Saturday, June 21, 2014

Plan of Salvation

Bonjour,                                                                                                                   06/21/2014                       
 This past week has gone pretty well. Its weird having the different schedule, and always having things come up, but I actually like it! Sunday was pretty awesome as well as the closest church to us is the branch in Gbegamey. So Sunday morning I got to go to church for the first time in Gbegamey since a little over 8 months ago! The best part was seeing everyone there again, but also walking in and seeing two of our converts blessing the sacrament in white shirts and ties, one of those being Ambroise. It was seriously one of the best moments to see all of the converts and how far they’re coming along. Ambroise for example was already pretty solid when he got baptized, but now he already has the Melchizedek priesthood, and has that whole beautiful family in the church. 
Another cool thing in particular was finding the old branch president that had fallen inactive, that Desvergez and me went and did the big service for a while ago, was back and still active in the church as well. All in all it was awesome seeing the progression of many of the people. One of the craziest parts was seeing one of Ambroise's daughters who’s about 4, and how much she’s changed after 8 months. The problem though is she remembered me and wouldn’t leave me alone the entire day at church. She ended up missing primary because they couldn’t get her to come. Hopefully that will cool down sometime soon. But yeah, it was good seeing everyone again! 
Another plus of being back here, is Sunday night the assistants and office elders got invited to eat with the couple and President and Sister Weed, and of course the food was the best ever!! Things are looking promising for me right now in gaining back some of the lost weight. Along with that, that night President let me know about the news that you had sent him. When he told me about Grandma passing away, like you said it was a bittersweet thing, but it seemed very interesting it happened right after Grandpa, and right after her cruise. I think you’re very right that it was time for them to be back together, and it was good for her having that time with the family. It will be really sad and strange coming back without them there, but thanks to the Plan of Salvation, its a good thing as well thinking that she’s back with Grandpa and well see them again, not too far from now. I like the Elder Uchtdorf quote that there are no endings, just glorious new beginnings, and President Weed brought that up when he told me. I know she wouldn’t want me anywhere else, so it’s good being here! 
Most of the mornings this week we’ve had to take the Elders out to get their Carte de sejours taken care of including Monday. Monday night was pretty awesome as Ambroise invited us over for FHE! Again it was a cool chance to see how much they’ve progressed spiritually as a family. I’m liking the secteur were in as well. Having the car we can go pretty much everywhere, and not have to worry to bad about how far the Amis are. Along with that we have some pretty good Amis as well. I remember hearing about this before, but I didn’t really realize it I guess, but they always say that the Beninese are much smarter and speak more French than the Togolese, and making the transition back here, that’s very true! Ha-ha, at the same time though they aren’t as kind and friendly as the Togolese, but it’s all right. It’s hard to think about what to write as a lot has gone on this past week. But like I said we have a good sectuer for sure! Apparently though since a little while after Desvergez left, the branch has kind of started to turn downwards you could say, and has had some problems. We visited a few members this past week though and I loved what they said, in that they come to church because they love the Lord, and its his church, they don’t come for other reasons, or because of the people in the church, so when things do come up in the church, or problems, they aren’t affected as they are there for the right reason. It reminded me well that it’s the Lords church, and we all need it a lot, no matter the problems we might see. Another missionary made a comparison that I like a lot, that this church is like a spiritual hospital. Anyone can come and be healed from their past lives, and find the things necessary to help them spiritually inside. Even those of us that are already members, have need at times of this healing that comes in the Church of Jesus Christ. Were really hoping though to help the branch pick up a lot again! We have an awesome apartment, and the Elders I’m with are awesome as well. It’s really the first time on my mission I’ve been around all English speakers, but it’s been good! Its weird as well our weekly meeting with President, as its always done in English, but for some reasons when I respond, its in French, as I’m not used to the whole only English thing. This past Friday was the last conference with President Weed in Benin, so it was cool to have that a second time! I’ve loved being back in Benin though, and it’s been nice seeing all the French elders I missed dearly. The world cup is still hot as ever here, and it’s really funny seeing it in the mission as we have all the nationalities. The highlight of the week though hands down was America beating Ghana, and getting to give them a hard time, as we don’t even play soccer in America, yet, we still beat them.
 But yeah all is well; things are going good here also. The work is going forward as well! We have an Ami getting baptized in a couple weeks, and hopefully many more soon, but I’m still trying to get the secteur down and everything with it. Thanks for all the love and support! I love and miss you all a ton!
Elder Oliverson
Elder Bulunga & Me. My brother you could say as he was trained by Desvergez
Me and Elder Brou
This was a picture on Ambroises wall in his house(notice the small picture in the frame). :)
Ambroise and Claudia after their marriage:)

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