Monday, December 29, 2014

MeRRy ChrIsTMaS - Week 48

Well Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you were able to have a wonderful Christmas! It was so great to Skype with you guys!

I guess I will start with Tuesday as usual, on Tuesday we had a whole lot of stuff fall through mostly because everyone was trying to get things set up for Christmas and had to go into town to do it. It was kind of a bummer, but we found things to do and some cool people to teach! 

On Wednesday, Christmas Eve, we couldn't find a single person to talk to or teach. We ended up having some member ask us to help them clean their house on Christmas eve. Here in St. Vincent most everyone has a funny tradition that on Christmas Eve everyone stays up until the wee hours of the morning cleaning and baking cakes. Then they sleep for a few hours and get up and eat and relax all day. It's kind of funny, but they sure know how to make some good cake.

On Thursday we woke up and had Christmas breakfast. In Elder Pohl's family, for some reason, they always have banana splits after breakfast on Christmas morning. So, thanks to the Pohl family. I was able to enjoy some wonderful Ice Cream early on Christmas morning. After getting ready we walked up the hill a little way to a members house where they fed us lunch. After filling ourselves too much we headed back down the hill so that I could Skype my wonderful family, and then back out the door to another members house to be fed another pile of food. After which we went back down that hill and up another to get another... yes you guessed it... another plate of food! haha I thought I was going to explode! But we eventually made it home and slept it off.

On Friday they celebrate something called Boxing day here, now I have a Canadian companion who also celebrates boxing day and from what I have figured out by asking anyone I could, no one knows what boxing day is or where it came from, so that was cool. But it was pretty hard to see anyone on boxing day either, everyone was recovering from Christmas.... 

On Saturday we had an awesome lesson with Calicia and her boyfriend. Which is way cool because Calicia is scheduled to be baptized this upcoming Saturday! She is super excited for that! So lets all pray that everything goes according to plan! haha. We also had a wonderful lesson with Tammy who has committed to pray about a baptismal date and hopefully when we go see her tomorrow she will have set a date herself!

Yesterday we got invited over for a little post-Christmas lunch which was fantastic and had some great talks in Church about remembering Jesus Christ.

I have had a wonderful and weird first Christmas from home, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!

I love you all and hope you have an awesome new year's eve and an even better 2015! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!

Love, Elder Dorrance

(I don't even come home in 2015... weirdness...)

 Added pop tarts to my banana split (pop tarts are a Dorrance Christmas stocking tradition)

A p-day visit to Fort Charlotte.  From Google:

Fort Charlotte is an historic fort with spectacular views overlooking Kingstown. It is located just to the west of Kingstown and perched at 600 feet overlooking the bay - a short drive from Kingstown.
Constructed in 1806, Fort Charlotte was a significant fortification that housed around 600 troops and a battery of over 30 canons. The canons were mostly pointed inland, to defend against Caribs.
With wonderful panoramic views of Kingstown it is certainly worth a visit.

with Elder Gutierrez

Monday, December 22, 2014

'Twas the Week Before Christmas...Week 47

So this week was kind of great at times and kind of really slow at other times.

On Tuesday we had a Zone Meeting kind of following up about Zone Conference which was really good and some interviews with the district leader after that which went really really well. We talked about some cool stuff that I want to put into practice that I hope will help the area... But that took a good amount of time and we had the rest of our appointments fall through for the night so that was kind of a bummer.

Then on Wednesday we decided to go into an area that we don't usually work and found some kind of cool people, but it was a Wednesday morning so a lot of people weren't home. After lunch we went up to see a young girl named Calicia who is really cool and open to the gospel! We also had practice for the branch program which was extremely funny and very successful.

On Thursday we had our appointments fall through in the afternoon and headed down to the church to set up for the Christmas program. There were a lot of dances and songs and skits, us four missionaries did a few of the old Boy Scout skits that these people just cracked up over... We did the invisible bench one and another one called the ugliest person in the world. They were pretty funny. But the one that was the funniest was the last one. It was hilarious. You would just need to be there, sorry... haha

On Friday we went back up into these areas we don't visit as much and found some more cool people and had some great lessons. It's really cool to be able to see if someone is going to progress towards baptism in a contact based on whether or not they are interested in the Book of Mormon. It is such a powerful tool to help find those that God has prepared to receive the gospel!

