Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Semana de sesenta y cinco!

Week 65 of 101 (12/08-12/14)

Hello!

Well this last week was great!

We started the week out with a great last day on San Pedro. After we finished writing, my companion and I went and sat on the dock for a while before we decided to just start biking up the shore line. While we were biking up, we saw a group of people gathered around some fisher man by the dock. Naturally, we went to see what was going on. As it turns out, there was a large group of sting rays eating the chopped up bits of fish. We got to sit on the dock and pet the sting rays. It was a great experience. Then we continued up the coast until we reached the basket ball court by a place called Boca Del Rio. We saw some kids with a basket ball and we challenged them to a game of two on two. It was a great game of Oceanside basketball. Later on in the day, we quickly taught as many people as possible and I said goodbye.

The next day, I left early to go to Belize CIty with all of my bags. We got there and one of the senior couples took us to the chapel to wait for the changes meeting. While we were waiting we went and got something to eat with the rest of the people who had changes. The crazy thing is that almost no one in Belize had internal changes (changes between Belizean areas and not with El Salvador) and there were a few with changes to El Salvador. The meeting was super quick since there were so few changes. Turns out I just switched areas with another Elder. He went to the Island and I went to Santa Elena, which is in the Cayo district, which is western Belize. My companion is Elder Hiatt. He is from Arkansas and we were actually in the same district in the MTC. He is a great guy.

So far Santa Elena has been great, we started out with a tiny investigator pool at the beginning of the week but we have found some great people, including the most prepared person I have ever met during my mission. Her name is Hieke and she is great. She understands everything and accepts everything so readily.

Although I have been here for a short time, I really love the people here. I love sharing the gospel with them and serving them. It is interesting to feel that their well being becomes your number one priority and how much you care for them. It just reminds me how much I love being a missionary and how much I love BELIZE!


Elder Vierkant

Semana de sesenta y cuatro!

Week 64 of 101 (12/01-12/07)

Hello,

I am super happy this week for a a couple reasons:

First of all, we started teaching three kids named Jean Junior, Adrian and Ashton. We found them one day when they were cleaning up the outside of their house and we offered to help. They declined but they said we could back another day and talk to them. So we went back on Tuesday and we were able to teach them. They are great. They understand what we are teaching and they ask really good questions. They are also a ton of fun to be around.

Second, Last Sunday a member named Jana brought her friend and his sister. This week we were able to teach them at Janas house. They struggle to understand everything but they accepted to be baptized the 21st of December! They also went to church this Sunday and brought another friend. A bunch of blessings and miracles.

Third, I had a great birthday! So, as it turns out, I share the same birthday as the father-in- law as one of the people we are teaching. When she found out, she offered to throw a party for us both. Unfortunately, the Christmas devotional and the party coincided. We ended up having to go to their house twice. The first so they could sing happy birthday to me before they cut the cake (tres leches, somehow they always know that it is my favorite). I was treated to a nice chorus of "Happy Birthday"  followed by "May God Bless You Today" sung by my companion, the sister and a group of six year old girls. We went to the Christmas Devotional, which was incredible. We then returned to their house and they gave us cake and some barbeque chicken with mashed potatoes and rolls. It was great.

Last night Elder Gonzalez gave me a birthday card, which really thoughtful of him. It said " Happy Birthday Elder Vierkant. You have changes :( You are leaving the island."  Looks like I have been voted off the island. I leave tomorrow. I had a great stay here and I love it. I am sad to leave. But I know that the Lord has need of me some where else.


Elder Vierkant

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Semana de sesenta y tres!

Week 63 of 101 (11/24-11/30)

So much to be grateful for...but so little time! That is why I am so grateful that someone was smart enough to set aside a holiday to help us make time to be grateful for what God has given us.

This Monday, we went to Belize and we had a Thanksgiving with all of the missionaries in Belize! It was great. We played family feud. Then we took pictures by zone with the mission president and all of the senior couples. When our zone went up, we spontaneously started singing the National Anthem (Of the Untied States of course). It was great, although, I did feel bad for my companion because he was the only one who didn't know it because he is not from the US. Afterwards, we had a great Thanksgiving dinner and then we had some messages shared by the assistants to the president and President Hintze himself.

Tuesday was when we had our preparation day last week. Elder Tello and I went 5 miles south down the coast to find an old Mayan trading village. It was pretty cool, although all of the structures were covered up still. There was a lot of broken pottery. We had a lot of fun, especially because it is so beautiful down there.

On Wednesday we had a great day, although we got rained on. We also had a family from California take us out to a dinner in one of the resorts. It was really nice of them, since that was the only way we would get anything like a Thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, we had a great day. We were able to find a lot of people in their houses and to teach them. I was really grateful for the chance that we had to visit Carlos and Alejandra. Carlos has been really struggling this last week and we are trying to visit them as much as possible.

This last weekend, it really rained hard. We were able to teach a couple named Elton and Ruth. They are a great family and have two really cute little kids. We taught them about the Restoration. They had been taught by other missionaries before and accepted it readily.

