Bonjour ma famille!
Hope y'all are having another spectacular day!
This week was a different week, but a good week nonetheless. Tuesday, because we were a three man team waiting for the new American, we worked in Elder Kola's sector. It was an interesting experience, being in Akpakpa 2. The other equipe found a totally new group of amis to teach, and it felt like a completely different sector. Elder Kola's got a very different teaching style from me, so it was hard for me to really apply myself to the lessons, but it was a good day nonetheless.
That evening, at midnight, Elder Alexander came! He's super cool, I like him. He's almost as tall as I am, and a lot more built, so we've got two yovo Goliaths roaming Akpakpa now. Elder Kola, his trainer, has got a new "no English between Americans" policy in the apartment, which is difficult, but will help Elder Alexander (and me) in the long run. I talked to Elder Hansen about it, and he said "That's tough, but it'll teach the new guy very early on the important lesson that he can't rely on anybody except Heavenly Father". My trainer is seriously a wise guy. Speaking of Elder Hansen, this week I noticed how much I'm becoming more like him. Just in my mannerisms, and the way I react to certain things. I remember my first day, entering the apartment, I wanted to speak only French, and Elder Hansen said "No, it's okay, you can speak English," and when I asked Elder Alexander if he wanted to speak English or French, and he said French, he said "Français," and my thoughts were Elder Hansen's exactly. Anywho, I find myself becoming more and more like my trainer.
Wednesday, we took some time to figure out some money issues for Frère Amos. He received a generous donation to support his mission fund, so we had to run around to different banks trying to work it out. The good news is that he's all set! I'm also planning on giving him a shirt, some ties, and some other stuff I might be able to find.
Wednesday evening, tired from the bank running (teehee), we arrived at Coordination Meeting. Before, it was only the missionaries and Frère Jean, our Dirigeant de Mission de Branche (DMB). Now, Président Dangnisso comes, as well as Président Okpetche, the new first counselor of the branch. Prés. Okpetche is a returned missionary as of six weeks or so, having served in the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission (Amos's future mission). It was his first coordination meeting here in Akpakpa, and he completely turned things around. He's placing more emphasis on finding through members, which will help a lot. He, and Président Dangnisso, has a real attitude of "What can we do with the missionaries," not "What can the missionaries do for me." I love it! Thursday morning we did street contacting with Prés. Okpetche, and we found so many new amis! It was fantastic!
Gudi has been progressing really well. He really understands the Plan of Salvation, reads his readings in the Book of Mormon, and this week, he came to church for the first time! He loved it, was super happy, and when we asked him how he felt, he said "I felt the desire to change!" It was one of those moments when you clap your hands for joy and say "Just like in the scriptures!" Haha.
Well, Frère Amos is still with me, and he'll be leaving tomorrow. He's been such an all-star. We taught a lot of lessons about the Plan of Salvation, and he shared so many touching experiences. Working with Frère Amos has been such an amazing, humbling, and uplifting experience. He will be a fantastic missionary, and I'm so excited for what the Lord has in store for him. I love you buddy! :) My new companion is going to be another mini missionary, his name is Frère Victor! He's the son of Soeur Precious, who is the office secretary for the mission. I've heard that he's a good guy. So, if I mess up, heads will roll. Haha, just kidding, it's a cool opportunity, and I'm excited to work with another mini missionary. Akpakpa, here we come!
This past week, I celebrated my 8 month mark! Woohoo! Then, I did the math, and I realized that I have just finished one third of my mission. 1/3. That's insane. I felt so old. I had the complete feeling of "Okay, you are no longer a new missionary. It's go time". I have loved this experience, and all that it has done for me. If you dedicate yourself to the work, you'll be amazed at what the Lord does to change you. I know that I've changed a lot already. I'm really starting to feel like an experienced, professional missionary. That said, as I was reflecting on my mission, I heard in my mind Elder Dube's voice "Look at how much further we have to go". Wherever we may find ourselves in our missions, or in our lives, we have come far. We have traveled the eternities to be where we are right now, and we are becoming the people that Heavenly Father wants us to become. However, we must never let what is behind us stop us from fully embracing what is ahead. There are still mountains to climb. I've still got 16 months left on my mission, and a full life of experiences after that. I'm so grateful that the Lord gives us these experiences to help us become His masterpieces. I know that if we turn our hearts to the Lord in humility, He will make of us even more than what we could have imagined. I'm excited and thrilled for what lies ahead. Are you?
Have a great week, and all my love!