Saturday, June 17, 2017

She´s home!! June 16th Frankfurt - Germany

So Zuster Vernes was supposed to arrive around 11.10am on June 16th...well arrived she did, but her luggage didn't...and we had to wait for about two hours before she finally walked out!

Waiting, notice everybody has left except for us

Finally hugging her big bro cuz he had to leave the airport to be at the University

This little boy was also so happy

                          Jumping for joy...Amy is finally home!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Preparing her homecoming - June 15th

 Patiently awaiting Zuster Vernes homecoming...and making a banner to welcome her back!

 This little guy was barely walking and talking when his auntie Amy left for her he´s almost 3 years old and she´ll be surprised at how he has grown and he´ll be talking her ears off.

Departure of Surinam - June 13th

 So Zuster Vernes has arrived in Trinidad on Tuesday June 13th and will be on the plane on Thursday June 15th via Toronto - Canada and then the journey continues to Frankfurt - Germany!
18 months of being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are going to end but the good thing: as a member of the church you CAN always be a missionary even without a badge!

If you´re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart - Elder Neil Anderson

After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel -
President Joseph Smith

Whatever our age, capacity, church calling, or location, we are as one, called to the work to help Him in His harvest of souls until He comes again - President Henry B Eyring

Member missionary work does not require the development of strategies or requires genuine LOVE - Elder Russell M Ballard

Monday, June 12, 2017

I know God will only give me challenges I can handle - June 12th

I can't believe that my mission is over. I am leaving tomorrow morning to go to Trinidad stay there until Thursday morning and then I am on my way to Germany. 

This week isn't how I expected it to be at all. I thought that everything will go smoothly and perfectly. I thought we would just have a full schedule every day. Hahaha, well it was quite the opposite. In fact all of our appointments that were planned got cancelled. And contacting wasn't very successful either. I can't remember when it was but one of these days I got really really sick. I could barely move and so that meant I had to stay in the WHOLE day. And I was SO frustrated with myself and just the whole situation. I prayed to God and asked Him to help me, so that I can go out and teach because that is all I really wanted to do. During my prayer I felt peaceful I was still sick the next day but healthy enough to go out and teach.

 Roasting marshmallows and making Smores for my last P-Day

We met a man named Roy. Zuster Jordan and I locked our bikes and saw him sitting on a bench. So we sat next to him and started having a conversation about God. As he was going off about something random I had a very strong impression to ask him a question. I kind of just brushed it off as it would be rude to interrupt him. But the impression just wouldn't leave so I then interrupted him and asked: "Roy, are you happy?"
He looks down and says :"No, I am not happy" 
He then tells us how is grandchild of 8 months old passed away and just feels hopeless, he felt that God has abandoned him. 
We then talked about God's love and it was just such a spiritual moment. We hand him a pamphlet of the gospel of Jesus Christ and told him that this is the recipe of happiness.

1 O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understands my thought afar off.

3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Zuster Baker, Zuster Barker & Molijn
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, cannot attain unto it.

On Sunday I had to bear my departing testimony and well long story short they had a lot of people assigned to speak and so when it was my turn to bear my testimony it was already time to close the meeting. During the meeting I was just praying to know what I need to say as I wouldn't be able to give my talk anymore and so then I felt like I needed to share the struggles that I had this week.

So when I went up I told the congregation how I needed to have a Priesthood blessing a couple of weeks ago because I was starting to get anxiety about going home. Family please don't take this the wrong way, I love you and I can not wait to see you, but I am sad to not be a missionary anymore and because I just don't know what to expect. In my blessing I was told that there are many challenges ahead of me and that it will be hard.

Which honestly just freaked me out even more about going home. It also said how my life won't be like how I have planned it to be like but I will still be happy if I continue to keep the commandments of God. I then realized during my testimony that I need these challenges in my life so that I can progress.

I am forever grateful that I have come on a mission it has changed me forever. I am grateful for the challenges that I have had and the challenges that our Heavenly Father has in store for me. 

 I know that God will only give me challenges that I can handle. I remember when I got interviewed by my Stake President (before the mission) and he asked me what I am looking forward to on my mission.  
I told him that I am excited for the hard times, for the times when I need to rely on faith, when I don't have another choice but to rely on my Heavenly Father. He looked at me completely shocked.  

Romans 12:12,21

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulationcontinuing instant in prayer;
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

I will miss being a missionary and seeing the people here but I am excited for this next chapter in my life. 
I will see you soon. 
I love you all so much.
Thank you for all your support and love!

Zuster Vernes 

On an exchange with Zuster Barker

A lady rejected us so as we were walking away, she ran after us and gave us Pompelmoes

Huge grape

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I can't believe I only have 8 days left in Suriname!!! Then I will be in Trinidad  and then... BAM I'm in Germany. 
It honestly doesn't feel like it has been 18 months. I still feel like I just came out of the MTC.
Anyways this week was really great!!! 
We had Zone conference this week which is amazing as usual. Pres. Egbert was talking about Temples and I honestly can't wait to go to the temple again. It was really cool as we were mostly reading in the old testament and just reading how God has instructed his children to build temples from the very beginning.

We taught our investigator Micky this week which is always a highlight, he is just so humble and accepting of the gospel. We asked him if he would be coming to church on sunday. He then says: " Well according to this book (the pamphlet) it says to not procrastinate and come to church and I have missed two Sunday's which is too many so I will come to church." Sunday came along and Micky did come!!! Which just made me so happy he started making friends right away and stayed the whole three hours. After church we asked him what he thought of it and he said: " I just feel like I came home".
Sometime during this week I went on exchanges with the Rainville zusters. (my old area) 
It was good going there and seeing these Zusters work hard, being obedient and they have just changed so much. 
Their teaching skills have improved enormously which made me happy to see.
Then when I returned back to my area we had an appointment with Jorgan. When we arrived a less active Michele was there as well. So he then joined the lesson which is good because Jorgan is painfully shy and just doesn't really talk. 
After the lesson Michele then says: " Hey sisters you said you were going to visit me today at the same time you told Jorgan you would visit him, that's why I came here." 
Whupps!! felt pretty bad that we doubled booked ourselves but it all worked out. :)


Wendell also came to church yesterday he then said the closing prayer in Gospel Principles class and he said:" I am grateful that I can be here. I know that these are good people and I want to continue to be surrounded by them and continue to be a part of it".
Well I hope everyone's week was good. 
I love you all
Zuster Vernes
On my exchange I got to teach my past investigator Marilin in very broken Portuguese!! I am grateful that Heavenly father blesses me with the gift of tongues in those times when we teach Brazilians. Also Marilin will be moving back to the Dominican Republic and will get baptised there. I am so excited for her.  

with Marilin