Monday, July 28, 2014

Zone Conference and Transfers! Week 26

Well this week definitely had some ups and downs to it! haha...

On Tuesday we were able to have some great companion study. We went back and forth on our memorized references for Zone Conference! Then after lunch we went out for the day and really focused on an assignment we got from our mission president to focus on the Seminary and Institute aged youth to bring them back to church. It's a really great way to find part member families and less actives to get them back to church! We also some of our main investigators like the Skeet's and Dyal's. Brother Skeet has like malaria or something awful so we were able to give him a blessing and head out before we got sick too. And we had a good lesson with the Dyal's about the gospel of Jesus Christ, which was really great because we were able to talk about baptism with them and how we all need to be baptized, and I think they understood the need to be baptized. Then we came home to no power in our apartment because someone forgot to pay the power bill again... 

So on Wednesday we woke up from a very hot night in the apartment to head out with un-ironed shirts to see some more less active seminary and institute aged kids. It was good! We were also able to go to fun night again which was a lot of fun as always! Came home to still no power... haha It was getting kind of old, but I guess it's the closest thing to camping I can get on my mission! We had a good time either way!

On Thursday we had to wake up early to drive to Georgetown for Zone Conference and we had to hurry over to the church to iron our shirts. Haha. We made it in time though and we had some spectacular lessons from President and Sister Mehr and the Assistants about really just how to be better missionaries and really focusing on the Book of Mormon in our teaching. I also got told that I would be leaving Rosignol which makes me pretty sad but I have been called to serve in a branch on the island of St. Vincent. I'm super excited to start this next part of my mission!:)

On Friday we weekly planned and then had lunch, after that we didn't even have time to go see anyone in our own area because Elder Sherren being the district leader had to go over the bridge to do like 5 baptismal interviews. So we traveled throughout the zone to visit a bunch of people preparing for baptism this last Saturday. It was a lot of fun! We got to spend the night in Canje also. Even though I didn't teach a lesson in my own area and I was in a car or bus for a lot of the day i was completely exhausted... haha

On Saturday Elder Sherren and I did studies in Canje and headed to New Amsterdam to be witnesses for thier baptism that they had, it was a great service! Then we met Canje in New Amsterdam and we all went and got some amazing BBQ. We go once a week because it is only open on Saturdays and it has just happened that the last three Saturdays we have been stuck in New Amsterdam for one reason or another. Then we went back to Canje to do two more baptismal interviews and then finally headed home. When we got home we only had time to see one family. That was Sister Bibi and her family who are CRAZY! haha. Sister Bibi was leaving for Trinidad on Sunday morning so the whole family was a little sad to see their mom going away for a bit. But it was still fun to be with them for just a little bit.

Then on Sunday we woke up early to get to church early and had a great time there for me it was the last time for a bit:( But I think I gave a pretty good talk about enduring to the end. After that we headed to the Samaroos to talk to them for a bit and then all the sadness came on because I realized that I would be leaving berbice... We went and saw everyone that we had time to go and see. It was pretty sad for me, but members here are used to missionaries coming and going, I seem to be having a hard time with it. I have been so blessed to get to know the people here in Rosignol, I wouldn't have wanted to start my mission anywhere else.

I can't explain how much I have loved serving here in Rosignol and I will never forget what I have learned here. I love this country and the people here will always hold a special place in my heart.

It was a crazy good week. I love you all. I will talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Dorrance

Sister Bibi and her daughters

Elder and Sister Samaroo

Persuad Family

Narine Family (Ward Missionary)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Over the Bridge and Back Again - Week 25

Not a whole lot has happened this week, pretty dull but it's crazy to think that this transfer is coming to a close next Wednesday, that's another one that has just absolutely flown by.

On Tuesday we headed over the bridge to be enlightened by Elder Sherren who taught about Faith, Diligence, and Obedience. He split us up into three different groups and had us teach each other, it was a great lesson! After that we headed home and got ready to go out for the day. We had some lessons fall through which was a little disappointing, but our last appointment of the day was with the Dyal family who seem like they are very interested and PROMISED that they would come to church which was awesome! 

