Monday, April 2, 2012

Last Letter

This week was cool, and conference was nice.  I was having trouble through most of the conference to really be connected and engaged.  I took a few notes but really wasn't in 100% until the last session.  Then that last one, I was in, and following closely.  It seemed like all the talks were applicable and necessary.  I followed intently and loved it.  When we watch conference, we're all by the Tammenga chapel.  The chapel is very very warm and humid and makes you very very sleepy.  I liked the later sessions best because it wasn't at the highest point of the sun.  After and during all the conference sessions I talked to all the members and said goodbye, it was great.  I went in with the attitude of just celebrating the gospel, not being sad that we're leaving.  It's nice having Elders Guinn, Tullis, and Freeman around to go through all this with.

This morning at 2am I arose from bed to end my 2 hour sleep.  I called the zone leaders to see if they were still coming.  We had called the night before, and couldn't reach them, and still at 2am, couldn't reach them.  I knew that they were sleeping.  So, I called sister Jansen, and asked for suggestions.  She went over to their house with Elder  Jansen and woke them up, we all packed into the car and made our way to the airport.  We arrived in Trinidad, and haven't done a single thing since.  I hope that these next 3 days aren't like today has been so far.  Unplanned, useless and boring.  It's seriously about as bad as torture can be.  I've got a 6" sandwich in my pocket though, so if I get hungry, I'll be ready.   We're staying with the Assistants.  Today is p-day and there doesn't seem to be much going on, I assume that tomorrow there will be missionary work to do?  We'll just be hanging out here at the office for the time being.  I counted down the hours until we're in Utah.  It's so far, yet so close.
Elder Warner will be working with Elder Sadler.  Old eyes see best and our appointments were all great.
I think one of my last two birthday cakes is in order.  I haven't had good chocolate cake in two years.  
I love you all. See you soon.
-Elder Hulme

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wedding, Baptism, Coconuts

March 19, 2012

Beste Families, Succes om dit te kunnen lezen!
This week has been pleasant.  I think for the inhabitants of both continents.  And there have been no further tropical diseases.  And my bike has been a strong as ever.  
Brother Lloyd Olymph and Sister Jolanda Verdies were married Wednesday March 14th at 6pm in Paramaribo.  It was scary at first that nobody was going to come. Elder Guinn in all his wisdom pointed out that they began at 5pm on a work day, and that people would be filtering in as the night drew on.  Which they did.  Elder Warner and I were in charge of drinks, and we had a lot of fun, a lot of spills and a lot of drinks.  President Gefferie was not there, because he was being trained for his new promotion, which training took place in the interior.  The problem was that he's the only one in the branch who even owns music.  No music afterwords makes for a tough party.  Luckily Brother Olymph knows a lot of songs, and he sang the music that night until Jason, the son of President Gefferie, came with music.  Everything seemed to work out perfectly.  The food was good and there was enough for everyone.  We met a lot of new people, family from both sides.  A few of our investigators were present, and everyone seemed to have a great time.  
Saturday was also a cool day.  Brother Olymph was baptized.  This was a very very special service for me.  It was so peaceful and right feeling.  He bore a beautiful testimony at the end.  He is very determined to take his new wife to the temple.  If the photo will actually come through, I'm waving to you all.  Seriously though, it was the best baptismal service ever.  After the service there was a priesthood training by the first counselor to the mission president, President Goodluck of Guyana, and Elder Anderson of the 2nd quorum of the 70.  It was fantastic.  They did a recent convert training the next morning(Sunday) before district conference.  Elder Anderson taught us how Christ can also be called the father.  It comes by baptism.  Just as when I was born I took the name of Hulme and call Mr Hulme father, when someone is born again or baptized, they take the name of Christ, and he is thus their father.  Really cool, because nobody has been able to understand that since the time of Christ.  I've still got to restudy it and compile it in my study journal.  If anyone wants to read my study journals, you are welcome to.  I was studying my old one this morning, and there is some good stuff in there!
P. is learning slowly.  We are the tutors.  We have no idea how to teach people to read, but it seems to be working, he becomes continually better.  It's extra challenging since he is reading a language that he can barely speak. We may need to get him some Sranan Tongo reading material.  We're going over there in a few hours to make roti and french fries.  For some reason P. really wants to make us french fries, so we said we'd make him roti.  It should be a good experience, we'll practice reading even more.  
I discovered coconuts this week!  Our house has 4 coconut trees and they are almost all ready to eat.  I've got about 8 in the fridge right now.  We cool them down, and then use them to make smoothies using the coconut water and goo, and frozen bananas, and watermelon or whatever else we've got.  It's so good.  The first 2 I ate made me feel awful, but I guess your body just needs to get used to drinking coconut water. 
I need all of your help to keep me focused, I've been praying for help.  
Thanks for everything
-Elder Hulme

Subh Holi

March 12, 2012
Hello everyone, Subh Holi!

