January 7, 2015

West Indies Mission

Free resources about the West Indies Mission:

The West Indies Mission was renamed the Barbados Bridgetown Mission in 2015.  It was also split to create the Trinidad Port of Spain Mission.

West Indies Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the West Indies Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Trinidad and Tobago

Phone Number: 1-868-663-2130
Mission President: President Daniel S. Mehr II

West Indies Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the West Indies Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the West Indies Mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.

Videos with West Indies RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the West Indies Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.

mission interview  mission interview  mission interview  mission interview  mission interview  mission interview

Videos about the West Indies

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about West Indies. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about West Indies, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

history  food  nature  mission calls  time lapses  lds church

West Indies Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the West Indies Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Elder & Sister Clawson theclawsonchronicles.com 2016
Elder Cole Cooper eldercolecooper.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Calvin Carpenter calvincarpenterwestindies.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Logan Sackley logansackley.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Hayden Dorrance haydenwim.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Kyle Schroeder elderkyleschroedermission.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Hannah Feltis hannahfeltis.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Jackie Miller jackiehudsonmiller.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Dustin Peterson elderdustinpeterson.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Randon Smith eldersmithwestindies.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Seth Parker elderparkerwestindies.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Aaron Hill elderhillwestindies.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Aaron Fraley caribbeancalling.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Braden Call proselytinginparadise.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Kyle Brown elderkylejospehbrown.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Kenna Riley missionsite.net/sisterriley 2015
Elder Taylor Dayton elderdayton.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Sarah Munafo missionsite.net/sistersarahmunafo 2015
Elder Taylor Ehlert taylorehlert.com 2015
Elder Jake Lewis jakelewiswestindies.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Alyssa Worthington missionsite.net/sisteralyssaworthington 2015
Sister Katelyn Crompton katelyncrompton.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Lauren Christiansen laurenferrrnchristiansen.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Katrina Hawkes sistahawkesonamission.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Abby Eyre soeurabby.blogspot.com 2014
Elder & Sister Poulson poulsonmission.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Emily ourjoyfulnest.com 2014
Sister Jasmine Shirts sisterjasmineshirtswestindiesmission.blogspot.com 2014
Sister Brianna Wilson missionsite.net/sisterbriannawilson 2014
Sister Aimee Edmonds missionsite.net/sisteraimeeedmonds 2014
Elder & Sister Linton lintonsinparadise.blogspot.com 2014
Elder & Sister Beecher beecherinthewim.blogspot.com 2014
Elder & Sister Gubler thegublermission.blogspot.com 2014
Elder & Sister Monson nanaandpapasjourney.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Skyler Hale elderhalewestindies.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Jed Hazlett jedinthewestindies.blogspot.com 2014
Elder & Sister Beutler carolandmel.blogspot.com 2013
Elder & Sister Bird bkbirdmission.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Bradley Wilson bdwinthewestindies.blogspot.com 2013
Sister Rachel Brisson brissononamission.blogspot.com 2013
Elder Brady Shepherd missionsite.net/elderbradyshepherd 2013
Elder William Pedersen missionsite.net/elderwilliampedersen 2013
Elder David Payne missionsite.net/elderdavidpayne 2013
Elder Austin Jones missionsite.net/elderaustinmckayjones 2013
Sister Lizzi Sims sisterlizzisimsmission.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Tate Tullis missionsite.net/eldertullis 2012
Elder Austin Jones missionsite.net/elderaustinjones 2011
Elder Phillip Helms missionsite.net/elderhelms 2011
Elder Alexander Thompson missionsite.net/elderalexanderthompson 2011
Elder Thomas Whitlock missionsite.net/elderthomaswhitlock 2011
Unknown sites.google.com/site/missionwi 2011
Elder Nathan Morris natemorrismission.blogspot.com 2011
Elder Sonny Hill eldersonnyhill.blogspot.com 2010
Elder Jeffrey Vernes eldervernes.blogspot.com 2010
Elder Reid Robison westindiesrm.blogspot.com 2010
President & Sister Robison westindiesmission.blogspot.com 2009

West Indies Mission Groups

Here are West Indies Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the mission.