On Wednesday we had to go back over the bridge to pick up our phone that we left charging in the Zone Leaders apartment. We headed back and got ready for the day so we could go out and we were able to see the Skeet family finally! They just barely had their baby a week ago so they had been staying at her mothers house, but everyone is doing well! We talked about eternal families and about them getting married and they were all in! It was cool to see them so excited to start this next part of their life together!

On Thursday we were able to go on a trade off with the Zone Leaders so that Elder Sherren could do some baptismal interviews throughout Berbice! So I was able to spend a night in our area with Elder Westra who is an awesome teacher and a great missionary! We actually had every single lesson fall through on the day I was with another missionary so it was a little bit stressful to show someone around an area they don't know where every main lesson and backup lesson fell through, pretty crazy day. But we were able to teach the Skeet's again which was really great! We taught about the Word of Wisdom, he completely understood and was totally agreeing with us how we need to take care of our amazing bodies that are gifts from God. He was basically teaching us the lesson haha... It was great though! We were also blessed to meet a friend of a member who is named Elizabeth. She is an awesome lady and I hope we will be able to meet with her tomorrow!

On Friday we headed back to Canje to trade back and found out that Elder Sherren had more baptismal interviews to do that night and we decided it would be a better use of time to just stay on that side of the bridge than waste the money and time going and coming like twice. So we went on some mini splits where me and Elder Hendry went and taught some lessons and Elder Sherren and Elder Westra went and set up the church for a fireside that they were having. In the evening Elder Sherren went to New Amsterdam and Elder Woodruff and I taught an addiction recovery class that they have set up while Elder Brown and Elder Sherren went and completed the interviews for baptisms that were happening the next day. After a few hours we met back up so that Elder Sherren and I could catch cab back to Canje to spend the night. That was a crazy day, I was exhausted but didn't even teach anyone in our own area... haha

On Saturday we woke up and did our studies in Canje and headed to New Amsterdam to catch another bus back over the bridge but not until we ate some amazing BBQ in New Amsterdam. Roy, the BBQ guy, is only open on Saturdays and I will take any opportunity I can get to eat the food, it's amazing! haha. We headed back to Rosignol and unloaded everything at the apartment and went out for the day! We were able to set up a FHE with some investigators for tonight (Monday) and then headed over the Skeet's again to talk to them about more commandments! (We are seeing them so often because we want to get them baptized as soon as they are married which we hope is this week) We taught about tithing and they were totally okay, they understood that everything is God's and the least we can do is give some money to help build his church. Then we didn't have a lesson for a little bit so we went contacting and taught a few lessons there that will hopefully go somewhere!

On Sunday we woke up ready to head to church and found that not a single one of our investigators came to church. Well except Sister Dyal who got there like 10 minutes early sat around for a bit and then left. I guess because we got there at 8:55 we miss out on investigators coming to church. It was pretty sad but other than that church was interesting as usual. Caribbean people have very strong opinions so when they are asked to give a talk they just let loose on the congregation about how they feel. Which usually isn't doctrine, but still enlightening all the same!:) Then we headed home to eat some lunch and study, then back out! We decided to go and see all of our investigators that didn't come to church but they were either asleep, out, or avoiding us, so that was pretty sad but because Brother Skeet was out we were able to talk to Sister Skeet about prayer and she even said that she would pray at the end of a lesson, which she didn't. But I have found that when people won't pray it is hard to get them to fully convert because if they won't pray with us, they won't pray alone either, so they can't ask if it's true, it's too bad.

But yeah, that was our week, after writing that it doesn't really look like a dull week but it was mostly just kind of a let down for our turn out at church... Hopefully this week will be better!

President Mehr is coming into the country this week for Zone Conference so it will be good to see him and learn from him! 

Things are going well here in Guyana! I hope everyone is doing well! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Much Love, Elder Dorrance

Monday, July 14, 2014

Crazy Crazy Packed Week 24

This week seemed like it just flew by just like the last few months have! haha

On Tuesday we had district meeting which was really great and then had some great lessons with Inez and the Bajnauth's where we had to have a drop lesson with them. They hadn't been keeping any commitments and wouldn't come to church so we had to tell them that we had to spend our time with people who are willing to change and keep commitments. It was hard for me because I was really excited for all of them but I guess they just weren't ready yet.

