Monday, September 29, 2014

Time Flies

Hey y'all!
It's kinda crazy how time moves on your mission. I can't believe how fast time flies, I've already been out for 2 months! I'm really starting to fall in love with the people of st. vincent. They are so amazing and such an example to me. Most people here don't have very much. Even their most basic needs aren't met such as enough food, clothes, and a clean house for protection. People here go thorough struggles I have never thought happened to people. But despite the trials and really hard times their faith is never shaken. As I hear and see them bare their testimonies by the things they do and say it really touches me. These people are amazing! And sometimes while I'm sitting down with them and they begin to tell me their struggles, I just want to cry with them and give them everything I have. And I kinda do in a sense. I give them my whole heart. I bare my whole heart and testimony to them. I tell them that with a strong faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ we can make it through anything. Jesus is our big brother and he knows what we're going through. He waits for us with outstretched arms waiting to take on our burdens and struggles we just have to remember to lean on him for strength. And every time with out fail as I bare my heart to these people they smile and nod their heads. They know this too. It really is amazing to see the miracles that happen when people give their all to the gospel. Here is an awesome quote by C.S. Lewis
"The Lord says to us, give me all. I don't want so much of your time, so much of your work; I want you. All of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man but to kill it, no half measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of a new self in my image, give me yourself and in exchange I will give you myself. My will shall become your will, my heart shall become your heart."
I absolutely love this quote. This is what I am working on        with all my strength. I want to give my everything to the Lord, not just some things but everything. I know when my will becomes His will, that is when really amazing things will start to happen.
I'm learning and growing here so much everyday! Haha and absolutely having a blast while doing it. Missionary work is hard but so fun at the same time. Every single day something happens that just cracks me up. People in the Caribbean are so funny! The other day all the missionaries were together getting lunch at a members shop. And there was a tall plum tree. And I hear something up in the tree so I look up and there is a lady clear up there picking fruit. The funny part was she was in a dress and her legs were stretched from branch to branch. She was flashing everything! Haha then she started yelling at us, wondering if we wanted any plums. Then before we knew it, it started raining plums. All of us missionaries were laughing as we tried to grab plums as they fell but also trying not to look up at the lady flashing her underwear to the world. Haha oh I love it here so much!
Well I miss y'all and I love you bunches! Know that I think and pray for you all the time.
Talk to ya next week! Tot Ziens!
Zuster C 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

St. Vincent

Hey Y'all!
Wow this has been a crazy week. I'm gonna try to catch you up with what has happened... So I left the MTC last monday at 4:30 am to head to Trinidad where the mission home is. Everything went really smoothly flying to Trinidad, which our mission president said usually doesn't happen. He said that they try to sometimes deport missionaries or charge them a fee to enter the country but luckily this didn't happen for us! So then we stayed in Trinidad till Wednesdayfor training and I was told I hadn't gotten my VISA to Suriname yet so I was being reassigned to the Island of St. Vincent. I knew nothing about the Island so I was excited to get there and see what it was like. As I was flying in I was so amazed... I am seriously in Paradise! It is gorgeous here. There is turquoise water, and the island is basically all hills. So flying in it looked like beautiful green hills spotted with colored houses. It's pretty amazing. But as soon as I landed here I realized I was no longer in America. It is very different. The airport we flew into was basically one room. It cracked me up. Then I walked outside and met my companions, Sister Shelton and Sister Worthington. They are the best, I love them. I lucked out with 2 awesome trainers. Well Something kinda crazy is that they drive on the other side of the road here. And the roads are so super tiny that 2 cars sometimes can't even pass eachother. One will have to stop and pull over or back up to let the other one through... it's crazy! And my companions informed me I would have to drive a lot this transfer, we have been practicing. Haha it's a little crazy but hey I can do it. It's definitely a 3rd world country here, they only thing that kinda reminds me of America is there is a subway and a KFC. 
So this is an English speaking island so I just practice my Dutch with my companions for an hour in study. I thought maybe it would be kinda fun to start out my mission English speaking and I could work on my teaching. Haha well I can't understand what they people are saying here. It's not english, they talk so funny. I always have to look to my companions for explanation. But I've been able to meet almost all of our investigators and the members of our branch and I so love the people here! Everyone is so friendly and super chill. We stand outside of the house and yell " Hello goodafternoon inside!" And they most of the time who ever is inside will come out side and just talk to you. That makes it super convenient to just casually bring up the gospel. I love it we meet so many amazing people :) It is absolutely gorgeous here and sometimes when we are driving I just stare out the window and I get so happy. I am in the most beautiful place I have ever seen spreading the happiest message. Life is so good and I'm loving it :)
The only thing that is a little scary is there is this sickness going around called Chicken Goonya... apparently it is awful. Literally your body shuts down, you can't even move and everywhere aches. Everyone on the island has it and lots of missionaries have gotten. So fingers crossed that I have a strong immune system. Well I love all of you so much! I'll talk to you next week. 
Liefde, Zuest C
 Companion Sisters

