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