We have had a lot of rain the last week or so, some days it remains overcast and cloudy all day long, some days we see a little sun but then the clouds and storms move in. Last Saturday night it was terrific. There has been a lot of flooding on the island. Last Sunday one of the Branch members was called in to work at one of the High Schools to try to clean up the flooding before Monday morning. Things are a mess, but so far there doesn't seem to have been any serious harm to life and limb (well at least not human limb).
Yesterday, was my hectic day. Get up by 6 take Rick to work, stop on the way home and do a little shopping, come home and put groceries away, go back out and pick up one of the Sisters and head to the church for Auxiliary Council Meeting, finish up meeting and stop at another two stores, come home and put groceries away,make and eat lunch, have a small visit with Delbert (the bug man, Terminix comes in once a month to spray) race back out the door to go pick up Rick, to to Subway for salads, go the West end to pickup one of the Young Women then back to the church so Rick can attend Branch Presidency Meeting, and I can go to YW Activity,now back to West end to take Young Woman home and finally home by 9. This is not my idea of a fun day, but some really good things came out of all of that:
First of all, there have been some changes to the Auxiliary Council, we have a new Primary President Sister Andrea Williams, Sis.Williams is here on St. Croix from the Dominican Republic working on her US citizenship, her English is improving but still a challenge, fortunately there are other members of the A.C. who are fluent in Spanish. This was our first meeting with Sis. Williams and everyone was relieved to hear that she wants more teaching (real Primary classes) and a little less singing (up to now, Primary has consisted of almost all singing time). She is on track to call two Primary teachers, one for Jr. Primary and one for Sr. Primary, an Achievement Day Leader and a new Nursery Leader (she was the old Nursery Leader). Right now there is one teacher in Primary, who really doesn't teach but is a great music leader. Sis. Williams may release her and start completely over, not sure, but the Branch Presidency has been looking for a complete revamp in Primary for awhile and it looks like it's finally happening. Everyone knows that Sis. Williams days on St. Croix are limited, but apparently she is the person the Lord has the confidence in to make the necessary changes.
There is a lot of concern because Primary only has one child that regularly attends. Sometimes there are up to 7 or 8 but that's on an occasional rotating basis. We are all working on enough faith to increase the programs and lovingly invite the families with children to come back and show them that we are ready for them. I think it will work.
The main reason that I think this will work in Primary is that I'm finally seeing it happen in Young women. Prior to my being called as the YW President, they had been having successful activities by taking the girls places and doing things and meeting in some of the Sister's homes. I have a nice enough place and big enough to have the girls over here at the condo and one of the other families has a really nice, really big house that they were happy to share, but I worried about this. I know I'm not in Idaho anymore, but it still felt like YW should primarily be at the church, with activities that are fun but centered around the Gospel, with a trip to the beach or someones pool on a more occasional basis. So I set it up to have a YW Activity every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00 and tried to get all of our three girls (two members and one non-member who does attend seminary) to come. The Branch Presidency changed their meeting night to Tuesday, so we would have Priesthood with us in the building and transportation would be a little easier on Rick and I. Well we had two activities with myself and one of the girls and one night we cancelled altogether, just as I was feeling pretty discouraged one of the girls mother's finally agreed to let me pick her up and we had our first successful YW Activity on a Tuesday night at the church. The girls were even excited about it and seemed to have a good time. It was pretty simple, we, the two YW members and I have been asked to speak in church on Sunday and they decided to fill up some of the time by singing a song together. We met last night to pick a song and practice. They wanted to sign "As Sisters in Zion" and I tried to persuade them to sing something else as that one is more a Relief Society type song, but we couldn't agree on anything else, so I said I'm sure this is your song. As we practiced, I felt the Spirit so strong, I had to keep hiding behind my hymnal,so the girls wouldn't think I was just a silly boob, because I could clearly see that they are Sisters in Zion. The girls are excited to speak and sing in church (of course, they don't directly admit it but you can tell). They even planned a "Combined" activity for next week, that's combined with the Young Men, it's simple and at the church, but we're going to have a game night (all their idea). Maybe this sounds silly to some of you but for me, it was a real "if you build it, they will come" moment for me.
The second good thing that happened yesterday at the AC Meeting was that we changed the meeting date to Thursday. That means I won't have to be a nut on Tuesdays running all over the place.
Rick has been the Acting Branch President (our President is in the states for three weeks) now for a week and a half. He can't imagine why anyone would aspire to this calling,he has been run ragged, but I know he feels goo. He can see the people have learned tot trust him and they are not afraid to ask for his help and in turn they are doing the things he has asked them to do. That is incredibly gratifying and a confirmation that this really is the Lord's work. Through some very simple means two adult daughters of some very stalwart sisters in the Branch have been reactivated, we know this is the result of the efforts of many people over a long period of time but it feels great to be the person at the end of that line actually seeing it happen.
This may not be one of the more exciting blogs for you guys to read but these are things that I wanted to record for myself and believe me these are exciting times for me.
I didn't forget Rosie, I'll try to post those pictures tomorrow.