Monday, April 11, 2016

Bruinsberg Waterfall

We woke at 4 am this morning to meet up with our zone. We went to Bruins-berg, a really cool waterfall...however it takes forever to hike over there. On the way to the waterfall...I fell A LOT...not fun. I dont even enjoy hiking but it was fun being with the missionaries, especially the sisters, which are in different areas, so I do not get to see them often. Anyways I was able to hear the waterfall as I looked up (as I fell again), it was super slippery for some reason...and it was beautiful! We climbed up, it was really cold but oh so beautiful. My mission is AWESOME!! I love being able to enjoy all nature that Heavenly Father created for us.

We finally saw Elizabeth again, as she was in Guyana due to her back surgery, we invited her to conference and she said: "Sisters I wont miss it! I wont allow it, nothing is going to hold me back. Nothing...she then stops and says: okay maybe one thing and that is death but other than that not nothing is keeping me from coming to church." And as promised she came! In fact she was half an our early for Saturday and Sunday meetings. At the end of General Conference she said: " I feel very good inside, my heart feels good. Its the Holy Ghost."

We also got a call from someone called Hanan. My companion and I both did not know him, he sounded very panicky over the phone and asked if we can come to his house that night. He kept saying: "I need the missionaries to come over." We invited a member to come along just in case Hanan was crazy. As we arrived at the beginning of his street, he was already waiting outside his house for us and said: "Hurry, hurry." We then rushed inside and he explained that his sisters baby is very sick and hadn't been eating or sleeping, he´s constantly crying. The mothers baby was worried and asked if we could give the baby a blessing. Luckily we had a worthy Priesthood holder with us, so he was able to give the baby a blessing, as soon as he said "Amen"...the baby started to laugh and be its normal self. They are not members but the guy, Hanan, who contacted us, is an investigator in Paramaribo. He told his sister that we can help.

I am so grateful for the Priesthood, I am so lucky to have worthy male members in my family that were able to give me a blessing when I needed it!!
The child's mother felt the Spirit and wants to know more about the church; we will be able to have a lesson with her before she goes back home to the Netherlands.

I love you all! I love this gospel!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Church historian, the rescue, big "mosquito", the Sannas kids

Our P-day was changed in to Tuesday due to Easter, this week Elder Richard E. Turley came to Surinam. He is a church historian. We had an hour and a half with him. And he told u so many cool facts about the church but mostly about Joseph Smith, it was very spiritual and so cool. Wish I could share something but I do not have my notes with me right now.

Assistant Church Historian and Recorder Richard E. Turley Jr of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints displays historical documents during a press conference announcing the release of the latest volume in the church's ongoing Joseph Smith Papers project in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. This document is the earliest letter completely handwritten by Joseph Smith. It is dated March 8, 1831, and was written to Joseph's brother Hyrum Smith.
Elder Richard E. Turley

The companion and I are basically trying to get all less active members back to church. We´ve been "hunting" so many down but there´s a lot more in Kwatta. I am so excited for this though because so far we have met some very cool less actives and most of them just know they need to come back to church. For example Patricia, actually lives in French Guyana due to her work she comes back every month to Surinam for a few days. She´s had it very rough these last couple of months, but she has been reading her Book of Mormon every day and prays. Her testimony is strong but something is keeping her away from church and honestly I've got no idea what it could be, she loves the church and still does. She has mentioned that her sister does not approve of her being a member. So that could be the reason for her not to attend church anymore as she´s living in French Guyana with her sister. As I was bearing my testimony about the church...she started to cry. She told us how much she misses going  to church and to partake of the Sacrament. She then bore her testimony about the Sacrament. Too often I forget how special the Sacrament really is! I was very grateful to be reminded by her this week, I know that by partaking of the Sacrament that we really do have the Spirit within us. I am so grateful for the Savior and for giving me the chance to become better.

sacrament tray

Lately we´ve been having a lot of new investigators. And I want to talk about Rogan, Big Mosquito and the Sannas.

Rogan is an older woman, she came to the  Paramaribo Ward and demanded to have DVD´s about Jesus Christ. Apparently there were elders that promised her a few months ago that they will stop by and give her some DVD´s but she still haven´t received any. We asked her which missionaries told her that, she said:"I dont know...they´re all white and look the same".)

