Sunday, December 22, 2013

Final Mission Entry

Dear Family,
We made the trip home on Friday, December 19th.  It was a memorable trip home.  We rose from our beds in Guyana at 1:30 am so that we could make it to the airport and board the plane by 5:00 am.  We really did not get much sleep, because we were too excited about leaving on time.  Everything when well on the trip to the airport and making it through customs as we departed Guyana.
The first flight from Guyana to Trinidad was perfect.  No hitches.  We stayed on the same plane from Trinidad to Florida and traded seats with someone so that we could sit together.  When we arrived in Miami, we had 4 hours of wait time before boarding the plane to Dallas, Texas, so we had plenty of time to make it through the US customs and get some lunch to eat. 
We were a bit concerned about the second flight, because we would have less than one hour to be on the third plane from Dallas to Salt Lake City, but as it turned out, we had plenty of time.  When we arrived at Dallas, we took a skyride to our gate and found lots of people waiting for the flight.  The weather in Salt Lake City was bad.  There was lots of snow in the runway and an airplane had slid off the runway earlier in the day.  Soooo, our flight was delayed.   We were supposed to board at 6:40 PM, but we ended up boarding around 8:30 pm.
It was an interesting wait.  Within a few minutes after arriving at the gate, a young woman addressed us as Elder and Sister Beutler.  She was also a returning missionary coming from Brazil.  Her original flight in the morning had been cancelled and she was one of the lucky few to get a seat on our flight.  A few minutes later we met four missionaries returning from Finland.  Then to our surprise, someone called out, hello, Uncle Melvin and Aunt Carol.  It was Amber Beutler, Uncle Mark's granddaughter, returning from Italy.  She was with two other sister misisonaries and I don't know how many other elders from her mission.  After talking to her we saw more missionaries coming home from Denmark.  We were the only couple, but turned out to be 26 other young missionaries all going to Salt Lake City on our flight. 
One interesting thing that happened at about 8:15 was that the airport gate people told us that it might be hours before we could leave Dallas, so we might want to reschedule and find a hotel for the night.  Immediately, 5 elders moved of to the side and formed a circle and had a group prayer.  Within 5 minutes, they began loading, saying that the runway in Salt Lake City was now clear.
Dad and I slept most of the final flight home, since we had been awake for 20 hours by now.  The greeting at the airport was overwhelming.  There were literally hundreds of people there waiting for their missionaries.  As we walked through the roped off aisle with people on both sides,  we immediately say Mark and Joyce and their family waiting for Amber.  Then we saw Esther, Deborah, Jared, and Eve and their familes.  They made the cutest sign with markers and balloons, welcoming us home.  It was a great time. 
Since the roads were pretty snowy, we had Jared take us to Jacob's home to sleep.  It was fun to see Jacob and Abi and thier children and the new baby girl, Camille.  Then, the next morning Deborah took us to Eve's house for a tour and some lunch.  Finally, we made it home that Friday afternoon, for a good long night's sleep. 
We were too tired to do much Friday evening, but in the morning it was fun to go through the house opening up drawers and cabinets just to see what we had there.  After living with two suitcases each for the last 18 months,  it was like Christmas to see all the treasures we had in our own home. 
We will ever be grateful for the bounteous blessings of the gospel and wonderful friends we made in Guyana.   Our mission has changed our lives forever!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Our Last Week in Guyana

Dear Family,

This has been a fun week.  We continue to marvel at the faithfulness of some of the members who live in some really challenging circumstances. On of them is Sister Griffeth.  She has been a member for at least 10 years.  Last month, her husband of 17 years left her for  another woman, and she has simply carried on.  She gets up at 4:00 AM to make food for a stand where her daughter sells it.  Usually they are sold out by about 11:00 AM because she is a really good cook and her prices are right. She makes about 50 dollars a day, 6 days a week.  Which is about 4 times as much as the majority of the people make in a day.   

Well, a few weeks ago, Dad and the elders quorum president organized a work party to go to her home and do some repairs on her home.  She is tearing down one house to build another.  She did not have a good foundation in the first home.  She did not have enough lumber to build the second home from the old one and she did not have any good zinc to cover the roof, so she has been literally living with no roof over her head for weeks.

The men in the branch have been working on Saturdays to get the work done and the rainy season has been pretty bad for the past two weeks.  I am amazed at her attitude.  At the branch Christmas talent show, not only did she help prepare the dinner, she also sang "O Holy Night" for her talent.  

Then, today when we went to visit one of the shut-ins to take the Sacrament there, she and two friends were already visiting them there.  What a great sister.  It is one of the faithful few who are going to make the church grow through their examples and kindness.

