Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weary in Well Doing

Dear Family,

 I've decided that three days of traveling outside of our usual routine is too much for this middle aged  woman.  I am in awe of how Melvin continues to have energy to go and go when I am exhausted. 
On Friday, we spent much of the day across the river in La Grange, helping the elders look for a new house to rent.  They were told by President Mehr to relocate closer to the chapel so they won't have to ride their bikes for a half hour just to get to the area where they do their tracting.

Then, on Saturday, we took one of the Elders to the airport because his visa had expired and we weren't able to get a new one for him.  Apparently, neither the Guyana or the Suriname government has good relations with Mexico, and the elder was from Mexico.  

When we checked him in at the airport, he had too much luggage and they charged him an extra $70 US for the luggage. It took over an hour to figure that one out, so it was an all day affair to get him there, and for us to come home.

Then, today we went on the 1 1/2 hour trip to Linden to visit that branch.  The mission couple who trains branch  presidencies about how to take care of the finances also attended and had a two hour meeting with the Branch Presidency to train them.

The Branch President has only been called for about 3 months, and he is really discouraged about his calling.  He says that he has lost many friends and some of the members think that he is unfair because he does not give them Church Welfare whenever they ask.  He is learning about the "loneliness of leadership".  Even his Relief Society President is mad at him and has quit coming to church.

The church is so young there.  Only one family in the branch  has been members for more than 4 years, and none of them have been to the temple, except two young returned missionaries from that one family.

The highlight of the Linden visit was that we were able to visit with Brother Featherstone, our good friend who Melvin was able to baptize a couple of months ago.  He is teaching the Gospel Doctrine class. He read about temple service as he was preparing his lesson and he had not understood before that he could do the work for his parents.

He said that he had the most warm feeling about  his own parents when he read that.  He realized that he wanted to do their temple work so that they could be an eternal family.  It was great to see him understanding that concept of the "hearts of the children turning to their fathers"  through the temple ordinances.

Well, as I said, I am pretty worn out from all of the travel, so I will check out for now.  Have a great week, all of you and thanks again for all the mothers day news.  

Love from Melvin and Carol

PS In case you haven't heard yet, Both the boys and the girls West Side Track teams won state this  weekend.  Go Pirates!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Activities

Dear Family,

It was good to hear from all of you during this past week-end.  I know that most of you did not get to talk to Amy.  She is looking really good, as you could see from the picture she sent of her and her new companion.  She said that her companion was a little bit  disgruntled because the houses in Kolonia were pretty run down compared to the ones in American Samoa. She called them slummy.  Amy wonders what she will think when she sees the huts in the bush. 

Thanks to all of you for the Mothers Day letters and cards.  I must admit that homesickness was bothering me on Saturday and Sunday.  I just miss all of you and the grandchildren, too. The letters really helped cheer me up! 

The district had a mother-daughter activity on Saturday evening which I attended for a couple of hours before a baptism.  Each branch performed a talent, either a skit, poem, or song.  It was fun to watch them and see the love that the girls had for their "Mommies".   I love that endearing term.  Even the parents of teenagers talk about their "mommies".  

On Sunday, we attended the Demerara branch, because Pres. Mehr wants us to start attending all of the branches to help train the leaders, instead of just the Georgetown Branch.  
During Relief Society,  the primary children came in and gave all the women bouquets of silk flowers.  Then the Priesthood brought food, (mostly dessert) for us to eat.  Then a couple of young women came in and recited a poem for us.  They really go all out for Mother's Day.

We spent the rest of the day (from 2 until 9) helping our elders skype their families.  It worked really well this time, except for the one elder who was talking to his family at 7:30.  The picture was bad and the sound was bad, so he just ended up having them call him instead.  I think his family has a poor internet server.

Now, today, we are back to business as usual.  We had to move our cars to the neighbors' driveway because the landlord hired a couple of guys to paint the fence around the house.  They figured that it could be done in a couple of days.  We will see.  Guyanese are not famous for working fast.

If anyone knows how the track team is doing, let us know.  We have not heard anything about them this year.  

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

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Rainy Season is Here Once Again

Dear family and friends,

We have been enjoying the cooler temperatures during the past two weeks as the rainy season began in earnest.  We had a fireside at the church last Sunday evening and the rain poured down so hard on the zinc roof that we could not hear what the speaker was saying.

Then, last  Monday was a little bit scary, because it was high tide season also.  Apparently, the ocean experiences a high tide for about a week at this time of the year because of the ice melting in the north and creating more water, just like the rivers in the mountains flooding when the winter snow melts in May and June.

We were traveling along the sea wall after our quarterly zone conference and we saw the waves splashing over the sea wall with a huge force.  It is times like this when I wonder why the people built this city below sea level.  One big leak in the sea wall and everything would be gone!
I need to mention another activity which is being organized for the young people here.  They have to take tests at the end of high school called CXC's.  If they pass them, they are eligible to go to trade schools which are paid for by the government to learn a trade.  If they do really well, they can get help at the University also.   

Many of our members have not taken their CXC's for one reason or another, so some of the qualified members are volunteering to teach them the classes once a week in the evenings, to prepare them for those tests.  One of the members, who is teaching the English made the comment at the fireside, "There is nothing so worthless as knowledge that cannot be recalled." 

I thought about that and then smiled because now that we are in our 60's, we have to be taught over and over in order to understand a new language or computer skills and such.  I sure hope that on resurrection morning, we will get it all back.

I just read Mary's letter and heard about Clancy Sears coming home from his mission.  Lisa, give him a hug from us.  Let him know that Amy is just getting the opportunity to become a trainer.  We can hardly wait to hear from her next week on Mothers's Day to see how things are going there. 

We are doing well.  We still are very healthy and count that as a blessing every day.  Our mission president has given us as senior couples the responsibility to go to ward council meetings and train the leaders there so that they can lead in the Lord's way.  They are coming along slowly and we are grateful for a church handbook to help in the training.  

We would love to hear from any and all of you,  Sincerely and With Love,  Elder and Sister Beutler