Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year

 Bonjour!                                                                                                             01/06/2014
This past week has been pretty well! I hope you all had a great New Years Eve! That day we had a good day of lessons, and the evening the ward had a really big New Years Eve party. I was just assuming it was one of those ones where no one shows up because they have other places to go. But most all the members were there and it was awesome! It was one of the funniest times being with all them together. They had a lot of food and stuff for the kids, and then out of no where turned to the missionaries and asked for games, for some
reason assuming that we knew a ton of church appropriate games that we could play. Luckily I had a few that I pulled up from the sleeve. Again like in Gbegamey I lost my reign as champion of musical chairs. It was still really fun though! I also had a really fun time enjoying
some fireworks with the deacons. That brought back some memories!  Of course we got to sleep on time that night, the only problem here is about every single house does a ton of fireworks all night, and the ones here are insane compared to what’s back in the U.S. So it wasn’t easy sleeping! New years day was spent a lot eating with members including our bishop we have here who is incredible. 
     The week has been great though! We have had some good lessons and had some good baptisms the past week as well. Two that I’m really excited about are Jacques, and Fauman, who are at mission age, and are already preparing to get out themselves. That’s one of the things I love most about the ward here is all of our branch missionaries, who are willing to be with us every single day. It was also nice with the baptisms, as we did them back at the building up in Kegue, so I got to go back there and see some of the people from up there, which was fun. Things are going well with the work though, and its coming along well. There definitely isn’t a lack of work to be done in the secteur, and there is always someone to visit which has been nice. Sunday was fun as well! Our church got moved to 9 o’clock with the New Year, as we share the building with Tokoin, which is a better time for us as people are more likely to come at 9 than at 1. But it was good for sure! I got to give a lesson on Charity for the second hour, which is the best to give lessons on certain subjects as it forces you to study more into the topic, and you end up understanding much better the topic. 
        The work is going well though! I’m especially excited for one of our baptisms coming up as her name is Beyonce! How lucky is that? She’s awesome though and has come along well. She has had a little rough time, as before she came to church every week, but something happened, that offended her in a way, and she stopped coming, she wouldn’t explain to us why, and finally opened up. It made me think a lot of the story with Moroni and Pahoran near the end of Alma, where you see Moroni blow up on Pahoran, and insult him even, then comes to find out that Pahoran had his own problems for himself and couldn’t help. The best part is you see though that Pahoran wasn’t even the least bit offended, and just let it go like nothing happened. I remembered too reading a quote by Elder Bednar where he explained that it is impossible to be offended by someone else. The only way to be offended is if we let ourselves be offended, which if you think about it is very true. Luckily with a little help from the spirit she is back coming to church and all is well with her! But yeah all is great with the work! My studies are all going great as well! The Book of Mormon is seriously incredible! The thought by Elder Bednar that only we can offend ourselves made me think a lot about our agency we have, and really we can make a lot of difference with this
ability. I saw a lot in particular in Alma 62:41 for example, where there was many problems in the land, and there were certain people who fell and became hard hearted because of them, and others who were humbled and became better people because of them, no doubt this
applies a ton to life, as you see that trials really do either make or break us, but we always have the choice. 
       Today instead of going on the gorilla hunt we decided to go to the Voodoo market, as I’ve been before its free to get in now, and as I brought other missionaries they love
me now there! So that was fun to go again. It was crazy as well as we ran into two other Americans, one being a Togolese who moved to America when he was 17 and is living in Washington D.C., and the other being a random white guy from Florida. They knew about the church of course, and at the same time weren’t at all interested, no big deal, it was cool talking with them though! 
       Also we found out that in a few weeks Elder Vinson and Elder Whitney L. Clayton from the Presidency of the Seventies are coming to visit us in Togo so that will be awesome for sure! But yeah, things are going great though! My companion is good, we have
an incredible secteur, so I wish we could get more done in it, but its going all right.  Thanks again and I love you all.
Elder Oliverson

Me with Dorcass, she's Ivorian.

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