Sunday, December 30, 2012

Pictures of Our Christmas Party

Dear Family,
As you can see by the forwarded pictures, we spent Christmas Eve day partying with the Elders and then on Christmas day afternoon, we helped them skype home to their families. The bottom photo is a picture of three of the four couples serving in Guyana.  The Beechers live upstairs and the Summers, the ones in the middle of the photo live in Linden.  They are going home from their mission at the end of February, and we don't know if there will be a couple to replace them or not.
It was really fun to have time to visit with Amy and all of the children in the one big skype call that Aaron set up on Christmas Eve.  I hope Amy, that you didn't get too homesick talking to everyone.   
One of the things that really surprised us at the Christmas Eve party was when the Elders started laying our ties to trade. They must have had atleast 100 ties that they layed out on a table and each missionary picked the ones he wanted to use.  I don't know how often they do that, but there were sure some pretty ties for them to pick from.

Amy, I forgot to ask you about your apartment in Kolonia.  You still haven't described it you us.  Is it bigger than the one you had in the jungle area?  It was good to meet your companion on the skype call.  Take good care of each other.  I was happy to hear also that you are using the language still. 

To the rest of the family, have a wonderful New Years Eve party tomorrow.  We love you and miss you.  Love Mom and Dad

PS Mayara, it was good to read your email, too.  We hope that you are having a good holiday and that life is going well for you, too.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Week Before Christmas

Dear family,

This week we did all of our usual work in the office, took a missionary to the airport to go home to Salt Lake City,  and had our Wednesday and Thursday piano nights.

I was running a slight fever for most of the week, so I wasn't working quite as well as usual, but by Friday I was feeling like Dad and I should have some stress free time to buy something for each other for Christmas.  So, off we went to the middle of the city to look.  I thought that I wanted some new running shoes and I wanted to buy Dad a new drill.  We looked for over 2 hours and the price for shoes was over 100 US dollars.  I just couldn't get myself to spend that much money for shoes.  The drill was expensive too.  

After two hours of shopping we came home with a new wooden broom handle, a watermelon, some cucumbers, some tomatoes, and bora(which is a Guyanese vegetable that is similar to green beans).  Then we came home and watched "It's a Wonderful Life".  It was really a nice evening for me, even if we didn't get each other presents.

Then on Saturday, I spent the morning making rolls, banana bread, and pumpkin bread to feed the young Elders for our Christmas Eve party tomorrow.  Dad went with the Elders to close up an apartment which we quit renting, unless we are able to get more elders in Guyana.

Now this Sunday evening, we are really looking forward to speaking with Amy tomorrow and hope to get good reception on the computer, so that we can communicate.  

We love all of you and look forward to seeing you all.  Love, Mom and Dad

PS: Mlssionary wise this has been an eventful week. Last night the Elders assigned to our branch baptised Jean Pierre Antone ________ I spoke at the batismal service and Sister Beutler played the piano. Jean is 17 years old and has the potential of becoming a solid priesthood holder and missionary.

The humanitarian Missionaries are working with a Chaplin from the Church of Christ to remodel an old police acedemy into a community center to teach job skills, self reliance and health/nutrition to community members. I had the opportunity to give him a Book of Mormon. Two days later he called to tell how much he enjoyed read Alma and that it corrisponded very closely with the four Gospels. We have met with him a couple of times and are anxious to where it all ends up. He has a friend that he wants us to meet tomorrow and give a Book of Mormon.

The gospel of Jesus Christ as restored in these last days is true. It's great to serve the Lord full time. Elder Beutler 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Festivities

During the past week we spent several evenings helping prepare our branch for its annual Christmas talent show.  We had practices for it on Tuesday and Friday evening and then the actual show was last
night.  It was interesting to note that it wasn't just the children and young people who participated, but there were lots of adults.  They sang songs without any accompaniment and did skits and dances, too. One of my favorites was a skit from the song,  "There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza, dear Liza.  After play acting the entire song,  Liza looked at the bucket carefully and said,  "Henry, there isn't a hole it this bucket!"

Today is our 41st wedding anniversary.  We have surely had an exciting 41 year adventure together.  This most recent one certainly has stretched our talents and abilities to the limit, but we have been blessed so much to have help from heaven and a wonderful supportive family at home.  

Christmas packages for the elders are beginning to arrive from their families.  We will probably be spending many hours picking them up this week.  We get letters directly in our mailboxes where we live so it is not a hassle to receive letters and cards.  It is just the packages that take so much time.  We were surprised last week when two packages arrived and they did not charge anything for customs.  I wondered if it was because of Christmas.  That was really nice for the Elder.  

We also are sending an Elder home tomorrow to SLC.   He has been a wonderful missionary.  I am sure that for his family, having him come home the week before Christmas will be the best Christmas present ever.  I asked him when he first arrived in Guyana how long it took him to get over being homesick when he came out on his mission.  He simply said, "I still get homesick and I've been out 22 months."  That made me feel a little better about my own bouts with homesickness.  

Last week one of the Guyanese Elders was released from his mission.  He also was probably one of the best young men I have met as a missionary.  There hasn't been any called from Guyana recently, but there are several, including young sisters who are now putting in their papers to go.  It will be interesting to see how many are called to serve in their homeland.  We all keep praying that the government will lift their restriction on only allowing 20 foreign missionaries in the country, so that there will be enough to have a set of elders for every branch.

I would like to add a sentence or two. I feel like am adjusting to the fact that I am not a young full time proselyting missionary but have many other administrative responsibilities that take the majority of my time. I try to organize so I do have some time to proselyte. Most of the contacting I do is with people with whom I do mission business or people I meet while standing in lines waiting to pay bills or cash checks. Amy(Sister Beutler) I see a great need for missionaries to gain the confidence of branch leaders and members and work with family members who are not yet baptized. So the family as a whole can support one another and  become strong members of the branch.

Here in Guyana the family unit as I remember as a child is basically non existent. Most all families are from two or three fathers and a goodly number have no father in the home. It is so important we teach the youth to stay morally clean and prepares to be a righteous father or mother in Zion. Strong Primaries, Young men, and Young women programs are vital to turning around the decayed society. Society can be turned around through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I am so grateful to my parents who taught us by precept and example. What a great heritage to be blessed with and what a great heritage to carry on. 