On Saturday we had another wonderful lesson with Calicia and set a baptismal date with her for the 3rd of January. She is really excited for her date and moving towards it really well!

Yesterday it rained a lot in the morning and so we had kind of a poor turn out to church, but it was still really great, especially some of the talks about Christmas in sacrament meeting.

It was a great week. I hope you all have a wonderful week and a very merry CHRISTmas. Don't ever forget the first and best gift given to us by a loving Father in Heaven.

I love this work, I love this Gospel, and I love my brother and Savior, Jesus Christ. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Love, Elder Dorrance

Branch Christmas Party

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pretty Empty Week and Mission News - Week 46

Waiting for our plane on the beach in ST Lucia

Well due to medical and not very exciting events, this was a uneventful week.

On Tuesday, one of the more exciting days of the week, we woke up a little early and flew to St. Lucia for a Zone Conference with President and Sister Mehr and the Assistants which was wonderful! We focused on real growth and talked about how we as missionaries can help in the branches that we serve in. It was a really great day of listening to these inspired leaders!

On Wednesday we woke up early again to fly out of St. Lucia, but our flight was delayed and luckily there was a beach just right off of the airport that we were able to go hangout and study on. When our plane finally landed we flew back to St. Vincent, studied, ate lunch, and headed over to the church for a branch coordination. 

Then Thursday was the day that things started to slow down. We woke up and headed into town so that a member could show us the way to a medical clinic so that another Elder and myself could get ingrown toenails cut out. So that wasn't too enjoyable, but it was a little better than last time and also a little worse. I didn't get any injection to numb it up first for some reason which was better, because (take my word for it) shots in the toes are the worst. But it was worst because it wasn't numb... haha but we went home and weekly planned and spent the rest of the day inside.

Friday we spent inside also. But I did get my package from home which was very much needed! It was so great to have a little Christmas in the apartment, and candy, while I was just laying around... haha

On Saturday we didn't have any morning appointments and I was told to rest but in the afternoon we had a lesson we needed to get to so I ponied up a little courage and we headed out to visit a member referral named Calicia. She is super cool and has come to church for the last 3 weeks! She should be right on track to be baptized within a month or so!

On Sunday we had a pretty good turnout to church which is always a good thing and we were invited to participate in the branch choir so we had practice yesterday and we are coming along pretty nicely... haha

But it was a slow week, but a good week for the future! My toe doesn't hurt anymore and it should help so I don't keep whining to Elder Pohl whenever we walk... haha

I love you all and hope you have a great week!


Love, Elder Dorrance

News from President Mehr

Dear Elders and Sisters,

I have been authorized to announce by the First Presidency that as of July 1, 2015 the West Indies Mission will be split. The new missions will be named Trinidad Port of Spain Mission and the Barbados Bridgetown Mission. 

The Trinidad Mission will consist of Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana and the ABC islands off the coast of Venezuela.

The Barbados Mission will consist of the Islands north of Trinidad already in the mission including French Guiana that is part of the Guadeloupe District.

I will receive from the missionary department further instruction on what to do to prepare for these changes and I will let you know as soon as I do.

Please continue to work as you would normally. 

I sure love you all,

President Mehr

Merry Christmas from Home!

Gotta wear Crocs because of the sore toes

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hard Labor - Week 45

Elder Miyasaki

It was a pretty good week! We were able to meet some new people and help out with a HUGE service project handing out wheelchairs!

On Tuesday we had a good Zone Meeting and some alright lessons. But we weren't able to see very many people. We just had a lot cancel on us. And sadly we had some really awesome missionaries getting transferred out which was kind of a bummer... 

On Wednesday we had everything fall through again. It was a rough day mostly because not even contacting or tracting was working out. Nobody would even give us a minute so that was kinda tough, but we had a really good lesson with a less active family!

On Thursday we weekly planned in the morning and then headed to help pass out wheel chairs. It was so sweet to see all of these people who had maybe been paralyzed or what not their whole life just have their whole life change! It was sweet! And we were able to have an amazing lesson with a woman named Tammy about the Plan of Salvation! It was awesome! I think she really loved the idea of knowing where she's going after this life! It was so sweet!

On Friday we were needed again in the morning to help out with the wheelchair thing and after that Elder Pohl and I headed to a part of our area that we hadn't really worked before and had a member show us around to a few of their friends so that was really cool!

