Friday, May 29, 2015

Trinidad! Week 69

Goodbye Barbados district 

This week has been crazy amounts of work and so much fun!

On Tuesday we had a combined district meeting in the morning. I taught about using our time wisely and making sure that the time we have been given from the Lord is being used productively and well. I think it went alright and I had gotten some hi-chews in a package that I was able to use as incentive for participation which was even better! Then the whole zone went to lunch at urban kitchen which is always amazing! Then we had a lesson with Kim in the evening about coming to church which she said she would try her best to come the next week. We were also able to teach Juanne it was short because we had to run some errands switching cars and stuff, so we didn't have all the time that we wish we could have. Then we ended the night at Deidre's talking to her a little more about her baptism coming up and what she needed to do to prepare!

I'm going to have to make this one short due to time, but on Wednesday I woke up early and flew to Trinidad to meet the beautiful, wonderful Elder Shariatmadari! This kid is a riot and we are seriously having the best of time and just working our tails off. 

On Thursday we weekly planned and were able to have like 5 lessons! It was sweet to see so much happening here in Sangre Grande, Trinidad! 

On Friday we spent time in the morning cleaning the church and had some sweet lessons in the evening with a member named Samantha and her friend! It was way cool to see Member missionary work! It's like my favorite thing! Then we also had game night that night with a little lesson before hand, and here they get almost 30 people coming out to game night which is super sweet! 

On Saturday we had two service projects in the morning, we sprayed some weed killer for the first one and painted some stairs for the second one, it was sweet! There's also a member here who is amazing! He loves coming out with us and working HARD! He's a great teacher and loves to be bold with people! it is sweet! He's great to help us fellowship people here in the Ward!

On Sunday Church was good. They have a ward here instead of a small branch so it was weird to have to call someone Bishop again. It's been so long since I have been in a ward that calling someone president rather than bishop is normal... but after church we had to wait for a good chunk of time to take the sacrament to some people. But we were fed by some members which was really good! Then we had some cool lessons with a recent convert and a little bit of a drop lesson with an investigator who wasn't really progressing...

All in all it was a great week! Elder Shariatmadari is really big on working out in the morning and eating really healthy so i'm looking forward to losing some pounds here in the beautiful land of Trinidad! 

Thanks for everything and hope you all have a great week!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Big News and lots of service! Week 68

So this last week we did a lot of missionary work and also a lot of manual labor! We were asked a few times to work in people's yards helping them clean up and such! It was great! 

On Tuesday we had an alright district meeting. I taught about Faith, Diligence, and Obedience. Three of the Christ-Like Attributes that President Mehr has asked us to focus on as a mission. It went well I believe and then we were able to go on an interesting shadow with the sisters out in St. Phillip. We taught a few people that they had found in their area book who had been taught long ago and had a few return appointments. So the people we talked to were definitely cool enough to get into the area book and will hopefully be real great investigators someday. They were pretty interesting lessons. One woman was insistent that Moses was the only Prophet and didn't really believe in Jesus Christ, which is sad, but cool to see how faith in Jesus Christ could really bless her life! Later that night we were able to go and talk with Lyn and her daughter Jalia about Jalia getting baptized and taught them about the restoration and the priesthood authority, which went very well!

On Wednesday we woke up and headed straight to Sister Edwards to help her at her shop again. We built a shelf that she could put in her bedroom so she could store her clothes and things and get them out of the way. It turned out okay, nothing too crazy, we for sure aren't master carpenters. Then we were able to go contacting for a little bit and met a few people who didn't really want to talk to us, but one guy in particular was pretty cool. He is a male seamstress (A Seamster?) and makes lots of couches and stuff. But he talked to us for a while about his beliefs which were many, He is a cool guy, just a little hesitant about the Book of Mormon but we will still see! We had some great lessons that night with Juanne about Prayer and what she read in the Book of Mormon and also Deidre about the Temple and family history work! It is so cool to talk to people about the temple in the Caribbean because it is such a sacrifice to get to the temple from here. It is so cool to see people desiring to make covenants with God!

