27 April 2009

They all gave great testimonies.

Thank you for your letters again.

I was happy to hear from you all. This week went quite well. We baptized three wonderful people this week, which brings the number of people I was able to baptize up to 23 and it is such a joy when you see people receive a testimony and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in their life. These people were my first baptisms in Suriname. I really think that Elder Croese and I were really blessed for all the work we do together.

It was a great baptismal service. There were a lot of members at the service, which was great. It really showed the newly baptized converts that the members love and care about them. Andrea and her children bore their testimonies at the end of the meeting. They all gave great testimonies. It was just a great meeting with a wonderful spirit.

Well, the choir sang in sacrament meeting on Sunday. They did really well and the sounded very nice. We are now practicing two new pieces (Beautiful Savoir and a medley that I brought from home with The Spirit of God and We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet.) They are really making a lot of progress and they seem to like coming to choir practice.

We also had some bad luck with our bikes this week. Elder Croese's bike broke down. His rear wheel gave up the ghost. I do not really know what happened, but he ended up buying a new rear wheel. It took us a while to get it repaired, but we succeeded! :-)

Besides the little challenges with our bikes, things are going well. Well, that's about all that I have for today. Thank you for your support and your prayers.


26 April 2009

The Power of Prayer

Please stop the MP3 Player first before watching this video

20 April 2009

That made me smile...

Dear Family,

This has been a really great week. We had three investigators at church again, and they are getting baptized on Saturday. They are really excited about all of this and they are looking forward to getting baptized. The Branch President is just as excited about it because it means that there will be new members in the branch to get the other members excited about missionary work and retention. I think that these new converts will be able to have great influence on the other members of the branch.

I was asked to give a talk yesterday. I talked about the Atonement, Missionary work, and the sacrament. The talk was not planned, but they did not have a third speaker, and they asked me to talk. I think it went well. People came up to me telling me that it was a great talk.

We also had a great little choir practice yesterday. We will be singing on Sunday. They will be singing and I will be playing the piano, while one of the members will be conducting. We're doing "Praise Ye The Lord". They sing it really well.

Elder Croese and I have been listening to his MP3 player a lot. He has BYU Devotionals on it and talks from other General Authorities given on different occasions. While I was listening to some of them I couldn't help but think how cool it would be to sit there in a BYU Devotional every week and listen to a General Authority speak. :D

It makes me very happy to hear that you got my letters. I thought it was funny. Amy wrote to me today that she made mac and cheese. She just did not write it in that way. She wrote, "mama hat mir beigebracht wie man mc and roni and cheese macht." That made me smile...mc and roni and cheese :D

I love all of you.


15 April 2009

I was so amazed at the sound of that little choir

Thank you for your emails. I am, doing great. We went to the dentist this morning and things are going well. Elder Croese just got a package from his parents and oma and opa put some things in there for me too. Could you thank them for me? I don't know when my letter will get there. I will write them again to thank them for the things that they sent.

We had Zone Conference yesterday. It was great. President Robison told us of some experiences that he had as a missionary in France with Elder Anderson (The new apostle) He told us that we do not know now what will happen to us and our companions in 30 years. "There might just be a few general authorities in this room", he said. It was a great Zone Conference. The spirit was very strong. We learned a lot about covenants and commitments and effective planning. We learned that We need to do everything we can to help people come unto Christ.

Elders Kempenaer, Vernes and Koenen

Elders Kinghorn, Mecham, Croese and Vernes

President Robison spoke in our branch on Sunday. They asked me to translate for him. It was not the easiest thing to do. I had to translate for him and his wife from Dutch into English and then when he spoke from English into Dutch. Translating really is not that easy. You have to really focus on the things that are being spoken and on the meaning of those things, so you can get the message across. They were thankful for it.

They were also able to speak to the girl that takes piano lessons from me every week. They were very impressed with the talent that she has. Sister Robison asked me to get their conversion story and email it to her. The Ritveld family is one of the strongest families in the branch. Their daughters run all of the music in the branch. One of them leads the music the other plays the piano and all of them show up for voice lessons and choir practice. I was able to teach the choir how to sing in a harmony last week. It took about one hour, but it worked. I was so amazed at the sound of that little choir of 6 relief society sisters and 3 brethren from the Elders quorum.

The work is going better. We were able to find 9 new investigators and we had 3 people at church. These three people have firm dates to get baptized on the 24th of April.

President Robison asked me how I liked Suriname. I told him that I am having a great time here. I really do love it here. The people are amazing. The branch is great. We are trying to get people excited about missionary work. President Robison emphasized that in his talk. He gave a great talk.

Thank you for your prayers and your letters and emails.

I love all of you.


06 April 2009

Happy Easter

Thank you for your mail, and thank you for your prayers. I think I really need them right now. We have investigators and they are great, but they could not make it to conference because they did not have any money to travel to the district center. One of the brothers of the investigator was supposed to give her money, so she could take herself and her kids to conference. Well the brother did not show up, so she could not come. That was really too bad because conference was great.

I really loved every bit of conference. The talks were inspiring and the spirit was very strong. All of the sessions were great. At home we never really got to see the last session of conference on Sunday. Here we watch all of the sessions live. I really enjoy watching the last session. I cannot believe that this is already my second General Conference on my mission. I only have two more left. Time has really flown by. I cannot believe I have been on my mission for nine months already. I think my favorite talk was that of Elder Holland. He is a great speaker.

Please watch this video clip and/or visit http://www.lds.org/

Before watching this video clip, please pause the mp3-player


Elder Croese and I are doing great. He is a great companion and I am learning a lot from him. He is also a hard worker. We are getting along great. All we need to do now is find new investigators. We have had some bike problems :-) in the last few days that have slowed the work down a lot, but we are getting our bikes fixed and the work will go a lot better and faster this week.

The weeks just seem to fly by. The days just seem so short. I get up in the morning and before I know it, it is already time to go inside. I love being a missionary.

Thanks again for you emails and prayers.