Wednesday, August 31, 2011

After Seminary and Institute graduations, and after our responsibilities at the branch, we ladies decided to leave our men to their audits and interviews and do a little island sight seeing. Here we are at Devil's Bridge. And below, Sisters Stecker, Alvarado, Button and myself took a little beach walk to cool our feet. What a glorious day to be out with friends.

This was a cool little old church we spotted along the way. Very old and colorful.
You can't really tell from here, but this is a pineapple field. Pineapples grow from the ground. Just cut off the top bushy part and stick it in the ground and a new one grows. These pineapples are really small and very expensive. About $8 per pineapple. Or pines as we fondly call them in Guyana.

Here are our Young Single Adults that completed the Institute Program this year. Raymond, the Young Man standing on the Right at the front got a 4 year diploma. Way to go YSA. We are thrilled that this group is having their monthly YSA activities. The challenge in this branch is that they have about 10 returned missionaries and very few ladies to choose as eternal mates. So we are working to get a Caribbean YSA facebook page to help expose them to each other. There are some wonderful YSA through out the Caribbean. We just need to get them together.
This particular branch conference day, Scot helped with Priesthood and I taught YW. We happened to get 3 new Young Women presidents. So our lesson was on leadership in Christ's Church. After Branch Conference, everyone stayed for the Seminary and Institute graduation. Here are the youth that completed 80% or more of early morning daily seminary. We hope to have even more this next year. We love to visit seminary when we are in town. Sister Defretis has done a wonderful job this past year.
This branch happens to have LOTS of youth. Elder Button got to teach the Youth Sunday school class. They have Young Women activities regularly on Friday nights, but need to work on the YM program. We have great youth, that just need a little purpose and direction. They are the future leaders of the church. As a church, we are trying to put our best resources toward the youth to help them be happy, successful, gospel centered individuals. Go Youth!
As part of our Antigua Branch conference, each of the mission presidency got to help with the classes or meetings. Here is Hermana Button reviewing songs with the Primary children. What is not fun about popping balloons or using a humming jar during singing time. Sister Alvarado helped out with Sharing time and taught the children the importance of the temple.

In our last general conference, the Prophet asked us to have a day of service in our community. All over the world, saints gathered to respond to this request. As part of that request, each of the branches in our islands found a service project to do. In Antigua, we were able to gather at this catholic church that houses children who's parents cannot care for them for what ever reason. We got to clean the outside of the building and help with a little yard work. There were 3 girls living there at the time. One of the girls was having her 13th birthday that day. With no family or friends to speak of on that special day, we bought a small cake and became her friends for the day. We invited the 3 young girls to help work with us. They jumped at the chance to serve, wear the yellow vests and be with us. It was a really fun day. In the group picture, the girls not in the helping hand vests were our 3 non members. The indian lady who cared for them also finally joined in the fun.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Elder and Sister Anderson from the Caribbean area presidency came the beginning of the month for a mission tour. After meeting with all the stake presidents in Puerto Rico and having 5 zone conferences in a matter of days, they began touring the islands. One of their first stops was St. Thomas. We don't have full time missionaries on that island at the moment, so Scot and I had to hop a plane the night before so cars, hotels, branch leaders and visits were all arranged for the Andersons visit. Next to us is our mission President and his wife, the Alvarados. The Andersons are on the right. We sure enjoyed our day with them.