Thursday, March 27, 2014

photos



FAMILY VISIT FROM OUR SON AND DAUGHTER MATTHEW AND KRISTYANN





Sister Linton, KristyAnn and Matthew




Elder and Sister Linton enjoying lunch at the Fish Pot

We love their flying fish sandwich!





They arrived right after Carnival and when we visited our chapel, there were some costumes left on the balcony

Matthew couldn't resist putting on a headpiece




Fruit stand in Blackrock

Our friend Marvin is the proprietor





 Marvin is being taught by Sisters Cragan and Joseph
  
He insisted we have some of his papaya - not our favorite Caribbean fruit, but good  




Papaya tree behind his fruit stand



Brother George playing the pan for us.
It was a good sound



Matthew giving it a try




Matthew debating if he should take a bite out of a Noni Fruit - I don't think so




KristyAnn eating coconut picked, opened and served by Brother George




Matthew and KristyAnn at the entry into the Mangrove




Matthew among the Mangroves




Man in grove




An old sugarcane silo on the golf course




Father and son on top of the sugarcane silo


At Sister Dookran's home we climbed further up the hill  

We passed by Aroon and Linda's home in the distance.  It is a seven-foot by seven-foot box on stilts and they are delighted to have it




We found the Vilafana home in the bush.  He had an amazing view of the Atlantic and a little paradise with several fruit trees that I hadn't previously seen on the island




Pineapple in the Vilafana garden





We went over the mountain to the Caribbean side and visited Old Englishman's Bay





Warning sign to not touch or eat the fruit of the Manchineel Tree

They have a little green apple that can be fatal if eaten and the sap from the tree and leaves will cause serious skin burns





Really big Silk Cotton Tree (KristyAnn)




Matthew in the shade of the tree at right





We visited the fish market on the Atlantic Ocean and they cut some fish filets for us.  The US FDA would go crazy at the conditions they cut and wrapped the fish - didn't bother us!

Delicious fresh fish for $3.20US a pound





A visit to Pigeon Point where we caught a boat and went swimming and snorkeling




Matthew took a self portrait while snorkeling




Father and son standing on a small coral island





Friendly lady took our picture
KristyAnn, Matthew, Elder Linton





Matthew and KristyAnn


It has been wonderful to have our family visit



NEWS FROM THE WEST INDIES MISSION
March 27 2014


Message from President and Sister Mehr

We have had a fantastic month of baptisms and reactivation. This past month there were 200 more people on average who attended church than during the same time period last year. We welcomed 48 people into the waters of baptism. With attendance and baptisms both rising, we see increasing evidence of real growth in the church. This is a result of the growing faith of the members and the diligence and obedience of the missionaries.  Remember the promise found in D&C 31: 7. "Yea, I will open the hearts of the people and they will receive you.  And I will establish a church by your hand”. We are witnessing first hand the fulfillment of this promise.

Couva, Trinidad
Elder Grimm, Elder Contreras
The Importance of Goal Setting

For the new transfer, we had a goal of 2 baptisms. We weren't really sure how we would do it, but we trusted in the Lord to lead us. We were teaching a family that had stalled. The younger children wanted to be baptized, but we knew it would be better to wait for more of the family. During a lesson, the oldest daughter (who had never been interested) passed by. Inspired by our transfer goal, we invited her to sit in on the lesson. Surprisingly, she joined us! She eventually grew to have a strong testimony of the gospel. She and her younger siblings were baptized and are an excellent example for their parents.

Calliaqua, St. Vincent
Sister Taylor, Sister Bennie, Sister Worthington
The Lord answers Prayers

When we first started teaching Brother Mattis, he worked Sundays and thought he would never be able to come to church. We invited him to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help him. The very next day he told us that his boss called and switched his day shift to a night shift.  He now works Saturday night until 6am on Sunday morning and comes to church every week. He will be a great kingdom builder here in St. Vincent.

