Monday, May 26, 2014


Bonjour!                                                                                                             05/26/2014
This past week has been a little rough, and not too much has happened. I remember last week how I was mentioning that I wasn’t feeling good with the backaches and headaches. So that kept going on while we were here at the cyber. After the cyber a huge rainstorm hit, making us stay here a little longer. All of the roads got flooded so we had to walk home in the water. But even worse than that was when we did get home our house was flooded. Ha-ha, so we spent the entire evening trying to get the water out of our house and letting things dry out. I still was feeling pretty sick and thought it was just because I was tired. Anyways it continued and as we are worried here about Malaria, I finally called the couple about it, and they decided to get me to the hospital to get the testing’s done. Its always weird going to the doctors here though. Ha-ha, at first he just asked me questions, and as I’m not super strong in French anatomy and medical terms, I really didn’t have an idea of most the stuff he was saying. Afterwards he inspected me and told me I had a nice body; I would have sued him if that were back in the states. Ha-ha He checked my blood pressure and pulse afterwards and such, and was stunned at what an athlete I am with my pulse at 47 beats per minute. Ha-ha, I had no idea that was still doing good. I’ve been lucky so far, but it finally got me. It was seriously the worst thing ever, ha-ha. I’ve never been that sick before. The medication does well though, it takes a big toll on the body though, and has a lot of side effects, but it’s either that, or you keep the malaria. They took good care of it though, and by now I’m feeling really good, just super tired. I was surprised that I was able to even go out and work this week, before they found out that I had malaria we had gone out and worked and even done some splits yeah we took some blood tests and others, and the next day we found out that I had Malaria. Oh and it is what everyone talks it up to be. It’s seriously the worst. So they got me on the Coartem, taking the pills every 12 hours for a few days, and by now I’m feeling really well!! I’m pretty exhausted but hey I’m not feeling too bad! The medication really knocks it out, but at the same time knocks out the body, so I spent much of this week sleeping, and sleeping more, then going to the hospital again, but hey now its all pretty good.One part that wasnt too bad with staying in bed all day, was I got to study a ton.. there is nothing better than studying the scriptures! Im thankful that I have had the mission to help teach me that.I had a bad fever and most of the other symptoms but they think that because I have been taking my Doxy, that the Malaria didn’t get as bad as for others sometimes which was a blessing as well! Along with that the couple that we have here in Togo is awesome so they were a big help as well, and took good care of me! 
But yeah along with that the work has slowed down a bit in the secteur due to some problems with the leadership. It is still there though, and while having malaria we were still able to go out and do a split with the missionaries from Souza, which was pretty good as well. On Tuesday we had our zone meeting, which went pretty good, and were hoping that helped the zone a bit. But yeah the elders we have are doing really good as well. We have some great members here like I say every time as well. Along with that I was really happy this past week, as two of our ward missionaries have got their mission calls! One of them will be going to Cote DIvoire, and the other will be serving in this mission (so he will be serving his whole mission in Benin), but yeah it was cool to see them get their calls after having worked with them! Other than that not much is new as most of the week was spent in my bed, in the couples car, and the hospital. So yeah! But all is going well now.
      Thanks a ton for all of the love and support! I’m doing a lot better now; I hope that all is great there also!

