Benin Cotonou Mission ~ West Africa ~ French Speaking ~ 5.29.13 - 2015
"You will be an official representative of the Church. . . . Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ . . . Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among His children. We place our confidence in you." Thomas S. Monson
Monday, July 29, 2013
Guided by the Lord
Elder Dagrou and I walking after we met Elder Mundu and Elder Kabedeh in the street
Well, I officially finished my Missionary Planner as of yesterday! (There are six weeks in each planner.) Only 16 more to go!
This week was great! Elder Dagrou and I definitely had some times where we were guided by the Lord to the people that we should talk to. For example, Friday evening we had an appointment set up with two 16 year-old boys that were just recently baptized and two of their friends of the same age. They are on a soccer team together and live close together as well, so they're all best friends. We got to Landry's house and they weren't home. We waited for a bit, but still they didn't come. We decided to just head off to our next appointment. As missionaries, we try to always look for people to teach while walking. As we were walking down the street, I saw a man sitting on a bench and I had the strong impression to talk to him. I asked my companion and he said if I felt like we should then we should. We walked over to talk to him, talked for a bit, but not much came of it. He said he was interested, but doesn't really have time. I knew that we had stopped to talk to him for a reason, so we decided to just keep walking to our next appointment. As we crossed the street, a moto pulled up next to us and the man riding it began talking to us. He said that he has a lot of respect for us and what we do, how we sacrifice so much to go to a foreign country and serve the Lord. We then asked if he was a member of our Church (normally it's just members that stop to talk to us like that), and he said no but that he had met with the missionaries a couple times before about a year ago. We chatted a bit more and he said that he's a journalist here in Lomé and was going to Kara (a big city up ine the north part of the country) to do a piece this week. But he would love to meet with us again when he gets back.
After we had talked with him a bit we decided to keep going to our next appointment. About 6 steps later, we heard the familiar call of "Elder!" We looked back and couldn't see anyone, but then I spotted Yannick, one of the 16 year-old boys that was just baptized, a little ways back and across the street. Not too far behind him were Landry, Stefan, and Stan, his friends. We knew that now was the time to go and talk to them, and we ended up having an incredible lesson, especially for having four 16 year olds, a 19 year old, and a 22 year old all talking about God and prayer. It was truly remarkable.
We went about the rest of the evening with our normal planned schedule. However, as I was thinking back on the day a bit back at the apartment, I realized how special our evening had been. Of all the things that transpired, none of it would have happened if we were not in those exact spots at those exact times, which only happened because the Lord guided us where to go. I was very, very grateful for that divine help.
It's weird now how normal Africa has become for me. Everyday we leave the apartment, it's pretty weird how normal I feel being here. Oh by the way, another tender mercy just happened. As I was sitting here typing this, World Champs came on the TV right next to me. The Cyber is on the French sports channel, and all of the sudden I saw some guy that was drenched and shirtless being interviewed in a press situation. I then realized it was Yannick Agnel! Naturally, my eyes are focused on the TV now, and they showed a few highlights of races and the results of all of the high-profile French swimmers. Pretty weird seeing swimming, not being able to do it at all, haha.
Well, that's been my week. I love you and miss you all and I wish the best for everyone who reads this.
playing marbles with some kids outside Frère Atiougbé's house
Our street during the big storm that hit Wednesday morning, 07.24.13