It was a great week,

Elder Vierkant


 

Semana de sesenta y dos!

Week 62 of 101 (11/17-11/23)

Gud evnin,

So, after the going to the ruins last week, we started an interchange with the zone leaders. Because it is expensive to travel back and forth between the island and Belize city a lot, the interchanges last a few days, Thus, Elder Kipisi was with us on the island until Thursday morning, when we went to zone meeting.

The first night, I went on interchanges in Elder Fords area. We had some really great lessons, getting to know some really positive people. We also just had a ton of fun.

On Tuesday, I went with Elder Kapisi in my area. It was a bit of a rough day. For one, both of our bikes broke, so we had to go to the bike shop twice, we were in a rain storm most of the day and pretty much every single appointment fell through, and we also had to go in at six because they are celebrating Garifuna day this week. But on the whole, it was a great day because we met a lot of positive people contacting. Elder Kapisi is a great missionary: he knows what his pupose is, he is very obedient and he works hard.

The rest of the week went really well. We taught a lot of positive new people, and we ended up committing lots of people to church, including less actives. However, come Sunday, not one of those people showed up. luckily some members brought some friends to church and we were able meet them and hopefully we will be teaching them this week.

Elder Vierkant


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Semana de sesenta y uno!

Week 61 of 101 (11/10-11/16)

Wada goin on?

This week was great, it also flew straight on by. Last Monday, after we finished writing, Elder Tello and I went to the beach (Haha, yeah!) and we hunted crabs off the side of the dock. It was a ton of fun, even though we only caught one for a couple seconds before it tried to snap off Elder Tellos finger. Then, that night we had a great lesson with a young married couple. She is from Guatemala and he is from Orange Walk, here in Belize. She has family that are member, and even a brother who is in one of the other missions in El Salvador. They were super excepting, the only problem is that they seem to travel back and forth from Guatemala a lot.

Tuesday we went and met the man in the wheel chair. We tried to teach him but it was a difficult situation and it didn't go very well. However, we did find a less active family while looking for him, which is great.

This Sunday was the baptism of Alejandra! It was a great service and she got to feel the Spirit super strong. She was so happy afterwards, as was Carlos. I am so excited for the family and I am so anxious for Carlos to make the steps necessary for baptism so he can become a priesthood holder and go to the temple with his family.

Today we went to some Mayan ruins 30 miles away from Belize city. Incredible. You really feel like you are connecting yourself to the Book of Mormon.

I Love Belize, enough said!

Elder Vierkant

Semana de sesenta!

Week 60 of 101 (11/03-11/09)

My Friends,

I think part of the reason that we get time to write home every week, in addition to letting everyone at home know we are okay, is to allow us, as missionaries, to reflect on our week and appreciate the miracles we have seen and the lessons that we have learned through out the week.

First things first, I forgot to mention that Elder Ford, who lived with me in Sonzacate for 18 weeks, came to the island and now we live together again. If we stay together these next two changes, we will have been living in the same house for almost a third of our missions. The best part, though, is to be able to see the changes that can happen to someone in just 2 changes.

This week we had a multizone with all of Belize. It was incredible. I love being able to listen to President and Sister Hintze. The interesting thing here, is that (1) There are senior couples and they talk too and (2) the multizone are in English I am not going to lie, I think the spirit is stronger in English. Who knows why.

Carlos and Alejandra were going to get baptized this week but they decided that it would be better to wait until next week. I am so excited for them. They have been so prepared by the Lord. Their lives have changed so much. Carlos started to tell me about the many struggles with addictions and other things that have plagued his life, all of which have been changed by living the gospel. Now their focus is not just getting baptized, but hopefully someday entering the temple!

This Sunday was interesting. In between the two sessions of church, we found a man in a broken wheel chair who needed help getting home. We wheeled him to his house and carried him up the stairs and we began to talk with him. He is from Spain and moved here 40 years ago. There was pretty much nothing on the island at the time. He got in an accident a few years ago and now he can't walk and his family all live very far away. We asked him if he wanted to go to church, he said yes, and we were able to take him to church. I know the gospel will bless his life, because he has a lot of problems.

In church we had two people that were contacted in the street who came to church. Talk about miracles. I don't think I have ever seen that any where else.

Be grateful for all you have, the Lord loves you. Never feel abandoned or not good enough, the Lord loves you. Have charity, just as the Lord loves you.

Elder Vierkant

Semana de cincuenta y nueve!

Week 59 of 101 (10/27/20-11/02)

What am I grateful for this week?

First off, I am so very grateful to the Aldens for letting us come and spend our Monday with them in their condo. I am grateful for the food that they gave us and the nice conversation we had.

I am also extremely grateful for the time that Elder Lee and I had together and the lessons that I learned while we were together. I am grateful for a great new companion, Elder Tello from Guatemala. He speaks English really well, He is very patient and super fun to talk to.

