Salut tout le monde!!!
Well, to hook you all up with the news of what's been going on, last week was probably the most difficult week we've had since we've been here. We literally only taught six lessons (one lesson a day) throughout the entire week. Nearly all the rendez-vous that we fixed with our investigators fell. We would get to the investigators home, after having called and confirmed our rendez-vous, and they were either busy and didn't want to receive us or they weren't even there. We did, however, have several opportunities to receive more contacts through the members that we worked with throughout the week, which was nice, but there are a few contacts that we'll probably have to drop due to a few crazy experiences that we had with them while attempting to present to them our message.
In brief, here are the hardships that we have to over come on a typically daily basis: The word "Yovo" (White) being shouted out at us by children and adults alike among other racial slurs, envious individuals attempting to make us give them money, an insane language barrier seeing that there aren't many who speak French very well, falling rendez-vous, writing in my journal every night (it's a lot harder than you think) among with other things. At least we do have super awesome investigators, even it there are few; "Yovo" only bothers me when I'm extremely frustrated which doesn't happen very often if ever anymore; we've grown tough so dealing with crazy people isn't too bad and at times can be rather fun; as long as we have members with us, everything seems to take care of itself and investigators understand what we want to say; even if our rendez-vous fell, at least did everything that we could as far as staying productive and we were at least able to make one difference a day; I've still been writing in my journal and I even write for the days that I've missed because the memories we've been making are way to great to not be recorded.
Though the secteur at times may be tough, I have the best companion in the world who supports and helps me out all the time. He and I have been working super incredibly well together and it's been simply a breeze training him (come to think of it, he only has three weeks of training left!). I also have a fantastic district and so coming home after a hard day's work is always great. The four of us in our apartment get along super well and we've been having such a blast working together for the past couple months. I'm not gonna lie, I'm really going to miss working/living with these Elders when it's time to be transferred.
Well, I've worked so far with three missionaries in three secteurs (areas) found in Lomé, Togo. First of all was my french-speaking trainer named Elder Dioulo from the Ivory Coast whom I worked with for three months in my first secteur called Apidokoué. Secondly, I worked with Elder Jeneseri, my senior companion from Holidy, Utah, oringinally born in Africa, in my second secteur called Adidogomé for four months. At this present time I'm working with a missionary from Kearns, Utah named Elder Tapusoa, my favorite companion so far whom I am also training, in my third secteur called Kégué for two and a half months. In total, I've been out in the field for almost eleven months (add another month and a half for when I was in the Ghana MTC).
While working in my first two secteurs I stayed in the same apartment until I was transfered to Kégué for seven months. A change was definately warm welcomed.
Everything has been going extradinarily well for me so far. This has been the happiest yet most difficult part of my mission so far because I've been blessed with the best companion in the world and have also been granted one of the harder secteurs in this part of the mission, that is, in Togo.
We've been having several investigators come to church almost every sunday for a little over a month, which consist of a Nigerian family who speaks English (who came last sunday), our friend Fr. Daniel and his recent covert sister whom we helped start coming back to church named Sr. Eugenie, a woman with whom we fixed a baptismal date with named Sr. Reine for this upcoming Saturday, but won't be able to do it because her husband has refused that she be baptised, along with two other friends named Fr. Doumassi and Fr. Raoul with whom we fixed baptismal dates, but have gone on voyages and won't be returning until next week and so we'll need to refix those dates. We've been fortunate enough (more so lead by the Spirit) to be able to find more people to teach the last week which was despritely needed because many of the appointments that we've been fixing with investigators have not been holding as planned, rendering productivity quite a difficult task.
I can't express the amount of gratitude that I've developed after everything that I've been through. As difficult as this misison has been, it has certainly been the most rewarding work that I've ever taken part or particpated in, an experience that has changed my life along with who I am for the better and the greatest blessing that I've ever been granted in this life (other than the Atonement and my family) due to the wealth of doctrinal knowledge that I've received along with a new and profound testimony that I've obtained of everything that we believe in in this Church. I absolutely love this mission and wouldn't want to be anywhere else in this world. I'm living in a very poor third world country; however, it is filled with a very kind people rich in spirit and a particularly positive way of thinking. The every day problems that we have in the U.S. quite frankly don't even exist here in Togo, seeing that there are many whose only worry is finding the means to feed their families on a day to day basis. Being here has really opened my eyes to many things along with certain aspects that I perhaps would never have thought of before had I not come.
I'm sorry, I've gotta bounce. District Leader forgot the key to the appartment and is minutes from pooping in the yard.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and that life continues to go well for you. Thank you all so much for your love, your support, and especially your prayers!
Love you all so much and have a wonderful week!!!!!
Je vous aime tous, passez une merveilleuse semaine, et que Dieu vous bénisse!!!!