Monday, June 17, 2013

Bonjour! Another great week with some more random adventures! We found a new source for coconut milk, and mango's so were doing good and I'm still alive! I found a scale in a little store here, and either it doesn't work right (which I wouldn't be surprised) or Ive already lost 15 pounds, either could be true haha, but I'm right with the average for the rest of the missionaries if the second is true! I learned how to make fufu too finally, because we ran out of rice this week so I didn't really have a choice, haha But our ami's are all progressing very well and the work is going awesome! The branch is doing well, and the new leaders we got put in are doing awesome, and were starting to get more and more work going with them so that's really fun to work with them! Also things with those four men are going amazing! We were able to have a few lessons with them this past week, and they all four committed to be baptized,. along with their families, the 29th of this month! They're continuing to come to church with their whole families and are some golden investigators! In our lesson this past week on Thursday, we had a cool experience with one those men, named Ambrosse. We were walking up to his place for the lesson and for some reason he was there waiting for us with his Book of Mormon, before we could say anything he told us he had finished the Book of Mormon, and that he knew it was true, that he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that our church is the true church, then asked what he needed to do to be baptized!? He has since given up drinking and smoking, and other bad habits already in his preparation to be baptized, and really it hasn't been extremely difficult for him because of his strong testimony he already has of the truthfulness of our message.He bore a full powerful testimony about the truthfulness of our message, and this is coming from one of our new ami's! He went on to explain, without us asking, why he stopped us that day with the rain. He said that Thursday was their usual day where they sit out in the afternoon and drink and have a good time with the boys. That specific day though for some reason, their usual guy who brings the drinks didn't show up and they're still not sure why. They were disappointed and were getting ready to leave when it started to rain, because of the rain they decided to stay on the patio a little longer till it finished. There was no one out because of the storm, until he saw two guys with white shirts walking down the road, he said that he had an impression like hes never had to invite us in out of the rain, and the rest of the men there said the same thing. Putting his side of the story of what happened that day with our side of the story shows that no doubt the Lords hand was involved, and the timing and the placement of us and them was too perfect to be just by chance! Because for us we were just trying to doing some tracking, and had the feeling to go give a little visit to a member on a road we don't usually travel, the member wasn't there that day, so we ended up being stranded on that road, we continued on to walk back down that road and that's when the men stopped us and invited us in. From that prompting to us to go down that road, and for the rain that day, and the prompting they had to invite us in, no doubt that was a miracle! They have since read and gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and are all planning to get baptized this month. They have already started to center their families on the gospel, and make the changes necessary, meaning a couple of them are getting married this next week in preparation for baptism, which is huge here with how expensive that is to get married. It is amazing to see the happiness they have found, and they always tell us how happy they are and how thankful they are, and they as well recognize that what happened that day wasn't just by chance. That has been one of the most coolest experiences Ive had yet, and it is continuing to get better as they are continuing to prepare for baptism. They will no doubt as well be a huge blessing to the church here as well! That experience has also really strengthen my testimony on the converting power of the BofM no doubt. And that book no doubt contains real power as it has caused those men and many others to make huge changes in there lives, so that they can become members of the church! Its also awesome to see the blessings they are already having and how the gospel is changing their lives for the better! Another one of our ami's that we found through a member is also being baptized on the 29th! She is doing great with her preparation as well, and has made some big sacrifices in giving up her old life, and old ways, even giving up old friends so she can follow the right! They're strengthening my testimony a ton in watching them change and their happiness grow! So the work is awesome! We have found many new ami's and members and have had some amazing lessons this past week, sorry I feel bad because I really cant include all of the miracles and blessings of the past week because there are really plenty each day, but I hope those couple are good! Haha on another note I did get my first taste of how bad the voodoo really is here, I finally realized that the reason that people from certain tribes have slits cut in their faces isn't to look cool (which to be honest it does look really cool) but it has to do with the voodoo, and too look like a snake or something? So that was crazy to finally find out what that meant! And I had my first glimpse of a Revanon, and hopefully my last!! They're voodoo "ghosts", which I don't know if that's true unless ghosts have legs.. because I could see their legs under their red robes....that roam streets outside the main city at night, they go down the streets with red robes and black voodoo masks doing tribal dances, and if you don't bow and respect them they beat you with sticks... Haha and rumor has it they have knives too, and for white people that don't respect the voodoo they'll do a little more than beat you with sticks!? But this week I caught a first glimpse of some coming from a distance, luckily we happened to be by a home of a member and they hurried us in and we watched is they did their dance down the road.. I'm pretty sure one of them saw me through the window so I didn't dare take a picture, and I'm sure that was a good idea! Haha so yeah, Ive realized just how prevalent that stuff really is here, as it has been the pastime of this area, but that just makes it even better to watch the church sprout up and grow and watch the light the gospel brings here! All people are already starting to know about the Mormons, and understanding that the white tall people are the Mormon's! But the church is definitely growing here and its the best to see and have a part in! The work is great though as always, but its no doubt the Lords work, and nothing is going to stop it from going forward! The people are the best, and the gospel is already starting to bless their lives unbelievably! We have some awesome members here in Gbegamey! Africa is great, hot and wet and more and more toads and lizards as always, with the toads being about as big as a little dog, Haha but like I said I found a cheap source of coconut and mango so that's a plus to the rainy season! A member is preparing jungle rat for us this week, so we'll see how that should be exciting, this is the first invitation I questioned a little, but this invitation doesn't come around much so I jumped on it! Haha I hope all is good though in America! I love and miss you all! 
Elder Oliverson
The Zone with Elder Dickson. 

Was able to go into the City. 

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