I was on exchanges with S. and we went to P.'s home.  Upon arrival I refused to step inside.  P. asked me"Yu a frede fu a kon?" which means "are you afraid to come inside?"  I explained that due to the filthy photograph on the wall, I would not come inside.  He walked over, tore it from his little wooden wall ruined it, and threw the photo away. I was very impressed.  He's been learning to read, and repenting.  I really like P.
Subh Holi is have a good holy. Phagwa is a Hindu holiday that I love very much.  It's mostly just a big party, but you party with what's called Phagwa Powder, colored powder to color clothing and skin.  I had to wear old clothing to avoid loss, because it all got destroyed.  Here is how Phagwa works; You go to someone and ask if they are playing, if so, you pour powder all over them.  Sometimes people forget to ask.  The old men do it a little more reserved.  They come and spray some cologne/perfume on you, a few sprays on either shoulder, and give you a hug.  We'll be celebrating it in Utah next year.  I think by that big temple in Spanish Fork people come together to do it yearly there.  There is loud Hindu music and singing and dancing and some drinking.  Lots of food like Curry with roti or rice.  We celebrated with S. and his sister S. and their family.  We also met a bunch of new people and should be getting a new investigator soon.  
Saturday we went to Sister H.'s home to learn to make curry.  We made two kinds of curry and 3 kinds of rotis and had a great time.  We got some referrals too.  I wrote it ALL down, so mom I'll have to show you how to make this food some day, because it tastes so so so good.  It's actually almost healthy too, depending on which kind you make.  

Bro O. will be baptized on Saturday!! also married on Wednesday preceding the baptism.  It's so impressive talking to him, how he's changed his life from being on the streets addicted to drugs and breaking most of the commandments, to being a well groomed man who is about to make a covenant with God to always keep the commandments.  I love working with him.  I'll get some good pictures of both events.  The work is good, we'll be seeing more success than this area has ever seen.  
I love you all!
-Elder Hulme

Monday, March 12, 2012

Welding, Home Teaching, Wedding

Tuesday I went to the welder man.  He greeted me and asked us to take a seat.  He grabbed his stuff and bent the frame back into place, called his buddy over to hold it and began to weld.  He had no glasses, nor gloves.  Just man and fire and metal.  It took about 7 minutes from start to end.  I gave him a little extra money because I was so impressed.  He spray painted it so it doesn't rust and listened for about 40 seconds as we tried to show him the Plan of Salvation.  He really just wanted to go lie down.  That whole experience is something I don't think could ever happen in America due to all the lawsuits. 

Later that day we had some good lessons too.  I felt that we needed to swing by C. and C. who will be baptized in April.  We talked with them for some time and may have saved the wedding and relationship.  Wednesday was cool, because that night we went on exchanges.  I was privileged to work with Elder Job in Munder for the day.  We were up very very late catching up on things, sharing ideas and theories and thoughts and hopes and stuff.  He's a brilliant zone leader.

Thursday we saw M. again.  She was very sad and said she'd write us a letter to explain.  We learned that her ex boyfriend is jealous of her new boyfriend, and is therefore determined to ruin her life.  So he began doing voodoo to accomplish that.  She is so affected by the voodoo that she wanted just to end her life.  Elder Job had the brilliant inspiration to begin teaching about the Holy Ghost, how if he is present, the light will dispel the dark.  The spirit was really showing her the truth.  Then we testified of the Gift of the Holy Ghost that could remain with her always. She understood and committed to another lesson, and in that other lesson we showed a bunch of recent converts and investigators the newest Restoration video.  In Branch council that night, President Gefferie began teaching and testifying of home teaching.  It was great because Elder Warner and I had been talking with him about it earlier in the week, and it was good to see the most respected man in the branch teaching and testifying of it.  Across the country there are 1200 members, but only about 400 are active.  But that may change soon, I hope it will.  