  1. West Indies / Barbados Bridgetown / Trinidad Port of Spain (LDS) Group (862 members)
  2. West Indies Mission Robison 2006-09 Group (294 members)
  3. “Sunshine in Our Souls” West Indies Group (227 members)
  4. West Indies RMs 2012-15 Daniel S. Mehr Group (146 members)
  5. West Indies Mission Moms (LDS) Group (65 members)
  6. Mission West Indies 1984-1988 Facebook Group (12 members)
  7. West Indies- President Mason, Van Noy Group (8 members)
  8. European RM’s West Indies and Suriname Group (1 member)
  9. West Indies Mission Provo/SLC Area RMs Group (1 member)

West Indies Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the West Indies Mission!

Shirt designs include West Indies Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: West Indies missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse West Indies Mission gifts

west-indies-mission-t-shirt-1 west-indies-mission-t-shirt-2 west-indies-mission-t-shirt-3

West Indies Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the West Indies Mission.

  1. 2015, renamed Barbados Bridgetown Mission
  2. 2012-2015, Daniel S. Mehr II
  3. 2009-2012, Claude R. Gamiette
  4. 2006-2009, Reid A. Robison (Listen to an interview with the Robisons)
  5. 2003-2006, Hendrik Dorenbosch
  6. 2000-2003, M. Don Van Noy
  7. 1997-2000, Kenneth Mason
  8. 1994-1997, Roy R. Valantine
  9. 1991-1994, Eldon L. Wood

West Indies LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 5,575 (Guyana), 1,430 (Suriname), 303 (Saint Lucia), 260 (Sint Maarten), 3,328 (Trinidad and Tobago), 376 (Grenada), 908 (Barbados)
  • Missions: 1 (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Temples: 0
  • Congregations: 13 (Guyana), 6 (Suriname), 2 (Saint Lucia), 1 (Sint Maarten), 10 (Trinidad and Tobago), 1 (Grenada), 3 (Barbados)
  • Family History Centers: 1 (Guyana), 1 (Suriname), 1 (Trinidad and Tobago), 1 (Barbados)

Helpful Articles about the West Indies

Coming soon..

West Indies Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from West Indies RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

*Click here to take a survey to help pre-missionaries going to your mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2013-2014 (Carissa)
  • 2010-2012 (Lance)
  • 2009-2011 (Philip)
  • 2009-2011 (Trevor)
  • 2009-2011 (Von)
  • 1990-1992 (Neldon)
  • 2004-2006 (Derek)
  • 2003-2005 (Noel)
  • 1997-1998 (Weldon & Carmen)
  • 1987-1989 (Dennis)
  • 1984 (Dan)
  • 2014-2015 (Sarah)
  • 1990-1992 (Steve)
  • 1985-1987 (Donald)
  • 1998-2000 (Wayne)

What areas did you serve in?

  • Uitkijk, Munder, Wanica, Blauwgrond, Berbice, Diamond, Georgetown. (Lance)
  • Many. (Philip)
  • Capesterre, Basse-Terre, and Abymes in Guadeloupe; Fort-de-France Martinique; and Kourou, Matoury, and Cayenne in French Guiana. (Trevor)
  • Le Moule, Guadeloupe. Capesterre, Guadeloupe. Fort de France, Martinique. French side of Saint Martin. (Von)
  • St. Kitts, Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana. (Noel)
  • St. Vincent, Barbados, St. Kitts, Antigua. (Dennis)
  • Montego Bay. (Dan)
  • Arima, Trinidad; Tobago; Les Abymes, Guadeloupe; Goyave, Guadeloupe; Ducos, Martinique. (Sarah)
  • Started in Barbados…Think I hit every area in Trinidad at least 2 times. (Steve)
  • Point-A-Pitre, Basse-Terre, Christ’s Church Barbados, Cayenne Baduel and Kourou. (Wayne)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Doubles, gyros, cook up. (Carissa)
  • Roti, Nasi, Bruine bonen, Bami, Cassava bread. (Lance)
  • Doubles, curry chicken, roti, Dahl, curry goat, curry duck, pigtail soup, blood
  • sausage, and all of the fruit. (Philip)
  • Bokit, accras de morue, agoulou, chaudeau, street coconut ice cream. (Trevor)
  • Bokits, Roti, Doubles. (Von)
  • Roti, Roti, Roti. (Neldon)
  • Bbq chicken and chips (fries), chicken curry and roti, doubles. (Derek)
  • Doubles, curry & roti, fried flying fish, shark & bake. (Noel)
  • THE FRESH PINEAPPLE AND GRAPEFRUIT…..you could eat all you wanted and never get canker. GRAPEFRUIT POP..delicious…wish I had tried it earlier! I thought it would be like Squirt. They don’t use nearly as much carbonation in their pop, or caffeine in their cola drinks there. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Roti, flying fish, macaroni pie. (Dennis)
  • Curried goat, rice cooked in coconut milk. (Dan)
  • Curry. Doubles. Roti. Baguettes. Quiche. Colombo. (Sarah)
  • I loved all types of food, favorites, Roti, doubles, sahina, khurma, etc.. favorite beverages, guava-pineapple juice, soursop, mauby, sorrel, peanut punch, red solo. (Steve)
  • Roti, Coconut Water and Jelly, Arraroot, Banana’s, Sweet potato, Mangos, Tam Tams, Mutton, Bakes. (Donald)
  • The Roti, monkey stew over rice, and the Caiman was my favorite. (Wayne)

