Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 102 (I think?)

 Week 102 of 102 1/2 (8/24-8/30)

Good mawning,

I haven't really been counting time, so I don't know exactly how many weeks I have, but I think that is a fairly good guess.

Anyway, the highlight of this last week was when we got the chance to hear from President Nielsen. He visited El Salvador and spoke with the missionaries in the three missions. We watched the meeting via internet. We had the opportunity to watch all the missionaries over in El Salvador shake hands with him. We also had the opportunity to listen to the counselors from the area presidency. There was a lot of great counsel given and I learned a lot from everything that was said. It is incredible to feel the power and authority that the Apostles have as they testify and teach.

Other than that, we worked hard and did our best to serve the Lord.

Considering this is my last email home, I figure I should share my testimony or something special. So I will, but I will keep it short because I feel like what I say can only show so much. I figure what I am and what I do when I get home will be a more powerful testimony than what I may say here. I know that this is the Lords work. I know that He guides it and leads it. I know that God and Jesus Christ love us and desire our happiness. I know that the gospel is the power of God for salvation, to perfect us and give us happiness in this life and eternal life in the life to come. I know that the truth has been restored once more.

I have enjoyed this time the the Lord has given me to serve Him in Belize and in El Salvador and I will remember it forever.

Elder Vierkant






Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Semana ciento uno!

Week 101 of 102 1/2 (8/17-8/23)

Wha da go on?

This last week was really awesome! We saw a lot of miracles and blessings from the work we have done and because people had been prepared.

First of all, last Monday we got the opportunity to head way out in our area with the rest of the district to visit the property of one of the members of the ward, who was nice enough to give us food and take on a tour of the jungle. It was a really fun activity and it was awesome to get the chance to appreciate the natural beauty of Belize.

Wednesday was action packed as well. Our zone had interviews with president Hintze. It is always a great privilege to get to talk with president Hintze and I learned a lot from him. After we got the chance to work with Elder Coates, who is one of the assistants in El Salvador. Apparently, they sent the assistants over here to Belize to learn from the way we do missionary work. Elder Coates is a great missionary and we had a ton of fun. We also had a lot of success. We invited everyone to repent and be baptised.

Friday, we did interchanges with other missionaries in Belmopan so we could get some interviews done. I had the opportunity to work with Elder Valverde from Ecuador. We had a great experience and we met a lot of great people. I also had the chance to do an interview. I love interviews because they are always a great spiritual experience.

Speaking of spiritual experiences, another great experience was Justin s baptism on Saturday! It was really awesome to see the change in him from when we first met him to now. It is also awesome to see his increasing willingness to follow Christ. After the baptism the branch had a sports night and we got to play futball for a lee bit. It was a great day.

Sunday was a bit crazy, but in the end Justin got confirmed. After church, we taught an awesome family that has one of the most sincere desires to know if what we teach is true. I really hope to see them progress and to go to the district conference next Sunday.

Anways, awesome week, this week will be great as well.

Elder Vierkant


Gotta love the tan line!!







Sunday, August 23, 2015

Semana cien!

Week 100 of 101 (8/10-8/16)

Hello,

I have to keep this short because I don't have much time left to write.

This week was great. I had the opportunity to go down to Dangriga again. I really love it down there. The people are really open and they are really accepting. There are some really great missionaries down there too, which is a bonus. I got the chance to work with Elder Mariano again as well as Elder Haynes, who is new to the zone.

We had a huge blessing this week. Justin, one of our investigators that we had stopped visiting as much. came to church. He decided he wants to get baptized this next weekend, so we are going to help prepare him for that. He is willing to live the gospel principles that we teach him which is awesome.

We had a lot of blessings and miracles this week I love being a missionary. I love helping people change their lives and become happier and better. I love ever moment of it and I am going to take advantage of every moment that I have.

Elder Vierkant

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Semana noventa y nueve!

Week 98 of 101 (8/03-8/09)

Hello,

I am trying to start this email without using any generic greetings or introductions, but it is just too hard. I hope you all appreciate irony, because this week was full of it.