                             Elder Oliverson

Monday, May 19, 2014


Bonjour!                                                                                                            05/19/20104
Things have been pretty good this past week. It’s been really strange being back in Be Kpota again, but it’s been good. We have a ton of new converts, but now are looking for Amis, so this past week has been really just getting that more established. The work has been going well though, even though we haven’t been able to do a ton of work in the secteur! On Wednesday night the zone leaders had a little meeting with the Stake Presidency. I have to give them a lot of credit though, as they are trying their best to get things going more in the stake member and missionary wise. They have a really strong desire of following what the prophet said in hastening the work and having the members and missionaries become united. A lot of good ideas came out, and they have a nice little program they are hoping to get going. Yes the church is super young here, but its clear that with the desire they have to advance the work here, in just a couple years the church will be incredible here. But yeah the meeting went really well! We don’t have a ton of Amis right now, but are trying to work with the members in getting some. 
As we were talking with a member the other day, he told us an awesome story and testimony. He and his wife just barely had a baby. And he was explaining that when the baby came they had to do a c-section on his wife. I’m not quite sure how that all works here, but after having the surgery done, she was with all of the other women in the recovery room. He was saying the doctor came in to give them their next orders, and told them that they couldn’t eat anything for a little while, but instead of eating they could drink Lipton tea. The doctors recommended that that would be the best thing for all of them. He explained to the doctor that she wouldn’t drink tea, because of the word of wisdom, but found a drink mix called Milo, that could give her energy instead. The doctor and everyone there got really mad, and were asking him why he thinks he is smarter than the doctor, and that tea is the best thing for her to drink. He explained that he had more trust in God, than in the doctors, so his wife didn’t drink tea, but another drink instead. The doctors kept insisting on it, but she stayed strong. He explained that after a little while, of all the women there that had gotten the surgery done, she was the one who healed the fastest out of all of them, and is in the best condition. It was really cool hearing his testimony of the work of wisdom, and seeing his trust in the Lord. It would have been easy for them to just give in a little, in this situation only, but they stayed strong, and great blessings came. It was really cool seeing how big of an impact that experience had on them as well.
 Things are going well in the zone also. We're getting ready for a zone meeting tomorrow. My companion is giving the lesson, and he was telling me about a story that he will be using, and one that Elder Vinson had shared with him. It’s about these people that had a super precious, and expensive pearl. One of the most precious in the whole world, and was gorgeous, and so they were going to put it on display. So to do so, they got a really nice table and decorations to present the pearl, and then they invited people to come see. He explained that they were stunned, because when people came, they kept talking about how nice the table was, and were so intrigued by that, that they barely even noticed the pearl. He compared that to us as missionaries, as we have the most precious message in the world, but, often people get distracted by us as missionaries, and how nice we are, or how much they like us personally, which takes their attention off of the message. This in result leads to not really converted people, and people that are converted to the missionaries rather than the gospel. It was a story that I liked a lot, and I think it is huge for this mission, as people are so nice, and often love the missionaries. So our goal needs to be not to have the attention on us, but on the message instead. So hopefully that will go well! But yeah, not too much is new here, its supposed to be the rainy season, and cooling down, but it seems to just be getting hotter... All is going well with the work, I love my companion he’s the best. We have a good apartment as well with a Tahitian and a Scottish. Ha-ha I feel like I’m always in a movie or something with his accent. But yeah, things are going great here! I love and miss you all a ton!
 Thanks for everything!  Elder Oliverson

Monday, May 12, 2014

Back to Be Kpota

Bonjour!                                                                                                            05/12/2014

          This past week has been pretty good. Me and my companion had an idea that we would be moved as zone leaders to another apartment, because they decided to bring sister missionaries into our apartment in Anfame. We were thinking they would move us to maybe Baguida, or Souza. But then the call came, and we’re going to Be Kpota! They are taking one of the companionships out of the apartment, and putting the zone leaders in. So I’ll once again be working in the same secteur I did before in Be Kpota. I can see that it is probably the best thing though, rather than just going into a completely new secteur, we are going to one that I know really well, so that will help out a lot! 
        Most of this past week, me and my companion spent getting the secteur ready for the sister missionaries. It will be pretty tough for them, as they know no one, and nowhere, so we planned a lot with the members as to how they can help with that. They now have a cool little system with the members, which will help them find each Ami. But yeah, I only got to spend 3 weeks in Anfame, but it was good for sure! Its weird I didn’t spend that long there, but I already miss those people I met there. The best part was all of the families they had there. Along with that we had many families that were progressing, and weren’t too far off from baptism. Luckily were not that far off, and they are still in our zone, so we’ll be there from time to time! But yeah, we’ve been pretty busy this past week! On Saturday we had our last baptism in Anfame, which was nice as well, and went really good. After the baptism we headed directly to Be Kpota. The problem was that the other companionship hadn’t left yet, so we were stuck sleeping on the floor. Ha-ha, the problem was its really hot in the apartment, so my companion and me went to sleep on the roof. It was just great till halfway through the night it started raining. Sending us back on the bottom. The problem with the rain is it gets even more humid, so even hotter. Which just made the inside of the apartment even hotter. Ha-ha, so in other words we really got no sleep those last couple nights, but finally we have our beds! This past week has been a pretty rough one as well with the rain, the rainy season is very much here as it rained pretty bad three days in a row. The thing with the rain is that we can tough it out and go teach, but for some reason, which I don’t understand still, the people here hate the rain. Ha-ha, and seriously everything shuts down when it rains, and then people can’t talk either. So that had a little influence on the work, but things are still going forward! Along with that it was nice calling home this past Sunday! Its weird to think that the next and last time I will be calling home is for Christmas, and then I will only have a few months till I’ll becoming home after that. The time is flying by, so I’m just trying to make the most of it all! I love and miss you all a ton!