I truly enjoy missionary work. It is very rewarding to see people truly try to live the gospel. Some of our members have been tested by fire and passed the test. they are wonderful examples to me.

I miss all of you at home and wish you a merry, merry Christmas.

Elder and Sister Beutler
 PS Ivan we continue to pray for you and hope that you make a good recovery from the surgery last week.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Activities

Dear children and grandchildren,

This week we spent the majority of our free time helping the landlord of one of the missionary apartments fix it up so that it was more liveable for the elders.  There were several holes in the wood floor where mice could come in and several of the fixtures needed to be replaced, the kitchen faucet, bathroom shower head, toilet screws, water filter hose, etc.  It was a huge project but it is looking much better and hopefully will be a healthier apartment to live in now.  
Last night we were invited to attend the Demerara branch talent show and Christmas party.  It was really quite amazing.  There were atleast 30 individuals or groups who participated.  The cultural diversion of the branches here is quite amazing.  The people performed hindu dances, african spiritual dances, sang soul music, did rap dancing, and read some great poetry.  One talented man dressed up as a Jamaican beggar and gave a humorous speak in Jamaican Creole about why he was a beggar, it was all his country's fault.  We were asked to do a number, so Dad played "Danny Boy" on his harmonica and then I sang while he played "Oh Susanna" and "When it's Springtime in the Rockies"   I was surprised when most of the people joined in the chorus of "Oh Susanna"   with me.  They know that one.

The branch served Chicken Curry and Roti (a flat pastry like bread)  after the entertainment.  I didn't feel very well in the middle of the night and I wondered if it was the food.  But I am okay now.  So if it was food poisoning, it was a very mild case.  

Today we attended the Demerara branch to witness the confirmation of our converts, Paul and Carla.  It was good to be there with them.  They have the potential of being really good members of the church.  Well, not much left to say to you.  Our branch is having its talent show this Saturday and they want us to participate there also. If any of you have any suggestions for us please let us know.  Love Mom and Dad

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rain and Robbery

This week the rainy season started in earnest.  It wasn't too bad until Friday morning when the power was off from 4:00 am until about 6:30 am.  You need to realize that similar to Holland, Guyana is below sea level and the land was reclaimed from the sea by Hollanders 200 years ago.   They created a  great drainage system and built an amazing sea wall that is still in use today.  Unfortunately, not all of the people in Georgetown keep their ditches clean so it doesn't always drain like it should.  Our system in Lamaha Gardens is drained by an electric pump which works great as long as the power is on.
Well, On Friday morning the rain just poured down and our area flooded all over the roads and into many yards because the power was off, so the pump wasn't working for a couple of hours.  We have some cement build up around the house so we didn't get rain into the house, but our yard and driveway were flooded.  We took a walk in the middle of it and drenched ourselves in water up to our ankles.  That was a pretty dumb thing to do, because the water in the ditches is pretty polluted with sewage. 

What has that to do with robbery?  We, it seems that in the middle of that rainy night, someone decided to climb over our fence and steal our two white lounge chairs.  That had to be quite a task for them, since the circular barbed wire had to be cut and they had to wade through the ditch behind our fence to get to our yard in the first place.  We had other things in our yard which were more valuable but they were not touched, like Elder Beutler's running shoes and our garden equipment.  It just seemed like a lot of trouble for someone to go through just to get two $5 lounge chairs.  I  couldn't help but think that thieves have to live in fear all of their lives.  Ironically, I reread Elder  Robert C. Gay's conference talk, entitled "What Shall a Man Give in Exchange for His Soul?" the next day.  

Today, Elder Beutler was able to baptize two people, Paul and Carla Ramsaywack.  We met them on a ferry on the way home from Suriname last month.  They are in their early fifties and have a daughter and her two children living with them.  The grandchildren love going to Primary and their daughter is a beautiful little mother who is trying to put her life together after having been in an abusive marriage for several years.  It has been so rewarding to know them.  They have a lot of compassion and love to give to others.

One of the real rewards which we have discovered here is that there are so many people who are so unselfish with their means.  They are people who don't have a lot but they share what the have with us.  There is an auto-mechanic who also has a small dairy.  When we have him fix one of the mission cars, he always gives us some of his raw milk from his dairy.  There is another family who owns a bakery.  We buy treats there sometimes and she always puts rolls or a loaf of bread in the bag for us to share with the elders. One last example,  we had a tire that was almost flat and a taxi driver past us on the road and stopped us to tell us that it was flat.  Then a bus driver had us follow him to the nearest tire repair shop to get it fixed.  That was a real sacrifice of time for those people who are usually in such a big hurry to get their customers where ever they need to go on time.  So we are finding many friends in our little corner of the mission here.

Amy,  we hope that you are making your adjustment to your new area quickly.  With Christmas coming soon, we hope that you make lots of good contacts to share the gospel with during the season.  We love all of you and hope that you have a great month of celebrating with your families and friends.  Love from Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

Dear Family,
We have spoken to many of you already on skype this week  It was so fun to see you all and hear about how you celebrated Thanksgiving.  We served dinner for the 12 elders on Tuesday after their district planning meeting, and then we got together with the other three couple missionaries on Thanksgiving for dinner.  It helped us not be homesick for the traditional family dinner.  Amy, did you even realize that it was Thanksgiving.  Do the people of Guam celebrate it?  What is your mailing address going to be when you are transfered to the city?
We taught piano on Thursday and planted a garden at the beginning of the week.  We also attended the baptism of one of the 9 year olds whose family we are fellowshipping in the Georgetown branch.  I don't know why his Dad didn't baptize him, since he is a member but we were glad that he did finally get baptized.  

