Sunday, December 22, 2013

Final Mission Entry

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

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Our Last Week in Guyana

Dear Family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cleaning Up and Fixing Up

Dear family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Taking Care of the Missionaries

Dear family,

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

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

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

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

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

Love, Mom

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

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baptisms and Ballgames

Dear family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love to all of you,  Mom and Dad

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We Expect That November Will Fly By

Dear Family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love to all.  Mom and Dad

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Birthday to Landon and Greetings to All

Dear children and grandchildren,

I just got off of the skype with Becky.  I had to see that chubby baby one more time and admire 7 year old Landon and see his birthday gifts.  We are really getting excited that we will be able to be with all of you for the Christmas holidays  Our only concern is that we might get sick, adjusting to the extreme weather change coming home at that time of the year.

This weekend, the Guyanese are celebrating a national holiday called Diwali.  It is a Hindu holiday which they also call the Festival of the Lights.  The people put lights around their homes and light firecrackers and fireworks.  We visited 4 families tonight and all the neighbors were outside enjoying the fireworks. Interestly enough, there were no dogs barking, like they usually do every night.  They are all hiding.  Dogs hate the loud noises of the firecrackers.

We have had a good week.  The training is going well with the Surujbhans.  They visited a couple of the elders Apartments this week.  One of them needed some fixing up and they have 5 of their own apartments which they rent to people so they know where the best places are to find things for the apartments.  They will be great with the elders.

We had a area day of service yesterday.  Every branch chose some type of community service.  Our Georgetown branch chose to work with the local Lion's club to clean up the main street on the east side of town.  There was a great turnout.  Between the branch members and the Lion's club there were probably 60 people wearing yellow vests, picking up garbage and cleaning up the street.  It looked really good after the work was done. 

The downside of this service project is that my hamstrings are so stiff and sore from all that bending down to pick up trash

We have one more service project to do with the Lions club this next couple of weeks.  We are going to hem 500 baby blankets and then make 500 newborn kits to give the the Georgetown public hospital.  There are several private hospitals in Georgetown, but this one is public, and it is free. 

 If anyone has any doubt about the benefits of socialized medicine, they need to visit the public hospital in Guyana.  Anyone who can afford a private hospital would never go to the public hospital.  You have to wait all day (literally) to see a doctor and the facilities are over crowded and run-down.  

Some of the women who go to the Georgetown public hospital to have their babies are so poor, that they have nothing to take them home in.  They will love the newborn kits, with the blanket, baby outfit, hat, diapers, pins and soap that goes with it.

We hope that all is well with you.  We are grateful that Deborah is at Becky's tonight helping out with the boys.  We wish we could be there to hold little Blake for a few minutes. 

Abi, hang in there for a few more weeks.  We pray for all of you and hope that you are happy.  Esther, we enjoyed the beautiful pictures of your halloween costumes. The children looked about as serious as we have ever seen them.

Love the All!  Mom and Dad

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We Are Training Our Replacements

Dear Family and Friends,

Last month when we had couples' conference in Trinidad,  our mission president, President Mehr informed us that there were 10 couples from our mission leaving within the next 6 months and only 3 coming to replace them.  Since we were part of those leaving, we were concerned about how the finances, apartments, elders, etc. would be managed if there was no one to replace us when we left.

Then a couple of weeks ago, our counselor in the mission presidency, President Goodluck suggested that there could be a Guyanese couple serve as service missionaries that could do that.  Last Sunday a couple was called, the Surujbans, and set apart to serve in that capacity.  We are excited.  They are eager to learn and we have 7 weeks to teach them before we go.  They manage apartments and are well aware of the needs of our young missionaries here.

Sister Surujban is the district Relief Society President and her husband has been in a branch presidency and is currently an elders quorum president.  The type of business which we took weeks to learn, they already know about because they have lived here all of their lives. We think that the transition will be very smooth.

We want to encourage any of our friends who are in good health to consider a mission to a third world country.  It is truly a life changing experience.  The couples are so much needed here.  If for no other reason than to teach people, especially young couples, that marriage can be happy and last for eternity.

We enjoyed the week.  We had a new converts night in the Georgetown Branch which we thought was going to be a failure at first because there were only 2 converts there when it was time to start, but within an hour there were probably about 50 people show up.  There were so many children running around, that the elders took them outside and played night games in the parking lot so that the parents could enjoy watching a video of the Restoration.

Yesterday was district training meeting.  I taught the Primary presidents about the Faith in God program and Elder Beutler taught the Young Men's presidents about the Duty to God program. Neither of them have been functioning.  In fact there were no young men's presidents in any of the branches until this year.