The most notable event was Sunday during gospel principles class. Elder Ellis and I were teaching about family responsibilities and were discussing the individual roles in the homes. As we began to teach about the responsibilities of the mother at home, I looked at who was in our class. We, two twenty year old young men, were teaching 6 or 7 experienced mothers the responsibilities of a mother. Oh, I couldn't help but laugh. It definitely made the class much more interesting.

Other things that happened this week: we met a lot of prepared people while contacting referrals and just talking with everyone we met. One of the greatest is Carlos. He lives in a village called Camalote, a pretty far bike ride from where we normally are. We met him contacting and we set a return appointment and invited him to church. Last Sunday we past by to take him to church, but we didn't see him. When we returned to visit him on Wednesday, it turns out he had been waiting for us but he was waiting in a different place than we had expected and had gone out at the wrong time. But he immediately committed himself to go to church again and he decided that he wanted to get baptised! He said that when he makes decisions, he is very strong about it and that was really something that he wanted to do. It is amazing to see how the Lord puts prepared people in your way.

We are doing great and working hard. Elder Ellis got a little bit sick but we still got a lot done, even though we had to stay home a few times.

Uhhh, that's all folks!

Elder Vierkant

 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Semana noventa y ocho!

Week 97 of 101 (7/27-8/02)

Hello!

This week was awesome! And super exhausting! We did a lot of biking around and we talked to a lot of different people.

Our area is a basically a 8 mile stretch along the Western Highway of Belize, and just to get there we have to bike about a mile, all up a gradual hill. This week we were visiting one of the farthest parts of our area because that is where some referrals took us. We found a lot of news, but we were exhausted by the ride. I might be go pro cyclist when I get back. Or I might just loose a lot of weight. Either way.

But we did meet some great people. I felt like we have been finding through the Spirit a lot more this week. For example, yesterday we biked by a house and I got the impression that later on in the day we should go talk to the people that live there. It got pretty late in the day and we were about to leave the villages and head back to Belmopan and we still hadn't gone to contact those people. I told my companion that we really needed to head over there and so we took off towards that part of Roaring Creek (the village we were in.) As we approached the door and started to talk to the kids, the father stepped out and immediately invited us in. We got the opportunity to talk with them and get to know them a bit better. Turns out that they had talked to missionaries before and they are willing to learn more about the message we share. I feel like the Lord has been preparing them and this might be the time where they accept the gospel.

This week I was really impressed on the importance of love in the work of God. "And Faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God qualify him for the work." D&C 4:5 Love and charity are attributes that are required to qualify for the work of the Lord. In other words, if we don't have love or charity, we are not qualified for this work. Love and charity are what give power to the words we speak as we testify of the Atonement to invite the Spirit of God into our meetings. The Atonement is in itself an act of pure love and charity. For that reason, whenever we testify of the Atonement, the Spirit can be felt.

So just know, I love you!

Elder Vierkant


We were cleaning and I found everything red that I could wear and I put it on.

Semana noventa y siete!

Week 96 of 101 (7/20-7/26)

Hello!

So I will get right to it. My new companion is none other than Elder Ellis! Now that was a surprising change, considering we were already companions one change in Santa Elena. It has been really cool to have an old companion again because you can see how much people can change in just a short amount of time. We were only separated for 3 months, but he has become an even better missionary during that short amount of time.

Other things that happened this week: I went on interchanges with Elder Valverde, who is from Ecuador. He just got to Belize from El Salvador. He speaks really good English for having learned it in high school. We had the chance to talk about my first area, Central, because he started his mission there as well. He told me some of the stories that the members had told him about my time there. It was funny to hear the stories from their point of view. It was also great to hear how they are all doing.

This week we spent our time biking out to really far part of our area. It is up hill, 5 or six miles away from our house. It seems to be worth it though because there are some pretty positive investigators there. Also, I think I might have the stamina to be a professional cyclist when I get home. So there's that.

I had a great week this week. I hope everyone is happy.

Jolachik,

Elder Vierkant

Semana noventa y seis!