We don't have a lot to say this week,  but hope that all of you have a healthy Christmas season.  We have sure been blessed abundantly with good health on this mission.  
 Love to all, Mom and Dad

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Visit from Deborah and Jared

Dear family,
We have had a really fun busy week with Deborah and Jared.  We picked them up at the airport on Sunday morning and they made it in time to hear the last of our Primary Sacrament Meeting Presentation and go to Sunday School and Relief Society.  They were both really tired from the night flight, so I don't know how much they got our of the meetings, but the members enjoyed meeting them.
On Monday morning at 4:00 pm we were up and on our way to Lethem, to the interior of of Guyana.  There is a member here, brother Charles, who grew up in Lethem who drove us there in his van.  He claims that his heritage is part African and part Amerindian.  He and his sisters and mother are members of the church in the last 3 years.  His father died when he was about 11 years old.
He was an interesting guide because he knew the area so well.  As we were traveling through the rain forest area he said that he never stops in that area because the rainforest is full of criminals who are running from the law, men from the United States and Canada.  He said that if you stop to help someone, they might hold you up and take everything you have.  That put a little fear in my heart.  I kept on thinking, "Please car, don't break down here!"

After we arrived in Lethem, we visited some Amerindian villiages and saw people who seemed to live quite well without electricity for fuel and other appliances.  They had a stone fireplace for doing their cooking and they washed their clothes with river water.  I wondered if they ever got sick drinking the water.  I didn't see any filtered water there. 

On Tuesday evening, Brother Charles introduced us to his grandmother who is 89 years old, and get this, she is taking care of her mother who is "getting too old" to take care of herself.  I asked how old the great grandmother was and he said that they weren't sure because she didn't have a birth certificate, but the country had assigned her a birth year of 1905 so she was 107 years old.  She was a tiny withered little lady, but she was still sitting in her chair and walking with the help of a walker.  I had never met anyone that old before.

After coming home on Wednesday afternoon the rest of the week was pretty uneventful.  We just did catch-up office work and visited the city library, museum, and zoo.  On Thursday evening Deborah and Jared helped some of our Georgetown piano students with their music.  The young people enjoyed visiting them and telling them about their lives.

Yesterday, Jared helped Melvin at the office and Deborah did some sewing for me.  It was kind of like they were taking care of us instead of the other way around.   In the evening, we took Jared and Deborah to visit three families who we are trying to fellowship.  We were happy to see all three families at church today.  

We dropped them off at the airport this morning and I cried for a while after they left.  I understand why parents are told not to visit their missionaries while they are serving their missions.  Elder Beutler reminded me they I still had him and that he would take care of me.  So now We are back to life on the mission again and ready to go again. 
Love from Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Visit from Jared and Deborah

We were really excited this week because Deborah and Jared were coming to visit.  We expected them on Thursday morning but their connecting flight in New York was cancelled due to a bad winter storm, so they ended up coming this morning and are staying a couple of days longer until next Sunday morning.  It was so good to get them here.  We are planning to take a three day trip to the interior  of Guyana.  One of the members here is Amerindian and has relatives in the interior and he knows his way around pretty well so he is going to take us there.  We hope that the office and the elders can survive for a few days without us.
We worked really hard during the past three days making sure the office work was finished so that we could leave.  This week has been a good one.  We have a few more people interested in learning the piano.  My hope is that some of them will actually progress enough to be able to play hymns for church by the time that we leave here.  You can imagine my surprise and pleasure when Jared and Deborah opened a box with three keyboards in it that had been given to them for us to use with the members. Eve and Nathan, please thank Jenny and Matthew for being one of the donors.  That will be a great gift to the members here.  Also I was so pleased to see the piano books from Jacob and Aneesa.  They are perfect.  What a nice present from all of you.  

Deborah also brought a refurbished sewing machine for me to use for sewing and repair things.  Dad is joking that I am going to set up housekeeping so well that I will never leave Guyana.  I can assure you that it will never happen.  As much as I enjoy homemaking activities, my greatest love is and always will be our own family and the gospel that unifies and brings us all together.

One of the highlights of this month was going into Primary and being able to help the children practice the songs for the Sacrament Meeting Presentation.  They sang and did their scriptures and talks this morning and they sounded really good.  There are some really great children here in the branch.

Amy, we pray for you every day and hope that you are having success and that your testimony is growing in leaps and bounds as you teach the gospel to the people in Pohnpei.  

Love to all of you from  Mom and Dad

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Transfer week was horrendous

What started out as a well organized week turned into a challenging one pretty quickly.  We started out on Monday doing the weekly financial report and inspecting missionary apartments. Things went well as planned that day.
Then on Tuesday, we went to check on an apartment that the elders left empty in September, to make sure that it was livable for the new ones coming in this transfer.  It was a mess.  The other senior couple volunteered to help clean it up and the 4 of us worked for a couple of hours to get it ready for the new elders.  That will never happen again.  Next transfer we will make sure that every apartment is inspected to see that it is clean and ready for the next set of elders.  
On Wednesday, we had 7 elders coming in to be picked up from the airport.  We had volunteers picking them up and the first 4 made it on time.  But the last three were late.  Two of them were 3 hours later that expected, and the third one didn't make it until the following morning.  Then two of them didn't have their luggage and that didn't arrive until the next afternoon.  

My responsibility was to have meal for them when they came in.  I decided to make chicken soup for the 12 people that were involved, but I ended up serving more like 24 people, so I had to go home and make more soup for the ones that were late, because we ran out with the first group.  We played catch up on Friday because we were running around so much on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  

We had some really nice discussions with a family in the Demerara area.  They consist of a father, mother, daughter and 2 grandchildren who are learning about the church and making some big commitments.  They have not gone to church yet though and so they don't know any members to fellowship them.  We are thinking that maybe the elders need to take branch members to meet them instead of us so that they will feel more comfortable coming to church.

Elder Beutler has been helping in the teachers quorum for the past couple of weeks.  There are some good young men in the branch, but not enough Priesthood leaders to teach them.

Roxane, we enjoyed your letter and all the news from the ward.  I remember meeting your mother's friend and am so happy that she is now a member of the church.  What a great thing for her.  Please send Lisa our love.  I just admire her for continuing to serve as she does.  

This is Elder Beutler speaking. I pray all is well with everyone at home. Amy we especially pray for your health and strength and that you can put your might, mind and strength into missionary work. I sense that is what you are doing. I miss being a full time teaching missionary. It has been hard for me to accept that most of my time is taken up doing office work and supporting the young Elders.I plan to organize my time a little better and get more involved supporting the Georgetown Branch we have been attending. There are 12 to 15 Melchizedek  Priesthood holders but only four or five that are committed to holding a calling that require weekly attendance. There is a real need for support. We have some visiting teaching but very little home teaching. So there is plenty to do.

