Monday, August 26, 2013

 Things have been really well for sure! The Day of Service was good for sure, especially because it was on National T.V.! And yeah the service helps a lot in gaining trust, because otherwise these people won't trust you because they think you're a big rich white person. So we are always looking for opportunities to do small stuff with people! The U.S. ambassador invited us over for dinner this week!! So we've been dying!! It will be incredible to eat food like that again..The old Branch Pres. that we have been working with is back at church again, we're trying to get him a call in the branch so he has some responsibility there, and we gave him a blessing yesterday actually, and he's been doing immensely better!! Its been amazing to see that with him!! I could see though that the branch had kind of shoved him off, and actually in this area before the missionaries weren't the best, and a lot of problems came up, and I think they kind of shunned him as well.. So when we have showed up, not mentioning a thing about what happened before, and just being good to him and serving him, its been huge for him, and has completely turned that around. So that's been really cool to see! 
But yeah a big thing I have learned as being obedient and such, not only do you receive many more blessings and tender mercies, but also you are more receptive to the spirit, so you see those a lot more actually, they really are around each day, we just don't always notice them, unless we really open our eyes. I love my companion though,  He's awesome, he's definitely incredibly humble, and a very Christlike person.It's been such a blast being with him! 
     I've gained an incredibly greater appreciation for the Book of Mormon as well so that's been awesome, its incredible how much there is in that one book!! Ive been having to dig deep into doctrine with having to be the one to respond to everything, and people always think you have to look into deep doctrine, and the words of modern day prophets to find the answers, which sometimes is the case, but truly, every single answer, you can find in the Book of Mormon, that book is the best!! We have an Ami named Daniel, who we found just two weeks ago, he is one of the smarter Ami's that we have, and we actually taught the word of wisdom the first lesson, afterwards explaining the Book of Mormon, since then he has read half of the book!!! And has filled a notebook with notes he has taken! He has an incredible testimony already, and will be getting baptized on the 7th!! I'm really excited for him, and I see him being an awesome member in the church! When Ami's are struggling, if you can just get them into the Book of Mormon, they will be so much more fortified... its insane! 
     We were able to get institute back started up, and actually 3 of our Ami's showed up! So that's been really cool as well.. We've been having around 15 of our Ami's at church each Sunday which has been unreal, and I keep forgetting that before that was around 3 maybe, so we've been blessed a ton! I'm still really frustrated with the marriage here though, as we have multiple people that have hit that roadblock.. But yeah the work is going great! The branch is doing well, and it has helped a ton having that third companionship come in! I've loved living with those two, even though they'll be leaving soon! Elder Owusu (old AP) is the best! He's Ghanaian so he speaks English, but honestly its easier to understand his French, but he's the best!! Ha ha, he sings Taylor Swift all day long, and is insanely Christlike. He also might be coming to BYU one day so that would be the best to have him over there! The work is great though! With the French finally there, I've been able to see my ability to teach well also grow so that's been a big help.. It is insanely hard to help people understand, with so little, but you have to make it work, so it takes a lot of work figuring that out! Its tough, with voodoo being ingrained in everyone, and the Catholic and Muslim churches being enormous here, to  get their old ways changed, but it is definitely coming along! Elder Owusu was giving us some comfort as well ha ha, he was saying when the missionaries first got in Ghana, they walked in the church, and they were playing drums, and the two leaders were women... Since then though they have a temple and the church is beautiful over there! Benin and Togo are really the last of the West Africa to get the church, and I guess the reason of that, is because of the problems in voodoo, and it is really the least educated of all the West Africa.. its coming along awesome here though!!  I love it here now though! Africa is the best!! Thanks for all of the love and support! I love and miss you all so much! Thanks for all you are doing back home!
Elder Oliverson
My Companion :)
Day of Service
Me with my machete

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