Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Puerto Rico

Good-by Song
Hello Puerto Rico

Good-bye to Tortola – we bid a fond farewell to you from the bottom of our hearts. We have spent five months on this beautiful island helping the members and the branch leadership. They helped us in return with their love and strong testimonies of the gospel. There are so many choice families here and we will miss them so much! They are just about ready to send their 7th missionary out, that is just a fabulous record for a small island branch.

Good-by Poem
The night before we left we were called over to the chapel for a mysterious meeting. SURPRISE!  They threw a very sweet going away party for us. It was so fun to see everyone for the last time. There was lots to eat and a little program of appreciation. They had the Primary children sing to us and all our piano students played a piece. The Seminary students had all made cards and two of them read a poem they had written for us. Needless to say that our hearts were really touched with their love and kindness.

We have been transferred to Puerto Rico – assigned to the office but will see very little of it. The elders and sisters of our mission live in about sixty (60) apartments throughout the island and the first thing we have been asked to do is visit and inspect each one, each month. Yes, a big task – the island is 110 miles long by 40 miles wide - but we like to drive, see new places, and love meeting all the wonderful missionaries!

We live in the town of Caguas, PR, which is south of San Juan (depending on traffic) 20 minutes to an hour. Fortunately, we do not have to drive to San Juan very often and if we do, we leave early to try to miss some of the rush hour traffic to make sure we arrive on time.

The second thing we are to do is check and report the status of the Companion Language Study for the missionaries who are learning English as a second language. Page 128 in Preach My Gospel states that every missionary (wherever they are serving in the world) should learn English. This formal program helps the Latin missionaries learn English with the help of their English speaking companion during their daily study time. We are encouraging all of them to take advantage of this time – it will make a big difference in their lives when they return home.

We look forward to being with each missionary on Puerto Rico on a regular basis and are thankful for this new challenge.

Monday, November 4, 2013



Cupcake Walk
The Young Men and Young Women of the Tortola Branch were looking for a service project – it was suggested that they throw a Halloween Party for the primary-age children. With a lot of planning and hard work by MB it was a FABULOUS Halloween party in a country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween!! Everyone loves a good party, right?
Magic Tricks
The YM/YW manned the cupcake walk, face painting, magic tricks, decorate your own paper jack-o-lantern, Halloween memory game, skeleton scavenger hunt, and some other misc. games like musical chairs. The sister missionaries did a “mummy” wrap game using TP that was a lot of fun. The evening drew to a close with a presentation from a little drama group composed of half members and half non-members directed by a member of the branch. They presented “Little Red Riding Hood” with a Halloween twist. The play was great and concluded the evening’s activities.
Zip Zap
We had 51 people in attendance including adults and they had a great time. Every child received a “Trick or Treat” bag to take home which included goodies and (of course) fake Dracula fangs and a spider ring. We noticed that the adults on hand had just as much fun as the children in fact; one almost won the musical chairs. We love these fabulous members of the Tortola Branch.

Musical Chairs

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Primary Program

Sunday, October 20th, the Tortola Branch primary children presented the sacrament meeting presentation entitled “I am a Child of God”. It was a delightful program and we believe that these children are the most darling ever! Sister Costley has been assisting by teaching them the songs for the program over the past few months and they have done a great job learning them. One hurdle to overcome is that their attendance at church is kind of sketchy, here one week and not the next (not their fault but their parents). On the day of the program four “new” children came for the first time but they just joined in and seemed to enjoy being in the program! One of their favorite songs and the one they sang the best was “If the Savior Stood Beside Me” which they sang with gusto. It brought tears to our eyes as we thought – here is the future of this sweet Branch – a second generation of strong and beautiful sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. The future will be in good hands.

The church picture we use that shows the Savior and his love and care for children is perfect for the Caribbean because the children in the picture are all different races. It has been so fun and a special privilege to teach the little children here and to tell them how much their Heavenly Father loves them and wants each of them to return to him some day.