Sunday, June 2, 2013

Summer is here and we are still in the middle of the rainy season

Dear family and friends,

It has been raining sheets every day for the past 4 weeks and they, the Guyanese, tell us that the whole month of June is more of the same.  We don't mind it at all.  The rain keeps things a bit cooler.  It only reached 80 degrees yesterday, so we didn't have to run the air conditioner that much during the day time.

We really enjoyed hearing about the end of school activities, especially the track championships and seeing the pictures that Melissa sent of graduation.  It was fun to look out into the audience and see some familiar faces of our friends at West Side.  May has always been reward month for us as we see and hear about the accomplishments of the children.

Things have been a little bit different for us this month.  Our mission president asked us to visit four branches instead of just the Georgetown branch, so that we could spend more time training leaders who were new in the church and didn't understand their leadership responsibilities completely, yet.

It has been a little overwhelming to spread our so much.  I no longer get to lead the music in Primary, and Melvin is not teaching the young men anymore, so we are missing being with the young people. 

Most of the branches seem to be doing fairly well with leadership, but one branch, the Linden Branch is really struggling.  The leaders don't seem to understand that they need to be there on Sunday in order for the classes to be taught and to meet the needs of the people.  The Relief Society President just quit coming because so was angry about something and so her counselors try to pick up the pieces and lead without her.  

We had a similar experience here in Georgetown last September, but the Branch President called a new Relief Society President quickly and things moved forward as usual.

The other thing which has been a really challenge is missionary apartments.  We had a couple of them which are in really bad shape and we have been looking for several weeks to find new ones to move into.  We saw some real dumpy places that people wanted to rent out. Finally, yesterday, we found one for double what we had been spending but it is immaculate and the landlord is really good at taking care of the house and yard.  Hopefully, the Mission Finance Department will approve the rent increase from 200 to 400 US for the place.

This week is transfer week, so we will be moving missionaries around for two days.  I remember that at one time, Carolyn and Wayne counted the number of tranfers they had before the end of their mission.  I counted ours today, and we have only five more transfers after this one this week.  Time is starting to speed by for us.  

We have become more involved with young single adults during the past 6 weeks and are helping them organize one major activity and one fireside each month.  We found out by looking on the district records, that there are over 900 young single adults in our district of six branches.  We could easily form a stake out here with the number of members on record, but with only about a 10 percent retention rate,  they are still struggling branches instead of wards.  

The key is to get these young single adults to marry and raise families in the gospel, instead of just living with each other and making no family commitments.  Hopefully, that will be the case in 20 years after a whole generation of people have been members here.

Well, enough of my ramblings.  We love hearing from you all.  Keep the faith and have a wonderful summer.  Love, Elder and Sister Beutler

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