I'm so glad to hear that you're all well. We've been doing pretty good here in Akpakpa. The week was slower, lots of ratez-vous, but it's all okay. This next week should be better.
We did a follow-up lesson with Frère Bertrand on the Word of Wisdom. He told us that to quit alcohol, he replaced it with soda. But he drank so much soda that the doctor has asked him to quit soda and juice. So he only drinks water now. I joined him in the challenge, and now Elder Phillips is going soda-free! Yay!
Frère Landu gave me the hymns I need to practice for Stake Conference. It will be a sprint to try and get everything practiced and polished for the conference. Pray that I'll have time to practice, and that I'll be able to do so effectively.
On Friday, we had interviews with Président Morin. Surprise! Président came an hour early. (: Yeah, that was an adventure. Nevertheless, we had a great interview. I always love our interviews, because I always leave feeling like I can think more clearly. We kind of just dwelled on the topic of how the Savior is with us, and how we can always have His Spirit to be with us.
Wednesday, during coordination meeting, we brought up our progress with Soeur Yvette, and our DMB just haaaad to say "Well, technically, she lives closer to Elder Kola's sector, even though she's in neither sector, so Elder Kola should be the one that teaches her.” Now, to be honest, in the moment, that made me sad. All Elder Kola has done is baptize people that me and Elder Hansen taught, and now he gets to do the same thing. It was one of those natural man moments. However, the Spirit reminded me that it's not important who baptized who, but it's about helping the children of our Heavenly Father make covenants with Him.
Christina is an investigator from Congo. She found the missionaries 3 weeks before she moved to Bénin. She found the Church at the Finagnon branch, but she actually lives in Akpakpa, so the Finagnon elders gave her number to me and Frère Amos. Me and Amos showed up to the lesson, but it was just across the street from the sector boundaries. We still taught a lesson with her, which was fantastic. We read 3 Nephi 11 together, talked about the Doctrine of Christ, and she asked for a Book of Mormon and all of the brochures. Golden! We gave her contact to Elders Magré and Kola, who taught her for a week, but when she came to the Akpakpa branch for the first time, she didn't enjoy it, and she said that the Akpakpa members don't take the Gospel seriously enough. So, she returned to the Finagnon branch, where Elder Barnes and Ogoudiran taught her. She accepted the lessons easily, and would always ask platinum questions like "How can I apply that principle to myself?" She accepted a baptismal date, and this Saturday she got baptized. Finagnon doesn't have a baptismal font, so the baptism was held in the Avotrou branch. Christina invited the Akpakpa missionaries to come as well! So, in short, pretty much all of our zone has had some influence in bringing this baptism to pass. It was the best service I've seen in Africa. Afterwards, when Christina gave her testimony, she just said "I would like to thank the missionaries, my friends, my sisters in the Church, and I just want you to know that after the closing prayer, I brought refreshments!" She is literally a platinum convert.
So, who gets the credit for the baptism? No one. Not Finagnon or us or Avotrou. In reality, missionary work is quite simple. You get a front row seat to the Lord working miracles in the lives of the people as they accept the Restored Gospel.
If you feel downtrodden, don't worry. As the Spirit prompted me yesterday "Hold on just a little longer, I promise that miracles are just around the corner."
I love you all so much!
Hold on just a little longer!
And have fun at Disneyland! (:
PS We played a pickup football game with Emmanuel, Bertrand's 7 year old son. The kid totally destroyed me and Victor. And I'm not saying that because we were easy on the kid: I was huffing and puffing, and he destroyed us! I love Akpakpa! (: