Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas in the Islands

I am sitting on our balcony with a nice cool morning sea breeze in my face.  One big cruise ship just went past and an other is coming in.  Now that hurricanes are past and the northern country is enjoying the cold weather of winter the cruise lines are entering their big season.  The local economy enjoys having the visitors come in and spend their money so this is happy time.  It is also happy time because it is entering the Christmas season.

Decorations for Christmas are not a big deal here.  There are a few trees available for more than $100, and they will be lucky to get home without all the needles falling off.  There are more artificial trees than real ones and they are modestly decorated with strings of lights that are half not working.  I like it.  Gaye bought a small tree for our apartment.  I will post it next week.   She also bought a string of lights and put them up in the apartment.  The strand of lights has segments that flash on and off in random order and timing.  I really dislike that kind of random flashing, as most of you know.  So I arrange myself with my back to the lights to I don’t have to try to mentally deal with the random arhythmia.

Early this week we had a visit from President Zayas from PR.  He is in the mission presidency and the area CES coordinator . He came to visit our seminary class.  We spent the day with him and were quite tired at the end of the day.  He is like the Everready Bunny.  He speaks English well, but Spanish is obviously his home language. We learned a lot about teaching and how to get the message of the doctrine from the scriptures from him in his inservice lesson.  Then at the end of the day we took him back out to the airport to fly back home.  He had a little trouble with his ticket so he spent a lot of time talking to the agent at the gate.  She mentioned that his birthdate is the same as her twin daughters (she saw it on his passport).  I wandered over to see how things were going and he immediately engaged me into the conversation with Alice, the agent.  he pointed out that her twins were born on November 12, the same as his birthday.  Well, that got me right into the conversation because that is also my birthday.  So I mentioned that Gaye’s birthday is also in November and is 12 reversed (21 for any of you having difficulty with this story).  He got more excited and said that his wife was also born on November 21!  We talk about blessings or coincidences.  This one is a coincidence. We obtained a copy of the Church Christmas video and took it out to Alice the next evening.  We had a nice conversation with her and her co-worker and wished them Merry Christmas.  They are both from Guyana.  These are nice people here!

Nakisha, member for 6 weeks, keen piano student
Yesterday Gaye taught more piano lessons (she has been teaching every afternoon all week) and I went with the YFTM’s to see about buying another car.  The area offices of the Church are in Dominican Republic, where Spanish is the language.  The message I received was in Spanish, translated by one of our mission office elders. It said the area fleet manager was trying to conclude the purchase of a vehicle in Tortola but he didn’t know the name of the Suzuki dealer.  There is only one in Tortola, so i went there to see if I could get them to fill out the paperwork so they could be paid for the car and we would then have to drive around.  I’ll shorten this story.  The dealership didn’t know what I was talking about, but some heavenly interventions took place and now the dealer and the area office are communicating directly with each other.  It is always nice when parties can talk directly to each other rather than go through a middle man, especially when I am the middle man.  When this is concluded we will have two 2008 Toyota Tacoma’s to sell and two new vehicles.  The office said that the new vehicle is for the couple, not the YFTM’s.  But since we already have a brand new Tacoma I will press hard for us to keep the truck and the YFTM will drive the SUV.  I’m not sure the Suzuki can make it up the hills!

They take their speed bumps seriously here

For Hire!  Any takers?

Ready for the Branch Christmas Social

I’ll post a few photos of the church here and other things in the area and call this one good.  Enjoy your day, and Merry Christmas!

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