Monday, March 21, 2016

#21 Sharing the Gospel is aaaaaamazing! (and a few pictures)

Okay so this week was pretty aaaaaamazing!  We had a lot of fun this week and a lot of progress and witnessing that the gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is truly the savior of the world with the people here on island.    Since Elder Page is still in Barbados for medical reasons, Elder Wilson is with Elder Gordon and I and we are covering two areas.  It’s rough but fun because we get to teach a lot of people.

We have this family that is really progressing.  Yesterday we gave them something called a Pathway to Baptism plan where we set out the steps and the things we need to do before they get baptized.  It helped us to see what was holding them back and what we can do to help them. They are super awesome, when we teach them they asked great questions and showed a great desire to learn and to grow. 

This week one of the lessons I learned was always following the spirit.  On Tuesday we were walking by this lady and I felt the prompting to turn around and to talk to this lady.   I stopped my companions and said we needed to go back, there was instant opposition from the adversary and he did not want us to go back and talk to this lady.  We overcame that challenge and when we went back, we were able to find out that she used to be taught by the missionaries and that right now in her life she has some really rough things going on and has needed some help.  We went back to see her yesterday and she explained that one of her really good friends has gone missing and she has been praying really hard for guidance.  We shared with her that as she trusts in the Lord and knows that it by his will, not our own, she will have peace.  And like Grandpa taught me, God is waiting to grant us our blessing as long as we pray for them to show him our desire and then he will help us. She expressed how grateful she was and how it helped so much.

This week coming up were hoping to baptize a young man whose name is Chris.  He is a really cool kid and has expressed to us how grateful he is and how the gospel has truly changed him for the better.  He isn’t sure who is going to baptize him but I might be the one doing it so that means I will get to go in the ocean this week but whether I do or not, the most important thing is,  we get to see this kid take an amazing step in our Heavenly Fathers Plan. 

We are also going to start teaching a man who is a St. Vincent soulka star.  He is really cool, he showed us his music video that is coming out.  His name is Clifford. He goes by a different name professionally that I don’t remember but he already has a lot of really good doctrine instilled in his mind.

Well I love you all and I leave you with a scripture - Revelations 22:21.  I’m going to make you go get your Bible and look it up because if I quoted it, it would be too easy.

Love Elder Fokken

Elder Gordon and I just before PDay Hike

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

#20 And we're off!

Alright, week one of my fourth transfer and it has been a great one.  My new companion, Elder Gordon is really awesome.  He came here on Tuesday and we realized that because we didn’t get much work done in our area recently, we need to pretty much visit each home in our area.  So we did a lot of walking around trying to set up appointments with new investigators and visiting old investigators.  We had great success.  We were able to teach some really amazing lessons.  It has been really great because Elder Gordon has been on his mission for 21 months and knows a lot.  I have been learning so many great ways to teach and to make it very simple to where anyone can understand.  It’s really great being able to learn from him.

Elder Gordon and I were able to get a family to church on Sunday.  The family members all live in different parts of the area but they all came together as a family and went to church.  It is the family of the kid named Junior who I mentioned before who I said is the next Ezekial Ansah. (Google Ezekial Ansah Story if you don’t know how he is.)   Anyway, it was really amazing to see them all at church and it was just super cool because we taught them after church and they are all so cool and involved and just want to learn more about what they can do to grow closer to Jesus Christ.

This week my buddy Elder Page had to go to Barbados for surgery on something that has been bugging him for a while but we were able to have a big final mini basketball game and it was tied at 19 and we play to twenty one.  He hit a three pointer in my face to win but we are definitely putting that hoop to good use.  It is our morning workout.

Elder Gordon cooked me some really good baked chicken this week and I made fettuccine so that was the best meal I have had in a really long time. 

Since Elder Page went to Barbados and won’t be back for a while, Elder Gordon and I are in a trio with Elder Wilson so we are now covering all of the whole eastern side of island.  It is really tough trying to find the time to get everything done but it is a fun struggle because we get to meet so many awesome people and get to teach a bunch of people but it’s still hard trying to split up the time. 

