"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, December 2, 2013

I am so blessed to be here in Togo and Baguida

Elder Kunz tied Elder Seidl and I together

Hey everyone!

Well, where to start this week!  It's been an amazing week!  I want to start off this week by saying how blessed I am to be here in Togo and in Baguida at such an important time of the history of the Church here!  This past Sunday the whole District Presidency came to split the Baguida Branch off from the Ablogamé Branch.  The Spirit was 100% there in the meeting.  For me, I could not help but feel the joy the was so contagious in the room, and I also could not help but feel God's love for each and every member and their efforts that they have given and continue to give to help the branch grow at such an amazing rate.  The District Presidency also announced that next Sunday at District Conference, the first stake in Togo will be created!!!  What a blessing that is!  It is honestly a miracle, and like I said, I am so grateful and so blessed to have the opportunity to watch the Church grow over here in this small country in West Africa.  After the meetings on Sunday, I was just soooo happy!  Oh!  I forgot to mention that Ghana was finally able to send a piano over this week for the Ablogamé Branch, so I got to play on Sunday!

Honestly, as I've been thinking on how the Church is growing here, I cannot help but notice that only the true Church of Jesus Christ and God could show that kind of progression.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the whole earth that contains the fullness of the truth, because it is the same church that Jesus Christ himself established while He was on the earth (see Luke 6:11-12, Matthew 10:1, Luke 10:1, Ephesians 4:11, Matthew 16:15-19).  This is one of my favorite things about the mission: being able to show people in the Bible how Christ organized His Church on earth.  This is also a major component of my testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly the Church of Jesus Christ restored on earth in the Latter days because it has exactly the same organization and exactly the same power and authority as described in Matthew chapter 16 verses 18 and 19.

Other than that, it's been a great week!  We celebrated Thanksgiving with the apartment!  But it was actually on Black Friday hahaha.  When we went to the store to buy steak Wednesday night, they were closed! So we just went on Thursday and we ate on Friday so the meat had time to marinate.  Anyways, Thanksgiving meal was delicious!  We had steak with a little bit of a make shift marinade (barbecue sauce, water, onions, salt, pepper, and some herbs), but they turned out delicious!  I also made some macaroni salad, nothing special and a usual here in Africa.  Then, the difference maker of the whole meal, MASHED POTATOES AND GRAVY. You would all be surprised how different it is making mashed potatoes in Africa, but the hand of the Lord truly guided me in making them, because I had no idea what I was doing when I started.  While at the store Thursday night, I was thinking about what I needed, and I saw this little box of cream by the butter, and I thought, "Yes, I need that."  While mashing the potatoes with a spatula, I put some cream, butter, and salt in and mixed it with a whisk.  Elder Kunz and I were both dying as we watched it begin to look and smell like mashed potatoes from home.  I was amazed.  Honestly had no idea what I was doing.  Then, all of the sudden I had the thought to make gravy.  I've never been the biggest fan of gravy, and as such have never really paid attention of how to make it.  But, guided by the Lord, I put the steak marinade in the pan and added some of the flour that I had just happened to buy earlier that week.  Again Elder Kunz and I were absolutely amazed at the outcome.  Now, I know mashed potatoes and gravy may not be so difficult for all of those "cooks" out there, but I'm no cook.  All I have to say is thanks Mom for all of the times you said that you needed me to help you in the kitchen, and my testimony was strengthened of when prophets have said that the Holy Ghost will bring anything to your remembrance when needed.  All of this together with a Root Beer was DELICIOUS!!!!!!  All of us were stuffed afterwards, so I consider the deed of introducing Thanksgiving to Africans well done.

Makin steak!
Thanksgiving Dinner

Then, Saturday, we had another baptism!  It was for Frère Dodji's wife.  Frère Dodji was baptized last Saturday, so he was very happy to have the opportunity to assist at his wife's baptism, too!  One of the things about Baguida is that it's waaaaaay far and expensive from everything like this, so we try to have only one baptismal date per month.  The next one we have scheduled is the 21st of December, and we already have many committed for that and many more that could easily be ready for this date.  One thing that I've found is that the people is Baguida are far more humble and open to the gospel than the people I was dealing with in the city in my last area.  That along with the fact that the members and recent converts give us soooooo many contacts is really the blessing about this area.  I'm so excited, grateful, and blessed for the opportunity to be here right now.

Finally, today was a pretty lazy P-day for me, so Elder Kunz and I decided to do a bit of adventuring around 10ish.  So at our house here (which is about to be the church in 2 weeks as well), we have a mango tree.  So naturally (I mean, why not?  I don't have swimming holding me back now) we decided to climb it.  Not exactly the biggest risk because its not exactly terribly tall, but we felt like we were living life on the edge.  Got some really good inspirational videos.  Then, continuing with this daring spirit, we decided to climb all over the house, and I found it's like a giant jungle gym.  It was a blast!  Found a way up to the roof without a ladder for New Years to watch fireworks.  Anyways, that's about all we did adventurously today.

Climbin the mango tree

Well, that's it this week!  I hope that everyone is doing well and enjoying the holiday season!  Not quite the same out here, and sometimes it hurts a bit to know that my family is all together at this time of year, but knowing that I'm on the Lord's errand brings me the comfort and drive to continue working with honor.

I love each of you so much!  Have a great week!

Avec amour,
Elder Jenkins

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