Monday, July 15, 2013

Bonjour!! A pretty great past week here in Benin!! Big news is the new companion Elder Desvergez!! First off just because of the shock in that he's a French (so hes a yovo as well) and it would be the first time that's happened and the only companionship like this here, so we were both surprised, its been the best though! One of the most french people you ll ever meet but hes the best no doubt! Hes our only french missionary from Paris, because he was a big basketball player over in France! He has been on the mission for 7 months now, and was in Togo for those past months and is now here.. But things have been the best for sure!! No doubt Ive never worked harder in my life but we have a party for sure.. But hes no doubt one of the most zealous missionaries ever so its the best to work together! Hes a stellar missionary though for sure and works really smart as well! The office elders warned me to get ready to pack my bags with Book of Mormons because hes been known for going through our boxes of Book of Mormon's like crazy.. on top of that he eats like crazy, which is a big positive when ami's put food in front of us..(not that I don't love it or anything) which is also probably the reason hes 110 kilos as well.. not sure in pounds? I went from being the big guy to meeting my match though with a French who is much bigger, so walking down the roads in Gbegamey its hard to hide Haha but its the best and we work insanely hard and things have really been picking up and doing insanely well here in Gbegamey! Two downsides though are the fact that all prices are about 4 times the original now because apparently two white people are insanely rich?.. and also that for some reason two big white missionaries attract more of the stranger people..(voodoo and such) not sure why but that's for sure kept things interesting.. haha Not a ton new ami wise, we've been spending most of our time finding lately and building up there, but still have been able to be teaching 7 lessons a day, so we have a lot of ami's progressing well, and should be having a lot more soon! All of our new members like Gilbert and Ambroise, the business men.. are incredibly strong members, and its the best to see how fast they're growing in the church no doubt! Desvergez is a smart missionary for sure, and has taught me a lot though already, and work is going to start picking up no doubt!! We had an awesome experience yesterday in a quick visit with a family in the branch.. This family is one of the strongest families in the church Ive ever seen, and have only been in the church for 6 months, but working to prepare financially and spiritually to get ready for a trip to Ghana to go through the temple.. so its been awesome.. but we were planning on visiting them after church, we went over and were having a great little visit, and answered a few questions, and it was about time to leave because of another rendez-vous, so we just planned on wrapping up, but a feeling came that I should just share one more quick scripture, and I opened up and went to Nephi chapter 18 and just the verses 1-4, at the time I wasn't sure why but I just had a strong feeling I should, so I was just planning on reading together and talking about how its always best to do things in the manner that the Lord has shown rather than the manner of man and the world.. and after reading without explaining Larry broke down in tears.. first time I had ever seen an African cry, so that was pretty strange, and he went on to explain that this scripture was exactly an answer that he was searching for in his life with work and family and such.. as they have had serious struggles and things were tight and had no clue what to do.. the spirit was incredibly strong being with that family for this awesome spiritual experience and showing how real the spirit really is and such.. He went and marked on the wall the day and the time of this experience and it wasn't hard at all to see how incredibly grateful he and his whole family was.. no doubt one I wont forget and am so thankful for the spirit that was there!! Its incredibly how much the spirit is always involved, and the goal is really just to act on it.. I remember Elder Bednar saying in the MTC not to be a missionary who for ever thought questions if its the spirit or not, but that when you're worthy and doing whats right, 9 times out of ten those promptings are the spirit. Desvergez has taught me a ton there too, and choosing what to do and where to go, all of even the smallest thoughts, he goes for it, and it often ends up being incredible! We've also had some cool experiences in teaching the people more out in the boonie's type areas, where there is no education and most speak only Font and seeing how the message really is for everyone, and everyone can understand the gospel if the spirit is there.. its awesome being with the humble people hearing them try to explain how the spirit feels, or why they stopped us and the impression they had.. the spirit definitely works both ways! But yeah the work is going great!! It is going to start to go crazy as well, so its really exciting!! But yeah the week has been good, and things are starting to pick up for sure.. no Revanons this week, and I doubt we'll have to worry about them trying to hit us with sticks anymore Haha, and on a side note I got a alligator back pack... yes, an alligator.. so for everyone that thinks a kangaroo scripture case is cool.. try an alligator one.. Haha only in Africa!! the problem is how bad it smells.. considering its an alligator, so I'm really hoping that goes away soon! But yeah things are great here in Africa, its getting hotter again and hasn't rained in a few weeks, and people are getting really worried because this is the least rain they've had in decades, and apparently there is a drastic drought here as well, so they said we should be seeing big effects from that as well in a couple months with the harvest and such! But its all good! I hope all is great back in the U.S! Love and miss you all!
Elder Oliverson
Some of my boys in the Branch in Gbegamey!

Elder Kabedeh, Elder Soanantenaina & Me.
This is Etoile rouge behind me.. a big monument here in Gbegamey.

This was our wonderful 4th of July celebration.. roasting hot dogs over our burner!!

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