On Wednesday we had some good lessons then headed to Seminary and after that we headed straight to "fun night all" at the church. We want to get those kind of things like fun night and firesides back up and running so people will get excited and come back to church. Then we ended the night by visiting Moses and Shirley Dyal where we had a cool lesson about what?  SHE ACTUALLY READ HER BOOK OF MOROMON. It was super great! She had good questions and was actually paying attention to the story in the Book of Mormon. Awesome lesson.

Then on Thursday we had a pretty average day of visiting people and having regular lessons mostly less actives and we had another awesome lesson with Inez and we had a trade off planned with the Zone Leaders, but they got there late and we all had to stay the night at our apartment.

On Friday me and Elder Hendry headed to Canje for the day on a trade-off. We had a good day planned but because it rained so much we had to cancel a ton of them because so many people were flooded in. I forgot my camera so I couldn't get any pictures but it was a lot of fun teaching and learning with Elder Hendry. We were supposed to trade back at the end of the day but they were late getting to Canje so we all had to spend the night there.

On Saturday we went back to our own apartment and did our studies. Then we got back in a bus to go over the bridge to attend the seminary graduation which brought back some awesome memories of seminary graduation for me last year! Then we came home and spent a few hours cleaning the branch building because the branch president had to go to a different branch on Sunday

On Sunday we were in charge of the branch which only had like 6 people come so that was kind of a let down, but after that a member family invited us to a wedding of theirs and we spent some time eating some awesome curry there. 

All in all it was a great week with a lot going on. I love staying busy, especially when doing missionary work!

I hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Dorrance

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

63 People at Church! - Week 23

It has been a pretty normal, great week here in Guyana!

We spent all of Tuesday in a different area because an Elder over there was super sick for like 5 days and they asked us to come and one of us to stay with the sickie and the other to do work in their area so they could see some investigators. So I was able to ride a bike all day on Tuesday in New Amsterdam with Elder Brown! It was a lot of fun, I love riding bikes in Guyana because pretty much everyone does it. It makes me feel just that much more Guyanese!

On Wednesday we headed back to our own area in the morning and had a good, regular day of teaching. One of the best lessons for the day was with Brother Skeet and Sister Trisha, who aren't married but WERE expecting their first child. We taught them about the law of chastity and they are extremely excited to get married to be baptized and start this new part of their life together! It is amazing to see what the gospel can do in a family situation! We also had an okay lesson with the Bajnauths about the Book of Mormon after which Elder Sherren got a little too friendly with a grumpy cat, who decided it wanted a little taste of Elder Sherren's arm. We were both a little worried that he would get like rabies or something, but after talking to a senior couple missionary who was a doctor, we found out that cat's can't carry rabies, but that it would definitely get infected. So he gave Elder Sherren some meds to get.

So after studies on Thursday we headed over the bridge to New Amsterdam to get him the medication he was prescribed, which took some time out of the day, but the best part about Thursday was that we were able to attend seminary, which is just barely starting back up, but it was really good, it made me a little sad to think about my own seminary days. We are hoping to get seminary really big because right now there is like 3 kids going, who are all under the age to be going to seminary, but we sure don't turn them away! haha

On Friday we had a special Zone meeting in the morning, after that we headed back to our area and taught some good lessons and went to seminary again which was really good again! Then we saw a couple more less actives trying to get some people back to church and then went and visited a woman named Sister Bibi, who we taught a lesson to and she fed us some AMAZING beef curry and roti. I loved it bad, I wish I would have taken a picture of it so I could look at it now to remember how good it really was, oh man... Mom, I know you tried to make curry before I left, but it was not curry... I love Indian food... It was also a little sad celebrating the 4th of July with just my companion, I was hoping for some fireworks or something, but nothing, kind of sad... hope it was good back home though!

