So, I've got about twenty minutes to crank this email out and send some pictures, we'll see how it goes.
Monday evening our appointment fell through, but we did a lot of great contacting. We also saw pretty much the best sunset ever. It was majestic and glorious! I'll try to send a pic of it, but believe me the picture can't even describe it. It was like I had walked into the Lion King or something.
When we got home, I tried my hand at the cake. That afternoon I had made the batter from a very delicious pancake recipe Elder Hansen has, except replacing milk with chocolate milk. It was all from scratch, and since we don't have an oven, we baked it in a pot on the stove. Yes, a pot on the stove. What little practice I had from dutch oven in Scouting definitely paid off. Elder Hansen accidentally turned the flame on a little too high, so parts of it were a bit burnt. While cutting out the burnt parts, the cake just became a bunch of cake chunks/brownies, but it all goes down the same right? I also tried my hand at the Huskey chocolate sauce, and it was delicious! I covered the cake in it, and believe me, it was delicious! For a first try with a few setbacks, it was awesome, if I do say so myself. Alas, we all had a huge sugar crash, so it'll be a while before I try that again. Elder Hansen enjoyed the cake, so I guess you could say it was a mission accomplished. Pun sort of intended. :)
This week we taught Antoin, who is an eternal investigator. He's been an investigator for about two years, and he loves the church, it's just that he needs to get married before he gets baptized, and his wife doesn't want him to get baptized, so she's holding the marriage out of his hands. Anywho, Antoin has a daughter who comes to church with him, and she's eight years old, so we started teaching her as well. She's absolutely the most shy little girl I've ever met. She wants to get baptized, but whenever we asked a question, she just smiled, squirmed here and there, and gazed off into LaLaLand. She's definitely a cutie though, so we'll see how this goes.
Crespin and Blaise continue to be awesome. We're in the middle of Lesson 3 with them, and they are loving it. They ask very good questions, and they love the answers we have for them. Also, Crespin is the master of style. That man dresses up like nobody's business, but in a humble, casual way. Whenever you talk to him, he just looks so wise. I think he might be Mufasa/James Earl Jones in secret. :)
Soeur Christine is awesome. One day we were visiting her, and she told us her conversion story. It's very powerful, and you can just see how much faith she has, but it also has some ridiculously funny parts in it. I don't think I have the Priesthood keys to tell it, because if I did I just couldn't make you laugh as much as I laughed when I heard it. I had to cover my mouth and bite my tongue to keep from interrupting the story, and my sides were aching. Let's just say, she has got the best breakup story ever.
Julien and family are also doing awesome. We're starting to see the Gospel change their lives little by little. I'll come back to them in a bit.
We also began teaching Serge's sister. Serge is one of my favorite members to work with. Sometimes he can jump ahead and share large concepts from other lessons, and he did that with his sister, but that's okay. In the words of Elder Hansen, "That's great that he wants to be her pastor, but he needs to remember that he's her brother first." We're going to a Family Home Evening with them this evening, so that should be awesome.
We also picked back up with Ange after a pause of about two weeks. He seems to be doing really well, and his family is always adorable.
Sunday morning the Spirit just got sucked out of the morning. It was a pretty tough morning. Then, that afternoon, after a visit with Soeur Christine, Soeur Leoni came running up to us to let us know that Saturday night her family had all prayed together. And just like that, the Spirit came in tenfold. It was just the miracle we needed, and it was awesome. If you earnestly and actively seek the Spirit, you'll be able to find it: Heavenly Father will send you the Comforter. He's not going to leave you out to dry.
The biggest lesson I learned this week was about companionships. I had the coolest thought come to me in the middle of making lunch one day. As a missionary, if you think of your mission as an individual success, you're going to have a crummy misison. If you view success from the perspective of your companionship, you're going to be a lot more successful. I had reread a program from Music and the Spoken Word that Dad had sent me, and he had talked about how missions are a group project, and now I totally know that to be true. If you rely on your companion and his strengths, and serve him the best you can, you are going to work miracles. I think this is true for a lot of relationships in our lives. Marriages, siblings, work, school, and play can all be improved if we are willing to totally give up our own personal glory, and work for the glory of the team. You have to be willing to say "We had a lot of success together," and give up saying "I am very successful". Missions are a group project!
I love you all. Keep praying for us here in Akpakpa, and know that I'm praying for you too. All will be well!
Until next week!
All my love,