Saturday was also nuts.  We went to a baptism, hoping to meet investigators there, but they didn't show.  But they didn't show because they all wanted to go to the wedding of Brother and Sister B.!!!  I still remember the day about 2 months ago when I got the impression to talk to Sister B. as she walked down the street.  They'll be baptized on the 17th.  The marriage was beautiful as well, lots of people, all happy all good.  Some people sang, even our investigator, Brother O.  They all did a great job.  The whole night was beautiful.  Jacinta is also still doing well.  
I love you all.  Say hello to Michael for me:) and everyone.  
-Elder Hulme

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Elder Warner, Dengue Fever, 30 Bananas

Q: What is Elder Warner like - where's he from, his interests, how long has he been on his mission?
A: Elder Warner is sweet.  He's from Arizona in Mesa, same as Brian Nielson.  They didn't know each other.  He's into BMX, not racing but freestyle and park.  He can skate too.  Been sky diving too.  Snowboards, and loves good music.  We talk about things really easily, which has been a bit of a struggle, because story telling takes time away from pondering how to help your investigators, but it's getting better.  He's a good teacher as far as gospel things.  When he explains his own thoughts and testimony, it's always very clear and applicable.  He's also good about not just saying things because he doesn't know what to say, but really just waiting for the spirit to tell him what to do.  It's wonderful teaching with him.
Today we bought a lot of fruit.  Like a lot.   About 30 bananas of 3 different sorts, apples, oranges, a pinapple, a watermelon, tomatoes and a big ol' cucumber.  It's sweet.  We brought all of our money for the transfer together, put it in one pot, and share all the food and everything in the house.  I'm way excited about this transfer and the people we're working with.
Q: I want all the gory details of your sick week - How high was your temperature?  Did you get the spotty rash?  Could you take meds to bring down the fever? 
A: Well, Monday night my back was achy.  The pain increased tremendously, to the point that I wondered if I had done something to injure it.  While I was worried about my back, my fever came way up, 40.1 Celsius at the highest-yeah, it was way way high (104 F).  The doctor came to our house the next day, the Jansens came every day.  By the time the doctor got there, he looked at me and said, you've got dengue fever, but Elder Freeman is REALLY sick.  His fever got  about as high as mine, but he was feeling way cold and stuff.  After the first night, I don't really remember that entire week.  I remember being miserable, and when my fever went away, I remember being really bored.  I didn't actually eat from Monday until Friday, when the doctor commanded me to eat because the food would strengthen my body to finish off the virus.  I just didn't want to.  It made me feel nauseated.   But in all, all I got was incredible body pain and a fever, and a loss of 10 lbs which I think I've nearly gained back.  The muscle is hard to recover.  No rash or sweats or anything.  I don't like being sick, but the distraction and boredom were the worst part.
Q: Did you get a loaner bicycle from the Jansen's?
A: No, but I met a welder that committed to fix my bike tomorrow.  This thing may or may not make it until April.
Q: When you were in Mundar before, who was your companion(s)?
A: I served 3 months with Elder Bell in Munder
6 weeks with Elder Guinn
then these coming 6 weeks with Elder Warner.  Which brings us to 6 months in Munder, but I've also served 6 months in Paramaribo North, or Blauwgrond, which will mean I spent 1 year in the Paramaribo Branch.  I like the branch - certain people are wonderful, others I hope to help to become better. 
Q: Who are you visiting, teaching, spending time with?
A: We'll baptize 5 people this transfer, they are:
Prim- A cousin of a recent convert, Suradj
Bro Buddha-Older Brother of Suradj
Conshita-Also a relative of Suradj
Bro Olymph- Very strong member of the Evangelie Broeders Gemeente (EBG) or Gospel Brothers Church.  That church is much like the Southern Baptist, but a little less Anti-Mormon.  That's where most the converts to this church come from.  He's so cool, he brings a whole new spice to the branch, a spice I think they need.  He's going to be married to a returning member.
Melanie-  She wants to be good.  We found her on our own. She's very kind, and willing to repent.
We're also working with Clifton and Carmine, they must be married before baptism, but both take place next transfer.  Carmine is also from the EBG, and flavorful.  She's always saying "yea Jesus" when we pray.  I love it, even though it makes me feel a bit awkward.  Clifton is quiet, humble and kind.  But they are being well integrated into the branch.  With all the people getting married, they started a Wednesday evening marriage class that anyone can go to.  It's pretty cool sounding to me.  

