"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, August 12, 2013

The Respectful Politician . . .

Well this week is officially my 2 month anniversary of being in Africa!  I think Elder Kunz was right on Thursday at Zone conference when he said that it hasn't felt like 2 months that I've been here.  In some respects it feels like longer, and in other respects it feels like much, much shorter.  Its been another great week, and as always, I've had some trials, but I've had so many more blessings.

KODJO Gabriel (courtesy of a google search)
One of the cool things of the week happened yesterday.  It was about 5 o'clock in the evening, and Elder Dagrou and I were waiting to meet a member from the Doumassesse Branch to take us to meet his friend.  We saw a really nice Toyota 4runner (same exact car as Président Weed) pull up and roll down the window and wave us over.  Not what I was expecting.  We got in the car and started on our way to the appointment.  The member of the Doumassesee branch is Frère Laurent, and he's a professor at the University of Lomé.  Based on his attire (an extremely nice suit, especially for Africa), I as really interested to see who we were going to meet.  We pulled up to a very large house that was very well guarded.  As we approached the door, a modestly dressed, very friendly man greeted us, and I was like "Ok, this should be good!"  Nope, that was just one of the guards.  He led us into to the home and up a flight of stairs into the bureau (office) where we met our appointment.  His name is KODJO Gabriel, and I got the impression that he is a very respected--as well as respectful-- man.  I then found out he is the former Prime Minister of Togo.  WHAT?!  Now I was focused.  Overall, the lesson went great.  He was very interested and has done a lot of research.  Frère Laurent was a classmate and good friend of his at university in France, so we had a good rep going in.  Like I said, it was a very good lesson, and he was very interested in what we had to say.  I have to say, I was surprised to see how humble he was to have a 19 year-old and a 22 year-old talk to him about God, but we gave him a Book of Mormon to start reading, and he committed to come to church this next Sunday with Frère Laurent!  We set up an appointment with him for next Sunday and introduced him to mormon.org as well.  We walked back down to Frère Laurent's car having some friendly conversation. I found that as a politician, his english is very good (he correctly guessed that I'm American).

Anyways, that's my cool story this week!  In other news, the Zone Leaders, who live in my apartment, are doing splits with Doumassesse this week, so Elder Peterson will be sleeping over Tuesday night!  Very excited for that, not only to have another American in my apartment, but my best friend in Africa as well!

Hope all is well back at home.  I love and miss you all very much!

Avec amour,
Elder Jenkins

(Note from mom - his SD card would not upload again today.  Let's hope for next week.  He forwarded me this picture from Zone Conference last Thursday.)  

He was running out of time, so he could only quickly tell me who the Americans were: from left to right:  Pres. and Sis. Weed, Elder Kunz, Elder Buxton, Elder Landeen, Elder Shearer, Elder Poll, Elder Jenkins, Elder Peterson, Elder Hawkins, Elder Edwards, Elder Hales, Elder Haggard, Elder Rybin, Elder and Sister Eastmond

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