Thursday, October 3, 2013

Final Nevis Visit

October1, 2013, Tuesday

We were headed to Nevis but first I had to go to the church to meet the Sisters and inspect their vehicle.  
Sister Paredes (California) and Sister Rivas (Nicaragua)
They were there to interview with President Smartt over ooVoo or Skype or something. So I went there while Gaye stayed home to prepare for the Nevis trip.  The sisters had not done an inspection before, so I began the check list with them.  All was in order, except that a part of trim for the L rear door was ordered more than a month ago and has not come in yet.  Normal operating procedure around here.

I wanted to show the girls how to check the air pressure in the tires, so I asked for their gauge. It was broken, so I got mine out and gave it to them.  The tires were all low, but the last one we checked was dead flat!  Okay, this is a good time to show them how to change a tire.  We proceeded to get out the owners manual to see how to get the spare off and where to attach the jack.  I showed them each step and gave them the lug wrench to get the nuts loosened before we raised the car on the jack.  Sister Paredes stood on the wrench and nothing happened.  She jumped up and down and nothing happened.  She moved out towards the end of the wrench handle and jumped up and down, and finally it began to move.  I loosened the rest of the nuts before we put the jack under the car at the designated point.  
I had the girls take turns cranking up the scissors-type jack, 
at least enough to see that it is difficult and they have to work at it.  I pulled off the old flat tire, 
had the sisters look to see if the car was high enough (it was not), cranked up the jack a little more, and put on the new tire.  
I put on three of the nuts and had each of them begin to thread the remaining nuts. 
I tightened the nuts as tight as we could get them, then they helped me lower the jack.  We tightened the nuts with the lug wrench, put the spare in the trunk to take it to be repaired, where I paid for the repair and left them to wait for the tire store to fix the flat and put everything back on the vehicle.  No big deal, but it put us an hour behind our schedule.

One of the local members, Ricky Browne, wanted to go over to Nevis with us because he has been dating Precious, who lives over there.  So we picked him up and started out, but he remembered that he forgot his wallet back at the church where he left his car parked.  We turned back, but going back put us behind enough that we missed the ferry by 5 minutes.  The Sea Bridge ferry, the one that takes vehicles back and forth, is always late by at least 30 minutes.  Except for this time.  So we got to sit in the heat and wait 2 hours for the next ferry.  No problem because we had a good chance to visit with Br Browne. 
With Br Browne
He has only been in the church for about 18 months and is trying to prepare for the Melchizedek Priesthood. He can’t decide which of the eligible single ladies in the branch he wants to connect with. Stay tuned. He might end up with none of them.
Elder and Sister P, Precious (Nigeria), Francisca (Dominican Republic)
At the apartment in Nevis we took the elders to the store and bought supplies for the Closing Social to be held that night.  We had promised the members we would come back when we left Nevis, and this was fulfilling that promise.  Gaye boiled the chicken before we went over, so all we had to do was fire up the charcoal grill and brown the chicken.  Others were bringing the rest of the dishes and inviting others to join us.  We ended up with 18 people there!  That is more than showed up for the St Kitts branch Fun Night last Friday.  
Nevis Closing Social
We played dominoes, the favorite pastime of the Caribbean, we ate up all the food, and we played some Minute-to-Win-It games with everyone joining in.  Since half the people there speak Spanish, Elder Durfee gave the FHE message in both languages.  

Then Gaye and I tried to sleep on the extra bed there.  
Second Bedroom/Study Room

I am glad we don’t need to do that again. The sides of the frame are inside the edges of the mattress about 4 inches. That makes the edges of the mattress slope steeply upward, which causes both of us to roll towards the center of the mattress. It was sort of like trying to sleep two people in a hammock.  Neither of us slept much that night.

On Wednesday Br Terry Hanley came over on the ferry and we took the whole group of five (add in the elders) to lunch.  Then we drove up to the Allen home for a special meeting to take place.  Last Sunday afternoon President Smartt conducted a priesthood meeting of the Island District (although there is no Island District) of the mission.  It was a gathering by Go-to-Meeting that had all the island branches tuned in.  The main reason for the meeting was to present the names of brethren who were being presented for ordination to the office of elder.  Br Allen was one of those individuals.  Then President Smartt assigned me to conduct the ordination ceremony, which I did. We had a prayer and a song, I gave Br and Sister Allen the opportunity to raise their hands to sustain Br Allen in his new calling as an elder, and the conferring and ordination took place.  We finished with a song and a prayer. 
Br Hanley, Br and Sister Allen
The young elders enjoyed the experience, too.  Elder Durfee leaves to return to Utah next week.  Elder Rasmussen has been in the mission for about 6 weeks. They are both really fun young men who also know how to work hard and not complain. They ride their bikes all over the island. They enjoy getting out and meeting people. They conduct the meetings in Spanish and in English, often holding two meetings on Sundays because the Allen’s cant get to the apartment for the regular meeting.  They follow the rules to the letter, including the study schedule. They love the message of the restored Gospel and they love telling everybody they meet about it.  They even found a source of conch shells and hauled a dozen of them home to their apartment.  They even gave two of them to us.  We need to find some more. They are very plentiful here, and they are beautiful. 
The commercial conch fishermen just drill a small hole in the back of the shell to get the critter out, then they throw the shells back into the ocean.  They are happy to give the empty shells away.

Br Hanley has been district president when there was actually an island district.  He is a terrific leader, an example of a man who has been instructed by inspired leaders but who has also been instructed by The Holy Ghost.  He thinks well and he speaks well. The ordination was followed by testimonies by Br Hanley and Br Allen.  The young elders were with us and it was a spiritual treat for us to be there.
Elder Durfee, Sister Allen, Br Allen, Elder Rasmussen
Then we drove to the ferry, rode back to St Kitts, and made it home. After the bed in Nevis, sleeping on our own bed was a real treat.

So our service on Nevis has come to a close.  Br and Sister Allen will prepare to come to the temple in April, where we will meet them. We will do what we can do to help the Sundar family get fellowshipped into the branch.  We will continue to teach piano lessons when the students show up.  We will continue to teach the New Member lessons to recently baptized members who have not had those lessons.  We take care of the bills from phone and electric utilities and then get reimbursed, or we will get them set up to be paid online.  We are the “grandparents” of the young missionaries, where they can come to relax, do their weekly letters to their families, and eat a real meal prepared by Sister Patterson.
Notice Br Benjamin's long beautiful fingers
Then we will be moving to St Thomas the end of October.

By the way, this has been about the slowest hurricane season on record.  There have been only two hurricanes, Humberto and Ingrid, and they lasted less than 24 hours. Humberto was the only one out here in the Atlantic basin, but it never made it this far west and spun harmlessly into the North Atlantic. I must admit I am a little disappointed.  But I am also thankful that the locals did not need to go through one of those horrific storms.  It is heavy rain and terrible winds with palm trees flying through the air. They don’t like hurricanes around here.

A visitor outside the apartment door

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That spider is impressive! Did mom see it? I hope you caught it. I notices that it has 9 legs . . . that's got to be worth something on ebay.