Monday, November 21, 2016

Going back to Surinam - Nov 21st

Tonight I will be returning to Surinam, I´m really sad to leave Curacao, but I am so thankful for the beautiful experiences I have had here. I have met so many awesome people who I will miss very much and I am going to miss speaking and learning Papiamentu.

I will be serving in Paramaribo with Zuster Ashkraft and a new sister I haven´t met yet, but I hear she's awesome, so I´m looking forward to that.

Miracles this week:

- Hector is one of my favourite investigators, he's so prepared for the gospel and he is from Venezuela. We taught him the Word of Wisdom this week which he took very well. In fact he told us that day that a week before he felt like he should stop smoking, so he stopped for a week, however 2 people gave him two packs of cigarettes. He send one of hen away to Venezuela, as he didn't want to smoke it and then temptation over car him, so he started smoking. But during our lesson he told us that he wants to throw them away, which was really awesome.

- Maximo, teaching him the Plan of Salvation and he was just so amazed by everything and he absolutely loved it! He just kept saying: "This is excellent. What an excellent lesson."

-We also had the chance to meet with a contact we have never taught before, so it was going to be our first lesson with her. Actually, we planned to meet het for 6pm, however during the day we realised that we had a meeting at that time, so we went to her house at 3 pm, hoping she´d be home. Luckily she was and sh was really happy to see us. She said: "I prayed about you three because I wouldn't have been home at 6, so I prayed that God will sent you earlier and He did!" We talked bout prayer in that lesson and the Spirit was just so strong. We then invited her to pray and whilst she was praying, she started to cry, I think it was the most beautiful prayer Ive ever heard. She didn't use anything fancy but you could feel her sincerity and humility.

The last couple of days, I basically said goodbye to a few people, which was sad. But President Egbert and is wife came this weekend and we had a mission tour with Elder Gonzales and is wife. It was really awesome and great receiving advice from a General Authority about our mission.

The highlight of the week however was Peeto coming to church again (our less active). He absolutely loved the Young Men camp and he came in his Sunday best! I´m going to miss him so much and seeing the progress he is making, but I know that he is in good hands!

Hope that everyones week was fantastic, keep reading the Book of Mormon.

Love you all,

Hermana Vernes

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Meeting awesome people - Nov 14th

WOW, this week was really awesome!! Every week is really awesome, but this week was very special!

First off, I can't believe that tomorrow I will be out for 11 moths!! It doesn't feel like that at all, it feels like I just came out.

- we got to see one of my favourite investigators, I just really love teaching Nookie, she warm up my heart. We had a great lesson with her, she told us that last week, when we sang to her and her friend that when we left her friend started to cry. I personally don't think it was because of our voices but the hymn we sang: Nearer, my God to thee. I ma so grateful for the hymns we have and that we can find comfort in them. I especially love the ones that pioneers would sing whilst traveling toward Zion like: Come, come ye Saints.

Contacting is fun!

My companion caught a lizard...which was pretty impressive..I really wanted to do it, but I am really scared that they will bite me. Plus, when she was holding went super crazy, it was kind of scary and the three of us are just screaming and then its tail fell off and we felt pretty bad. (The tail was still moving though)

We also got to see sweet Maria! She´s a member and she always cook for us, which can be kind of scary as her food contain pigs feet. Luckily i have never had the chance to eat them...YET.
We talked about the Book of Mormon with her, we then asked: "How did you feel when you started to read the Book of Mormon?"
Maria: "I used to cry whenever I read it, but I couldn't read the words, so I had to pray every single time to have Heavenly Father help me to stop crying. Now I can read His words and it makes me very happy, I feel secure and peace."

Whilst contacting, we met Taddi, she was very open to our message and we sat on her doorsteps and talked about God. I can not tell you how much i love this time of my life. Just being able to meet so many amazing people and just talk to them about our Father in Heaven.
We invited her to watch the Restoration movie, we wanted her to watch the short version which is about 20 minutes, however she watched the super long one which was really awesome as she told us all about it this week. She really loved it.

