Wednesday, December 28, 2016

So grateful for members that go teaching with us - Dec 26th

To explain this week...I´ll have to start with what happened during my personal study on Tuesday:
my companion Zuster Bokai was scratching her leg due to mosquito bites.
 I then say: "Sister, you should probably stop scratching if you don't want any scars."
She then goes to the bathroom. Probably around 15 min later, I look up from my scriptures and I see Zuster Bokai soaking wet.
Zuster Bokai: "Sister...I fell."
Me.:"What? How?"
Zuster Bokia: "I fell."
Me: "In the toilet bowl?"
She then explains: "I went to wash my legs so then they won't itch as bad, but then as it was so slippery, I fell and I couldn't get up."

Me & Zuster Bokai
Due to her fall we weren't able to go proselyting, so we were stuck inside most of the time.
However, we were able to get a member to take us to a lesson, which was really awesome as she was able to help the less active that we were teaching.

I can not tell you how grateful I was for this member to come out with us! She has helped us so much this week to take us to some church activities. Please, just help the missionaries by going out teaching with them! Or ask if you can give a less active or an investigator a ride!

On Wednesday, Loes had her baptismal interview, when Zuster Bokai and I arrived, she wasn't home, she wouldn't pick up her phone and her neighbours also didn't know where she was. 30 minutes later, when the Elders arrived to have the interview with her, she still wasn't home! I know Loes and I knew she wasn't just going to dodge us, but this was very odd. Just when we were talking to one of her neighbours to figure out how long we should wait...Loes arrived and she thought that we were coming another day, so she just went to get some food.
I was so relieved!
She passed her interview and we got our "White Christmas."
On Christmas Day she then got confirmed and it was just a really beautiful experience!

Our white Christmas - Baptism of Loes
During this week, we found opportunities to serve the Ward whilst being at home, we baked some sugar cookies, helped a member prepare some food for her Christmas party and we filled out 208 pass along cards and gave it to the missionaries to hand out whilst they went caroling as we couldn't go.
Making sugar cookies
Sugar cookies

Pass along cards -prepared 208 of them

Things are looking good for Zuster Bokai though, I think we´ll be able to bike this week, which is awesome!!

Will soon be biking again
I love you all so much, it was good Skyping and seeing my family!

Speak to you soon,
Zuster Vernes

Goofing with Zuster Parker
Sitting in my Christmas box that came from my parents

They sell crabs while they are still alive

Merry Christmas Dec 2016

With Zuster Parker, Elder Lunchford &  Elder Burr

My new companion Zuster Bokai

Christmas at Elder & Sister Crawford

With Zuster Parker

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Spicing it up this week - Dec 19

Enjoying our Christmas lights

This week, Zuster Parker and I decided to "spice" some things up whilst contacting...we decided to carol and then contact the people. Especially because we were contacting at night time which is so much harder as people really do not want to be disturbed, which I can totally understand, however as a missionary you do not care as much when appointments fall through and you don't want to go home early! It was really great though, people would start singing a long and it really softened their hearts to the point where they would invite us inside and we were able to testify of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Sister Parker enjoying the Christmas lights

For the past 3 days, I have noticed this one star, that was /is SUPER bright on a clear night sky. It is always so bright and so big. As Zuster Parker and I were biking, we talked about it and how it reminded us of one of the signs when Jesus was born.
The moment we said that...I was just filled with the Spirit, as I was thinking about the Saviour and His birth.
I am so grateful for God´s love that He send His only begotten son. It turns out, the big bright star is a planet, but I love looking at it as I just always think of the shepherds and how they´ve must felt. (3 Ne 1:19-21)

The perfect Duo

 So as 2 of the Surinam Sisters left to go home, President Egbert had to split the perfect duo: Parker & Vernes, but its okay, I am now with Zuster Bokai, she´s from Fiji, which is cool!! She is in her last week of training so she is still pretty new. We don't know how long we´ll be serving together. It could be for 10 days or a transfer, it all depends on the new sisters coming in. If the new sisters get their MKV (visa) then I will be serving with one of them and if they don't...I´ll serve with Zuster Bokai until they come. I love serving with Zuster Bokai, she is super humble and just really sweet and is a hard worker which I love.
She is also really easy to I do that whenever we are home ;)