Arima, Trinidad
Elder Christ and Elder Jeppson
Power of Fasting

We held a special fast to baptize this transfer.  We worked hard to meet that goal, but by week six, no one was progressing. As we prayed about our goals that last week, we still felt that we should set a goal to baptize even though we had nothing lined up. Well, the very next appointment that day was with a woman referred by a member in Curepe. She was super solid and had even already attended church. She was a golden investigator—and asked us when she could be baptized! Fasting truly brings blessings from our faith
and sacrifice.

Lamentin, Guadeloupe
Elder Wade, Elder Belnap
Prayer and Fasting

Jocelyn was a long-time investigator who could never keep a baptismal date. During weekly planning, I had a strong impression that we needed to have a baptism Saturday. We started praying for help. We decided to fast for Jocelyn up until we saw him the next day. We sat down and talked to him about why he needed to get baptized this Saturday. He agreed and was baptized that week! Miracles are truly brought by fasting and prayer.

Christ’s Church, Barbados
Sister Smith, Sister Charters
Working with Members

We invited a family to think of someone they could to introduce to the church. Seven weeks later Keivan was baptized! He couldn't wait to be baptized so he could “be sanctified”, and now he says "These are the girls who  changed me!

Rose Hall, Guyana
Elder Chapman, Elder Richardson
Power of Fasting and of Testifying Boldly

We found the Haramdass family on a street which had been tracted a hundred times.  They let us in the first day, but told us they didn't want to leave their church. We taught them the Restoration very clearly and powerfully. The husband was touched by the spirit, even to the point of defending the truth and bearing testimony to his wife, who was still quite opposed. We fasted for them the next Sunday--and the whole family came to church. She accepted our teaching from that point on. Now the Mom and Dad are baptized and the kids will soon be baptized, hopefully by their father. Fasting brings miracles!

Chaguanas, Trinidad
Sister Taufu’i, Sister Jex, Sister Shirts
Conversion power of The Book of Mormon

When we found Bro. Thomas, he didn’t want to come to church and didn't believe that one had to be baptized to be with God.  However, he was willing to read the Book of Mormon. He started recognizing things he was doing in his life that he wanted to change and started to repent, not even being fully aware of the changes he was making.  He came to church and has been coming since!

Curepe, Trinidad
Sister Edmonds, Sister Giles, Sister Jex
Teaching to the Needs of Investigators

Candice didn’t believe we can actually be happy in this life. She always thought that we would suffer now and that happiness would come later. When we taught her the Plan of Salvation, she was amazed. In the next lesson, we had the privilege of having Sister Kathleen Anderson with us. She helped Candice see how we are able to have peace in this life. From that moment on Candice's progression skyrocketed. She was willing to do everything that the Lord commands.  To see how happy she is now is such a testimony builder for us. The Atonement truly changes hearts.

Wanica, Suriname
Elder Helm and Elder Beckstrand
Importance of Always Finding

We contacted Brother Gali. He came to church every week, absorbed every principle like a sponge and was baptised! He was prepared before we even met him!

Monday, March 17, 2014



TOBAGO BRANCH 
WEST INDIES MISSION

The work here is progressing well.  We had 51 attend church Sunday and ordained two young men in Priesthood advancements.  We love the youth and believe they are the strength of the branch which is the only church unit on the island.  


Sister Camejo is on the right and her sister Chenelle is on the left.  Their niece that lives in Trinidad and came to visit with her aunties is sandwiched between.  They were cold (probably about 75F) and we put a blanket over them.

Sister Camejo is the Young Women's President in the Tobago Branch and her sister Chenelle is the Stake Young Women's President in the Trinidad Port of Spain Stake

   
This is Sister Camejo's son, Ronaldo.  He just turned 12 and was ordained a Deacon Sunday.  He reminded me daily that it was going to be his birthday and he expected to be ordained so he could pass the sacrament.  He is an exceptional young man and he will make a great missionary



Renaldo said that Sherlon Timothy told him the secret of getting girls to like him 

We asked him what it was and he said you tell them two things:

"You're like Google - you have everything I've been looking for"

"You're an artist - because your drawing my attention"



The mission prep students following class and dinner sleeping on our front porch.
Destin is sprawled out on the couch and is the oldest (18) and will leave on his mission this summer after he finishes his additional school for graduation.

