Tuesday, December 20, 2016

perseverance is getting back up no matter how many times you fall

December 19 2016

Fr Christian got baptized! He will be confirmed this coming Sunday. It was interesting because the new branch president forgot about his baptism, but everything worked out okay. Fr Nicodême and Sr Pascal (his wife) came to church and had a (I think) overall good experience. They still need help to recognize the spirit and prayer and other such things. At this point I think they find the gospel simply interesting, but that is a place to start. We also did service for Fr Nicodême and got to cut down a coconut tree, fresh coconut juice tastes really good. 

I have not received the packages yet, as the Calls have not yet arrived, but they will be here this week. That is, after all, how we are going to do the skype call; so I should get them then. 

We also bought some "bush meat" meaning that people hunted the animal, fresh. Then we cooked it after they cleaned it (they cleaned it okay, then the Africans in our apartement cleaned it again) We also saw a live Pangolin there (that thing that is kind of like an armadillo, but different) Quite the experience. 

So, an interesting, good and experience filled week. We also learned that working with the members makes things a lot easier, now we just need to do it.

Keep on persevering! I like to say that perseverance is getting back up no matter how many times you fall. Thank you for all your love, support and news. Also I have pictures.

Fr Christian next to me with President Zang of the branch of Bieymassi, Sr Brenda, Fr Christian's sister far right
Our bush meat before being cooked. I don't really know what kind of animal it is, but my companion keeps calling it a "chatlynx" cat-lynx, even though it is nothing like either of those things.
Elder Best taking a selfie
Je vous aime tous tellement!
Nous ne craignons personne!
Elder Russell

Monday, December 12, 2016

totally off topic, the Eensy Weensy Spider played as I wrote this letter

December 12 2016

We had a pretty good week this week. It has been a little hard to work with members but that is mostly because the telephone companies have been having some network trouble recently. Fr Nicodême said he would come to Church with his wife but sadly wasn't able to make it, but hopefully next week he will. We have been working our way with other amis also. There is a Fr Robert who was interested in what we had to say but wasn't really interested in leaving his Church because he had an experience where everyone thought his wife was dead but God said she wasn't and she wasn't. He took that as a sign that his Church was true, then he asked us if he thought it was fake or not of God and we said, "No, that was of God" which obviously surprised him. But what really surprised him was, after I explained that someone needs the authority to baptize, when we were able to explain what the priesthood was and show verses of it in the scriptures, including mentions of the "order of Aaron" and the "order of Melchezidek" So I hope that will help him open his heart. We have also been watching "The District" during companionship study, one reason is because President Monga wants us to, but it is really helping us see how to work and plan properly, so that is good. We also started companionship language study to help Elder Bouthot learn English, so that is cool.

I actually have dreamed in French several times, so that is cool.

Je vous aime tous tellement!
Nous ne craignons aucun homme! (just another way to say it)
Elder Russell

And totally off topic, the Eensy Weensy Spider played as I wrote this letter... I hadn't heard that song for what seems like forever.

Don't remember if I showed this already. Elder Izere left me a gift before I left Douala

Elder Odimba being silly.

amis who rally want to read the Book of Mormon....and we don't have any

December 5 2016


We had some great lessons this week. There were two amis (Fr Frederick and Sr Jamelle) who had some questions concerning the Great Apostasy, so we explained very clearly and very simply. It is always interesting to see the amis when they start understanding the concept of the GA. Either they sit there silently and you can see the gears turning in their head or they say something that shows they had an "oh!" moment. Anyways, now we have two amis who really want to read the Book of Mormon, but one of them doesn't have it yet and we don't have any... so yeah. Anyways. We also had a lesson with a very scientific ami and we had left him a scripture about charity and faith and he asked if people really had charity and faith these days. What the spirit revealed to me is that he worries to much about the world and not about himself, so I asked him if if someone who doesn't know how to do math can teach someone else to do math. He said no. Then I said that it is the same with Christ-like virtues. We can't help someone else develop charity if we haven't developed it ourselves.
Fr Christian is progressing well and I am excited for when he will be baptized. The other amis with a baptismal date... not sure if they'll be ready for the date we set, but we will continue to work with them and they will get baptized!
There is no snow here. In fact we are actually entering the hotter season of the year, so that will be fun.
Something that I've thought a lot about recently is the Temple. That is something you really start appreciating when the closest Temples are a plane ride or a boat ride away from you, and you can't go to them. Having a Temple close to me is something I will take full advantage of when I get back.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell
My companion, Elder Bouthot, and me.

The new area's good

November 28 2016

Right, so the new area's good, though a bit vast, so we have some trouble juggling the transport money. But the branch will split in two weeks and we will, probably, get two missionaries around that time. That will probably lighten the load of transport. We have a Brother of a converti récent, Fr Christian, who is preparing for baptism. He is really cool and though he has some difficulties in his life he sees the light of the Gospel, which is neat. There are some others but they either have problems coming to Church or their schedule makes it difficult to meet with them. We have at least two new awesome nouveaux amis (new investigators). One is a little scientific, Fr Nicodème (French version of Nicodemus), so it should be interesting talking about faith and the Holy Ghost in depth. The other, Fr Gervé, has had some difficulties and finds that all the other religions he has been to are missing something. So I hope it goes well with them and that they can feel the influence of the Spirit in their lives and feel God's love for them. I've also learned a lot with my new companion as we look for scriptures a lot (mostly because of the scientific) The branch is nice, still don't remember people's names very well except the ones we worked with. But it is a nice and calm branch. Fr Christian actually asked us about the parabole of the vineyard in Jacob 5, I told him I would bring a sheet of paper (because one of our branch leaders in the MTC gave an in depth analyses and I took notes) with the explanations. We said that, in short, it is the history of the world. Which it is.

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

A nice view from our balcony