That was really cool getting to talk to everybody! It seems like just last week that I called for Christmas! I can't believe how fast time goes by.
It really is a great experience. There are a lot of challenges, it's hard work, exhausting, and stressful, but through the experience you learn how to handle it all. Now I can go through all of it without any worries. There is a section in "How to adjust to Missionary Life" that talks about the fact that some things are out of your control. You have to realize that. Do the best you can, but after that, sometimes you just have to let things happen. That is one of the greatest things I've learned on my mission. I would recommend you all, especially Braden, to read that book. I think it's available online. It is meant for missionaries but it can apply to everybody. I have learned a lot of things on my mission. It is like the fast track to preparing yourself for the rest of your life. If you'd have told me a year ago when I got my call that I would be here, serving with an African companion, and enjoying everything here, I probably wouldn't have believed you.
My companion was able to call his family on the phone. He wasn't able to get ahold of his mom, but the rest of his family he got to talk to. He was bummed cause he was hoping to call his girlfriend but he didn't get to hahha. But it was a good experience for all of us.
I can't believe Elder Nelson is finishing his mission! He was only at 6 months when he came to our ward! I'm already at 8! That's crazy. Time really flies when you're on your mission.
This week was a really good week. I'll give you all the highlights.
Tuesday we stopped by Yvon's house. He was an inactive member that we met a couple months ago. Since we met him, he's been to church on time every week. He's been looking for a job for several months. He is really smart and is very well qualified. Everyone he went to school with already has a job, and he was above them. Then a couple weeks ago he was called to serve in the family history center. He told us that he had felt like he needed to take care of his spiritual needs before he could take care of his physical needs. He had this feeling that he needed a calling first, then he could find a job. So guess what. A couple weeks after he applied for a job, and he was hired! It was so cool! He has an incredible testimony.
Wednesday we had zone meeting. That went well.
Thursday we had a lesson with a son of a family that are members. It was the second visit. We got there to teach the first lesson. But he had already read all the brochures we gave him and had been reading in the Book of Mormon. So he just told us everything he learned and it was done! It is so cool to see investigators that are self motivated like him.
Friday was a weird day. We worked with a member named Slasvie. Almost every time we got to someone's house, we had to wait like 20 minutes for them to get there. So we did a lot of sitting. But we had a lot of good lessons. Including one lesson with Guy and his little sister Darcia. She is only 10 but she reads everything we gave Guy before his baptism. She has even already memorized the first 3 articles of faith! Unfortunately, her mom wants her to wait until she is older to make the decision to join the church. So we're going to push Guy to try and invite his mom to come to church so that they can be baptized as a family.
Saturday they had a city-wide meeting about how the different churches take care of the youth. So they had the leaders from all the different churches come, and the minister of youth came and they had an expert from France talk about how to take care of the youth. It was pretty cool, but kinda weird too. I've never clapped in the Sacrament room before... haha They had all kinds of cameras and journalists too. So maybe I'll be on Congo TV! haha Anyway, then we had a baptismal service and English class. So we were at the church all day! It was kind of weird. We didn't have a single lesson. But we still had a good day. Especially because Elder and Sister Bybee came up for the meeting! It was so cool to see them. Just like old times. Unfortunately, Elder Garland, Elder Hatch, and I are the only ones in the city that knew them! Everything has changed so much!
Anyway, Sunday it rained, so attendance was down. We went from 12 last week to 5... But that's ok. We also found out that David who was just baptized a week ago is going to some boarding school for a month to prepare for the Bac, so hopefully I don't get transferred or I'll never see him again... Anyway, then we went to the Baileys'. They made us chicken noodle soup and brownies and ice cream. Then after we all called home we went back to the apartment. My companion is still pretty sick, but the Baileys' gave me some Zicam which is supposed to help stop the cold before it gets too bad. Just one convenience of having a Pharmacist as a senior missionary haha.
Anyway, we had a great week. My fifth transfer is already half way over! Transfer letters are in 2 weeks! Time goes by fast. Anyway, have a great week!
Love, Elder VanAusdal