So much has happened between the last two weeks. I got a phone call from President Jenkins in Arizona saying that I received my visa to Suriname two Fridays ago and that I would fly out in 3 days! Last Monday I flu from the Phoenix airport to Houston and there met up with the other missionaries that were headed to Trinidad. There were 5 other missionaries, 4 Spanish, 1 English, and then me. We got to Port of Spain at about 9. Customs was weird. They're super strict and we barely made it through. The AP's picked us up and took us to where we'd stay for the next two nights.
I haven't been able to meet President and Sister Egbert yet. President Egbert was in the Dominican Republic recuperating from a eye surgery he needed. We were able to talk to him over the phone the following night though. He and Sister Egbert are super awesome!
We had orientation the day after we flew in. There I found out where I'd be headed and I got to meet my trainer over skype. We spent the next day at the office waiting to fly out to Guyana. We got to do a little office work which was kinda fun actually. They don't have Elders that work in the office, which I was bummed about. I thought that'd be something I'd be good at. But on the flip side the church has officially opened a Dutch branch in Bonaire! It is the first Dutch branch outside of the Netherlands, Belgium, or Suriname I believe. Before then, the branch in Bonaire had native Spanish, English, Papiamento, and Dutch speakers. President Egbert wants to do the same with the islands of Curacao and Aruba. So there will officially be a circulation of Dutch missionaries between Suriname and the ABC islands. Very exciting!
What is holding missionaries up from getting into Suriname are what they call MKV's. It's like a minister visa, or permission to preach in Suriname. After someone recieves their visa they then have to apply for a MKV which takes another 3-4 months. So Suriname will not be getting new missionaries for the next 3 to 4 months unless Elders Burr or Buehler receive their MKV this next coming transfer.
We made it into Georgetown, Guyana at like 11 at night. The flight was delayed 40 to 50 minutes (which is normal apparently). We spent the night at the Guyana mission home and then spent the next day in Georgetown dealing with legal and administrative stuff. We then drove the two hours down to Berbice, the zone that covers the eastern section of Guyana.
I am here in New Amsterdam which is sort of the big town for Berbice. I am in another trio! Elder Cook is my trainer and Elder Burr from the MTC is my other companion. It's been awesome to be companions with Elder Burr again. It's been nice to practice my Dutch again. Elder Cook is from Colorado, and is a Computer major at BYU. So here's these three, white, computer geeks working as missionaries, walking the streets of New Amsterdam, Guyana haha. Elder Cook is awesome though. Very hard working.
Guyana is super interesting. The branch is relatively big. About 50 active and another 300 less active. Guyana itself is a smaller country, with like 700,000 people. Most Guyanese live outside the country though. Elders Cook and Burr have some awesome investigators. One of our investigators is from Suriname so me and Elder Burr get to practice our Dutch with her.
A lesson highlight we had this week is with a younger couple, Thadius and Marcy. It was our first lesson with them. We were on the top deck of a two-story apartment complex thing. There were about 10 other people who wanted to sit in on the lesson, so picture 15 of us on this second story deck as we teach the Restoration. The lesson went really well and at the end they both accepted a baptismal invitation for December 12th! Very exciting can't wait to see how things play out with them.
New Amsterdam has got some very exciting stuff going on. The people here are amazing and very humble. It is awesome to be able to experience this country first had. My favorite part so far has been the market here. It's very much so alive there and they have the coolest stuff there.
I am loving it here in Guyana! Thank you for all your support. Missions are the best!