Bonjour! This past week has been really good! Same work each day, and I'm still getting more used to the culture! We had the chance to go to the beach this past Saturday, and that was about the best thing ever! The couple Americans found out really fast too that these are pretty much the best dancers in the world here.. You can see that all the hip hop and such in America came from here no doubt! But yeah the beach was awesome, and there were only like ten people! Mainly because tourists don't come here.. because its Africa.. But yeah! Still really hot each day and lizards everywhere! Still eating fufu every day and losing weight but hey its all good! I fit in more that way! Not a ton has gone on this past week, Elder Kazadi our district leader left, and that was sad to see him go. He was one of the funniest people I've ever met, especially with trying to teach him English. About the only things he ever learned were how to say "Another day another dollar" and "if there is a will there is a way", and he was happy with that! But he was a great missionary and he'll do some great things back at home in the Congo! The work is going well though! Still really tough with the language and hard to understand! But I can see that I can understand most of the lessons, its just responding in French.. We had some cool experiences this past week in giving blessings.. Many people are sick here and have different diseases and problems that way, so I can see that there will be a lot in that area. But the first blessing, my companion looked to me to give it.. I was terrified to be honest, and I knew my french wasn't there, because it really isn't! But he really didn't give me a choice! Ill be honest that I did lack some faith, but when I gave the blessing it was unbelievable how the spirit really can put the words in the mouth of missionaries with the gift of tongues.. I really don't remember anything I said in the blessing, I just remember words came and I said them. I have given blessings in English and have had that happen, but it strengthened my faith a ton to see that happen in a completely different language. Afterwords I was worried if what I said made any sense and if I even said anything right. But my companion went on to say that that blessing what through the spirit, and was great. Like I said I cant remember what I said at all, but no doubt with the help of the spirit I was able to do that! I am starting to see that more in the lessons too, where the spirit really does give you the words you need. I love how through preach my gospel you can teach each person according to their needs. Everyone really is completely different so every lesson changes. I love teaching these African people because of the faith they have and how spiritual they already are! Most of the times in blessings of healing to these African people, the people quickly have a full recovery, which I can see is because of the faith and humility they have.. its also not hard to see that they can feel the spirit in each lesson! The challenge comes in helping them to make the changes they need to for baptism, whether that is leaving behind bad habits, or leaving their old church. The biggest problem has been with having them attend church regularly, but this new branch here is awesome and is really helping with that! The culture is so different here, but it is funny to see the similarities between the branch here and the wards back in the U.S.! With relief society, and the elders quorum, and the deacons.. Its funny to see how they act and how it is a lot alike the ward back in Utah! Another cool experience this week has been with a new ami named David...( We don't really know peoples last name here, every one just has a first name ) But he is very receptive, and feels the spirit each lesson.. and he was sharing about how he feels a lot different and he feels a good feeling when hes with us and reads the scriptures.. but then later he goes back with his old friends and old ways and has a different feeling, but he said every time that he has been about to do something that he shouldn't do, or go back into a bad habit.. exactly at that moment, either we call, or we show up to his place.. For example he shared that after a long night he was ready to go back into his abusive substances, and right when he was about to pick that up, he received a call from us confirming our next appointment. It was so great hearing him say these things, and recognizing that this isn't all just by chance, but that god really wants him to accept this message and come unto him. No doubt so many of these people are prepared in some way for our message, and its awesome how much they recognize, that these things are through the will of the Lord! These really are the best people! After hearing the stories from David, it showed my companion and I how much the spirit has been with us in our planning and just the little things we do. There really are great great miracles that come through small promptings each day. i remember in the MTC hearing that, that its not how you receive the prompting, but more what it says, or the result of it. I would say that most of the promptings have been those really small thought, but acting upon them, we have found and been able to help many people here! The work over all is progressing well though! Nothing too unbelievable this past week though! I didn't get the chance to kill and eat that cat with the member family this past week unfortunately.. because apparently it isn't big enough.. so hopefully next week!! Still getting used to the fufu, and eating the potato smoothies my companion makes..( African potatoes mixed with milk).. but hey its getting there! This past week at the beach some people brought American candy, and Sprite and root beer.. never have those things tasted sooo good.. Ill never take those simple things for granted ever again! These people are the best though and are no doubt very ready for the gospel and its so evident! There are many challenges in helping the build the church here, but the Lord is no doubt very mindful of all of those and is helping in those areas! It is the best though! Already I can say I am really enjoying this and have never been more happy in my life! I don't have music, showers, grass, carpet, or any of those random things that have given comfort back in the U.S of A, but sharing the gospel and seeing it bless peoples lives brings more joy than any other thing in the world! Joseph Smith once said after all has been said, the most great and most important thing there is, is to share the gospel! And that really is for everyone! Hope all is well back in America and good luck with everything this next week! Love and miss you all!
|Eating is with our new ami, David! He's the best!|