Vernes & Parker

We have to wear these vests at night time

We were able to visit our investigator, Josh, he's super awesome, instead of us teaching him, he actually taught us! When we arrived, he said that he wants to bear his testimony. He told us a very personal testimony and spiritual experience, that has happened and at the end of his testimony; he shared some scriptures from the Book of Mormon that he likes and a quote from Joseph Smith, which was really awesome! He's progressing every day, I really enjoy and love teaching him. 
I have learned so much from him.

I am super excited for the 24th as 16 people will get baptised including Loes (our investigator), she is super excited and I can't wait to see the "White Christmas!"

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!! I love you all so much, speak to you soon!

V RO L I J K  K E R S T F E E S T 

Parker & I in the rain

Found a HUGE snail

Had to "hide" some food in my bag or else I would've thrown up...we get SO much food

Thursday, December 15, 2016

We talk to everyone! Dec 12th

Im SO excited for Christmas! Zuster Parker and I bought some Christmas lights this morning, so we will hang them up tonight.


One of our investigators, Loes, is now on date for the "White Christmas" (baptism) challenge on Dec 24th. I am so excited for her, she's so awesome! When she came to church I asked her what she thought of it even though she has come many times before, she then slaps my arm and says: "If I wouldn't like it, I wouldn't make the time to come."
She´s so awesome, it was just really great seeing her participate in gospel principles class and Relief Society.

Arthur, another investigator, has progressed so much, I think we have only been teaching him for 2 weeks and he started reading from the Book of Mormon every day. He says: "The Book of Mormon draws me in, I don't know if that happens to you too, but I just can't stop reading it."
Zuster Parker replied: "Thats the Spirit."
He is now in Alma 56. After reciting the First Vision, he then says: "That was powerful, I felt something, it gave me power."
Zuster Parker replied: "Thats the Spirit."
He is really awesome, he has given us so many referrals as well, he´s on date for January.

We were able to teach Rudy this week as well, we taught him the Atonement and the Gift of Forgiveness. During the lesson, we watched a very touching Mormon message: Forgiveness/Burdens made light. After the lesson, Rudy looks at us and says: "Thank you, I needed this."
Moments like this makes me love missionary work even more, I just really love that my companion and I are able to just help people feel the Spirit. I am so grateful for the gospel, it has blessed my life in so many ways.

Church in Curacao 

During this week we did a lot of contacting, its only really fun when you find people that actually wants to listen. But this day was one of those days where people would either hide from us or ignore us. Anyways we go to a gas station to grab some water and we run into a man. He had a huge smile on his face and greeted us, he then says: "Do you remember me?"
He looked super familiar, but we couldn't quite remember him, he then says: "You talked to me not too long ago."
I then think: "We talk to everyone." Zuster Parker then says: "Chin!!" (his name)
Eventually I remembered, we contacted this guy...however he said he´ll call us (which normally means no) But, as it was raining a lot, he invited us to sit with him, and we had a beautiful lesson with him about God. Before we left he grabbed some "Quality Street Chocolate", which just brought so many memories from home.

This week we saw Remi, just reactivated him, he talks A LOT!! Its very hard to just get one word in, any ways in his prayer he says: "God, please give this sisters patience with me. I really need them and I know I can be annoying, but I am so grateful for them and I need them!"

I hope everyones week was great!! I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I know God knows and loves us!

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

Zuster Vernes


Friday, December 9, 2016

Lots of contacting - Dec 5th

This week we had a lot of contacting to do, as our area doesn't have too many people to visit, which is fine, I actually quite enjoy contacting. We are able to contact 2 families in Papiamento, which was SO cool! Zuster Parker and I were so excited and we are currently teaching them.

This week we were trying to get or investigator Loes on date, we had a super spiritual lesson with her and when we asked her to get baptised on the Dec 17th...the garbage truck drove by and she quickly stood up ands asked if we can say a closing per, so that she can talk to the garbage man about something.