What was a funny experience?

  • The first time I had a double we ordered no pepper, but our orders were mixed up and we got heavy pepper on one and none on the other. We ate both and the pepper was really hot, but I handled it well. My companion wasn’t a fan and on the drive home she touched her eye and her hand still had pepper on it. She couldn’t see out of one eye and we laughed the whole way home. (Carissa)
  • Meeting with an investigator only to find out he was gay and had a massive crush on my companion. Finding a giant dead anaconda on the side of the road and taking a picture of my name tag in its coiled tail just to send home in an email. (Lance)
  • I slipped off of a bridge in Guyana while crossing a trench and was chest deep in mud. (Philip)
  • One time in a hike to see a waterfall, I fell down a muddy mountainside. I caught a pigeon on the street as part of a street contact. I got run over by some people rollerblading in the city center. Got chased down by a judge woman who proceeded to kiss my cheek. (Trevor)
  • Tracting always brought us into homes of very funny, unique people. We once saw a lady sleeping on top of an old refrigerator in her yard. (Von)
  • The shower in Grenada would give you a great shock if you tried to change the water temperature with the water running. You learned to check the water temp first before jumping in……electricity and water don’t mix. (Neldon)
  • Jumping over a trench (big ditch of nasty water – they are all over in Guyana) and then watching my companion not quite make it- he was wet from his knee down the rest of the night. (Derek)
  • Some guys in a rough neighborhood came up to us saying stuff and we just started rapping primary songs including “Popcorn Popping”. They went nuts. (Noel)
  • We forgot our key at Zone Conference and couldn’t get into our apartment, where the Mission President was staying and waiting to interview the elders. We had to go to a member’s and get a hack saw to cut the lock. A man had been begging at the other couple’s apartment and telling them stories of why he needed money. He came to our place to do the same, not realizing we knew each other! He was at our place when they drove up and he took off running. When we compared stories, he hadn’t even lied to tell the same lie to both couples…after that, it was no more handouts…do like the elders and give them a cup of rice in a zip lock bag! The new Assistants to the President were being taken to the airport…one elder realized he had left his passport in the apartment where he had been staying, so we had to turn around and go back and put him on a later flight. He was mortified. Being older, we could laugh about it…these things happen we told him. But, he said, you don’t know what else I did. I lost my toothbrush at one conference, left something else behind at another place! Sorry…but that made us laugh harder. He had his trials on that trip! (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Found our maid stuck in a fruit tree and she could not get down. She was very embarrassed because it was our tree and she thought she would get in trouble, but had to call out to us because she was stuck. (Dan)
  • An ex-famous singer kept running into us on the streets and would sing to us in public very loudly. (Sarah)
  • Tore my pants at the Branch baptism, and later the Christmas party in San Fernando. Had NO time to travel back to the apartment, to change.. walked around with a towel covering the tear for about six hours. (Steve)
  • Getting stuck on a beach on Antigua in the mission car. (Donald)

What was a crazy experience?

