Hey everyone! Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and for your love. You all are amazing and I do appreciate all of the love and support that you send my way. Don't know what I would do without you all! Thank you for everything since it really did brighten my way!
We had a pretty good week but yet again I wasn't in the area very much! Monday we did some service for a lot of the days and stamped ash down for a member and sifted it so that she could make pottery out of it. Pretty sweet and my hands were stained black for like the next 4 days! Tuesday I worked with Elder Jennings in his area and attended Elder Hunt's district meeting which was awesome! That night we had a coordination meeting with the North Zone Zone Leaders and with President Verwey to plan for a contacting activity on December 24th so that also went pretty well. Wednesday I picked up my Surinamese drivers license so I am legal to drive now in Suriname! Watch out everyone! Thursday was my birthday and Elder Lunceford made me a cake which was super good! I also got my package with everyone's letters which was so wonderful! You all are amazing and it really did make my birthday special! Most of my day was spent in the airport flying to Trinidad for a Mission Leadership Conference, but that night I did get to teach with one of the missionaries in Trinidad so that was pretty fun. MLC on Friday was incredible and just filled with the Spirit and I'm super excited to take what I learned and to apply it in my zone here and to help them to more fully fulfill their purpose. We got back to Suriname finally at 3 in the morning on Saturday morning. Saturday I finally got to work and have a blast in my own area and then Sunday was church. We had a sweet Sunday with lots of people at church and the testimonies were so good and a theme seemed to be that reading the Book of Mormon every day brings blessings and happiness which was sweet. Members are getting excited to do missionary work as well which has been super nice. We have a new person that we are teaching Fenolia (a mother and her two kids) and she is rock solid. Accepted a baptismal date and they already are most of the way through 1st Nephi. The only thing holding her back is that she has a boyfriend that she wants nothing to do with, but he keeps coming over every day even though she doesn't want him too. She wants him away and is discouraged but seems hopeful that things will get better. The branch is doing well though and missionary work is going great here in Uitkijk! I love it here!
A spiritual experience that I had this past week was in the lesson with Fenolia. Elder Lunceford extended the baptismal invitation to her and she readily accepted it and wanted her two daughters to also be baptized and the first thing that she asked was "What do I need to do to be ready?" It was just really cool to see her real intent and she that she was prepared to make sacrifices to be baptized. She's great and we're super excited for her. My testimony has grown this past week on the importance of diligence. We have made the decision to go to Groningen (our contact area) 4 days instead of 3 now even though it is an hour bike ride away. From doing that though, we found Fenolia and have had a lot of cool miracles there. Working diligently brings miracles and also brings results so it has been very cool to put in that extra effort and to be blessed with so many miracles. That was super cool! Missionary work is the best!
Keep on being awesome and go out and light the world this Christmas! Keep on doing good deeds for everyone around you and just realize that you are loved. God loves you and Christ loves you and I know that that is true. Keep on being incredible and being a blessing in the lives of the people around you. I love you all!