I am grateful for the members on the island who work with us and help us find people, especially Omar.  He is a returned missionary and he LOVES the work of the Lord! It is incredible. He has helped us find many new investigators, by showing us where they live and just through his example. To illustrate this, we were walking down the beach (haha, yeah!) and a man stopped us. He asked us how he could get into the church and we invited him to church on Sunday. He said that he had been to a lot of churches and felt like they taught by the principle of "Do as I say, not as I do." But he had seen the great example of Omar, who refused to drink alcohol and smoke when it was offered to him. So now the man, whose name is David, wants to go to church and learn a lot more about the gospel.

I am also grateful that I could go on interchanges with Elder Christensen after Zone meeting. He is from Utah and played all the same sports that I did, so we had a lot to talk about. He is a great example of diligence, which was great. I learned a lot from the interchange.

I am grateful for the power of the Spirit. We were teaching Christian, the son of some recent converts. He knows more about the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants than most of the branch but hasn't been baptized yet. We were able to have a great lesson with him where we were able to help him recognize that he had already received the response from the Holy Ghost to his prayers and He now wants to get baptized.

I am grateful for the example of Jesus Christ for us. We have been teaching for a while. We taught them the attributes of Christ to help them over come their struggles and now they have the desire to get married and baptized soon.

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to see the many blessings that occur in my life.

Adios,

Elder Vierkant

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Semana de cincuenta y ocho!

Week 58 of 101 (10/20-10/26)


Hello,

Another great week. What is not to love when you are a missionary that also happens to be in Belize?

This week had some notable experiences. First of all, we have been able to start visiting Alejandra and Carlos a lot more this week. They are awesome. They are from El Salvador. They had met some missionaries in El Salvador but had moved to Belize. We got introduced to them by the Lee family (who have no relation to my companion.)

Carlos is struggling with several strong addictions, but this man is fighting like a lion. He is great. He really understands that the Lord is working in his life and he is willing to work along side the Lord to make the changes necessary in his life. He is so willing to do the Lords will even if it is hard. To give you an example, during third hour, we had a combined class between all of the adults and they were talking about assignments to clean the chapel. This man stood up  and offered of his talents and his time to help out in the church, on only his second Sunday there. He is a shining example for everyone.

A lot of amazing things happened this week but I will have to be short. This week we ended up having to go to Belize City twice, once to start getting my work permit and a second time to go to Belmopan, the capital, so that Elder Lee can get his papers ready to go back to El Salvador. Yes, Elder Lee is leaving me, but it has been a great change, though short. We also got a tour of a lot of Belize because we were in the car with the senior couple as they took care of other things.

I love Belize. I love the Gospel. I love the Lord.

Elder Vierkant


Golden Coral...Belize style!


Early morning boat ride to Belize City.

Awesome red bird! Is there an ornithologist out there that can identify the species?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Semana de cincuenta y siete!

Week 57 of 101 (10/13-10/19)

Hello,

This week was rainy, muddy and so extremely beautiful and great. Elder Lee and I get along great and we get work done.

On Tuesday, we had a branch presidency meeting. Since the church hasn't been on the island for very long, the branch is still growing and learning. As part of that, we, as the missionaries have been told by the mission president that we function as counselors in the branch, which gives us a great opportunity to learn new things. To assist with the organization of the branch, we also work with Brother Alden. Brother Alden is one of the owners or something for Skull Candy. He has a condo here and has been asked by President Hintze to help the branch. We are learning a lot from him and it is great to see the branch progress. The rest of the day went really well and a lot of people were home.

On Wednesday, we left with Pablo, who is preparing to go on a mission. It is great to go with him because he really loves the gospel and it is helping prepare. We got to do a little bit of contacting with him because a appointment fell through, but afterwards he helped us find Jonathan, who had moved. We also got to visit Jackie, the reference from Omar. She is great. She reads just about everything we give her and has been able to recognize the hand of God in her life since we have begun to talk with her.

Thursday was zone meeting so we had to wake up at 5:00 AM to take the 6:00 o'clock boat back to Belize City. We got there early and went and got breakfast. We had a great district meeting about the importance of the Spirit in the conversion of someone and how we can help investigators feel the Spirit. Later, in the district meeting, Elder Kilifi and Elder Kapisi talked about how our area is a reflection of who we are as missionaries and our work effort and attitude. They also talked about how we should apply the gospel to ourselves as missionaries. It was a great meeting. Our zone is great! The orange chicken we ate afterwards was pretty good too. They don't have that in El Salvador.

Friday, Elder Lee and I started our work out regime. We wake up in the morning and we go run along the beach for about 20 minutes and then we go out on a dock and work out a little. It probably is more fun than productive. We were also able to have the opportunity to find three guys that were really prepared for us. Two of them said they are really interested in baptism. They definitely have to make some changes in their lives, but they are open to it.

Saturday, we went all out. We visited a lot of the less actives and we contacted a lot of people and found news. WE were feeling pretty good but then...

Sunday no one showed up to church! It was super frustrating considering how many people were committed to church and considering that they have both a morning and a night session to attend to. Anyways, we will go check up on everyone this week and see what we can do to help them make it. 

