17 February 2010

Who are the Mormons?

Very busy...

Thank you for your e-mails this week.My companion has been sick and I had a very busy week, running around. I would love to write everyone e-mails, but I just do not have the time to do that. We have 30 min to write a weekly report to our mission president and 30 min to write the family at home. I wanted to write letters, but I just do not find the time to do that on P-Days because there is always something to do. As Zone Leaders, we need to provide support to the other missionaries, and there are always Elders that need something and we often do not get home on our p-day until 5:30 or 6pm and then we need to start our missionary work again. I am grateful for alll the love and support I receive from my family and friends at home. You are great and I love you all.

Things are going really well. We have been having a lot of success. I will have to keep my message very short today. You are great and I love you all.

Love, Jeff

13 February 2010

Love One Another

We are accountable for our goals...

As you might have guessed, we had another great week. We were able to baptize 2 people and 3 new members were able to be ordained priests in the priesthood. Sacrament Meeting was amazing. We did not have as many people as last week, but the meeting was great anyway. With the confirmations and things like that the spirit was very strong.

Zone Conference was great as well. We were able to pick up everyone on time and get them to where they needed to be. President Gamiette is an amazing man. We had planned for him to do interviews with the missionaries on Wednesday. And we told him that we were going to pick him up at noon or so. When we got to the hotel he was not to be found. We asked the people at the front desk, but they did not know where he went and we went up to his room, but he was not there. We decided that we were going to walk around in the back of the hotel to see if we could find him by the pool or anywhere else. As we were walking around the garden area I saw what looked like President Gamiette in the gym. We walked in and he said, "Argh...I just needed 10 more min.", than he looked at his watch and said, "Alright, I'll come." He is in such good shape. He had decided to work out a little to relieve himself from some stress. And then he went and did some of the most spiritual interviews with the missionaries. He is a great man and wonderful leader! He works very hard and really loves the missionaries and members.

Our Zone Leader Council Meetings are done via LDS Meeting point. This will save a lot of time and money. It is quite a good program. Then once a quarter we have to go to Trinidad for more training and instructions.

I was very happy to learn about the goal for the Europe area to double our sacrament attendance by inviting less active people back to church and others to come unto Christ. I am sure if we as members do all we can, we will be able to reach that goal. I have been able to learn that on my mission. If we set a goal we are accountable for it and we need to report to the Lord. It will take every member's efforts.

Love, Jeff.

04 February 2010

I love it how the gospel can change lives...

Thank you for your e-mails and prayers. This week was amazing. We had 3 baptisms in our district two of which were from Elder Koenen and myself. We baptized a young man named Gilliano and a girl named Gail.

Gilliano is about 22 years old and is such a great person. We found him through a member who lives in one of my old areas in Suriname -Wanica. He is actually her boyfriend and just sat in on one of the lessons. During the first lesson we had with him he said that he had been coming to church for one year every Sunday. His family was against him joining the church and he could not get baptized and stopped coming because of problems at home. Now, he moved out and wanted to come back again. He said, "I want to join the church. I just do not know how." His girlfriend, Kim, was beaming. He has been living and keeping all the commandments. When he reads the Book of Mormon he studies everything until he gets it. He will spend 2 hours reading and read 10 verses because he reads and ponders until it clicks. He even wants to go on a mission and so does Kim. He asked Kim's father to baptize him.

Gail is about 10 years old and is one of the daughters of the Kromopawiro family. They have been less active for years and we were able to invite them back to church. They are now great and strong members. They bring investigators to church and introduce the gospel to their friends and those around them. They all have callings and are completely active again. They want to go to the temple and prepare for further covenants. They are an amazing family. They invited us over for dinner today to celebrate the baptism of Gail.

Elder Kempenaers, who is our district leader baptized Karina, a young lady of about 20 years old. She completely turned around her life. I was able to have a baptism interview with her and I was so amazed at the person that I saw in front of me that day. When I met her for the first time (more than a month ago) she did not want anything to do with the gospel. Now she finds so much strength and energy from reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church.

This week really strengthened to my testimony. I love the way the gospel changes lives and that I can be part of that as a missionary. It change good people to better people. Those that lost their way, will find it again. It changes grief and pain to joy and happiness.

Thank you for the pictures. I cannot believe that there is so much snow. It looks like it is really cold. I cannot imagine being in that cold. It is very hot here most of the time. Right now we are enjoying some light rain and cloud cover.

How far is Paramaribo from here?
I really miss you Jeff :-)

We are having zone conference on Tuesday. Things are going to be a little stressful for Elder Koenen and myself. We need to make sure we pick up everybody at the right time and bring them to where they need to be. President Gamiette will be flying in tonight and leaving on Wednesday.

Whitney, Happy birthday tomorrow. I cannot believe you're now 19 years old and that you're so grown up. I tell everybody that asks about my family that my sister is studying in England and you should see the faces of people. I am proud of what you have achieved. Continue to work hard and do your best. Have a great day tomorrow. Thanks again for your emails.

Love, Jeff