  • Off road bike racing through jungle trails in Uitkijk. Preparing and eating roadkill iguana with some of the members (who used my pocket knife to clean it). Piranha fishing in Uitkijk. (Lance)
  • I spun out of control in St. Lucia on a rainy night while driving from Castries to Vieux Fort. I ended up spinning 2 times and crashing into a parked bus. (Philip)
  • I actually can’t think of any. I dealt with some angry people who were usually drunk and would threaten is in some way. It I never felt uncomfortable  or in danger. (Trevor)
  • Ma and my companion were a few blocks from home one night when a car turned the corner up the road from us. I turned to him and said, “did you just get a bad feeling like we should run?” He immediately said yes and we ran through some back roads to get home. I’ll never know why I got that prompting but it was undeniable and I’m glad I listened. (Von)
  • Hiking down into the caldera of La Soufriere volcano on St Vincent. (Neldon)
  • A group of teens tried to take my companion ‘s camera. We took it back from them and pushed the ringleader over and walked away and they didn’t follow us. Also once saw a random stabbing outside of a community center. (Derek)
  • Got robbed in Guyana. (Noel)
  • We were lost at first, so I told my husband to follow a taxi…which got us into a LONG LINE OF TAXIs!!! One of the drivers was good to come and help us get out of the traffic. Just be humble and don’t be afraid to say you need help, and they will bend over backwards to help you. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Robbed on St Vincent. (Dennis)
  • Riots, we were locked down for ten days in our homes and apartments. Not able to go out because of the danger. Very boring. Only so many letters one can write. (Dan)
  • We got followed home a few time by a drunk guy. (Sarah)
  • I was sleeping on New Year’s Eve, had a companion who thought it would be fun at midnight, to run across through room, yelling Happy New Year, jumped and landed on my chest with his backside, broke my bed, 3 ribs and separated my sternum from the rib heads.. couldn’t hardly breathe for a week, never had them checked till I got home 4 months later.. now 25 years later I still have problems with the ribs popping out of place if I twist weird. (Steve)
  • Lots of black people, very few whites. (Donald)
  • When a neighbor of the Church threatened us with a gun after English class. (Wayne)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • I had a wonderful sacrament meeting in one area where I felt the spirit more strongly than I ever had before. It was really special. (Carissa)
  • Seeing a testimony develop in an investigator family in Munder. Finding a small spot of trees in the jungle and praying for guidance. Following a prompting to pray for an investigator on the side of the road. (Lance)
  • I met a brother in Lindon Guyana while contacting. He asked for us to pray with him and also asked for a blessing. My companion and I did as he asked, the brother exclaimed that he could feel the spirit and knee right away that my companion and I were messengers from God and he wanted to learn more about the church. He was baptized shortly after. (Philip)
  • Anytime you get to see an investigator you worked with enter the waters of baptism is an incredibly humbling and powerful experience. (Trevor)
  • Every day was a spiritual experience if you looked for one. (Neldon)
  • Praying with a Muslim teenager for his first vocal prayer. He asked about whether what we had been teaching his friend was true and about whether Joseph Smith is a prophet. The whole room filled with the spirit and I felt as if the place were vibrating. The teen didn’t want to leave his knees when he ended because he said he felt so good he didn’t want the moment to leave him. That’s the Power of the Holy Ghost. (Derek)
  • Hard to pick just one but President Hinckley stopped in St. Kitts and dedicated the chapel. There were only four missionaries, including myself serving on the island at the time and only one branch of about 40 members. He promised us success and within 6 weeks both companionships baptized young married couples. (Noel)
  • A sister’s two daughters ( ages 14 & 16) had joined the church some time back, but this sister couldn’t because she wasn’t legally married. We were teaching her the discussions again and the girls’ father came home and said they should get married…it was an answer to prayer and now she could be baptized. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Many. (Dennis)
  • First person we baptized in Montego Bay, was Esau Joshua Vernon. He had seen visions and was waiting for the church. The Lord had prepared him to be the first Priesthood holder on that side of the Island. He read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Jesus the Christ, Thirteen Articles of Faith, all in three weeks. Four weeks after we meet him he was a member of the church, twelve months later he was a missionary called to serve in Jamaica. (Dan)
  • A lady we taught was just praying to change her life and find God and we showed up within that same half hour. (Sarah)
  • Teaching Amelia (Cita) Lalbaharry, we knew she was ready to be baptized, she even told us the date to do it. The Spirit was so strong we knew she felt it. As missionaries, we decided to make her wait till she could be baptized with her grandfather thinking it would make it a more special occasion. The day she requested came and went, as we wanted her to wait. Two days later, her family went to the beach for a holiday, some of the children were caught in a riptide, Cita, and a family member both drowned being heroes, saving the little children. Our golden contact Cita was gone without getting baptized… I always had regrets for making her wait. It wasn’t till 23 years later, when I met her aunt in Salt Lake City, that I learned of the special experiences that were felt in the temple, when her work had been done! (Steve)

What are some interesting facts about the West Indies Mission?