On Saturday we were able to have an awesome lesson with a members girlfriend who is super prepared for the gospel and is really excited to keep learning more and more! it was such an awesome lesson talking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

Yesterday on Sunday we were blessed to see 93 people attend sacrament meeting, which is a ton more than i've seen the whole time i've been here so it was so awesome to see so many people come out to church!

It was a pretty great week! nothing too crazy going on! Except for tomorrow morning we are flying out to St. Lucia for zone conference with the mission president so that should be really great! 

Hope you all have a great week!

All my love, 

Elder Dorrance

Monday, December 1, 2014

Short and Sweet - Week 44

This week had its ups and downs but it was still kind of good at times!

I'm kind of out of time but the main highlights of the week were probably a lesson we had with one of our investigators named Tammy about prayer! it went really really well!

We also were able to have a lot of fun helping unload and test out some wheel chairs for a service project this week which was a whole lot of fun!

I found out that I am staying here in St. Vincent with Elder Pohl and I am really excited for it! It should be really good! 

We had a great Thanksgiving feast last Monday by the Senior couple which was amazing and tasted better!

I'm sorry this is short and random but I lost track of time! I love you guys tons and hope you have a great week!

Elder Dorrance

Monday, November 24, 2014

Status Quo - Week 43

So this was a week of working really hard and a lot of sad let-downs. 

On Tuesday we had a Zone Meeting which was focused a lot on pointing investigators and members to the temple, which is kind of hard to get to for some people because it is in the Dominican Republic. But the Zone Leaders asked me to take a few minutes and talk about finding those that will receive us which was really cool! After Zone Meeting we had a pretty alright day we were able to have a great lesson with a young woman named Judean who is very interested and keeping an open mind about what we share so that is super cool!

On Wednesday we tried to go see some people in the morning but had them fall through and we were able to contact and meet some cool people in an area that we don't go to very much called Frenches, so Elder Pohl and I are thinking about trying to help build that part of our area by doing more work over there! The rest of the day was kind of a bummer though, we had a lot fall through and actually met some semi grumpy people that didn't really want anything to do with us, so that was kind of sad, but we made it a good day!

On Thursday we were able to have a great lesson with a member about temples and how he and his family are preparing to go to the temple! He has a daughter on a mission right now which probably really helps him want to do better, so it is cool to go and talk with him about preparing for the house of the Lord! That night we were also able to have a good lesson with the Ashton family about temples also, talking about eternal marriages and families. It was kind of a hard topic for them to grasp, especially baptisms for the dead, but I think it went pretty well! 

On Friday we had a pretty uneventful day with a lot of contacting and lessons falling through. It was kind of a bummer but had a great lesson about testimonies with a less active family. It went really well and I really have a testimony of using and sharing the spirit through Mormon messages. They are so powerful and direct that I can't believe that I hadn't really seen them before my mission.

On Saturday we had our appointments cancel in the morning and another wonderful lesson with Judean about the restoration which went amazing! She is really understanding it is great! 

Sunday was a great day of church and an awesome branch council with our new branch president who is really excited about bringing the less active members back to reactivation! It's going to be really great working with him the rest of the time that I am here! 

It was a pretty great week! I cannot believe that another transfer is coming to a close! 

I hope all is well! 

I love you guys so much! Thanks for everything you do!

Love, Elder Dorrance

Monday, November 17, 2014

Like a Tourist - Week 42

This week was slow at parts and flew by at others! Today is the start of week 5 of my 7th transfer! I can't believe how fast transfers are flying by these days! It's crazy!

On Tuesday we went and saw a few people after district meeting which was pretty cool, but a lot of our planned appointments ended up falling through! But we had a really great lesson with the Ashton family about prayer I think... The days are really starting to mesh together... But it was actually kind of a bummer day.

On Wednesday Elder Pohl woke up sick and we spent the entire day inside playing dominoes and watching old VHS tapes of Mountain of the Lord.

Same thing on Thursday, except we swapped Mountain of the Lord for Legacy. After sitting inside for a few days, some of the "movie magic" of the 80s made us crack up pretty hard, so you could tell that we hadn't really had much comedic relief for a whole 42 hours...

But on Friday we were able to go on a trade off with the Zone Leaders which was really great! Elder Hatch and I spent a few hours in an area that neither of us had been into before and were able to contact and teach some amazing people who were extremely prepared to hear the gospel! It was really a testimony builder to me to see that Heavenly Father really is building his kingdom and has prepared souls to receive us! It was wonderful!