I have seen this week, maybe more than any other week the consequences of peoples sins. God gives us commandments to keep us safe, happy and peaceful. We may feel pleasure for a moment as we break those commandments, but in the end it just brings heartache and pain. I am so very grateful for the ooportunity as a missionary to help others to come unto Christ and learn the commandments of God and have the opportunity to access the healing power of the Atonement. It is never too late!

Elder Vierkant

Semana de cincuenta y seis!

Week 56 of 101 (10/06-10/12)

Dear Everyone,

Alright, so I didn't mention anything this last letter about conference, which I think might be a sin but I will have to check up on that in the scriptures :P

Conference was great! I love the power, clarity, and deep understanding that the prophets and apostles have. Their example to me of dedication, of obedience, of forethought and listening to the Spirit leaves me in awe every time I read or hear what they say. This conference was no exception. Everything was direct, but not rude. I especially liked the theme of listening to modern day prophets and other leaders, which people, often times, do not do. I also enjoyed the talks about the sacrament. I  have really began to understand its importance and the meaning of each line of the prayer over the course of the mission.

The rest of the week was great. We met some great people. We met someone who is named Elizabeth, who we met on Saturday and who came to church Sunday. She is incredibly prepared and open to the gospel. We also contacted the reference of a member, his name is Omar and he is sooo cool! They came to church and they both enjoyed it.

We had interviews with president. They were kind of short, but they were reassuring. President Hintze is one of the most loving people I have ever met. He is a great role model for me.

Anyway, it was another great week in the best two years! Take care of yourselves and please, read your Book of Mormon.

Elder Vierkant

Monday, October 6, 2014

Semana de cincuenta y cinco!

Week 55 of 101 (09/29-10/05)

Buite ganafe,

This week blew by like a gust of wind. Last week, after I finished writing, we went to President Hintze's house and we ate dinner. Then on a projector, his assistants showed us all off the areas that we, the missionaries going to Belize, would have. First of all I have to explain that when someone goes to Belize from El Salvador, it is like starting the mission over again. Basicly you have to get "Belize trained". Also, President only sends missionaries he trusts to Belize because it is so far away from where he is, so the majority here are qualified leaders. As such, I am no longer a District Leader, but my companion, Elder Lee is. Elder Lee is great. He is from Idaho and he has about 6 weeks more in the mission than I do. We actually started the mission in the same zone and we had been on interchanges twice before. I am super happy to be his companion.

Second, I found out that I have been assigned to serve in San Pedro. San Pedro is an Island that is an hour and a half boat ride off the coast of Belize. Missionaries have been here since 1996, so the church is young here and is a growing branch.  The people here are so kind and loving and I really love it here. The people here come from a wide range of background, as such they speak a wide range of languages: English, Spanish, and Belize Kriol are the main languages and Chinese, Arabic and Garifuna are also spoken. Most people here are bilingual or trilingual. It is an incredible place. I will explain a little more next week, but feel free to look it up for yourself.

For a quick summary of the week to finish up, I flew to Belize City and we got picked up by a senior couple and I got dropped off with my companion at the water taxi and we went to San Pedro. The next day I got to know my area a little bit and got to know the people here. Then, because we had to have a baptismal interviews and because it costs quite a bit of money to travel back and forth, I went to Belize City and worked there for two days while the zone leaders did interchanges with the two areas on San Pedro. I came back  for general conference. Between all of the sessions and looking for people to bring to the sessions, we didn't get a whole lot more done Saturday. Conference was really great, I learned a lot about the importance of following the prophet and receiving revelation, which is super important for our investigators.

Sunday, we had a baptism of Favi, Britanny, and Destiny. Family excluded, these are the three most awesome girls that exist in the world. Enough said! Anyway since the building in San Pedro does not have a font, we had to baptize in the ocean. It was incredible!

San Pedro is incredible! See you soon!

Elder Vierkant



Baptism of Rosa (she is in the middle in white)

A map to give you an idea of where I am.

A little bit of paradise!

Brittany getting baptised.

Faviola getting baptised.
Faviola, Brittany, and Destiny at their Baptism.
 
Our District.
Elder Lee (my new companion) and I at the docks in San Pedro.





Monday, September 29, 2014

Semana de cincuenta y cuatro!

Week 54 of 101 (09/22-09/28)

Hello everyone,

This week was pretty great. It flew by, especially because we had back to back interchanges this week.

Tuesday was really normal, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Wednesday, we had a great lesson with Rosa about the temple. She was super excited about being able to do baptisms for the dead for her family. She is so prepared for baptism this weekend. We then went to visit a guy named Guillermo who is super positive. He is really ready to learn and wants to change his life.

On Thursday I did interchanges with Elder Alvarez in his area. It was pretty cool. We contacted a whole lot and taught one of the priests from the ward how to do it. We also met a guy that had read the whole pamphlet (took me like a minute to remember what that word was in English) and he had a list of more than 20 questions. The lesson was just question and answer and at the end we had basically taught lessons one and two.

On Friday I did interchanges with Elder Steenhoek in his area while Elder Pocasangre and Elder Gonzalez went to my area to do a baptismal interview for Rosa. It was a great interchange, we found some pretty interested people. But it was also a bit weird because Elder Steenhoek goes home in a few days and more than anything he doesn´t really comprehend it. Also, another interesting fact is that we gave 7 blessings that day.