  • There are 7 different countries and currencies. Tons of religions coexist in each country. (Carissa)
  • Most culturally and politically diverse mission in the world. At the time I served, there were 3 (official) languages and several more dialects, 10 countries, 12 currencies, mainland and islands, and of course many many different kinds of foods. (Lance)
  • When I served, there were 12 countries, 7 currencies, and 3 languages. (Philip)
  • I once heard that one of the opening scenes of Gilligan’s Island was filmed on Antigua, and I have a picture from a bluff that looks close, but never could confirm the rumor. (Neldon)
  • When I served, there were 15 countries in the mission covering three languages. Several districts covered multiple islands. Most islands have their own local dialect, often a variant of English or French. You will keep a plane ticket to your home country in your apartment everywhere you serve. There were also no sister missionaries in the mission until the last 5-7 years. The first stake was organized in the mission in 2008. (Derek)
  • At the time there were 13 countries and 3 languages in the mission. About 100 elders and no sisters. Many islands only had one or two companionships on the whole island. (Noel)
  • It’s hard for people to come up with enough money to get married, so many times they will live together, have their family and never be married. They are devoted to each other, just poor. It’s a challenge for them to rake up enough money to marry so they can be baptized. People can live in an area and never get more than 10 miles from their home. It’s a big thing to drive up the coast or go to another part of the country. -When we went to leave the country, they asked for a fee, for baggage being over…which we didn’t think it was. I had only a little Guyanese money and he wanted United States money. He accepted what we had and let us go (again, making us believe he was just trying to get a few dollars in cash from us, he wouldn’t take a Visa.) To get ready for Christmas, people clean their home, sometimes paint…to welcome the Savior. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Was dedicated when I was there by Marvin J Ashton. (Dennis)
  • Only 90 members at the time in Jamaica. Victor Nuggent was the church leader, what an awesome man! We taught the United States military investigators in Cuba. In June of 1985, they arrested all the missionary Elders on the island and put them in jail. (Visa reasons). We had no sister missionaries, unless it was a older couple. (Dan)
  • The people were so fun! Very friendly to missionaries and everyone loves giving you mangoes! (Sarah)
  • When I first got to Sangre’ Grande, there were 6 members in the Branch, and a couple investigators. Some of which were, Kennick Suepaul, my first appointment in the area, and Indra, Randy, and Richard Ramoutar, who fed me my first meal. (Steve)

What was the weather like?