Roxane, I also enjoyed your letter. I was so pleased when Wesley was called to be the Bishop because he has such a passion for the youth and has high expectations for each of them. The youth need adults who believe in them and expect them to learn to live all the commandments. It is so much easier for youth to walk the straight and narrow path through their teenage years than to stray and then try to come back later. They need all the support they can get to stay on the correct path. Someone needs to be there at every bend and encourage them on their way.(A caring Bishop, a teacher, a friend, a coach, but mostly a parent) There is nothing more important than guiding our youth aright. Wesley, what a great opportunity you have.

Amy, we love you and pray for you.  Love,  Elder and Sister Beutler

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Four Months in Guyana

Dear Family and Friends,
It's been four months yesterday since we arrived in Guyana and so much has happened both here and at home.  We have had two new grandsons, Aaron and Aneesa had a baby boy in September and Esther and Robert had a baby boy just this past week.  Lois and Joel have arrived in the mission field in Kirtland Ohio, and Janet and Blake have a new home in Lewiston. There have been several births and deaths in the Dayton Ward, as well as the reorganization of the Primary Presidency.  We also love hearing about the successes of the West Side Football team, Cross Country team, and  Volleyball teams. Go West Side!  We also loved hearing about the flash mob that Mr. Packer and the student body participated in at the Malad vs West Side game.
Here in Guyana, we have had the experience of closing down 4 missionary apartments this past month, due to a government regulation that only 20 foreign missionaries could reside here at any given time.  For some reason, some of the officials in the government see the LDS church as a threat to them and so we are limited in that way.  In some ways this is a good thing because the Guyanese members are encouraging their own children to go on missions and so if they are called to Guyana, they can fill some of those spots where the missionaries are so badly needed.

Guyana is still so young in the Gospel.  There are many baptized members but not many active members.  Many have not learned how to stay committed so they come for a month or two and then seem to just drift away.  I think that is not too different that the other countries who are just beginning to build a strong membership.  Hopefully the few that stay active will raise a second generation of children who will be totally committed to helping the church to grow here.  When we go to district conference, we do see a strong nucleus of members there.

This past week, we started teaching piano lessons to another branch.  There were 5 people who came to learn.  Not one of them had had any experience at all with the keyboard, so it was really challenging to teach.  Of the five, there was one young man, a recently baptized member, who seemed to have a natural talent for understanding music.  I hope he will keep coming, since he will soon be old enough to serve a mission and he will be able to use his talent there as well as later in whatever branch he goes to.

We also went to visit some of the less active members that our branch president assigned us to home teach for the month. In Guyana, only the less active are visited or those with special needs, because of the lack of Priesthood leaders who are available to home teach. I think that this situation should only be temporary, because I have really felt the strength of good home teachers all of our lives, and I think that active members need those visits as much as the less active do.  I even told a couple of the Priesthood leaders my thoughts, but of course, this is a new concept and Priesthood is limited here.

Elder Beutler had an interesting experience this morning.  He and Elder Beecher went with one of the neighbors to the fishing wharf at 5:00 AM and bought a fresh 22 pound red snapper and brought it home to cut up and freeze.  We shared with the Beechers and ended up with two gallon size bags of fish to eat.  Now I just need to learn how to cook it Guyanese style with the right spices.  Which reminds me,  it is 6:00 pm and I am starving so I will end this letter now.  We love you and miss you all.  Thanks Edna for the cards from the DUP.  It was wonderful to hear from all of my dear friends.  Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Another Week in Guyana

Dear Family,
This has been a good week for us.  We didn't have alot of office work to do after Wednesday, so we had some free time to visit some of the less active families and investigators.  Elder Beutler went on Friday evening to visit a family and together, today, we visited with three families in the branch.  They all have their challenges.  One family has a mother who goes into the interior (jungle) and cooks for the miners for several weeks at a time, until she gets malaria.  Then she returns to Georgetown and recuperates until she is well enough to go again.  She has been a widow for over 15 years and that is the way she provides for her children.  The youngest is in nursing school.  I hope those children appreciate the great sacrifice she is making so that they can be fed and clothed and educated.
I (Carol) was asked to speak in church this week about the blessings of having sacred music in the home.  I talked about the hymns we sang each morning during scripture time and the oppurtunities I've had to learn to sing parts in choir and what a blessing that has been to me.  It was really an easy subject to talk about, because I had so many good experiences with music.  I also quoted a talk that Pres.  Boyd K. Packer gave in 1973 called "Inspiring music, worthy thoughts" and recited the song, "Hum Your Favorite Tune" which was written as a result of that talk.

This week marks the 4th month since we left Idaho for our mission.  Time flies.  We have called Esther everyday this week to see if she is in labor with her baby.  She is probably getting really tired of all the attention, but it does ease the grandmother's mind to be able to skype.  We hope that all of you are doing well.  We look forward to Deborah and Jared's visit in a couple of weeks.
Amy, when is transfer day in your mission?  Ours is on Halloween.  If we send you a letter will you get it.  Do you think that you will be in Pohnpei for your whole mission?
Love from Mom and Dad

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The cultural shock is finally wearing off

Dear Family,
We so much enjoy your letters. It is fun to skype, but the letters are remembered better because we can go back and read them later.

This week we did our office work during the first 3 days of the week and then went to Suriname for the second day to renew our visas again.  The next time we need to leave the country will be in January, and the mission in Trinadad hosts a couple's conference the first week of January, so we will be able to go there to renew the visas.

Suriname is a fun place to visit.  It still has relations with Holland and the people there speak both English and Dutch.  The canals are kept clean and the streets are repaired regularly, so we feel like we have
gone back to Holland when we visit there.  Many of the tourists are Hollanders who have family  in Suriname.  We actually saw more Europeans there than we have in Georgetown, the whole time we have been here.

The reason that we said that the cultural shock is wearing off is that we are starting to pick up some of the customs and language of the Guyanese.  Dad has learned to drive around like a pro on the roads which are crowded with cars, taxis, horse carts, people, and a variety of animals such as cows, horses, goats, mules and tons of dogs.  This place is dog heaven.

We are also learning to say "just now" when someone asks us when we are coming.  "Just Now" means anything from right now to several hours from now to several days from now.  Sunday back means last Sunday, and Sunday next means next Sunday.  

