Monday, July 29, 2013

Another good past week and a tiring one for sure!! Things
have been going really well the past week work wise. Elder Barton just
got in, so the last American to come from the Provo MTC, because the
rest will be going to the Ghana now! But yeah the past week has been
really great!! Things are finally coming together now in the branch
really well, and we actually got two of the young men called as branch
missionaries so that’ll be way fun to work with them and help them get
ready for their own missions as well! This past week we made a lot of
progress with one of our ami's named Hughe. He is a student here from
Cote D'ivoire.. and we’ve had trouble getting to talk to him because of
his uncle, who is strongly against the church and such, and thinks we,
are racist and that whole thing. Finally though we have been able to
get working with him and its been awesome for sure! He loves our
message and has been soaking it all up, especially with the Joseph
Smith story and such, he’s been reading the Book of Mormon as well, and
we can already see a lot of progress with him that way. He is getting
baptized the 17 of the next month as well so that will be great! We
have had a great time with the new Font families that we’ve found, and
they as well are actually getting baptized the 17th as well so that
should be really fun as well! It was the best seeing them come in
church this past Sunday. All 7 of the kids took up about half of our
chapel, but hey its a good thing! As of right now we have 14
baptismal dates set for August with many more that should be coming!
So it’s really fun to see the work start picking up! The members have
been a huge help though, and were seeing a lot of improvement that
way, for example we had a rendezvouz with an ami after church, who
wasn’t able to go to church because she got some malaria, while we were
in the lesson she got a call from the relief society president in our
branch asking what was up and if she needed anything. So the branch
is doing awesome here! English class has been a pretty good time as
well, and that is for sure starting to help the missionary efforts a
lot because everyone here wants to learn English. Everyone. We’ve had
some problems with church cleaning so my comp and me have started
going each week to get that going, which also has helped a ton because
the members love it when we come! While cleaning the church we went
into the garage, only to find one of the missions extra trucks... this
whole time the brand new truck has been there, but apparently is only
for emergencies and such! I was kind of bummed Ill be honest! But hey
maybe one day! We’ve been able to start teaching more Muslims again,
even though their month isn’t over yet, which is interesting, but some
of them are actually progressing really well! Its interesting teaching
the word of wisdom and chastity with them because a lot of teachings
in the Koran are similar to an extent, so they don’t have too much of a
problem with those areas. But yeah the work is going awesome! One of
my favorite lessons this last week was our first lesson with the wife
of Ambroise, the one business man who hasn’t been able to be baptized
yet because they’re still waiting on the papers for their marriage. She
has been coming to church with him and the family each week, yet we
just finally had our first lesson with her because she lives way far
away. But yeah we had our first lesson, it went awesome, she
understood really well, and then she started talking about Ambroise..
She was talking about how before he wasn’t the best guy, he would be at
the bar each week with the guys, or was traveling for work. He never
saw the family, and she said that she hasn’t seen him, or her, happy in
years.. She said though she started to notice an enormous change in
him, and he started talking about how he was meeting with the
missionaries and how happy he was.. She said he left part of his job,
and has been home every night since then.. The part that about made me
die was when she said that now, every morning, and night he insists on
family study of the Book of Mormon, and prayer, and they’ve even
started up Family home evening.. She said no doubt they are the
happiest they have ever been, and they finally have their family
together again, and every day its the best when he gets back from
work. She explained that she though absolutely nothing could change
her husband, but if there was something that could, it would have to
be an absolute miracle. Man how great that was to see how much the
gospel really does bless individuals, but especially families!! That
was probably the happiest part of the week hearing that! Since then we
have been able to start teaching their five daughters as well, and
were hoping to be able to see them all be baptized together in the
next couple weeks! No doubt that will be a beautiful family in the
church!! The gospel no doubt is the only thing that could possibly
change someone’s life, and family like that. It surely strengthened my
testimony as well on how important the gospel is in the family, and
those things like prayer and scripture study! Another great part of
the week was at church.. Were so used to having about 3 or 4 amis at
church each Sunday, and that is the usual, maybe a couple more but not
often..  That’s one of the biggest problems we have is with getting
people to church.. We’ve found some awesome ami's lately, but still I
was blown away when we had 17 amis at church this past week!! It was
awesome to see the church filled completely, no doubt it could be a
huge blessing for the branch as well, and I wouldn’t be surprised to
see not far off the branch getting split into two really. But yeah the
ami's are all doing great and the work is awesome right now!! Its the
best still hearing people that sometimes have a hard time
understanding explaining how they just know things are true, and how
the spirit feels, and explain how things just feel right.. it no doubt
shows the power of the spirit in conversion and has been amazing to
watch! Also how the Lord helps us find those honest in heart and ready
to hear the gospel.. so often we find people, begin teaching and they
don’t progress, but we find they have friends or family who have just
soaked in our message. But yeah Africa is still great! Not a ton new!
It rained this week, like usual.. so we’ve been finding a lot more
lizards in our place, I hope they’re doing good work with the bugs, so
that’s nice! Desvergez is still the best ever!! He loves missionary
work and is no doubt the most zealous, fun loving missionary I’ve known
yet, so its been the absolute best! You definitely have to be fun
loving with these people, and they love you! We have a new p-day
activity, and that is finding different random basketball courts
around Gbegamey and asking people to play us in pick up games.. they
love it, (because its two yovo's).. till we start to play.. I will be
honest right now when I say that we one 32 straight games this
morning, 2 on 5.. On top of that though we got 5 new contacts from it,
so its definitely a good activity for the work as well! ha-ha but no
doubt its been 8 months since Desvergez has played but hes still got
it in him! Ha-ha, so things are going great here in Gbegamey! I hope
all is great back in the U.S.A! I love and miss you all!
Elder Oliverson
Kids here are the best!!

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