Anon Regular Lurker
Date: February 06, 2013 05:46AM
THe West Indies Mission in the 80's was kind like the wild wild west. Those of us on islands other than the mission office island of Barbados, were isolated. We didn't have phones in our rented places, and we had to go to the local phone company to place a call every week for numbers to the AP's....that isolation, brought plenty of time to do fun stuff!!!
I will preface mine by saying I went to a really cool place, and I really enjoyed my mission, except for the politics and wimpy other missionaries. I could never figure out why some of these dudes had such mental problems...hang up's..phobias, etc. I got along with all my companions, and I would guess that all of them would say they liked me. I worked hard when it was necessary, but also got to enjoy much the Caribbean had to offer.....beaches, nice water, beautiful women! (Whoops did I say that??)
1 - MTC companion - Guy from Utah, can't remember where. He made it most of the way, and ended up getting sent home from the MTC cuz he did the nasty with his GF before he had been out. His goal was to get things worked out join the mission later. He never did. (Lucky him). We were two of 3 who were going to that mission. THe other guy, I picked up as my comp and travelled with him down to the mission. He was from Az, Snowflake I believe. I ended up having him as a companion later on, and it was a wild time with him...more on him later.
First area, Island of Antigua.
2 - Trainer, was from Virginia Beach and had 3 weeks left. Other than showing me around and how to get money from the bank, this guy was worthless. We walked around teaching alot, but it was mostly usless stuff to people who were not interested. You could tell he had no interest in really fininshing strong. He was a really nice guy.
3 - My real trainer, who ironically was also from Virginia, Pembroke I believe. He was a laid back guy, and he was one of the reasons I fell in love with the people early on, which I think made my mission go alot better! He had a girlfriend at home, but was not militant about it. He didn't marry her, and I he was actually one I met in Utah when I lived there for 4 years after my mission. He was a big teddy bear type of guy, and we had a good time. Nothing out of the ordinary though.
4 - First Transfer to another Island, ST. Maarten, my comp and I were new to the area, because this island was a party. It was the farthest away from the mission office, had only 4 members, and had all alot of the luxeries of the US. (Translated, a Burger King!!!) The island had 2 english Elders on the Dutch side, (My comp and I) and the other two, went to the french side and spoke french every day. There was no couple, so it was practically a licence to do anything you wanted. We were sent there because the pres found out that the 4 who were there before us, had basically partied the whole time, and he cleaned the place out and put 4 brand new missionaries there. There were plenty of rumors, from fornication, to just about anything else. The island was also located next to some pretty cool places, like ST. Barths, and a short boat ride to Anguilla, which we did alot. More on that later! This guy was from Utah, Spanish Fork, actually Salem. He was a kind of gruff dude, who was a plummer, like his dad. He was my favorite companion I would say by far. Got along great, he had a great repiore with the locals, and was a hard worker. We worked hard, and played hard as well. We played alot of physical Basketball with the locals, and even had a few knives pulled on us! We had a member, who owned a chinese restaraunt. SHe was having issues with her septic filling up allthe time, so my comp, plummer extrordinaire he was, one p-day, we busted open the top of the septic in the basement, and filled the bottom with concrete so it wouldn't fill up. It was backbreaking work, but when it was done, we got to eat Chinese food every day for as long as I can remember! It was awsome! I loved ST. Maarten. We doubled the membership in the 3 months I was there, (Not many people can say that!) After that, the powers that be in the office, on a pres visit thought I would be great office staff material, and after only 3 months I was sent to Barbados.
3rd Area: Barbados office staff
4 - Guy from Utah, but ecapes me from where. He was the office secratary, and I was the commissarian, in charge of supplies. I only had him a month, but basically his M.O. was the social butterfly. He ran around like a little kid with members, and was annoying as hell. He had been there for 9 months I believe and was really worthless. He was transferred off the island, and was unhappy. Later when he was going home, his parents came and picked him up, and they bought all the office staff dinner one night! Bout all I remember.
5 - His replacement as office Secratary. This guy was from South Jordan. He was very effemminate, and thoroughly a social butterfly. We got along well, but in the back of everyone's mind, we all thought he was gay. I never had a problem with it, and never had any issues really. We were together for about 3 months, and then there was a change up in the office staff where we all switched. But later on, probably 6 months, he was sent home suddenly. We found out later it was because he had made a pass at his comp, and got beat up. Several years later, while I was living in Utah, I got a call from him, asking me to rebaptize him. He had been exed for being Gay, and not long after he was baptized, he died of aids. Sad story, and I did like the guy.
6 - New comp after the office staff switched, was from Prescott Az. Laid back guy, hard worker. He was my comp for my last 2 months in the office. (6 total). This guy was a by the book guy, but not overly bad about it. But his idea of following the spirit was tracting right up until 9pm. Now in the Caribbean, it's dark at 6:30. By 9 everyone is going to bed. We pissed off plenty by doing it. He would say that as long as we were doing what we were supposed to, we would be blessed. Whatever....but I got real tired of the guy after 2 months, because he didn't like my laid back attitude. Later this dude was my DL on my next island, where my mission turned south in a hurry.
7 - Transferred out of the office, to another branch on Barbados. I hated it, cuz I wasn't in the middle of the Action. The next comp I had, was a guy from out in the middle of nowhere in B.C. Canada.They lived in a log cabin. This was the same guy who beat up my gay comp. I was only in the area for 3 weeks, and sent off the island. dont remember much about him.
