Sunday, January 27, 2013

Transfer Week

Dear children and grandchildren,

This week has just flown by.  On Monday, we visited 4 of the elders apartments for apartment check to make sure they were cleaning them and to find out what they needed.  It took 6 hours.  Then on Tuesday, I made food for transfer day for the elders coming in.  We had 5 elders leave and one couple, and we had 5 new elders come in.  Since our Berbice couple went home, we drove the 4 elders going to Berbice home to their new areas.  It was a long day, 2 hours to Berbice and 2 hours home.  
On Thursday and Friday, we did finances and office work and on Saturday, we emptied out an apartment which the elders no longer use.  Today, we went visiting 4 families who our branch president assigned us to home teach.  I love visiting them.  They haven't had home teachers for a while and they always welcome us like angels from heaven.  One family, the Persauds are really good gardeners and they have given us gardening advice on how to raise vegetables in the soil here.  We are starting to get pole beans from the seeds that Jared and Deborah gave us.

Happy birthday to you, Nathan on Saturday.  We always think of Grandpa Beutler on that day since that was his birthday also.  Nathan, if you could have known him, you would have enjoyed singing a duet with him.  He had perfect pitch and had a good baritone voice.  It sounded very much like John Luthi's voice from the Voice Male group.

Aaron, thank you again for cleaning off the viruses from our internet. The Skype is working fine again.  What would we ever do without your help.  

We don't have much else to tell you this week so take care and we love all of you very much.  Love, Mom and Dad

PS Sister Beutler is getting more acclimatized and is learning to enjoy the missionary work. That's good.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Another Week in Guyana

Dear Family and Friends

It seems like January is flying by so quickly.  We had senior couples conference the first week of the month and then had to take two sets of elders to Suriname to renew visas the second and third weeks and now this week is transfer week once again.  This time we are losing one of the couples and 5 elders, with 5 more elders coming in.  The couple replacing our senior couple won't be here for 4 weeks but we did meet them on skype last week.  They are from North Carolina.  They talk with Aunt Joyce's cute little southern accent and their names are Joe and Lois Carter.  That was a surprise to hear their first names, so similar to Uncle Joel and Aunt Lois!
There is never a dull moment when it comes to missionary apartments.  They either don't have the items they need, or they are broken down.  When one of the companionships complained about how the sister missionaries had these wonderful apartments in Trinidad, I told them about Amy's tiny apartment and how she didn't even have a stove that worked.  They quit complaining pretty quickly.  It does seem a little bit unfair that in Trinidad, the apartments are modern but in Guyana we are still getting there.  Third world countries are a great challenge for them to keep them humble, I guess. Amy, try spraying your stove with oven cleaner, since it may just be plugged with grease so that the propane is not coming through.

This weekend was area conference for us.  We had speakers from the district for the evening meetings yesterday and then today the satellite broadcast from Salt Lake City.  We listened to Rosemary Wixon, the General Primary president, David Beck, the Young Men's President, Elder Zwick from the seventy and Elder Russell M. Nelson, from the quorum of the twelve apostles.  It is so wonderful to have these broadcasts.  It is like attending our own personal general conference.  It is also wonderful for these people to meet together with other members from other small branches so that they don't feel so isolated in their desire to live their religion.  Strength comes as they meet with  others who are trying to live the gospel.

We are doing great health-wise.  The weather is always, always in the 70's in the morning and in the 80's in the afternoon. We have forgotten how it feels to be cold, but we do miss the snow, the mountains, and the 4 seasons. We do not miss flu season, however.  Love to all of you back home,  Sincerely, Elder and Sister Beutler

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Back to Suriname

Dear Family,

We have been quite interested in watching the weather for the United States this past week.  Ours never changes, temperature wise, and the rainy season is about over, so we watch to see how cold you are all getting and how much snow you have.  

On Thursday, we made a quick trip to Suriname to renew visas for two of the elders.  We decided to just take the ferry there and turn around and take it back without driving into the city.  It went pretty well.  There was a Brazilian who had done it many times so he helped us get where we were supposed to go to get back on in time. 

We met an interesting woman on the way back on the ferry.  She was blonde and blue eyed, so I walked over to her and asked her where she was from. She was from Sweden.  She appeared to be about 75 or 80 years old. I told her that my ancestors were also Swedish. She has a goal of visiting every country in the world before she dies.  She has already gone to 115 countries.  She said that she used to travel with friends and family, but she has traveled alone several times.  We asked her where she was going that day and she said, New Amsterdam, which is where one of our elders live, so we offered her a ride and she accepted.  

She talked non-stop to the elders while we drove home.  We came to find out that she was a stubborn atheist.   The elders bore witness of God and life after death and she would have none of it.  She had never prayed in her life, so she said, and she would not accept a Book of Mormon, but she was a moral, good woman and delightful to visit with.  As she left, she gave us her address and I told her to visit the Stockholm Sweden temple when she returns home, which she agreed to do.  