Week 95 of 101 (7/13-7/19)

Hello,

I learned how to say hello in Mayan this week as well as good-bye, but I have no idea how to spell it, other wise my greeting would have been a lot more interesting.

Anyways, This week went by really fast. We had the opportunity to talk with an investigator that had disappeared a while back. She was suppose to get baptized in May. She lives a fair distance from where we normally work and so we only go when we can set appointments with her over her phone. WE finally got a hold of her and set an appointment with her. When we were actually able to teach her, we found out that she has a strong testimony of the gospel. She accepted baptism and so did her three children. It was really awesome!

We taught Bruce. He is such a great guy! He is really sincere and cares a lot about his family. He really wants to change his life. Humility is such a great attribute, but sometimes it is a little bit hard to find. He has it though. Hopefully he will continue to progress, as well as his daughter.

The zone had some baptisms on Saturday and on Sunday, it was a great opportunity to see more of our Heavenly Fathers children make a promises with their Father in Heaven. It opens up so many opportunities in life. I am so convinced that our ability to make and keep promises and covenants is directly related with our progress in this life and in the Eternity.

This week I realized how many people know that the message we share is true. The Spirit testifies to them. But, they aren't always willing to accept and act on what they learn. As missionaries, we invite people to change and call to repentance, but everyone has their own ability to choose how they act. I know that if we are willing to give our will and promise to do the will of our Father, we will be blessed more than what ever sacrifice that we may have to make.

Finally, marijuana IS bad for you, no matter what people think!

Elder Vierkant

 From the multi-zone with Elder Ochoa


Semana noventa y cinco!

Week 94 of 101 (7/06-7/12)


HELLO!

Considering the limited amount of time that we had to work this week, Elder Stone and I had a great week this week.

On Tuesday I went on interchanges with Elder Goodman so he could od an interview for Florita. Right Before the interview, we had a great lesson with her and President Gomez. She was super happy and excited, and a bit nervous. Later on, at night, we were riding around the wealthier part of our area going to a recent converts house, when Elder Goodman suddenly pulled over and decided we should knock on a door. I was a bit hesitant, but we went over to the door and knocked anyways. We waited a few minutes before the door was opened and we met a man named Bruce. turns out Bruce is super nice! He has been to the United States and he knows Salt Lake. We talked a bit about families. He was super great and invited us to come back over a different night.

On Wednesday, we had a leadership meeting in Belize City. Normally we do the meeting in the morning, but in El Salvador they had had a meeting with Elder Ochoa of the Area presidency, so the Skype call was later on in the day. It was a great meeting and I learned a lot about how to follow the Spirit and our potential as a mission.

Thursday my companion and I went to The U.S. Embassy, which is in our area. There we waited for the mission president and Elder Ochoa and their wives. It was interesting passing through security and entering the embassy because we felt like we were entering back into the United States. When the others arrived, we were escorted to a meeting room, where we got to meet with the U.S. ambassador. It was a really great meeting. We had the opportunity to present what we do as a church and as missionaries. We talked a lot about service and the projects we have done in the past as well as what is happening in the future. I learned a lot. It was interesting to see how people notice what we do. They know who we are and what we do as missionaries. we really do represent the Lord. After the meeting, we did splits while my companion went to get his final interview from President Hintze. I went with Elder Castillo to pick people up in a bus that took us all to San Ignasio where we had a fireside with Elder Ochoa.

Friday we spent the day in Belize city for a meeting with all the missionaries and Elder Ochoa. It was really great training. I feel like it was really directed towards me. It helped me to realize what I can do to have the Spirit more in my teaching.

Saturday was the baptism for Florita! It was a bit crazy because the water stopped working before the font was full and then she told me right before that she wanted me to baptize her. But, once it started, it was a great spiritual experience. After the baptism, I had to go do an interview in the other elders area for the baptism that they had Sunday morning.

I don't have any more time, but I hope you all know that I am keeping my self busy and that I am happy and healthy.

Elder Vierkant


Semana noventa y cuatro!

Week 93 of 101 (6/29-7/05)
 
How unu da do?

