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.