Friday, August 30, 2013

Forgotten chicken feet!

The events I am sharing here actually pre-dated the last post. I am still catching up! 
This shot is from the meat department at Pricesmart.  Haven't you seen these at your Costco?  Look closely at the fingernails on the chicken feet!  One of the feet somehow escaped and was sitting on top of the package!  Chicken feet are somewhat of a staple here.  I just cannot get used to taking a big bite of Palau... or as they call it in Guyanna, Cook-up, and finding those fingernails attached to chicken feet underneath the rice!  Why, indeed, should one part of a bird be more advisable for food than any other????
If you read the last post about the YSA conference, you can appreciate these wonderful young single adults!  We meet the Sunday after every monthly activity to assess the previous activity and plan the upcoming one for the next month.  At our meeting, I noticed several of them had on purple, so had to get a picture.  I love how colorful everybody is here!  Such handsome people!
 President Francique, of the Arima branch, and his wife blessed their new baby this month.  I have shared his amazing conversion and testimony in previous posts.
Such a beautiful family!
Rhonda's baptism was this month also.  She is an amazing young woman. 
This was before the Gublers left for Suriname and just after the Rays and Smiths arrived. Rhonda was pretty terrified in these before pictures.  Afterward, she glowed with the spirit and bore a powerful testimony of her choice.  So many people here do not know how to swim. In addition to making a life-changing decision, they have to conquer their terror about going completely under the water. 
  She described the persecution she had endured for eight years as she came to church.  Her family criticized and people mocked her.  She began drinking as a teenager, but she would always come back to church and felt loved and welcomed there.  When she turned 18, she decided that it was time to commit to the Lord and do what she wanted to do, not what others thought she should do.  She, like so many others here, is the only member of the church in her family.  She said she knew it would be hard, but she had her family of the ward to turn to when she needed support and she testified that she had made the decision the Lord required to return to His presence.    She is a very powerful young woman and a pioneer for future generations to come.
 Wow!  We had to record this........a BUSY policeman!
 This was a huge payday for us.  We have now been on our mission for 9 months!  Two of the young single adults from Couva ward called and invited us to come to a local YSA activity that they had thought of, planned, invited less-actives, made assignments, approached their branch president for permission and budget, and then invited missionaries to join them! Cintra and Shandell conducted the whole evening starting with team charades which were planned in advance!  Wow!!
We were SO thrilled at their initiative and the GREAT job they did!  They had prepared games, asked us to bring a movie, (seventeen miracles), we all cried....again, and we had dinner together.  They did have some less-actives join us and we had a great time!  You can see Shandell behind THE WINNING TEAM!!  She selected Elder Monson and me as the team captains so the pressure was intense!
Everyone contributed food to the dinner including the young missionaries who brought brownies that were pretty fabulous.  We brought a salad.
This guy wins!  He has the longest Rasta tail we have seen in half our mission!  He was walking out of Pricemart and I had to record his picture forever!
This moth of unusual size was on wall outside of our apartment! I thought my grandchildren would want to see it!
August 31st was independence day in Trinidad, so all the senior missionaries went to a NEW RESTAURANT in Port of Spain called Angelos.  It was really astoundingly good and wonder of wonder, all 9 of our meals came out at the same time!
The next day we went out with our friends and neighbors, the Rays to start our fast.  The festive Independence day balloons were still adorning the ceiling.  We laughed and laughed!
Great people!  Our China inspiration!
 The baptism on Saturday was amazing.  Devindre's testimony was on the previous blog.  This was Steven's baptism at the same time.
 He was paralyzed in a construction accident.  He demonstrated incredible trust when the Elders and others lifted him into the water for his baptism.  He was introduced to the church through a humanitarian wheelchair project when the church delivered to his door a wheelchair. 
 He told us afterward that he was certain as he came out of the water, that it was the most correct choice he had ever made.  
His entire family came to support him.  None of them were interested in learning about the church, but they are wonderful people and very supportive of his choice.  We missed his and Devindre's confirmation because we were late to church for the first time in our mission. In our assignmet, we rotate to all of the wards and branches on Trinidad.  There are nine different locations.  The driving in this country has already been discussed in previous posts.  Suffice it to say, before we get on the road we are always certain to include in our companionship prayer driving safely to our location.  So this fast Sunday, we were slated to go to San Fernando, one of the more distant south locations.  We have the exact route down at this point of our mission, but as soon as the path is changed for whatever reason, we are in treacherous territory.  There are skinny, twisting roads which go every which-way so we always stay with the known paths.  However, this day, the rare occasion of seeing multiple, engaged, policemen busily escorting about thirty five bicycle riders in an independence-weekend-race distracted us and we passed the freeway exit.  We found ourselves in completely unfamiliar territory having no clue where we were or how to get to the church.  It turned out to be a very sweet experience; a tutelage in following the Spirit and listening closely to gentle promptings that we feel instead of know.  We made some mistakes initially, but as we asked, what do you feel, we could more and more quickly be able to say, in unison, at every turn, I feel right, or left, and when we were in agreement, we would go that direction.  It was very humbling that we came to the church from a very different direction and arrived in time for the sacrament.  We felt very blessed and it felt like a workshop on feeling the guidance of the Spirit and waiting until we both felt the same impression.  A tender mercy from the Lord for which we were both very thankful.

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