This week was super fun. I got the chance to go to Dangriga this week. It is really beautiful down there and the people are super warm and friendly, just like the climate. I me get di chance fi spek eena da Belize Kriol too.

When we do interchanges with Dangriga, we go for two days to do interchanges with the two areas. However, while I was down there, the other elders found out that they had to go to Belize City for immigration. So I got to do Interchanges with Elder Ford for both days. It has been incredible to see how much he has changed during the course of 15 months that I have known him. He is the missionary I have been around the most during my mission, so I have been able to see those changes well.

I know that the Lord molds us and changes us if we are willing to let Him. I have seen changes in myself and in others around me as they have given their will over to the Lord. It really is the greatest blessing, because each change brings us closer to Him. Moroni 10:32-33 is one of my favorite scriptures that teaches us that, while we may make mistakes, we can become perfect through Christ as we us our agency to do His will.

The mission is like chocolate cake, it is really great.

Elder Vierkant

Semana noventa y tres!

Week 92 of 101 (6/22-6/28)

I have no time really. But I would like to let you know that I am doing really well. We had an awesome week. I got to see with my old companion Elder Williams again when the assistants visited our zone. I got to work Elder Shirley. We had a super great day and we did a lot of work.

Florita came to church again this Sunday. She is super excited to get baptized. She is great and shows so much faith. I know that the gospel is blessing her life because I can see.

Also, we dug a 15 foot well as a service project.

Elder Vierkant
 
 



 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Semana noventa y dos!

Week 91 of 101 (6/15-6/21)

Hello!

This week was great! Elder Stone and I had a ton of fun and we did a lot of work. We are seeing lots of miracles in our area and it has been great to see the progress of the investigators that we are helping come closer to Jesus Christ. I love to see people make changes in their lives through repentance. There is such happiness that comes from it. When we don't repent, we remain in darkness, confusion and sadness. When we have the courage to repent, we have light, happiness and a renewed sense of purpose as the children of God.

This week we had the awesome opportunity to work with the Elders from Dangriga. I got to work with Elder Sac from Guatemala in our area for two days. He has the least time in the mission of all the missionaries in our zone- 4 months. Everyone else has over a year. But regardless of time, he is a great missionary. He is learning English and he is doing a great job. It is awesome to see how The Spanish speakers learn English here in Belize. The Lord most definitely helps them and it is a huge blessing for their lives.

Some sad news: Floritas pipe burst Sunday morning and she wasn't able to make it to church. Good news: We visited her after church and she is doing great!  We also started to teach some of her family.

I know this email is short but there is a lot more to do today and not too much more time. Just know that I am safe, I am having a great time and this is the greatest work that anyone can ever do and it brings so much happiness.

BYE!

Elder Vierkant
 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Semana noventa y uno!

Week 91 of 101 (6/08-6/14)

Hello! 

I hope that everyone had a great week, I did! I almost can't really remember what happened. But I will try my best to remember.

On Tuesday we had changes. We traveled out to Belize City and waited for about an hour in the chapel to find out where everyone was going. They did a slide show to show where the changes were. Elder Williams was the very first person to find out. He is now serving in Belize City as the Assistant with Elder Shirley, They are both awesome missionaries, so I am super excited for that. My companion is Elder Stone is my new companion. He was actually already in the zone, down in Dangriga, they just moved him to Belmopan. Elder Stone and I actually lived in the same house a year and a half ago. He was my district leader in Opico.

The rest of the week went really well! We worked super hard and talked to a lot of people. We saw a lot of progress in some of our investigators. This Sunday Florita came to church. She is so excited to get baptized and she accepts the gospel so quickly. She really has been prepared.

I know that my email might not seem like much right now, but I don't think I can really communicate in 10 minutes all the different things that have happened this last week. I am super excited for the future. We have a lot of goals and we have the motivation to accomplish them. I know that we are edifying the Lords kingdom on Earth. I know he is directing us. I know that as we are obedient and as we give all our heart might mind and strength to the Lord, He will mold and reform us into the people He needs us to be and we will blessed with abilities and strengths. 

