28 July 2009

There is no other way for true happiness!

Things have been a little slow this week, because my companion Elder Swart was sick. Sister Green, the mission nurse said that he had dengue. We were a little shocked about that because that usually means that we would be staying inside for more than a week. I was able to give him a blessing and I realized the power of the priesthood and faith. Within a few days we were outside again. Our numbers were not amazing because we did spend some days inside, but he is now healthy and ready to work again. I am very grateful for the priesthood in my life. I am grateful that I have always had a father that was worthy to use this sacred power.

We had a baptism this past weekend. A brother named Siegfried got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. We were really excited for him to get baptized because he is a great guy. We were on the street one night and did not have anything to do for the last 30 min. The zone leaders told us to go out and contact some people. To be honest, I was a little discouraged because the only people out on the streets at night are drunk or make fun of us.

Well, I was wrong about that. Right before we were about to go inside I saw a man walking on our side of the road. He was walking right toward us. I decided that I was going to contact him and invite him to church, which we did. He said that he would try to make time. That's what everybody says, and then they do not come. He came, and now he's baptized. It's amazing how the Lord prepares people to receive the gospel.

I know that the gospel is the only way by which we can receive eternal happiness. There is no other way. I have realized that while out here on my mission. I am grateful for my savior Jesus Christ. I heard a story that really impressed me, but I do not have the time to write it up now, so I will send it in a letter this week.

I love you.


20 July 2009

We consider you as family through the gospel

Thank you for the birthday wishes and you uplifting thoughts. This week has been great. We were able to have 3 investigators at church and one of them is getting baptized on Saturday. His name is ***. He came to church after we contacted him on the street three weeks ago. He liked it and wanted to learn more, so we continued to go by him and teach him about the gospel. After the first two lessons or so he wanted to get baptized. The members are great in welcoming people to church. They made him feel right at home the very first Sunday that he came. The members here are a great example to me.

Yesterday was a great day for me. We were woken up by a phone call from Brother Ritfeld, who called to wish me a happy Birthday. I thought that was really nice of him. We went to church and people kept coming wishing me a happy birthday and all of that. One of the Ritfeld’s even wrote me poem. It was a beautiful poem. I wanted to type it up and send it to you, but I forgot the poem at home, so it will have to come next week. After church we had choir practice and we sang a few nice pieces. When we were done the choir surprised me with a few Surinamese birthday songs. It sounded great! I love the local birthday songs. You should have been there to see it.

We were invited over to the Ritfeld family for dinner, which was a lot of fun. On our way there it started to rain like crazy. We got soaked. When we got there we were so wet and my shoes were filled with water. Sister Ritfeld had prepared an amazing meal for us. They are such a great family. They really take good care of us as missionaries. Brother Ritfeld said something that really touched me yesterday. He said, "If you were at home, you would be celebrating your birthday with your family. Because you are here on mission and you are far away from home we wanted to celebrate you birthday with you, because we consider you as family through the gospel. Through the Gospel we have become family." I would really want you to meet them. They are an amazing family. They then sang a bunch of birthday songs and one other song (I cannot remember the title of the other song right now) for me. When you come to pick me up, we will need to go visit them. They are preparing to go to the temple and it seems like they are doing everything to reach their goal.



19 July 2009

Happy Birthday Elder Vernes

This young man was born on 19 July, 21 years ago. It was a day full of joy when we held him in our arms. During those 21 years, he surely enriched our life. We miss him dearly, but we know that he loves serving the people in the West Indies Mission and testify of Christ and the restored gospel.
Happy Birthday Son!

07 July 2009

I am now a sort of "old missionary"

I cannot believe that I am now a sort of "old missionary". This last year has flown by so fast, and I have seen so many amazing things. If time keeps on speeding up like this, I will be coming home soon. Time really flies. I have loved every moment of my mission so far. I have learned what it means to apply the atonement in my life. I have felt the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I have gained a stronger testimony of the reality of the Living Christ through the scriptures and through prayer. I have seen the power of the priesthood, and I have learned what it means to hold the priesthood. I would not trade all of this for anything. I feel that I have grown so much in the gospel. There is still so much to learn, which is why I look forward to serving my Savior a further year as one of his missionaries here in the West Indies.

This week was amazing! We were able to have a baptism and a confirmation, we had two people in church, and we found some sweet investigators (those where the two people at church). The person that got baptized is *****. He is a man of about 50 years of age and works as a security guard. He lives in the house of one of our members that is just amazing at teaching people about the Gospel. She tells everyone that comes to her house to change their lives and come to church with her, and people do! I like to think of it that she was able to get 4 people baptized! It's just amazing how strong she is.

The other amazing part of the story is that when ***** was going to get interviewed for baptism, one of sister Dollart's (the person he lives with they are roommates) friends was also there. We ended up talking to her and inviting her to church. She came!!! She even gave a testimony. She told the branch how she likes this church and how she wants to change her life and follow Christ. She stood there for 10 min. bearing testimony. It was one of the best Sundays on my mission.

The other person that came to church was a man that I approached on the street the night before. I did not think anything of it as I was talking to him. He did not seem very interested in anything I had to say. But then he shows up 10 min early for the meeting and he sits there sucking in every word that is spoken. He now wants to come again.

We have been really blessed this last week. I am grateful for all of these blessings. I know that blessings come when we work and rely on the Lord.

Mom and Dad, I am really grateful for your support and the love that you show me and always have shown me. I am grateful for your testimonies that and I could always rely on you. You two were always steadfast in the faith and I am thankful for that. I love you both.

I love all of you. Thanks again for your emails.