One thing that I don't know if we will ever get used to is the numbers of beggars in Georgetown.  They are often very dirty and unhealthy looking.  It just gives me the creeps when they come to you asking for money.  There was not one beggar in the city of Nickerie in Suriname, but there are beggars on every street corner in Georgetown. We have been counseled as missionaries not to give them money, but it is sure hard to walk away.

Mary thanks for sharing the baby blessing and the deer hunt.  We were glad to hear that so many could get together for Isaac's blessing day.You did not say what church responsibilities Deborah had that kept her in SLC, so Deborah, write and let us know.  Hope everyone is doing well.

Amy, you were right when you said that there would be many more young women going on missions now.  We visited with three eighteen year old young women who are wanting to put in mission papers because they will soon be turning nineteen and want to go as soon as possible. We saw Elder Creech twice this week.  He is doing well. 
Love from Mom and Dad

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Conference Week End

Dear Family,

Wow, being on a mission sure makes you appreciate General Conference.  With the church only 20 years old here in Guyana, it seems like most of the leaders are still learning how to lead and are not prepared to teach others how to lead.  So when we hear the prophets speak, it is wonderful to hear some true doctrine and to get counsel on how to teach these young members.
How did you like President Monson's announcement that 18 year old young men and 19 year old young women could leave for their missions, if they have graduated from their secondary training of school.  We here in Guyana have seen  some of those elders return from their missions who left when they were 18.  In Guyana, the children finish school at age 16 or 17, so they were given permission to leave early on their missions. 

I also enjoyed listening to Elder Oaks talk about child abuse and the evils of people having children and not marrying each other.  That is a real problem here and his talk gave us a great reference to help explain to perspective members why marriage is so important if they want to become members and have celestial family units.

Now it is Sunday night and we had a great day once again listening to the conference speakers.  There were lots of the members of the district that came to the Georgetown district building to watch conference and it was good to see them.  It was kind of like Stake Conference for us.  

Amy, I wondered if you get to watch conference on the satellite station or what.  Becky says that they have the Salt Lake Stations on their TV so they could see it all at home.  Amy, if the girls can now go on missions at age 19, you will soon be the senior sister of your mission.  How would you have liked to do that two years ago? 

Well I will close now.  We have to go to Suriname again this week to renew our visas.  Have a good week all of you children and grandchildren. That  flash mob thing you did sounded so fun.  I hope that we can find a way to see it sometime.  
We love you,  
Mom and Dad. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Three Month Mark Has Passed

Wow I can't believe that we have already been here for three months.  This past month has flown by.  We got a little behind in finances during transfer time and we are just catching up now.  This week has been quite a week.  With Lois and Joel leaving for their mission and Garth in the hospital, we were really concerned about being here and not being able to support them, but we are so relieved that Garth is recovering from his meningitis and lung problems.  Our prayers are with the Palmers as they leave and with Garth and Joyce's family.
Our neighborhood has been having a Guy Expo celebration for the past 4 days.  They actually block off our street at 4:00 pm and only let cars drive in one direction, because the expo is just at the end of our street.  There have been cars and people walking down the street to attend each night.  The Expo is a venders' display, but we understand that it is also a cultural display and there's lots of entertainment and of course drinking and partying.  Some of the members encouraged us to go and see it, but the environment was a little scary.  At 1:00 in the morning we heard an announcer over there saying "Settle down over there or we are going to call the police".  Enough said!

We decided to go to the country side in Linden yesterday to a branch party and get out of Georgetown for a few hours.  It was fun to just mingle with the members in that area and enjoy the peace and quiet.  They have quite a few young people in their branch who performed skits.  The young people are natural born actors and dancers (no inhibitions there).  They were so fun to watch.

Blaine,  we really enjoy your newsletters and pictures that you send so regularly.  It makes us feel more connected with everyone.  Thanks for doing that.  We do miss the mountains and the fun hikes we used to take every summer.  

We are actually taking a trip to the Kaieteur Falls tomorrow.  The other senior couples have been planning this trip for months and it is finally going to happen.  We take a small 1 hour plane ride across the interior of Guyana and then hike a trail to the falls.  They are the longest free falling waterfalls in the world.  Certainly a sight to behold while we are here.  That will probably be our only tour while we are here in Guyana.  We will have to work twice as hard the rest of the week to make up for the 6 hour trip.

Love to all of you  Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Things are Breaking Down!

This has been a really busy week for us. Last Saturday morning the Humanitarian couple, Elder and Sister Cook, who lived in the downstairs apartment moved out to Suriname to do projects there for the next 4 months, so we decided to move into their apartment.  It is only half the size of the upstairs, but it has a nice outdoor area with two storage sheds and it is  easier to keep cool. 
On Thursday, we picked up the new couple missionaries,  Elder and Sister Beecher, who are taking over the PEF and Employment responsibilities so we will be able to focus more on the mission finances and the missionaries.  The Cooks only had one day to pack and go, so we spent several evenings cleaning both the upstairs and the downstairs apartments.  We are still working on the downstairs, but we are almost there.
The Elders have given us calls several times this week because of things breaking down in their apartments.  The Elders in Diamond only had one burner working on their propane stove, so we took some oven spray and cleaned it up, but we could only get two working.  Then on Thursday, the same elders called and told us that their fan had quit on them, so Elder Beutler took them one from another apartment.  Then on Friday night the Elders in Alboeystown (pronounced All Boys Town) called to say that their refrigerator had quit.  We had one of the members who is an electrician look at it yesterday and he said that he could repair it but it would cost 100 dollars US to fix. Finally last night, the zone leaders in Kitty called looking for a portable DVD player that the mission is supposed to have for training new Elders. We have no idea where that went. 
Last week,our mission president's wife sent us an email informing us that we need to give her an update on all of the things that need repaired in the missionaries apartments,  I hope she will be ready for the report from Guyana.  There are issues in all six apartments here.
We are getting more piano students all the time.  We have 10 in the Georgetown branch and our District President here would like us to make a schedule to start going to the other branches so that we can teach as many as possible.  That is one of the most rewarding things that we have done so far.  The only young people that play at all only play with one finger and most of them do not sing parts or lead music.  We hope that in one year's time, we an get them to the point where they can atleast play the easy hymns in the beginners book.
Well, it is time to get ready for Church so we will sign off for now.  Thanks Mary and Carolyn for the news from Idaho.  We were so sad to hear of Murray Sears sudden death.  We, like Wayne and Carolyn, sure didn't think that he was one of the ones that would be gone when we returned home from our mission.  We will miss him, too.                                   
Love From Elder and Sister Beutler
PS Lois and Joel,  Best wishes as you head on your mission this next week to the Kirtland Ohio area.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Young Adults in Guyana

