Monday, March 17, 2014


Bonjour!                                                                                                                         03/17/2014
 Sorry I don’t have much time today as we just barely got back from the trip to Kpalime, so the time is short! Things have been pretty well this past week! The work is still going along good also. We had our baptism with Koko this past week, which was really awesome to see. He was one that had many many changes needed in his life, from chastity, and the word of wisdom. But thanks to the example of a member, he was really touched, and has made huge changes in his life to be baptized. So that was big this week. This past week we had a lot of time with our recent converts as well. It was the best being with them, and one in particular, Jacques, who we baptized back in January is more zealous than ever. This past week while we were walking back to the apartment one night, I was walking with him, as my companion was with his brother. He bore one of the best testimonies I’ve ever heard, and just about how thankful he is for the Gospel in his life. He’s on his way towards his mission, and was just going off about how big he hopes the church will be in Togo one day. He was saying he would do anything to have a temple here, and will do all he can to get one here. He’s also going to be working all summer, in the hopes of having enough money to be able to go on the temple trip next fall with the members... It was a very humbling experience to be with him, and to really see once again, how many things I take for granted, with the gospel, and the temple for example as well. 
The work is going smooth though; we fixed a few more baptisms this past week, one with Joseph, who has been an Ami for a couple months now, but has accepted to be baptized and will be in a couple weeks. Along with him Aquete as well, the young man who has made many sacrifices to accept our message. So that is very exciting. Along with that we got to have our interviews with President Weed, which as always was great! He brought the picture of the new president that will be here in a couple months, and he looks like he will be awesome. It will be very strange though, and also sad to see President Weed leaving. Interviews were great though, and very uplifting. 
On Friday we got to have a leadership conference, which was basically a zone conference, but for the leaders. But that was awesome as well! We had a lot of great lessons, but one in particular from President Weed that I loved a lot. He talked a lot about how Elder Bednar gave a talk saying that when missionaries fall into routines while teaching, or just teach in other ways rather than by the spirit, it isn’t of God, and our calling is to teach by the spirit always. That’s a big problem for many missionaries, as it is much more easy to just give the same lesson each time, and fall into routine, but it was something that really helped us see that when we do that, we aren’t teaching by the spirit, so we aren’t doing things the Lords way. It was very good for sure! The week went by great though for sure!
 On top of all that, we got to go on our trip to Kpalime today, the trip up north to the waterfalls, which comes like once a year and it was a blast!! It was a couple hour ride bus ride up north into the hills and mountains... and it actually wasn’t too bad, as we all got to be together as Elders. But then afterwards, we had a hour and a half hike which, was a different path than they took last time, and I’m not sure why... Either way, I loved hiking before the mission, but on the mission is a different story! Ha-ha the good part, was because it is so humid, when you took a break, you got your breath back quickly. It was seriously gorgeous though, pure green jungle, with huge cliffs, and hills, and as we were on a mountain, you could see for miles in every direction!! It was no doubt the prettiest part of Africa I’ve seen yet. Along with that, we found cocoa beans and passion fruit, which was the best... it was by first time with the cocoa beans, so we didn’t eat them, as you have to dry them out then mix them with sugar, but there is a goo inside, that is very fruity and tastes incredible!! It was no doubt an awesome trip though, and a great time being all together with the Elders, and it was so gorgeous! The waterfall wasn’t as big as I had hoped, but with the jungle around it was well worth it! 
All is great here though, the Ward is doing great, we had the birthday thing for the Relief Society, so that was pretty cool to see them start even celebrating that here as well! But yeah its pretty crazy that I have been out a year now, and the time seems to be picking up a lot for sure.  I’m really excited for the new Americans!! We haven’t had a group of Americans since mine! Just a couple like Elder Barton, so that will be interesting to watch them adjust, I remember having good older Americans like Elder Layton who called me my first night to see how I was doing. 
 I’m very thankful for the patriarchal blessing as its a blessing on the mission, and a good reminder to have for sure. I love and miss you all a ton! I hope all is well there and you have a great week! I’ll try to catch up more next week, thanks again for everything though! I love you!
Elder Oliverson
The baptism of Koko


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