Today, Dad and I had the chance to share our testimonies in church one last time. Later, I went to Primary and basically did the whole sharing time because the Primary president was there alone and she had done the lesson and opening exercises all by herself.  I read over the sharing time lesson which suggested that I play a few measures of several primary songs and have the children guess which song I was playing and then tell what the message in the song said about how to prepare to return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  

Then for singing time, I had the children divide up and draw pictures of the words to the Christmas song "Picture a Christmas".  They only had colored chalk, but  they did an excellent job of drawing the pictures and then singing the song by looking at the pictures they drew.  The time went by so quickly that I couldn't believe that it
was closing time so soon.

Well,  I am thinking that the Beutler family Christmas party is set for 1:00 PM on Saturday, December 28th.  If that is acceptable to everyone we will plan that way. I expect to hear from Amy about when she will be making her Christmas call and those who are close can skype with her, probably on Christmas Eve around 7:00 PM if it is like last year.

By the way, Amy, when you said that you thought your release date was about the 23rd of February, I wondered if you meant January.  From my calculations it should be the end of January when you return home, unless you extended without telling your mother about it.

Well, time to go say goodbye to some of the people we have grown to love.  We will be home tonight in about 3 1/2  hours if anyone wants to skype with us then. 

Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cleaning Up and Fixing Up

Dear family,

This week,  I spent a couple of days giving our apartment a good cleaning while Dad was at the elders apartments with the new service missionaries fixing plumbing and electrical problems with the elders.
I washed walls, windows and curtains one day, and cleaned and organized the kitchen and living room cabinets the next day.  We also had quite a few papers we needed to go through and sort or throw away, things that we don't need to pass on to the other senior couples. 

It is kind of a bitter sweet experience, getting ready to go home.  While we are really excited to see our family, we wonder if we have done enough and worry for the Guyanese people, if they will be able to strengthen themselves and their branches enough to grow into really productive units.

Today, we went to Linden branch and spoke in church about unity and love within the branch.  It was fun to say goodbye to the children. They always give us big hugs, and they like to examine my hair, because they think that it is not real, that I am wearing a wig.  

We stayed there until 5:00 pm because one of the investigators was baptized in the river.  She is a security guard and she had to wait to get off work until 5:00 to come to the baptism.  It was great.

With all of the excitement of having the new baby last week, we did not ask how everyone else is doing.  Amy, we wondered if you have been given a release date yet.  Also, we wondered about the Christmas call.  Who is the senior couple now in you area, and will they contact us on email to get our skype address, so that we can all talk to you.

Jared, we haven't talked to you on skype for a while.  Give us a call.  

I will send this off now so that you get it in time to respond. 

Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,

This will be our last newsletter to our friends from Guyana.  This past month has really flown by with training a Guyanese couple to take our place in the office as part time service missionaries.  The sister took time last week to get our her own Christmas decorations and she has cleaned and decorated the office to look more like a home that an office. That is great. The Elders will love it.

During the past month we have spent quite a bit of time with a humanitarian service project with the 6 lions clubs in Georgetown.  They were recipients of a container of clothes, hygiene kits, school kits, shoes, and quilts.  As part of the project we purchased flannel and hemmed 500 baby blankets, and purchased the supplies for newborn kits. 

Yesterday, we and some of the members helped about 40 of the Lions club members assemble the 500 kits.  It was great to be a part of it and see how dedicated they are to improving the lives of their fellow Guyanese members.

Today we attended fast and testimony meeting in the Demerara branch. It has been such a privilege to be able to hear the members bear their testimonies.  Most of them are still new converts and only a few of the young children can say that they have been born in the church. 

A few years ago, there were many people who joined the church because they learned about the material things that the church could give to them. Then after finding out about the commitments they would have to make, they left. 

Now the converts seem to realize more the spiritual blessings of the gospel and they are stronger and better members because they have a desire to give back.  It would not surprise me to see a stake soon and maybe even a temple here.

For those of you who do not already know, we will be returning to Dayton on December 19th, and we will speak in church on December 29th, along with Wesley and Roxane's son, Jordan, who is returning from his Ukraine mission. We would love to see all of you there.  

Love, Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Taking Care of the Missionaries

Dear family,

This was transfer week and most of the time, we were busy taking care of the missionaries.  On Monday, we spent all day inspecting apartments and finding out what needs they had.  One set of missionaries had a fridge that hasn't worked for the whole transfer, and we didn't even know it.  Besides that, their iron was broken and the microwave, and they even needed another fan for the apartment.  They were Guyanese missionaries and they just don't complain, just make do.
On Tuesday, we gave the missionaries a pizza party after their zone meeting, since it will be our last Transfer week before we go home.  

We took two elders to the airport and brought three new ones in on Wednesday and Friday.  We spent 5 hours at the airport on Wednesday, picking up church materials which had been sent through DHL global forwarding.  We did that once before and it is a real hassle getting it out of hock. We paid 250 dollars US to retrieve all of the goods.  

Then, yesterday, I spent the morning making rolls and pies for our Monday Thanksgiving day dinner with the elders.

