Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 25, 2016 Family baptism!!!!!

Hallo hallo iederien! Het heeft een andere gekke maar geweldig week in Uitkijk zijn!!! Daar is veel dat gaat hier in Uitkijk!! It's been another crazy week, and we were able to have the Roneradjo's baptized this week as well. It's been crazy but awesome! Transfer calls were this last week. I finally managed to stay in the same country for another transfer haha. But I get another companion. Elder Dibb is leaving for Kosabaholo in Temmega branch. Elder Dibb has been a great companion. He's taught me so much. We'll definitely miss him in Uitkijk.
To start the week off, on Monday evening I got a tooth problem that I had to go see the dentist about. Aparently I'm the first missionary to have dental problems here in Suriname because the church has no dentists on record here haha. Tuesday we went to the doctor the missionaries use here first thing in the morning who then referred us to a very good dentist. I was able to get my mouth operated on which is always fun (not really :/). It was crazy because his office is in the city. We spent 2 hours trying to get to his office. We eventually found out that the numbers for the buildings' addresses on this street restart from when the street goes from a 2 way street to a 1 way street. Ugh! It was a pain. But we made it to the dentist eventually and I was able to get in right away which is a miracle in it of itself. We weren't able to proselyte because of the dentist craziness that day. Great way to start off you're week right?
We have not been able to meet with M this last week. M is currently in Niewe Nickerie which is about a 3 hour drive from Uitkijk. We will be trying to meet with her this week. She's been really enthusiastic in her Book of Mormon reading.
We were able to hold the R's baptismal service this week! It was absolutely the coolest thing I have witnessed on my mission. We held the service itself on Saturday and tones of people came. Almost all of the missionaries in Suriname went to it and we were able to get a handful of members from Uitkijk there as well. The spirit during the entire service was so strong! I was able to play piano for the service which is always fun. President Schipper, the Uitkijk branch president, baptized the family. It's a mission policy to have a member baptize converts when possible, which I think is great. It really helps with retention of the new converts. Hearing their testimonies was the coolest thing ever! The spirit was specifically very strong then, and you could see how the gospel has just absolutely helped strengthen this family, it is soooo cool!!!
Sunday we were able to confirm the family. Church started 10 minutes late (like it usually does), and then after intros we were able to confirm them. Confirming all 5 of them took a good 25 minutes. So by the time we sang the sacrament hymn it was like 10:40 haha. We then held Sondagschool or Evangeliebeginselins class and Priesthood and Auxiliary classes after. We stayed after church for another hour and half to digitize the baptismal records. So by the time we had lunch (which was more like dinner at that point), we were only able to go see the R's family. It was sad because Elder Dibb had to say his goodbyes. He's worked with that family for 6 months. It was really cool to baptize the family for the perfect ending of a transfer though. It'll be really exciting to work with the family now since they're then only members in the area. They're really excited to start building up the church in the area which is very exciting.
Other then that this week's been pretty chill haha. I was listening to a conference talk by Elder Ballard where he actually talks about opening up Trinidad & Togabo, Guyana, French Guyana, and Suriname to missionary work. That was about 25 years ago. So arguably, this area has the youngest church presence in the western hemisphere in the entire world which is crazy to think about. The church is definitely very young. I was thinking about how isolated from 'mainstream' LDS church the members here are. But then something popped up in my mind from this conference talk. Elder Ballard talks about through small and simple things the Lord brings about miracles (Alma 37:6-7), and that how we 'feel' the gospel is a universal thing. A new convert in Suriname 'feels' the gospel the same way as a member does that grew up in Utah. I've really come to learn that (besides the temple), I have never felt closer to God than by preaching the gospel in the small town of Uitkijk in the small country of Suriname. Yet the members here are a 3-4 hours plane ride to the nearest temple, THE GOSPEL IS STILL THE SAME!!! It's absolutely beautiful how the gospel has been set up, and for that I am grateful.
Thank you all for all of your support! I am absolutely loving being a missionary here. I'll be back next week with more to come!
Ik hou van jullie!!!
Elder Hunt
So excited for this Family!

