Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 7, 2009

Things are interesting in Guyana. I won't waste much time talking about random people we talked to during the week. Basically this was all the rage/news in the mission. So! Yes I was detained this past week. Wednesday morning we got the call to go over to the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) Headquarters. We got there, not knowing what to expect, walked in and were told we couldn't leave. They had a list of 50 missionaries that are going to be kicked out. 13 have already left and so 37 will be kicked out.

What happened is that when we enter the country we get a 30 day stamp in our passports. The senior couple fills out tons of paperwork for an extension on our visas. For 20 years nothing has gone wrong until now they have gone through and denied all of them. So now all of a sudden we have "overstayed" our time even though we haven't done anything. In fact with all the law side of things, we are STILL legal here, but they're not listening. We weren't illegal here like lots think.

So, we were "asked" to come to headquarters. They sent cops to our apartment to pick us up the night before but we were out working so they didn't take us. They did, however, find Elder and Sister Evans. They were taken to lockup and stayed there overnight. We were at the place being assured by Nigel Hughes, the lawyer, that everything would be okay and we'd be out by 10am.

Then they came and said, alright, out by 12 pm. That time came and passed. Finally someone figured out that a few of us who came with their companions weren't on the list of those to be detained, including me. We were released and got to go and do missionary work. There were about 40 people there though.

We weren't in jail cells, btw, just in a big office. They finally got a Supreme Court order ordering us to be released. That was about 1 pm. We got word that President Jagdeo (Guyanese President) and Home Affairs had no intention of following that order (the law pretty much) and still kept us and said that we were being forced to leave tomorrow.

I was off doing missionary work with Elder Scott but the others were still there. They got Popeye's and Pizza Hut for lunch and dinner. Things cooled down a bit and now the ones on the list have 30 days to leave the country. We're still out doing missionary work, but about 35 missionaries, including senior couples, have to leave the country. Most will go to Trinidad and double up with other missionaries there.

So the 15 or so left, including me, will be able to stay here until they say otherwise. To deal with the situation, they are calling a ton of pre-missionary age young men and young women to serve mini missions here in their own country. So, next transfer I will probably be training a brand new Guyanese teenager missionary. WIERD but really a good opportunity!!!

Anyways, things are going well. I confirmed Raymond in church yesterday. Very neat experience. First time doing it! We might have a couple baptisms coming up later, but things are a bit slow right now. More news about that next week I guess.

I played Georgetown Risk with the Zone leaders yesterday night. I won big time!! Owned them all!!

Well I gotta go. Wish I could send some pictures. Have a good one!!

I AM SAFE and sound. Don't worry about me.

Elder Morris


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