The View from my apartment

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Farewell MTC

It's my last week in the MTC! I can't believe it! It's really bitter sweet! I'm so extremely excited to finally get out to my mission but at the same time it's gonna be so hard to say goodbye to everyone here. I've made so many amazing life long friends and all my teachers are the best! It's gonna be so sad to say see ya later on monday... at 4:30 AM! Hahah I just know Monday is going to be a super long day. We fly from SLC to Houston! So that is really cool! I'm gonna be so close to the fam but so far at the same time... It'll be weird. Then from Houston straight to Trinidad :) I'm so pumped to get there!
So this week we welcomed the New missionaries. I love all of them, they are so awesome! And today we are getting 36 new missionaries... It's gonna be a little crazy but I'm so excited to meet them. And my friend Jordan that I met at school is one of the Norwegian missionaries! Can't wait to see here :) It's so nice to see familiar faces here.

Okay, I was put to the test a little this week. As a sister training leader it is my responsibility to make sure all the sisters are doing good. I interview them each individually and just get to know them and see if there is anything I can help with. So usually I LOVE it! It's so fun to talk to all the sisters and get to know them. Well this week there was a big problem with one of the companionship's. They are both extremely different so as you can imagine after 4 weeks of having to spend basically every second together... lets just say  there was quite a bit of tension. Well after many individual interviews and hearing both of their concerns I had absolutely no idea what to do. I didn't know what advice to give them... I had never been in a situation like this before. So that night after talking to the sisters and feeling extremely overwhelmed. I knelt down and prayed. I asked God if he would please help to soften both the sisters hearts and me me know what to say to help them. I prayed so hard, I needed his help so bad! Then after I prayed a warmth came into my heart. I felt like everything was gonna work out. Then the next day I got the impression to have the sisters talk their problems out together and I could be in the room to mediate. I was so scared! I still felt like I had no idea what I should say to help them. I said a quick prayer for comfort then went in with the sisters. I have no idea what I said or how it worked but the sisters were able to work out their differences. And that Sunday when I reported back to the branch president he told me how concerned he had been about the situation and how he was thinking he was going to have to step in and help get it resolved. And how amazed he was with how I handled everything. I learned something really important through this experience that I hope I remember forever. The Lord really knows best and when you have faith and rely on him he is always there to help take control of any situation. 

Ik houd van Hem. En Ik weet dat hij for mij liefhebben. God is ons Hemelse Vader. Hij is hier om te hulp en om troost te brengen. I houd van het evangalie en het de vredevol voelen brengen. De kerk van Jezus Christus van De Heiligen Der Laatste Dagen waareste kerk op de aarde is. 

I love my mission. I am constantly learning and growing. And for the first time in my life I can bare testimony of the truth of this gospel and know with out a doubt that it is true. I hope you all feel the same and if you don't that is okay. That is why were are here on the earth, we get lots of time to practice :) I love you all so much... talk to you on the other side!

Zuester C. 

 Me with all the Danish Brothers
Suriname & Sweden