You know, there are days when everything goes perfectly, and you follow your schedule perfectly. Then there are days when you eat lunch, your head starts to nod, and then the next thing you know, you're waking up on the couch at 17h00, and you've missed a lot of your rendez-vous.
Movin' right along...
Well, this week was a lot of ups and downs. I'm going to try to express how this week went in giving a "The Week in Quotes" montage:
Zone meeting: "Well, I gave my testimony in zone conference last week, and my testimony hasn't changed since then, but I'll give it anyways."-Elder Joseph
"Questions are an inspired way to teach our investigators."-Elder Joseph
Teaching Louise: "What does it mean to repent?"-Elder Joseph
"It means to wake up on time, do all of your chores, not complain, and be a good person."-Louise
Elder Olela and Elder Whitt did a split together: "Do you want to light this mattress on fire?"-Elder Whitt
Mangez-vous chez Président Attiogbé (2nd counselor in the mission presidency): "The last time I ate at Président Attiogbé's, we ate so much that my companion threw up, even after skipping breakfast and lunch."-Elder Joseph
Last phone call with Elder Hansen: "Do you want any special meals when you get home?"-Elder Phillips
"Nah, I told my family that I'm good with anything. Except popcorn, because apparently the first thing that Elder Walls ate when he got home was popcorn, and that sounds really disappointing."-Elder Hansen
"Do you feel like you did your best?"-Elder Phillips
"You know, I don't thing that anyone can say that they did their absolute best 100 percent of the time, but I can say that I did my best at doing my best, and that's good enough."-Elder Hansen
"You and Elder Hansen win for favorite companions ever."-Elder Phillips
"Yeah, you, Hanks, and Hansen are my favorites too."-Elder Joseph
Baptisms: "Brigitte is sick. Can we move the baptism to next week?"-Frère Akakpo
"Yeah, no problem."-Elder Phillips
Transfers (went to King Burger to wait for our calls): "Elder Joseph, thank you for your service in the mission. You have been transferred."-Elder Digbeu
"Which sector?"-Elder Joseph
"Any sector you want, your choice."-Elder Digbeu
"Elder Whitt, thank you for the service given in the mission. You're transferred to a sector where there is no companionship study, where you can sleep in, where you can kiss girls, where you can do whatever you want."-Elder Digbeu
"Thanks, I think I'll like it there."-Elder Whitt
"Elder Phillips, you're going to be training a new missionary. He's from Cote d'Ivoire. His name is Elder Sahy."-Elder Digbeu
"What's the transfer news, Elder Hammons?"-Elder Whitt
"I'm going to Kégué to work with Elder Mayani. Elder Oléla is going to Bénin to work with Elder Gnakouri."-Elder Hammons
"What?"-Elder Adzagah (calls Elder Digbeu) "Who is working in Hammons's sector?"
"Elder Phillips is going to take over the two Attiegou sectors as district leader."-Elder Digbeu
"And you said you weren't going to train."-Elder Joseph
Thoughts and counsel on training: "The missionary that you train is the person that you should love the most on the mission. If you don't love him, you've failed as a missionary."-Elder Seka
"Love him. Leaving home's the same for everyone, he's gonna need a friend."-Elder Roundy
"Just be his best friend. That's what he needs."-Elder Whitt
Elder Joseph going home:
Today: "They're usually late when picking up missionaries going home."-Elder Joseph
"Watch, this'll be the one time that they're on time."-Elder Phillips
"(over the phone) They just showed up, two minutes early."-Elder Whitt
"See? What'd I tell you?"-Elder Phillips
"You did it guys, you did it!"-Elder Phillips
"Thanks man. We'll catch you later."-Elder Joseph
"There are so many investigators that are progressing, it's way too hard for a missionary to whitewash."-Elder Oléla
"Nah, Elder Phillips is strong, he can do it. And train, while he's at it."-Elder Digbeu
"So, how're you feeling?"-Elder Hammons
"Physically relieved, because I just took a leak. Mentally, stressed at the idea of training and working two sectors; Emotionally, sad at the fact that everyone is leaving; Spiritually, I feel like I can do this."-Elder Phillips
Well everyone, I hope that this email is as interesting as this week has been. It's been quite the week, and I'm feeling really weird about the fact that everyone is leaving me. I've made a lot of good friends over the past couple of months, and now they're all going away.
I'm really going to miss Elder Joseph. He has been an outstanding companion, definitely, hands down, one of my favorites. He's had such a good influence on me, I've learned a lot for him, and I'm proud of his devoted service.
Likewise, I'm going to miss Elder Hansen. He's been the best influence on my mission, and the best trainer I could've possibly had. I'm really, really going to miss my mission dad, he helped me through so much of my mission, and now, I have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps. His influence will be immeasurable.
I'll also miss Elder Whitt, who's been the best zone leader I've ever had. I'll also miss Elders Miller and Archer, equally good friends. I'll miss Elder Olela, who's been my favorite Congolais to live with, and definitely the nicest. He's got a long road ahead of him, but I know that he'll come out on top. I'll really miss Elder Hammons. He's been my favorite district leader, and I want to be like him.
Well, I feel like an era of my mission has come to an end. This is a definite change of scenery, and it will be interesting to see the stories that come. It's a new chapter in my life, and I'm excited to start it! To apply the wisdom of my mission father, "Do your best at doing your best, and all will work out."
That's the Gospel, isn't it? We aren't perfect, but the Lord augments our efforts when we try. "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint," (Isaiah 40:28-31).
So, no matter how difficult the perspective may seem, I encourage y'all to do your best, walk down life's roads with curiosity and eagerness for the surprises and blessings that the Lord has in store for us.
Have a great week, and good luck going back to school! Y'all will do wonderfully!