Today we went to Linden to train there.  We have an exciting celebration coming up next year.  The 25th anniversary of the church in the West Indies.  There are going to be 3 shows during the next year where young people can display their talents and compete in the fields of painting, photography, jewelry making, handicraft, dance, musical instruments, speech, poetry, stories, singing,  and culinary arts.  They are so excited about the competition.  If there is one thing about Guyanese youth that is readily apparent, it is their ability to perform on stage.

Elder Beutler took his camera to Linden to take a few pictures. With the fact that we will only have a few more weeks to spend with the saints here, we realized that we need to make a few memories in the form of photographs so that we don't forget them.

We were sad to hear about the passing of Helen Robbins and Ron Alexander last week.  That makes three from Dayton, with Odell Andrews at the first of the month.  It will be quite a different neighborhood to go home to with several of our dear friends gone.  We are so thankful for the knowledge we have of the reality of the resurrection, that we will be able to be with each other again.

May the Lord Bless each of you,  Love, Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Zone Conference and Suriname

Dear Family,

This week has flown by.  We had zone conference on Monday with our mission President and the AP's  I mentioned that one of the AP's is Elder Creech.  He lives in Cornish, Utah.  He grew up on a dairy farm.  When he first came out on his mission last August, he used to go the the neighborhood dairy every week and visit the cows. He really is a great missionary.

His older sister, Mandy,  married Jason Gunnell  and she taught science at the West Side middle school for several years.  It seems like some of you children had her for a teacher.  Also, Elder Creech's older brother married Erin Olson, who is Jason's first cousin, so their children are both first cousins and second cousins.

On Tuesday, we woke up early in the morning and headed to Suriname to renew visas for two of the elders. Unfortunately, we had to go again on Friday for one elder who we missed getting a visa for.  We just didn't read our records right.

We met two interesting people from the Republic of Czechoslovakia on the first trip.  They were driving a big motorcycle all over the world.  They had plans to tour every nation in the world during their lifetime.  Unfortunately, they had three children ages 15, 8, and 3 who were left at home with Granny. We asked them how often they went home and it was seldom.  They would tour for a couple of months, then go home for a few weeks and then be off again.

I told them about how important families are, that children are the greatest gift we can get from God in this life, and advised them not to spend too much time away from them.  I don't know how parents could justify that kind of separation from their children when they are so young.

On the second trip home from Suriname, we met a tall American man, Randy Spegel, who was traveling alone.  He saw our missionary badges and immediately began asking us questions about our religion; how it was different from other religions, and what were our basic beliefs.  Since he was traveling to Georgetown, we gave him a ride to his hotel and had a great visit on the way.  Come to find out, he was actually a member of the church when he was a small boy. He remembered going to the church farm and picking fruit in the Los Angeles area.  He remembered little else. 

He said that his parents divorced when he was about 12 years old and he never went to Church again.  He has spent the last 15 years working on computer software programs in Hong Cong.  He is now looking for a change in his life. He would like to get married and have a family.  We hope that he will look into the church once again and benefit from the blessings of the gospel.

The rest of the week has been the usual, paying the bills, taking care of the Elders and teaching piano.  

With less than two months left to serve we are going to begin training a couple in the Georgetown branch to serve as office missionaries to help with the bills and the apartments and cars.  They are also busy in the district.  The wife is the district Relief Society president and the husband is the Elder's Quorum president.  They have a 16 year old son at home, so they will have to budget their time carefully in order to get everything done.

We enjoy all of your emails and skype visits.  We hope that you are all happy and doing your best to serve the Lord.  We pray for all of you every day and love you very much.  

Sincerely,  Mom and Dad

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cooking Up a Storm

Dear Family,
This week has felt a lot like home. On Monday, we had apartment inspections because it was transfer week.  We usually give the Elders a treat when we come, but I hadn't had time to bake anything, so I promised them something at zone meeting on Friday.
We always feed the in-coming and out-going missionaries on transfer day, so myself and Sister Beecher made food on Wednesday

On Friday the branch president of Linden and his fiance got married and she asked for a wedding cake,  I made and decorated a small cake, using a star tip and a writing tip and ziplock bags to hold the frosting.  It was a bit of a challenge, but she appreciated it and shared it with her family members.

I also made lasayna and oatmeal cookies for the starving elders for the zone meeting.  They worked so hard to have clean apartments this time around, I figured they needed something extra.

