Nous ne sommes pas les temoins! (We are not The Witnesses!)
Yes Jacob, I agree, Andrea's email is waaaaay too long.
So yeah, the sickness is pretty much completely over. It lasted a little bit longer for my companion, but we are good now. And for skittles, I have not heard of such as a thing as anyone getting skittles in Bonabéri or Bonapriso or anywhere here, but that was a random question.
But this past week went well, but its also good that it is over I think. I would say that it was the most difficult week of my mission so far. Just between the being sick, and in the process of sort of purging our teaching pool so that we work more effectively and also having a weird schedule because of some things. But it wasn't really that bad.
So our new teaching method is going well-ish, but we did expect some difficulties at the beginning. Because we aren't really seeing that many fruits yet, its kinda discouraging, but I do think that we are working more effectively. We have our goal to contact one new family each day, which we are a little behind just because we were sick, so we had one whole day doing nothing and a couple other pretty slow days. And then we also had zone conference yesterday, so we only got about 3 hours to work at the end of the day. But we have stopped seeing some people who never come to church or keep their commitments, so that is good. And we have also made some goals for the members, to improve the situation of the branch (actually, its technically not even a branch, its a group, and groups don't exist in the church. So the congregation I'm working in doesn't actually exist to the church.) But here are the 4 goals:
- show up to church on-time (or early, really)
- priesthood holders to wear a white shirt and tie
- learn the cantiques, or hymns (the singing here is horrible, and no one knows barely any songs, so at each lesson with members we will sing with them. This week we have been doing mostly "I Stand All Amazed".)
- magnify (or fulfill at all) their calling. This one is probably the biggest issue. For example, last Sunday I taught the English Sunday school because the teacher just didn't show up, and didn't tell anyone, so what the heck. Same thing happened with a primary teacher, ugh...
So those were my ideas, I think, and we will see how they go. But some more details about the week... So, there is this guy, who we have taught for the past 2 months about, but not very consistently. But, he actually came to church the past 3 Sundays, which surprised us. And so we thought he was coming along pretty good, finally got him his Book of Mormon, but then on Tuesday he told us he will be in his Catholic church on Sunday, crud. But he said the reason he began coming to our church was because he prayed and felt like he should. So we told him to do that again this week, and pray about where he should go to church. So we will see. We are currently looking for a real building, that is probably our biggest need right now.
We also gave this other lady the commitment to pray about baptism. She has already done all that about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the church. But she didn't come to our church on Sunday, so we went by her place after, and she told us she went to her other church. Now she had missed a few times, but we thought it was for good reasons, but she says she goes to her other church every so often. And then we asked her if she thought the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the true church, and she said yes. Then we asked her why she went to the other one, and I don't really remember what she said exactly, but didn't really have a good reason, so she kinda got the point. And then we gave her commitment to pray about baptism. And she is someone who has already received and recognized answers to prayers, so I think this will be good.
What else... oh yeah, zone conference! Zone conference is always good because it is a way to get some extra relaxation in the Willis' air conditioned apartment, and then also recharge spiritually because President Headlee is just the man. There were lots of good things talked about, that is where I actually learned that our group in Bonaberi doesn't exist to the church. There were a couple good talks on hope by one of the other missionaries and Elder Willis. Elder Willis talked about how he goes and looks in the obituaries to see his friends that are dead, but it doesn't really bother him, because he has hope he will see them again, so that is cool. Then also during President's main talk, he started by talking about how much of the truth, and plain and simple things, are missing from the Bible. He compared James 1:5 and 1 Nephi 15:11 I think. And the difference, was that the Bible verse just says ask and receive basically, but the Book of Mormon verse talks about how we pray and the qualifications for receiving an answer. So he talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and modern day revelation. And it made me think of this guy we talked to the other day, who said he reads only from the Bible, nothing more, nothing less, and he believes everything one needs is the Bible. It was frustrating.
But so that was the week pretty much. I've started being the piano player for Sacrament Meeting. We have an electric piano we carry there from the apartment and set it on a church organ sound. Oh, and also we are going to change the boundaries for us and the other 2 missionaries in Bonaberi, to work closer to the church, and where we hope it will be. Oh, and we also played basketball this morning with a couple people from the Bonaberi branch. My team won 2 of the 3 games, and I also realized I am out of shape as junk, and need to start eating a real breakfast. And I also think I might start running in the morning, because each morning I lift weights we have in the apartment and stuff there, but I got tired fast while playing, so yeah.
So that's all that, things are good as usual. You better keep that Jazz game recorded until I get back, enjoy the Superbowl for me, and tell Scott to write.
Je vous aime,