Sunday, December 2, 2007

Remember When?

Here is one way that missionaries legally are in the waters of the Caribbean during their missions. This baptism took place in Trinidad as Las Cuevas Beach in November, 2007. As you can see the wave caught them all completely off guard. (Elders Croft, Balling & Parish)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Newest West Indies Return Missionaries - November 2007 Group

Today Elders Howell, Schaat, and Torres joined the ranks of West Indies Returned Missionaries. Elder Caldwell was also in this group and traveled to his home on Monday of this week. (You might not notice, but Elder Torres is 40 lbs lighter than when he arrived. His suit did not fit.) Elders Howell and Torres fly into Salt Lake City to greet their families whereas Elder Schaat returns to Portland, Oregon. Elder Schaat was looking forward to a deep dish pizza in Chicago when he changed planes.

October Departing Elders

Because the mission split in July, many of our October elders were serving in the other mission. Only two Elders returned to their homes in October, 2007. Their suits still fit. They did manage a golf game against the some of the senior missionaries on their last preparation day. They lost by two strokes and have demanded a rematch in Idaho in 2008.

Friday, October 5, 2007

West Indies Mission Customs and Lingo

Culture & Customs

Calling on a home – If a home has a fence, it is proper to advance only as far as the gate and then call “Inside”, three times with long pauses. If no one responds, the person is not at home or does not wish to be disturbed. (We do not peer inside with nose pressed against the glass and call out “hello, anyone home.”)

Good morning – or Good afternoon or Good evening – there is no substitute for not starting out a conversation in person or on the phone without saying one of these three phrases. If you do not do this, you set yourself up immediately as a stranger. Saying “hi” is just not an acceptable substitute.

Entertaining people – West Indies residents do not entertain inside of their homes. This is very important to consider when you wonder why you are not invited into the home. This has implications for the best way to conduct home and visiting teaching visits.

Extreme literalness in speech – if you go to a sales counter in a store and ask the salesperson at the perfume counter if she sells men’s belts, she will say “no.” If you ask “where in this town can I purchase a belt for a man”, she will point to the next counter.

Handsakes – according to the West Indian culture, a light handshake is in better form. Americans like their handshakes to be firm and are frequently surprised at the delicacy of the West Indian handshake (not unlike Mexico).

Interruptions – well-bred locals or even more rough West Indian characters never interrupt.

Names – in terms of respect for older people, they are addressed as Mr., Mrs., or Miss rather than by their first names.

Okay – it is customary to say “okay” as you walk away from someone. You will be in turn greeted by a chorus of “okays” from those you are leaving. If you do not do this, you are giving the impression or anger or rudeness.

Social Smile – Americans tend to wear a perpetual smile more often than Canadians or especially than the British. In the West Indies, the polite face to show strangers is the sober face. Smiles are reserved for something funny or someone well-known and liked. Don’t conclude that the native West Indian people are hostile or not friendly or have something against ‘white people.’

Touching – or back slapping or shoulder patting – is not considered appropriate nor is it enjoyed by the West Indian people.

Thank you – the most local of the residents of the West Indies would never use the expression “thank you.” Instead they use other expressions. When Americans say “you’re welcome” it is very confusing to some because “thank you” is already too much for them. This does not mean one should not say “thank you” or you’re welcome. Just be aware that the culture in the West Indies is different.

You are polite – means you have passed the test in the eyes of the public for being more that just well-spoken. It is used to describe those quiet of manner and speech, not over-tipping or showing off, not referring to advantages back home, not touching or patting or poking the person you are addressing and especially not giving off an aura of superiority. (A compliment even one step up from this is: “Don’t feel that way. You one of us, man!”) How to Live in the Caribbean by Sydney Hunt.


A. Alight - How are you

A be dees deys in da right place - all of these people are in the right place

Acs – ask (I acsed him)

B. Beat back (nobody can beat she back when it come to lying) – Nobody can
outlie her

Beck en all - gossip or talk bad about a person

Benzine - rum

Bob - Quarter (only in the South Part of Trinidad) - as in 25 cents

C. Come across - come over

Come da boddy - come over

I’ll see you Friday coming – an expression of time (coming) – If you say I’ll see you next Friday, you are being less definite – some Friday or another Friday

Copper – a copper coin. (Give me a copper).

D. Don't Study She - Don't pay attention to her


F. Fatigue – Doan gie me faiguem man or ah buss you mout – don’t ridicule me.
Don’t tire me.

For True - For Real?

Freeness (at the end of the meeting there will be a freeness) – means there
will be refreshments like food and drink

Front – is literally, a man’s front

G. Gaff - sit around talking

Gap – an opening into a yard, a road or a field

Give me a drop – this means a lift or a ride

Go call she - Go get her

Go call he - Go get him

Gon fo see baa – Going for a sea bath – pleasant conversation starter if you
are on your way to the beach

H. He takes she - they are getting married

I. Ideh - I'm doing good

Irie - Doing good

J. Jumbies - little devils

Just Cool - I'm doing good

Just Now - means 2 seconds or 2 years or in between


L. Licks - snap fingers and say licks means you are going to spank your kids

Liming - Sitting around

M. Mader fader dey home - Are your mom and dad home?

Make – is to used age (How many years do you make?)