Then on Saturday, I taught the sisters how to make cinnamon rolls.  I made enough dough for four pans of rolls and it was fun to watch the sisters take turns rolling out the dough and putting toppings on it before they baked it.  There were about 25 of them gathered there in the church kitchen trying out this new skill. I felt like I was back doing 4-H cooking again.   

Finally, today, we went to Linden for church and Sister Beecher and I made 4 cakes to share with the branch members to celebrate the marriage of their branch president and his new wife.  And tomorrow we are each making a pan of brownies for dessert for zone conference with the mission president.

Needless to say, we are pretty exhausted tonight, but the week has just flown by. We hope that the rest of our mission will be busy and productive for us.  It makes the time go faster and before we know it, we will be back home with all of you!

Love, Grandma and Grandpa Beutler

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Conference Weekend

Dear Family,

We have had a glorious weekend with the saints in Guyana.  Instead of watching conference on the internet, we watched it at the church house with the big circuit TV.
It was good to be able to listen to the Prophet and the Apostles.  We especially enjoyed sitting with James, our Chinese friend.  He came to all 5 sessions and seemed to really enjoy it. He looked up all of the songs they were singing and read the words while they were singing.

We asked him if he understood the words that the speakers said and he said that he didn't understand it all, but he will watch it on the internet in Chinese this week. He also stayed and helped clean up and put away the chairs after conference.  He is turning into a great member of the church.

We invited some dignitaries to our Sunday morning session of Conference and then had a dinner for them after.  It was interesting to hear their comments from Elder Oaks talk.  They were happy to hear that the church has such strong feelings about preserving the basic family unit.  

In Guyana right now, the Gays are trying to pass a bill to allow same sex marriage.  Of course the religious leaders are all trying to fight it because of the impact it could have on what is taught to the children at school.  i am sure that it would impact much more than the school.  

Amy,  guess what!  Remember Elder Creech.  He was just called to be a new assistant to the President.  He is a great elder.  He was in Guyana for the first 6 months of his mission and then he spent the next 8 months in St. Vincent.  Now he will be in Trinidad at the mission office.  We have zone conference on the 15th of October, so we will be able see him again.  The people in Berbice just loved him.

We love you all and will talk to you later.  
Love Mom and Dad

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Time is Moving Too Fast

Dear family and friends,

September is flying by.  We went on our last trip out of Guyana this time two weeks ago for couples conference and had a great time with the other couples there and even went a day early to Tobago for a chance to see what the blue ocean there looks like. In Guyana the ocean is a very muddy brown!

We enjoyed snorkling, hiking, and visiting a humminggbird refuge in Trinidad, during free time when we weren't training with the other couple missionaries.  It was a fun vacation for us, especially since the training was pretty easy because we knew a lot of the things already because of our 15 months of experience already on our mission.

We had a great week, this week.  We had 4 baptisms last Saturday, and 3 more yesterday.  6 of the seven were young men who will be a great addition to the Georgetown branch.  There are not  enough worthy Priesthood holders and these young men are excited to be a part of the branch.

One of them is Raddison Charles, our prize piano student.  For the past two weeks he has come prepared to play the hymns for Sacrament meeting.  He is not quite 26 years old and he is already excited about going on a mission in a couple of years.  

Another one is Liu Xiang, our friend from China.  He is the first man from Mainland China to be baptized in Guyana.  He was called today to be a family history consultant.  That will be a great challenge for him to do his own family history work and prepare his ancestors names for the temple.

We also had a wedding of two returned missionaries,last evening,Naomi Fraser and Keon Taylor.  They have been in young adults this past year and it has been fun to see their romance blossom.  We don't have any pictures of the wedding, but they are a very striking couple, both of African decent.

We are happy to hear that Deonna and Neil Fuller made it home safely from their mission. We wish them well in their future plans together.  Thank you to Lois and Joel Palmer and Carolyn and Wayne Smart for their updated mission activities.  We really enjoyed reading their letters. 

Amy, we are praying for the people of Pohnpei and for your sweet little companion, that she can continue to learn English and Pohnpein so that she will be a successful missionary.

Love from Elder and Sister Beutler

PS the picture of the couples are the six couples serving in Guyana.  Two of the couples are Guyanese.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

One Last Trip

Dear Children and Grandchildren,

We have had a delightful week in Trinidad and Tobago.  We had seniors conference with all of the other senior missionaries, plus, we went a day early to Tobago to see the sights with the 3 other couples from Guyana.  

