"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 25, 2014

Without the Spirit, we're nothing!!!

Hello everyone.  This has been another great week.  Our whole district has been lengthening their strides in the work, and it's really starting to show.  The Lord has been so merciful in His abundant blessings of late, and He continues to bless us in our efforts!

Tuesday was a sort of bittersweet day.  After our Zone Training Meeting in the morning, we had an EXCELLENT meal at the famed "Maman Florence's" house in Aïbatin, the Sister Missionaries' Branch.  And there's a reason she's famous: 1) she's a fantastic cook, 2) she's one of the loudest, most crazy older single ladies I've met, and 3) "[she's] every missionary's mama."  We had some really good Foutou igname with a delicious, perfectly spicy peanut sauce.  It was sooooo good.  Unfortunately, my camera took a nasty fall after the meal and would no longer turn on.  I was a bit sad for a few minutes after it, but I got over it, and it'll all be ok.  It's currently in the shop for a diagnostic.

Pounding the ignames.  It's a freaking workout!  No wonder all those African women are so strong!

This is how I dooooooo...

What we call foutou igname with peanut sauce.  So good!
On a happier note from that day, we had a first lesson with a contact that's really wanting to turn his life around, and it went soooo well!  He said that after reading the brochure, "[he] felt something really positive; like it was sucking all of the poison out of [his] life."  I was able to testify that that is the Spirit of God testifying to him that God loves him and that this is the way for him to turn things around.  He accepted the invitation to come to church this week, so we are very excited to see where this will go.

This past Saturday was a very good day.  After a couple of good appointments, we had the baptismal service in the afternoon!  Chris was finally baptized!  He explained in his testimony after the fact that this has been 2 years in the making!

Chris was so ashamed of the jumpsuit that he wouldn't let anyone take pictures of him hahahaha!

Our experiences with Chris have really accentuated the importance of the Spirit in conversion.  Everything always went ok with him.  He came to church every Sunday, he normally kept his commitments, and he was always asking when our next appointment would be.  I've always liked him because he's young, and his family is fairly well off and so it felt almost like a connection to home with the technology they have.  He also speaks perfect English because he did 5 years of college in Ghana.

Anyways, about a month and a half ago, it started to get a bit difficult.  His testimony was really starting to diminish, and it was coming to a time where he (and we) would have to make a decision.  Everything we shared with him he almost rationalized it to nothing.  We were both getting a bit worried for him, but we decided to just endure with him.

Finally, about two weeks ago, we got a random text from him saying something like, "set my baptismal date.  I believe."  Both of us were shocked and, in an appointment after we received that, he explained what led to it.  He said that he was just sitting there thinking a bit about the Church and the message and about Jesus Christ himself.  He said that as he was thinking, almost doubting too, he heard a voice in his head that was like, "why not believe?  It seems right.  What do you have against it?"  He said it felt right, so he started believing, and he said everything made sense.  All of his rationalizations suddenly disappeared and he felt ready for the baptism.

Just another example of why the Spirit is soooooo important in missionary work. In fact, without this Spirit, we're nothing!!!

I love you all soooo much.  Have a great week!

Avec amour,
Elder Jenkins

LOVED this picture.  Unfortunately, I was trying to get a straighter angle on it when my camera fell out of my hands :(
A sunrise this week.  Thought it looked pretty cool.

There was an activity at the Aïbatin Branch after the baptism, and since there was food and we had no appointments, we stayed!  The guy who was directing it had to leave to go get plates and utensils and such, so he left me in charge of directing and assisting the judges in their judging.  It was a blast!  Luckily I wasn't a judge because every plate had fish in it!  Ok, not every plate, but almost every plate.  There were some pretty delicious selections, and I took note.   
Magnifying my calling as Judges' Assistant
This little girl would not leave my side during the whole activity!  She's so adorable!
All of the participants
This was my favorite meal 1) because I love it (with out fish.  I usually do an omelette) and 2) because of his description.  He said, "this is the perfect single working man/student meal.  It's only 500 francs!"  I like that guy anyways.  He's Ivorien and on the high council.
Elder Silvas with my other favorite plate for the night.  It's called Djongoli and SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good!!!!!!  It tasted really Mexican.

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