Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Dad's Dream

Janelle, Perez, Angelo Estrado

Brother Estrado has been trying to get his children to come from Trinidad and live with him here in Tobago for over a year. Finally, they decided to do it. Brother Estrado asked us if we would give them the missionary discussions. What a fun time we had. Shenelle, 15 almost 16, sat in on the discussions but wasn't ready to commit at this time.

Checking out the program for the baptismal service held at Stone Haven Bay on Saturday, August 29, 2009

Brother Estrado had the privilege of preforming the baptisms with Elder Jarvis and Elder Ackerman as the witnesses. Angelo was first, he is 13, almost 14.

Janelle is 14, almost 15.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Good Books

Shackelar and Schenelle were very excited about the first batch of books that arrived. The girls are cousins. Schenelle and I had a discussion about books and that triggered the idea to get them some good Mormon literature to read even though Schenelle isn't a member yet. Her mother died when she was five. She is being raised by extended family. She has been inquisitive about our family, but we haven't been able to get her to church since no one at her house attends for her to get transport with so she doesn't travel alone.

Shackelar is doing awesome with her Personal Progress. Linda has completed all of her value experiences and Antonia is close behind. The girls love doing the value experiences. I hope they are internalizing what they are doing and not just rushing through to get finished. We are now looking at some projects for them to complete. They are competing to see who can be first to get the sticker for completion of a value.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Awesome Weekend

Janelle Burgess, Linda Frankie and Adelline Wiltshire completed one year of seminary and they received their certificate of completion at the seminary graduation held in Tobago of Sunday, August 16.

President Gamiette, West Indies Mission president presided at our branch conference that was held before the graduation. We had 39 people in attendance. We were delighted to hear from President and Sister Gamiette and feel of their dedication and love of the Lord. Elder and Sister Green also shared their testimonies. They are headed home to Texas next week. We met them when we served in the mission office in Trinidad.

President Gamiette addressed those in attendance at the graduation ceremony. Jorge Alvarado, area Seventy, presided at the meeting. He is a CES employee who is the mission coordinator over seminary and institute for the West Indies Mission. Brother Rappleye, CES employee over the area seminary and institute programs, was also in attendance.

President Ramkissoon and Janelle Burgess

President Ramkissoon and Linda Frankie President Ramkissoon and Adelline Wiltshire

Brother Rappleye and Brother Alverado joined the Green's and the Gamiette's for lunch after the graduation and the branch conference at our apartment.

Elder Ross sharing a magic trick with the Gamiette children who speak French and understand only a little English at this time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Seminary Teachers

Elder and Sister Green came over from Trinidad to train our two new seminary teachers. Sister Dookran will teach seminary in Roxborough next school year. Her daughter Linda will be her student. Linda had to be on a home study program because of the distance to the branch. Now she will have a 5 day program.

Maria Francis will teach seminary in Scarborough. We are excited that she will start with at least 5 students. I am going to miss teaching seminary! I will attend with Maria until we leave.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday was a beautiful day for a walk. We enjoy walking along the water at Stone Haven Bay and watching the birds catch fish, the sand crabs scurry to their holes as we pass and the activity of the people on the beach. Almost every day a crew cleans the beach of debris and trash.

As we neared the end of the beach where we hold baptisms, it was unusual to see the workers clear down on the beach (they hang out under the cover of the trees) huddled over something in the soft sand. They seemed excited. We hurried over to see what they were doing and we saw them taking something down to the water and tossing it in the ocean.

They were baby leatherback turtles! It is hatching time. The sun warms the sand and keeps the eggs at the proper temperature until they hatch out. The turtles need to come out at night so that they don't die from the sun because it is a long way down to the water. The workers were gathering the newly hatched leatherbacks and putting them in the ocean. It was so cute to see the small (about 3 inches long) leatherbacks swimming out to sea. Not all of them made it. Some got washed back onto the beach. Others died from the exposure to the sun. It is said that 1 in 1,000 make it to adulthood.

These birds were farther down the beach and didn't notice the activity with the turtles.

Small children and their grandfather were catching the cute stripped fish and crabs that run all over the rocks.

A sea snake was hiding under the rock and wouldn't let me get a good picture of him.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday morning Baptism

A baptismal interview is taking place as the group is gathering. Deyonce, 6, is unaware of the specialness of this day for her parents. A huge storm was predicted for the area. The dark clouds are gathering in the sky. It is typical to see gorgeous white clouds one minute and suddenly the dark clouds move in and dump a load of rain.

Elder Ackerman and Elder Jarvis are ready for the days proceedings. Elder Ackerman will be speaking in sacrament meeting later this morning. Elder Jarvis is enjoying the opportunity to delegate the conducting of the baptisimal service to Elder Ackerman.

Kerron and Natasha are ready for the special moment when he gets to baptize her on this beautiful Sunday morning at Stone Haven Bay on August 9, 2009.

Shortly after the opening song, the rain began to fall. The group moved under the trees, which didn't provide much protection. You can see one person was prepared for the rain even though there were blue skies moments before. However, a tender mercy was provided and the rain ceased when it was time to do the baptism.

The sea was rougher than it looks in this photo. Natasha was a little nervous because she isn't a swimmer.

Sweet testimonies were borne by the participants.