On Tuesday, Dad and I took 3 hours to go in the ocean in a glass bottomed boat, where we stopped in 15 foot deep water and did some snorkeling for the first time. It was so fun!  I thought I needed a life jacket to swim, but the water was so salty that it just held me up without the life jacket.  There were lots of tropical fish in the area and guess what, I found Nemo!  I actually saw many of Nemo's relatives.

The conference was great.  It is always uplifting to see the other seniors who are on the other islands. Half of them are there alone with the young missionaries, so they don't see other missionary couples nearly as often as we see the other three couples in Guyana.

When we returned home last night we went to the best baptism ever.  There were five people baptized and two of them, Dad baptized.  One was our Chinese friend, Liu Tiang, who we call by his American name, James.  He just glowed today when he received his confirmation and the gift of the Holy Ghost.  

The other one was Radisson Charles, a 15 year old who has been our piano student for the past year.  they both have many friends in the branch and we feel that they will continue to be fellowshipped by the members.

Our Georgetown branch is growing fast.  We had 160 members in attendance today.  Last year at this time, there were about 60 to 75 people each week so it has doubled.  I think the difference has been that the branch president is having branch council meetings every month and the members are beginning to do their home teaching and visiting teaching more faithfully. Also, the new converts are given callings quickly after they are baptized, so they feel wanted and needed.

Well, enough about us.  We want to know from Deborah and Jacob, what they did for their birthdays this week.  Also, thanks Esther for sharing your trip to Nauvoo with us.  Amy, we so much love your letters.  We will be interested to know if you get to teach Yuline any more lessons.  Becky, we enjoyed the tour of your new home.  Isn't it nice to have so much more space. and the yard looks like a little boys paradise.

We love all of you and are working hard to get everything done we want to do in the next 90 days.

Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Transfers Just Keep Going On

Dear family,

This past transfer has been like no other since we have been in Guyana. We had yet another missionary transfer out of the country on Saturday morning.  This time it was a Guyanese elder who had been working in a threesome because we weren't able to get a temporary missionary to work with him and we couldn't have anymore full-time foreign missionaries in the country because we had reached our limit already. 

We were actually really excited for him.  His name is Elder Andy Anderson.  He is from Linden, and he has spent his entire 20 months in Guyana.  It will be good for him to go to Grenada and meet the people there during his last 4 months of his mission.  I always like to kid him about his name.  I would tell him that Anderson was my mother's maiden name so we must be related.  When we dropped him off at the airport, I told him that we hoped he would come to Idaho and meet his Anderson cousins, someday. He has only been a member for about 3 years and he is a really wonderful elder.

Another highlight of the week happened today.  One of our piano students, Radisson Charles played all of the music for church today.  He had prepared 4 hymns and he did very will.  he kept up perfectly with the music leader.  He played them our of the Hymns made easy book.  

Besides being prepared to play the piano, he is also prepared to be baptized.  He has been investigating the church for a couple of years now, but because he is only 15, and none of his family are members or investigators, the missionaries had him wait to be baptized until he was older. Now they feel that he is mature enough for it.  We are also planning to see our Chinese friend, James, baptized this Saturday also.  

We are going to Tobago and Trinidad this week for couples conference tomorrow, so we won't be near a computer until Saturday evening.  We look forward to this trip.  It is always so uplifting to meet with the other couples, and this time we are going a day early to tour Tobago and do some snorkeling in the blue waters.  This will be our last outing and we are looking forward to it.

Becky,  We read that you are in the new house.  We hope that you will post some pictures so that we can see what it looks like.  Esther, write and tell us about your trip to Nauvoo.    

Love to all of you,
  Mom and Dad

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Moving Elders Around

Dear Family,

The past 10 days have been kind of unsettling of us. On transfer day, August 28th we had an emergency transfer with one of our elders, so we had to make some quick changes, in addition to the usual transfers. 
Then this past  week was a continuation of more of the same.  We had two elders that needed to go to Suriname to renew visas, but the other senior couples volunteered to take them.  It was a good thing because on Tuesday evening, President Mehr called and wanted us to take one of the elders to the airport and pick-up a new elder for another emergency transfer.

This was really sad to us because the elder's ticket was not to go to another island, but to go home.  With only 5 more months to serve, he was being sent home.  He was a great missionary and a hard worker.  We loved him and cried because of the mistake that he had made that he couldn't finish his mission.  This is the first time we have ever had anything to do with sending someone home early.  Fortunately for him, he has a good family to go home to who we think will support him and help him through the repentance process.

