Sunday, May 19, 2013

This amazing week in Trinidad!

Sooooo many wonderful things have happened in the past week!  Major changes and the kingdom growing among the youth!
Doctor Kimball and his wife from the US came to Trinidad on a five-hour lay-over.  We picked them up at the airport and took them up the side of the mountain to a monastery.  This beautiful overlook was along the way.  We then went to a nice Chinese buffet for lunch before taking them back to the airport!  We were so impressed with this couple. As a Dr. he is not on a full-time mission as we are, but rather on-call for an 18-month period of time.  During his designated mission time, he is called up on a crises relief basis in areas all over the world serving there for a couple of weeks at a time, and returning to his home until the next desperate need. They are in their 40's and have been on three missions and have taken their children on many of these trips.  He was here for the neonatal resuscitation program starting in Grenada.  . He shared about his experiences in Haiti for three weeks.  There were so many Doctors there performing multiple hundreds of amputations around the clock to save people's lives with crushed appendages.    They have four children and are such good people!  What an inspiration to freely share talents to save and help people all over the world!
The view above Trinidad by the Monastery.
 On the way back down,  we had to stop and take a picture of this sign for our son, Jordan!  Man, was it windy!  We were kind of shocked to find a street sign at all!  They are pretty rare. 
 Another termite house.  I still don't want to eat a termite, though I hear they taste like carrots!
 The church at the top of the mountain!  The candles lit for prayers!
 Not a cathedral in Europe, but a nice location!
 Meet the Gublers!  They are our neighbors, temporarily.  They are learning Dutch and going to Suriname as soon as they get their Visas........which is who knows when???  They took over the apartment assignment for us!  Wonderful people!  We are sad they will be leaving!  They are laughing because they came over and said they wanted to take a picture of us for their blog.  My ipad was sitting on our table and I said, well, I want to take a picture of you for my blog!!  So while he was taking our picture, I was taking his!! 
 We had a farewell lunch at TGI Fridays in Chaguanas. I hate this part about missions!  You grow to love other missionaries and then they leave.  Elder and Sister Linton left to go to Tobago and Elder and Sister Lindorf went home.  Now we have two new senior missionary couples; the Gublers and the Reeses.  The Reeses just got here last night and will be in San Fernando which will be a huge boost for the South.....The Gublers will be a powerful force for good in Suriname!

 This picture was taken at night and my ipad has no flash, but I had to include it.  We had two youth baptisms this week.  Mary is on the right and has only been a member for two months.  She is the young woman I spoke with at youth conference.  She has been such a courageous example, the only member in her family. Her best friend, Purdy was baptized.  Her story is amazing, too.  She has been attending church since February, attending seminary and devouring the Book of Mormon. She came up to the Sisters at church and told them she wanted to be baptized.  She is one of the elect of God. She has sought for and been drawn to the Spirit since she was first introduced to it.  Her Father does not provide for the family, is a drunk and physically abuses his children and wife.  Her mother provides and cares for the family.  They live in a house that has been "started" for years.  It is bricks laid on top of each other with openings for windows and doors with cloth over them; no furniture whatsoever with a dirt floor.  Sister Herrick and Sister Jewell taught her the first time standing in a completely empty room.  The next time, Purdy rented two lawn chairs with her own money for them to sit on.  The third visit, the sisters sat on beer barrels.  Purdy's mother, a Christian, fully supported her daughter in her desire to join the church.  However, they were all terrified about her Father finding out.  Sister Herrick said that one time they were teaching Purdy, and he walked into the house, drunk and enraged.  She said Purdy started shaking, looking down at the floor and Sister Herrick whispered to her, "Don't worry, Purdy.  The Spirit is here, and you will be safe."  He stopped, glared at them all, turned and abruptly left.   We feel so honored and humbled to know and love her.  Her baptism was an unforgettable occasion.  I wish every young women in the United States could just spend a half hour with both of these young women to feel of their noble spirits and believing hearts, willing to make any sacrifice to have the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives.
 Elder Ward and Purdy before her baptism.
Sister Herrick, Purdy and Sister Jewell........ We love them all!..........  We love our mission!
So thankful to know and love Purdy!
 The church in the West Indies desperately needs Priesthood leaders.  The day after Purdy's baptism, Anil was baptized.  I don't know if it was because it was two young people in a row, but it was an incredible experience for us.  The intimacy and personal commitment to Jesus Christ embodied in the symbolic death of the old person, (buried under the water) and birth of the new person in Christ (raised out of the water again) was poignantly emotional for me as these two young people covenanted to always remember Christ, keep his commandments, and take His name upon them.  This picture shows Anil, some church members, and his family that came to support him.  His brother did not look very happy about it, but they were there which was nice. 
 There were two sets of Elders because Anil has been preparing for quite awhile and the original missionaries that taught him received permission to return to the area for his baptism.  There is so much pressure in this culture for men to drink and do so many destructive things that for a young man to live a godly life is a huge change and a step off the broad path that the vast majority of young men travel.  Anil is a courageous and good young man.  We were so happy to be a part of his baptism, too.
 President Rupa, the second counselor in the Stake Presidency, performed the baptism.
 It was a beautiful day!
 I had to take a picture of this lovely restaurant named after my mother!  We didn't try the food!
 For Mother's Day, we had Sisters Herrick and Jewel, Sisters Gossard and Taylor, and Elders Grange and Hatch over to skype their mothers and have dinner with us.  I got to skype all my kids too, for a little bit, after they all left. 
Sisters Taylor and Gossard insisted we try the BEST doubles stand!  We've tried two others. They love them!  All the missionaries do!  Yeah.....we are done trying doubles for the remainder of our mission!  We officially are NOT impressed.  They are slimy tortillas with smashed chick peas and sauce all over them.  Nah - we are not fans!  This stand is legendary and ALWAYS has about 20 people in line.  We don't get it!


  1. You guys are amazing. I sure miss you. I love working in Young Women with Rachel! She is so much like her Mother:) that's a good thing! Love your blog! Xoxoxo Sandy

  2. I love reading your blog. It is so inspiring. I especially loved that sign you highlighted this time ;-)