Contacting is pretty fun as you meet some really awesome people and sometimes just people that are a little crazy but always journal worthy ,)
One time, a guy told us: "I´m full in my Jesus." So he wasn't interested.

- activity with the members going contacting with us, which at first I was a little sceptical about...but it turned out to be a huge faith builder! The members got so excited to do missionary work and the contacted A LOT of people. It was really awesome to see members walking with pamphlets and their little stickers which said: Future Missionary and talking to everyone.

- just amazing, we had 3 investigators come to church, which they absolutely loved AND Pieto (16 yr old, less active, when we first met he said he is "male matcho" (bad boy and didn't believe any more)...I can't describe the feeling that overcame me seeing him in church! My companions and I just had tears in or eyes. he has changed so much and he's reading his Book of Mormon and just making so many good choices. He is even going to Young Mens camp this weekend! Now we just have to bring back his parents and siblings.

Hermana Christina came out teaching with us on Sunday, she normally does it every Sunday! 
She´s awesome!!

I hope everyone had a good week! I love you all!

Hermana Vernes

Ayo (Goodbye)

The Curacao wind is too strong

We are Catholics, do not bother us, not interested

Senior couple treated us to some pizza

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Spirit is truly amazing! Nov 1st

Helping Hands service project

This week was certainly different. One of my companions, Hermana Johnston, got pretty sick, so  this whole week she wasn't able to go out and teach, so she stayed with another sister, who also isn't able to go out, which meant Hermana Palmer and I, who are still struggling with this language, went out and taught people in Papiamento. It would honestly surprise us every lesson how we were able to teach people in their language and being able to understand them. Of course it had all to do wth God helping us and blessing us with the gift of tongues. i really love speaking Papiamento, its so much fun, I just hope I can keep it up when  get back to Surinam.

We visited an inactive member, Hermana Jorge, she´s quite old and doesn't remember ANYTHING! Like she doesn't remember her baptism, the church, the members, the Book of Mormon...nothing!
In her mind, she still thinks she's catholic and she would always say: "I just need the bible."
Any ways we visit her every Monday ad teach her the gospel, she has been starting to read the Book of Mormon and she started saying some members names and she even remembered how she felt when she went to church! She remembered loving it. She also said this: "When I read the Book of Mormon, I never want to stop because I receive more knowledge."
I have seen a HUGE change in her!

Also, we had an exchange on Wednesday with the Aruba sisters, they have to fly in from Aruba to Curacao, in order to have exchanges. I was with Hermana Buckhave and she´s super sweet. I was able to learn a lot from her. We had a lot of fun together.

We were walking towards our next appointment, then all of the sudden Hermana Buckhave´s eyes widened...she looks at me and says: "Its coming!!" Me: "What?"
Buckhave: "I can't stop it! I have diarrhoea, its coming!"
We then start running to see if we can use any ones bathroom, but then we would feel bad as it would smell pretty bad. Luckily, I remembered, that Pizza Hut is right around the corner, so we then ran as fast as we can! Luckily JUST in time, it was pretty funny though.

Our investigate, Nookie, is still doing good, I really love her, its so much fun teaching her as she is very sensitive to the Spirit. As Hermana Palmer and I were closing she says: "Before you go, I have to tell you something." I immediately thought: "Great, Nookie is dropping us"
Nookie: "Since you girls have been visiting me, some things have happened." LONG PAUSE
"You always pray that I can find a job. I just wanted to say thank you, because I found one and i´m starting tomorrow. Since you have been visiting me a lot of good things have happened."
I know, we had very little to do with her finding a job, but I know through her faith, prayers and trying to find one, Heavenly Father has blessed her with one.

We have been contacting A LOT!! Which is fun (sometimes) but we have found some really awesome people!

I wasn't able to take as many pictures this week...the church had a Helping Hands service project which was so much fun!

I love you all so much! Speak to you soon!

