"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, October 28, 2013

The Doctor

Well, this week officially marks my 20th week in Africa!!!  It's moving along, but I can't lie, this week I kinda got a glimpse of how long 2 years is.  Considering it's been 5 months and I still have 18 to go, I did get a bit sad this at the end of this week.  However, the work is progressing! 

One story that I want to share from this past week is with one of our amis, Benoit.  He is Komlan's best friend and we teach them together.  He was supposed to be baptised this past Saturday, but in our lesson on Wednesday he shared something.  He shared that he had read the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon and the story of Laman and Lemuel binding Nephi in the desert really touched him; the fact that Nephi immediately forgave them.  He said that when he read this, he felt like he there was someone he needed to forgive before being baptized.  I was sooooo happy for him!  So his baptism should be this Saturday!  The Book of Mormon is true, and I was so happy to see that Benoit is already prepared to receive his own personal revelation in scripture study.

As I thought about what I wrote last week, I completely forgot to write about the blood drive that we had!  It was a blast!  No, I didn't give blood (I mean, I'm kinda in Africa).  But there were a bunch of us missionaries just kinda sitting around doing nothing, so I started looking for stuff to do.  The lady who was in charge of it all was over taking the weight and blood pressure of all of the donors and looked especially bored.  So I went up to her and asked her if I could help.  She asked if I knew how to take blood pressure, and thanks to Blain, my trainer at BYU, I do!  It's probably one of the easiest things on earth to do, but I was glad to have something to do.  So the whole time I was taking people's blood pressure, whether they were just taking pre-donating measurements or someone had fainted (yeah, there were like 4).  But, due to the stethoscope, everyone started calling me Doctor, and it still hasn't died down, even a week and a half after.  Anyways, it was fun.  I was occupied and happy, but we had an amazing turn out.  I think the number of donors was anywhere between 30 and 40!
Just doing my job.

Saturday at the blood drive.  I got a little bored when we got a bit stopped up on donors due to only having three doctors there to extract.

After that, not terribly too much this week during the week.  However, this past Saturday and Sunday, we had the open house and dedication of the Kégué building, so I got to see lots of familiar faces!  We also had some investigators come and check it out, too! 
Here's a good look at the Kégué building.

The weather was beautiful!

They set up pictures depicting a bit of what our church is all about throughout the church and it's grounds.

Saturday was the open house.  In the Chapel/extension of the chapel they had a projector set up showing a bunch of media from EFY/ General Conference.  Then, they had a room set up for all of the 5 auxiliaries in the Church, Elder's Quorum (adult men), Relief Society (adult women), Young Men, Young Women, and Primary (children).  As we were walking around the building checking things out, we got to the primary room.  Just next to the primary room was the infirmerie/ first aid room.  I peeked my head in to see what it was, and then all of the sudden "Doctor!  We have a coat for you today!"  So yeah, I stayed in the first aid room FOR 5 HOURS!  All I did was give out aspirin and tell people to drink lots of water.  So that's all I got to do until at 3 we had a baptism when we got to baptize Frederic!  His dad has been meeting with us for about 2 or 3 months, but just doesn't feel like he is quite ready yet.  However, he asked us to teach and baptize his son.  Frederic is 10 years old, and he soaks everything in like a thirsty sponge.  It's ridiculous how quickly he learns!  Children are truly amazing when it comes to the gospel.  After the baptism we stayed to accompany the last stragglers of the open house/chat with other missionaries, and then we went home.

Baptism with Frederic and his family on 10/26/13!  (Frederic is the one in the Winnie the Pooh shirt.  We had to take pictures after the baptism due to the open house that was still going on, but it was great for people to come and see what a baptism is like!)
Sunday was an incredible experience.  We had church at 9 in the morning and then the dedication at 2 pm.  At 12 we went back to the apartment to eat and found that the Be Kpota missionaries came back with the other missionaries in our apartment because their house is so far.  So we had 8 mouths to feed at lunch!!!!  I cooked for the four Americans (Me, Elder Edwards, Elder Ringle, and Elder Haggard - no complaints with that group!) and Elder Kabedeh cooked for all the Africans (Elder Kabedeh, Elder Mbala, Elder Kouadio, and Elder Soanantenaina).  It was busy, but we made it.  The Dedication started at 2, so I prepared quickly and we finished eating at 1:45, but one Elder from Be Kpota was convinced that it started at 2:30 so he took his time eating.  We got there right at about 2:30, and I felt the eyes of President Weed following us from the stand as we found our seats. 

Anyways, it was an amazing meeting with great speakers, even though we only got to hear half of them.  But the last three were Sister Weed, President Weed, and an Area Seventy from Côte d'Ivoire, who is the former mission president of the Côte d'Ivoire mission, which included Togo in his day.  Something that President shared really touched me.  While he was bearing his testimony, he shared the story of the First Vision of Joseph Smith.  As he recounted the story, he remarked that at the very moment that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph, the last Dispensation of God's only true church on the earth was opened, never to be destroyed again.  He then explained how we live in this dispensation today, and we have the truth right in front of us and it's our duty to share it with the world.  I want to add my testimony onto that of President Weed.  I KNOW THAT THESE THINGS ARE TRUE!!!  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church of God on the earth today!  Period.  This church is, and always has been, led by Jesus Christ himself through a living prophet.  This work is truly moving forward like the stone cut without hands out of the mountain, rolling forth to fill the whole earth as described in Daniel 2:44-45.

I love you all so much.  Have a great week!
Avec amour,
Elder Jenkins

Here's a look at President Preuss (our Branch President) at his desk.  Apparently his grandpa was captain of a major German U-boat during WWII and sunk a bunch of Americans, which is why his name is German.

The stadium right next to the church building.  Its the main stadium of Togo (it's the biggest).  Overall feel?  I'd give it a Junior College rating.  But a high level Junior College.

Sunset from the stadium.

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