Saturday was wonderful. We got to go visit Ana and her son, Andy- who now wants to get baptized. Also we got to visit Guillermo, who is doing great and seems really like what we are teaching him. Then, finally, at 6:00 we had the baptismal service for Rosa. She was so excited and ready. The whole Rivera family showed up, as well as Ana and her family, and Alma and her husband, who really is excited for baptism, he just needs to go to church. We took pictures with everyone. ( I will send the photos next week hopefully.) We had the talks then I got to baptize Rosa! It was super great. She was so ready. After the baptism, we went and visited the Pineda family, who sadly won´t be going to church tomorrow.

Then the craziest thing of all happened. At about 10:00 at night, Elder Ralphs called me and told me that I AM GOING TO BELIZE! Sunday was going to be my last day in the Ponderosa. I am super excited to go to Belize, it apparently is incredible there. But at the same time I am super sad to leave the Ponderosa. The people here are so loving and so ready to accept the gospel. I have learned so much in this area and the people here, especially the Riveras, are basically my family.

Sunday, Guillermo, Andy and Carlos showed up to church. There were a lot of distractions going on during the sacrament meeting and the Principles of the Gospel class was kind of haphazard, so I was worried that Guillermo wasn´t going to like it all, but he loved it!
After church, we ate quickly and began to visit everyone who could, saying good bye and leaving one good  last lesson. I took a whole bunch of pictures. It was super sad and happy at the same time. I will always remember these people. I just hope the missionaries that come take good care of them.

Today we woke up at 5:00 in the morning and I got everything ready and I left. At the terminal, I met up with Elder Smith and Elder Withers and we went got in a bus for San Salvador. Adios Sonzacate. We got to San Salvador and we found a pickup and paid the guy to take us with our suit cases to the office of the mission. We did a whole bunch of paperwork and now we are waiting here until we go to presidents house to see changes. Tomorrow we are going to go to Belize!

I am super excited for the future but I will not forget the past. I am so grateful that I could see all the changes in the lives of the people and I am so glad I got to see their progress. The gospel is the plan of God for our happiness and Salvation, so if we aren´t happy and they aren´t happy, we aren´t living the gospel. Love you all!

Elder Vierkant



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belize


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Semana de cincuenta y tres!

Week 53 of 101 (09/15-09/21)

This week was crazy and action packed so I am going to get right to it.

This Tuesday Elder Alonzo from the area presidency came to our
mission and taught the all the zones in Sonzacate, Sonsonate and
Arce. It was incredible! The Spirit was out of this world strong and
everyone learned so much. Basically, it turned into a question and
answer session, he just taught us based on our needs. Every doubt or
struggle, he had an answer that was so incredible that it just blew us
away. He also talked a lot about obedience. He said that he could see
how obedient a missionary was just by looking them in the eye, and I
believe it. I feel like that meeting changed me and a lot of other people.
I just can´t capture how great it was in a paragraph. Basically, be
obedient, be precise, and teach with the spirit, so that you and him that
you are teaching can both be edified.

After the meeting, we went and used the techniques he taught in a
lesson, and they helped a ton. Alma agreed to be baptized, and you
could tell the spirit was working hard in her.

The other days of the week were exciting too. We found a ton of new
investigators, ate soup with chicken head in it, enjoyed the company of
the spirit and we were just generally happy.

Finally we arrive to Sunday. It was crazy! The Sabbath day is not a day
of rest for missionaries. First of all, the baptism that we had planned
for Alma turned out to be planned exactly at the same time as a
meeting with a general authority between two stakes. All the
missionaries from the stakes had to be there and President Hintze
was going to be there. And all of this was going to happen in our
chapel. But we were told to just go a long with the baptism. Then
some things happened Sunday in the morning and we didn´t think the
baptism was going to happen but Alma didn´t know about it. She does
not have a phone so we were running all over creation looking for her
trying to contact her. Finally we showed up at the chapel, she was
there. Then President Hintze told us to baptize her, even though all of
the auxiliary organizations were in the meeting. So we did and she
was super happy. And so are we. God´s plan is perfect.

Elder Vierkant


Chicken Head Soup

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Semana de cincuenta y dos!

Week 52 (09/08-09/14)

Saludos todos,

This week was great! We were able to teach a lot of people this week and find a lot of new investigadores. We were also able to prepare Ana for baptism! It was a great week.

I would be lot more specific about what happened this week but most of the week was the exact same. Most of our investigators live the equivalent of two city blocks. So we were just walking back in forth in the same little area all day teaching the same people. It sounds a little repetitive, which it is, but at the the same time it is great and we can get a lot done because we don´t have to travel very far.

Friday we did interchanges so that I could do interviews in the Zone Leaders area and they could do one in my area. I counted and I have done 21 baptismal interviews. Wow. I can also look forward to doing a lot more. It always is a great experience, although sometimes it can be really hard because it is a large responsibility and some investigators are better prepared than others. But the good news is that Ana Passed her interview!

