This morning; our zone had an activity playing football at the Amitie Stadium. It was super fun! Afterwards; our district went to the market, and then Elders Kanda and Motshikana showed us a Congolais restaurant. I ordered pondo, a sauce made of leaves and fish; with a fish head and some fufu made of manioch: It was really good:
Last Sunday, in Church, we watched a video made by the Area Presidency about this year's area plan. It was super good!
On Tuesday morning, the Finagnon Zone asked me to give a lesson on obedience, so we attended their zone meeting. Haha; that's never an easy lesson to teach to missionaries, but I did my best, followed the Spirit, said some things that were necessary and direct, some elders just walked out of my lesson, and those that stayed enjoyed it. (:
Tuesday evening, and all throughout Wednesday, we went on splits with the Finagnon elders. I worked with Elder Wise (from Arkansas) in Finagnon. I love working with the younger Americans, they are so full of hope and faith and energy. Elder Wise is a great elder, and we had lots of great spiritual experiences together. I also got to spend time with Elder Wride (from Lone Peak!) and Elder Nye, both really good elders as well.
On Thursday, we went out to work with Frere Narcis, the first counselor in our branch. When we arrived at his house, I immediately felt drawn to some people seated, and we did one of the most natural street contactings ever: A man said, "Yeah I love the word of God, I'm the bishop of this church," then pointing to a church right behind me that I didn't notice, and then in my head I said "Oh snap, I just contacted a pastor." Had I known that, I would have not approached him, but clearly the Lord wanted me to talk to him. So, lesson learned, never judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to sharing the Gospel!
That afternoon, we got stuck in the sand three times. That was mighty terrible. Elder Digbeu and Frere Narcis had to get out and push each time, and on the third time, we were super stuck. I said a silent prayer, and then a truck passing by stopped and asked if we needed help. We hooked our truck up to his, and then he towed us out of the sand. As Elder Digbeu hopped into the car, he said "Angels exist, right?" I know that the Lord answers prayers, and that angels seen and unseen are around us to bear us up.
On Saturday, we had Odile's baptism. That was awesome, the whole branch was super happy, and very supportive. During one of the talks, the member said that it took a lot of courage and endurance to be an investigator for three years, and I realized that it's true. Our investigators are so very brave in accepting the truth and keeping commitments. They're my heroes.
That afternoon, we went to teach Edmond, and after the lesson, we ran into a member who had just moved into the neighborhood from Cote d'Ivoire, and he was looking for the Church in the area. Wow, that was a heavenly-timed miracle. (:
The Lord has asked us to be an example to the believers. We have a duty, not to be self-righteous or pretendedly-perfect, but to do our best to keep the commandments and to share the light of Christ. We must never back down or give up.on our standards, and we must have Christ in view at all times. We must love God and love men. As my favorite hymn says it:
"We will not retreat, though our numbers may be few
When compared with the opposite host in view;
But an unseen pow'r will aid me and you
In the glorious cause of truth...
If we do what's right we have no need to fear,
For the Lord, our helper, will ever be near;
In the days of trial his Saints he will cheer,
And prosper the cause of truth.
Fear not, though the enemy deride;
Courage, for the Lord is on our side.
We will heed not what the wicked may say,
But the Lord alone we will obey."
I know that God has an infinite love for us, His children, and that "if we do what's right, we have no need to fear." Faith is the opposite of fear, and it leads us to joy.
I love you all so very much. Have a wonderful week!
Elder Brian H. Phillips