On Thursday we weekly planned and had almost everything fall through except a great lesson with Lyn in the evening about the Plan of Salvation and an older woman named Sister Armstrong who has been sick the last few months and hasn't been able to make it out to church! It was great to get to check up on her and talk about the scriptures with her! But most of our day was spent with contacting and didn't result in too much, but got a pretty nice tan out of it!:)

On Friday we headed up to St. George to teach a few contacts about the Book of Mormon which went exceptionally well! They committed to read it and when we saw them later in the week they both had! So that was super cool to see! Then we went and helped Deidre again in her garden, we moved a bunch of dirt so that she could start laying the foundation for her new sheep pen! Then we were able to read a little of the Book of Mormon with Juanne in 2 Nephi 31 and 32 and her mother made us some coocoo. Which is fried yellow cornmeal and something like green peppers in it. It has the consistency of Mashed Potatoes and is served with Saltfish and has saltfish gravy all over it. It was definitely a different meal. haha But it was a  good day!

On Saturday we had some time in the afternoon after studies and lunch to go and do some sweet finding and met a couple of older ladies that said they would try to make it out to church and didn't seem to make it for some reason. And then we spent the rest of the evening cutting grass at a recent converts house who has had like 3 strokes so I was able to put my lawn cutting skills to good use and used a trimmer for the first time in a long time and whacked down some huge grass! Haha it was definitely a good time using those skills I've gained cutting grass for so long (Thanks Dad) Then we had our last few appointments cancel on us for the night, so we were able to go and follow up on another contact. But the big news is that I will be heading to Trinidad this upcoming Wednesday and will be serving with Elder Shariatmadari who I served around in St. Vincent! I'm stoked to head to Trinidad! I've only heard great things about it!

On Sunday we had regular church but the cool thing was that Deidre came out again and this time even brought her mom because I was leaving. It was way cool to see her there! Then we had some lunch and went finding for a bit and headed up to St. George to have a bunch of lessons fall through and to see the Sampsons who are just the sweetest and like grandparents to me! It was hard to say goodbye to them! But they are just the best and will definitely be missed!

It was a roller coaster of a week with lots and lots of hard work but it was very rewarding! I am sad to leave Elder Moli and Barbados but I'm excited for the adventures ahead! I love this gospel and hope that you all have an amazing week! 

With Love, Elder Dorrance

Deidre, Elder Moli

Sister Edwards


Brother and Sister Sampson

CooCoo (Cornmeal and some Barbados plant like green pepper)

Elder Smith in front, Elder Moli and Elder Egbert in back

Chicken Barn is the best place to eat in Barbados! (Me, Smith, Moli, Egbert)

Got a box from Nana.  She shows her love with food, apparently she loves me a whole lot! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mothers Day! - Week 67

New Apartment in Barbados

This week was definitely an excellent one!

On Tuesday we had a zone meeting out in Black Rock which is out on the western side of the island, After lunch we had to drive out to the western part of the island in St. Phillip to do a baptismal interview for the sisters investigator named Tijani who is way cool and just understands everything super well! It is such a testimony builder to me to see young men of 15 and 16 that I believe truly understand the commitment that they are making when they are baptized! It is so cool to see! Later that night we were able to have Brother Phagu take us to see some young men that he knows and has brought to church the last two weeks. They are way cool and will be sweet young men in the branch! Then Brother Phagu also went with us to see out investigator named Deidre who is just doing amazing! She reads and prays and comes to church, even though she has to make some sacrifices to get there! I love to see someone who just truly desires to change her life and be better.

