The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Kristal Corey
For The Sentinel 

Hometown boy returns

 


Nick Dohrman was a three sport athlete while attending Goldendale High School. His physical strength, stamina and work ethic came in handy as he served his mission in the West Indies.

Dohrman left family and friends behind to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His mission included 11 countries and many islands: Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Surinam, French Guyana, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Martinique, Guadalupe, and St. Martin. It also included three languages; Dutch, French and English.

In addition to teaching, he was able to help in home projects, painting, hauling, and digging trenches. Part of his mission was helping to improve living situations through service. Modern conveniences like dishwashers and clothes driers were only a few things that Dohrman missed while living in the West Indies for the past two years. “I missed my family the most, but I did miss consistent hot water and knowing that when you turned the tap, water would come out!”

Dohrman says he came to love the people he served. “The people are genuinely kind. Everyone says hello and good morning. You can’t walk down the street without making eye contact and saying hello. The people love to share what they have even if they don’t have much.”

Dohrman says he also learned patience on his mission, partly because of the culture. “They follow ‘island time’ and punctuality is not a big deal. But more than that, they are content. They are happy with who they are and what they have. It’s not that they aren’t ambitious or want good things; they are just happy wherever they are at.”

He says that in the West Indies, the people are generally either working all the time or not at all. Shifts are 12 hours, and a normal schedule would be working several days in a row and then having several days off. There are not many 9-5 kinds of jobs there. Unemployment is high, and most people live in humble circumstances, but whatever they are cooking, they share. “Even when they don’t want to hear a message, they feed you!”

One of the most important things Dohrman learned on his mission was to try to see people not for who they are, but who they could become. He was able to work with a man who had been taken in from off the streets by a childhood friend. The man had been a cocaine addict for 10 years and was ready to change.

“When you look at someone for who they are, there is no miracle; but when you can see who they could be, change can happen.” Dohrman shares that “When we rely on the Lord, miracles can happen- through me or through anybody. “

Dohrman has plans to be married this summer and study business at the University of Washington, Tacoma in the fall.

 

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