Monday, March 14, 2016

Broken bike, investigators coming to church, findings of Elder Vernes, Trinidad.

Thank you all for emailing me, I love reading what´s happening in your lives. it´s also weird seeing Charlie (my nephew) changing into a boy!!

My new companion Zuster Jorgenson is AWESOME!! I love her, she´s super hard working, funny, extremely kind to every one! I´m so glad that we are companions, we are going to have so much fun together this transfer. And I cant wait to see our area improving.

During weekly planning we were flipping through our area book. Zuster Jorgenson then looks at me and says: "Whoa, thats weird..." I say: "What? Let me see." I look at the teaching record and I see: Elder Vernes´s handwriting and his name on all these old teaching records!! It was so cool seeing that, we also found an old Dutch dictionary and in the front it says: Elder Vernes.

Alot happened this week. My bike broke every single day of this week which was not fun at all. Actually it was very frustating and I started to freak out because I thought we wouldn´t have the chance to see many people any more. Luckily Zuster Jorgenson knows how to change tires and all those other things. However sometimes we had to make a decision to either stay home and fix my bike which takes hours or to bike with one bike whilst the other companion is sitting behind the person biking. So alot of times we had to do that. I know it´s not the safest but we didnt want to cancel on people and I hate being at home if there´s still work to do. Lucikly nothing bad happenend, we got to the appoinment safe and we had some very spiritual lessons.

Zuster Jorgenson getting dirty fixing my bike...again!

Elizebeth is currently on her way to Guyana for a back operation. However...she´s not scared at all! A broeder (brother) at church gave her a blessing. She said that she now feels calm and loved. We were teaching her about missionary work and she got so excited, she then said that when she´s in Guyana...she will talk to every single person about the gospel! I have no doubt in that, she´s amazing.

On Sunday an investigator finally came to church. I was so suprised seeing him in church. He´s the one who prayed so that Heavenly Father will help him to stop daydreaming during the lessons. He seemed to really enjoy church and I cant wait to speak to him more about it.

We are teaching Zuster Zeegelaar (my previous companion) brothers girlfriend and her Dad. To our suprise he came to church, was awesome seeing him there. On Sunday we had the chance to have Family Home Evening with them and the Spirit was undeniable strong. And I have a feeling that Broeder Zeegelaar will be coming to church more often. He also loves playing checkers just like me but he´s crazy good, he has a ton of books and studies different moves every day. I told him that he´s going to make me the best checker player, so since then he has showed me a lot of moves and different techniques. I even beat him once!
I love the Zeegelaars, they are so nice, I just hope that we´ll be able to help them to come back to church so when my previous companion will return from her mission...they can be sealed in the temple!!

Zuster Zeegelaar and Zuster Wood

Sorry that this email is short, but I hope that all of you had a good week. I´ll be leaving Suriname at 3 in the morning to fly to Trinidad. I will have to go to Trinidad every 90 days because of my visa. I´m excited to go there though so then I can learn from the Trinidad sisters!

I love you all so much!

Love the Surinamese people
Zuster Zeegelaar doing the braids

Rocking our braids - Zuster Wood & me

 My bike broke and we had to call some members, so Broeder Hamid and his wife picked me up. He was holding my bike whislt being in the back of the car as the back wouldnt close, his wife was driving and my companions had to bike home.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Translating is hard work but I would do it again!

I´ve got a lot to tell you...okay so my first transfer call...I´ll be serving in Kwatta which I´m still excited about because now I do not have to work in two areas any more. And I will be serving with Zuster Jorgenson; she´s super sweet and very hard working so I´m excited to being able to serve with her. Although I´ll miss Zuster Wood and Zuster Zeegelaar.

Me and my sweet pink ride

On Saturday we had a service project at a members house, Lucille, I must admit Zuster Wood and I didnt think that many people would show up...but as we arrived, her garden was full of members!! It just warmed up my heart and I could´ve cried. You could tell that Lucille was very touched, her life hasn't been easy but it was so great to see how members showed up and helped her. I love my ward here, the people are so different than in England or Germany, but they are good people and I feel like I am part of this huge loving family.

We are teaching a young man, he´s about 19-20, he´s super funny. He´s really fun to teach. Anyways we invited him to say the closing prayer. In his prayer he then says: "Oh and please help me so I wont daydream during the lessons with the sisters", it was kinda funny. People are just really honest. We invited him to get baptized and he accepted. He will be baptized on April 16th. I´m very excited because his Dad is actually the Bishop of our ward and his step Mom is sealed to his Dad. I just know that through the gospel their relationship as a family will become stronger.

Bought a new skirt

Hugo is another investigator that Zuster Zeegelaar and I contacted. He´s so cool! He has come to church every Sunday, he even had the chance to witness 3 men at church receive the priesthood. After our lesson he looked at us and said: "You now, I really want to get baptized, the church is so cool and I cant wait when I can receive the  priesthood by the laying of hands.
His wife isn't really interested and she a little "cold" towards us. However in our lesson we showed Hugo the Restoration video. At first she was in the house, through the door crack she would watch the video. After a while the door opened more and more, she then took a chair and sat with us outside...still a bit at a distance, she then comes closer and closer. It was so funny to witness. It was so cool cuz whilst we were watching the video Hugo would take his Restoration pamphlet and look in there and then back to the video so he could grasp as much information as possible! He always tells us that he wants to know EVERYTHING!!. He even said: "I want you sisters to come and teach me twice a week." I just love it when you see investigators feeling the Spirit and they just crave more.