On Saturday we had a pretty disappointing day. We were able to start our fast and that was good, but we had so many lessons fall through that for a good hour or so, we ended up walking around in what seemed like the hottest day of my mission while fasting with no where to go. It was rough. But we had another great lessons with the Skeets about the Book of Mormon. Brother Skeet is super excited and SIster Skeet was not moving too fast, you could tell she was about to pop. WHICH SHE DID. They told us they would be at church the next day but we were both disappointed to not see them there. Luckily a neighbor of theirs told us that they woke them up on Saturday night late and told them that Sister Skeet was going into labor, so just a few hours earlier and I would have almost seen a child birth... haha

But we definitely saw some wonderful blessings from our fast on Sunday with 63 PEOPLE AT CHURCH I haven't seen that many people at church since I first got here! It was amazing to see so many less active families and also some investigators of ours all in church with us! I could definitely tell the Lord was blessing me personally with the help and strength I needed to complete my fast. Because if you've ever seen that one snickers commercial, I turn into a bit of a diva when I'm hungry... But I was able to see the blessings of fasting! We ended our fast after church and had some mediocre spaghetti and peanut butter and bread sandwiches, but it was good none the less! We spent the rest of the day kind of dehydrated and teaching a few pretty good lessons!

Then today we woke up and headed straight to the grocery store so that we could shop before all the stores closed because it's actually some holiday today, I have no clue what it is about but everything is empty, the streets, the stores, the BARS. So it must be a good day in Guyana... haha. But we did have a zone activity playing ping pong and cricket over at the Canje chapel which was a lot of fun! A few weeks ago the Zone leaders found some ping pong paddles and balls at a store and got a piece of wood and made a net and have been pretty excited about this ping pong tournament for a while! It was a lot of fun, everyone brought some snacks and we had a great time! I was also able to go and pick up some more stuff from Joshua the Alligator guy. 

All in all it's been a pretty fantastic week. I hope that was interesting enough for everyone, If you have stuck with reading this entire thing this week, hats off to you, that was a long one! haha

Hope all is well and you are loving root beer, pizza and hamburgers for me, because that's what I miss the most this week, AMERICAN FOOD!

Love you all tons! Keep me in your prayers! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Dorrance

Presents for home

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Long, Long, Busy Week 22

Go Viewmont Lacrosse!

This week was pretty great! a lot of stuff going on but things are going very well!

On Tuesday we headed to District meeting and then back to the apartment to study, after that we had some great lessons around Rosignol.

On Wednesday we had a full day of work, we went out and taught all day long, but the best lesson we had that day was with the Dyal's, we taught them about the BOM and kind of touched on some of the Resoration and they both got really excited I think. They love their Bible so whenever they can read something, they eat it up! That went extremely well for them!

On Thursday the Elders in New Amsterdam needed Elder Sherren to interview someone for baptism so we headed over the bridge to go on a trade off. I was able to bring elder Woodruff back to Rosignol with me. He's a cool guy! We went around for most of the day telling people about a meeting we were having the next day with the area 70, Elder Gamiette.(an Area Seventy is LDS church leadership assigned to a local area) But we also taught Brother Skeet which went really well! He is excited about baptism and especially about the thought of being able to baptize his own wife, he thought that was super cool!

On Friday we Headed to New Amsterdam to trade back and then back to Rosignol to go and tell a few more people about the meeting at five. At about 5:15 the meeting started and no one we told was there. It was us and the branch presidency and the Elders Quorum president. Kind of sad, but it was really a great lesson about getting our youth and seminary kids back to church and seminary! should be really good! Also on Friday night the Elders in Rose Hall told us about an interview they needed to have for a baptism the next day, which is kind of frowned upon, but we figured out that we could do it Saturday morning.

So Saturday rolls around and we get a call early that one of the Elders in New Amsterdam got really sick and couldn't leave the apartment, so we headed over there super early to let one of the Elders and Elder Sherren go to the baptism while me and the sick elder stayed at the apartment till they got back. Then me and Elder Sherren got lunch and caught another cab to Rose Hall to do a baptismal interview like an hour before the actual baptism. After all that traveling, we caught another bus back over the bridge to get back to our area to finally see some of our own investigators, pretty crazy day...

Then yesterday, we headed to church which had much better attendance than last week which was really really great! Then we headed out with a Sister from over the bridge to see some of the seminary teachers and talk about what Elder Gamiette talked about in his lesson, which was really great, I hope that seminary gets started back up here, I know seminary played a big role in my life growing up and going through high school...

Well that's kind of my week which was insane... haha just another week I guess!

I love you all and hope everyone is doing well! Love ya!

Elder Dorrance

p.s. Happy fourth of July! Hope everyone loves America and gives her the respect she deserves!

Elder Sherren

Berbice River