Amen,

Elder Vierkant
 
 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Semana noventa!

Week 90 of 101 (6/01-6/07)  

Mawnin', mawnin,

This week was just another great week of missionary work. Is there much else to say? Elder Williams and I had the great opportunity to meet a lot of new people that are willing to accept the gospel.

I had the chance to go with Elder Wither this week to his area on interchanges. I love being able to go visit with other missionaries because you learn so much and you have great experiences. You also get to know the missionaries around you better and it helps everyone to work in more unity.

The Mendenhalls, the senior couple here in Belmopan left this morning for Idaho. It was sad to see them to go home. They really have helped the work here. Senior missionaries help so much and they are such a blessing and example for us younger missionaries. I am extremely grateful for Elder Mendenhall, who noticed that my shoes were dying and traded me this morning. Now I won't go home barefoot.

There are changes this week. Elder Williams is leaving. I am sad to see him go. He is a great missionary. He is on his last change, so I hope he works hard to finish off his mission.

This work is lead by God. I know that we do not always understand the things that go on around us, but I know it is for our good. Patience, faith, and diligence are the attributes that we must have to succeed in this work.

bye,

Elder Vierkant


Photo: These shoes were sent to us a couple of weeks after Matthew mentioned them in his blog. There was a letter sent with them which is below.


Brother and Sister Vierkant,

Enclosed you will find the shoes I wore home from our mission. These are priceless and show the dedication and hardwork that your son has put into serving the Lord. Believe me, he is a great missionary!! It was a pleasure for Sister Mendenhall and I to serve with him. We worked with him and Elder Williams, Monday night in Rearing Creek and Cotton Tree. We enjoyed listening and learning from him and Elder Williams during our weekly zone meeting each Wednesday. I gave all of my partially worn shoes to the missionaries in Belize before coming home because I did not have the room to carry them in my luggage. Senior couples are not nearly as hard on clothes as young missionaries walking and riding bikes all day everyday.

Brother Mendenhall

Semana ochenta y nueve!

Week 89 of 101 (5/25-5/31)  

Hello!

We had a great week this week! 

First of all, we found a super awesome family, Carlos and Judith, by contacting referrals this week. They are super willing to listen, which some times it can be hard to find people who pay attention. They have kept most of the commitments that we have left them. We were definitely lead to them by the Spirit.

We also did interchanges with the missionaries that are in Dangriga. Elder Mariano, from the Dominican Republic came up and was with me for two days while Elder Williams did interchanges in Dangriga. It was a great, especially because Elder Mariano served in Central, my first area. He told me about some of the people that I had taught while I was there. It turns out that one of the less actives that I had taught had gone to the temple and gotten sealed! I was super excited! That is pretty much the best thing I could ever hear!

This Sunday we also got the chance to see Loretta get confirmed! She is great and I know that she will be a great asset for the branch. She is always super excited to go to church and to keep the commandments. She was definitely prepared for this moment.

I hope that you have a great week!

Elder Vierkant

P.S. Congratulations Joselyne for getting married!
 
 

Semana ochenta y ocho!

Week 88 of 101 (5/18-5/24) 

Hello!

Today was super great! Actually the whole week was awesome!

On Tuesday, we had a super awesome experience. We were teaching someone and we invited him to be baptized on the 13th of June. He agreed and said he wanted to "just get it done." Then he gave a bunch of referrals for a bunch of different people that we could go visit.

Wednesday was awesome. Elder Mendenhall told us that President Hinze wanted to Skype us before zone meeting. We all showed up early, a little bit nervous because we didn't know what it was all about. When everyone was there, we messaged him and he called us. Turns out he was just calling to congratulate us for our week. We had the most progressing investigators, new investigators and invitations to baptism in the whole mission, by a lot. He then had Elder Mendenhall take us all out to eat pizza after zone meeting.

In zone meeting we talked about hastening the work. We did a speed cup stacking tournament. Turns out that one of the sisters in our zone is a national speed stacking champion. We talked about how they had to be quick but they had to do it correctly and neatly in order to succeed. We talked about hastening but not being hasty.