However, we visited with a member, normally we only sit with the wife as her husband never want s to sit wth us, and many missionaries have tried  for many months but this time when we invited him, he said: "Yeah why not."
We had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and he got super excited and he even asked when we can come back.

We also invited Josh, he is our former investigator, he has had many baptismal dates however his mom is against the church so thats why he hasn't got baptised yet. Any ways, when we came to his apartment building after saying a companionship prayer, one of his neighbours started talking to us. We explained our purpose and gave him a Restoration pamphlet, we then saw Josh and started our lesson with him. During our lesson his neighbour comes back and says:"I read the pamphlet, the whole thing, I know it is true. All of it is true!"
Unfortunately he will be going back to the Netherlands, I hope that the missionaries there will teach him.

Two investigators came to church, which was awesome! One of them was Josh and the other was Arthur, he wants to get baptised, he´s very smart and has kept all the commandments which is really awesome!

Sunday night was a spiritual highlight, we got to see one of my favourite families, we asked them if they were excited for Christmas, they got very quiet (which is very unusual). The parents explain that they are having some financial problem so it won't be a fantastic Christmas. We felt prompted to share the Christmas video: He is the gift.
Its about how everyone focuses on the material things of Christmas time. However, the most important gift is: Jesus Christ.
It was a really beautiful lesson.

So, I actually forgot to take pictures this week, sorry, but next week I´ll send some.

Love you all so much!

John 3:16

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Serving in Paramaribo North - Nov 28th

This guy served together with my brother Jeff

Well, I´m in Suriname and its weird but also good being back. So I am serving now in Paramaribo North with Zuster Parker, which is awesome. Our flight to Suriname got delayed, so we had to stay in Trinidad till Saturday morning.

There are a few things I have to mention about last Monday when I was still in Curacao:

- visited Hermana Jorge, an older sister, we talked about the Book of Mormon and asked her is if she knew if it was true. She then says: "God will let me know if it is true, He will let me know through the Spirit." We then read Moroni 10:3-5 and she got SO excited whilst reading it, as it was going along to what she was saying, it was really sweet seeing her being able to relate with the Book of Mormon and feeling the Spirit.

- visited with Rose, she's from Jamaica and we contacted her a few weeks ago, any ways, we taught her the Plan of Salvation and she really loved it. We asked her where she wants to go after judgement day, she then answered: "I want to go where Gods people are."
I just really liked the way she phrased that.
with Rose

I already miss Curacao so much, especially my companions Hermana Johnston and Hermana Palmer, but I know that they will continue to change Punda (city). What a privilege I had serving with them! They have taught me so much and I can't wait to hear about the miracles they are experiencing.

Live singing in Punda

Most of this week I was in Trinidad, which was interesting. We visited an elderly couple, I can't remember their names, but something that caught my attention is when the husband said: "I am so thankful for your parents because they taught you to choose the right, because of them you are here now and bringing families closer to Christ."
I couldn't agree more, I am so thankful for my parents, of the example they are to me and teaching me the doctrines of the gospel.

Since Zuster Parker and I have been here in Suriname, it has been a little hectic as we moved into a new apartment, unpacking, buying EVERYTHING from food to cleaning supplies etc., we didn't have much time visiting people. However, we did visit a less active, who we have worked with before, Rudy, and I am sure I have mentioned him before. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the importance of studying it. He has changed so much from the first time we have visited him, he really knows this gospel is true. And he committed to read to  the Book of Mormon. He even said: "The Book of Mormon has a lot of worth, something that the world and people can't give me."

Whilst I was in Trinidad, I was able to see Rebekah again, I´ve met her before in Trinidad, I think when I was 3 months in the mission. She is super awesome, she is the one who got baptised 2 weeks before I met her, and she was basically going out teaching with the missionaries every day and now her mission papers are in! I am so happy and exited for her, she is just the sweetest person!

Rebekah going on a mission soon

I hope everyones week was great, I love you all so much.

Zuster Vernes