I never know how to start out these emails. This week was another goodie. Sister Baker and I are still having lots of fun together, and all of her bruises are starting to heal. No more crashes this week, so that is good!
A while ago I think I mentioned Stephen, our investigator in a letter. This week we had a lesson with him, and he goes “my wife told me that this is the last time we can meet together.” We have been teaching Stephen for a long time, and he is one of the most prepared people I have ever taught. He gets dressed to come to church, but his wife forbids him to come. Anyways, when he said this my jaw dropped. I was like, “Does that mean that we can’t come back?” Then he told us about how him and his wife got into a huge fight and in the end they decided that he would take lessons until I leave, and then he will make his decision between the church and her. Oh boy. We are just praying that his wife will have a change of heart so that he can have the best of both worlds. Stephen wants this gospel and it hurts to see the agency of someone else getting in his way. The right time will come. I almost started crying through that whole lesson. I love teaching Stephen!!
Yesterday we were contacting. We were in our contact area, and we contacted an entire street without any success. No one wanted to talk to us. As we were walking to our bikes to go to our appointment, we hear a woman yelling at us to come back, We walked over to her and she let us inside. She then started to explain that she is a very spiritual person, and that she has been praying and asking God for a miracle. She then said that when she sent us away she felt terrible. She had sent away God’s gift to her. She then started to pray that we would come back, and the second she opened her eyes there we were walking to go back to our bikes. She is super sweet. It was interesting though because I was teaching her Dutch. She speaks Sranen Tango, and somehow I was able to understand her. The gift of tongues is real. We are excited to visit her some more!
Also as we were contacting we talked to this woman who was from Nederland. I have been having Sister Baker lead out on teaching and contacting lately (and phone calls which are pretty entertaining). The woman said that she was in Suriname because her father had passed away, and she was here for his funeral. SIster Baker didn’t understand her, and said “Leuk!” I tried to cover up the fact that she had just told this woman it was cool that her father died by just saying sorry over and over again. It didn’t work, and we got sent away. I do not miss the days of not understanding people. Been there done that!
I love my area, I love my companion! Life is good!
I am going to start this email with a random fact about Suriname. They watch three things on tv. Soccer, World Wide Wrestling, and the presidential election. They eat it up. For the last couple of months people have been pulling up beside us as we are biking or walking to ask who we were going to vote for, and then after the election they all congratulated us. EVERY SINGLE PERSON we talk to says “should I congratulate you on your president?” I love how into it they are!
This week was interesting for sure. Just to give you a piece I will tell you about our lesson with an investigator named Wintano. He is 9, and a ball of energy. His mom was just reactivated, and now we are teaching her son! We got there, and he walks out in this tiny, tiny towel. We told him to put on some clothes for our lesson, and he told us that he was about to shower, so he didn’t want to make his clothes smell bad. (Peolple “shower” like 5 times a day here. They also never wear clothes) We sat down for our lesson, and I made the mistake of sitting across from him. Bad mistake. He just set the towel on his lap and would lift it up to his face pretty often. I think I have seen too much of Wintano! Trying to teach a naked person is very difficult!
Yesterday I had a special moment. In April they are planning to do a temple trip. Problem is that no one is signed up. I realized that no one even makes the effort to go because they know they cannot afford it. I have received a testimony of the temple patron fund since I have been here, that is for sure. The members don’t understand it though, and so I wanted to help spread the joy a bit. They had the flyer on the bulletin board that no one looks at, so I took it down and started to talk to people about it and show them what I meant. One in particular really stuck out to me. The Kabelis. I walked up to Br. Kabeli and told him about it, and he just looks up with this huge smile on his face and tears in his eyes and goes “I heard about that, but I didn’t know it was real!” I was like “It is real, and you and your wife CAN go to the temple.” The spirit in that moment was incredible. I talked to President Verway, and we decided that it would be good if we put a big focus on that next week in classes.
We have been teaching this less active named Zr. Ria, and she hasn’t been able to read because she lost her glasses and couldn’t afford a new pair. On Tuesday I told Zr. Egbert, and she pulled a pair of reading glasses out of her purse and told us to give them to her. The next day we headed over there, and she was so excited! She put them on and opened her Book of Mormon and just started readign away! She then looks up and goes “I can read!!!” She went inside and showed her family. I hope this helps her to progress in the gospel!
I guess you could say it was a good week. Especially because we had zone conference and interviews this week, and now this coming week a 70 is going on a mission tour, so we are having another zone conference on Friday! I will be bearing my dying testimony though, so I am not looking forward to that. Two zone conferences in two weeks. Sounds like my kind of life!
I had absolutely no idea that Hailey was going on a mission! That is so exciting! She made the best decision ever. I cannot express how thankful I am to have served these past few months. It will be hard. SO SO hard, but it is also hilarious. Read Preach My Gospel now. I wish that I would have known it better. I love ya!