Diana is propped on his knee - she has her heart set on Destin who has a major influence on a lot of the young men in Tobago and especially the boys in the branch

We have mission preparation class twice a month.  Destin George, Diana Welch, Che' Sampson and Niccoli Jones participate.  All four are committed to serving a mission.

After about four months of Sister Linton fixing their meals they said they would prefer authentic Tobago food.  We now have Sister Camejo cook the meal on Saturday and we heat it up and serve it to them on Sunday afternoon.
  


This is Che' Sampson - he is a recent convert because of his best friend Destin.  He is exceptionally smart and bares a powerful testimony


Che' always seems asleep in class.  The youth teach themselves in Sunday School and the older young men take turns with the adult men teaching in Priesthood.

When a particular point is made and I wonder if he's paying attention, I will ask him a question on what was said.  

He always opens his eyes as if startled and then he gives the perfect answer - I'm always impressed



Niccoli Jones is the quietest of the boys.  Sometimes he will spend the entire afternoon with us and never say a word.  He can also be quiet if you ask him a question but will be engaged at times and seems to have a decent understanding of what's being taught.


Diana Welch wants to leave for her mission tomorrow.  

She graduated from High School when she was 16 and is now taking additional schooling that will give her a post high school diploma that is recommended as a pre-college requirement.   



Kristen George had a major fall off his bike and was bandaged up when we visited with him.  

He just turned 14 and was ordained a teacher this past Sunday (March 16, 2014).  When we took a birthday cake to his home he had two of his friends there and they were so excited about the cake they could hardly contain themselves.  

He is a great young man and has a close tie with the other young men in the branch - they are best friends.  They have often said that other students on the island criticize them for belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When I asked them what they criticized most they said others tell them they are not christians.  I asked them what they answered and they all testified strongly on Christ being the center of our church and they know He is their personal Savior.

 The youth went into the "bush" over Carnival.  The camp was organized by Brother and Sister George with the intent to have the kids out of the madness of Carnival and it worked out great.  We had twenty participate.



Ronaldo's brother, Christian, under the basketball standard, is 14 and he was lonely for his previous home in Trinidad.  

I thought about it a couple of days and it occurred to me to buy him a basketball, make him the team captain and then have the missionaries play ball with him and his friends.



It has been a huge success.  The two missionaries enjoy the exercise and the boys playing have grown from those in our branch to a couple of non-members.  They play every saturday for two hours and then again on Tuesday.

Best of all, Christian is much happier.






Monday, March 3, 2014

Anziano Joshua Pinnock 2/19

So this week was good and we got transfer calls :)  Who wants to guess where I’m going?  Okay, I’ll tell you. I’m going to Livorno which is about 15 minutes, by train, from Piza!  My comp's first area was in Piza and he is telling me that I’m going to love it.  

My new companion is Anziano Peterborgh.  He was living here in Verona in my apartment and he went to Livorno two transfers ago so it is weird that we are going to be companions after he just left Verona.  

He has only been in the mission about 3 months more than me so this is going to be a blast.  I leave tomorrow and I have already packed my bags and will be good to go in the morning.  So that is about all I can remember.  

This Sunday was really strange.  It was my last Sunday in Verona as a missionary.  I said goodbye to a lot of the members and we had dinner with a member but not just any member but the member family who was inactive, whom we baptized the daughter, and then the wife was baptized a couple of months later.  They are my greatest miracle so far on my mission.  

It was so great to spend that time with them and after I got a really good picture with all of them.  So the transfer is about all I can think about right now but there was another thing that we did this week was our missionary music night.  It was really fun and a ton of people came.  It was so much fun to have.  All the members loved it, a lot of missionary’s investigators came as well as Desmond and a lot of non-members.  It was super cool and the ward was really nice.  

