Comment ca va?
I hope y'all are doing well back home. I'm super stoked to see you all for mother's day! Woohoo!
This week was pretty small compared to last week, but there were still a lot of good experiences. Me and my companion are doing great. Elder Yoboue is zealous, hard-working, super spiritual, and sooooo nice and kind. He's an awesome companion, and I'm lucky to work with him. He previously served in Cococodji, which is a massive sector where you walk at least an hour to visit your amis, so he's coming to the comparatively smaller Akpakpa, and he's got a lot of energy, which helps me out.
Things in the apartment are lots better now. We all get along very well, and everyone is much more chill.
This week we had a lot of ratez-vous (what else is new? (: ), but lots of great lessons.
We had a surprise lesson with Gudi and Alex, and we laid out an awesome lesson. We talked mostly about baptism. The highlight of the lesson was reading Mosiah 18:8-10. We then inserted their individual names into the scriptures, and asked them if they wanted to be baptized. They said yes! We fixed a date for this Saturday, the 7th of May. I was super worried, and I kept thinking to myself "They just don't know enough yet, they just don't know enough yet," but the Spirit has calmed me repeatedly, and has promised me "Don't worry. They must be converted to the Lord, not to anyone else. Their testimony and desire to change are more important than their knowledge." So, Elder Phillips is trying to muster all the faith he can! (: We will have to bust tail to get it done, but it is possible. Please send along all of the prayers and faith that you can spare. (:
We had a lesson with Alex later on in the week, and I consider it one of the most powerful lessons of my mission. He's trying to create a website, and so we started the lesson just having a conversation, at least ten minutes long, about what interests him. With my limited knowledge of website infrastructure (thanks Dad!) and popular websites, I was able to relate to what he was talking about, and that made a deeper connection. Then we talked about a commandment, and while he understands it perfectly, and he wants to keep it, he expressed the fear that he wouldn't be able to obey it perfectly, and that he would probably stumble a bit. We just testified of God's love, and of how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is here to help us with that. In having faith and trying to change, and in making and keeping covenants, the Lord sends us His Spirit, which gives us direction, warns us of evil, and gives us the strength and desire to do good. We invited Alex to continually pray for strength from the Lord. Alex stayed quiet for a little while, and I could tell he was feeling the Spirit. He told us "You know, I can read a brochure or a scripture just fine, but when you missionaries come, I understand it. It becomes so much more clear." The Holy Ghost is the best teacher ever, folks.
Had lots of ratez-vous throughout the week, but it's all good. You gotta keep movin' along (name the ride). Yesterday we had a lesson with an eternal investigator, and each time we see him, he just seems more and more spiritually dead. I can't tell you how many times I've told this man what he can do to turn his life around, and it's always the same invitation: "Live the Gospel! Be baptized! I promise it will change your life for the better!" He just doesn't have the motivation to change. His brother, a member, could tell how discouraged I was, and in the closing prayer he prayed that we the missionaries would have the strength to overcome discouragement. Walking away, I remembered Elder Christofferson's talk, quoting Elder Hugh B. Brown.
If I got a lesson out of this week, it would be that Christ is the Main Character of Our Lives, not us. In living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will begin to see the world and our individual lives as He sees them. We will see positive changes that will come to our lives, and we will recognize more and more that it is Jesus Christ who is renovating our lives, we simply give Him the permission to do it by having faith in Him and His Atonement, repenting, making and keeping covenants, receiving and following the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
I hope that each one of us will ponder upon the drama that our life is, and ask ourselves if we understand our role. I hope we can notice the protagonist's key monologue in the turning point of the play: "I am the light and the life of the world...arise and come forth unto me."- 3 Nephi 11:11-14
I love you all! See y'all soon!
Avec tout mon amour,