Dear Family and Friends,
We are learning more and more that the family is so important in helping young people grow up and be emotionally stable.  We have had several young men who have served as missionaries in Guyana who do great as missionaries and then when they finish their missions they go home to a dysfunctional family and they seem to fall apart.  How important fathers are.  One young man who we visited with last week came home to a good mother and sister who have been baptized in the church, but the parents were divorced and the three older brothers were drug addicts.  We talked to the young man about furthering his education and finding a wife and he said that he had nothing to offer a young woman.  He  and his sister work full time and give their mother all of their money for the house and they have nothing left to use for their own betterment.  The young man was very discouraged and feels like there is no way out of this predicament.  

Melvin suggested to him that he needs to pay his tithing and save 10 percent for future education and sign up for the Perpetual Education Fund to get the education he needs to get a better paying job.  Most of the young people in the church who succeed with their educational goals have at least one parent who is very supportive of them.  Some have a grandparent who they are living with who act as parents to them.  Grandparents are really vital in situations like they are living in.  

I think often of our father, who when he joined the church, he was basically on his own, because his mother had passed away a couple of years earlier, and his Dad was very much against it.  Fortunately, he had a brother who married a member and they were good to him.

On the lighter side, as we were taking our morning walk yesterday through the botanical gardens we saw a Macaw.  There are hundreds of parrots in the coconut trees every morning chattering to themselves, but this is the first time that we ever saw a Macaw.  He was much larger and beautifully colored, but he stayed to himself.  We have also seen monkeys, alligators, and manatees in the gardens.  A manatee is a water animal that looks like a cross between a seal and a hippopotamus. They are huge and they live on the vegetation along the sides of the canal in the garden.  

Well, it is time to get ready for church so we are off again for another week.  Love from Elder and Sister Beutler

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pictures from Guyana

Zone Conference August 2012
Demerara Building Dedication

Mission Office with other couples August 2012

Mission Office August 2012 (the tall couple is President and Sister Rebecca Mehr)

At our home with President Mehr

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rewards of the Week

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been a really fun week for us. On Wednesday morning we took a trip with our district president to Linden to pay for damages done to one of the apartments that the Elder were renting. We then visited the missionary couple, Elder and Sister Summers who are serving there. Elder Summers is the Branch President there. He took us down to the river to see the river people who live there. Most of them are not members of the church, but they come and enjoy the meetings the branch has. One of the young men, Troy took us in a canoe across the river to meet a women who is dying of cancer. She also was not a member, but she asked for a Priesthood blessing and we sang some songs to her to comfort her. She then had her son bring us some of the most delicious apple bananas we have ever seen.

It was interesting to see how these people live. They have no electricity so they cook over open fires and they get their water from the river for cleaning. I don't know how they purify it for drinking, but they were healthy looking people and they lived and worked together as complete families. So many of the members in the city of Georgetown consist of single parents trying to raise children alone. It was refreshing to see happy families. Most of the families on the river were Amer-Indians (the Guyanese term for Native Americans) but some were from East Indian descent.

Then on Saturday, we had the baptisms of an entire family and a wedding for a couple who both are returned missionaries. The family had four children, three boys and one girl. They will be a great strength to their new branch. We celebrated with the wedding party by joining them in a luncheon. The Guyanese people love to eat fried rice, fried noodles, curried garbanzo beans, bread made of a pastry like dough and curried chicken. They always have soda pop with their meals. We thought we had chosen a bottle of water to drink, but it turned out to be cream soda. If you notice, there was no fruit or vegetables in the meal. This is typical for the Guyanese people, however, often they have watermelon or cut up pineapple with their meal. Needless to say type 2 diabetes is rampant in Guyana.

One other thing, I used to check the weather often in Idaho, but I hardly ever do anymore. It is always the same. It ranges from 72 to 88 degrees from morning until evening, every single day. We are only 7 degrees north of the equator so winter is going to be very similar to summer. I am told that the winter months of December and January will go to about 68 in the morning to 84 in the afternoon. The only exciting thing that happens is a good shower pretty often and lots of rain during the rainy season. We have never worn a jacket here. It never gets cold.

We miss all of you and think of you often. Ruth Ann told us about the great wedding that Brigham had and Eve told us about Jeremiah's wedding and how much fun that was. Mary lets us know what is happening in Dayton, and Spencer and Barbara let us know about the school events. Feel free to email us at anytime. Gay, thank you for the happy birthday message. We love you all.
Elder and Sister Beutler

P.S. Roxane, to celebrate your birthday we watched the Sound of Music on Friday evening!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting packages in Guyana

Dear family and friends,
Here in Guyana, the postal system has taken the joke about how many people it takes to change a light bulb to a whole new level. We have now gone to the post office to receive (the proper term is collect here in Guyana) packages for missionaries from their friends and family. This is the steps that are taken for every package.

1-The post office sends a notice to our office that there is a package for us to collect.
2-We go to the post office and give them the notice.
3-The clerk goes to the back and checks a file that has a paper with our names on it and permission to collect packages for the Elders that are on the list.
4-We wait in a waiting area for at least 15 minutes for someone else to bring the package to a table.
5-We then go back to the window and watch as that person opens the package and looks at all the contents.
6-Then another person is notified in another office who comes out and writes down the contents on a piece of paper.
7-He then goes back into another office and decides how much the contents are worth and determines the customs charges, (which I might add are usually about the value of the items in the package.)
8-Then the person who opened the package tapes it shut and takes it to the delivery window.
9-The person who determines the customs charges gives the paper to a cashier, who charges you customs tax.
10-Finally you go to the delivery area with your receipt for the package and can leave.