On Wednesday we did some service for this older member named sister Edwards. We played carpenters and built some shelves out of pieces of wood we got from broken pulled apart pallets. It looks a little ghetto but it is sturdy with the nails we put in it! It was good though, she really appreciates it and loves to tell us so. But that took a lot longer than it should have so after that we were able to eat some lunch and go see a member named Jalisa who had us go contacting with her in an area to try and find some new investigators which. The funniest part was that we actually contacted into a member and I asked Jalisa how she knew the lady and she said from church.  It didn't even cross my mind she meant our church. I thought she meant her old church, so for like 5 minutes I thought we were talking to a random lady but it turns out her name is sister Harris and she is a member of the church that hasn't missed a week in like 10 years. so I felt a little silly... That night we were able to go and see Lyn and her daughter and talk to them about Jalia, Lyn's daughter getting baptized. It was also Lyn's birthday! So we made her a cake and took it to her which she really appreciated!

 On Thursday we woke up and drove to the airport to pick up the assistants to drive them to the drivers permit place to get them legal to drive. It took forever. After which we were able to drive back to our apartment to do some weekly planning. Then the Assistants called us again to go on some splits. So I was able to go with Elder Hatch to try and see some people and we had an adventure for sure! We went and tried to see a guy named Cali who was an investigator of Elder Woodruff's and Elder Ort's. When we finally found him, one of their other investigators a young kid named NIko came and talked to us about coming to visit him and his grandmother and wanted to show us where he lived, We followed him walking for like 5 minutes which was funny because there were all these other kids that were walking with us trying to talk to us, and when we finally got to his house his grandma wasn't home so we waited for a second and the neighbor came home and started talking to us about how the world was created from darkness. First there was darkness, then there was fire, then there was lava, and as the lava cooled it crusted making earth and the vapor from the lava cooling caused rain for centuries which Noah thought was the flood he was prophesying about.  She meant well and wanted to talk about beliefs but it was just an all around interesting conversation. Then we went back and found Cali at his house and started to share a scripture with him about prayer and in the middle of our lesson he got up to sell some drugs. So that was alright I guess. But we had a sweet and very powerful lesson about the blessings that come from communicating with God! Then we went and saw Lyn and talked to Jalia a little more about baptism and trying to help her understand the need for baptism.

On Friday we had our studies in the morning which was sweet and then went and met with a woman named Alecia who we had contacted earlier and taught her about the Book of Mormon. Then we went finding for a bit until about 4 when Deidre asked us to come and help her in her garden again. We were breaking up some ground so that she would be able to lay a foundation for the chicken pen that she was going to build. It was fun and hard work but it sure gave my baby soft hands some sweet blisters, which I haven't had in a while, I sure miss manual labor! Then we went back to Deidre later that night and taught her about the Law of Chastity and in the middle of the lesson Brother Phagu and his family and his wife's seminary class all showed up to teach with us. I think Deidre was a little intimidated by everyone but it turned out to be really good to have other people there to help us testify of what we were teaching! My testimony of member missionary work has grown so tremendously since I have been here in Barbados it is ridiculous! It is so great to see members working so hard to help build the kingdom here!

On Saturday morning we were able to wake up and run the assistants back to the airport to get off to St. Vincent then headed to the baptism of Tijani which was just wonderful to see! He's such a great example of faith and obedience to the commandments of God! It was sweet to see his conversion and see him progress and accept the gospel! After that we went finding for a few hours until we were asked by another member to swing by their house and chop some grass down that was like 3 feet high and all that we had to cut it was two dull, rusty cutlasses. So it was slow work and hopefully we will get better tools and more people out next time we go by! And then that night we had to rush home so that Elder Moli could shower and look fresh for his skype with his family. He had to do it Saturday night because Tonga is 17 hours ahead. 

Sunday morning we woke up and did a little studying and headed off to church. Church was exceptional! We had so many people turn out that I had not seen before or not seen in a while which was super cool! I was told that it's just because it's mother's day but I really just loved seeing so many people come out to church. We even had 6 investigators come and 3 more showed up right after sacrament meeting ended which was so cool to see! It was just a great church experience as a whole! Especially to see Lyn get confirmed and receive the Holy Ghost! It was sweet! We were able to see some young men that Brother Phagu had brought to church that morning! They were super excited to learn more about the Book of Mormon and get one of their own! Once again it is sweet to see young men so excited about the gospel! 

