Look at the impressive length of his tail!!!
Two beautiful shots of the area around our hotel in Guadeloupe. We were there for their fabulous Celebration, but I didn't include these pictures in the previous post about the shows.
The famous Piton mountains
Sisters Gubler, Francom, Monson and the Pitons
Elder Monson with Rasta hair! It just fits - ya think?
Elders Francom and Monson in the mineral pool telling stories about Dan Nuttall!!
Gublers, Francoms and Monsons at a sweet restaurant overlooking the Bay! Good memories! This was the very same restaurant where we ate when we vacationed in St. Lucia for Christmas prior to our mission.
What a delightful surprise awaited me at the morning devotional on my birthday! Balloons all over the window, several of the following flower bouquets - retrieved at great personal sacrifice, which originally hung over the walls of neighbors homes and were clipped at 4:00 am by our beloved Rays, wonderful homemade muffins, (Sister Anne Ray), cut-up fruit (Sister Sue Ray) and a beautiful song in my honor! I play the keyboard every morning for our devotional, so after the surprise, all the hoopla and excitement, they said to turn to, "Let us oft speak kind words to each other," so I innocently played the first verse while they all sang along and then they broke into words about me which they had composed together! "Happy Birthday to you, Sister Monson, We know that you hate hearing praise, But we have to extoll your great talents, And mention your well-advancing age. We know you are shy and retiring, And never assert a point of view. But now that we've gathered together, We want to express our love for you. Oh, the service you give, shall in memory live, with the sunshine you always impart. Your goodness will live on this island, And ever be held in our hearts. Happy Birthday to you.....etc...... It was one of my favorite birthdays ever!!
This was the dessert I had at Angelo's Restaurant for my birthday with all the Trinidad Senior missionaries. The surprise from the waiter, with Elder Monson's assistance, was this beautiful dessert, and it was DELICIOUS!! It was so funny because no one ordered dessert so everyone just watched me eat it - I was totally oblivious, devouring the almond filling with the chocolate sprinkled on top and lemon curd whipped cream.......(everyone was talking and visiting) and then Bro. Francom said, after it was all gone....."Wow, we thought you'd offer us all a taste or something, but you just inhaled that thing!" Such a funny memory!!
Wonderful friends; Elders and Sisters Turner, Francom, and Ray. You can see I am the only one with cake and all the rest observers!! I am just going to laugh hard (I was laughing so hard I cried that night) every time I see this picture from now on!! I just lost my mind in the pleasure of it all!
Speaking of birthdays, we all were at the mission home at 6:30 am while President and Sister Mehr went on their morning walk on her birthday. They returned to this surprise for her!
We had three stations on Saturday. Elder and Sister Bateman ran this one for us. The first was a scripture treasure hunt which required an Olympic challenge with every clue before receiving the next one. They had headquarters where they searched the scriptures for the clues (which took forever to put together....many thanks to Sister Francom for helping) and then ran back to complete the challenge. It was really fun, and the kids loved it. The treasure was: "The Lord is my personal Savior and Redeemer!"
Here they were running to the next location after completing the team Olympic challenge.
The second station was skits. Sister Ann Ray helped me with this one. It was held out on the outdoor basketball court. They were given scripts and a bag of costumes to read through, practice and then at the end of the day, the skits were performed.
Practicing being angels
The third station was Water Wars. Elder Ray helped Elder Monson run this station. We had made shields upon which were alka-seltzer tablets. They were trying to dissolve each others tablet - with gospel applications of working together as a team to protect one from dissolving. The importance of good friends etc.. It was a fun, cool activity.
Since there are only a few more posts left to write about our mission, I want to record some testimonies we heard personally on our mission, not previously recorded here.
As we walked out of a baptism one Saturday, holding hands, an older sister (my age probably) came up to us and asked how long we have been married. I told her 40 years, and she said, "Thank you for coming here on a mission. You are our inspiration and our shining hope that what the Gospel teaches is really possible. We never see anyone holding hands in our culture; we hardly can begin to imagine being married, let alone to one spouse for our entire life. Seeing you together makes us believe eternal marriage is possible. (I decided I should record this for all Senior couples who have not served yet, and think one must be a scriptorian, have had major church positions or be someone notable in the world to be an effective senior missionary)
I think I shared the story of the choir director, Brother Ramoutar, from San Fernando, but not his conversion story. He is an amazing missionary and sang with several churches with other couples. He came across a member who invited him to come sing at our church. He was struck from his first visit that there was talk of baptism by immersion, and he had read the Bible enough to know that baptism must be by immersion, as Jesus' was. He said he and his wife were investigating several churches at once, praying fervently about which one was true, when he had a very vivid dream in which he saw a glistening white stone that had radiant lights shooting out from it in all directions. On the stone he saw gold writing that said; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were baptized and have been members for 19 years. He said during the first year they prayed fervently to have enough money to go to the temple to be sealed. At the end of the first year of their membership, he received three refunds from the mortgage company and had no explanation for the appearance of that money. It was enough to go to the temple. They, unlike so many, have paid a full tithing since they first joined the church, and they attributed this blessing to their obedience to that law.