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