Monday, January 12, 2015


Bonjour,                                                                                                           01/14/2015

This past week has gone pretty well for us. I can’t say there was too much out of the ordinary, other than that Hamattan is still killing us here. It came late this year but is a little worse then last year. It is super dusty, and everything is covered with the dust from the Sahara that has blown down, so everything is dirtier, and also it’s not the best to breath in. Most of our Amis claimed to be sick this past week. Its funny as well that in Harmattan the sun is pretty blocked by the dust, so you can look at it because it isn’t very bright, but along with that it cools down quite a bit like around the low 70s. The funny part is when everyone here can’t go out in the morning because they think it is too cold, and you see them wearing winter coats and big jackets and such.
Last Monday after the cyber we had a pretty interesting experience as well. It was a miracle I would say, and really just happened in the split of a second. We left the cyber and were walking to an appointment on the side of the road. My companion was on the left, so I was walking more in the road. As we were walking I could hear a car coming from behind us, so I moved over a bit so he could get by. I thought I was over far enough, and as the truck is passing by I felt a really powerful wind and sensation by my head, and when I looked up I saw that the truck passed with a bunch of metal pipes hanging out the side of the truck, right at the level that it should have decked me in the back of the head. Along with that the truck was moving at a pretty good speed, and I can’t even imagine what would have happened if those would have nailed me. The crazy part is when me and my companion looked forward, you could see that the pipes were right at the level where they should have hit me, but they didn’t. It really made me remember the protection that comes, and I was counting my blessings surely right afterwards.
Our Ami's are doing pretty well and are still progressing too. Olivier made a lot of progress this last week, and this past week we finally taught chastity, so now there is the understanding that he has to get married to his wife before he can get baptized. He had read the brochure before we got there for the lesson, so he was a little worried seeing that he hadn’t respected the commandment so he wasn’t sure what would end up with him. He hadn’t read to the end of the brochure though as at the end it explains the repentance we can make for these sins and become pure again. It was an awesome lesson no doubt though, so things are going good that way, we are starting to work a lot more with the leaders as well that way as we need to start getting marriage plans for them.
Our best Ami right now would probably be Alfred though, the one who teaches English at the university. He is one of the smartest, but at the same time most humble people I’ve taught. It’s nice as he understands very quickly, and at the same time is willing to listen and learn more. I can see clearly though that he will be an awesome member of the church one day. He is currently reading the Book of Mormon right now working to strengthen his testimony. The thing is we didn’t even have to tell him to do that, he just started doing it and explained to us that he wants to know better so that his testimony will stay with him the rest of his life. I’m hoping he will be getting baptized next month. Along with that we fixed a baptismal date with a newer Ami named Ligette. She is a really young mom, whose husband left here, so here life is difficult, but very humble because of it. There is a collective marriage in a few weeks, so the leaders in the branch have been helping some of our couples start getting ready for that in hopes they can prepare. We have a lot of families we’re teaching right now, but they seem to have a lot of different problems in each one, so were hoping that just by applying the simple gospel principles they will start to disappear.
I also finally found out the real reason that everyone scars their faces here, as I’ve heard many reasons why. First off it represents the python, as on a pythons face it has ten nostrils. But along with that they started doing it back before it was Benin and was known as Dahomey, and they had problems with people marrying and having kids between their immediate families. So each tribe and family started scaring their faces with a hot knife in a certain pattern to avoid that same problem. Ha-ha. It makes much more sense now. Things are great here right now. I got to give another surprise lesson this past Sunday in Elder’s quorum. The usual when I’m in the primary helping there and the President comes in five minutes before they start and asked if I can help out. Ha-ha hope all is well back there, I love and miss everyone a ton!
                                                                       Elder Oliverson

The Harmattan is a cold-dry[ and dusty trade wind, blowing over the West African subregion.

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