30 March 2009

Ik wil wel naar de kerk komen, maar ik heb geen das.

A few words take from the weekly e-mail from Elder Vernes.

This week was a great week. We had 6 new people at church and they all loved it. This is great! This is the most investigators we have had in church for a while in this area, and we and the branch are really excited. We are really fortunate to have a good group of good investigators. One of the investigators is a 10 year old boy. He said, "Ik wil wel naar de kerk komen, maar ik heb geen das." (Translation = “I would like to come to church, but I have no tie”) I told him not to worry. I gave him one of my ties. He was wearing it when he came to church, and he was so happy.

My mouth is still bothering me. I have some picture of it, but I cannot send them because they are very big...too big for this email. I hope it gets better soon. The mission doctor thinks it is a fungus in my mouth, and he gave me some medication. I hope it works.

I did not write about me being the district leader here in Suriname? I thought I did. So anyway, I was asked by President Robison to be the district leader in the Wanica district. I am district leader over 3 elders and the Dirkmaat’s a senior missionary couple. They are all really great missionaries and nice people. I like being district leader. We are a good team.

It is weird teaching district meeting in Dutch, but it works out fine. I think my Dutch has gotten a lot better. I know how to spell things and express myself correctly. I am still learning the Taki-Taki (which actually means "gossip" in Surinamese) To say "how are you doing?" you say "fa waka?" It's a nice little language. I like it...but it is a little difficult to learn.

Anyway this week was great.


28 March 2009

Gods Words ...... Never Cease

Before watching this video, please pause the mp3 player

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a modern-day apostle and special witness of Christ testifies that the heavens are open.

This is also one of the profound messages that our missionary son Jeff and also more than 55,000 other missionaries all over the world testify of this on a voluntary basis. They give two years of their life to serve and testify of Christ and His restored church. The heavens are open and God speaks to us and His servants like he has always done through living prophets.

We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is the only begotten son. Jesus atoned for all our sins. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

There is a purpose in life. God created us and he wants us to have joy in this life and return to Him. Have you ever asked yourself the following questions;

Where did we come from?
Why are we here?
Where are we going?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has answers to these questions. Please take the time to listen to these young missionaries. The Holy Ghost will testify of these truths. It will change your life and you will experience eternal happiness.

Greetings, Pieter Vernes

27 March 2009

Come what may and love it

Before you watch this video, please pause the mp3 player.

24 March 2009

A few words taken from Jeff’s weekly e-mail.

Elders Vernes & Lubberink

My companion Elder Croese from Rotterdam

Zone conference was great. We learned a lot about committing people to do something. We learned that when we promise them blessings that they will have motivation to keep the commitment that we leave with them. It was a great experience.

Everything is going well. We did not have a baptism this week, but we are planning and working on a few in April. This week was not an easy week. We did not have anyone at church this Sunday. We did everything we could to get people at church, but things just did not work out. One of them got in a fight with some people while he was on his way to church with his niece, and another person got diarrhea on her way to church. We had planned for about 5 people, but none showed up. That was a little disappointing, but this next week will be better.

I started teaching music classes in the area. With the branch president and the music director of the branch I set up a branch choir. The people really like it. I am also teaching separate voice and piano lessons. It is very nice to talk to Elder Croese. We talk about different universities in Holland and what we will study. We get along very well.

Thank you for our emails. I always look forward to them. My finger is doing a little better.


17 March 2009

Back in Suriname

I am sorry I could not write you an email last week. We had computer problems, so it did not work. I am back in Suriname. I got back Wednesday morning at 1230am. I was pretty tired when I got here, but everything worked out fine. My finger is doing a lot better, and it is feeling a lot better. It is still very pink and sensitive, but it's improving.

Trinidad is amazing. Compared to Suriname and Guyana it is like little America. It is very modern and there are so many cars on the streets. Sadly enough I could not take any pictures because my camera was in Suriname. I did not think I would be staying for that long.

The elders I worked with are great. They were really nice and I really enjoyed staying with them. We worked hard and I almost had a baptism in Trinidad. We were teaching this girl that was so close to getting baptized, but she called it off right before I left. I don't know if she got baptized yet. I hope she did. She knew everything was true; she just had a commitment issue.

The members in Trinidad are really really nice. They feed the missionaries about every day. Even the investigators or random people feed the missionaries. It's just how they are. Before Church was over on Sunday I had two pieces of cake in my bag that I got from members. After church a member cooked up a storm for us. It was amazing food.

Anyway, it does feel good to be back in Suriname. The work is not going so well in the zone. Missionaries are getting sick a lot and that is slowing the work down along with the fact that members are not progressing. We just need to continue to work hard and I know we will be blessed with success.

I love all of you. Thank you for your emails and prayers. I don't have a lot of time, so I need to go.


14 March 2009

Be creative and make a difference

Before you watch this video, please put the mp3 player on pause.

10 March 2009

No news this week

Somehow we did not receive an e-mail this week from Jeff. This happens sometimes due to the unreliable internet connection. However, it is a luxary to have internet these days. It was a bit different during my mission (100 years ago). We believe that he is still in Trinidad, but we are not quite sure. We received an e-mail from his Mission President last week where he explained that they flew him to Trinidad to have his finger properly treated. Everything will be fine!

06 March 2009

Two sisters of Elder Vernes

This is a picture of Amy (12) and Whitney (18). They both love and miss their big brother. Whitney took over Jeff's room on the day he left on his mission :-)
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05 March 2009

03 March 2009

Unexpected visit to Trinidad

Let me say one thing first, I am doing fine.

I am writing this email from Trinidad today, because I needed a minor surgery on my finger. I got an infection in Guyana, and it started coming up in Suriname. My right middle finger started getting swollen and red, with the tip of the finger really fat with a white spot on it about 5 millimeters in diameter.

I went to the doctor in Suriname and he wanted to cut it and let it heal. I did not like the sound of that, so I called the mission doctor, who had me on antibiotics for a few days to see what would happen. He finally decided that it was best to get me out into Trinidad to get this taken care of, so I flew in from Suriname at 7 in the morning and went straight to the doctor, who decided to cut it open and take the infection out. He did a good job, and it was a quick surgery. I am in the mission office right now, and I will be in Trinidad until probably Thursday. That depends on what the doctor will tell me when I see him again.

We are looking for new investigators, but we just are not finding them right now. Things are challenging for the moment, but it will get better!!! We are looking toward a good week this week...that is, if I get back this week...and that depends on the doctor.

I am running out of time and my finger is beginning to hurt...the medication is wearing off...

I love you.