Saturday, June 14, 2014

Leaving Togo -Back in Benin

Bonjour!                                                                                                             06/14/2014
This past week has been pretty good! I knew that I would be coming to Benin at the end of the week, so I did my best to make sure Elder Gnenenon knew the secteur well enough. The week started out well though, we had the assistants stay at our apartment Monday night, and the next morning we left early to the leadership council. It was a special one as it was Presidents last one that he will be doing with us. Those meetings are some of the best no doubt! The spirit was there and we all definitely learned a lot from the meeting. Later that day as the assistants stayed over, Elder Ritchie came to work with us in our secteur for the afternoon, which was awesome as well. He’s always been one of the missionaries I looked up to so it was nice to get that time with him before he finishes his mission soon. So that was a good day for sure, and with the meetings, we ate very well. The work has actually picked up a lot this past week as well, as we’ve gotten many new Amis. I was a little sad we got them all right before I left, but I’m hoping that I''ll see their baptismal fiches getting sent to us pretty soon! I could see though that the Lord really did here our prayers, as we were pretty desperate to find new Amis, and helped us do that. For example a guy stopped us on the road and said that he had talked to the missionaries before, but as he moved, they lost contact. Its been about a year, but he once again found us and wants to follow the teachings again. So that was one new Ami, but when we went to see him, his friend was there as well, then after the lesson, another friend came in, and then we found out that the other friend lives in that same house as well, and has a huge Ivorian family that lives there as well, so Elder Gnenenon was pretty excited for that. But yeah, no doubt it was nice picking up a lot of new investigators this past week. This past week we had our last interviews with President Weed as well, which was pretty sad. On the brightside though Nevada isn’t that far from Utah, so it’s not the last time well see him, Ha-ha but yeah it will be excited with the arrival of the new president on the first of next month! We'll all for sure miss President Weed though. He taught us a ton especially in examples of charity. Even in the smallest things, for example with the interviews, after we finish Sister Weed usually gives us all candy. That’s just how it works, but when they left our apartment, they hadn’t given us any, I was pretty crushed, but didn’t want to say anything, and be the guy always asking for candy, ha-ha, so they left. A couple hours later though they called us and said they were on there way back, and that they had forgotten something. Sure enough they came all the way back to the apartment to bring us our candy. They could have easily just let it go, or given it to us later, but it taught me a lot the things they did for us. On Friday Togo had the last goodbye conference for President as well which was mainly just a big testimony meeting, but that was really awesome as well. Afterwards I went to eat with the assistants and we started the long drive back to Benin. I'll miss Togo a ton, but hey there is still a chance I could finish there! But yeah we left Togo around 4ish and started the long drive. About half way the roads got super bad, as it’s been pretty rainy lately, the roads were pretty messed up and chaotic. In the end we didn’t end up getting into Cotonou till around 10 o’clock. As the traffic was terrible due to the roads, and once we got there we had to drop all the missionaries off. And sure enough on the way back to the apartment we find another truck stuck in a big hole, so we got them pulled out. Finally after 11 o’clock pm we made it into Cocotomey with the assistants. The part that I had forgotten about was that Elder Desvergez was the Zone Leader that was living with the assistants, and had been waiting hours for my arrival. And oh how good it was to see him after 8 months!! Ha-ha it was seriously the best thing ever, but yeah I’m happy to be back here with him and the other elders I haven’t seen in a while. We were exhausted though after that day, and ended up having to sleep on the floor in the apartment. Ha-ha. Once again though, like my first night in Anfame, the mosquitos were going crazy, and along with that, there are some weird bugs that come out at night, and make you really itchy. I didn’t have a blanket as it was all packed up, so in other words I laid most of the night itching myself and not sleeping. Ha-ha, and today we had to take some Elders around on a transfer, so you could say that I’m pretty tired right now! But yeah, I’m still trying to adjust back to Benin. Everything seems so much nicer and bigger here now, as its much more developed than Togo. Along with that I’m trying to get adjusted to the new lifestyle I have now. Ha-ha, it will come though, but yeah things are all going well here. One problem with the work now though is that the world cup just started. I’m sure back in America you barely know that, but every man, woman and child here is going crazy right now over the world cup.... even though Togo isn’t in it. Ha-ha, so hopefully the missionary work will be able to continue well. 
 Thanks for everything, and for all the love and support!  

Elder Oliverson

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