This week has been a really awesome.  One where I have been able to feel Gods love as I have pushed myself as a missionary to do the best I can with all of these people and to truly show that I love them through the small acts of kindness.  Small acts of kindness show Gods love in a great way because it’s like God giving us the little tender mercies we need.  Darcy Edwards told me a couple weeks ago to look for miracles in my life.   I have seen how a family that was really struggling, as we prayed and visited them a lot, were able to just show a great desire to do better and it has made me so happy.

I love you all so much

Love Elder Fokken 

Monday, March 7, 2016

#19 Staying in St. Vincent...New Companion on the way...

Alright, so this is the last week of the transfer and there was a lot of running around getting my Companion Elder Tupou ready to move to St. Lucia.   As for me, I will be staying in St. Vincent and my new Companion will be Elder Gordon who is from Jamaica.   I have served around him since I have been out in the field and he is a really awesome guy.   I am really excited to serve with him and to get a lot of work done in this area because there are so many amazing people here in this area.

As for this past week, nothing special really happened besides last Monday we missed the 4pm bus ride back so we got stuck in town.  We didn’t get home until Tuesday and sleeping in dirty clothes is not fun and really kills the nose.

So in the Caribbean there is something called “play names”.  It’s were the local give someone a nickname and that’s what you are called from then on.   There really weird like there is a guy named “kuku” and another named man “bud” so there really hard on the creative nature but as a missionary it is a dream to get a play name.   Last week I shared how they call me “fast balla”. That is only when go play cricket.  This last week I received the name “Billy”.  I’m really not sure why or anything but now wherever I go in our town people just call me Billy.  It’s probably my greatest accomplishment to get a play name so all the other missionaries are jealous.

I’m sorry for this week’s short letter.  My comp sleeps in most of the day so we are only out a few hours every day and when were out it’s hard to get him going.  So as soon as I get my new companion it should be back to good emails with interesting things going on and spiritual experiences and such. One positive thing about not getting out much is I did read the Book of Mormon in 42 days.   Pretty exciting but I hope I don’t ever have time to do that again on my mission.  However, I do understand the enabling power of the Atonement a lot more now.

I love you all and hope you’re doing well.
Love Elder Fokken

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#18 Toilet paper, limes and form "Big White" in Barbados to "Fast Balla" in St. Vincent.

Alright so another boring week.  My Comp is still sick so we didn’t get to go out to much into my area but I was saved by Elder Page who is another Elder who I live with.  We went on two trade-offs.  One of them I went into his area to work and it was so awesome.  One of the best parts about going to someone else’s area is there is no pressure because these aren’t my investigators so I just get to relax and try to help them and not have to lead the discussion.  We met with this man whose name is Brother Warren.  He is awesome.   He has throat problems so he is hard to understand but he is so amazing because he just wants to serve others.  He told us all he wants to do is serve the people because it serves God at the same time.  We were like, “oh flip, is this King Benjamin speaking or Brother Warren”?  To you non Book of Mormon readers, King Benjamin is a profit who talk a lot about “when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.”   After the discussion he gave us a half a roll of toilet paper that was shredded up, a bunch of limes and he tried giving us other things but we just accept the toilet paper and limes.  It was just so much fun spending time with him.

This week I got to play in a big game of cricket with these kids around my age.  It was so much fun.  There was like fifty people watching us play.   My new nickname in this town is “Fast Balla”.   It’s just the funniest thing because back home I definitely was not the “fast balla” guy. But it was just fun having fun building relationships with the locals.  Cricket is hard because the batter can stand in front of the wickets so they can get beaned all the time and it does not matter. If I wanted I could just keep giving kids bruises until they understand how to play a baseball style of cricket.

We had Zone Conference this week and that was interesting because we talked a lot about the Enabling power of Jesus Christs Atonement.  How everything that we go through in this life can be made right with his Atonement.   We just have to understand that and to apply it to our lives.   Every day that I leave the apartment, I see that without that amazing thing that he did for us, I would not be able to experience the immense amount of love that I have for these people.  There would be no chance for me to help them become better people.  It is the greatest thing anyone has ever done for us and words cannot comprehend how grateful I am.

Well this transfer is almost over and I’m not sure if I will be staying or going but I will be informing you all next week.

Love you all so much

Elder Fokken