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.
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.