I love teaching Odessa, she´s getting really excited about the gospel, she´s just so sweet. She´s a woman that Zuster Jensen and I contacted. After our lesson, she told us that she loves us coming, that she can feel the Spirit and she just feels peace. She also told us since we have been meeting up with her...her husband has stopped drinking and smoking. We haven´t taught her husband yet, but we are working on it.

huge mosquito!
Elizabeth is still on her a baptism date however we might have to change it to April. Because it turns out that her son wont be able to baptize her which is a little sad. She does love the gospel and the church, she even came to church all by herself! It was so good seeing her, I also had to translate in English for her. It was a very spiritual experience, sometimes I could not remember a certain word but I could just feel Heavenly Father helping me, whispering the word in my ear. Translating from Dutch to English is hard work but I would do it any time again. As we were teaching her, her daughter said that she wanted to come back to church! All of the sudden Elizabeth grabs her heart and yells: I`M GETTING A HEART ATTACK!! I CAN`T BELIEVE SHE`S COMING TO CHURCH"
It was so funny, Elizabeth then told us that she has been praying a lot for her daughter to return to church.

I love you all so very much!! Hope everyone had a good week.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Monkeys, Puppy rescue, never boring, snake attack and loving missionary life!

This transfer is going way too fast! I know I´ve still got a long time until I get back home but I really dont want it to go so fast...this is so much fun! I have met so many cool people that love the gospel. I am so lucky being able to serve the Lord this very short period of time. I wish that I could serve for 2 years instead of 18 months! ;)

So I´m not sure if I have ever mentioned this before but Zusters in Suriname aren´t allowed to be out after 7 pm because of safety reasons. However it got announced a few days ago, that our Mission President has changed this rule!! We are now allowed to serve till 9:30 cool is that?! The first night though was pretty scary cuz it was just so weird, but I love it now!!

We went to visit a less active sister, she´s not very open and doesn't give you full answers...but she has been coming to church and other sister missionaries have been trying to get an appointment with for months. However she will never see them. And I asked her if we could stop by and she was actually there! We had a really cool lesson, we read in Moroni 10:32 and 33

 32.Yea come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ, and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33: And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

After our lesson I noticed that she has a monkey! I was so excited because I LOVE MONKEYS...I asked if we can take a picture. I though I would be able to hold him but her son said that he is "evil"  so I only held his hand. I dont think it helped that Zuster Wood was pulling faces at him, especially because when she wanted to hold his hand....he tried to grab her hand and bite her!! Luckily he didnt.

Dog owners are so mean to their dogs, its really sad to see when they hit them and kick them. So whenever the owners dont look I give the dogs water, some are really skinny, I just cant help it. We were on our way to another appointment...I see a puppy in the middle of the street and a car coming at full speed at it! Luckily I was able to tell the driver to stop...I then tried to catch the puppy but it was so scared, so it would run away towards more cars. Eventually I caught it and gave it some love and water. Now the hard part was to try and figure out where this puppy´s house was. I saw a house not too far away with a ripped fence, which I think the puppy just went through it. As I was trying to bring the puppy back, the puppy´s mom was going mental at me...first she started barking then she went off and came with all her friends. I quickly set the puppy in front of the broken fence and ran! It was scary but at least the puppy is back home ;)

Missionary live never gets boring!! A few days go when we arrived back home at night...I took off my shoes and stepped inside our house...however I stepped into this massive puddle!!!We turn on the lights and to our surprise...our hose was flooded!!! We then noticed that Zuster Zeegelaar used the we thought the water comes from that but it would not make any sense if it came from the machine. I walked away to see how bad the damage is, there was water EVERYWHERE was horrible!  I hear my companions scream...I find them completely wet!! The water came from another bathroom sink which we never use. Zuster Wood thought she could fix it and started  to mess around and the sink just exploded with water and would not stop!! I run to grab the phone and of course my camera and yell: "I´m calling the Elders". Luckily we somehow figured out how to stop the water. The the "fun" began and we had to collect all the water with was a long night!

Cleaning up

Okay the title "snake attack" might be a bit too´s the story: this week we had another exchange with Zuster Ashkraft in our area. We were biking from Kwatta to Balona park after seeing an investigator. To get to Balona are many different ways but there´s a road which goes quicker and it is also right next to the jungle. It looks beautiful and sometimes you can here the monkeys. Anyways so as we were biking we just talk about random things. First I hear Zuster Zeegelaaar 6 Zuster Ashraft say: "Ew, thats gross" and then "AAHHHHHH" I look behind me as I was in front and just see my companion having her legs on the steering wheel. I look down and there is a snake slightering away. It was crazy fast. But Zusters thought it was dead which is why they said :"Ew" It was a little scary but funny.

On Sunday my investigator Elizabeth came to church!! it was so so so good seeing her!! She will be baptized on March 19th. It was her first time coming to church, we have always invited her but there was always something that came up. In our previous lesson with her she was so excited to come to church. She´s been having some skin problems  and has been sick for awhile but she just said: Satan wont get me. I´m coming to church, even if my skin is itchy, even if it rains, even if I´m sick it does not matter. I will come to church"!! She´s just the best! She´s one of my favorite investigators, so loving and so kind. All her children are baptized but she isn't. She´s Guinese, which means we teach her in English, which is a lot of fun. At church her son Jimmy translated for her. It was just so great to see every one hugging her and trying to speak in English and welcoming her to this gospel family! It really touched me, I couldn´t help but think thats how people will welcome us in the Celestial Kingdom. All our ancestors will just hug us and welcome us back home.

We also had a less active come back to church. He hasn't been for over 8 years. It was so crazy to see him, he even brought his friend with him. They are great guys and they loved the church! We will see hem tonight, I cant wait until all these empty chairs in church will be filled with people!

I love you all and hope your week has been amazing!! Keep reading your scriptures and be the light for others that are still in the darkness!!