  • Hot and humid or wet and humid depending on the time of year. (Carissa)
  • Hot and humid (and sometimes rainy) all year round except for a week or two in January where it dropped down to a chilly 70 degrees and people caught a cold. (Lance)
  • Depended on the country. Islands get nice coastal breezes besides sun and rain. Guyana was sun and lots of rain. Trinidad was a mix between the islands and Guyana depending on the area. (Philip)
  • Always around 85° rain or shine in the islands. It was perfect. It got REALLY hot and humid in French Guiana during certain parts of the year. (Trevor)
  • 80 degrees every single day for two years. 100% humidity and rains a lot. (Von)
  • Hot and muggy… (Neldon)
  • High 80’s almost all day every day. You will get a rainy season in most countries. But generally humid. 11-13 hours of light a day. (David)
  • Tropical but always with a nice ocean breeze. (Noel)
  • We came during a dry time, so perhaps didn’t see as much rain as most do. Humidity is just fine when you have a fan in your apartment. Sun block is good if you are out in the sun a lot and have trouble with sunburn. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Beautiful. (Dennis)
  • 85 degrees year round. I was in one of the most beautiful spots on the island… six months rain, six months dry. (Dan)
  • Always hot and humid. Sometimes a chill rain. (Sarah)
  • Hot & humid, even when it would storm, a couple hours later it would be sunny. (Steve)
  • 85 degrees year round. (Donald)
  • It was either nice, hot and sunny, or it was hot and rainy. (Wayne)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • Everything. The people are wonderful and so humble and you can’t complain about being surrounded by the beach. (Carissa)
  • It reminded me of home in Houston. There were a lot of different cultures to learn and befriend. The weather was amazing. The food was delicious. It was tropical and not cold. There was a lot of international travel. I didn’t have to deal with snow. (Lance)
  • A majority of the people are very humble and love the missionaries. (Philip)
  • They are so open and friendly. I always made friends, every day. It was so easy to get to know people because they were so welcoming and kind. (Trevor)
  • People there have such bold personalities. They love to laugh, debate, party, and eat together. It’s a breathtaking landscape everywhere you go. (Von)
  • I loved the humility of the people and how the members really tried to live the gospel. (Neldon)
  • Many would invite you right into their homes to talk or to eat, regardless of whether they were interested in your message. They are very kind and friendly. They love to have a good time and communities often feel like extended families. (Derek)
  • Beautiful scenery. Humble people who are laid back and never in a rush. (Noel)
  • They were humble. If you are poor, Guyana is a good place to live…you don’t need a lot of shelter or fancy stuff to live there. They are always excited to have you in their homes and want to help you any way they can. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Friendly. Great accents. (Dennis)
  • Warm loving people, great food, awesome weather. Relaxed environment. (Dan)
  • Their friendliness. Loud personalities. Great cooking skills. (Sarah)
  • I loved the people…I found that as I lost myself in the service of others, I never worried about home, always made great friends, was blessed to have and feel the love of our Savior often.. As a side note, because of the service we helped give to some of the orphanages, and knowing the plight of some of the children in that situation, my wife and I went back 2 years later and adopted our oldest son from Sangre’ Grande. (Steve)
  • Food, care-free attitude, weather, beaches, best bananas ever on St. Vincent. (Donald)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Pack light, easy to care for clothing. Lots of apartments don’t have dryers. Pack shoes that do well with rain. (Carissa)
  • Don’t invest money into a suit! You’ll never wear it and it will most likely get mildew/moth damage. Ecco shoe soles will disintegrate. Wait until you are down there to buy lots of garments. The church has a third world discount program and they are pennies on the dollar. Expect that most of your white shirts will have a brownish or orange tint by the end of your mission. (Lance)
  • Anything moisture wicking is a must. Pack light because you have very limited weight on transfers. Only take necessary books and clothes and don’t plan on bringing back tons of souvenirs. It is often best to mail those things home. My family was super poor so I just did without souvenirs. Really, my planners, journals, and pictures have been the best souvenir I could have. (Trevor)
  • Pick a shoe with thick, strong outer soles. I didn’t and I ended up going through 4 pairs of shoes. (Von)
  • Leave that suit-coat at home and only take one long sleeved white shirt. (Neldon)
  • Get your white shirts a little big around the neck to allow some breathing room. Don’t plan on bringing them home after two years of was washing in the local water. You will want good, but not heavy, shoes. I preferred pants that were looser on the lower legs to keep me cooler. Thinner materials are obviously best. Sweat rags? (Derek)
  • Comfortable shoes. Short-sleeved shirts. (Noel)
  • Breathable, loose clothing, no nylons, comfortable shoes to walk in and that will go thru rainy days. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Short sleeve shirts. Breathable stuff. (Dennis)
  • No long sleeve shirts, no suits. Cotton garments breath, those that wore other materials had them sticking to them because of sweat. (Dan)
  • Light weight skirts and light colored shirts for sister missionaries! Bring fruit snacks because they don’t have any. (Sarah)
  • Clothes fit better in the suitcase if you roll them up tight…wear light cotton if possible. Leave the suit home…I only wore mine 3 times in the 2 years. When you are there, look for the wacky looking tie that we as missionaries turned inside out and signed, before it was passed down to new missionaries. Last I had heard 11 years after I was there, it was still being passed around. Keep it going.. if not start a new one. (Steve)
  • Loose fitting clothes. (Donald)
  • Keep it simple. You will want room for the stuff you pick up while there and you may want to leave some items with those staying behind afterwards. (Wayne)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mission. I’m currently going to school. I have a great job and I’m doing better in school now than I ever have. (Carissa)
  • Learned a language, met lots of amazing people, gained confidence and understanding of the scriptures, my family overcame immense trials. (Lance)
  • The most prominent blessing I have noticed so far is continual trust in the Lord for my well being despite the trials that are before me. (Philip)
