Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Wij hadden een echt geweldig week deze laaste week! We had another great week so full of miracles! It's so awesome to witness this all happening. The best part is that there's still more to come! I'm very excited to see what will happen.
The dilemma we had been dealing with was that we were worried that our investigator pool was shrinking too much. Me and Elder Lewis had been talking about it and we came up with a few ideas to get things back up to full operation again. The first was that we felt like we needed to fast every week. It was cool because our zone decided that once a week we were going to fast (together as a zone) to find new investigators as well. Me and Elder Lewis fasted for that, and specifically that we'd be able to contact someone and have a sit down lesson with them there. We broke our fast on Tuesday and the very next day we did just that! We were able to contact this one man, and he invited us in for a lesson, Turns out he was a past investigator, but now wants to start meeting with the missionaries again! That was so cool to see that happen.
Another thing me and Elder Lewis felt like we needed to start doing was only speaking Dutch outside our apartment. We're still working on it but it's been helping us a lot. Not only helping us recognize what Dutch we need to learn, but it's also helped us stay a lot more focused as we work.
We've had some days this week where we had like 7 lessons lined up in one day and all but two of them would fall through. This was good though because we were able to meet and contact some really cool people. The Lord was honestly helping us find people that he had been preparing. This week we were able to hit our new investigator goal and were able to go over our contacted people goal! We've been able to meet some really cool people, have some really good lessons, and we're still meeting people which is awesome! I'm very excited to see how it all plays out.
Colif is absolutely on fire right now!!! He keeps reading the Book of Mormon and he came to church his 4th time in a row this last week. You can see the gospel just absolutely changing him which is awesome! He gave his testimony in Gospel Principles class of how the Elders found him and how the Book of Mormon has been changing his life. The members here are very good at fellow-shipping him and making him feel welcome at church. We were worried that he didn't really have a testimony of the Restoration, so we invited him to read Moroni 10 again and then to pray. He did just that and it happened as we wanted it to happen. In our last lesson with him he said "Ik voel als ik aan een andere wereld zijn! Ik ben op de juiste path want het Boek van Mormon heeft mijn leven geverandert." (I feel as though I'm in another world. I'm on the right path because the Book of Mormon has changed my life). We've been able to set a baptismal date for April 16th, and he is planning on coming to another baptism happening this Saturday to see what it is like. It's really exciting to see him change!
We've been able to see some awesome miracles this last week. We've felt like it's been through our fasting and commitment to speaking only Dutch that's helped us stay focused and in tune with the spirit.It truly is a privilege to be able to be a part of all of this. The Book of Mormon really does change lives. It can change us more if we allow it. There's always something more that we can learn from that book. I'm so grateful for this chance that I have to be out here in the most random mission call you can get on the planet! My Dutch is coming and we've been able to have some awesome lessons this last week with hopefully more to come. Thank you all for all of your support!
Ik hou van jullie!!!
Elder Hunt

His new Pet

Downtown Parabaribo

Dutch Store in downtown

March 14,2016

Hallo iedereen!! Dit week voel me een beetje anders. De stad is heelemaal verschillent dan de stad maar ik hou er van!!
I absolutely LOVE it here in my new area. The city of Paramaribo is soooo different from the jungle of Uitkijk. My new companion is Elder L, and he's from Mesa, AZ! (Yes we talk about Arizona A LOT). Random fact: Elder L favorite pizza buffet was in my area in Mesa haha. He's only been out on his mission a transfer longer than I have been, but he's been in Suriname 3 transfers longer than I have, so his Dutch is much better than mine.

Our possession is a little interesting in the city. We cover two different areas of the city; Munder en Gijersflijt (G-'i'-ersfl-'i'-t), which are a 30 minute's bike ride away from each other. Our apartment is SO nice! We pretty much live in a penthouse in suburb Paramaribo. We live on the second floor of a member's house, Zuster Maarlene. Zuster Maarlene LOVES the missionaries! She gives us food every time she sees us, and makes us dinner at least 2 to 3 times a week.
The Paramaribo branch is the largest branch in Suriname, with about 90 people that come every week. It's weird, since there's 8 missionaries that serve in this branch. I've never been in a branch like that, but it's really nice. It's really exciting for us as missionaries right now. In order for a branch to receive it's own church building (one built by the church), the branch needs to have an average of 100 people coming to church every week for 6 months. So that's our goal right now as missionaries is to get church attendance up and over 100 people in attendance so the branch can get it's own church building! The cool thing is the church started a new group in the area of Commowijne which took about 15 active members away from Paramaribo branch. At that point the branch was still at 90 people a week. But now, even with the new group, we're hitting 90's. It shows that the branch keeps growing and we'll hit 100 people in no time!
I'm still getting acquainted with our area, but we have some really cool things in the works right now. One of our most progressing investigators right now is a guy named Colif. He's been coming to church for the past month which is awesome! He's been reading in the Book of Mormon and absolutely loves it at church! He's one fire right now! He does love to talk when we go over there to visit him which makes it a bit difficult to get through the lessons, but we keep on going! We're wanting to set a baptismal date for mid April for him. We'll see what happens.
There are so many awesome people here in Munder/Gijerslijt! They are absolutely awesome and have such cool testimonies. It really is a privilege to be able to be out here, teaching these people. They have such a strong desire to do what's right, which is to follow Christ and His gospel. We have been promised that if we build on the gospel of Jesus Christ, we cannot fall. Het is op de rots van onze verlosser, dat wij moeten bouwen! I'm so grateful for the chance that I have to be out here, serving a mission! Suriname has to be one of the most random and unique places you can get called to, teaching Christians, Hindus, Muslims (all in Dutch), and in the Caribbean too! It's crazy but soo cool.
Have a great week!
Ik hou van jullie!!!

