On Monday, we helped the Cadjehoun zone with their activity at Ouidah. It was really fun.
Joel's baptism has been pushed back to next week. We just felt like one more week would give him the time to prepare. We seek to baptize, but to baptize converts. If the Church was focused on just baptisms, it would hire jet planes to dunk water on everyone. (:
Yesterday, we had the opportunity to plan transfers with President. My new companion is Elder N'Guessan, from Cote d'Ivoire. I was a little, for lack of words, hesitant, at this choice, and he wasn't an obvious candidate in my mind. However, driving home, we were listening to some inspiring music, and I felt the Spirit tell me: "Your mission is My masterpiece." I was very touched by that, and I learned that my mission is not about me and what I want, but it is an opportunity for the Lord to show many people that He is real and that He loves us. It is not the canvas or the colors that create a painting, it is the painter; It is not the instruments that create a symphony, but the composer. Life is simply an experience in which we must learn who is our Master, and turn our lives over to Him and let Him make a masterpiece. As Mumford and Sons says, "You can understand dependance when you know the maker's hand."
I'm really grateful for the time I've spent with Elder Digbeu. He's taught me so much, and I'll be forever grateful for the good example he was, and the patience and love he's given me. I honestly believe that Elder Digbeu worked harder than I did this transfer. He's a great guy, and he'll be an amazing future leader in Cote d'Ivoire. Godspeed, brother! (:
I am now beginning the last twelve weeks of my mission. While the first twelve weeks are called "formation" in French ("training"), missionaries here call the last twelve weeks the "deformation," the time when the missionary slacks off, sleeps in, and fades away. I want the opposite of that. I've worked with companions that don't care, as well as those who finish strong. The choice makes all the difference. I desperately want to finish stronger than I started, and go down guns blazing. I love my mission, and I will continue to testify until the end. The Lord has blessed me infinitely during my mission, and I believe that He will continue to do so, if I have faith, hope, and endure (see Articles of Faith 13).
Keep us in your prayers this week as we travel and do transfers, and that Elder Digbeu will have a safe flight home. Please also pray that Joel may meet his baptismal date. I love you all, and I wish you a wonderful week!
Elder Brian H. Phillips
"Travailler comme c'est votre premier jour, témoigner comme c'est votre dernier."