Oct 14, 2013

09/30/13 Working Tirelessly

I’ve been working tirelessly by myself for this week to help the people in my sector this week.  In simple terms it has stretched me and has stripped me of some pride - so maybe it’s for the better. But it’s exhausting! I have passed out (almost literally) on our couches every night this week. That’s what is called a growing experience on a mission. 

Earlier in the week, I started finishing the new member lessons with Djo. He is a 35 year old man who was baptized by us. We covered the law of chastity and then he asked me about marriage. He asked me, "How can I find a wife and get married?".  I was the only true missionary there so literally all eyes were on me.  So a 19 year old (me) gave dating advice to a 35 year old man and the other members who were at the lesson (all single) but the Lord keeps his promises and the words came - the advice I had seemed to help. After Soeur asked for me to give her a blessing! That was the first blessing I’ve given in French and it went over very well! (Although because of the nature of blessings I don’t really remember what I said)

Bakay was baptized!!  He has been studying with missionaries for 6 months now and I was privileged to be the missionary who wrapped up all his preparations for baptism.  At first he seemed like a hard hearted person, but as I got to know him I realized he is a very friendly sincere person!  He had a lot of questions that could have been road blocks to his progression but with enough faith he overcame them.  I also see again with him the real power of repentance. Bakay has made some mistakes like us all, but he did all he needed to do to overcome past sins and there was a very real difference in who he was after.  Bakay is a very good friend of mine and I love him and his willingness to be baptized. 

Being a solo missionary is pushing my French, planning, and teaching skills but I’m sure it’s all for the better.  I have been changing companions each 3 or 4 days. I also prepared a baptism this week and have 3 more to prepare for this Saturday. President Sombo (the branch president) gave me a little bit of trouble by demanding baptisms happen at our building, which uses a cow trough as a font.  Yesterday I had to go into his office and explain my position on the matter.  It might not sound nerve racking, but it was not all fun and games. Right before I started speaking I remembered the words in my setting apart blessing - "you will feel comfortable in front of church, civil, and social leaders."  In that moment that blessing was fulfilled. We talked and he turned the decision over to me.  So life continues in the Congo!

Kaleb, happy birthday this Sunday!! Wow 16 years old, that’s crazy. You can start dating!! Good luck on the driving test, I am sure you will do fine. Hopefully you are having fun in school and getting ripped with that weight training class - haha.  Best of luck, I love you!

I hope everything is going well with you at home.  Even Maya’s pet :)  I once heard that the families of missionaries always hope that their missionary comes home with his faults lessened.  Well as I said, this week is stripping me of my pride and giving me increased patience. Hopefully when I do come home I can keep some of the things I am learning here in Africa with me throughout my life. 


Elder Johnson