  • I have seen a strength and hope in my own life because of my mission experiences. It made me appreciate and love my family so much more – not just my immediate family but my whole extended family. Seeing the sacrifice of the members to go to the temple and appreciate the things so easily accessible in Utah has made me more grateful for those blessings. It made me more empathetic and understanding of people who are different and have different experiences and points of view than me. But the biggest is my testimony of God’s love. That testimony has blessed me and people around me nearly every day since my mission. (Trevor)
  • Solidified my testimony, gave me a moral compass for the rest of my life, was closer to the Lord than any other time. (Von)
  • I learned that serving others without thinking about oneself is the best gift that can be received. (Neldon)
  • A love of travel. I have since lived internationally and the ability to love and experience other cultures changed my life. I am more open minded and interested in other ways of life than much of my family and friends. Most importantly, it strengthened my testimony of Jesus Christ and helped me experience some incredible things that I can never deny or forget. The Lord definitely has a plan for each of His children. (Derek)
  • Everything good that has happened in my life since is a direct result of the decision I made to serve. (Noel)
  • It was the 1st of 5 missions we eventually served. We met so many dear people, learned that the Lord is in charge and knows what experiences and hardships we need. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Too many. (Dennis)
  • Out of many one, people. The Lord’s kingdom will have all kinds of people in it. Last 31 years have been the best years of my life, because I served in Jamaica. I gained insight to real values. (Dan)
  • The blessing of knowing what loving others around you really feels like. Gift of tongues. Definitely a much stronger testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ. (Sarah)
  • Eternal friends, and an eternal family. (Steve)
  • Met my wife down there. (Donald)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Cooking, sewing, and memorizing. I also learned how to use a cutlass. (Carissa)
  • The ability to cook. Speaking Dutch and Sranan Tongo. How to fix any part of a bike (and often with the worst of tools and parts). (Lance)
  • I learned to plan and prepare a discussion that is to be presented to others in such a manner that the message is understood clearly. I also learned to discern the thoughts of those I taught, which helped in answering questions, concerns, and doubts. (Philip)
  • Approaching strangers. I was very shy and awkward before my mission. I still am, but I have learned how to cope with it and overcome those feelings of fear and self-doubt. I learned how to love more deeply, especially those who are difficult to love. I learned a new language. I learned invaluable leadership skills. I gained a greater empathy. I learned what it means to rely on the Lord. I learned how to study effectively. (Trevor)
  • I learned how to whistle really loud. It helps when you are street contacting and your companion gets separated from you. (Von)
  • I learned how to study effectively and take notes on everything. (Neldon)
  • Independence. I often was serving on a small island with a tiny or small branch and just four Elders. We had to take care of ourselves and work hard. However, due to the heat and difficulty of the work, we learned to work smarter than harder. The ability to have fun when things are hard and to make the work fun is something that has blessed my professional career. I learned to cook new foods, learn new tongues, and love other people more genuinely. (Derek)
  • Speaking to people, teaching, planning, setting goals, working hard. (Noel)
  • Teaching the gospel, knowing you can do anything that is required of you. We may have been nervous if we had been given a list of everything we would be doing, but taking one day at a time, it was great. These people have the simple faith we all need to develop. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Speaking to groups, sales. (Dennis)
  • Cooking, speaking clearly so other could understand. (Dan)
  • Speaking French. Paying bills. Taking care of a car. Being thrifty about buying groceries. Daily habit of scripture study. Better and more deeper prayers. (Sarah)
  • Cooking! Still using some of the talents today that I learned in Trinidad. (Steve)
  • Negotiation ability. (Donald)
  • Leadership skills, financial skills and health skills. (Wayne)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • That culture shock is a real thing, and my mission is nothing like the United States. (Carissa)
  • I wish I had read the Book Of Mormon again from cover to cover. I wish I had met more often with priesthood leaders in preparation for guidance and counsel. I wish I knew that Church Education System (who runs the MTC) limits caffeine availability at all their institutions. (Lance)
  • I wish I was able to overcome the language barrier much sooner. (Philip)
  • It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to be scared or self-conscious. It’s okay to not know everything. It’s okay to feel inadequate. If you feel those things, turn to God. He will help and your relationship with Him will grow more than you can imagine. I wish I knew how emotionally taxing it can be to love someone so much and see them choose to reject the gospel – something that has brought so much joy in my life. I wish I would have known that missionaries aren’t perfect and some choose to make very bad decisions. I thought all missionaries were perfect and I had a hard time at first when dealing with disobedient or apathetic missionaries. I wish I would have understood how much love God would let me feel and how joyful and sorrowful that could make me. I wish I would have known how to study more effectively. I wish I would have known better how the spirit speaks to me. I wish I would have just jumped in without dear of making mistakes. (Trevor)
  • I wish I would have had better study habits. (Neldon)
  • Missionaries have long days, even on Sundays. Be prepared to be buying your own food and know how to plan a menu and budget for things weeks at a time. Also prepare yourself to be living with someone else and be open about the good and bad things you experience. You will be surprised at how caring and understanding your companion can be. (Derek)
  • Focus on the present because time flies. (Noel)
  • I would have bought a microwave and a crockpot at the beginning of our mission. More cotton skirts. Thicker socks (thin ones allow mosquitoes to bite thru) for my husband. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Stop taking so many pictures. (Dan)
  • Memorized more scriptures. Had no reservation for talking with everyone! So many people are waiting for the gospel and others don’t know they are waiting until they find you! (Sarah)
  • I kept a journal, was not the best at it, wish now I had recorded more names, photos, spiritual experience, even struggles and trials. I did keep some receipts, programs, planners and memorable items. My advice, do your best to write in your journal daily, who you met, what you taught, how you felt, what you ate for the day, there is always something to say. (Steve)
  • How young I really was! (Donald)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries called to West Indies?