Q: Did you ever get the letter that forwarded to you from Jeremy Armstrong?  I sat behind him in church today and just thought of it.
A: Yes, thanks.  I'll talk to him when I'm home.

Photos.  Me and Elder Warner wanted to portray what our companionship is really like.  So we did.  Those are my bread and butter ties, the ones I wear pretty much every day.
You are all so wonderful.  I wish I had another hour to email.  I'm making these days and weeks really count.
-Elder Hulme

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More Plumbing, Companion Gets Lost, Zone Conference

 Draining the baptismal font
 Elder Hulme and Elder Job

Elder Job on a boat to Guyana

January 16, 2012
We got to go to Albina this week, on Thursday.  Since there are so many elders that need to go, there will be two trips done, one this week as well.  Only Elder Job and I went this week though and it was enjoyable.  We made it there and back before 3pm.  I think it's a world record.  It's only 140Kilometers there and the same back, but that road makes it impossible to do it quickly.  In place of a little over an hour, it's nearly 3.

I was going to give a training last July on  faith.  I had it all planned out, but then when zone conference came, we had to take it out of the schedule due to time shortage.  The cool part is that Sister Gamiette gave the exact same training as I was going to give.  She gave it just last week. 

I fixed the rest of the drains this morning, and cleaned the rest of the house.  Elder Freeman cleaned the dief Ijzer(window anti theft bars), and the sink.  I was so proud of him.  I took apart the visable part of the shower drain and pulled out tons of hair with some pliers and then put it all back together.  I don't know how to do the part that's behind cement.  Sister Jansen approved the cleanness of our apartment.  Something I've never heard of before.  

Last Friday was the day before Elder Freeman's birthday.  I know he loves beef, so I wanted to get him some Sate's, or shishkabobs things with just beef on it.  I wanted to surprise him though so I pedaled up ahead and stopped to order the food.  I payed and got the food and looked around and Elder Freeman wasn't there.  I went back to the last place I saw him, and he wasn't there anymore.  I prayed and got the impression to just head home.  Turns out, he didn't see me stop, and had ridden all the way home, we met up shortly thereafter, and enjoyed french fries and meat.  I didn't really like the sate's, but he loved them.  Yesterday evening I was trying to take a picture of the store Tulip.  It's the nicest store in Suriname for groceries.  As I played with my camera, Elder Freeman was trying to turn on his light (the kind that run against the tire for power) and he didn't see me turn onto the street where we're supposed to turn.  He also didn't understand where we were supposed to go.  So I looked back after making the turn, and didn't see him.  I rode again back to where I had last seen him, and searched, and searched, all over.  I looked for nearly a half hour for him, then prayed and got the impression to call him.  So I asked the first Hindu man I saw to borrow his cellphone, and I called Elder Freeman, and we met at Tulip.  Amidst all of this, Elder Freeman found a man that could become a new investigator. 
Things are still good.  Thanks for the love. You are good folk.
-Elder Hulme

January 23, 2012
Hello all,
We had zone conference Saturday, it was great.  I talked with
President Gamiette and he said he's going to give the ecclesiastical
thing, and I emailed him today and reminded him.  He speaks English. I
learned that it's not really possible to go back to Bama.
I've been much more careful about losing my companion, so I've been
calling him as he rides by, to stop him. 

Zone Conference.
We studied Ether 2 and 3 about how the brother of Jared planned
everything out really well, did a lot, climbed a mountain shaped some
stones and asked the lord to touch each of them to make them light.
The Lord did exactly as what was asked.  The conclusion being that we
need to visualize our lessons and days and weeks and plan out our
part, and the Lord's part and ask for his help and just be on top of
everything.  We then practiced our teaching skills and ate some Saoto
soup.  Then Elder Dyson (the new assistant) came out and worked with us
that evening.  We taught the Babel family.  Then we traded some ties
with Elder Dyson, and went to church.

