28 September 2009

This blog posting is in Dutch

Ik zal proberen om deze email in het Nederlands te schrijven. Ik schrijf iedere avond in mijn dagboek en dat doe ik dus in het Nederlands. Door hier in Suriname te zijn is mijn Nederlands veel beter geworden.

Bedankt voor de emails die jullie hebben geschreven. Het is altijd geweldig van jullie te horen. Ik ben blij dat het goed gaat. Deze week was niet zo geweldig. We hadden gehoopt dat wij zaterdag een doopdienst zouden hebben, maar dat is dus niet door gegaan. Een jonge dame van 17 jaar wilde heel graag gedoopt worden, maar er zijn zo veel dingen er tussen gekomen, dat ze uiteindelijk niet gedoopt is. Wij hopen dat ze komende week gedoopt kan worden. Zij heeft echt een sterk getuigenis en weet gewoon dat de kerk waar is. Wij proberen alles te doen om haar wens in vervulling te laten gaan.

Voor de komende week hebben wij ook nog een andere persoon, die gedoopt kan worden en gedoopt zal worden. Ze heet zuster Williams. Ze onderzoekt de kerk nu al 4 weken. Wij hebben haar gevraagd ofdat ze op 3 Oktober gedoopt wil worden en ze zei eerst "nee". Toen wij zaterdag terug kwamen zei zij dat zij had gebeden en dat ze voelde dat het toch een goede stap was omdat zich te laten dopen. Ze zal een geweldig lid van de kerk worden. Op 3 Oktober wordt zei dus om vier uur gedoopt. Dat is tussen de sessies van algemene conferentie.

Ik ben blij dat het weer tijd is om naar algemene conferentie te gaan. Ik vind het altijd een goede ervaring. Hier op zending heb ik het gevoel dat ik zo veel meer leer dan dat ik voor mijn zending deed. Wij zullen een paar onderzoekers bij de sessies hebben en ik weet dat zij zullen weten dat deze kerk waar is zodra zij de profeet horen spreken.

Ik kan niet geloven dat ik nu nog maar negen manden op zending heb en dat de tijd zo snel is voorbij gegaan. Er zijn nog zo veel dingen die ik op zending wil leren. Ik heb de laatste paar weken het onderwerp naastenliefde en geduld gestudeerd. Ik heb zo veel door de schriften kunnen leren over die twee onderwerpen. Ik heb gezien dat ik echt een beter mens ben geworden door deze onderwerpen te studeren en om te zetten. Ik probeer ze echt beter te ontwikkelen. Ik heb het gevoel dat ik door gebed een studie echt vooruitgang aan het maken ben. Ik ben heel dankbaar dat jullie als ouders mij zo ondersteunen en dat jullie als familie zo voor mij bidden. Ik hou echt veel van jullie en ik ben dankbaar dat ik jullie als familie mag hebben.

Dat was het weer van mij. Ik hou van jullie en ik bid iedere dag voor jullie.



P.S. Was mijn nederlands goed? :D

21 September 2009

From St. Maarten to St. Kitts, Antiqua, St. Lucia, Trinidad and finaly Suriname.

My flight back to Suriname was quite the adventure. I flew from St. Maarten to St. Kitts and on to Antigua where I had a two hour lay-over. From Antigua the plane flew to St Lucia and then to Trinidad. When I arrived in Trinidad, the lady at the customs counter would not let me in the country. The couple had not given me any contact information of anyone in Trinidad, so I did not know who was coming to pick me up and who I was staying with. That information needs to be put on the entrance form, but I left it blank because I did not know what to do.

When I got to the immigrations counter the lady sitting there would not let me in. I told her that I did not intend to stay, but that I needed a visa to get to Suriname. I showed her the ticket and all of the information and that I was on my way to Suriname, but she would not let me in. She was quite rude, and sent me off back to the arrival hall. I had to wait there until she called me, which she didn't.

As if someone knew I was going to be in trouble, my very first companion, Elder Moala, who was going home and on his way to the mission home walked right past me in the arrival hall. I stopped him and asked him for the information that I needed and I was able to get in. It was great to see him. He should be home by now.

After one day in Trinidad, I was sent to Suriname at 9.30 pm. We arrived in Suriname after midnight. It was a long trip. I saw some members from the other area and they were so happy to see me and so was I. They were proud to report that the choir that we had started was still going well and that they had sung for District Conference. It is great to be back. I will be serving in Paramaribo South, which is close to my old area.

My new companion Elder Roepers is great. He has been on his mission for one transfer, and he is really motivated to work hard and to do his best. We should be having 2 baptisms on Saturday and a few more in the coming weeks. We have been teaching some great people that are ready to accept the gospel and get baptized.

Love, Jeff

19 September 2009

Come to Jesus

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is beautiful. If you ever wonder what those missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are teaching, please take the time and listen to their message. It will change your life for good. These missionaries are witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ and they invite all to come unto Him. Our son is currently serving in Suriname as a missionary. As parents we pray each day for his safety and that many people will listen to this glad message.

15 September 2009

Here I come again....