They brought their friends and a ton of great food.  There wasn't enough time to play my song which is sad but the other musical numbers were a lot better anyway.  Everyone who went just loved it so we were really happy with the success that we had and we hope that some new investigators can come out of it.  At the very least a ton of members were happy so that is good.  

It's really important that we build relationships with members.  

Valentine's Day was good but really uneventful.  We talked with some investigators and at the end we ate at Pizza Love. So that is the thing we did for Valentines day,  we all had a Pizza Love and then went to bed.  Holidays out on your mission are super uneventful but fun all the same.  Plus it was cool to be in Verona, the city of love, on Valentines Day and eat pizza from Pizza Love.  So not bad.  

I dont usually like Valentines day so this one has been one of my best.  

Sorry this letter is really pathetic because not much happened this week but thanks for the update and have a great week.

Josh


Hermana Sarah Pinnock 2/17


Fam,

So this week was pretty great!  Jorge was baptized... great human!  Teaching him was difficult with his mom that just talked and talked siempre but he's awesome.  Hmmmmm 

What else... these letters get harder and harder to write because all the days are blending together... time is going so fast I don´t even know what to do with myself!

But this week was real solid.  My testimony on having members present in lessons shot up to a million... Really it´s so important to work together!  It´s interesting because missionary work just brings people more together.... it's the best!

We have a new great family that we are teaching... Juan Carlos family are way great!  They have 4 babies under 4 years old and every time we are in their home it´s an adventure haha!  They are really awesome because they are trying very hard to learn and grow.  

The second Familia is awesome as well.  This family is Catholic and I find it so interesting because people know that their church has lots and lots of things wrong, or things that don’t make sense, but they don't want to change.  It’s all about tradition.  

My least favorite thing is when people say, "I have enough... I don´t want more”.  What even does that mean...... We as humans settle too much for too little... it´s ridiculous.  

My advise for you back home is don´t settle.... don't even think about it!  Learn, work, find, pray and ask Heavenly Father.... haha do everything possible!  

This life is short so don´t let it pass you by!  I think it is almost impossible to walk slow these days.... Mom you would be so proud at my speed walking skills.... One day I’ll show you but not today.... 

I only got a little time out here so I´m gonna catch em' all!

Love you guys!!!!

XOXO  Me

LETTERS FROM HOME


Hermana Sarah Pinnock 2/10

Family,

This week was super sweet.  We had esfuerzos (don´t know the word for this in english) in our area this week!  It was super great!  In the mission here we can´t do activities together so it was way fun to have everyone huntos.

Hermana and I have been working super hard!  I'm lucky because she is super driven and she doesn’t make excuses.  We are getting things done but it´s only because we have the best help and that is our Heavenly Father.

It´s interesting because everyday there is siesta aka when every human and animal just stop everything they are doing and go to bed... Everyone is literally not doing anything for like four hours in the day... but us aka the missionaries are just out trying our hardest to bring people closer to Christ.

It's hard because nobody wants to talk about nada but it´s amazing because every time we really pray for help to find people to teach Heavenly Father never ever ever leaves us empty handed.  And it´s interesting because just when you think you have given your all and you can´t go another step you can and you do and you like it A LOT!

This week we found some amazing investigators who are on date to be baptized in March!  The baptism de Jorge got moved to this Saturday.  Our main investigators right now are Nora who is getting baptized in two weeks... she has been really sick lately so we haven't seen her in days which makes us nervous but I have faith that she will be alright.
Neury,  she´s from the dominican republic.... I love people from there because they have a chill, sassy kind of personality.  

Juan Carlos and his wife who are awesome!  So if ya’ll want to pray for them feel free…. Praying = best thing.

I`m so proud of Joshy.... He looks so cute in his photo..... He finally got my letter!  Love that liver!

The mission is rockin!  Love you guys!  Super proud to have some amazing missionaries for a family!

Love you guys sooooooooooooooooooooo much!
Hermana Pinnock


Anziano Joshua Pinnock 2/23

This last week for us was amazing.
It was really annoying due to the never ending rain but it was still a
great week. 

