This week felt slow, but a lot of great things and miracles happened in our sector.
On Sunday, I got to Skype with y'all, and that was fantastic.
During Wednesday and Thursday, we did a split in our sector with Elders Wride and Dorsey, one of my absolute favorite équipes here in Benin. They're such optimistic, hard workers, and I always look forward to our splits with them. During the split, I tried to focus on Teach People, Not Lessons, which is an important principle that I love. Basically, my formula is as follows:
- In street contacting, just have a plain old conversation with people about their lives, find something in their lives (ie their job, food, customs), and make a Gospel analogy out of it, tied in to a scripture from the Book of Mormon ("that reminds me of something an ancient prophet said...").
- Whatever lesson you had planned on sharing, find something in their lives or homes, and make an analogy out of it to teach the principles.
On Friday, we took Edmond and Véronique to the mission office to have their baptismal interviews, and we had a great experience with them. Long story short, I was very stressed about a million things on my mind during the whole drive to the bureau, but then once we got to the bureau, and they passed their interviews, I felt all the stress just melt away, and I felt joy. The Spirit just taught me that the things we often think of as important or urgent, are oftentimes just hindrances to our eternal progression and happiness.
Saturday, out in the sector, we saw revenants! They're voodoo people who dress in colourful costumes and go around asking people for money and beating them with a stick. And then down the street, we saw some Christian women doing some preaching. Haha, Benin sure is a religious, spiritual, and diverse place.
Today, we had arguably one of the best sacrament meetings I've had on my mission. Marlene was confirmed, and between the two companionships, we had at least 25 investigators come to church. It was incredible! It was a completely unexpected miracle, and everyone (even the branch leaders) was shocked! How cool is that? We had so many friends come, that we had to kick the members out of the chapel for the second hour so we could have enough room to teach them. Multiple members gave us contacts! Everything was great!
Afterwards, we held the baptismal service for Edmond, Véronique, and Sarah, and because it was after church, everyone stayed to watch. I had the special privilege to baptise them, and Elder Linderman baptised one of his amis. It was so great to finally see this wonderful family enter into the waters of baptism. They're such a special family, and I'm so happy to see them progress!
We should have one more family being baptised on June 10th, my last weekend in the field. I hope and pray that it works out! (:
Like I said in my Skype call, I feel like I'm running out of gas, but this week, I felt like the handcart was starting to push me. Heavenly Father just took over everything. He gave me the strength to get up on time and get my studies done every day this week. Our amis are understanding the doctrine, accepting commitments, and changing their lives. People contact us on the streets to learn more about our message. The members bring contacts to church. Amis we weren't expecting showed up for sacrament meeting, often despite difficult circumstances. People are walking into the waters of baptism. All in all, it's the Lord's work, and not man's. I've come to know my Savior so well over the past two years, and now I feel His familiar hand guiding everything for the blessing of His brothers and sisters.
I love my mission, and I'm so lucky to serve here.
Have a great week, y'all!
Elder Brian H. Phillips
"Travailler comme c'est votre premier jour, témoigner comme c'est votre dernier."