsters!

We had the most wonderful time this week with the Zone Leader Council held here in Trinidad. All the upcoming zone leaders flew in for a few days of training, and we had the pleasure of hosting six of them in our home. They were absolutely delightful!

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

Fun in the Office

We work really hard at the office to keep everything running in the mission. One of the great joys of my job is to work with all the new missionaries coming to the field as well as the local missionaries from our mission who apply for their missions. Some of these "local" missionaries, as we call them, are actually called to serve in the West Indies Mission. Then we get to enjoy them for the next two years.

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

Confession. Shhhh . . . don't tell Daniel and Ben!!

Can you keep my secret? What I didn't put in the previous post about how excited we were to get a gift of cookies (homemade by the boys, I'm sure!) and candy is the fact that those items didn't actually arrive, but the box did!

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!!
So the note cards are in my desk drawer and I've actually used one or two. They're actually kind of cute. The sleep pants were given to a girl in the church. (The locals here think it gets cold at night or when it rains . . . we think it just cools down.) And the lip plumping kit went in the trash.

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 Beauty of the Children in the West Indies

We continue to be struck by the absolute beauty of the children here in the West Indies! Some of our recent photos from both Trinidad and Guyana make it easy to see why they just steal our hearts away.

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!

A Wonderful Mother's Day!

What a glorious day it was! Beautiful flowers sent by our children filled the house with the sweet smell of lilies and we got to talk on the phone to several of them. We attended church in our little Couva Ward where we're now serving where the Primary children passed out wrapped gifts to all the mothers.

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

Time to Change the Header . . . Again!

The banner at the top of this blog has progressed from awaiting our mission call, to getting the call to the West Indies Mission, to going to the MTC, then Guyana, then Trinidad. And now it's time for me to alter it once again because on or about June 26, 2009 we get to . . .

Return to Guyana!

And we are oh, so excited! Our replacements, the Handly's, will come to Trinidad about June 15th where we'll spend a couple of weeks training them and walking through a transfer week with them. Then we'll be on our way back to Guyana, not to Rose Hall where we were previously, but about a 20-minute drive from there in Canje. The little house we've rented is on the public road in the Canje area in a village called "Palmyra Village".

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

To Daniel and Ben!

What a surprise!

Daniel and Ben have been cooking up a storm for some hungry missionaries!

Thank you, boys, for such a great surprise and a fun gift.

Elder Myers and I were so, so happy to get your gift in the mail. Can you see the mail boxes behind me? Your box wouldn't even fit in the mailbox so they called me in to the mail room to pick it up. Boy, was I surprised!

We just love getting packages from home. Getting one from two great boys in Grapevine, Texas was such a great surprise and we appreciate it so much. Maybe some day when you are on a mission, we can bake some cookies to send to you!

Thank you for being such great boys and remembering Elder and Sister Myers far away in the West Indies Mission!

We love you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What a Great Surprise!

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!

Introducing Beverly from Linden, Guyana

We were visiting a new area in Linden, Guyana last week where we’re just starting a new branch. It's a beautiful area about an hour and a half from the capitol city, Georgetown, going toward the interior. The city is referred to as "the gateway to the interior" and is highlighted by rolling hills and trees.

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

Missionary Families

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.

The family, Mom Kellie, Dad Don, Brother Bo, and Grandparents, Brother and Sister Hill, had a great time there and spending a few days in Barbados. They spent last night again with us and we totally enjoyed them.  That's them along with Elder Myers as they were preparing to leave this morning for their trip back to Idaho. Hopefully we'll get to see them there in about 16 months.

Getting to host missionaries and families in our home is one of the great parts of being here at the office. Oh, how we love these missionary families!!! And the Dayton's are the greatest!!

Missionaries Don't Get Holidays . . .

. . . but in the Caribbean, any excuse for a holiday is used. Sometime, like during Carnival, there are no declared holidays but people just don't go to work. So in essence, Carnival IS a holiday since none of the businesses can run.

Today is Good Friday - a great day for a holiday. Hopefully some of the people will celebrate the real reason for this holiday, but even the people in our own church just plan regular services. The difference is that on Monday - yes, another holiday: Easter Monday - there are big parties and celebrations. 

Then next week most of the stores in our shopping plaza and other malls will be closed because "traffic will be bad".  The Summit of the Americas will be held here Friday through Sunday with 35 heads of state attending. At our meeting at the US Embassy, we were told that Obama and "1,000 of his closest friends" will be in Port of Spain. Judging by his recent visit to Europe, that number seems about right. . . 1,000 friends, family, security, speech writers, hair dressers, costume designers, etc. plus 12 pairs of teleprompters. 

And how do they handle this? There are two highways in Trinidad. One goes east and west, the other goes north and south and forms a "T" where it dumps into the east-west highway in the north part of the island near Valsayn.  It's that east-west highway that runs from the airport to Port of Spain where the Summit will be held. So how do they handle 35 heads of state and their group of essential friends? They close down one side of the divided highway and make all the traffic that normal congests the six lanes use only three lanes, one going west and two going east. 

We know this because they've been "practicing" shutting down half the highway from the airport to Port of Spain. Duh! You have to practice shutting down a highway multiples times to see if it will work? And they've practiced shutting down the area around the Hyatt Regency just to see if they could do it! Such a stupid waste of time for all the Trinidadians!

We're told there will be ships offshore where some of the dignataries will stay because, for example, Hugo Chavez from Venezuela will not stay near Obama so he has his own cruise ship to stay on in the port.  Oh, the maturity of these world leaders!!

So the stores will close on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday because "traffic will be heavy" for the workers getting to work. 

Like I said, any excuse for a holiday and they take it!  But, as you can see from our parking lot (above), it makes it easy for us to go home for lunch and be able to get a parking space when we come back.  And we like that.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Silly, Silly Elder Cottam

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!!

Transfer Time

WOW!! This transfer was unbelievable! I really wondered if the office staff was going to survive it. Now that sounds pretty dramatic, but it was pretty dramatic. We slept a few hours each night. We moved 69 Elders, 49 of whom had to have plane tickets to fly to another country.

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.

Comings and Goings

One of the difficult parts of serving a mission is all the "hellos" and "goodbyes". A couple of weeks ago the Collins, who have been in the office since before we got here and who have become good friends, made a move to St. Lucia. They are one of the couples we helped to recruit for the mission before we even left home. They arrived just a week before us, although we were in Guyana and they started in St. Vincent. Now they're happily enjoying the island life in St. Lucia where there are two couples on the island.

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.
(from left to right: Elder Myers, Sister Myers, Sister Collins, Elder Collins, Sister Lingren and Elder Lingren)

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!!
Last Sunday we taught our last teacher development lesson in the Curepe Ward. Starting next Sunday we'll be assigned to the Couva Ward. This was such a fun group to teach and they loved learning more enlightening ways to teach the gospel. In addition to Brother and Sister Seenath, Brother Anthony Jordan, and Brother and Sister Paltou (all pictured) was Sister Alicia Ningwah who couldn't attend that day.

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.