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

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy 4th of July

Dear Family,

This week, one of the highlights was to attend a 4th of July party at the home of the Ambassador of the United States. It was hosted by the US Embassy, and as far as we could tell, we were the only missionaries from the church who were invited.  There were lots of Americans there who work for the Embassy and many dignitaries from other countries who are associated in one way or another with the Embassy.

We had lots of conversations with people and most of them have moved from one country to another to do their jobs.  The secretary for the Ambassador has moved about 13 times I believe to various countries for her job.  It seems like everyone had a story to tell about their life.

We dressed like cowboys and the band did an excellent job of playing country music. We even danced for a couple of minutes to the tune of "Achy Breaky Heart".

As we were leaving, we met the Ambassador of Sri Lanka.  His wife told us that she had been at the Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City and had performed as a drummer at Christmas time.  She had a great experience there, not only as a performer, but also going on the tours of Welfare Square and Temple Square. 

We also enjoyed hearing from you as you shared your week and told us about the 4th of July celebration in Dayton.  It made us grateful for your willingness to continue the celebration so that the children could have the fun that goes with that day.

Congratulations to Jacob for his outstanding run, and Happy Birthday to Gideon and Joseph this week. 

Today we attended church in Demerara on the East Coast. They meet in the newest church building in Guyana. It was dedicated the first month we were here. We attended branch correlation meeting after the block. The church is very young here. The leaders could use lots of counsel on how to counsel together to bring the unity in the branch the gospel requires. The main focus of the meeting was visiting and fellowshipping the new converts. No home teaching is taking place and little or no visiting teaching. The auxiliaries are weak and partially functioning. There is lots of need for senior couple shadow leadership. That is hard to do without a strong relationship with the leaders, so they don't feel threatened or offended. I think we can lend some help. 

It is a mammoth job to run a functioning branch here. There are so few who are really committed enough to follow through with assignments.

Anyway, we press forward and hope that we are doing some good. 

Love to all of you, Mom and Dad