Well, we got our last transfer calls, and I almost cried on Saturday. I actually did cry at the zone conference because I thought it was my last, and President Egbert walked up to me and told me that I got to go to one more! Woot woot!
I love you all!
Well, this week was incredible as always! We had zone conference. This is the life! Zone conference every week. President Gonzalez from the seventy and his wife were there. It was fun. They are a super cute couple. He would just rip out the role plays from everywhere! His wife would be so excited when he chose her to be the investigator. The only problem was that that was my last one, and I had to bear my dying testimony. Sister Ashcraft went first, and she got us all crying, and then I went up and I was a wreck. I love my mission, and I am so happy to be here. I couldn’t sing the closing song at all! We said goodbye to the Egberts and President and Sister Gonzalez, and Sister Egbert goes “Don’t worry! I will have the real chocolate milk ready for you in 4 weeks.” I had a little panic moment there.
We had some cool miracles! We were teaching the relief society president and she mentioned her son, and we go “Has he ever met with missionaries?” She says “No”. “Well, does he want to?” Her again “No”. Then he rides up on his motorcycle! We talked to him and set up an appointment. We went back last night with President Verway, and we had an amazing lesson. Everything that Regilio (the son) was saying highlighted the restoration perfectly. We also gave his mom a chance to share her testimony, and we asked him what he was feeling, and he goes “There is so much that I don’t know. If my mom said that this is true, it must be true.” He then talked about how he wants to come to church! We committed him to read and pray, and we are going back on Saturday. It just helped me to realize that we never know who will accept the gospel and who will not. Sister Straal was unaware of her own son being prepared! How many people around us do we just assume don’t want to listen when they actually do?
We also had the opportunity to see how God throws a grenade in your plans to help his plans fall into place. On Wednesday, the Elders called and told me that I needed to find some keys to the office at the church. When we got the call we were just sitting down to have a lesson with Zuster Yetty. We called around to get the keys while we waited for her to come outside, and we were told that we had to be at the church RIGHT NOW if we wanted them. We told Sister Yetty that we would be back, and biked away! We got to the church to find our branch president’s wife sitting at the church, and no one else was there. She teaches seminary, and no one had shown up. She was looking pretty down, The keys that we came to pick up ended up not fitting, but we knew that we were sent there to help her out. We had an awesome lesson, and by the end her spirits were much brighter! Funny thing. Sister Yetty lives with a member of the branch presidency, so we could have just stayed there to pick up the keys. We were where we needed to be though!
Well, I hope you all had a great week! I love you. Have a happy thanksgiving!
Well, well, well. This week was another goodie! We got to go to the senior couples house for Thanksgiving, so that was a bunch of fun. I forgot how much I love potatoes. Man those were good!
We had some very interesting experiences with contacting this week. They were definitely testimony builders for me. We klopt at this one house, and a man walks out in a blue speedo. At first we were having a nice friendly conversation about Christ, but then I mentioned prophets, and he started yelling at us for a long time. He was calling us frauds because we were going around and purposely confusing people. I tried to nicely end the conversation, and he started yelling at me and telling me that I was insincere. We both bore our testimonies and he twisted our words to make us sound like terrible people. I mean I have had experiences like that before, but for some reason this one hit me different. When he finally let us leave he walked inside and slammed the door, and I broke down. We ended up going home real quick to pray to forgive him and to find the elect. Which we did! Moments like that remind me of why I am here. I would not be here in Suriname if I did not know that this church is true. Especially not for 18 months! Good news is we became super determined and we found a ton of new investigators after that. After the trial comes the blessings! Also, on our way here he pulled up next to us and told us God bless. Maybe he read the pamphlet that we left.
Wintano got baptized! It was a beautiful baptism. His mom was reactivated about a month ago, and since then we have had the opportunity of teaching him. He got confirmed, and then about ten minutes later he gave his first talk since it was the primary program. Little man is growing up!
Awkward moment though. One of the investigators that we dropped a few weeks ago showed up to the baptism thinking he was getting baptized. We had a very clear drop lesson, so I don’t know how that happened! He just sat in the back the whole time punching himself in the face because he was so bored. Yep, still not ready for baptism.
Random news that I got on Friday. We were doing Sister Bakers last day of training, and all the sudden we hear the ringtone for President Egbert go off. We pick up the phone, and he tells us about Sister Parker and Sister Vernes coming back to Suriname! They are back! We thought we were going to be in trios for the last few weeks of the transfer, but they got an apartment. Also, he told me that I am flying to Trinidad this Friday for MLC. That was a little unexpected. I only have 3 weeks left, and I am flying to Trinidad twice. Just let me be in Suriname!
So yeah, that is the news from me! I hope you all get to start out December great!