We had Zone Conference this last week. We had to fly off Island and go to Guadeloupe. It is a really nice island. It is part of France and because of that it looks a lot like France. The people only spoke French and they have a hard time understanding English, so we were not able to communicate too well with the people. Zone Conference was quite good. It was in French, but we had translation. However, I was able to understand quite a bit of what was being said.

At the end of Zone Conference President Gamiette told us about transfers. I found out that I will be going back to Paramaribo in Suriname. I will be serving with an elder named Elder Roepers from Holland. He has been on his mission for 6 weeks and I will be his second companion in the field. I have only met him briefly when I left for St. Maarten. As always it is hard to leave, and there are sort of mixed feelings. I hoped that I would be able to spend a little more time here, but I guess I am needed in Suriname. As far as I know I will be leaving on Wednesday.

Thank you for the package you sent to Trinidad. I was able to get it on Saturday. Thanks for that DVD. It really is a great documentary about President Monson. I enjoyed watching it.

This week we were not able to work in our area much, due to the fact that we were off island for a few days. We were able to have two investigators at Church on Sunday and the missionaries should be able to baptize them this coming transfer. I am in a way quite excited to see what my new area is like. I hope we will be able to help people get baptized.

We were not able to baptize anyone this transfer, but we did see success. We were able to help less active members of the church come back to church and help them stay. There is still a lot of work to be done in this area, but I am sure the missionaries that are coming will do a good job.

Well, I am about ready to get going. I still need to pack a few last things, but other than that I am ready to leave tomorrow or Wednesday, or as soon as I get a visa.

I love you all.

07 September 2009

Then you're Caribbean!

This week was fine and we had some success, even though we will not be able to baptize during this transfer since the transfer is coming to an end and we do not have any baptism dates because people are not ready to commit. I know that missionary work is not only about baptisms, but it is also very rewarding to serve the people. I love this work.

The people in St Maarten are really nice people. I enjoy working with the members and they feed us well. :D People are always excited when I tell them that my dad is Dutch and my mother is from Aruba. They always say, "OH! Then you're Caribbean!"

I will have to keep this email short this week.

Love, Jeff

05 September 2009

The fence or the ambulance

The Fence or The Ambulance
by Joseph Malines - 1936

‘Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant:
But over its terrible edge there had slipped
A duke and many a peasant;
So the people said something would have to be done.
But their projects did not at all tally:
Some said, "Put a fence around the edge of the cliff"
Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day.
For it spread to the neighboring city:
A fence may be useful or not, it is true,
But each heart became brimful of pity
For those who had slipped o’er that dangerous cliff,
And the dwellers in highway and alley
Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence,
But an ambulance down in the valley.

"For the cliff is alright if your careful," they said,
"and if folks even slip or are dropping,
it isn't the slipping that hurts them so much
as the shock down below-when they're stopping,"
So day after day when these mishaps occurred,
Quick forth would the rescuers sally
To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
With their ambulance down in the valley.

Then an old man remarked, "it's a marvel to me
that people give far more attention
to repairing results than to stopping the cause,
when they'd much better aim at prevention.
Let us stop at its source all this mischief, cried he.
"Come neighbors and freinds, let us rally :
If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
with the ambulance down in the valley."

"Oh, he's a fanatic." the others rejoined:
"dispense with the ambulance Never!
He'd dispense with all charities, too, if he could:
no, no! We'll support them forever.
Aren't we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?
And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?
Why would people of sense stop to put up a fence?
While their ambulance works in the valley?"

But a sensible few who are practical too,
Will not bear with such nonsense much longer
They believe that prevention is better than cure
And their party will soon be the stronger
Encourage them, then with your purse, voice and pen
And (while other philanthropists dally)
They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence
On the cliff that hangs over the valley.

Our life is full of choices and it is not always easy to make the right choice, when the wrong choice seems to be so much easier to take and at times it might even be more attractive or easier. The easy road will take us nowhere. God gave us commandments and the Holy Ghost to stay on the right path. He warns us for danger and He will bless us when we make the right choice. If we make the right choice, we experience true happiness. Stay away from the edge of the dangerous cliff. Someone daid; "It is easier to prepare and to prevent, than to repair and repent."

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom shared the following words in a talk.

"Many of us want the simple way—the process that will not require serious work and sacrifice. Well, I once thought I found it. Driving in the back of a verdant valley above the city of Honolulu, I looked up, and there it was—Easy Street! As I was dreaming of the life-changing benefits of my discovery, I took out my camera to record the blissful moment. As I looked through the viewfinder, however, my focus literally and figuratively became clear. A large yellow sign returned me to reality—Easy Street was a dead end!

Procrastination may seem the easy way, as it momentarily removes the effort required to accomplish something of value. Ironically, in time, procrastination produces a heavy burden laced with guilt and a hollow lack of satisfaction. Temporal and, even more importantly, spiritual goals will not be achieved by procrastination."

I pray that each of us will notr slip from dangerous cliffs, but if you have slipped there is a way back that will lead you to safe ground. Jesus Christ atoned and died for all mankind and if we trust in Him and accept Him as our savior, keep His commandment, we will experience true happiness.

I invite all those that read this message to take the time and listen to our missionaries of the Chrurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it will change your life.

-- A Missionary Dad --

Ps. we did not receive a message from our missionary son this week.