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