Saturday, October 25, 2014

If you’re on the right track, you’ll get ran over if you just sit there.

Bonjour,                                                                                                                    10/25/2014

            This past week has been a little busier than usual as President left for Togo again, so we’ve had a lot to do, and as a result weren’t able to get into our secteur as much as we wanted, but it was still pretty good. On Sunday we had a nice little dinner with Precious, one of my favorite Nigerians, which was really good. The only problem is for some reason that stuff is not the best for the stomach. Even Elder Izekor was feeling it, and he’s Nigerian so that’s saying something. 
           Monday was a lot of planning for the transfer next week, and the big group of missionaries we have coming in. We have 13 coming this month, and 15 in December. Which is huge for this mission, so that will be good. We will be pretty busy though next week because of it, with trips to Togo and such. 
         Things are going all right with the work, we had a few setbacks this week as Rebecca’s husband is going back to his old habits with drinking and going out with other women and such, so that was pretty rough for them. We spent a lot of the time teaching her in particular and trying to help her persevere and be patient. Its pretty amazing as well what a comforting power the scriptures can have on someone. For example we left her one-day with some scriptures in D&C and the next day came back finding her in a completely different mood. And she explained to us that after reading the passage it’s almost like she forgot about all the worries she had for a little bit. We’ve been continuing with teaching our new Muslim Amis that we found last week as well. I can’t say they are too devout as they are talking to us, but it’s been good. Its a lot different teaching them as you center a lot more on Jesus Christ and the Atonement, which is a lot of fun to teach in particular. 
          We worked a little more with the converts as well. The Gbegamey branch is having a little rough time as well right now, so it’s causing some problems for us, so we’ve been trying to help that way. Many members think that because they're already in the church, that’s what matters, and then become complacent which causes problems. I remember hearing that even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get ran over if you just sit there. Which kind of shows that even if we're on the right path, if were not always advancing, then were much more vulnerable. Were hoping things will get better there though. 
         I read a talk as well by Elder Callister that he gave in the MTC a few years back about becoming a consecrated missionary. It was incredible as well and very motivating for the last months of my mission. He talked mostly about the importance of giving up our own will to the Lords which is tough as each of us has a few things they have the hardest time giving up. But to be a consecrated missionary rather than just a good missionary it means giving up all those little weaknesses as well. He talked a lot as well about the difference about changing our nature and changing our behavior. If we want to really change and become a better person it comes in changing our nature. He gave the example of a missionary waking up on time, if for example a missionary starts waking up on time because his companion does. Its good for the moment, but it is something that won’t really last but can easily wear off. On the other hand if he wakes up on time for the Lord, and because it’s the Lords will for him, that is where he will really start to see the change for the better. It was a very motivating and inspired talk no doubt. 
        We are hoping to be able to get more into our secteur towards the end of the week, as we know we will be pretty busy towards the start. Things are going well though here. I found out that idea people have about mice and rats eating the bottoms of peoples feet when they sleep is true as well. This past week one of our Amis was telling me I had to wash my hands off better after we eat, then told me about how if you don’t wash your hands off very well, and there is still a scent or odor, mice will come and start biting and eating your fingers. And then what they do so you don’t wake up is they start blowing on the wound so it sooths it, then continue biting away. Ha-ha, it made me much more thankful about sleeping off the ground and in a net as I’ve never really had to worry about that at all. This past week as well we found another new contact from a member that lives directly in front of the President of Benin’s house. So now we have an Ami in front and directly behind his house now. You can tell the guards are starting to wonder what’s going on as they see us all the time now all around the house. I will say though it’s not quite the same security as the White House. Its just a normal house, surrounded by the military, and then every little bit you see a secret service guy in a suit. But there are many windows and a balcony so it’s pretty open actually. 

      Things are going well here though right now, I hope all goes great for you guys this next week. I love and miss you all a ton!
                                                            Elder Oliverson

Baptism we went and helped with at Porto Novo. As they don't have a church or font yet, we do it at a hotel pool.

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