Thursday, July 21, 2011

Moving On

We've been home from our West Indies Mission for 16 months. We both went to work to help pay off some mission expenses and because what else were we going to do? Truman went to work at Downtown Furniture, our son's furniture store, as a salesman. I worked as an ESL assistant at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School. Turns out my experience will be a big help for what we are going to do now.

In January we were ready to put mission papers in again, but we had heard about the BYU China Teacher's Program from a Sr. Couple we served with in the West Indies. Before their mission. the Olivers went to China as English teachers. I have always wanted to go do something like that, so we put in an application just to see what might happen. In April, we received word that we had been accepted at Shangdong University in Jinan, China.

On August 1st we will start a 2 week training session at BYU. Then, sometime near the end of August, we will leave for our new home, jobs, and adventure in CHINA! If you found this blog, please see the link in the sidebar to "Our China Adventure" and share our adventures with us.

Friday, March 26, 2010


On March 20th a greatly anticipated event took place.
Sister Kay Williams and her 4 daughters were baptized
over a year ago
but her husband, Ian, wasn't ready.
After learning about the temple and sealing families
Kay wanted that, too.
So, she talked to her husband again about the church.
He agreed to have the missionaries come back and teach him.
This time he prayed and read the Book of Mormon
and received his answer.

L to R: Sister Leishman, Janelle Burgess, Antonia Williams, Ian Williams, Kay Williams, Elder Gaddy (the short one)
1st row: Denzel Williams, Natalie Williams, Sister Jaipaul, Nikita Williams, Sister Mentore

Ian Williams was baptized by Elder Jensen in Courland Bay in the Caribbean Sea.

Sister Kay and her husband, Ian, are now 1 year away
from being able to go to the temple
to be sealed for eternity.

The day after Ian was baptized he was confirmed in church.
Then, after church he was ordained a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood.
After that we all traveled to Stone Haven Beach where
Ian baptized his son, Denzel, who had turned 8 in February.

This is a group shot of the Williams family
and some of the branch members
who attended the baptism.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It's hard to believe that we are down to our last two weeks
in the mission field.
We are being released on April 1st
and will fly from
Trinidad to New York to Salt Lake and finally to St. George
all on that day.
This is no April Fool's joke.
We are scheduled to speak in the Green Valley 3rd Ward
on April 18th.
Sacrament meeting starts at 1:00 p.m.

We invite our family and friends to come to our home
and say "hi" after 5 p.m. that evening.
Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


On February 27th Trevor and Claudette George were baptized in Back Bay
on the Caribbean side of Tobago.
They were our first baptisms in 3 months in Tobago and that was a long time
to go without baptisms.

Elder Linton baptized Claudette and Elder Leishman baptized Trevor.

On March 6th Trevor and Claudette's youngest son, Destin, was baptized.
The next day he was confirmed and ordained a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood.
He is our 2nd youth with the Aaronic Priesthood
but the other one is not coming to church anymore.
So, we are really excited to have someone to pass the sacrament besides missionaries.
His dad, Trevor, who was ordained a Priest after his baptism and confirmation,
has been blessing the sacrament.
We have prayed hard for our missionaries to find strong priesthood holders.

The George family was an answer to prayers.
Also in the picture with the George family is Elders Jensen and Gaddy,
Elder and Sister Leishman, and Sister Jaipaul and Sister Mentore.

The George Family: Trevor, Destin, Claudette


Don't I look good surrounded by a bunch of handsome men in suits!
This was taken right after a wedding ceremony in Linden.
I did the wedding cake. Truman was Father of the Bride.
(see an older post)

Three special men in Linden.
Mark Rodney, next to Truman, was called to be the first group leader in Linden,
Then, he was called to be the 1st Couns. in the Diamond Branch responsible for Linden.
Mark is now preparing for a mission.
Simeon Forde was the 1st Linden Branch president called when the Linden Branch was formed.
Oral McLean, next to me, was baptized by Truman on Sept. 5th
a few weeks before we left Guyana.
About a month ago the Linden Branch presidency was changed
and Oral was called to be the new branch president.

Linden church group started on Feb. 1st, 2009.
The first four members were baptized that day.
One year later, there are nearly 180 members in the Linden Branch
that was organized in November of 2009.
This picture is a portion of the people who were in attendance at sacrament meeting
when we went back for a visit in Feb. 2010.

The 2nd church group in Linden was started in July of 2009.
Approximately 40 (or more) of the 180 Linden members attend this church group.
This is a picture of the Primary children on our visit to their meetings.

One night Truma got stuck in the sand while looking for a contact.
The Emmanuel family came out in force to help dig him out.
He told them what he was doing and a little bit about the church.
They said they wanted to hear more so he and missionaries started teaching them.
Since that time about 15 family members and friends have been baptized
from the one chance encounter.
(Was it really by chance? I don't think so. That family had been prepared.)

Monday, March 15, 2010


Sister Jaipaul (short one) and Sister Mentore from Guyana began serving in Tobago on the 9th of March. They have the distinction of being the 1st sister missionaries to serve on the island of Tobago. They served in Trinidad for a while before coming here and were the 1st sister missionaries to serve there, too. (Except for two senior sister missionaries.)

Another fun event of the last week was a surprise visit from one of our Trinidad elders, Elder Kyle Thomas, and his parents. His parents came to pick him up from his two year mission in the West Indies. We had just one day with them but were able to take them to see some of the sites on our lovely, but dry right now, island.
We also had a visit from President Claude Gamiette, West Indies Mission President, and his wife and five children. He came over to Tobago to preside at our Tobago Branch Conference and to do some training. He brought his family with him to enjoy a day of relaxation at one of our Caribbean beaches. They also were able to stay and enjoy Sunday dinner with us and the elders.

On March 3rd, we said 'good-bye' to Elder Linton, who served with us for 3 transfers (4 months). He's the one in the suit. Elder Jensen, the tall one in the middle, was his companion for 2 of those transfers. Elder Gaddy is now Elder Jensen's new companion.

Elder and Sister Leishman with Elder Linton.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


In February we took a trip back to Guyana for two reasons:
1. We really wanted to visit all of our dear friends in Linden one more time before finishing our mission.
2. One of our very good friends called and asked me to do a wedding cake for here.
She was one of our faithful church attenders.
After months of waiting she finally received the document she needed in order to get married to the man she had been with for over 20 years.
She wanted that and needed that to happen in order for her to finally follow her four daughters into the waters of baptism.
Truman was given the honor of being the
Father of the Bride

There I was having to put on a few final borders after the cake was transported in three pieces across town, over the river, over a rickety old bridge,
and over a red dirt road full of potholes,
no craters.

It just so happens that when we lived in Linden we traveled down Lover's Lane everyday to get to our apartment which was on the next street over.
We couldn't resist getting a picture on this last trip to Linden.
There were six missionaries serving in Linden when we were there. Three elders from the states, one elder from Guyana, and two sister missionaries also from Guyana.
In this picture, we are with the Ramdeholl family at their home in Anarika.
Bro. Ramdeholl is the one on the right who was severely injured in a logging accident back in June 2009.
After many, many months of laying in a hospital bed waiting for his hips, legs, and bladder to heal from various surgeries, he is home now and very active. He isn't able to go back to work yet but is getting stronger every day.