8 - Transferred off island to St. Vincent. This was the mental end for me. My comp was a cool laid back guy from Idaho somewhere. The island had been tracted over and over to death by elders prior, and so everyone knew us. Some minister, who had come down from the US, was staying on the island and basicall followed us around and wiped out our teaching pool. At that point, I tossed in the mental towel. My comp was also spent and so we basicall walked around, visiting members and finding cool stuff to do. We took a boat trip to a remote falls on the north side of the island, and went to the beach and snorkeling alot. This poor guy, one day, was being harrassed by a local kid, and being called a "Buller", which in the Caribbean means gay! This guy got so pissed off by this kid harassing him, that he walked over and shoved him, screaming "Im not a F8#$KINg buller" The kid kept his distance, but as we walked off, we could see he was following us. Out of nowhere, this kid chucks a huge rock, and it hits him square in the back, drops him to the ground. He wasn't hurt badly, but we did manage to get alot of sympathy from all the people in town around us who saw the indicent.
9 - Next comp on this island, a cowboy type from Southern Idaho. Swore alot, almost got us into several fights, and made us look like assholes from time to time. Despite his gruffness, and all of his horse talk, (He kept a picture of his horse by his bed) he was a pretty cool guy. Had him for 2 months.
This island, was a doozy, and we had more crazy stuff going on. For Eg, one guy, accidently gave away a few pairs of garments in a bag of clothes, to the member lady who did our laundry. When she wore a garment top on one of her work days, one of the elders flipped. Despite the fact that not even the local members there even knew what garments were, and even after telling this guy it's probably no big deal, he proceeds to try to buy them off of the lady. She refused, becuase these were given to her, by one of the Elders. Finally, after alot of talking, he agreed to cough up $200USD, to her!!!! Our monthly budget was $350. We were all pissed after than when he tried to make us feel guilty as we helped him out with food and what not becuase he was broke. He swore that if we did not get god's holy marks outta sight, we would all be punished, hence the $200. What an idiot!
10 - Back to St. Maarten for the last 5 months. Next comp was a native guy from Barbados. I knew him before when I was stationed there, and he was a member. His mother was the house keeper for the mission home. I was pretty good at blending in with the locals, especially language wise. I could mimic the West Indian dialect pretty well, in fact I had several in ST. vincent convinced I was from Barbados....anyway, this guy was laid back, and pretty cool. HE liked American Music, like The Police, Alan Parsons, etc. So that was awsome. We had a car, and he had lots of tapes! He otherwise, was a buy the book kind of guy, and even though I went through the motions, I never really had any success. He was transferred off island after 2 months.
11 - Guy from Snowflake Az, who I came down with. By the time he got to me, this guy's reputation was pretty bad. He was known for playing Metallica on Pday, and was even caught by the AP's. The tapes said "Afterglow", but had heavy metal music on it. This guy was also a woman chaser, despite the fact that he was not much for marriage material back home. How much trouble could we get into, let me count the ways!! We had decided to take a trip to an Island north of ST. Maarten, (Anguilla), and our plan was to say we missed the last boat back, and sleep on the beach, and come back the next day. We rented a couple of bikes, and peddled, down to a killer beach, called Shoal bay Beach. Well, this guy decides after seeing some fish pots below the water near where we were, to pull them out, and steal the fish. He got the traps back in teh water, and here we are standing with a bag of fish when all of a sudden the owner shows up. He is curious how we got the fish....and after a bunch of lies he finally says that some guy walking up the beach sold them to us. Well this guy gets irate, and storms off. We decide, that it's time to get the hell outta there, and we get back on the bikes and head back to the dock. Well, as were dropping the bikes off to the rental place, here come the owner of the pots, screeching up in a new car! This guy is screaming at us, saying were not leaving the island, and was gonna call the police! I was scared shitless, and I know he was too. We managed to Bullshit our way out of it, nad got the hell off the island. We did get to keep the fish, and a member woman back on St. Maarten cooked them up for us.
Another crazy incident, this guy, was in Grenada for a time and bought himself a Turtle shell. (Illegal at the time, and he kept it in a box, that he left behind, hoping to have someone ship it home for hi) Well, turns out, one of the two elders living with us at the time, while in Grenada after him, had stolen if from him, and sent it home! His big mouth gave him away, and when Snowflake was leaving the mission, a month earlier than I was, took this dudes walkman, and a couple of watches. He had flown back to the mission office in Barbados before the guy realized that his stuff was missing. So, guy who stole the shell, called the mission office, and told on him. Well, the truth came out and the guy had to call home and have his parents send the turtle shell to AZ's house!! This
During this time, that he and I were chasing a couple of girls, and long story short, lost my virginity to a local beauty. This guy was always coos hounding, and even for him, there were local woman, who wanting their picture on a US passport, even found this guy attractive. He left in a blaze of glory!
I ought to mention, that at this point in time, companion #4, who was now married, and back in St. Maarten, living with his wife, and running a parasailing business. So, we got to go out and parasail, water ski, etc. that last 5 months on that island were great!
12 - Last guy, for a month, and was from Utah. He was a wrestler, and don't remember much about him. He was actually companions with #4 who was there with his wife also. In fact, #4 was my #11's trainer in Barbados, so it was a small world there.
My parents came down to pick me up, and so after 4 days in Barbados, we went to St. Maarten for 3, where we did alot more parasailing, etc. I was also able to get away from others, and spend more time with the local beauty......which once I got home and felt guilty, started a whole new set of problems!
wow, that was fun