Pet Macau that Steve and Jolanda have

resort area in Suriname

Missionaries favorite spot to play volleyball

Steve and Jolanda with Elder Hunt

new name tags, others have the letters getting worn off
sun bleached pants.. they used to be grey

Saying goodbye Roneradjo Family

Last sunsets in the Jungle

answering questions 3/14/2016

Part of a letter written to him " I hope you are safe and are able to teach families even with those baboons in the jungle with you. I was wondering if you like to play volleyball? I also would like to ask do you  have a branch, a ward or just a stake? Also have you ever seen a boy or girl up in a high tree before? Is their a McDonald's in your mission?  Do you play the piano every week at church? What is your favorite food their? What is your favorite restaurant ? Do you like the people? Have you seen a anaconda in the road? 
 It's great to hear from you!! Yes I'm loving it out here. The city is sooooooooooooooooooo much different from the jungle of Uitkijk.
Yes I love playing volleyball!! There's a place here in the city that all the missionaries play at! One of my goals of the mission is to play beach volleyball in Aruba before the end of my mission haha!
All of the church units here are branches. They're just small wards is all. Instead of having stakes we have districts, which is a smaller stake :)
Yes you see people in the trees all the time, most of the time getting fruit... at least in Uitkijk.
Yes there's 3 McDonalds just in Suriname. In my new area there's a subway, I haven't been to any of them.
Yes I play piano every week at church :)
My favorite food is ROTI!!! I found my love for Roti in Guyana. It's the best stuff ever!
I haven't eaten at any restaurants here... yet There's tones of them in the city.
I have never seen an anaconda. But I have seen boas.
I LOVE the people here! The people are so diverse but they are very tolerant and love learning about different cultures. Suriname is a cool mixture of so many different cultures.
Brother Bakker

Elder Hunt loves his chocolate..

March 7, 2016 I got my transfer call and I'm headed to the city!!! I'm headed to Paramaribo!

Hallo iedereen!! Het heeft een andere geke week maar het was echt prachtig!
It has been a great week this week. The weather's been quite hot. There's two seasons in Suriname, more likely to rain season and less likely to rain season. Right now it's a more less likely to rain season. We got transfer calls this week and I'm headed to the city. I'm headed to Paramaribo Branch! It's honestly caught me off guard quite a bit. I thought I'd have another  transfer or two in Uitkijk. I've been saying good bye to everyone here. It's been sad but I know it's what the Lord wants.
We had a pretty good week. We haven't been able to meet with our investigators quite as much but we've still been getting around. J is doing great! We've been teaching her the Plan of Salvation which has helped her a lot. The Plan of Salvation answers a lot of questions that investigators will have for us. We specifically had a really good lesson where we ended with the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The spirit was really strong.
We have also been teaching M and J the Plan of Salvation. It's helped them a lot, giving reason to read in the Book of Mormon. We haven't gotten dates for them yet but they're are in the process of getting one.
We weren't able to meet with M as much this week. We had a really fun lesson teaching her the 10 commandments. We'll be having the R's come with us to go visit her which will hopefully excite her more, and make her want to come to church.
S and J fed us dinner again for fast Sunday which was really nice. We had roti which is one of my favorites. Jolanda is very excited for her baptismal date. She's been reading the Book of Mormon like crazy and coming to church!

I have come to love this small little town of Uitkijk so much. It'll be really hard to leave. I've learned so much here, and the members have been so welcoming. It'll be sad to leave the Ronoredjo family. My time here seems short but I'm excited to go to Paramaribo as well.
Thank  you all for your prayers and know that I pray for you all as well. I'll be back next week with more about my new area!
Ik hou van jullie!!!
Elder Hunt