  • Serve, serve, serve. There are so many service opportunities. It’s a great way to show people you care about them. You can and will make a difference. Your mission is what you make it. (Carissa)
  • I know that the Lord has a choice mission, and mission experience prepared for those who are called to the WIN. He has special wonders, beauties, and challenges reserved for this area. Meet regularly with priesthood leaders leading up to your departure and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learn to love the idea of living 4-5 degrees north of the equator. The sooner Utahns and other Yankees get over the weather, the sooner they can get to work. (Lance)
  • Study the book of Mormon consistently. (Philip)
  • The sooner you can forget yourself and your fears and your reservations, the sooner you will be a more effective tool in the Lord’s hands to build His Kingdom. I know that missions are hard, especially when things at home aren’t going well, but they are so rewarding. I know that God wants you there and He has prepared people that you need to touch. I know that it is the best mission in the world. You will meet people you will love in a way you never thought possible. I know that this gospel is Christ’s. I know this church is Christ’s. I know that He will not let you fail as long as you try your best and give it everything you can. I know he will be there with you every step of the way and lift you and carry you when you think you can’t go anymore. The atonement is real and it’s for everyone. No one is so far gone that they are outside the reach of the atonement. I know you will change lives and you will be changed in a way t hat’s indescribable but so beautiful. (Trevor)
  • Prepare for the best mission on the earth. (Neldon)
  • Read the Book of Mormon as much as possible. Practice listening to other people and understanding what they are trying to get out of life. Say more meaningful prayers. Study the doctrines of the gospel and understand why you are asked to serve a mission. Purpose is key. (Derek)
  • Our Father in Heaven has made great promises to His children upon the isles of the sea. Do right by them. (Noel)
  • You will worry you are not doing enough, or the right things, or making any lasting impression on the people, but you will, in your own way. Remember to just do your best every day. That is all the Lord requires. It’s hard to see what you are accomplishing as you live your mission. It’s only after you are home, that you will see what you did. Keep a good journal of your thoughts and feelings and experiences. (Weldon & Carmen)
  • Work hard. (Dennis)
  • It’s awesome. (Dan)
  • Give up all of yourself in the service of God. Have no reservations. Having no reservations to do all that God expects of you allows God to have no reservations blessing you second to second. (Sarah)
  • Lose yourself in the service of others, including your companions. Don’t worry if have a companion you struggle with, love them, and serve them with all your heart, might, mind and strength. The Lord will help strengthen you. (Steve)
  • Many of you have been coddled too much in life, life is going to get a lot more interesting for you soon! (Donald)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • At a birthday party, a member tried in vain to compliment my language ability in Dutch. She apparently tried three times to tell me (in Dutch) that my language skills had improved. After the third failed attempt, and in front of the entire household, she said (in perfect English) “Your Dutch is BAD.” (Lance)
  • I once told a lady she has a nice a** instead of saying “Thank you very much.” (I had a lot of companions accidentally say some very vulgar things, so I won’t include them here.) My companion once accidentally said that Jesus killed himself for our sins. (Trevor)
  • Most language mistakes are too inappropriate to share but do bring a lot of laughs at the time. (Von)
  • I would say when they asked how I was, “I am fine”. They would say, “You are not fine, you are fat!” Meaning not the lean person fine means to them. We were going to get a local driver’s license and had to come back to get it. The man asked, “are you here to uplift?” my husband thought he was referring to our assignment as missionaries! (Weldon & Carmen)
  • I was English-speaking but the accent there was thick. When I came home my family didn’t understand many of my expressions. (Noel)
  • I thought a guy was saying that he was miserable so I asked “oh no! But why?” ..turns out he was really saying “Musulman” which means “Muslim” in French. (Sarah)
  • God did not talk with Moses “fece a fece,” but Face a face (French language mistake). (Wayne)