I got a belt from Guyana, Elder Badoni brought it for me.  It says my
name on it.  And has a whole bunch of Harley Davidson logos on it.
Apparently when Elder Badoni thinks of me, he thinks of Harley also,
so he ordered it with that on it. I like it though, it's 100% leather, like thick nice

Family Babel came to church! 5 of them, also Alisha, and sister
D. We're going to be seeing some good things in this area I
think.  We've been still trying to reactivate a few members, and
that's coming along well.  Thanks for everything.
-Elder Hulme

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Plumbing, BofM Challenge, Answering Questions

I did my first plumbing this morning, by taking apart our drain, cleaning it, and putting it back together.  It was stinky and gross but oddly enjoyable.  I also did my first family history this week.  Actually, all I did was log on and look at the website and enter in Oli's name.  Then I ran out of time and had to go.  I really like this family history idea, I studied it this morning in PMG and learned a lot about it.  I'm going to use it to help find more people to teach.  I like the thing from Noelle's mom "1. Keep a kind word on your lips"  I'm going to do that the rest of my life.  
These first 3 days of missionary work worked out pretty well, we were very blessed as we worked with the branch leaders and members to have some member lessons, and teach some less actives, and find a few people we could possibly teach.  Then last night we had a fantastic weekly planning session.  The challenge was given to read the entire book of Mormon in the coming three months (coincidently that is exactly how long I will be in the country).  Elder Freeman and I will do it, and when I finish, I will have read the Book of Mormon 5 times (only once in Dutch).  I'm still in Ether on number four, but have completed it three other times as well.  We went to visit the C. family, a family I worked with last time I was in the area.  Brother C. is the longest time member in Suriname, nearly 40 years a member, and almost all of them less active.  His wife was baptized 8 years ago, and is really good despite all the opposition.  She asked a question yesterday, it was something like "What do you do when you have no more desire?"  I considered it as we listened to her explain, and realized that I asked that same question a number of months ago.  It gave me a good feeling of duty and purpose.  I just realized how many questions I've personally been asked upon my arrival to the branch.  Z. asked me something about Alma 32, how Faith and Knowledge are related, I still need to give her a better answer.  Then E. asked me what to do since she no longer has the time to read and study and be as strong as she once was, we read some verses together with Z., who has been finding many of the same problems.  
Z. makes my whole soul hurt sometimes.  He's got such a strong desire to do what's right, and just recently he got offered a job as a supervisor at a guest house, a job that will pay better than most working fathers here.  He asked me "why is it that as I'm trying to prepare for my mission, I get given a job like this, why not earlier?"  I will work as closely as I can with him(since he's in the other area and way busy all the time) and hope to help just a little bit.
We went to visit sister S., a convert of 7 years, yesterday after church.  To our surprise she invited her granddaughter A. to join the lesson.  As we read from the scriptures and heard the amazingly interesting conversion story of sister S.(I think she is just good at talking, that's why she teaches seminary), she gave the hint to me that she wanted her granddaughter to be baptized, so we invited and she accepted.  She's only 13, but it'll be nice to help this grandmother help her granddaughter to repent and be baptized.
You asked about my bike?  It's still way too fast for this country. In comparison to here, my bike is ok.  In comparison to a real bike, I would rather not ride it ever again.  My shoes?  My chinese shoes are holding up about as well as you'd expect (very quickly becoming not so pretty).  But I got my favorite ones repaired, and am taking them to get double repaired later today.
Not being a zone leader anymore is a big pride smasher.  But I've enjoyed having TONS of extra time to study, and to write in my journal, and to think and write this really long email.  I feel like I can work hard now, and not always have all these outside responsibilities looming over me, or in the back of my mind.  I wrote President Gamiette my old style email again this week,  "not dead, big plans big hopes high faith thanks -Elder Hulme." That's not a direct quote, and it is more professional looking, but that's the idea of the email. I wrote him good ones for a while... but not today.  President Holzapfel hated when I did that.  I also sent Pres. H a postcard asking if I could do my last transfer there, and asked Pres. G what he thought about the idea, but haven't heard back from either of them.  That was about a month ago.  
This is my 3rd time being called to serve with Elder Freeman.  I love this apartment, I honestly missed it.  Even though all the drains are clogged in the showers too, due to hair.  I'm not sure what to do about that.  Things are good.  Thank you so much for the email, it means a lot to me.
-Elder Hulme
Elder Fernandes and Elder Hulme

Elder Hulme and Elder Freeman

Wasto and Elder Hulme