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