We met with two of our investigators who we have been
having problems meeting with and they are both great. We found out
the problems both of them have and while they are problems we can
work through it. 

One doesn’t read clearly in the Bible the reason for a person
to be baptized by someone with the priesthood in the name of Christ so
any Bible scriptures you may know about that would be very helpful.

The other man has a problem with coming to church. He plays for the
soccer team of Verona, that means that he is ammmaaazzzzinnnggg at
soccer but also that he can't come to church which is kind of
important. 

The really stupid thing is that he cant play right now due
to an injury that he has had for a while but whenever he asks if he
could at least come to sacrament meeting his superiors just say no but
he is working on it. 

They are both amazing investigators and have
amazing potential especially because they both speak fluent Italian
which is really saying something due to the fact that they are
African. 

We are praying for them so its up to them. 

The soccer guy's
name is Derek and the other is Jeanclaude so any prayers would be
great. If you know any bible scriptures as well for Jeanclaude that
would be much appreciated. 

So the other news is about Desmond this
week. He is doing super great and should get the priesthood this
week. He is loving life and I can see him getting better and better
at using the Holy Ghost. It already helped him resist one of his
greatest problems in the past so that is amazing. We continue to
teach him Italian but it is going super slow.  

On Sunday a member who speaks english allowed us to come
to his house for lunch and then after Desmond came and we had a great
lesson with him. They got along super well so we were super happy. 

We were a little scared at first but now they should have a better
relationship and that will help us when we leave because we wont
always be here for him. 

Talking about leaving this could be my last
full week in Verona. Next week is transfers and it is very likely
that I'm out of here. Its going to be weird to be in another city but
it will really help me. I dont want to leave all of these friendships
behind but I know that I will make some more in the other city.
Besides if all else fails I can just bribe the members with cookies again. 

I finished the Book of Mormon again today
and started on the Pearl of Great Price so that I can lead into the Old Testament. I realized that I don't know the bible that well even
though we believe in both. So I’m going to fix that and
become more familiar with the bible as well. 

So have a great week and
enjoy the snow if there is any.

Anziano Joshua Pinnock




WEST INDIES MISSION
INSPIRING LETTERS OF CONVERSION


Paramaribo, Suriname
Elder Alpeter, Elder Westra, Elder Mercier
• • •
One P-day I was cutting my own hair with a cheap Surinamese razor, and it stopped working. I looked like
a mess.  My companion said I couldn't go out working like that.  School started the next day and every barbershop was packed full, so it took forever, But while we were waiting, we met Carol Deseil, a less-active member.  Our first appointment with her fell through. A couple days later, Elder Westra's chain broke on the way to see her, and by the time we arrived, she wasn't home again. However, her son Remi had just walked through the door.  Had the chain not broken we would have not have met him.  When we finally met with Sister Deseil, we asked why all these “coincidences” had happened. "To bring me back to church,” she said. I testified to her that we were there to bring her back and also to baptize Remi, so that he could receive the priesthood and serve a mission.  As we taught them, Remi often shared his own insights that were almost exact quotes from the Book of Mormon. When we helped him find them, he was even more excited about reading. He also had several dreams confirming to him the truth of the Book of Mormon. At one point, we gave him a priesthood blessing, and afterwards, he no longer needed the expected surgery.  He was baptized December 21, 2013 and received the priesthood Sunday January 12th! He wants to go on a mission and says he is "addicted to the gospel". He will be a powerful servant in Zion.  The Lord does not forget his children.  He knows their potential. Even if it takes a bad hair day and bike problems, the Lord can do His work! I love being a missionary!

St. Georges, Grenada
Sister Kime and Sister Cragun
• • •
When the sisters first contacted Kylee Shephard, she showed no interest and said that she was comfortable in her faith. However, the sisters kept running in to her in the same area. One day, she actually approached them. She said that she would like a Book of Mormon and wanted to be baptized! She set a baptismal date for January 25th, and was determined to be ready by that date. Her greatest obstacle was living with her boyfriend because she could not find another place to live. It seemed inevitable that they would have to move her date back, but just a week before her baptism she found a new place to live, moved out, and was
baptized on January 25th! She is a faithful member of the Church and a great addition to the St. Georges Branch.