We love our replacements, the Surujbands.  They spent Friday cleaning up the office.  They washed the rugs, curtains, windows and floors, besides moving things around to make the office easier to use.  They are going to be great with the missionaries, too.  l just hope they don't burn themselves out, trying to keep up at the office and at home.

I don't have much else to tell you, this week. We love you and hope that you all have a great Thanksgiving.  If you go to Idaho, Deborah and Jared, feel free to hang some Christmas lights in the yard.

Love, Mom

Mary, send our love to Bishop Atkinson as he goes in for heart surgery.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baptisms and Ballgames

Dear family,

Yesterday was a great day.  We went to the Diamond branch to attend a baptism for O'Neil Welcome, a 12 year old boy who joined the church without the support of his family.  His mother attended church a few times, but not recently, and she didn't come to the baptism.  Those are the kind of baptisms which I wonder why they were performed.  Rarely does the child stay active because he has no family support.

After the Diamond baptism, we went to the Demerara branch to a baptism for two sisters.  Their father baptized them.  He has only been a member for 2 months and his wife is taking the lessons and says she will soon follow.  The couple is about Jacob and Abi's age and they have 4 daughters.  That is the kind of baptisms which I like to see, the whole family and a father who is worthy to do the baptizing.

Last night, we were tuned in to the West Side semi-final football game against Firth.  I was busy hemming some pants for a couple of the missionaries, but I did see the West Side boy run down the entire field to even up the score 18 to 18, and I did see the very last play in overtime when West Side scored their final touch-down. 

It was great to hear the announcer give the shout outs from people all over the country, (including ourselves).   It was a fun reminder of what a great group of people we have lived among for the past 33 years. I didn't get as much sewing done as I planned but it was worth it to enjoy some wholesome recreation with Dad.

Speaking of sewing, on Friday, the last piece of flannel was sewn up into a baby blanket.  I think that there were about 520 blankets sewn all together.  It was a fun project to get together with all six branches in the district and get them finished.  Now we just have to coordinate with the local Lion's club to get them assembled into newborn kits for new babies.

We are starting to get that panicky feeling about all the things that we will have to leave undone when we go.  Being attached to 4 branches, we are going to have a hard time saying goodbye to them all.  I kept hoping that some of them would get good music leaders in Primary and we have only seen that happen in two of the branches.  Maybe they will be called to district music callings and they can train others.

Becky, we hope that you are feeling better after last week's flu,  and Abi, we are hoping that you can go another week with your pregnancy. 

Amy, we are praying that you are having great experiences with your companion and your new area.  We will enjoy a conversation with you at Christmas, where we can see you on our home computer in Dayton,  Oh, I am starting sound trunky!

Love to all of you,  Mom and Dad

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We Expect That November Will Fly By

Dear Family,

It is only the 10th of November, but we are so busy that we expect the month to feel like a week.  We are in the middle of completing a humanitarian project with the members in the Georgetown district and the Bel-Air Lions club of Georgetown. 

They received a truck load of humanitarian supplies, including school kits, hygiene kits, clothes, shoes, and quilts to be distributed to the poor.  We are hemming 500 flannel baby blankets and putting together 500 newborn kits as the service project that goes along with it.

We expect to be helping women sew for the next 3 or 4 days and then organize a day when they can come together to put together the kits. It is one of those "this too shall pass" weeks.  

Aaron, I was so sad to read of the devastation in the Philippines.  It makes you wonder how those poor people will build their country back up.  We would really worry about the good members of the church and hope that they will pull together as branches and wards to help each other.

Congratulations on being the new mayor.  I was kind of sad to see that Mike Thompson didn't make it again as councilman.  I hope that you have a good group who are willing to work together to continue to improve the town.

Yesterday was a fun diversion from the usual Elder concerns.  We went with our branch president and his wife to a resort area about a 45 minute drive from Georgetown with 8 young men for a day of activity.  

The young men went swimming, played basketball, and had a short fireside, where we talked to them about showing respect for young women and staying morally clean so that they could be faithful husbands and fathers.  

It was a relaxing time for us and we enjoyed hearing the young men talk and mingle with each other.  We were happy to see that the older boys were good to the younger ones the whole day.

We are really relieved to see that the new service missionaries who we are training to take our place are learning well and doing their best to understand their new assignments.  They understand Guyana and how to deal with the problems which may come their way.

Abi, we hope that you are still doing alright with less that 5 weeks to go. We hope that you can make it until Thanksgiving. Becky write and tell us about Deborah's visit and what you all did. 

We enjoyed seeing the grandchildren in their Halloween costumes, and we enjoyed Samuel's pictures with the beautiful fall colors in the mountains.  I did not even get hay fever like I usually do when I go to the mountains to see the fall colors.

Esther,  I hope that you and Deborah are having a great time.  

Amy, let us know how the typhoon treated you in Pohnpei.  We did not read of any damage there.  We hope that is true.  

Love to all.  Mom and Dad