This Sunday was pretty great! The whole Pineda family came to church (and loved it), Rosa was there with her son, Ana and her two kids came and, a special surprise, Carlos, an old investigator, came to church! During sacrament meeting Natheal said he wanted me to confirm him, like right before it happened. I had never confirmed someone before and I wasn't 100% on all of the words, but when I got up there Elder Alvarez told me what to say and the spirit guided me to say the rest. It was really special and I could feel the Spirit testifying the need of this ordinance.

Then, the best part of all my week came to pass. We showed early to the chapel and got everything ready for the baptism. The font was full, the chairs were ready and the people were there. Then, when Ana showed up, we found out that the shirt we had for her was too small. Luckily, a sister from the Relief Society that lives close ran over to her house and brought us a shirt. Finally, everything was ready and Ana got baptised! And I got to baptise her! She was super happy. It was great to see the change in her and not just in clothes! When we first met her, she was super negative, and wasn't sure if God loved her. But now we can see that she is a lot happier. I love seeing how repentance and baptism can change the lives of people! That is what gets me through the hard times, the hope to see someone else be happy. For me, that is what the gospel is all about. Being happy. I just hope to someday see these people in the celestial kingdom. That would make me happier than anything else that the world has to offer. 

Love you guys,

Elder Vierkant










Semana de cincuenta y uno!

Week 51 (09/01-09/07)

Hello!

Well, this week was awesome!

It all started off Wednesday when Elder Duncan, President of the Area Central America and Brother Durrant, one of the counselors of the Presidency of the Sunday school for the church came to our mission and we had a conference with them. It was amazing. Brother Durrant is a super good teacher and super funny! He listens really carefully to the spirit and taught to our needs as a mission. And he is super smart too. He has knows what page everything is on in Preach my Gospel.

President Duncan was really good too, but he only talked for 10 minutes because they got there really late from Guatemala and they had to go to Belize still. But he said that what ever we learned from the mission president was probably what we needed to learn. I believe it was true. President Hintze talked about being knit together as a companionship and I think that is what our mission needed.

On Friday I went on Interchanges with Elder Hales. He has about 2 weeks in the mission and so we were a little lost but we got to all the most important appointments.We also focused a lot on just letting the Spirit guide us and I think it really worked. We were able to contact a lot of people and I think that we taught some really good lessons.

On Saturday Elder Ralphs and Elder Steenhoek came and helped us teach Ana. We decided it was better to move her baptismal date to the 14th but I really think that is better for her and she is really excited.

Sunday, yesterday was a blast. First of all Ana and Concha with all of their kids came to church! They really had a good experience this time, probably from the power of fast and testimony meeting. The only bad thing is that Rosa wasn't able to make it and so she is going to have to get baptised a different day. After church we visited the Rivera family. Then we went and contacted a reference of  Lilian. They are really positive and we had a really spiritual experience. Then we taught Ana and Concha. Concha is going to pray about getting baptised the 21st! We ended the day visiting some really cool other people and everyone just felt really positive. It was a 7 of September miracle!

Elder Vierkant




Semana cincuenta!

Week 50 (08/25-08/31)

Hola!

This week was great. First, on Tuesday, we got to go to San Salvador for the district leader meeting. It was great and I learned a lot about how I can have a better district meeting and also about how we are directed by the Spirit in our baptismal interviews. How did the district leaders from Belize participate, you might ask? They were on a Skype chat with us. I also got to see Elder Ralphs, my first zone leader. He is an assistant now. He is a super great guy and I hope that he comes with us in our area some day.

To cut things short, I had a really great interchange with Elder Alvarez. We contacted all day and found a lot people to teach. It was a ton of fun and I got to do an interview for baptism.

Sunday, I baptised two people from other areas. It was really cool but they were at different times and we had ward council, so basicly we got nothing done.

I love you all!

Elder Vierkant


Friday, September 19, 2014

Semana de cuarenta y nueve!

Week 49 (08/18-08/24)

Hello everyone!

How are you all doing? This week was actually really cool. On Tuesday we found out that we aren´t going to be having changes so I am going to be here in the Ponderosa for 6 months and with Elder Pocasangre for 3 changes. Also, Elder Ford got changes. He is going to Belize. But not really because he is getting sent to one of the two areas in Guatemala in the mission. He is going to serve in three countries. Elder Alvarez is training a new missionary from Texas named Elder Hales. He is super cool. There was only one other change because Elder Cubas finished his mission. The zone pretty much has not changed in 4 changes. It is super crazy.

Other cool things that happened was that Ana, the reference from the Rivera family, is going to get baptized the 7th of September! Also Rosa should be getting baptised the week after that. All of them went to church too! The Rivera family is so great! They are like my best friends. They are also super powerful and help us a ton. The Lord is truly blessing them! 

Sunday I did interchanges with Elder Alvarez to do two interviews, but one of them wasn't home, so they have to change the baptismal date a little, but all should turn out well. 

