Things have been great here this past week. We were finally able to get in and focused on the work so it was awesome. It was a week full of many miracles as well. My companion is doing great and is obedient and humble, as ever, so we’ve been entitled to many blessings because of it! Its been clear that the Lord has helped us come across many new Amis that were prepared in advance as well. In Calavi, as our secteur's are so far from the church, about 45 minutes. President authorized us to create a group here in our apartment, which we will be starting up in January, so in turn, as all the converts we have here are leaders in the Calavi branch, we will not really have anyone in terms of members in the group, so we’ve seen that we really need to start getting to work in finding people, especially men that can become Melchzeidek priesthood holders. We’ve been praying a lot, and talking with everyone, and have seen that the Lord has quickly answered out prayers.
This past week we’ve continued working with Eli, our Ami that was at church last week. Again like I said I’ve never met many people that know the Bible as well as he does. He has many talents and I can see what a powerful member of the church he could be if he gets baptized, so we’ve been working a lot with him towards that. He likes proof in everything we teach him, so to a point we we're giving it to him, then he asked a question, that again I could easily answer, but my new companion simply opened up to Moroni 10: 4-5, and gave the simple response that all truth comes from the Holy Ghost, so in turn all these questions that he has can in turn be answered usually by prayer. It was a good reminder to me as well that we need to always rely on the spirit and let our Amis do the same. We noticed that as we had been teaching him his brother was assisting with us. His brother is much more humble, and willing to listen actually, but much more quiet so we didn’t notice him as much. His brothers named Jeremie. So in English their names actually turn out to be Elijah and Jeremy, like the prophets in the Bible. Ha-ha, but even with all of his brother’s objections and such he stayed close and really understood our message. In our next lesson he explained that he new our message was true, but was afraid to leave his church as him and his brother were adopted by the pastor, who has taken care of them his whole life, and paid for school and such. So in turn leaving his church would be in a way disrespectful. We had a big lesson on the importance of turning to God rather than the fear of men, and left him to pray again. The next time we came back he had made the choice that even with the opposition that would come he wanted to be baptized into the church. We fixed his baptismal date for the 10th of January, and he was at church on Sunday and loved it.
Along with that we came across another guy on the street the next day named Alfred. He stopped us first asking me if I was an English speaker, as he was interested in talking with me. It turns out he teaches English at the university here, so he actually didn’t speak to bad. In turn we were able to start teaching him, and could see quickly that he was super interested in our message as we explained the restoration to him briefly. He explained how he has always wanted that his family be together in the same church as they are divided between multiple, which causes them many problems, so we fixed times to be able to see all of them. He came to church with us on Sunday and loved it. Just like Eli and Jeremie he is extremely intelligent and is progressing well.
Along with them we received a contact from some other missionaries named Olivier. When we finally contacted him we found that he lives super far away, and is extremely well to do. At the same time you can see that he is very humble, and gives most of what he has. He is in his late twenties and lives with his wife. In the first lesson he explained that he didn’t really believe in religion but rather in personal worship and such, his wife though is Methodist. We’ve really worked towards showing all the blessings for the family in our message and such, and in turn explained the restoration and the story of Joseph Smith. He understood really well, and was incredibly open to all that we taught him. He promised to pray, and to come to church. Sure enough Sunday he was with us at church, and explained to us afterwards that the spirit confirmed to him that what we have taught him was the truth and that we were really the Lords servants, and in turn we were able to fix a baptismal date with him for the 17th of January, and are hoping that his wife will soon follow! We’ve been extremely blessed no doubt the past while, and have seen that our baptisms that we have fixed and our Amis in progress are people that could do a lot to help the church and especially help in leadership with the group that we are soon forming here in Arkonville. It’s been amazing to see how well all of our Amis were prepared and how quickly the spirit has testified to them the truthfulness of the message. Honestly when I got here as we were opening a secteur, I was planning on the first couple months being contacting and planting seeds, but we’ve been able to get things going quickly. Along with that we already have too many Amis that we really don’t have the time to visit all of them. This past week we headed a bit out farther west, where it becomes just village. I thought Kegue my first secteur in Togo was out there, but here you feel like you’re camping, its about a 45 minutes walk just to arrive there so we don’t go there too often, and along with that its extremely far from the church, so we will probably wait till we get the group here to go back out there, but there is surely a lot of promise there. We’ve been exhausted though with all the work, but it’s been great as it’s been very productive for us!
My companion is doing well and is still learning also. He’s come a long ways for sure! Today I taught him how to mop the floor, so there are always little things like that I forget about. He’s doing really good though, and has a strong testimony. He comes from very humble background, but you can see it has made him a really good person. I’ve been really working with him in helping him talk to people and rely on the spirit as he is a little timid, but like I said he’s come a long way! We're hoping to still be able to get work done this week even with Christmas coming along! The mission Christmas party is tomorrow so we're looking forward to that, and as I’m one of the three drivers in the mission I'll get to drive the truck again:). Our secteur is really nice though. Its calm and reminds me a lot of Togo, a lot of brush and plants, and apparently pretty big snakes, but I still haven’t seen with my own eyes so not sure about that. I know that out towards the village area there is plenty of voodoo, so we will see how that goes for us.
The training is going great too! I was thinking the mornings would be tiring with the extra hour of training, but it’s been good, as it’s more of a mutual companion study and we learn a lot together. The apartment is doing well. Some of the Elders like Destribois, my comp and Agui are learning English, so we’ve been helping them a lot with that too. Things are going really well here though; I hope all goes well there for you with Christmas this week!