"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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oh, know you not that Angels are near you?

My power outage bed... On our balcony... There's lots of wind.
One more week by, and more lessons learned.  This past week was rather special due to District Conference on Saturday and Sunday.  The missionaries were not invited on Saturday, but as I play the piano for the District choir, I was invited to attend with my companion.  There were many members in attendance from Fidjrossè, and it was great to see them all again!

I considered it a great blessing to be able to attend both the Saturday and Sunday meetings as most of the messages (or at least most of what I took from the messages) were focused on the blessings of the temple and the family.  In these last few months, I have really felt the Lord preparing me to return home and continue to progress spiritually, the next step being a temple marriage and my own family.  Let me share a quick story to illustrate this, though it is a bit more on the temporal side rather than spiritual.

In June (or possibly July) 2013, I met a couple--Elder and Sister Findlay-- that were serving a service mission for the Church.  They had come to Togo with a couple a physical therapists and some others.  I had a great time chatting with them, and after I explained that I wanted to be a PA, they said that I could contact them if I ever needed an internship.  I had over 22 months left, so I kinda just put that in the back of my mind, but I still forgot to get their contact information.  That bugged me for a bit, but I knew that I shouldn't worry too much about it then.

Fast forward 22 months to the Cotonou, Benin District Conference, and there are the Findlays driving up!  I recognized them, but didn't have the chance to say hi as I had to go get the piano from Fidjrossè.  After I had gone to get the piano, I didn't have any time to say hi to anyone as I had to get prelude music going with the choir.

After the meeting was over, I was able to seek them out.  I asked Sister Findlay if she remembered me, and after explaining and a bit of reflection, she did vaguely.  She then realized that if we had met in June 2013 that I must be close to the end of my mission.  I responded and we got talking about things I want to do with the end of my mission, plans for my parents to come, etc.  I eventually had to explain to Soeur Morin what we were doing with the piano, and Sister Findlay got pulled aside, so we didn't get to continue on that subject.  I continued saying hi to people that I know that I haven't seen in a while.

After a few minutes, it hit me again why I was so excited to see the Findlays: they would have a way of contacting those physical therapists!  I made my way over to them and explained that I had just remember that.  They remembered those with whom they had come in 2013 and said that they could probably easily find their contact information.  Sister Findlay then asked for my contact and took a picture and said that she would do her best.  She then added, "Isn't it interesting that we end up meeting those who we need to meet?"  That's extremely accurate, and not by any chance or coincidence.

My testimony, yet again, is that we do have a loving Heavenly Father who carefully watches over us and our wellbeing.  He wants us to succeed in every righteous path we take, and He will always send us angels--both seen and unseen--to help us along our way.  My favorite line from one of my favorite hymns ("Come Unto Jesus", Hymns #116) goes, "Oh, know you not that Angels are near you?"  And where do you think these angels come from?  Whose errand are they on?

I promise that as you faithfully seek to press forward steadfastly in the gospel that Heavenly Father will grant you His holy servants to bear you up.  They may come in ways that you never expected or even asked for, but they will always be there.  As the scripture reads, "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto thee" (D&C 88:63).  I testify that this is true.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Avec amour,
Elder Jenkins

THAT is a photogenic dog.
Yeah, it was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!  Elder Wittig's family sent him the brownies for his birthday.
My companion's party hat.  It's generally not worn this way, but I couldn't resist with it's color.
With Elder Mulumba, one of my favorite people here.
This pretty much describes our relationship.

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