Hermana Vernes

Appeldam fruit

Puppy kisses attack ;)

Nicest rejection this week - Oct 31st


We have been visiting our investigator Nookie a lot. We mainly do a lot of service at her house as she is is planning for a birthday party.  Whilst we were cutting up some decoration, my companions and I were singing: "Nearer my God to Thee", we really enjoy singing together and we don't sound too bad. Any ways, Nookie then says: "DO you have a CD of you three singing? I want to listen to it." We told her no, but we explained that it was from a Hymn and the words of the song really touched her. So, we will be singing soon for her, I really just love singing hymns it has such special Spirit.

We had the nicest reaction this week..whist contacting in our area, we met a super nice Dutch lady doing some gardening. We asked her if she believed in God, she says: "Lately, I´m not so sure anymore, I have never believe in Him but he saved my life." She told us an amazing story where God has been in her life, however she says she isn't ready yet to hear the gospel. This is what she told us: "Would it be rude to say I´m not ready yet?" We are mostly used to slamming doors or just people straight up hiding from us. I´m excited for the next missionaries to find her in the area book and contact her when she´s ready.

Finally, we have two investigators on dates, which is awesome! We have been working really hard and they are really cool. I just love teaching people the gospel, whether they accept it or not, after every lesson I feel my faith and testimony growing more and more. But, its amazing to see the changes people make in their lives for the gospel!

Lately, we have been contacting a lot, so Hermana Palmer decide to spice things up in her prayer, she asked for us to know how many people we will be able to contact. After the prayer, we all looked at each other and on the count of three...we said...the number that the Spirit told us. Amazingly, we all had the same number and we did indeed contact the amount the Spirit told us! It was such a beautiful experience witnessing that! It was still hard contacting people as a lot of them just didn't want to listen, but I know God lead us the way to whom was ready.

I am sorry that this a shorter one but I had a beautiful week and soon you will hear all of my stories. Plus I personally always find the pictures the best part or missionary letters ;)

I hope every one had a fantastic week and Happy Halloween to every one ;)

A long the coast


Food, we get fed so much...a lot of RICE!

People are so nice to us!

Scary looking dog

Zone Conference! Oct 24th

Hermana Johnston and me

At Zone Conference

We have been experiencing some crazy lightening and a really bad storm during the night. I didn't really mind it as I basically slept through it, but my companions were pretty scared and woke me up. It just reminded me of the times when Germany would have storms and lightening...and Dad would burst into my room and take pictures from my window :)

Zone Conference was amazing as usual!! I really love Zone conference, it gets all the missionaries pumped up to work harder! We had 2 commitments: 1 to pray for a baptism this transfer and 2 to pray why we are in this mission and in this area.

I am super excited and have seen already so many miracles from those prayers! i love my companions, we work really well together and we work hard!

During the  Zone conference a recent convert came and bore her testimony, it was so absolutely beautiful! There were so many wonderful things said but I want to share one specific part of her testimony which touched my heart. She tells us when she first sees the missionaries: "I saw the missionaries when they were still at a far distance. the minute I saw them I felt something in my heart, I knew it was the Spirit. I could feel those dos were different and they brought a special peace to my house."

Her testimony made me realise that people really do notice us and I don't mean missionaries but they recognise and feel that we are different! it is so important to always be worthy to have the Spirit with you at all times! So then, they can feel why we are different.

This Sister is from Ecuador & she fed us during the week, she´s super nice

Lots of miracles just as any other week:

- Hector & Jesus, they are so awesome and just so hungry for the spiritual food. They have been keeping all of their commitments besides coming to church due to work. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and they just kept asking so many good questions which was great because you could see the excitement in their eyes and the Spirit that they felt. I love teaching them, in Hector´s prayer, he just kept repeating how thankful he is that he met us. it was awesome.

- Due to appointments falling through, we were able to meet up with a less active member, who never wanted to sit with us  even though we visit her son and granddaughter. However this time the son and granddaughter weren't home and she had a chance of heart and let us in. We had a wonderful lesson with her and she even asked when we can come back to visit her!

