Monday, April 21, 2014

What? No Letter?

So I guess I don't get a letter this week huh? 
He really did get a letter from us. We wrote later than usual and he went to the cafe to email earlier than usual due to the P-Day basketball games cancelled from rain. 
haha Anyway, this has been a good week.
Monday we went out to eat burgers as a zone because Elder Gelinas was going to go to Gabon soon. That was really fun. He had been waiting for his visa for3 weeks but he finally got to go this week. He had about a 12 hour notice before he left. 
Tuesday our morning was a little rough because most of our appointments fell through. Then I had a feeling that we should go see a member that had been inactive but we found him and had been coming to church for several months now. So we went and saw him. Turns out it was very inspired! He had all these questions and we found out that he had never actually received the Melchisedek Priesthood. As it turns out, we knew President Cook would be in town this weekend, so we were able to coordinate an interview for him. We also went and saw a less active family later in the day. They haven't been to church in 9 months because they don't like the branch presidents. It's really sad. But their two children were really sick, so they asked us to come give them a blessing. We got there and asked if the dad wanted to give the blessing. The mom responded that he had been neglecting his duties as a Priesthood holder so they no longer had confidence in him. And he said that he didn't feel worthy or ready to do it. It was really sad. So. Moral of the story: don't go inactive. It has destroyed their family. Remember that the church is perfect, but sometimes the people in the church aren't perfect. Make sure you go to church for yourself, and not for everyone else.
Wednesday we had district meeting. We're in the process of preparing our apartment to hold another set of missionaries. We also found out that there are going to be THREE brand spanking new missionaries coming to our zone. That means that 4 of the 5  companionships will be training. And this coming transfer is the transfer that will decide who stays in what mission, so my companion will more than likely be going back to Kinshasa. So we'll see what happens! Then we saw a member named Raphael. He's an awesome old guy that loves the missionaries. Every sunday he comes to church and says "Good Sunday good Sunday!" We all love him. And he has an awesome Lorenzo Snow style beard! Anyway, he said the prayer at church a couple weeks ago and someone afterward said that if he were the branch president he wouldn't have let him say the prayer because of his beard... He said that it was a mark of unworthiness... So a couple members were hounding on him about his beard and hurt his feelings so he stopped coming to church... So we decided to go see him. He is a very poor man that already has almost nothing. So to him his beard means a lot. So we talked to him and hopefully he'll start coming back to church... 
Thursday we started with an inactive member that was baptized in France more than 20 years ago! He moved to Congo before the church was even here! But we got him to come to church! Later that day, we had a lesson with an investigator named Furlie. She moved last week so we had to find her new house. We got there and asked who she was living with(africans move a lot to live with different family members). And she responded that she is living with her fiancé who is a member of the church....  He is the one that introduced her to us and wants her to get baptized... But he shot himself in the foot cause now she can't get baptized... Anyway, we'll see how that turns out haha. 
Friday we had an awesome day. We walked a lot, but we saw a lot of people too. We saw my recent convert Guy. Lately we've been talking to him and his 10 year old sister who isn't a member. We asked if she wanted to come to church. So this Sunday Guy came with his sister Darcia to church! It was so adorable! Guy is 20ish but looks like he's 15 and he's very poor. But we saw him in a shirt and tie and his little sister in a pink dress. It made my day haha.
Saturday we started the day out with a couple lessons, then we went to attend the baptism. President Cook also came that day. So this is the news. They announced our new mission president! But guess what! He's Congolese! And he also told us that they will more than likely start sending Americans to Brazzaville soon! So he asked us if we could handle living without water from time to time and washing our clothes by hand... haha I guess we'll see. But that means that it'll be possible to be AP one day! haha Mostly because soon all of the older missionaries will be home and me and 2 Malagash elders will be the oldest in the mission! So it'll be interesting to see how the 2nd half of my mission will go.
Sunday we had a great day at church. We had 12 investigators at church which was really cool. Then after church we went to the Baileys' for dinner and interviews with President Cook. That was really cool. During my interview he said that he liked my work ethic and would make a note for the new mission president that I will be a leader... So we'll find out what that means. He also told me that the things that my companion learns here (i.e. work ethic, teaching styles etc.) would spread to the elders in Kinshasa. Which tells me that he's probably going to Kinshasa next transfer. But we'll see. 
Anyway, we had a great week this week. We ended up having 7 lessons with recent converts/less-active members. Which is more than usual but was really cool. We also had 11 lessons with investigators. I thought it would be interesting to share our numbers for this transfer. .We had 3 baptisms, 63 lessons with investigators, we received 34 referrals, 15 new investigators, and 19 after baptism lessons. Crazy! We're in the process of rebuilding our teaching pool because they're all getting baptized! We're planning for another baptism this Saturday with David! So lots of cool things are happening here!
Anyway, I hope everything is going good there. Have a great week!
Love, Elder VanAusdal

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