Elder Oliverson

The super tall guy plays on the Togo national basketball team.

Monday, May 5, 2014

General Conference finally got here.

Bonjour!                                                                                            05/05/2014
This past week has gone pretty well! We haven’t been able to get as much proselyting done as usual due to meetings, but its still been good. We had a good day of lessons the past Tuesday. And there was one that was really interesting. He was a recent convert that was baptized about a month ago. But his story is really cool. The missionaries found him on a morning where they were doing a finding activity. They ended up going house to house. They stopped at one and left a Restoration brochure. The guy looked at it, and was like, hey come on in I have something to show you! The missionaries went in, and on his wall was a framed painting, of the same image that is on the restoration brochure. No one really has any idea where he got that picture, or how, as it is a picture painted by Simon Dewey, or one of the other LDS artists. And the picture somehow ended up in the house of a person in Togo. Ha-ha, But anyways the guy thought it was pretty cool that they had that same picture on a brochure, and decided to follow the lessons, and in just a month or so was baptized with his whole family! I doubt that happened just by chance. That is one of the best things about this area, is all of the member families, and Ami families. There is something special, and a special spirit when you have a family together and helping them understand how they can use the gospel and how it can help them. It’s also really cool to see the difference between a family founded on the gospel, and the ones that aren’t.  At the same time though, as we are less in the city, you find many more people that don’t speak French, and I would say honestly about half of our Amis right now, don’t even speak French, so that’s difficult. Ha-ha, at the same time though they seem to be more humble even, and in turn more accepting. 
On Wednesday we had Zone leader council with President, which was awesome as well! Its nice having that time learning a lot from his wisdom. Along with that we had pizza after so I wasn’t complaining too bad! We had a good lesson from President on charity, and the importance of looking at the heart of people rather than their behavior. Along with that on Friday we had our last normal Zone Conference before President finishes his mission here. It was crazy to think that it will be his last. We will be having a goodbye conference though as well next month, which really will be the last! Along with that Elder Ritchie and my companion gave their last testimonies, as it was their last zone conferences. After that I gave the lesson for the zone, on planning and the importance of fixing goals. I gave a lesson on planning; using the example of the council that Moroni and Teancum did in Alma 52 figuring out how they would take over the city of Mulek. It was a good story though! Zone council was awesome though, that’s one of the best parts of zone leader is being close to President like that. The success in the zone has been going down a little, so my companion and me have been putting in a lot of work to get things going back up! The lesson went well though! 
Then on Saturday we were supposed to have our baptism for Marie, but found out the night before that on Sunday we would be watching general conference at church, as it has finally gotten here. So we had to push that till next week instead. It was really nice though finally getting to see conference! The only problem though was that most of our Amis that came don’t speak French, so as the person talking is a French speaker. They  understood nothing. Ha-ha, luckily though the bishop came and did a little summary in évé at the end. But yeah the work has been going along nice, and it’s a lot busier now it seems! My companion is the best, and we have an awesome time together, and the apartment is really nice too having Elder Potter, and Elder Mou-tham, one of the Tahitians there as well. Me and my comp are planning a fun zone activity next week as well as we found out that pigs aren’t that expensive in our secteur, and that our Tahitian elder knows how to prepare them. So were planning on taking the zone to the beach and eating the pig! And I get to be the one to stab it in the heart, so I’m pretty pumped about that! 
       It’s been good though! I love my companion, he’s towards the end of his mission so he’s getting a little tired, but he’s awesome. He reminds me a lot of Desvergez. The secteur is the best as well!! The only problem though is they will be bringing sisters into the secteur. Which means they will be moving the zone leaders into another secteur, so we'll have to see where they put us.
          I’m really excited to talk to you all though! Thanks for all of the love and support! I love and miss you all a ton!
                                                         Elder Oliverson

Soccer activity

Soccer activity