I have such a testimony of families! It was so great to see my family and to get to talk to them for a time. I am so happy to be sealed to them eternally and know that this is a message of love and families that I share! I love this gospel, I love my mother, and I love my savior Jesus Christ!

I hope you have a great week and can't wait to hear from you soon!
With Love, 

Elder Dorrance

Helping in Deidre's Garden

Pizza with hot dogs, minced meat, green peppers, red peppers, pineapple and spicy ketchup for sauce

Elder Moli

Monday, May 4, 2015

YAAY For Baptisms! Week 66

It was a wondeful week here in the beautiful land of Barbados!

On Monday night we taught Lyn with Brother Phagu and his wife. Just kind of working out some little things about her testimony before her baptism, making sure that she really understood things, but it was really great to see the impact of the members in Lyn's life and how big of an effect they had on her getting to church and other activities! It really strengthened my testimony of member missionary work!

On Tuesday Barbados had a national holiday called heoes day and so the entire district came together and had a sort of olympics. Where we spent a good chunk of the day just competing in sports and having a great time! There was cricket and soccer and a little rugby. It was super fun! Later that night we had a sweet lesson with Deidre about the gospel of Jesus Christ and got her really excited all over again to get baptized and about setting a date for the 31st of May!

On Wednesday Elder Moli and I attended a general womens meeting for district meeting. Because the Zone Leaders went to Trinidad a long with the Sister Training Leader so her companion was with some of the sisters in our district, so at district meeting was Elder Moli, Me, the senior couple and 7 sisters. It was good though... They all got a good laugh out of singing "As Sisters in Zion" haha. After the womens meeting we went and did some service for a sister in the branch named sister Edwards who is from Guyana and needed some help fixing up the little shack that she sells things out of. So we helped her throw some galvonized steel on it and nailed some stuff together. Elder Moli worked some construction at home so he knew what he was doing. I definitely learned some stuff though! Later that night we talked to Lyn a little more about baptism and taught Juanne the Plan of Salvation which really answered some questions she had which was cool!

On Thursday I had another appointment in the morning with the pediotrist and then waited for 3 hours at the airport for the zone Leaders to get back from Trinidad. But we went and helped Deidre in her garden and then taught her later that night a little more about the gospel.

Friday was a bummer. WE had too much fall through and just resorted to contacting old contacts and trying to talk to anybody which didn't turn out well. But we did go home teaching a member named Brother Mayers which was pretty interesting, nothing out of the ordinary.

Saturday morning we met up with the Zone Leaders so that they could interview Lyn for baptism so after we showed them to her house one of them interviewed her which took a while but she passed! She was so excited! Then we headed home to start our fast and then had every appointment fall through on us, but we had to spend a few trips back and forth to the church to set things up for the baptism. We taught a woman named Marisa which went really well and then went back to the church to fill the font and hunt down some baptismal clothes that would fit her! haha but by the time the font got filled it was almost 9 o'clock at night so we busted it home.

Sunday morning was pretty stressful, for me at least, we got an investigator, Deidre to come to church but she was in need of a ride home and the only members that lived out that way told us that all of their vehicles were full, so I was pretty stressed about that and that we had a baptism that we were trying to get ready. So I was just a mess. BUT Deidre got home and the baptism went off without a hitch! Seeing Lyn get baptized has been one of the biggest testimony builders of member missionary work I have had yet on my mission! It was so cool to see how little we were used for other than teaching a little bit. It was great to see! 

But it was a fantastic week! The pictures of my toes are gruesome I know, but they are so much better than they were! People keep asking me how they are doing and the only thing I can say back is "I can kick you and now it would hurt you more than it would hurt me"

I love you all and hope you have a great week and happy Mother's Day!!

Much love,

Elder Dorrance