10 August 2009

Message in a bottle arrived from St. Maarten

Travel distance from Suriname to St. Maarten is ~ 2,000 km (~1,200 miles)

We left Suriname on Wednesday morning. We arrived at the Paramaribo airport at 11:30 pm on Tuesday evening and waited for the new elders to come in. They then left us there to wait for our flight which was to leave at 6:30 am on Wednesday. Elder Muse, my new companion; Elder Jestice, a missionary that is finished with his mission; and Elder Ritchey, a missionary that was heading to the MTC to start his mission; and myself spent the night at the airport. It was not the most comfortable thing to do, but we managed.

We flew to Trinidad that morning, but we did not leave the airport. We had less than 2 hours in Trinidad. The other two elders left us there and Elder Muse and I flew on to Barbados. When we landed in Barbados we did not even get off the plane, so we did not see anything. That same plane then took us to Sint Maarten where after the the plane flew on to Jamaica.

St. Maarten is a nice island. The landscape is very dry, but there are plenty of beaches. As you can imagine the beaches are off-limits for us as elders except for baptisms. The people are really friendly. I have not been shouted at or anything like that yet. The people do not seem to care if you're white or not.

Elder Muse and I work on the Dutch side of the island. We have one half of the island as our area. The other half is being worked by Elder Butler and Elder Wright. They work the French half of the island. The interesting thing about all of this is that I have only met about 5 people that speak Dutch. None of the people on the street that we talk to speak Dutch. They either speak English, French, or Spanish. I don't speak French or Spanish, so when we contact someone on the street we try to tell them to come to church in whatever other languages we know. I tried inviting someone to church in very broken and rusty Italian, which seemed to work. :-)

The branch is great. There were not that many people there on Sunday, but we are visiting a lot of less active members and trying our best to get them back to church. We are hoping to find new investigators by working with the less actives. I have seen it work. We set a goal to baptize 2 people this transfer and I am confident about all of this. I think we can reach our goal if we work hard and do our best. The island has not seen many baptisms in a long time.

That's about all for now.


No comments: