Monday, November 2, 2015

Nov 2, 2015

You know what this week was? Ridiculous(ly awesome)

NOTE: Sorry this is sooo long, just had a lot to say, don't mean to bore you!
This week was so cool! Also super stressful at times, Also super spiritual at times. Let me begin!

So to start, I can't talk too much about my investigators or proselyting because well, I taught a total of four lessons this week. yeah, 4. And even then, half were 20 minutes or less because I got sick (what a surprise!) I ate Shawarma this week cus you know, it's in the Avengers, and was it worth it? I'd say yes. Will I eat it again? Not in this country, no, and that's because it got me sick, just for that day though so no worries.  ( Shawarma scene from Avengers )

We have worked a lot this week. The big things were getting new missionaries from the MTC on Tuesday. They are a great group. The Lord is really blessing this mission with outstanding missionaries. I keep thinking to myself, "man I would love to be that Elder's companion one day" Because they are just solid and prepared and so ready to work. We had 6 come in, Elders Mulbah, Dogbatse, Edosomwan, Arvig, and Mineer as well as Sister Adu-Tutu. They are from Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, US, and Ghana. I love them all so much already. We spent the remainder of that day doing an orientation for them and what not. They all left to their areas Wednesday morning.

The next day we had a group of missionaries leaving here to the MTC. That was fun although we didn't help too much as we went up to a District of missionaries in Caldwell. That was fun, we went on a half-day exchange with the District Leader and his companion. It was actually really fun and I think that companionship will really start to improve and really have the spirit of unity.

Friday was supposed to be our proselyting day but got cut short due to my shawarma. I felt better in the evening, luckily, as we had a meeting with the Mission President and the Film crew and Church public relations. As part of Elder David A. Bednar's visit, the church wants to show that Liberia is a safe place, that the missionary work (and the missionaries) are safe and productive and that the church here is doing well. So the best way they thought to do that was to have the upcoming World Report on Liberia. So that's why they came. Best part? we're involved.

Saturday was a big day. Started off great as our Generator was having issues which meant no power, and no water to bathe with. But have no fear, I have learned to adapt rather quickly. Luckily for me, it was raining pretty good outside so I put on some gym shorts, grabbed my soap and ran out the door. Worked pretty well and now I can say I have showered in the rain. how cool is that?

President picked us up around 7:45 and took us to pick of the crew (they're from Ghana but the camera guy was the main camera operator for the movie Freetown! how cool!! and the Public Relations guy is from Nigeria, (we got along really well as he has been to Mesa, AZ quite a number of times) So for a few hours we went to a number of Missionaries and interviewed them! They asked them questions about the work and Liberia and what not. They had them walk around and contact people and interact with others and filmed them in some lessons(we also participated). And at the end Elder Treadway and I were also interviewed. That was awesome, I got to talk about how I was originally called here, them moved, and now I'm back. It was really fun. So make sure you watch the World Report this General Conference because I might be there! (if I make the final cut.)

Sunday was the really big day though. All three districts in Liberia met together at some big pavilion in downtown Monrovia. That was really cool. I was an usher and that was fun, I was really glad to see my converts there. But holy cow what an experience. I went from never seeing an Apostle of the Lord in person to hearing him, a President of the Seventy, and a member of the Seventy all at the same time. Wow, it was incredible. 

Elder Bednar's talk was great. He talked about Grace, and how we use the Lord's Strength to get us through our trials. He used himself as an example. He said he's not qualified to be an Apostle, he's not smart enough, he's not the most experienced, he lacks a lot, yet he is one. And that is because the Lord called him, and the Lord qualifies whom he calls. At the end of his talk he said, "I'd like us now to sing How Firm a Foundation and as we do, I want us to think about the Lords grace, because that is what this song is about." And what followed is what I will describe as an outpouring of the Spirit. As soon as we all started to sing, about 4,100 in total, the Spirit entered the whole hall. To be honest, I couldn't sing every word, I had lost it pretty early in to the song, as did most the other missionaries around me. The Spirit I felt then is not something I will forget easily. I could compare it to how I have felt in the Temple, it was just an overpowering, and very humbling experience. 

One thing I love is the way the people sing here in Africa. They don't just sing the words without thinking, they sing it with all their heart and strength. They bare their testimonies through their singing. They may not sing on key or on Tempo but they sing with all their heart, and it was just a great experience to witness that on such a large scale. 

After that there was a leadership training meeting with Elder Bednar and that was a cool experience too, he did a Q&A. Really cool. Elder Bednar is a really great man, he is a normal man too. I forget that they are ordinary people with an extraordinary calling. I learned so much in that meeting, maybe not to apply to my mission, but a lot to carry home. Just an incredible thing to meet an Apostle. 

This week was awesome, yet went by super fast. I forgot to even mention my birthday haha. It went well! But can't do too much with it on a mission, although it was still fun!

I know that life is not an easy thing, and that we get hit with a lot of trials, even when we are doing everything right. But it's all the more opportunity to remember to rely on the Lord and His Grace. I have learned that time and time again being on my mission and specifically being here in Liberia. I love my Savior, I love His plan, I love His Church, I love the fact I get to represent Him and His church to the world. Just trying to find ways to do it better.
Elder Verdoni

A girl wearing an Arizona shirt

 Filming crew

 Liberia District Conference 

 Brother Olukanni, Public Relations. such a cool guy!

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