This week was fantastic!
Well, today was kind of a drag at first, but it turned into a fun, laughable adventure. We planned a trip to the Grand Marché to pick up groceries for the month. Funnily enough, during all the time that I was a junior companion in Togo, I never payed too much attention to where the taxi dropped us off, where to get the food, etc., and, as luck (or lack thereof) would have it, it was my turn today to introduce my companion to the Marché.
2 missionaries+a very disorganized, huge market+language barrier+people who have no idea where to find certain things+a whole variety of other setbacks=getting lost at least 10 times.
Haha, it was tiring, but we made a laugh of it, and we found most of what we needed. Seriously though, we would ask someone where the onion market was, he would point in one direction, we would go that way, ask someone else, she would point in the opposite direction, from where we came. Haha, very fun. Seriously though, we had a good adventure of it. (:
Me and my companion are getting along great. His weakness, and also mine, is that we are completely incapable of making decisions. I would describe ourselves, in moments of crisis, as the vultures from The Jungle Book: "So whatta you wanna do?" "I dunno, whatta you wanna do?" Haha, it's not too bad, in fact it's rather comical. Hands down, Elder Angbo is one of my favorite companions. Fun fact: he's seen the Scott Sterling video! Haha (;
We started teaching a wonderful family. Well, the parents are busy, so we end up teaching the kids. We taught one of the best Restoration lessons I've ever taught on my mission. Let's hope and pray for the best! (:
Yesterday, we did another split with the members: Elder Angbo went with Frère Matthias to some of our investigators near the church, and I went with Frère Bakana to Zogbedji. We stopped by the Famille Kpatcha, who are wonderful. The church is too far away to walk, and they're too poor to pay for transport every Sunday, so they've been stuck for a long time, now. Nevertheless, they really really really want to come to Church, and they love the Gospel. I felt the Spirit very sweetly, and I knew that Heavenly Father loves them deeply. He wants them to try their best, but He completely understands how they feel about Him.
I've really learned a lot about how God feels about His children during my mission. He will never force us to choose the right, but He so desperately wishes for us to accept His invitation. He understands our situations, our dreams, our desires, and our potential more than we possibly could ourselves. He loves us infinitely.
We didn't get to teach Tierry this week, so we're going to move his baptism to next week. We did, however, get to visit Sam a few times. He was totally ready for baptism, has completely fallen in love with the Book of Mormon, and asks great questions (ie: I know we are not supposed to smoke or drink, but are there also certain types of meat that we aren't allowed to eat? Answer, no).
Come the day of his interview, he actually didn't show up, so that gave us a little scare, but we stopped by his house Saturday morning, and he was fine, he just was too busy to make it to his interview on time.
Baptismal Font Bananza, Part 2
Previously on Baptismal Font Bananza, our intrepid heroes arrived at the church to find the baptismal font completely empty. Now we return to the never-ending story of our two missionaries and their mission to invite others to come unto Christ:
Elder Phillips: "It's half empty!"
Yeah, that was terrible. We hooked up a hose to a sink in the church, and we had to fill buckets from a pump outside. Frère Bakana, Sam, and another member helped us out, and the buckets were much smaller, thank heavens, so it was much less demanding than the first time. But heaven help the man who keeps unplugging the hose, because I'm not too happy with that hokey-pokey.
I felt very blessed to be able to baptize Sam. The water was only to my knees, and every time I put him down into the water, something would pop up (his legs, his jumpsuit, his hair). I ended up baptizing him five times to get him completely immersed. Thankfully, Sam was super chill, and he didn't freak out. On the fifth try, the belly part of his jumpsuit popped up, full of air, and my elbow snapped like a quarterback to push it down. Fifth time's the charm, right?
Jokes aside, it was a very spiritual service. At the end of the service, Sam bore his testimony, and he said that he knew that the Lord would bless him just like he's blessed the members around him. So very cool.
The Sunday of Sam's confirmation, yesterday, was also Fast and Testimony Meeting, when members and investigators can come up and share brief testimonies of truths they've experienced. Elder Angbo elbowed Sam, encouraging him to go up, and Sam basically told his conversion story, and bore a firm testimony.
Hilaire also passed the sacrament for the first time this week. It was pretty much a pay-off day for me. (:
Allow me to share with you the letter I wrote to Président Morin today:
This week was great. We baptized one of our friends, who has finished his spiritual quest. He searched, for years, several churches, and did not find the truth, but he continued to pray to know God. His hobby is being an "trash artist," and picking up the garbage, he found an unknown book. A year later, we contacted him in the street, and he accepted our visits. By introducing the Book of Mormon, he told us that he had the book already. He likes the Book of Mormon, and he got baptized last Saturday. On the Sunday of his confirmation, he gave his powerful testimony. It is my feeling that he will become a convert devoted to the Lord. And, would you like to know my thoughts while we were contacting him? It was not a big, powerful whisper of the Spirit, it was just "It would be cool if he was baptized." We do not know all the moments when the Spirit guides us, but if we do our best, He can lead us to those who are ready for the gospel.
I know that the Lord guided us to find Sam. I know that he was prepared by the Lord to receive the Gospel. The Lord gives us daily miracles, and as we do our best to serve Him, we see lives changed. I know that Sam has felt true conversion, and that he'll rest strong in the Church.
I wish you all a wonderful week. Make it a good one!
Je vous aime beaucoup! (: