Saturday, September 6, 2014

Elder Curtis--The impressions of the spirit!

Bonjour,                                                                                                                   09/06/2014

This past week has been super busy, but great with the visit of Elder Curtis. Sunday was a good day, as the Branch President taught the lesson in the Gbegamey Branch, which was really good, and a good example as well to the members on how to give a lesson. They have us give talks, lessons from time to time, as you realize that often the people have no ideas how to give them. Back home I remember it was never difficult, as you see very experienced members giving talks each week. It was good though and hopefully it will help out! 
On Sunday we had a double mangez-vous day. As we had two dinners, so we finished the day feeling well. On Monday we had Elder Welch and Woodland come in, as they were leaving home on Tuesday, which like usual is weird to see. There will be a lot of changes in the mission in the next few months as there are so many missionaries coming and going. We also had a solid family home evening with Rebecca’s family as well, and we had Sarah our new convert give the lesson. Its always fun giving a good lesson, but its like a million times better seeing one of your converts give a great lesson as well. It’s really fun to see converts that seek to develop quickly after baptism. 
That night Welch and Woodland stayed with us so that was nice as well. The next day we were super busy once again with doctor appointments, and a ton of other stuff, but were still able to get some rendezvous in so that was nice! Elder Izekor and me tried to do a little more tracking this week, as its been a while since we have had to, since we have members to give us contacts usually. It’s been a while since I’ve done it, as the last time I did was on a split back in Togo as Zone leader. It was a lot of fun though, and I enjoy doing it, because it’s all centered around following the spirit, then exercising faith in talking to someone. I did notice though that the people aren’t all as nice and open as back in Togo, but still you can just walk into most of their homes and start talking to them if you want to.                 
We were able to fix a baptismal date as well with one of our Amis named Cedric, who we’ve been teaching for a while now. He’s told us multiple times he knows the church is true from prayer, and that he needs to be baptized, but he’s been unsure as to if he is ready and such. So we’ve been explaining to him for a while that if he is waiting till he’s perfect, he will never get baptized, so it was nice to finally get a date fixed with him. 
For the first part of the week, President Morin was in Togo with Elder Curtis and his wife, as they stopped there first. Then on Thursday they flew into Cotonou, so we went to pick them up there. It was the first time I met Elder Curtis, but it was awesome no doubt, its incredible how much light one person can bring into a room, or just being in their presence. He was the nicest person ever, and had a really funny sense of humor as well; his wife was super nice and smiley like all the wives of 70's. We brought them back to the mission, and were able to spend some good time with them. I don’t even know how they do it though; on Sunday he was in Ghana, then Togo for two days, then Benin for two days, then Nigeria for the weekend. And they have hardly any rest time, yet they are so inspired and you wouldn’t even know all the work they’ve done. It was a super cool experience getting to be with him, so I hope to not forget that. That same day a couple hours after getting in, we had a devotional with the members in Cotonou. It was actually really impressive, as they only had about a one-week notice, which is sketchy here. Yet there were still hundreds of members that showed up, so it was really good to see their faith. One of the coolest parts I noticed with Elder Curtis, is that when he is in a meeting, he waits till he gets their and sees everyone there, that he pulls a notebook out, then stops, and starts thinking and listening for different things he should talk about. It was interesting to see someone that is that good at hearing the impressions of the spirit, they can do that. He gave a very simple talk, but it was super powerful at the same time. He talked as well about how we are hoping for the first building in Benin next year, along with the first Stake. Then on Friday we had the conference with him with only the missionaries, so we left there early to go set up for that and get everything ready. That like all the other mission conferences with 70's was great, but this on was very spiritual and was an awesome meeting. He talked a lot about obedience and brotherhood, which are both probably the two biggest weaknesses in the mission. It was interesting though, as he was able to correct us and tell us to be better, but in a very very loving way. It was cool talking with people after as well, as everyone could see stuff they had to improve on, but were positive at the same time, as the spirit was so strong and he did it in such a loving way. One of the things that he said that I loved was what Elder Holland had told them, in that the hours between when you wake up, and go out to teach will either make or break your mission. Everyone knows studies and everything in the morning are important, but it was interesting to hear it that way, but is very true at the same time. Those men are incredible and so inspired. It was probably my favorite visit that we’ve had no doubt. 
That took up about half the day, so by night we didn’t have much more time, and had to take some missionaries around. Today I’ve been pretty busy as well, as I had to wash the clothes and clean the apartment, as it’s been a few weeks since we’ve had a real P-day, with being so busy. It’s been really nice though at the same time, and the time is flying by! Elder Izekor is still catching on the driving aspect, so that’s getting better. We will be having a huge transfer in a few weeks with a bunch of new missionaries coming in, so we’ve been and will be very busy with that as well. 

        Things are still good with the work as well!  Thanks for all the love and support! I miss you guys a ton!

                                    Elder Oliverson
Elder Curtis's visit. 

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