Valencia, Trinidad
Elder Brown and Elder Ferrin
• • •
Cindy and Jason were planning to be married on the 15th of February, but when we saw them this past week, she had decided that she wanted to be baptized on January 24th.  She planned a wedding in two days so she could make her scheduled baptism date. They were married at 5pm and she was baptized at 6pm. Now Jason is preparing to be baptized.  

Curepe Tunapuna, Trinidad
Sister Edmonds and Danielle
• • •
Danielle Gonzales-Babb has been less active for about 3 years. She was trying to find her way back to church when we found her. Last Fast Sunday, we fasted with her to help her have a missionary opportunity. She referred two friends, but wasn't sure they’d be interested.  When we found out that Sister Jex had to go home for medical attention, I immediately thought of Danielle. She agreed to be a mini-missionary. Her mom initially said no, but eventually agreed. It's been a miracle.  The day Danielle started her mission, we visited one of her own referrals. He is now investigating. Her other friend came to church on Sunday and loved every minute of it. He will begin meeting with the elders. Now Danielle is even contemplating a mission! I think the Lord is helping the youth to desire to serve missions by placing them as temps.

Port of Spain, Trinidad
Elder Hatch and Elder Hatch
• • •
Rhonda McLaren was referred by Maria McLaren of the Curepe Ward.  She had met with missionaries a long time ago, but decided she was not interested. The Elders Hatch were able to pick her back up and she showed more interest after the first lesson. While teaching her the Plan of salvation, she mentioned that she had noticed that the Bible mentions the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial glories, but she had not found a church that taught about the celestial glory! She accepted all that the elders taught her and is now a faithful member continuing to build her testimony.

Lamentin St. Rose, Guadeloupe
Elder Bodily and Elder Glover
• • •
Our investigator Cynthia was always excited for our lessons and progressing well—until she left us a voicemail saying that she had found another house of God and stopped answering our calls.  The week of Zone Conference, we were teaching with one of the assistants, Elder Anderson. We wanted him to meet Cynthia, but she wasn't home.  We taught another investigator near her home--and when we finished, Cynthia pulled up in her car. Perfect timing and a miracle. She reluctantly allowed us in. We taught her about the priesthood and why that sets us apart from other churches. We answered her questions on repentance and forgiveness. She felt the Spirit, so much so that she set a baptismal date and scheduled all her lessons in her calendar. She came to District Conference on Sunday, and every single question she had during our lesson was answered again. She even wept during the testimony of a recent convert. I am so grateful we had the miracle of talking to her again and that Heavenly Father softened her heart enough to listen.

San Fernando, Trinidad
Sister Herrick and Sister Br├ątt
• • •
Sister Herrick and Sister Lewis were about to call it a day when they contacted Donnaleiz Rees. Earlier that
day she had been praying for answers and for truth! She had been contacted in the past, but had turned the
missionaries away. This time she was prepared to hear the message. She kept her commitments, gained a testimony, was welcomed warmly by the San Fernando Ward and was baptized. She is already very excited about all the activities at the church including the ward choir and visiting teaching.


Demerara, Guyana
Elder Gutierrez, Elder Patetefa, Elder Rollins, Elder
Anderson, Elder Andros, Elder Guzman, Elder Ramdhani
• • •
Brother Persaud was taught and baptized in Barbados by Elder Rollins, Elder Anderson, Elder Andros and Elder Guzman. I was able to teach him the new member lessons with Elder Guzman, and then he returned to Guyana, where he baptized his two daughters.  My next transfer call was to Guyana, in Brother Persaud’s branch!! Elder Patetefa and Elder Ramdhani had been teaching Sister Persaud before I arrived, and she decided to be baptized this month. So, Brother Persaud baptized his wife on Saturday! Now they’re all a very strong family in the Church.