- Also we saw a big change of heart in the Palanco family, the youngest boy (16) named Pito, is kind of like a "rebel" at least thats how he introduced himself when we first met him. he said: "I´m a bad boy, I don't believe, church isn't important" etc. However during the weeks lesson that we´ve had with him, he has had a change of heart!! He actually listens during the lessons, he participates and HE READS!!  Which is just awesome!! We invited him to come to church and he said he really wants to. I am so excited for this family.

Well, the craziest thing that happened this week...must´ve started about 2 days ago...whenever we bike home, we pass this house with a lady who always greets us and is just super nice. However we never came around to actually contact her. So, yesterday when ALL of our night appointments were falling through, we decided to visit her. We bike over and Yelled: "BON NOCHI"" (GOOD EVENING), but no one was home. As we were trying to figure out who to see next, a white car pulled up...the window rolled down and I heard: "Amy"
I recognised the voice immediately! But was just so in shock that I couldn't reply! My companions, however, thought that this person said. "Baby" so then they were very shocked when he called my name again and I said: "Yes?"

Any ways, he gets out, we run toward each other...and hug! Its Yushua cousin, aka my best friend! It was SUPER weird but so GREAT at the same time!! And guess what...he only lived one street before me! We are practically neighbours! So then, we went to his house and had an awesome lesson with him, and I guess he´s kind of our investigator now ;)

I hope every ones week was awesome! I love you all so much!

Hermana Vernes

At a members house, we get fed so A LOT! 

I can understand Papiamento! - Oct 17th

Bon tardi! (Good afternoon!)

Highlight of this week: experiencing the gift of tongues, not saying I´m fluent not even close, but I can bear my testimony and pray in Papiamento and also understand certain people which is really awesome!
Sometimes studying it can be really boring as I much rather go out than staying inside for another hour, but I have noticed through studying that Heavenly Father helps me remember the things I have learned during lessons.

My favourite sentence to say is: Nos ta biba i traha pa scribe Dios -we live and work to serve God.

This week we were still a little sick so we had to stay in for a little bit per (but) for the majority we were out and serving the Lord...sirbi dos Dios - serve our Lord.

We have had some insects in our house, most of it I had to kill which doesn't gross me out, thanks to Surinam, but had a small cockroach in our study room, some weird worm thing and this morning we had maggots. those things just don't want to die, we got all of our cleaning supplies, including bleach, but they are warriors, so we had to hit them with our was gross!

Spiritual experiences this week:

- we put Elka & Juan(members) on the 21 day challenge, I love this challenge its the best! Any ways the are pretty excited to share the gospel with others and reading the Book of Mormon.

- we had a great lesson with Ryan, we taught  him the Plan of Salvation, during his prayer he said: !I want to know if the Book is true, cuz I am empty inside and I want to make a change in my life"

-Hector & Jesus (investigators) are AWESOME! They are very in tune with the Spirit and very educated. they said they already know that Joseph Smith is a profeta (prophet) and the are super excited to start reading the Book of Mormon.

- my favourite lesson was with Rosita, she lives super far from us but its SO worth the bike ride. The minute she saw us, she ha a huge smile on her face. And just hugged us forever! She then says: !I know God has sent you here. I know you have a special message to share with me." She is so Christlike, I think the reason were there is for us to learn from her! She has touched my heart in so many different ways. I hop to always remember what the Spirit has taught me in that lesson! When we left, she gave us a hug and whispered some very touching words in our ears.

- we also went contacting last night, Sister Palmer got chased by 2 dogs, it was super crazy as she was biking as fast as she could, but the dogs were just faster and we could hear her scream for 5 minutes straight! Eventually the owner yelled at the dogs and the owner was awesome, her name is Nookie and she has a son and basically a farm. She has a goat that we always pass by. We are super excited to teach her and her family.

Well, that is all the time I have for today, I hope everyone is doing well! Don't forget to read, pray and serve others!

Ami so cu Jose Smith ta un profeta, ami sa cu famia por biba pa semper, ami sa cu Dios ta stima nos hopi! (I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, I know that family can be together forever, I know that God loves us very much!)

