Aug 5, 2013

07-30-13 The Power of Prayer

This week was a pretty plain week. Our area is on fire, so to speak!!  I don’t have any crazy stories this time. Nonetheless, I hope this is a good email. 

So, right after I emailed last week we went shopping as usual and then prepared to go to an FHE at Brother Max's house. (FHE = Family Home Evening. Strengthening families is a main focus in the Gospel so the Church has asked that we take time every Monday night to spend time as a family learning of the Gospel and playing/connecting together) They are a great family and have the cutest little girl, Didi.  It was also my first time eating African cooking in an African’s home. The food was seriously noodles and beef paste. It should be noted, I did not know it was beef paste until after I ate. (Julius has always been a picky eater, so it was very adventurous for him to eat something before he knew what it was.) And although all the food was bought at a little side shop down the road it was good. The best part about that night was the activity. In America, FHE usually has an activity like, a movie, or a sport, or board games, etc. In Africa, its yard work. Brother Max took us out to his front yard and showed us what we needed to do. Separate the white sand (for brick making) from the brown sand (this sand is literally everywhere). Elder Baker and I were excited to show them just how great American labor was and grabbed a shovel. I was confident our work would rival that of the Hoover dam. (haha) Well it turned out that we were awful! We kept scooping too deep and kept mixing the sand together. After a few minutes the Africans took control of the situation and had it cleaned up in a few minutes! 

We got to meet with our Mission Pres. and his wife, (President and Sister Cook). He is our new mission president. His personal advice to me was, "Don’t worry your time will come, but for now you are a junior companion."  And then again after they inspected our apartment he reminded me of the same thing. So I will let you know when "my time comes". But what he said was true. I am a junior companion - so for now I will fulfill that role.  

With that being said here is an update on my French:
I can speak during lessons and be understood. I can teach mostly any principle I want and our investigators get the point. Sadly my language is limited to Gospel vocab. I can’t really hold normal day to day conversations yet. But I guess that’s not the most important.  I can gather themes of conversations and can piece things together so that is good, but I am not perfect by far in my French. For now, I am at a decent level, which I am proud of. 

Another update is this week: I got sick for two or three days. Nothing too serious but I did go through a bit of a rough patch physically. But hey, this is Africa! And here is a helpful African tip I have learned - The purpose of a bug net over your bed is negated when a bug gets trapped inside net. (haha) 

So this week at church I had a wonderful experience. We had a goal of 11 investigators at church. We had taught more than twenty lessons and so when Sunday came around we felt confident some would show up. As church started we had NO investigators at church.  At 9:30am we had 2. Church was in progress and we were nowhere near our goal. Knowing we could do nothing physically to help the situation in that moment, I began to pray. Simply, asking Heavenly Father to send one more investigator.  At the end of that prayer, an investigator would walk in to the room! I thought this was great! So I quickly bowed my head and prayed again. Same result not ten minutes later! I offered a lot of prayers yesterday at church. And the result was always the same.  By the end of church we had 15 investigators and 6 less actives!

So this week we are expecting the baptism of Jeanella! She is a great young lady who has already helped bring others to the Gospel. She brought her friend Anh, who is now the ward clerk and also has brought her brother, Gilberto - who we are currently teaching! She is a great person and we have all the confidence in her life-long activity as a member! 

Keep building Zion at home! And until next week, I love all of you!