Everything is cool. Some times it is hard, but that is the best time to learn. I learned this week that we have to humble ourselves to the will of the Lord. We have to realize that we are nothing with out Him and only through His will can we do the things that we need to do. We have to put all our faith and trust in Him. I love the Lord and I love His work.

Elder Vierkant













Semana de cuarenta y ocho!

Week 48 (08/11-08/17)

Hello Everyone,

This week had a super great highlight: We got to go through the temple! That is always the best. It is a spiritual refresher and gives you a lot more strength to get through the trials. I wish we could go to the temple more, but I guess I have a lot of time to go to the temple later. Afterwards, we got to go to Wendy´s, which felt like a miricale for my mouth. I love Sonzacate but the food here is not a strong point- not in the least.

Friday was cool because I had Elder Alvarez help me teach district meeting with me. It went well, but there are also a few things that we can change.

Saturday was super cool because we went with Elder Ramos, one of the assistants, for three hours straight. He is such a good teacher and I learned a lot from him. Also, they have a car with air conditioning, which was great.

El Salvador is cool and stuff. I am not going to Belize this change, but Elder Ford is. It is going to be super weird to not have him around all the time.

Elder Vierkant


PS The pictures are going to have to wait another week because my companion is learning to take pictures off my camara to send to his family.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Semana de cuarenta y siete!

Week 47 (08/04-08/10)

Dear Everyone,

It is a little weird that a week can feel so long and short at the same time. Looking back, last Monday seems forever ago, but at the same time it didn't seem like there was enough time in the week.

The highlight of this week was the activity that we had at the temple. About every three or four months, we have an activity where we take all the investigators and less actives that we can in buses to the temple. It was super great! We brought Hermana Santa Maria, which was a surprise because we didn't think she was going to go. The Rivera family came and they brought two of their friends to the temple too! Finally, Hermana Ester came. We left as a zone in the buses to the temple. When we got there, there were already a ton of people there. All the zones go at different times. In total, the mission brought 1024 people to see the temple, which is a record and super awesome. At the temple I got to see a ton of really awesome people. I actually had a super cool experience.

When we got to the chapel by the temple, my companion and I went to the bathroom. As we were leaving the bathroom, I saw the dad of Daniel, the 9 year old who got baptised right after I left Barrio Central. I waved at him but he was on the phone so I waited until he finished. He got off the phone and we shook hands. He smiled at me a second and said, ¨Thanks...,¨ He paused for a second, ¨... for everything.¨

Right after he got rushed off by another missionary to where he was supposed to be. I stood there for a second, thinking about how great it is to be able to help people. Really everything that we do is to have a moment like that, in this life or the next.

But that isn't even the best part. After that I took a few steps forward and started to talk to some other missionaries, when two little kids busted out of a door and slammed into me giving me a huge hug. I looked down to see that it was Daniel! I don´t know if I have been so happy in my life. I didn't think I would ever seem him again. We got to talk to each other for a while and take a picture (which I will send next week.) We were both just super happy to see each other. That little kid is super awesome.

The rest of the temple activity was awesome, first because the temple is so powerful and touched the hearts of all of the investigators, and second because I just got to see a lot of people that I like a ton. I saw Elder Gavilanes again, which is awesome. He was a great companion.

All in all it was a great day. And a great week. I got to do two baptismal interviews, they both were powerful. One is named Salvador. His parents are pastors from another church but he says he knows con todo that the Book of Mormon is true and the church is true. He is a bit crazy but it was awesome to get to know him.

Keep it cool, take care of yourselves and remember to always say your prayers. Remember that God loves you. Remember to show that love to everyone else, because really, it is the most powerful thing you can do.

Elder Vierkant

Monday, September 15, 2014

Semana de cuarenta y seis!

Week 46 (07/28-08/03)

What is up?

This week was a trial but finished successfully so I feel pretty good about it.

Last Monday we ended up going to the house of some members from Arizona and we ate lunch there. The Husband is a really good cook and he made taco salad, Hawaiian haystacks, tater tot casserole and brownies. It was great to have some home made American food again. At night we had a family home evening with the Rivera family again. They are the coolest family ever and becoming super strong. This next week they are going to do baptisms for the dead for the first time.

Tuesday was a little frustrating and not a lot happened. We taught a few lessons but nothing special happened.

Wednesday we were going to go do a service project chopping a field with machetes but when I called to confirm in the morning, he told me that the sisters had gone the day before and they were already finished. I was super bummed out to not do it. We ended up doing interchanges that day and I went with Elder Ford. It was fun. It is always interesting to do interchanges with someone else from the US because I am used to just talking in Spanish all day.

Thursday was pretty good. We met some cool people who are pretty positive and look like they will probably progress.

Friday we did interchanges with the zone leaders and Elder Steenhoek came with me in our area. It was pretty fun. We taught some good lessons and overall we had a lot of fun. At night we ended up talking a bit too long, which is probably why I don´t have English speaking companions.