There were a lot other cool experiences we had, which I don't have time to write about. But I would like to talk about the baptisms today! Today three people got baptized in the branch. It was incredible. One of the most incredible parts was that Lorretta, our investigators, walked 3 miles from Roaring Creek to the chapel in order to get baptized. Talk about faith! It has been such an incredible to teach her and see her faith. 

The Gospel makes us happy. So live it!

Elder Vierkant


Photos:
 
1) A day in Dangriga
2) This is Lorretta. She got baptized today. She is super incredible- she walked 3 miles to the chapel to get baptized!
3) Getting treated to pizza after zone meeting. 









Semana ochenta y siete!

Week 87 of 101 (5/11-5/17)


Hello! 
 
This week went by super fast. Probably because we did a bunch of companion exchanges and did a lot of fun things. 
 
On Tuesday we did interchanges with the other Elders in Belmopan because they were going to do a baptismal interview for us. That ended up falling through, but we still had a great day. I was with Elder Withers, who is from Idaho. He is a great missionary. He is very humble and kind. We had a really cool experience asking everyone for referrals.  We were riding down the street and we decided to talk some people in the house. We tried to talk with them but most of them tried to hide from us and the rest of the people weren't really interested. When seemed a little pointless trying to talk to them anyone and we were about to leave, Elder Withers decided to ask if they knew anyone we could talk to. They said yes and gave us a name and an address. It was awesome! 
 
On Wednesday I want on interchanges to Dangriga for two days. Dangriga is a town about two hours from Belmopan. It is on the coast and its a little bit like San Pedro. They people are really friendly and open so it was a ton of fun to work there. On Wednesday we went to a family home evening. On the way, we talked with a little girl, about six years old. I don't remember what the Elder asked the little girl but she looked at him and said "Because... Jesus made Frozen." Completely unrelated to what he said, but it was pretty funny. 
 
ON Thursday I got to go with Elder Mariano from the Dominican Republic. He is a great guy. I have a lot of respect for him because he speaks mostly Spanish and Dangriga is a mostly English area, so its forcing him to learn English faster. We had a great day and we made an effort to talk with everyone and invite them to repent and be baptized. It was a great day. We also had the opportunity to listen to a guy pray in Garifuna. I didn't understand a thing, but it sounded really cool. 
 
Lorreta came to church today. She is the wife of a less active. She is so excited to join the church and you can see how the Gospel has made her so much happier. I am super excited for her and her baptism and it is so cool to see how the gospel has blessed her life.
 
Remember to read your scriptures, pray and have Family Home Evening.
 
Elder Vierkant
 
 

Semana ochenta y seis!

Week 86 of 101 (5/04-5/10)

Hello!

Well, I hope all the mothers that read this had a great mothers day and that all those that have mothers did something nice for their mother. It was great being able to talk with my family again. You guys are awesome and motivate me to work hard.

This week was great. We taught a lot of people and we found a lot of new people to teach. We had an awesome experience this week. As a zone, we have put a goal to fulfill the standards of excellence that President Hinze has put out. One of them is to ask referrals from everyone we talk to. Sometimes it is hard to remember to do it, but the Spirit helps us to remember. One such occasion that was when we were teaching some siblings. We shared the "Because He lives" video and we were sharing a brief message to go along with the video. As we ended, we remembered to ask for a referral from them. They thought for a second and then referred us to a house just up the road. It was a bit unusual because a lot of people you contact in the street don't normally try to help you share the Gospel.

As we walked away, my companion and I discusses how we both had felt really impressed to asked for the referral. We tried to contact it then, but they weren't home. Then we went on Saturday and we were able to find them all. We invited them to learn more about the message we had and we invited them to church.They said "yes." But the best part was that they followed through! Not only did they come but they also brought two neighbor boys. It was a great experience and it really shows me that God is leading us towards those who are prepared, especially if we take the time to ask Him and others for help.

I love you all!

Elder Vierkant
 
 
Photos are from a service project.