Then on Friday, we went to Diamond and moved another set of elders to a new apartment.  Unfortunately, these elders had had a landlord who was addicted to pornography and was more that willing to share with the elders, so Pres. Mehr asked us to find a new place for them to live.  We looked around for a month and found a really good apartment in a quiet neighborhood and a great landlady who lives upstairs.  

That was a long day, cleaning and moving all of the furniture and food into the apartment, but we were done in about 8 hours.  The weather had turned pretty warm by afternoon and we probably drank a gallon of water each as we were doing the work.  One of the Elders is brand new from the MTC and he was still having jet lag, so he was ready to fall asleep for the night by 5:00 pm when we finally left.

The last thing I wanted to tell you was that we received our release date this week.  It is December 20th.  We are flexible in this respect.  We can choose what day to leave.  We are thinking maybe Thursday, the 19th of December so that we have a little time to recover from traveling before the week-end.  If any of you have anything to say about when we come home, please let us know soon, like tonight!

We spent the day today in Linden again.  I gave the Primary President my CD player because she hasn't been able to teach the songs for the Sacrament Meeting Presentation because she had no one to play the piano, and no CD player to play the songs.  She will maybe get one from the church soon and I will get mine back.  

Well, we are exhausted after this busy week, but we would much rather be exhausted than not having enough to do to keep us busy.  We love all of you and will talk to you all later.  
Mom and Dad

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Summer Never Ends!

Dear family and friends,

We have really enjoyed hearing from so many of you during this past month.  Mary and Aneesa keep us up to date on the community events but unless we get letters from you we don't know what is happening in your individual lives.

 We are still enjoying the rainy season.  It clouds up almost every afternoon and gives us some rain to cool things off.  I remember last year when September and October rolled around,  there was very little rain and it was a humid 95 degrees every afternoon.  We expect that it will happen again, but maybe we are better adjusted to the climate this time around.

This past week was transfer week and though it was going to be easier that usual, it turned out more complicated because one of the elder had to have an emergency transfer.  We had to make adjustments on this end.  We have five mini-missionaries this transfer so we had to move almost every companionship around. A mini-missionary is one who is only 17 or 18 and is called from his branch to serve for just one transfer.  He serves with a full-time missionary and does all the same things. Several of our mini-missionaries serve multiple mini-missions before they are finally called as full- time missionaries. This is just one more thing we can do to get more missionaries in the area, so that we don't go over our 20 foreign missionary limit.  

Last night we had a great experience, as always, with our district young single adults.  We had a pizza night where they learned how to make pizza's from scratch, how to decorate cakes with fresh fruit, and how to do some art work with metal. 

One of the young women asked for a blessing before the night was over.  She is a student in a University in Canada.  She lives with her Hindu father up there and he strongly opposes her activity in the church.  Her mother and step-father live here in Guyana and she has been here for the past two months during summer break from school.  She wanted the blessing to help her have the strength to face the challenges of going back to live with her father in Canada.   She actually expressed the desire to be a full-time missionary.  

We are continually amazed at the strength of some of our young people here. They just need the hope that the gospel brings that they can rise above the circumstances which  they are faced with, especially the poverty because of the low pay so many receive in their jobs.

Carolyn and Wayne, we are praying that you will be able to stay healthy enough to finish your mission.  Thanks all for the birthday wishes. 
Love, Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Off to Bartica


The week started off pretty slow, with no bills to pay, but one of the elders got knocked off his bike and had a few bruises and one 1 inch cut to bandage (blessing from heaven) and we are still looking for an apartment for our diamond elders who have to move because the landlord has too much pornography sitting around next door.  We haven't found the perfect place yet.

On Thurday we attended an funeral for one of the members who has been faithful for many years.  She died of a stroke.  She was only 62, but has been in poor health for several months.  Sheesh, she was my age. People just die younger and more health problems here in Guyana.  

On Friday, after we took care of office business, we took a trip to Bartica to witness the marriage of two of our members in the Vreed en Hoop branch.  Bartica is on the Essequibo river, which is the 4th longest river in the world and it is to the west towards the Venezuela border. Most of the  people who live along the river do not have electricity so they buy generators for light and cook on gas stoves.  It is a simple life and a good one.  
To get to Bartica, we drove West for about an hour and then boarded a 20 passenger speed boat for another 1 hour drive in the water.  It rained for half the time, but it was a covered boat so we didn't get wet.  