Mash – on the mainland is generally reserved for vegetables

Me de know fa dat - I don't know about that

Me no for do dat - I don't know how to do it

Medeh - I'm doing good

Mindin my picknies - raising my kids

Molest – means to tend the plants (has a mild meaning)

N. Next – another or second

No Blues - no pornography

Not te cuts ya - Listen to my story

O. OK - How are you

P. Pester – means to keep after a girl until she gives in

Picknies – children

Plugged out – generator plugged out – anything that can be plugged in can
be plugged out

Q. Quite - really for

Quite so over - that direction over there a bit of ways off

R. Reach – (boat language) – means arrive, even for people

S. Scene Dred - What's up man

Script – means a written message. I will leave a script for you rather than a

She gone out to come back - she went out, but she is coming back soon

She is hard to sit with - They are busy or hard to get a hold of

She vexed - she's mad

Stupsing - something they do by closing their lips like when we roll our eyes in

T. Taking a sweat - Exercising

Take a 5 - Take a Break

Take a breeze - Take a Break

Take ya time - if you trip in front of someone or are arguing with someone

Team - theme

Till - closer - next street over

Till over so - that direction really close by

Ting – Thing

Title – means surname (what is your last name?)

Twin brother – good friend

Two of we went down road - means two of us

U. Use yuh kidney – use your head

Utes - Youth


W. Wash my skin – means to wash oneself (very precise & literal)

Watch me know - Listen to my story

We all (talk) Trinidad /(Gaff ) Guyana - for we all are sitting around talking

We don't study girls - We don't pay attention to girls

What da scene - What's up

What nem boddy - what is happening

Woman – temporary tone, bottom of ladder – better to use lady


Y. Ya dum no - Right one! That's what I'm talking about

Ya Storyam - you are lying


Monday, August 27, 2007

August Returned Missionaries from West Indies

Here they are - the newest group of returned missionaries from the West Indies Mission. (Left to Right: Elders Lindberg, Northrup, Bradford, Wilcock, Pack, Moore, Crninch, Rasmussen, Hays, and Parker. During the months of July and August 2007, the mission said goodby to 25 missionaries who returned home with honor as well as 16 more who were given to the Puerto Rico San Juan East Mission. All of these missionaries are sorely missed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Do you remember tracting this area?

Remembering the photo used on the Christmas 2006 Key Chain that featured Elder Johansen and Elder Evans in Nevis, Elder Olaveson and Elder Howell found a tropic back drop while contacting in little villages behind Valsayn near Febeau in Trinidad.

Elder Evans' Engagement Shot

Elder Evans searched far and wide for a returned missionary who speaks Spanish and found her. Now they are married and live happily ever after.

How Hard Did You Work On Your Mission?

Elder Jacobsen seems to be settling into the life of an engaged West Indies Returned Missionary.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Remember the White Christmas Miracle last December?

The mission split on July 1, 2007 and the missionaries responded with another White Christmas month--this time in July. 100 baptisms!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Exciting Baptisms!

Baptisms are always exciting! This was the last baptism I had on May 26, 2007. There was no water, and none in the tank. We waited and waited and waited for a water truck to show up. Three hours later it showed up, and filled up the font with a firehose in two minutes flat! Definitely a baptism to remember. I bet there are plenty other great baptism stories like that.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Roberts' Pics

Top - Thats me with the signboard in St. Maarten. Hard job but someone has to do it.
Middle - Elders Hooson, Schaat, and Clark, and myself (taking the pic) making sure people in St. Maarten know about Jesus Christ.
Bottom - Even people on the beach need to know about Repentance.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Remember the different culture & the law?

Please post your favorite photos that remind you of the difference between the culture at home and the one you experience for two years. It is easy, just push "new post."

Did you do this on your mission?

Could you share with other West Indies Returned Missionaries, your favorite proselyting pictures that show great creativity? Here Elder Arbizo preaches on a "large box" in Guadeloupe, and Elders Roberts, Bing and Hunting invite people in Guyana to learn about the Book of Mormon (Elder Howell is inside the book).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

RM's - the men legends are made of

As you look at these most recent groups of returning West Indies Mission elders, you see what such a void is left each time a group of elders returns with honor.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hurrah for Israel!

Like in the days of Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young saying Hurrah for Israel as they left on their missions, so too do the elders of the West Indies Mission. Hurrah for Israel as every companionship baptizes a family every month in the West Indies Mission.

Spread It Like Wildfire!

During the miracle month of baptisms in the West Indies Mission (December 2006) when 111 people were baptized, Suriname planned a baptism for 18 people. Fifteen of those baptized are pictured here. 100 people attended the baptism which resulted in a total of 28 eventual baptisms.