Friday, March 29, 2013

From Nevis

Senior Sister on Nevis

Two weeks ago we were asked to support a mission action that stationed two senior sisters (they were serving on the island of Antigua) to our neighboring island of Nevis. The saints that live there are a dependent group and part of our St Kitts Branch with no full time missionaries. The sisters (one from SLC and the other from Layton) were being sent to assist in preparing a branch sister who was called to serve a mission to Trinidad, West Indies.

Our job was to pick them up from the Nevis airport (very small), get them settled into the mission apartment with groceries and then introduce them to a few of the members. We stayed one night because of their late arrival and ferry schedule then made them acquainted with the members and the area. Then we departed leaving behind the mission pickup truck that the young St. Kitts elders usually drive so that the sisters would have transportation.

The two sister missionaries went right to work in the community teaching and making contacts – following up with a list of contacts from the area book that the elders had left for them. They were very busy for two weeks helping the members, speaking in their church service and supporting the members in any way they could. They have been companions for a few months so they know how to work together. Unfortunately, the sister they were sent to assist had some complication with her work and was not able to depart on her mission as planned.

This past Wednesday we took the ferry back to Nevis and were able to deliver the sisters to the airport for their return flight to Antigua. They have left follow-up work for us as we are on Nevis at least once a month. What a privilege to know Sister Miller (left) and Sister Stoddard. Sister Miller is returning home in April, she will be greatly missed.

From St Kitts

Here in St. Kitts we just love a young couple from Idaho (the Larsens). Bro. Larsen is going to Ross – a really good veterinary school on the island. Three other members of the branch are here from the states studying at the same school. They all have major callings in the branch – what a great help they are. Brother Larsen is the Branch Mission Leader and is also a counselor in the Elders Quorum while Sister Larsen is the YW President.

We were chatting with Sister Larsen about the YW and how we love the girls. She asked if MB could do an activity with the girls that would help them develop new skills. MB went into her memory bank and recalled a cute little “mini scrapbook” that the Kaysville girls made at girl’s camp last summer. She was able to find the brown paper lunch bags at a fabric store (go figure?). Note: there was also a canned ham there J - WOW! She also found some ribbon and even some ric -rack at another fabric store. All the little things came together. There is no scrapbook paper to be found here so the next best thing – we used some cute wrapping paper for the outside cover. Before leaving home MB stuffed some flowers, brads and other things into her suitcase for just such an occasion.

The girls were very creative and had a good time spending over two hours making their scrapbooks. The leaders enjoyed making theirs as much as the girls. They may be a small group but they are just VERY excellent young women! It was really fun for MB to get to know them all better.  In the photo, Sis. Larsen is standing next to MB in the back and the two little YW are the younger sisters of one of the girls.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

From St Kitts

Family Fun Night
Our assignment is to work with members and leaders in the St Kitts branch which includes two islands – St Kitts and Nevis. They are a sovereign nation with a population of about 70,000.

We are visiting member to help and encourage them in their callings and assist when requested. A couple weeks ago the branch held a family fun activity night conducted by the branch presidency. We attended and it turned out to be fun for even us old birds. One of the games we played was -  Do You Love Your Neighbor ? The person who is ‘IT’ stands in the center of the circle with everyone seated and he/she asks a person the question ‘Do You Love Your Neighbor’? The seated person answers yes or no. If yes then the ‘IT’ person asks another seated person. If the answer is no then the ‘IT’ asks what don’t you love? Then they answer that they don’t love something (black shoes, short pants, T-shirts, etc). Anyone having the stated item has to change seats and the new ‘IT’ person is the last one standing. The game can get really crazy at times.

Another game we played was the cookie game where you place a cookie on your forehead and move it to your mouth by moving your face. We saw some real character faces during this game – the children loved eating the cookies even if they had trouble moving them. The adults where more successful in completing the task of moving the cookie to their mouth and eating them.

We were able to get to know more of the members better during this “Family Fun Night”. We are looking forward to another one next month.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

From St Kitts

Monkey Business
We had a fun excursion out to an area called Ship Wreck Bay, on the Caribbean side of the island. The local business owner feeds a troop of monkeys at about 5 p.m. every afternoon. We have seen a few monkeys in our neighborhood (no, we don’t mean us) and at church but only from a distance, not very close.

We wanted to check out this special event so off we drove over a mountain and down to the beach at Ship Wreck Bay. As we approached the area they had not started to feed them yet and the monkeys were quite active. The younger ones where ripping around in the trees and bushes jumping and chasing each other up and down and around. They were very entertaining and fun to watch.

When the feeding started a gentlemen was tossing peanuts out on the ground and the monkeys got busy cracking them and stuffing the peanuts into their cheek pouches. They stored them there until they had time to go back to the resting place and eat. It was very intriguing to watch them at work and to see who was the real boss of the feeding grounds.

Not only were there monkeys about but also several mongooses were also visible, feeding on a tray of prepared vegetables. Mongoose do not like peanuts and monkeys do not like vegetables – each has its own meal. It was fun to watch these animals in a near natural setting.

The monkeys are green vervet monkeys (chlorocebus sabaeus) and were imported during the slave trading days of St. Kitts/Nevis. The green vervet refers to their slightly greenish, light brown coats.

From St Kitts

Branch Baptism
The weekend of February 23, 24th was very up-lifting because we were able to meet with and then witness the baptism of a wonderful young lady. The elders had been teaching her for some time before we arrived on St. Kitts and she had found out for herself that the church was true and decided to be baptized.

The mission presidency was not able to meet with her for a baptism interview so Elder Costley was asked to conduct the interview. Tonisha knows a lot about the gospel and where she is going in life. She passed the interview questions with flying colors – what a lovely young lady.

The baptism was performed at our branch building on Saturday morning by a young man who is a priest in the branch. Three missionaries were in attendance because Elder Turbo is now our zone leader and he came back for the baptism (and some other business matters). Quite a few branch members were in attendance to give their support to Tonisha. It is wonderful to see the branch growing, one soul at a time.
Tonisha’s confirmation was held in sacrament meeting on Sunday morning and was performed by a member of the branch presidency. A special blessing was given to her with good direction and promises made to our newest member of the branch.