Inline image 1
There hundreds of small Islands in the Essequibo river.  The couple choose to be married on a sandbar next to Parrot Island (named that because, at night, hundreds of parrots roost on the trees there). The sandbar is under water except during low tide. Then you can see if for about 3 hours.  They chose 4:00 pm to be married and the groom had set up a canopy and chairs and a table for refreshments. We arrived at 3:45 and the bride arrive at 4:15

The ceremony lasted about half an hour and they took pictures and served a meal after that.  We boarded our boat to leave at about 5:15 and noticed, as we were leaving, that the sandbar was quickly disappearing. By 6:00 pm, the sandbar was under water again.  That has to be the most unique wedding we have yet to attend.  It was really an enjoyable day.

Inline image 2

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Singin' in the Rain

Dear Family,

This past week was supposed to be the beginning of the dry season, but as you can see by the photo, we continue to take our walks and get a downpour while we are walking.  And to think that Utah and Idaho are having problems with fire and drought. 

Our neighbors, the Beechers had their 40th wedding anniversary on Friday.  They spent the day working on an employment survey and talking to young people who are trying to get PEF loans and scholarships before school starts this next month. 

I couldn't help but contrast that with the 40th wedding anniversary which we enjoyed a year and a half ago which our children gave us as a gift.  We loved the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas concert and the dinner and the Anniversary Inn.  It was truly an unforgettable night, mostly because of the thoughtfulness of our children.  

Yesterday was kind of stressful.  We took off in a downpour to go to Diamond to find a new apartment for the elders there.  When we were only a block from our home, a truck pulled out of the driveway and ran into the side of our car, doing damage on the front fender and the two passenger doors.  We had to get the person's information and go to the police station to report the accident.  The police are supposed to come to the scene of the accident, but according to the other driver, they never seem to make it there.  We surely hope that the driver will pay for the damage which he promised he would.

After we looked at the apartment, we noticed a police escort for a whole group of motorcyclists.  The were having some sort of a rally. That reminded us of Becky's facebook page with the motorcycles up there in Sundance.  Then today, on the way to church, there was a section of the seawall road which was blocked off for bicycle racers. That seems to be a Sunday morning event in Guyana. I honestly don't know how they can ride in 85 degree weather for these races without having heat stroke.

We have our Chinese friend James, who is about to get baptized.  He plans to be baptized on my birthday, August 28th. We are excited for him.  He still really struggles with reading and understanding the Book of Mormon.  He says the the language style is such an old style in his Chinese translation, and he never had any religious upbringing before he came here, so it is really foreign to him.  He does have a strong belief in God and feels that he is loved.  He really accepts the Plan of Salvation lesson, that he lived with Heavenly Father before he was born and that he is being watched over and will return to his heavenly home after he leaves this earth.  It has been really enjoyable to teach him.

My last comment is concerning piano.  We have been really discouraged at times with the slow progress which our students are making because the refuse to practice, but this last week was great. Several of them are finally beginning to sight read and figure out how the music should be played without much help. We hope that during our last 4 months we can get them to the point where they are able to accompany the members in church.  

One girl, Rovaughnia, who is not even a member is amazing.  It is as if she knows the songs before she even plays them.  She really has a gift.  I told her that she knew these hymns before she came to earth and that she is just remembering them.  I hope that she, more that any others, will keep going with her music. 

Well, we had better close for now.  We hope, Jacob that you made the move alright.  We pray that you will be able to get all the loose ends tied up before September.  Becky, do you get on skype in your new home?  We would love to see you there. To all the rest of you, thanks for your letters.  We miss the huckleberry fun and Esther, we enjoyed seeing Zachary and his crawling.  
Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Zone Conference

Dear Family,

We had zone conference on Monday.  We did not get any new direction for senior couples, but we enjoyed the counsel which we received along with the young elders.  
The mission president talked about three kinds of trials which we have in this world. The first is those we bring upon ourselves because we are disobedient.  The second is those which come just as a natural part of living, and the third is those which the Lord sends us to test our faithfulness.  He said that the third type are often the hardest because it test our faithfulness.

We had kind of a discouraging experience today in the Linden branch.  The branch president had to work, so his counselor took charge.  They asked us to speak at the meeting, along with the counselor's wife.  The Gospel Doctrine teacher was gone so they had a last minute teacher.  There were no primary teachers, only the President.  There were no youth Sunday School teachers, so the youth taught themselves. and the Relief Society was cancelled or shortened and no priesthood lesson would have been taught if Dad and organized them and started a discussion.  Oh Boy, we somehow need to help the leadership to know that if they don't organize the meetings, the people will quit coming entirely.  We thought that things were going better than that last month.

One fun thing that happened this week was that one of the temporary missionaries, brother Stewart, who has served 4 times on 6 week missions received his mission call.  We delivered it to him while he and his companion were out tracting on their bicycles.  He called us the next morning to let us know that he was going to Atlanta Georgia.  He is pretty excited to be leaving the country.  He will be a good missionary and he comes from a strong family.

Well, we don't have much else to tell you this week.  I've been a little bit sick with a fever, but it is getting better fast. It seems like we never get sick enough to keep us down for long.  

Becky, we hope that the move wasn't to hard for you.  Sorry we couldn't wish you a better birthday on that day, but of course, there was no chance to communicate.  Jacob, good luck moving to Cottonwood Heights this weekend. Just being a 15 minute drive from Deborah will be awesome for both of you. Esther, we loved the story and pictures of your family, and we love hearing from all of you.

Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Mission Call

Dear Family,
Since most of you have probably already watched the video of Uncle Rob and Aunt Brenda, opening their new mission call, this is for you, Amy.  They have been called to the Wellington, New Zealand Mission to serve as Family History Preservation Specialists in the city of Dunedin. It is in the southern part of New Zealand.  The area to the West of them is a large mountain range which goes all the way down the western coast of the island.
We looked up the church statistics of the area and there is a district with 6 branches of the church there, just like we have here in our area of Guyana.  I expect that they will do some member leader support there besides the Family History work.  It will certainly be a little diifferent than the mission to Washington DC because the church is not as strong there. 

Our week has been a good one.  We picked up the Mission President on Friday and are in the middle of district conference and zone conference this week-end.  One of the promises which our mission president made to the members here was that if they would keep the Sabbath day holy, live the law of the fast and pay fast offerings, they would be blessed financially and spiritually and not have the heavy burdens that they now carry.  

He also said that in the West Indies, only 1 percent of the members pay fast offerings, and in order to be considered a contributor, all you had to do was pay at least one penny during the year. That is so little to ask.  Yet the blessings promised by the Lord are so great.  I really believe that.  The spirit bore witness to me of how keeping those two commandments would help them live all the other commandments.  I know that our family has been greatly blessed materially by keeping the Sabbath day holy and paying our fast offerings to the Lord.

We continue to work with James, our Chinese friend.  He has made many friends in the branch and they greet him whenever he comes to church meetings.  He still struggles in his Book of Mormon reading.  He just doesn't understand the things he reads and so he isn't motivated to read and pray about the scriptures.  Dad wants to take him to help teach other Chinese people, but you can't teach things you don't have a testimony of.  Maybe he would get one though if he had to interpret for Dad as he taught.

Well,  Thanks so much for writing and visiting us on skype.  We love you all.  
Mom and Dad

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Rainy Season is about Finished

Dear Family and Friends,  We have had tons of rain for the past 3 months and many of our neighbors have had flooded yards, but it seems to be finally coming to a close.  Fortunately for us, the yard has a great drainage system and we have not been affected.
We have really enjoyed the rainy season because it cools things off during the day and the evening.  If we can just endure the next three months when we still have the humidity but no rain and the temperatures soar into the 90's every day!

Today was seminary and institute graduation.  There were probably 30 seminary students who completed their whole year of early morning classes and maybe 20 institute students who did the same.  I call them the faithful few.  There was certainly the possibility of three times that many active youth who come to church each week, but do not attend seminary and institute classes.  What a testimony building opportunity they are missing.  The teachers are some of the finest I have met in the church and they really care about each of their students.  

This has been a month of trying to improve the apartments which the elders are living in. One set moved out of theirs for a month so that the landlord could repaint and put a new tile floor in it and another set moved into a completely different apartment because our mission president wanted them to be closer to the church and the people they are teaching.  

There were a couple of missionaries in Trinidad who got Dengue fever from the mosquitoes there, so now we are looking at putting air conditioning units in the apartments, so that they have more protection.  I hope that works.  We have two air-conditioning units in our apartment, but the mosquitoes still find their way into the apartment.  We just make sure we spray with mosquito repellent and have a good mosquito net at night.

Well, I am rambling.  I am just really tired.  We helped with a Young Single Adult activity last night and boy, those young people here love to visit and visit.  The activity was supposed to be finished at 8:00 pm but it was 9:30 before we left the church.  I just wanted to say "Go home, this old lady is ready to go to sleep for the night."  We were glad that they enjoyed the activity and each other, however. The theme was pioneer night.  We played pioneer games, shot arrows from an authentic Indian bow, watched "Joseph Smith and the Restoration" and had a fish fry with deep fried plantain chips and brownies for dessert.  It was all good!

