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

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)


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)


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