Monday, September 11, 2017

Coincidence? I think not

I am so very blessed to be writing this email today. If any of you follow the political situation in Togo you will know that there are some weird things going on here. I don’t want to say too much or I might get targeted as anti gov or something and be killed. There have been some major protests and the gov did not let you send text messages, it was super hard to call and the internet was cut for the whole week, but it just came back last night for us to do emails today, so that is a huge blessing because I had a great week and would love to share with you all that happened. But this peaceful little country has a dark side for sure.

To start of the week I went to Kodjoviakope which is the sector with the big market, and is on the beach right next to the Ghana border, so I’ve now seen Ghana with my own two eyes and have been in spitting distance of it.

I stayed with Mahaffey and Ncoy, who are two great missionaries, they told me that I would be there for a day or two. I ended up staying there for four days and three nights. I didn’t get back to my sector till Thursday night. It was good, their apartment was right on the beach and I slept on the couch. The mosquitos ate me alive till I found a mosquito net to set up. I only had one shirt and it got pretty dirty those days because we worked hard in their sector that was basically dead.

On Wednesday they told me they would bring my son, however Wednesday came and went with nothing. I wondered what happened, but because of the political situation they couldn’t warn us not to go out side because you couldn’t call anyone, and so my son didn’t come and we had no communication.

Turns out while coming across the border with a group of missionaries they were driving two cars, a mission truck with all sorts of stuff in the back and a bus with all the missionaries. As they were going along the bus’s brakes just stopped working and the bus rammed into the other mission car in front of it destroying the two cars and probably giving concussion to everyone in the cars. My son was in that crash and his eyes have been hurting him ever since. He is going the hospital tomorrow. One of the sister missionaries in the crash is in a neck brace; so this mission has problems.

However, my son did arrive. His name is Elder Kouadio he is from the Ivory Coast and is super cool, he has an amazing testimony of the gospel and a lot of faith. His parents are divorced, his sister was a member but has since left the church and he is the only active member in his family. He lived alone with his dad until coming on a mission, and is the first ever missionary from his ward, so he is a super pioneer. The beginning is never easy for any missionary but I think this will be a great couple months.

We were only in the sector for three days, but I have never worked so hard in my mission. I remember before my mission I wished my call would be to French speaking Africa, I have long thought that was a horrible wish but now I’m starting to remember why I wished that. The people here are so open to the gospel, in just three days I found 7 investigators who could progress, I fixed a baptism date had two people come to church and got a bunch of contacts from members, and I filled up the whole next week with more lessons then I have time for. A problem I’ve never had my whole mission but is something you can easily have if you work hard.

I have been working so hard I have had barely a moment to think, we have had an activity with president, interviews with president, and we have a huge conference this Wednesday with a general authority 70 which will be exciting.

Me and my son like food which is great, he loves cooking I like trying new things, so we went shopping and bought a ton of stuff and have been eating great ever since.

We also bought some bug spray and tried to kill all the cockroaches in the apartment. We have killed hundreds and we think there are still more, we also killed many ants and some lizards we found.

The last thing is about coincidence, you can tell you’re a successful missionary when the Lord guides your actions. On Saturday we planned to visit a member, of course here there are no addresses so he gave us his typical “go to this sign, walk for this many paces, turn left, then right, then it’s that house”. Well, we tried to do that and got super lost, so we decided to just go visit someone else but we kept getting in dead ends and stuff but we eventually made it back, after taking a few breaks because it was a ton of walking. Then we tried to see an investigator who wasn’t home, then we started walking back to the apartment and we see a guy come out of a photo copy place, as were passing and he calls us over. We talk to him and he says his sister is married in the temple and lives in a different ward, he says he likes the missionaries but has never talked with them because when they came to the house it was to talk with his sister. We took his number and fixed a time to come visit him, then we went home, but he was a super cool guy so we were just remarking how crazy it was that all those people we didn’t see helped us to be at the right place to bump into the guy we were really supposed to find. If we were just a few mins early or late we would have missed him at the photo copy place. But hold up another cool story, so we were at church and one of the ward members brings a little kid over to us. His grandma, who takes care of him, is a convert of Kadimas, but the kid was not baptized with the grandma, so because he is nine we have to teach him. So yes, this is an easy baptism and the kid is really cool. So after church we wanted to see where he lived, and we walk with him and when we walk in the door we find that his grandma is the mom of that very same guy we saw at the photo copy place the day before, if the heavens were not pointing to us teaching that guy. So I’ll let you know how that goes.

Many other spiritual experiences happened for sure, and I’m so glad to see the Lord working with me and me really become and instrument in His hand.

On the beach with Mahaffey

How I slept in Mahaffey's apartment

On the beach with Ncoy and Mahaffey

My son, Kouadio

A fridge stocked up

Killing cockroaches