This past week has been pretty good for us. Things are doing well in the branch and are improving a ton with the new leaders that we have in. They’re all very humble and we work with them really well also. This past Sunday was missionary Sunday. And I was lucky enough to get to give a talk, teach Sunday school, and then teach Relief Society. Ha-ha, I wish I could keep teaching Relief Society after the mission, but I doubt that will be a possibility. It was really good though. I talked about modern prophets, as its a note that people don’t discuss much here, as they know Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that the church is true, and that we do have a prophet on the earth today, but as we barely get General Conference or the Liahona here, its hard for them to hear much of the words of modern prophets. Honestly its one of the greatest blessings we have.
I shared the story about Brigham Young and the saints coming into the Salt Lake Valley, and they were confused as to why he told them to stay there. The earth was desert, and they had already suffered a lot, gold was just discovered in California, and the experts of the day like Jim Bridger told them that he would pay them for the first crop they could plant there as he knew it was almost impossible. It is similar today as the prophet often teaches us stuff, when the "experts" in the world speak differently, and often the world seems so much better and greater, like California did to the pioneers, yet those who stayed with the prophet in Utah ended up prospering greatly because of listening to him above all else.
In Relief Society we talked about agency. It was good as it was from the manual from Ezra Taft Benson. It reminded me too of a story that he told a while back about obedience, and how obedience is what makes us free and brings us blessings, even though the rest of the world makes us think differently. He talked about one day when he was with his father as he was flying a kite in his backyard. He asked his father what kept the kite up there, his dad told him it was the string. He was so confused and said that it couldn’t be the string, it’s the air that keeps it afloat, and all the string does is hold the kite down from going to far off. His father looked at him and let go of the string, and sure enough the kite fell to the ground. It was a good comparison he showed about how we often see obedience as something holding us back, and down, when really its what opens doors and makes us free.
Along with that we’ve started up having branch council, and cep meeting each week in the branch, which has really started to get things going much better now. Our branch President is doing awesome and is still incredibly humble. As I said before it’s the Ghanaian that Desvergez and me worked with for a while. He shared a story about when he was called to be the branch president a few weeks ago, he was stunned, and actually refused saying he could not do the task, as he was and English speaker and barely speaks French, how could he lead the branch. The leader he was with simply told him it was the Lord that called him and nothing was impossible with the Lord. Its been interesting to see as we have all noticed that in just these past couple weeks his French has improved drastically, and he has been able to accomplish all of his tasks and duties in the church without any problems. It’s been awesome to see that.
This past week we have been able to find a few Amis. Mostly contacts from a few members and a contact from President, so we’ve been doing our best to be able to work with them a bit.
Our ami Louise is still doing really well and is getting everything ready for her baptism next Saturday so were really looking forward to that. She has a lot of opposition from the family, but you can see that she has a real testimony as she’s not letting that hold her back but is still going forward with the baptism.
We have another ami that is still blocked from baptism because of marriage. It’s a very complicated situation, but seeing that our duty is to teach and invite them to accept the Gospel, that’s what we’ve been trying to do. This past week we taught them quite a bit about personal revelation and the importance of counseling with the Lord about all of our questions and the guidance he can give us. When we did our follow ups with them, she told me all the responses she had gotten, it was interesting to see that she wasn’t super surprised, as it just seemed so normal that she speaks with the Lord and he will respond, it was a very good example of faith to me.
We have a lot of other Amis that are progressing fine, but have random hold backs that either keep them from coming to church or being baptized. Its not always easy to ask them to make certain sacrifices, but I remember Elder Dickson telling us that if we don’t ask them to make sacrifices we are holding back many blessings that they could have from them. President has had us pretty busy as well this past week, as we will have zone conferences this next week, so we’ve been with him a lot getting that all ready.
This past week as well we had a bit of a sketchy experience when we were driving back along the beach road. It had just rained so the sand was pretty wet, but as I was going off the road a bit, the car started to slow down as it was getting stuck in the sand. Not much of a big deal as that always happens, so I always take a stop, and do the cool flip into 4-wheel drive. As I did though and went on the gas the problem came up that we were not moving forward anymore but down rather. I was stunned, as the good ol' Hilux 4 wheel drive has never let me down. We came to realize that we were buried a solid foot in the ground now. Ha-ha, the problem is the beach is always a bit of a dangerous and sketchy place as there is hardly anyone over there and its the place people usually get robbed. I thought about calling Elder Bulunga, but realized it would take them about 40 minutes to get here, and along with that if they came to pull us out they would most likely get stuck as well. There was no way either that we were getting out ourselves. After a few minutes random guys from everywhere started wandering over to us, which is kind of sketchy, as you don’t know if they’re going to rob you or what’s going on. When they got to us we realized they were actually there to help us. I was still not convinced though as without another truck it seemed impossible to get out, but they dug out the tires with their hands, and we had about 8 people pushing on it, and slowly got it out of the deep sand. It was no doubt a great blessing and a tender mercy that we had there.
All in all things are going really well here! My comp is doing pretty well also, he’s still getting used to eating pate and such, but it’s going well! I hope all is great there. I love and miss you all a ton!
Happy Valentines Day!!