We found out that Rogan is in our area, we went by and gave her the DVD´s, she was super excited and we got a return appointment, unfortunately when we came again she told us that her brother got shot, so she has to go to the hospital right now. After we said our goodbye´s , my companion and I were talking to a member we took with us, Rogan than comes back out and says:"I have got my fake teeth in today" She then takes them was random but really funny ;)

Zuster Jorgenson, my awesome companion

Big Mosquito and Josephina, she´s a referral that we´ve received from the elders. We finally had the chance to go by her, her husband then comes outside, shakes our hands and says:"Don´t be scared of my name...I am big mosquito" My companion was so confused, I just started laughing, it was so funny mainly because you did not expect it. Anyways his last name is Mochete which sounds a lot like Mosquito. He told us some really funny stories which I wish I could write but it would take way too long. They are both in their 70s, they are definitely being prepared. I love them, they are just so much fun.

And now the Sannas...I´m pretty sure I have talked about them before, I love those kids, they are the best. 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl...they come to church every Sunday by themselves. Two are baptized, however their parents never had any lessons with the missionaries so far. We were able to have our first lesson with the entire family. What I loved most was to see those children faces! They were so happy to see their parents reading the Book of Mormon and to finally just have a family home evening lesson together!The Spirit was so strong! And I know they felt that!! I just know that if they keep reading the Book of Mormon and live the gospel, that it will strengthen their family in so many ways! I might have shed some tears whilst bearing my testimony at the end of the lesson. I am so grateful for being able to grow up in the gospel with my family!

I love you all so much! Thank you for everything!

1 1/2 days in Trinidad

What an unusual week this was. So Tuesday I flew into Trinidad with Zuster Parker. I really love Trinidad, I kind of didn't want to go back to Suriname, but I also really do love Surinam, I feel like both countries are so different from each other.

On our way to Trinidad

In Trinidad I was in companionship with Zuster Summer and Zuster Roubidoux, they are cool missionaries, I´m so grateful that I was able to serve with them for 1 1/2 days.

We were teaching a 8 year old girl who is about to get baptized. Her name is Princess, she´s hilarious, we asked her what the Book of Mormon is and the she said; "It´s the word of God" We then asked: "Princess, why do you want to get baptized?" Princess answered:"Because I love God!"

Its just so simple, this little girl already has a testimony! It was so nice teaching her and just realizing that we need to become more like children. Too often I see many people going the wrong path and they start making their lives complicated. But when we love God and follow our Savior´s example our life will just be so much easier.

I also met an awesome young woman in Trinidad. Her name is Rebekah, she´s my age and has been investigated the church for 2 weeks. When I met her she was baptized 2 weeks ago and she´s now doing her mission papers. She´s also a vegan which isn´t important but it was cool finally meeting someone who doesn´t eat meat. Rebekah is awesome, she´s so sweet and she´s already an amazing missionary, she goes out with the sisters almost every day after work. What a great example she is to me!

So I know everyone is wondering if I have eaten meet on my mission. And the sad truth is...yes I have, but only twice. The first time I ate it I felt bad for the member. But I got really bad stomachache after I ate it. After that...I refuse to eat meat again, I try to avoid it at all cost. In Trinidad a less active member made us some food which looked pretty sketchy, so I only ate the rice, however Sister Sommer and Sister Roubidoux had all of it.

Me eating only rice

Contacting in Trinidad is different than in Surinam. The missionaries here have to yell: "Hello, good day inside". Which is so weird, then it was my turn to do it said Sister Roubidoux, when I did my voice cracked and it just sounded super creepy. At the end of contacting we were so thirsty but none of the sisters knew the area too well. I then saw a woman walking, I tried to get her attention but she must not have heard me. Normally I would have just left it as she was further away. But somehow I ran after her, as I catched up with her I asked if she knows any stores in this area. She did not look happy in fact she looked really sad. Normally I would have just thanked her and left...but something kept me there and encouraged me to keep talking to her. As she was done explaining where the nearest shop is, I said: "Thank you, I have another question for you. Do you know that God exists and He loves you?" She then started to smile and said: "Yes I believe in God". Her daughter has recently passed away. We assured her that she will see her daughter again and that they can be a family again. The other sisters took her info, we hugged and left. I wish I could stay in Trinidad to see her faith grow.

Everything is going really well. I´m excited to be back in Surinam and I am so motivated to do work! I also really love my companion Zuster Jorgenson, she´s so cool and I have learnt a lot from her!

 While visiting with Reynold, we saw this guy running, Sister Summer asked him how his run was, we contacted him and he already knew that we are missionaries because he´s been to America a lot and he´s training for the Olympics. I wrote down his name but I cant find it at the moment.

This is Reynold, an awesome member

My Trinidad companions

a view on Trinidad

Rebekah & Reynold

It felt great not having to bike for 2 days,on the Motorway you´ll see people selling food, car equipment, stuffed animals, balloon and everything else.

Enjoying my ride as long as possible ,)

 Some yummy food...called Dubbles..really yummy

Sister Roubidoux killed a cockroach on her arm
Sister Summer is holding a turtle in it´s cage

Enjoying Dubbles