So, this week was really great. My new companion showed up, Frère Victor! He's a super cool guy. He was born in Nigeria, and moved here when he was five. He celebrated his 18th birthday on Thursday, so he's a young whippersnapper. Haha, just teasing. He put in his mission papers the week before, and he's waiting for his call right now. We're very similar, physically and personality wise. He's like a young, cool, hip version of Elder Phillips. He plans on going to BYU Provo after the mission (ahem, Allison), majoring in civil engineering (ahem, Allison). He's an awesome guy (ahem, Allison), and I'm really excited and grateful to work with him.
In lieu of Victor's birthday, Soeur Précious got special permission from Président Morin to take Friday afternoon off to a birthday mangez-vous at their house. We went to Victor's house Friday afternoon, which was super fun. We ate really well, and I tried a new food: cow stomach lining! It was chewy, but I found the flavor super delicious. The food was awesome, and for desert we had chocolate chip cookies! Victor's family is super nice, and it was great to hang out a little bit and share our testimonies with some very strong members. Also, those bird's eye view pics of the soccer field and street are from Victor's house.
Our sector is doing well. We've got our batch of baptismal candidates for the 9th of April: Gudi and Yvette. Gudi still feels like he is waiting for his answer on whether the Book of Mormon is true. Keep praying that he'll get his answer. I believe he has gotten it, but just hasn't recognized it yet. I have faith that it'll all work out. Yvette is the wife of the Elder's Quorum President. She's been coming to church for forever, and she always comes to Gospel Principles class, and it was only a week or two ago that it clicked in my mind: "Hey, she's an investigator who comes to church every week. Why isn't she baptized yet?" So yeah, we're working on that. French is a difficulty for her, but with her husband's help, we should be good to go.
Had a lesson with a Jehovah's Witness and a Muslim at the same time. That was a very fun lesson, actually, I enjoyed it. Also, we were in a lesson with another Jehovah's Witness, and he gave the closing prayer praying to Jehovah, so I opened the can of worms by telling him that Jehovah is Jesus Christ. That too, was a lot of fun. (:
We had a great miracle on Wednesday. Wednesday afternoons are usually booked out for Dedokpo, a neighborhood in our sector that's a little more far out. We also usually have coordination meeting (meeting to check on the progress of member/missionary work) at the Church Wednesday evenings, so we have to book it to get to the Church on time. (The church building is in the sector of the others). So, come Wednesday, we teach in Dedokpo, book it to the apartment to grab some water, and I grabbed Preach My Gospel in case we might need it in Coordination Meeting. While walking to the Church building, we found out that Coordination Meeting was cancelled. That was discouraging, and I was tired. It was too early to go back to the apartment, so we knew that we had to go back to the sector. I was tired, and the only logical idea that came to mind was "Go to Frère Olivier's house". I was a little doubtful of the idea: we've been to Frère Olivier's house probably fifty times, we've been constantly asking for contacts, and he doesn't seem to ever have any. But it seemed like the only good idea. We arrived, had a little chat with Fr. Olivier, and he saw that I was carrying Preach My Gospel. He flipped through a few pages, and landed on "The Great Apostasy". He shared some experiences about how, in trying to share the Gospel with his friends, none of them seemed to accept the idea of the Great Apostasy. I felt prompted to go to Chapter 11 of Preach My Gospel, and show him the quote from Brigham Young about testimonies:
“If all the talent, tact, wisdom, and refinement of the world had been sent to me with the Book of Mormon, and had declared, in the most exalted of earthly eloquence, the truth of it, undertaking to prove it by learning and worldly wisdom, they would have been to me like smoke which arises only to vanish away. But when I saw a man without eloquence or talents for public speaking, who could only say, ‘I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord,’ the Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminated my understanding, and a light, glory, and immortality were before me. I was encircled by them, filled with them, and I knew for myself that the testimony of the man was true.”
That quote really touched Fr. Olivier, and we all felt the Spirit as we practiced giving testimonies of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He also promised us several contacts who "need the Gospel in their lives". Miracles happen, though in small ways that we only notice as we are faithful and count our blessings.
In the Spirit of Easter, I just want to share my testimony. I know of no greater hope, no greater promise in the scriptures, than that of the Resurrection. Can you imagine a more triumphal moment? I can just imagine the Lord's voice, calling Mary by name, and with tears in her eyes, she turns to see the Resurrected Savior, robed in white, smiling. I know that Christ rose again the third day. The promise of a resurrection is available to all who have lived upon this earth, and I am excited for that glorious event. And, if we are faithful and live the Gospel, we have the promise of second chances, forgiveness, mercy, and eventually exaltation.
If you ever find yourself discouraged, just think of the promise of the Resurrection, and the Spirit will lift your heart in the most special way. God loves you, enough to send His Son Jesus Christ to the earth to atone, die, and live again for us. I know it!
Hallelujah "praise ye the Lord"