It was really fun to receive the West Side missionary letter and hear from each of our missionaries and enjoy their testimonies.  Thanks to all of them for contributing to that.

To our siblings,  we haven't heard from some of you for quite a while.  Send us a note to let us know how you are all doing.  We love and miss you. (Lois and Joel, how is the mission going?) (Rob and Brenda, do you have your new the mission call yet?)

To our children,  Happy Birthday, Aaron and Becky.  We wish you well, Becky and Jason, and Jacob and Abi as you make the big move to new homes and jobs this month.  We wish that we could be there to help you.  

Love from Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Another Week of Travel

Dear Family,

Time flies on weeks like this last one. We took 6 elders to Suriname on Tuesday, prepared food for transfer day on Wednesday, picked up elders from the airport on Friday and Saturday, and went to Linden today to get a temporary missionary to serve for the next 6 weeks.  

Elder Beutler also helped a set of elders move from one apartment to another yesterday while I stayed home and did laundry, made bread, and cleaned up the house.  

I don't know if it was the 8 hours of sitting in a car on Tuesday or what, but on Thursday, I picked up a box of Books of Mormon and hurt my back in the process.  I walked with a crooked back for the rest of the day and took Ibuprofen and prayed that the damage could be fixed.  

I have been so blessed that way.  The next morning, the pain had eased up enough so that I could walk straight again and by Saturday, I was able to do my work without any problem.  I will be more careful about what I lift from now on.  I am not as young as I used to be and I need my back to keep working for me for many more years to come.

Tonight we attended a YSA fireside where our district president talked a small number of young people about what they would like to have happen and activities to encourage a better attendance and have the young people get more excited about being with other members of the church.  If any of you have some good ideas about good activities for young single adults, please share with us.  We have not been that age for many years.  
We hope that all is well with all you and we really love your letters and skype visits.  Amy we pray that your last 6 months will be the best. 
Love Mom and Dad

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mayara

Dear Family,

We have been experiencing a black out for the past 11 hours, hoping that the power comes on in time to send this letter before Amy gets on the internet to read email from home.  We were told that the power would be turned off today from 8 to 5 and we weren’t  too worried about it because we were going to Linden for church and knew that we wouldn’t be back to Georgetown until 4 or so, but here it is almost 8 PM and the power is still off.  The food in the fridge is starting to get warm and we are getting tired of it all.  Some people in this neighborhood have generators which start up immediately when the power goes off but we do not so we just do things that don’t require electricity.

This has been a big week for us.   Besides the usual office work, Dad spent many hours yesterday drilling holes through the walls of the apartments we rent for the elders so that we could run hoses for the propane tanks outside so that the stoves the elders use did not have the propane tanks inside the apartments.  It is a safety measure which the church requires now that there should be no propane tanks inside the apartments.  We finished three apartments and there are still two to go. 
Earlier this week, we had a skype meeting with the 24 couples and the Mission President.  Pres. Mehr talked to us about finding ways to work with organizations such as the Lions club or hospitals etc. to do humanitarian projects and helping hands projects not only to be of service, but to build good relationships within our communities, so that when we have the large influx of new missionaries in our countries, they will be welcomed and trusted by the people here.  Guyana already has several organizations that have done humanitarian service in a joint effort, but unfortunately, the government itself is very adamant about limiting the number of foreign missionaries to 20.  We keep praying that it will change, but so far nothing has happened.

Today, we had a great experience in Linden.  The man that Dad baptized in May, Brother Featherstone, spent some time with us helping to teach an investigator.  After the meeting we took him home and met his daughter and granddaughter.  The granddaughter has eye problems and cannot read without enlarging the print.  Dad asked her grandfather if she had ever been given a priesthood blessing.  He said that she had not and he requested that she be given one. 

Dad gave her a wonderful blessing and after the blessing, her mother told us about a dream that she had had the night before.  She said that she dreamed that she saw Jesus Christ and she led him to her daughter and he gave her a blessing.   This experience was a witness to me that the Priesthood is from Jesus Christ and that it was not a coincidence that we went there today to meet Brother Featherstone’s family.  I feel that we just need to be sensitive to the spirit and we will be led to the ways we can help those around us.

We trust that all of you are doing okay.  We pray for each of you and are so grateful that you look after each other.  Abi, we are so excited that you are going to have another baby and we hope that things go well for you.  We love all of you grandchildren and miss you so much.  We hope that the power comes on soon.  12 hours is the record and we will be reaching that in twenty minutes. 
Happy Birthday to you, Mayara!                             

Love,  Mom and Dad