Apr 21, 2015

03/16/15 An "ice cream sandwich" Mssion

I' TRANSFERED AGAIN! So for the last 6 weeks of my mission I will be going... (drum roll)…back to Pointe-Noire! Yup, back to my “birth-city” to the sector “aeroport”. Which is the branch that meets in the church built building. I’m really excited to go back and live in Congo for the end. I feel like the first time I was there I was too busy with the language and being trained and girl-friend problems. But now I can go and simply enjoy the work and have no worries. I’ll be working with another African, I can’t remember his name, and I’ll be living in an apartment with only 2 missionaries. The apartment is actually right above the apartment of the senior couple, so it’ll be fun to get to hang out with the couple more than normal. So anyway, that is why I said this is an “ice-cream sandwich” mission, cuz it started with Congo, filled in the middle with Cameroon, and now another layer of Congo! It’ll only be six weeks but I’m pumped. I will also be excited to see some of my old converts (hopefully they have stayed active for the past 2 years).
This week was a good week of work, kinda slow for all the elders and we are just working our hardest. We have been teaching this little family, I’ve told you about their four boys that I absolutely love. Well they had their baptismal interview yesterday and all of them passed, which means in the coming weeks they will be baptized. I’m super proud of them and loved teaching them – one of my all-time favorite amis. I will attach a photo.
Congratulations on reading in the book of Mormon! Keep it up and I’ll join in the family reading once I’m back. As for the weather, I’ll be honest, I was kinda hoping for a long winter with massive storms when I got home – you guessed it, I’m tired of endless heat. But either way, I’ll take the climate as it is. Well that whole situation with BYU, just proves what is written in 2 ne 1:20. When you keep commandments, things work out temporally. Awesome!
In keeping commandments, I’ll share with you a fun story from our missions. The other week we paid fast-offerings from our food fund. And as we our counseled we decided to give an amount that would be generous. Well, that week we were a little low on money. Not a lot, just at the point where you have to watch what you are buying and keep a budget. Because there is no shop that sells reliable meat in Bonaberi we asked the senior couple to bring us some meat and cheese from town – which they happily did. When they gave us the food they only asked for 5000 francs. Now meat and cheese, especially in the quantity asked for by 4 teenage guys, is expensive in Africa. So we were kinda astonished, but gratefully paid the 5000.
Later, we examined the packages and saw that the cheese alone was 5000, but that the meat was another 6000! That is a lot of money for a missionary budget. I’ll be honest, my first thought was, “awesome, because the senior couple made a mistake we have more money to spend on ourselves! Maybe this is God’s way of blessing us for paying a generous offering?” But then Elder Larson said, “Yeah, I thought to myself it’d be awesome to keep the money, but then I realized ‘what, no! That’s a terrible idea – it’s not honest’.”  And here is the point of the story. I felt guilty, and realized that I was going to be dishonest – definitely not a part of the gospel. So we all determined that next time we placed an order of food we would pay back the senior couple. And that’s what we did, we put money aside and next time we saw the couple, we gave them back the money. And it just felt good! All we got in return was “thanks so much for being honest.” So keeping commandments, big or small, is important. And keeping commandments makes you feel good. That’s the principle, King Benjamin in the book of Mormon said, “Remember the blessed and HAPPY state of those who keep the commandments.” (Mosiah 2:41) It’s true, I’ve seen it as a missionary working with others and in my own life – things are simpler and sweeter when commandments are kept. So keep commandments, in this there is safety and peace.