The whole process takes at least 45 minutes. I am not exaggerating. The couple who used to do this said that one time they were there for 4 hours waiting because someone had sent the elder some Pepperidge Farm cookies that had been crushed to powder and the security people had to come and test the powder to see if it was lethal.

Other than that experience, the week has been a really good one. We had all the office work done by Wednesday afternoon and were able to participate in a zone conference with our new mission president, President Mehr. It was good to meet with the 30 or so Elders and couples in the Guyana area and enjoy their great spirits. We were able to have personal interviews with the President and his wife and they ate dinner with us at our home yesterday, between meetings. We also had a visit from the mission patriarch and his wife. They were available for three days giving many members their patriarchal blessings. Many of the members were in their 30's and 40's and had never been able to have those blessings. As a sidelight, President Mehr's wife is the daughter of the patriarch and she is also a member of the Tabernacle Choir. Today she sang a rendition of the hymn, "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" It was beautiful!

I continue to play the piano for all the meetings I go to. Today was district conference and there was no one except the visiting authorities who could play the hymns so I did it. I am getting better about doing it without making so many mistakes and more confidence. Blessings from heaven. 
There has been some political trouble in the area of Linden, about 1 1/2 hour drive from here and the couple serving there had to leave three weeks ago and is staying in the mission home right now. We thought that things were getting better, but on Friday night, the branch meeting house was looted and burned to the ground. The building was owned by a man who was an enemy to the people who are causing all the trouble. They were not lashing out at the church, but at the owner of the rented meeting house.

So now the members of the branch are without a meeting house and their branch president, who is the missionary living in the mission office cannot safely return to Linden yet to help them. We prayed for them in all our meetings this weekend and hope that things will cool down soon.
We will close for now. Love to all of you!
Elder and Sister Beutler

Monday, July 30, 2012

Life goes on in Guyana

Dear friends and family,
 It has been good to hear from many of you this week. Mayara, I hope that your Mom is doing alright with her surgery.  Amy, it was really fun to read your letter that Mary copied and put on the email. We were actually in the office with 4 elders when we read it so they all read it with us. They were a little jealous about the steak and potatoes that you ate at the MTC.
We have been trying to visit a few members of the church from different parts of the Georgetown area so that we would know the students who want to use Perpetual education loans and help them apply. We still don't know how to help them very well but it is good to meet them and their families, so we know who we are talking to when they call and ask for help.

We also took it upon ourselves to visit the Elders in one of the apartments because we were told that it was not fit to live in. We found that the electricity didn't work in the bathroom, the shower had to be turned of by opening the bathroom window and turning a knob outside, and there was a hole in the floor of the bedroom where rats came in on occasion. We talked to the landlord about fixing those things and don't intend to pay any rent until he fixes those things. The floor and walls are in okay shape however and so I think that they will be okay to live there after the repairs are done.

Becky, happy birthday on Wednesday. I hope you spend the day doing things you really enjoy. August 1st is a big holiday in Guyana. It is called immancipation day, the day when the black people in Guyana were freed from slavery from the British who lived in Guyana. I went shopping at the grocery store today and they took 7 % off the grocery bill to celebrate and also gave us a free t-shirt because we spent over 50 US dollars (2000 GUY dollars). Speaking of money, the exchange rate is 1 US dollar to 200 GUY dollars. So a quart of milk costs 400 dollars which is 2 dollars US. It takes a little getting used to, figuring out how much you are spending. We usually get 150 US dollars worth of money at the ATM to live on each week. That is 30,000 GYU dollars. That is a lot of bills!

So life goes on and we are learning lots of things. I have been studying my latest book "Microsoft Office 2007 for Dummies" this week and finding out how some of the commands work that I didn't know existed. Fun and games.
We love you all!

Mom and Dad

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reply from Elder Cornish

Elder J. Devn Cornish is in the area presidency for the area which includes the West Indies mission.  Mom and Dad had some email communication with him when they were first learning how to run the Guyana mission office.  In his recent email, Dad accidentally included Elder Cornish's address among the family addresses.  Elder Cornish sent a gracious reply back to him (which was also sent to the entire family.) 

On Saturday, July 28th Elder Cornish wrote:

Dear Elder and Sis Beutler,

You can see how very much you are needed! We love you and are grateful for your services.

Elder J. Devn Cornish

Elder Cornish gave a super talk in a recent general conference which can be read here.  (Don't miss his humorous story about praying to find a quarter so that he could buy a piece of fried chicken.)

Letter From Dad

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I have had kind of a hard time not having time to actually teach the gospel. We ended up training to run the mission office here in Guyana. This is certainly a third world country when it comes to finances. We have to go stand in line to pick up bills, come to the office scan them to Trinadad(the mission head quarters), hand write the checks and go stand in line to pay them. I hope to speed up the process once I take completely over so I have time to work with people.

I have had to learn more computer skills because I don’t have Cole or Sherry [Dad's secretary and school computer expert, respectively] to guide me. I am learning slow but sure. We also are in the Perpetual Education area with the young adults. That also requires all computer use.

It’s good to be in the full time service of our Lord Jesus Christ. I just hope, Sister Beutler and I can become more productive than we are now.

God Bless you,
Elder Beutler

Saturday, July 21, 2012

These past 2 weeks we have been dealing with legal issues concerning the missionaries.  In Guyana, missionaries who are not native can only obtain a visa for 3 months.  Then they have to leave the country for a day or two and when they enter again they have their visa stamped for another 3 months.  When we arrived we only had ours stamped for one month.  So, in looking at the visas of the missionaries, including ourselves, we found that there were eight of them who needed to leave because their visas had expired.  Even though none of the couples visas had expired, they were due to expire in two weeks so 14 of us had to renew our visas.  This is time consuming and expensive because we went to Suriname, the dutch speaking country to the east of us.  We had to travel on a ferry to cross the wide river separating the two countries and then stay in a hotel overnight and return the next day. 
To further complicate things,  one of the elders was from Madagascar.  The Suriname embassy took three days deciding whether or not to allow him to get a Suriname visa so that he coud leave the country.  His name is Elder Andriamanantena and his country is Madagascar.  Most people here just laugh when he tells them where he is from and what his name is.  Apparantly there is a movie named Madagascar that they are familiar with.
Anyway,  We were told that there was no way he would be able to reenter Guyana but we took him anyway and had a prayer in our hearts that it would work out.  After we arrived in Suriname we visited th Guyana Consulate and they granted him a 6 month visa with the help of 80 US dollars.  We were truly blessed.  So all the elders are legal again and we are all safely back home again.
It was really fun to visit Suriname. They are more European in the building of their cities and they take pride in keeping things clean.  Our neighborhood here in Guyana is nice and clean but much of the city of Georgetown has a big problem with littering the streets. 
I started teaching a family of three girls and one boy how to play the piano this week.  I spent an hour in their home, teaching them the first lesson in the basic keyboard course that the church publishes.  They were given a keyboard by some missionaries a few years ago and none of them had learned to play it.  It was really fun.  The boy is named Aaron and he is only seven.  When I taught him, all the girls gathered around and wanted to help him hit the keys. The three year old girl  wanted to learn too, but she was too young. 
We are thinking of you and are prayers are with you and your families.  Amy, we will be thinking of you this weekend as you give your farewell talk and leave for the MTC on Wednesday.  What an adventure you will be having in the next six weeks.  