Saturday was normal, which means good. Sunday was super cool, a lady named Ana and her three kids came to church with the Rivera family. I think they really liked it, especially the daughter. It was a little frustrating though because Alfredo said he was going to go to church but when we passed by his house in the morning he bailed out on us. It was frustrating but we can´t change his decisiones-

El Salvador is cool. I am healthy. I am not breaking rules and I am not in danger, so far as I know. 

Elder Vierkant

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Semanas cuarenta y tres, cuarenta y cuatro, y cuarenta y cinco!

Week 43

To whom it might concern,

This week was exciting and relaxed at the same time.

First of all, this week were changes. The two from Sonsonate both left and they brought 2 new sisters. Hermana Chant came from Belize and is training Hermana Lindstrom from California. Some Elder from the other district left, which was sad because they were cool. Then, on Sunday, Hermana Mims had emergency changes because she is pretty sick.
 
Other than that we have been trying to find new investigators. We have been talking with everyone we can in the street in between lessons. It is really awesome to see the Lord guide you as you look for people to teach. It is also very interesting to see how the Lord has prepared people. A lot of the people who we have found who want to know more about the Gospel have talked to missionaries before, but the other times they just decided to not investigate the church. But those other chances have left seeds in peoples hearts and eventually they decide that they want to know more.

An example of this is Miguel Angle and his family. We were walking down the street and I saw a man sitting on the curb and I felt the impression to talk to him. Sadly, we kept walking but I promised myself that if we walked by again, we would talk to him. Our appointment fell through and we had to walk past him again. This time, I went and sat by him and we started talking. Turns out he was super ready for the gospel and now has gone to church and really excited. The funny thing is that we had contacted the house were he lives multiple times before, but they never wanted to learn anything.

I know this is the Lord´s work and I know He directs it.

Peace out,

Elder Vierkant


Week 44

Hello,

This week was pretty average, in terms of crazy things happening.

Carlos, the brother of Yamileth said he wanted to be baptized but he didn´t go to church this week. It was really disappointing because we were with him enroute in the bus to go to church but when it came time to get off and go to the chapel, he and his brother in law kept going for Sonsonate. Alfredo, who really wants to know more about the church, didn´t come to church either because his leg is still super messed up from when he got hit by a car a few weeks ago.

We did interchanges with the Zone leaders and The other Elders In our ward this week. I like going with Elder Alverez because he works hard and he is fun to be around. I did another baptismal interview for the Zone leaders. We also found a super positive Evangelical while we were on interchanges, which is super strange but he was a really cool guy, he even gave us soda.

I really am 100% sure that obedience with exactness brings miracles and I know that God will bless us more than he already does if we strive to keep all of his commandments, great or small, even if we don´t exactly understand the reason they exist. We are all Gods children and we all receive blessings, but based on our obedience we may receive more than we already have.

Elder Vierkant

P.S. I forgot my camera cord so no pictures this week.


Week45

Qué honda?

I am writing with and English keyboard with the computer set in Spanish so please for give any puntuation errors that occur as a result of the keys not being as they seem.

This week was pretty good. On Monday we played soccer. Me faltaba mucho. I missed playing a ton. There is a super nice field in my area and there are always teams playing full field and I always want to go play with them.

Tuesday I had to go to San Salvador with Elder Lupérdiga from Peru because we had to go to the District leader meeting with President Hintze. It was super motivating and I learned a lot, especially about doing baptismal interviews. Also, there is always the bonus of free food. We got back early and we went looking for our companions. They weren´t where they were suppose to be so we ended up searching for them for two hours.

Wednesday was super cool because we found someone named Dinora that is super positive and understands a lot of what we teach her, which a key factor. The only problem is that she just recently found a job, which is hard, and she works Sundays. But she is going to see what she can do to get time off.

Thursday had zone meeting and district meeting and ordered Pizza Hut to the church afterwards. Then one of the assistants came with us in our area for an hour and a half. It was kind of annoying because all of our appointments feel through.

Friday we got caught in a giant tropical storm when were teaching in some houses made of corrugated metal down by the river. It was super cool, cool because it was dark with a ton of lighting and thunder with the palm trees wiping around in the wind. It felt like we were in a movie.

Saturday was similar. We played ping pong with and then taught an investigator. While we were teaching him a storm kicked up and the power went out after the rain had died down we went out side and found out that a lot of trees and branches had fallen, but luckily no one got hurt.

Sunday Salvador came to church. Hopefully he can start to stop some of his vices and start to change his life. He seems like he wants it, he just makes bad decisions with his friends. We ended up finding a ton of news this week, which is something we really needed. Hopefully they can start coming to church soon.

An investigator this week was talking to us about predestination. I feel like that is such a sad way to believe. Really, it doesn´t matter what you do, it just matters if God chooses you. That completely negates all that Christ has done for us. I know that God loves all of his children and he wants them to all come back to Him, but he also doesn´t take away our free agency. I am glad to have the hope the restored Gospel brings to my life.

Elder Vierkant






Lidership meeting with Elder Lupérdiga and Elder Steenhoek
 
Me and Perry

Eatting Pizza at Prestos with the Zone

Me and Angel
 

Me and Angel

Me and hermano Transito in an abandoned catholic orphanage