Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb 3, 2014 The Letter

Hey everybody!
Wow, that sounds like a crazy week... I can't even imagine what that
must be like... It's a good thing that we have the gospel to know that
it will all work out. That is something we deal with a lot here in
Africa. There is a lot of death. Many of our lessons are about the
plan of salvation and how even though we miss the person that is gone,
this life is just a small portion of our existence. And there are much
greater things to come.
I'm glad you guys got to read Moroni 7 this week. It is an awesome
chapter. Probably one of the best chapters in the entire book. If you
look in my scriptures, there are more highlighted verses in that
chapter than not haha. It's awesome.

Anyway, this was a pretty awesome week here. On Tuesday I went on
splits with Elder Gelinas to do the last 3 baptism interviews we
needed to do. He is awesome. He's from Quebec! So his native language
is French but he speaks English too. It's awesome to talk to someone
that comes from a similar environment and climate! haha Anyway, they
all went really well.
Wednesday President Cook came to do special case interviews. So we
went first thing in the morning to the church to meet our
investigators there. While they were doing their interviews we talked
with Sister Cook and the Bailey's. Sister Cook told us an awesome
story! A couple weeks ago, the branch president from the branch in the
Central African Republic emailed President Cook on a Tuesday. There
are civil wars going on there with a lot of Muslim vs Christian stuff
going on. The branch president said that they can't get food or water
and their people are dieing. They don't know what to do and they need
help. That really touched President Cook's heart, so he forwarded the
email to the 70 that is over our area. That really touched his heart,
so he forwarded it to Elder Bednar. It really touched his heart too,
so he printed it out and gave it to President Monson! It got to him by
Wednesday! So when they had their meeting in the temple on Thursday,
they prayed for them. The NEXT day, the president that was causing the
problems FLED the country! And the branch president emailed President
Cook again and said that things were going much better! Is that
awesome or what?? Anyway, the interviews went well. Then we went home
to do our studies. Then we got a call saying that President Cook 
Louzolo family on baptism day

wanted to go teaching with us. So we met up with him and we drove to
see the Louzolo family. We had an awesome lesson about the temple.
President Cook said that Papa Louzolo is going to be a very important
and influential man in the church. Then, it was getting kind of late,
so we didn't really have time for our last appointment, so we decided
we'd just swing by and say hi to Padma so she could meet the
president. She's is basically a member, but can't get baptized because
she's in a complicated polygamist relationship. She is trying to find
out how she can get herself to a point where she can get baptized. So
we got there, and President Cook asked her if she had ever had a
blessing before. And she said no, but she would never say no to a
blessing haha. So President Cook gave her an incredible blessing
saying that she was worthy to be baptized, and by studying the
scriptures and praying, she would find a way to be baptized. It was
incredible. She was in tears afterwards. And President Cook said that
was why he came to Pointe Noire when he did. It was a very weird thing
for him to come, and he didn't know why he was coming, but he did and
look what happened! So we talked to Padma again on Friday and she said
she prayed, then opened a random scripture and it said that "Your
prayer has been heard, and the Lord has not forgotten you!" It was
such an awesome experience. Then Thursday we made a trip out to Ngoyo,
met an awesome new investigator named Loubaki, and had an awesome
lesson with the Louzolo's daughters. They are 17 and 20. They know the
church is true, but they're afraid of baptism. So they wouldn't commit
to a date we set. So we committed them to pray and ask what day they
should be baptized. Hopefully that all works out.
Then Friday was so awesome! We got to attend the marriage of the
Louzolo parents! They had been culturally married, but you have to be
civilly married to be baptized. So we all went to the town hall Friday
morning to see them get married! They had a ring ceremony and
everything! The kiss was a little awkward, but they are over 60 years
old now... haha It was so awesome to see them get married. The whole
branch was excited because no one ever gets married!
Then Saturday was the big day! The official count is 5 baptisms! It
was so cool! Their names are: Jean, Isabelle, and Christ Louzolo in
the Louzolo family. Plus Prudence and Guy. Isabelle asked me to
baptize her. It was a really awesome experience. But while the baptism
was going on, someone stole 27,000 FCFA from Jean's pocket. So
President Deckous told us a story where the same thing happened at his
baptism! But he lost 150,000! haha But he invited all of us in his
office and we ate bread and drank orange soda haha. It was really fun.
And an awesome experience.
Sunday was awesome too. We met a guy from the Netherlands! I got to
translate for him during Sunday School. That was a cool experience
being able to do that. He looked at my name and said that could
probably be German or Swedish or something. Then I said that it came
from Van Artsdalen. He got really excited and said "That's my
country!" haha That was pretty cool. Then we got to confirm all 5
people on Sunday! He was impressed that we had 5 baptisms haha.
Anyway, all in all it was an awesome week. We also started to play a
game called Go. Have you ever heard of it? It's pretty intense haha.
Anyway, it was an awesome week. The work here is awesome. Have a great week!
Elder VanAusdal

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