Love from Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dear family, 
We have been in the Carribean for 2 weeks now and are beginning to learn our responsibilities here.  We were trained to do the perpetual education fund and the employment center. We are also supposed to help with the young single adults.  Since we arrived, however, we have been learning the mission office duties for the country of Guyana.  The couple we are replacing there have been on their mission for 2 years and 3 months.  They are actually native to Guyana, the first native Guyana couple to serve a senior mission, Elder and Sister Benn.  He was called to be the district president a few months ago, so he has been doing the mission and the district for several months. 
As you can imagine, with our less than perfect computer skills, this has been a little overwhelming to be responsible for so many things which all require good computer skills.  The up side of it is that the Guyana area is not that large in church membership yet.  There are only 26 young people in the whole country who are doing PEF so far, and we have many people who can help.  There is an area committee called to help carry out the responsibilities on making sure that the young people get their loans and pay them back.
Yesterday, we received an email from Sister Rees, who is the Carribean area music chairman.  She wanted to know about the music skills in the Guyana area.  She asked us to find out what branches need keyboards and who can play.  If the other branches are anything like ours, we are really hurting.  We have one keyboard in the chapel and no one to play it.  The music director turns on some pre-recorded hymns for prelude, and then turns it off and leads the opening, sacrament, and closing hymns with no accompaniment for those.  I feel like that is something that we could really help with.  The music directors both did a good job of leading the music and I am sure that there are other young people who would have the ability to learn to play. 
It seems that couple missions are all about learning what the Lord wants you to do and teaching what you are good at. 
We love you all and appreciate our wonderful family. 
 Love from Elder and Sister Beutler

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our Address in Guyana

Dear family, 
We have been in Guyana for 3 days now and finally have our address. We were not sure whether we would be living in the Guyana mission office apartment but we have decided to live in the apartment where the departing couple lived because there is very little privacy in the mission office apartment and they need it for couples and missionaries being transfered from other areas.
Anyway, our address will be:
Elder Melvin E. Beutler
77 Garnett Street
Lamaha Gardens
Georgetown, Guyana

I (Carol) attended a district Relief Society meeting this afternoon with the sisters from 5 of the branches here in Georgetown. It was my impression that most of the sisters were of African descent, but they are a real mix of African, East Indian, Ameri-Indian and Portugese. While I was at the meeting, Melvin went with one of the brothers in the branch to shop for produce at the fresh produce market. He spent about 10 dollars and bought a nice pineapple (the best I have ever tasted) mangos, bananas, greens, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Groceries are almost double in price here except for the produce on the stands and they are cheaper and good quality.

To the Dickeys:
I was thinking of you today as you had your reunion. We love you and miss you. To our children, thank you for all that you are doing to keep things going while we are away.
Love from Mom and Dad (Elder and Sister Beutler)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Our Mission Begins

Mom and Dad gave talks in Sacrament meeting last Sunday, June 17th.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a delicious meal and visiting with freinds and family members. 

Later that evening they were set-apart as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Stake President Dax Keller. Their blessings were beautiful.  I was especially impressed that they were each told that this time of serving a mission together would be something that they would remember and reflect upon throughout the eternities.  I hadn't thought too much about certain experiences in mortality having enough significance to recall in the eternities.

Dad's brother, Bishop (Wesley) Beutler, and most of our immediate family were able to attend the setting-apart and it was wonderful meeting.  (Esther, Robert, and Abi we missed you!)  Jared and I (Eve) were invited to share our testimonies and after the setting-apart Mom and Dad shared their testimonies as newly called missionaries.  Mary also shared some thoughts about what a blessing we've had to be taught by our parents and grow up in this family.  She expressed how she believes that Mom and Dad will be able to help many people (young people particularly) feel accepted and encouraged by them and gain a sense of value because of their influence.  I think we all felt very uplifted and spiritually strengthened.  It was special, sacred experience and such a super way to "kick-off" Mom and Dad's mission! 

The Sunday fun still wasn't over as Mom and Dad had to go home to pick-up their bags, say "good-bye" to everyone, and head on their way to Salt Lake City where they would start training with the perpetual education program the next morning. 

They had a busy week with training from 8am-5pm each day; finishing last-minute shopping; getting together with the Jared, Deborah, and my family for a dinner; giving a fire-side chat for some of Jared's friends, etc. (I'm sure they did a lot more that I'm not aware of.)  They flew out of SLC Saturday morning to the Dominican Republic where they will spend a couple more days being trained by the director of perpetual education for the area that includes their mission.

Sunday, June 24th at 7:16pm Mom wrote: 
"Dear family,  We have arrived safely to the Dominican Republic for some specialized training in the perpetual education fund. We will be here for three days and then finally on Wednesday we will fly to Guyana to begin being real missionaries. We will be using the computer a lot for our service, so pray for us that we can learn all that we need to do there. Thanks for all of your support and love these past couple of weeks. We love and miss you all. Elder and Sister Beutler"

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We have been called to serve in the West Indies Mission, beginning on June 22, 2012.  We will be living in Guyana and our specific assignment is over the Perpetual Education Fund, the Employment Center, and the Young Single Adult program.  Whoa, that will be so much fun, and such a stretch for us.  We are excited!