On Saturday morning we traded back and Elder Pohl and I were welcomed back into our area together for the first time since Tuesday with a day of never ending rain that soaked us through while waiting for buses and what-not... haha. but because of the rain we had a lot fall through and not a whole lot of people wanting to talk to two soaking wet white guys trying to yell over the downpour of water... haha But it was a pretty good day! 

On Sunday we were able to have President Mehr come and speak to us and rearrange the branch Presidency which had been how it had been for a while, so nothing too crazy! Then we went to a members house for lunch and then to the new senior couples house for a "gospel jam session" with President Mehr that is always cool. We just bounce questions off of him and he teaches us. We were there for like 2 hours just talking and learning it was so awesome!

Then today we were supposed to go hike a volcano but it didn't work out so a few companionships got together and took a 45 minute bus ride to what is called Wallibou Bay where a few scenes of Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed. One of them was the one where Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp fight in the rafters. Kind of cool!

All in all it was a great week! Nothing to complain about! I hope all is well!

Keep me in your prayers!

With all my love,

Elder Dorrance

Looking over a wall into the ocean

Elder Gutierrez

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day...Week 41

Elder Pohl

This week was pretty average! We worked really hard, got really tired, sweated a whole lot, and something to kind of put a spin on things it rained. And it rained and it rained... haha

On Tuesday we had a combined district meeting about understanding and teaching to understanding which was really good because it really focused on experiences from the Book of Mormon where the prophets there were really able to help the people they were teaching understand. We were also able to go on a trade-off. Elder Gutierrez came into our area with me and we  had a spectacular day. We were able to teach some great lessons, one in particular about humility with a member named Kolin. We focused on Heleman 3:35. Which talks about improving your humility and faith! It was awesome! It also started DUMPING rain on us while we were walking home, it was raining so hard that we just started booking it down this hill. haha. It was great until we got home and I realized that running brought back my shin splint pain so that hung around for a few days but is gone now!

On Wednesday we woke up and headed over to Calliaqua to trade back and elder Pohl and I were able to have a pretty interesting day. One lesson that really stuck out was with a man named Baynes who has met with missionaries before and knows a lot about the plan of salvation and Joseph Smith and wants to get baptised! So that was really great! The only problem is that right now he is living with his girlfriend and they aren't married, but nothing that can't be fixed!

On Thursday we had a good lesson with a man named Leslie comparing the Book of Mormon with the Bible and seeing how they teach the same things and how they both simply testify of Christ. Which went really well because he told us that he is going to start looking into the Book of Mormon to find other things that are similar in them. Then we headed down to the church to help some members clean and it turned out to be us and one other member and there was only one mop and two brooms, so Elder Pohl and i swept while Sister Smith mopped and she had to stop to go to a meeting so it just ended up with us being there for 2 hours while we took turns watching the other one mop... Loads of fun... haha 

On Friday we had almost all of our appointments fall through. But one we didn't have fall through was with an awesome member family named the Browns. We talked about the sacrament and how it really cleanses us. It was awesome! And on the way home we found ourselves running again because of the downpour of liquid from the heavens... It was a magical experience, I thought I was swimming again... 

On Saturday we had a great lesson about the restoration with a woman named Keisha and her sister which went really well. I love talking about the Book of Mormon when teaching the restoration because of how vital it really is to the establishment of the church. It is so vital. And it also completely rained like a hurricane on Saturday too. By this point Elder Pohl and I were pretty tired of getting home completely soaked through, especially me when I only have one pair of shoes and have to wear some semi-wet shoes all day the next day... haha

On Sunday we had great church. We had some good talks on seminary and missionary work, one of them by a missionary that just got back from his mission that was really good. After church we headed to a members house for lunch where we had some pretty good chicken and rice and peas. Pretty good! Then we went home to study and then to choir practice where it started pouring rain once again and no one showed up but the director with a car and the four missionaries, so that was fun... Then when it didn't let up after about an hour we decided to just book it home.

All in all a really fantasticly wet week. Taught some great lessons and found some cool people to teach and got really really wet.

I heard once from an older, more experienced missionary once, the more times you get caught in the rain as a missionary, the cuter your wife will be. So I'm not complaining.:)

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Dorrance