This last couple of weeks has been very interesting. I feel that the
Lord has really been directing our efforts. There have been countless
times where an appointment would fall through, and we would find
someone right nearby who we were either supposed to teach a different
day or someone new who just “happened” to be available. When things
don’t go as planned, there was a different plan in mind.
Our mission president recently counseled us to find one new friend
every day. So far Elder Jackson and I have kept up with the challenge.
We have so many things to get done that we don’t have to “search” for
things to do during planning. I love it. We have the work set before
us and now we just need to chip away at it. We also learned that it
is most effective to invite investigators to baptism on the first
visit. At first we thought it was a crazy idea, but we now know that
it prepares the investigator for what they need to do. First we invite
investigators to pray to know that our message is true. Then we ask
them if they will accept the Savior’s invitation to repent and be
baptized when they receive an answer to their prayer. Most people
accept. We invite others to be baptized and then we help them build
their faith and guide them to receiving an answer.
Recently an investigator named Gracia was baptized after waiting
almost two years. One of the difficulties of a mission in Africa is
helping couples who live together to get married. The bride’s family
demands are often unaffordable. The process of obtaining the list of
items dragged along until Gracia had enough of waiting and took the
dot papers to her own father to have them signed. He agreed and
signed. Now the problem was getting them legalized. First of all the
two, Gracia and Patrick, work during the open hours at the state
office. Second was the cost. Elder Jackson and I finally took it upon
ourselves to go deposit the papers ourselves. We found the office and
were told that the ID card wasn’t acceptable and that the cost was
only 500 francs (1$), a lot cheaper than we had thought. We returned
to sister Mimi’s house (where Gracia learns tailoring) and spoke to
her about the problem. She told us: “I have a little brother that
works at the central office, I’ll call him up”. She got off the phone
and told us that her brother would legalize the papers for us if we
took them there right away. We sent Gracia over there with 1000 francs
and she called us later in the day saying that it was done!
Second baptism was Eugene who also has been waiting a long time. His
problem is his work schedule. He is busy every day except Sunday. He’s
been coming to church every Sunday and we had taught him all the
lessons. There were complications for several weeks in trying to see
him for his baptismal interview but everything finally fell into place
Last week I had scheduled a cat “mangez-vous” (dinner appointment)
with a member named Gloria, a returned missionaryAfter seeing a cat
get drowned in the morning, we met at Gloria’s house in the evening
for dinner. The cat had been fried and it pretty much did taste like
chicken. It wasn’t bad except the mental factor that it was a cat.
She had a brother from another ward that raises cats help us out with
the cat and she made a dish called jenkumeh (not sure how to spell
that). It’s basically tomato-spice-infused corn dough. Very tasty. Now
I can check off eat cat from my to-do list.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Sorry again for the delay, a lot has happened since last time.So transfer-call Saturday came along and the only change in our district (apartment) was Elder Atherton leaving to a place called Kélégougan where the Togo assistants live. The change would take place on the following Tuesday. Unfortunately, and to my somewhat great surprise, an emergency transfer took place the following day changing the zone leader (my companion) and I now work with Elder Jackson from Indianapolis Indiana. So far he has only worked in Togo. He began one transfer before me. We get along well and work hard.
School started on the 28th of September, which calls for lots of adaptation on our part schedule-wise. During investigator class last week, our ward mission leader was teaching about work and personal responsibility. He asked the class an interesting question: "if someone doesn't work, can they rest?" I thought about this question a lot and I realized that rest isn't really rest unless we've worked, otherwise we're just in an idle limbo state of nothingness mode. (pre-mission experience). Don't do that. I've realized that my walking past certain people in the neighborhood and saying hello was more work than they have done all day. Let's just say that some people are addicted to sitting/laying on a bench in front of their house.
There's a little bit of this week. I promise I will a little more next time.