 This coming week, we have 5 more elders who need to renew their visas.  We hope that it will be a smooth trip for them as well.

The government of Guyana has all but stopped giving missionaries work visas so we continue to take our elders out of the country every three months. Pray that the government will soften and allow more work visas.  We are also losing 2 of our senior couples next month and we don't have replacements for them, yet. It just seems that Guyana is really being tested.  However, there are several young men and women who are putting in mission papers from here.  We hope that there will also be some couples with a desire to serve.

We don't have much else to tell you.  We love you all and enjoy the email letters and skype conversations we have with you all.  Love, Mom and Dad

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been so good to get so many letters and emails from all of you back home.  We enjoyed reading about the family and the community activities.  It was interesting to hear about all the missionary calls, and weddings, and missionaries returning from their missions during the past year.

This week has been quite a spiritually uplifting one for Elder Beutler and I.  We had a couple's conference in Trinidad from Wednesday to Saturday morning.  When we landed in Trinidad, we realized quickly that Trinidad is not a 3rd world country like Guyana.  The airport was clean and modern.  The faucets in the bathrooms were actually the right size for the sinks, and the stall doors closed properly.  The roads reminded us of the freeway from Pocatello to Boise, except for alot more cars.  We were put up at the Courtyard Marriot hotel and it was as nice as any  in the United States.  That is not why we enjoyed the conference so much, however.  It was meeting all of the senior couples and learning of their experiences that made it worthwhile. In Guyana, we presently have 4 senior couples serving and we see them often, but for many of these couples in the West Indies mission, they are to only ones on the Islands.  Of course, there are young elders and sisters with them.  

They often serve as branch presidents and some of them have to learn a  language.  For instance, in St. Martins, Elder Wright is the branch president in a Dutch-French speaking branch.  Elder Wright went on a mission to France as a young man, but his wife did not, so she tries to communicate with the members as well as possible.  

Anyway, we enjoyed hearing of the sacrifices and challenges that they are having, and it helped and strengthened us in our resolve to serve with more commitment for the next 12 months.  Can you believe, that we have been here for over 6 months already.

Our mission president, President Mehr, gave us lots of counsel and the two things that stuck out to us were that we need to listen to the spirit as we make decisions and that we need to train our replacements.  Personally to us that means helping prepare people to play the piano, so that they will continue to have music in their branches after we have gone, and to train priesthood leaders to be able to lead, especially the youth of the church.  We have some great young people here, but the temptations are great also.  It is one country where they are really a small minority who stay true to the gospel and to their wives and families.  If they could just learn to be true to each other and committed to their families, it would turn the whole future of the nation around.

Amy,  We pray for you every day, also Deborah and Jared.  We are so proud of the way you are living your lives and thankful that all of you children are close to each other and raising your children in love and righteousness.  Your strength gives us strength also.

I also enjoyed the couples conference immensely. It was the first direction we have received from our Mission President thus far. We arrived in Guyana the day before President Mehr. We come straight from the Dominican Republic and didn't stop at the mission home in Trinidad. Our call specified we were to be leader and member support missionaries. We were ask to come early to pick up where the PEF(Perpetual Education Fund) missionaries left off. When we arrived the mission office couple who were local missionaries said we needed to learn the office duties because they had been released for two weeks from their mission and not replaced. Willing to do what was most needed we learned the office duties while trying to carry on the PEF work. It was quite a frustrating time for us. Two month into the work the Beechers came to do PEF and Church Employment services which lifted quite a load. But we never really received any direction from our President on how we could best help the work move froward. President was new and learning just we were. So it was very refreshing to sit at his feet and hear of his desires for the mission and how we as couples fit into the plan to help the work move forward.

He was asked by President Monson to quantify what the mission would focus on the show positive growth. He presented two principles for us to teach to insure appositive growth.
1.  Encourage the members to keep their covenants with the Lord so He can bless them temporally and spiritually.
2.  Teach the members how to minister by councils.

I 100% agree with the President. We, the Church, needs to be very careful about how we present ourselves. We are not a deep pocketed Church were one can join to get material gain. But a Church of true doctrine where can come and learn the ways of the Lord and qualify for His riches blessing which He desires to shower upon all those who love Him and show it through obeying His commandments.

Worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders are quite sparse. It is hard to find three worthy men for the Branch Presidencies let along the Elders Quorum Presidencies. and it is hard to find a branch president to hold an effective Branch Presidency meeting and delegate responsibilities let along how to run a branch council. Home teaching is very limited. the members expects the Branch President to handle most all their needs.
It was good to get some good direction from President Mehr. I came back to Guyana with a fresh resolve to put all my heart, might, mind, and strength into this wonderful work of the Lord.

I trust all is well with you in your various responsibilities. We certainly enjoy hearing from you and draw strength from your letters. May the Lord's choices blessing attend you this coming year.

Elder and Sister Beutler