Speak to you soon!

Zuster Vernes

Sick - Oct 10th

This week has been differently as I was mostly home, both my companions were sick so then I got sick too. We are all still a little sick so hopefully we`ll get better soon. I do have a few highlights for the times when we were able to go out.

- Monday: Ryan, our investigator, we had a wonderful lesson with him and he just really wants to know if the Book of Mormon is true. He wanted us to tell him all the time how we came to know that the scriptures are true. I like telling people how I developed a testimony, not that it is anything big, it was little things. It all basically started with reading as a family and feeling the Spirit even though I did not recognised it as the Spirit. Then one I got older I started to reading un tiki tiki (little by little), then started praying. It´s not that I ever heard a voice saying that its true. But from the feeling that I would get whilst reading it, confirmed me through my many prayers that the Book of Mormon truly is the Word of God!
There was a special Spirit in that lesson whilst testifying of the Book of Mormon, I hope that all of you are reading it even if just un tiki. But you have to star somewhere!

- Elida, super old lady, she´s so cute, she told us that through the Book of Mormon she actually learned how to read! Which was just super sweet. Being on my mission I have developed a strong desire to go visiting teaching when I get home. I have learned the importance of it. Lids does´t get many visitors at all, so she always have the brightest smile whenever we visit her.

We also went contacting this a lot of Dutch people really do not like to listen to missionaries, but I actually love speaking to them as I can talk to them in Dutch, which seems to soften their hearts ;) Through contacting though, we find a lot of prepared people. One of them is a huge Venezuelan family and I can't wait to continue having lessons with them! They are awesome!

All the other days, I was inside but I had some good studies and I was able to watch the Testament 5 times! Its a good movie though, if you are ever at home I´d recommend watching it ;)

I love you all so much, I´ll speak to you soon!

Hermana Vernes

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hurricane - Oct 3rd

Crazy week because we had a storm which meant we had to be inside for 2 days. On Thursday & Friday Curacao was supposed to have a hurricane, so we had to prepare and fill all our pots, trash cans, cups and bowl with water. We also had to have enough food. Well the hurricane honestly was nothing but we weren't allowed to go out as we didn't know when it will get worse. it was just some lightening, thunder & rain. Surinam is worse during raining season, those 2 days were quite boring but we sure did a lot of studies.

Preparing for the hurricane

Monday we taught a huge group of different families and had FHE. Which was also really hard as everyone loves to talk so we had to basically put our hand up in order to show their time to talk was over. It was a lot of fun though, we played the cereal box game.

We received a referral from a member, however he kept giving us the wrong address and we don't have the number of the referral. Due to the wrong address we were actually able to contact a lot of really cool people, one of them is Ryan, he and his friend were sitting outside, as we couldn't find the house we stopped and asked Ryan if he could help us. They both a lot of questions bout our church so we shared a short message about the Book of Mormon. Ryan's friend growing up has heard some weird rumours about Mormons, he said that he was told there was a place where all Mormons live. Which is called the Mormon-land, of course not true, there were others things which I can't remember though. he was awesome though because when we were explaining the Book of Mormon, he just kept saying: "Wow that so cool" Before we left we wanted to say a prayer but the one guy wasn't really feeling it and Ryan then said: "I need a lot of prayers, I want to change my life around."

So, we been meeting up with Ryan and he's truly awesome! He read all of the testimonies and introduction and when we came over, he was so excited that he told us all of it! Before we came he even prayed to ask if Joseph Smith was a true Prophet and if the book was true. Which is just so crazy because NO ONE EVER DOES THAT!! We then asked him if he can offer a kneeling prayer and ask with us...I have never heard such sincere and heartfelt prayer like his.

The highlight of course was General Conference! It was amazing!! There were just so many talks that touched my heart. I honestly can't remember which ones anymore but I did take notes and I can't wait for the Liahona to come out to read them again.

I hope everyone had a great week, one you all! Ami tin cu bai (I gotta go)

Hermana/Zuster Vernes