Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ask the Lord!

Bonjour,                                                                                                                   08/30/2014
Highlight of the week, is that I am back over 200 pounds!:) 202 so things are looking better that way! This past week has gone by pretty well, and has been really busy at the same time. On Monday one of the zones wanted to do a zone activity at Ouidah, and needed us to take them, so we "had" to go with them. It was a ton of fun though! It’s been about a year since the last time I went, so it was still pretty exciting stuff! The drive there wasn’t too fun. So I am much more thankful now for Elder Poll the first time he drove us out there, being the one having to drive this time. It was pretty fun though, and playing with the pythons is just normal stuff by now! Still weird getting the voodoo tour they do every time, which makes no sense but still cool. They believe that it was the pythons here that saved their ancestors so they worship them in a way, and have a little temple full of them. So we had a good time there, even though half the missionaries wouldn’t touch the snakes, which is understandable. Then afterwards we drove out to the beach not far away where they have the monument for the point of no return. Where they would come pick up the slaves and take them away. It was nice being there, and also seeing one of the old forts where they would keep the slaves and such. The activity took a while, but we were able to get back pretty early, and getting back we had a meeting with President which took a long while as well. All in all we weren’t able to get into the secteur too much that day.
 Also this week, we had a big group of missionaries leave, to Madagascar, and Desvergez leaving to France. Along with that he got back to Benin on Monday, and stayed with us till he left on Saturday, and it was just like the good old days!! It was nice having that time with him again, and getting to stay together just like it was a year ago, I miss those times for sure. The big problem came when he was supposed to fly home Thursday, but got to the airport, and found that his ticket had not yet been purchased yet. What better way to go home then to not even have a flight, so I’m sure his family was pretty upset, especially his mom. So the next day on Friday, President had us do all we could to figure out how to get him home as quickly as possible, as he had to get back to school on Monday. The problem when we went into air France though was that they said they had no places available till September 17th. So we realized there wasn't much hope there. We kept trying to contact Ghana who was supposed to be ordering the plans, but they are almost impossible to get a hold of. This is by the end of the day where we had tried about everything possible. So Desvergez and me decided to pray. Sure enough, even though we had called Ghana already 20 times that day, this time they finally answered, and tried to explain what happened. Within twenty minutes they were able to get him a flight home that same night, so all finished well there! It was interesting to see a bit, that all we had to do was ask the Lord, and keep working, and there was his help. It made us think a bit if we had asked the Lord earlier for help, would it have been solved earlier?
 On Wednesday we had Zone Conference. It was the first for President Morin, and like the others it was great as well. It was weird though as I was sitting back in Gbedromede for a Zone Conference, and thinking about the Zone Conferences at the start of the mission. It really doesn’t seem like that long ago, and seeing now that Ringle and me are some of the older elders, was scary to think about the lack of time that is left. The conference was also nice and relaxing not teaching like the last one:). Things have been super busy this week with the work, and we have been running around everywhere. Even today we had a mass wedding in Calavi. There was either 9 or 10 couples that were getting married to be able to get baptized! It was super cool to see, as we had to be there for transport and such. It was the first time they had done that here, and will also result in a ton of baptisms for the week, and many new couples in the church. Like I said we weren’t able to get a ton done in our secteur, as we had a ton of meetings and things for getting ready for the visit of Elder Curtis and such, but we did get the work we could done. 
There is one family in particular that we’ve been visiting more lately, who have actually been member for a couple years now. They were supposed to go through the temple all last year, but couldn’t, because of money issues. This year as well, they weren’t able to go, because of money problems again. They’ve had a hard time lately, and are starting to get much more discouraged as they haven’t been able to go. It is an awesome family as well; who is always at church, the kids know all the hymns, and they hold family home evening each week. It was tough seeing them get held back, and how down they were, but we’ve been teaching them a lot about temples, and perseverance, which has been really good for them. We’ve started bringing temple pictures to all our Amis and recent converts houses as well to put up. I remember a bunch of temple pictures in our house growing up, but never thought much about it. I remember hearing though, as they really want to help new converts get focused on the temple rather than fall inactive, to do all we can to keep their eyes on the temple, in every way possible. It has had its effects as well, helping them see the temple each day keeps them motivated and reminded of where their priorities should be. Things are all well here though, the time is short though as we just got back from the weddings though, so I hope all continues to go well there!
         Were all really excited for the arrival of Elder Curtis as well. I don’t know how 70s do it. If you could see the schedule we have for him, on his four-day visit, at all hours of the day, he is either on a plane, in a conference, in interviews, or in meetings with the District Presidency. It’s crazy how busy they are; yet when they hold conferences and such, they are still so well prepared and inspired. Were actually picking him up from the airport on Wednesday, and he'll be here till Friday, and then he'll leave to Nigeria. It should be really cool to get to meet him and be with him.   things are great here, its so crazy to see how fast time has gone by. Being back in Benin and seeing where I started, it’s hard to believe it’s been a year and a half since I was here last. My two trainers Elder Soanantenaina and Desvergez left this past week as well, so that was weird to see. The weather is getting better here little by little, which is nice. I’m teaching Elder Izekor how to drive as well, which is one of the hardest things ever. I’m not looking forward to teaching my kids how to drive. I don’t remember it being this rough. Either ways things are going really great here! We are hoping we will be able to get more work done in our secteur next week though! I love and miss you all a ton!

Elder Oliverson


Last dinner with Ambroise family, before Elder Desvergez left!

The night desvergez was supposed to leave.

Desvergez didnt leave, but the day after instead, and after working on it all day that night we were able to get the flight to France... so we celebrated with ice cream of course:)

All the couples getting married at Calavi!

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