Well, this week was one of the longer weeks of my mission. It was fun, but man it feels like it has been forever since I’ve emailed! I gave a talk in church yesterday. I talked about the time we went to the cabin right before I went on my mission and we played in the mud in the river. I talked about how I sunk so deep that I couldn’t get out. I then related it to the Atonement. The things of the world look fun and adventurous, but then you find yourself stuck and feeling dirty. I then talked about how my older brother pulled me out, and that Jesus Christ, our older brother, is the only one who can pull us out. I thought it went pretty well. All I had was an outline written in English, and I gave it in Dutch without a problem. I definitely am not perfect at Dutch, but I can express myself well with it. I think I am finally getting a hold of it! Woohoo!
This week I want to talk a little about the investigators I am teaching right now. First there is Chandenie. I still am not sure what is going on with her, but I got advice from President Egbert to go back to the basics. He said that she can grow more through reading the Book of Mormon than she can through any other commitment we give her. We are really focusing on her need to read everyday, and I think it is starting to pay off.
We are also teaching a 16 year old named Clariesse. She lives at this schoolish thing that doesn’t allow missionaries to come by since it is a religious school. She has cousins who are members that she visits some times, and so whenever she is there we get to teach her. It is difficult though, because her school also requires her to go to the church on campus, so she has a hard time making it to our church. She loves the gospel! She reads and marks her scriptures. She goes to all the activities she can, and she has a great friend base. There always has to be something in the way.
We teach Cheryl. I LOVE CHERYL. We connect really well. She is about 30ish and she has 3 kids. She also has a boyfriend who is a less active member, that is holding her back. She is going through a lot right now, but she is so strong! She had Zieka (A lot like dengue) and she still came to church! I am amazed with her. She is really good friends with the Abdoelhamids, so they are also a great strength for her. The problem is that she lives in the part of our area that we aren’t allowed to enter without a member, so it is hard to get appointments with her. She is so prepared!
Annuschka is another one. She is MARRIED! That never happens! She has 2 daughters, and she already goes to church every Sunday. Not our church, but at least she keeps the sabbath day holy! She is really cool! We taught her the Restoration, and I said something about how it was a lot of information sometimes to wrap your head around and she said “It’s not enough” then she invited us to come back. Ahh! I love her! We found her one day in the junglish part of our area when it was pouring rain. We biked past her house, but then Sister Walsh and I both felt like we needed to go back (which is usually pretty awkward). I am so glad we went back!
I just looked at my list and realized that we don’t have any male investigators. Probably because they all fall in love with us. These are only a start of the people we teach. I love being a missionary. I have learned so much about my relationship with Christ. I realized how much I take for granted everyday. I have this knowledge! I come from a home where I had food everyday. I know I was meant to go to Suriname to have my eyes opened. Missions are the best. I am excited to see what this year has in store for me!
I love you all! It is great to hear about everything going on back home.
This weeks letter is probably going to be pretty short. I don’t know if Lex shared the puppy story with you all, but I want to tell it now. Last week Sister Christiansen and Parker found four puppies. Somehow Sister Walsh and I got pulled into all the action, and we became responsible for finding them homes. We found homes for 3 of them, but then we had lessons to go to and lots of craziness, so the puppy may have come home with us… I definitely got what I deserved though. I got absolutely no sleep because the dang puppy whined the whole night. We would be about to doze off and suddenly we realize the puppy is under the bed whining, or one time I felt him by my face. I wake up and I feel my arm start to get wet. The dang puppy pooped on me! I yelled and we turned on the lights and it looked like my arm exploded. It was nasty! We locked him in the bathroom after that and tried to ignore his crying. What a miserable night. We got rid of him as fast as possible. (His name is Ephraim BTW named after Ephraim’s Rescue). Anyways on Sunday Elder Hood called for nightly phone-call, and Sister Walsh said that something crazy happened while he and all the other zone leaders were in Trinidad for MLC. He asked what and she said “I’ll tell you after my mission.” Immediately he realized that something was up. he then called Sister Parker and she says that we had a crazy week. He asked why and she said that we saved 4 puppies. He put 2 and 2 together and realized that the thing Sister Walsh couldn’t tell him was that we had a puppy at our house. Eventually he got it out of me. Long story short I called the mission president and he laughed at me. His wife said “Hopefully this is the worst thing you ever have to confess to in your life.” Now everyone asks me how the puppy is doing. Haha that was a crazy week!
This was another pretty long week. For some reason our investigators go through fazes where none of them are available at the same time. We either have too many people to visit or none. There is no happy in between. On Friday we contacted the whole day. The second we went out the door to the second we went back inside. It was a long day. We met some really nice people. A ton of muslims that we aren’t allowed to teach. We had appointments and backups for that day, but they all fell through. I got a real nice tan from it though.
Sad news for us missionaries. Sister Christiansen leaves Suriname this week! Ahh! I am going to cry my eyes out. I love her to death. She has helped me through so many things. I know she was meant to be my companion because I needed her to lean on. I needed someone strong. Sometimes life just knocks you down, but she helped me to get back up. Suriname will never be the same without her. I did get a lot of clothes though. I think my wardrobe just tripled in size! Woohoo!
Well, that was my week. Lobs