West Indies Mission Success Stories
Elder Anderson and Elder Regis in Tobago
"This week was the baptism of our investigator of about three transfers, Ruthven Duchesne. He was found by Elder Gines and Elder McClain at his home, and immediately began firing off questions about who God is, and what His name is; he had studies with many different religions and particularly the Jehovah's Witnesses. Elder Gines and Elder McClain did not give up however, and continued coming. Ruthven was given a Book of Mormon, which he devoured in the course of a few weeks. When I arrived from St. Maarten, Elder Gines and I went to see Ruthven and he as usual would fire off a million questions to see what we would say. As we were leaving, I said 'I don't know Elder Gines... I'm not sure he's getting it'. Elder Gines was confident and so we pressed forward and continued teaching him. After Elder Gines left, Elder Regis and I continued to see him, and he progressed by coming to church, studying the Book of Mormon and even the Doctrine and Covenants. He finally admitted that he knew that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He agreed to a baptismal date, but was not able to qualify for it due to his smoking addiction. We found out that he had smoked since the age of seven, and now being fifty-four we could only imagine how difficult it was. Satan definitely would not let go of him, but we offered a Priesthood blessings and committed him to stop smoking. I committed him to call me the next time he was going to smoke a cigarette; the adversary responded in the form of his work neglecting to pay him and as a result, Ruthven's phone line and internet being cut. We prayed so much for him and continued to support him. General Conference proved to be a powerful catalyst; he came to all four sessions. that week he finally was able to receive the strength to overcome his smoking, and we finally were able to see him baptized. After his baptism, he bore his testimony of the truth of the Gospel and said that as he came up out of the water, he heard a voice say, 'at last, you have fulfilled one of my wishes'. We are excited to have this strong prospective priesthood holder in the Tobago Branch."
Elders Anderson and Regis with Ruthven Duchesne
Elder Friebe and Elder Bybee in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten
"We had a wonderful baptism of the Henry family. I have never had more opposition during preparations for a baptism. I will start at the beginning so that you can get as much of the story as possible.
We had just arrived at the church building for a Young Single Adult activity and started to turn the key on the hurricane shutter on the front door of the church, but it would not come up. We established that the power had been switched off and after manually opening the hurricane shutter with a crank from the shed, we also discovered the water had been shut off. This would have been no big deal accept that we needed to fill up the baptismal font for the Saturday morning baptism.
A couple of notes on the font:
- The font hadn't been used for about six months
- The drain doesn't work, so they use a submersible pump to drain it.
- It really needed to be cleaned because there had been some water left sitting in it which caused a bunch of growth on the tiles at the bottom.
- The water comes out exceptionally slow, and the branch presidency told us that it takes about 8 hours, give or take a couple of hours to fill it.
Okay, no problem right? We just leave it on overnight. Wrong! The overflow doesn't work and the church building has already been flooded once due to this problem.
After making a bunch of calls to the branch leaders and finding the water main, we established that the water and the electric bill had been paid but the water main still had a lock on it. Since we could not clean the font as planned without any water, we decided to wait until the next morning for the water and electric company to open.
Because we were not getting the help we needed over the phone, the member who paid the bill went over to the water and electric company office to see what was going on with the lock on. Turns out the bill had been paid, but the secretary had placed the payment to the wrong church (the Church of Christ not the Church of Jesus Christ). Turns out we paid the bill for another church! That was straightened out and we were told that there would be someone sent out to unlock the water between 3:30pm and 10pm that night. They would not give us a specific time, and they could not let us know when it was unlocked. Keep in mind we had a day full of appointments, but no way of knowing when the water would be switched on and we had an immediate need to clean the font as soon as it came back on. The church building is also a 15 to 20 minutes bus ride out of our working area.
We discovered the water was still locked off. After prayer we went outside and saw a water tank overflowing at a business building next door to the church. We got some buckets and filled them up with water so we could start cleaning the font to get that out of the way. Just as we were about to start a random guy drove up in an SUV, wearing pedestrian clothes, carrying a tool bag and listening to loud inappropriate music. He got out of his car without looking at us, walked over to the water main and unlocked it in 5 seconds, got back into his car and drove away.
We were able to use the running water and started scrubbing the font. It took us a few hours to put things in order and get the font to start filling. The senior couple volunteered to watch the font fill so we could get home in a timely manner. The font took 3 hours to fill and everything seemed in order for the baptism to take place the next morning.
We reached the church and discovered that despite having a plug in the drain, the font drain actually does work, only very slowly. The font had drained over half way leaving about a foot and a half of water in the bottom. This might be enough for an 8 year old, but not for brother Henry. We quickly turned the water back on to fill it back up as much as possible.
The baptism program started an hour late due to people in the program showing up late. The font had reached a reasonable height and the baptism went on uninterrupted."
"It was a vey spiritual service which I will never forget."
Elder Dall, Mark Cummings & elder Parisot
Elder Parisot, Elder Dall, Mark Cummings and Elder Andrus
Mark, Shenny, Maariye, Maragha & Markie Jr.
A wonderful and blessed family that we love
A wonderful and blessed family that we love