Normal Suriname dinner,,,, fried rice and Dutch cookie

January 18,2016

Hallo Hallo iedereen! It's been another great week in Uitkijk. Definitely a bit of a struggle this week but we still have awesome stuff going on this week.
I led out the area again, this time with Elder Bowen. We had a fun day in Groningen being able to see a couple of less actives, visited President Schipper, and then went by M and the R's. We had a great lesson with Melissa. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ that lesson. We then challenged her to a baptismal date and she accepted! She also agreed to come to church this Sunday. That was my first baptismal invitation that I'd ever given in Dutch. It was a bit rough but she got the idea.The R's are absolutely awesome (as usual ;) ). We have had a couple of lesson with them this week and they're doing great! Sunday attendance this week was a bit rough. There was a power outage just hours before church started so not too many people came. Neither M or the R's came this week which was disappointing. BUT, when we went by the R's Sunday night, they said that they got ready for church (they even got up at 7 to go), but weren't able to because they needed gas in their car and with the power outage they weren't able to pump gas into their car. They did make the effort to go to church though. Their baptismal service is scheduled for this Saturday. We can still technically baptize them according to mission standards. Elder Dibb and I are a bit hesitant but we think we'll continue with their baptism this Saturday. They are so ready for baptism, and so excited for membership in the church. We'll keep you posted.
Not too much has been going on other then that. A lot of lessons have been falling through this week. We didn't get nearly as many as what we've normally been getting. We have been doing a lot more of contacting this week. We were able to get a good number of contacts, nothing too promising from what we've been finding. But we keep going at it, finding those that the Lord would have us teach. Dutch is coming pretty good though. I feel like I can speak basic Dutch. I can understand a good amount too (but at the same time it depends on who's talking haha).

A great lesson I've come to learn this week is to always have gratitude in our hearts, no matter our circumstances
. Being able to have gratitude for what we've been given makes it soooo much easier to have charity for others. I've really found that it is so much more easy to have charity for others when we're focused on the blessings we've been given. We're generally more happy and we're able to help others more. As Moroni 7 says, charity never faileth. What an awesome scripture!!
I am absolutely loving being a missionary here. All our difficulties that we have are swallowed up in our joy in Christ and the gospel. Thanks again!
Ik hou van jullie!!!
Elder Hunt

Dutch Beach cruiser 

Hindi donut



Jan 11... pictures

 Synagogue and Mosgue right by each other. Only place in the world that these 2 are together

downtown Paramaribo

scripture case


not the easiest way to cut a tree down

With Elder Dibbs

local Church building

Dutch Bikes... little hard to fix

water in Groningen

Monday, January 25, 2016

January 11, 2016

Hallo iederien!! Het was een andere geweldig week in Uitkijk geweest! It's definately an exciting time to be a missionary in Uitkijk with lots of awesome things going on.
Wednesday I was on a trade off in Koerasan (the branch just east of Uitkijk) with Elder Prosman. Prosman is another missionary from the Netherlands. . We did a ton of service that day. I was able to use een hower (machete) a bunch. We cleared off some vines and plants off of a building, taught a few lessons, and then went to another member's house to cut down some trees (yes using a machete). I did get pictures I'll send them after.
This week we were able to go to an area called Calcutta. It's an hour's drive west of Uitkijk, past Groningen and Tigercreek. As far as we know, me and Elder Dibb are the first missionaries to go as far out as Calcutta, which was a cool feeling. We had received from referrals out there and so me and Elder Dibb were able to make it out there with Broeder Bakker, a recent convert here. Our first appointment was a referral given to us from the RS President in Paramaribo. He showed us around his orchard that he has, gave us a tone of fruit, had some roti (there was a lot), and then had a lesson with them. Our second appointment had dinner with roti for us as well. That was very nice of them to do. I felt sick from how much food they gave us on the car ride back haha. They were very friendly, don't know how serious about the Book of Mormon they are, but it was cool. Quite the adventure being the first missionaries there.
We did a lot of service this week. We crushed up some charcoal for Gerde, one of the members here. It turns into some powder used in pot making. I got some fun blisters from it. That same day we also went to the church and cleaned up the front of the church. The church looks a lot more presentable. I have before and after pictures that I'll send.
In terms of investigators we have some awesome stuff going on. The R family are absolutely on fire right now!! They came to church again last week, which was awesome to see all 8 of them there! I won't go into detail but the R family have been going through some struggles. And instead of putting the gospel off, they're doing the exact opposite. They're having family scripture study as well as family prayers everyday which is awesome. The last appointment we had with them, Zuster R  said "Het macht niet uit, wij gaan naar de kerk!" (no matter what, we're going to church!). It is absolutely awesome to see the blessings of the gospel blossom in this family. They just need to come to church one more week and they'll be set for baptism.
We haven't been able to meet with "M" this week. She lives in Groningen area and has been really busy with work so it's hard to meet with her since we only go to Groningen on certain days. We are also Zondag, also in Groningen area. He has had some struggles with the Word of Wisdom and now wants to meet with the missionaries so he can over come these problems he's been having. We have taught him a couple of times. In our last appointment we taught him the Restoration. In that appointment he said "Ik wil meer van dit in mijn leven." (I want more of this [happiness] in my life). He's been reading the Book of Mormon and is very much so interested in learning more.
Other then that it's been a good-old, exhausting week this week. We biked a good 120 miles this week with some fun service like smashing charcoal and chopping down trees with howers. It's an awesome time though! I absolutely love it out here. It's awesome to see the miracles and blessings and power the gospel brings not only in the lives of our investigators, but also in our lives as missionaries. It's really cool to see.
Thank you all again!
Ik hou van jullie!!!
Elder Hunt
The Calcutta.. one hour drive from where they live