Monday, March 28, 2016

Mar 28,2016

Ether 6:10

That whether they were in Good times, or bad they had the Light of Christ with them, or hope, or faith with them. 

In fact a lot of Ether 6 is where I got some really good insights about faith and the Light of Christ. 
This week was good and fast (too many of those here). We went on Exchanges with the Zone Leaders in Brewerville, Elder Randall and Elder Pabie. I went with Elder Randall who is from Mesa! In fact, he went to my rival high school Mountain View. It was a ton of fun and he's a great missionary! It was real nice to get out of the city and into the "bush". Okay it's not bush but no big buildings, no cars, all grass, trees, and dirt. Loved it.

The work in our area though is doing great, I am just so impressed at some of our investigators, the same ones I talked about last time, "E" and "I" and how much they have done to come closer to Christ and prepare themselves for Baptism. "E" has probably changed the most. She's a lot happier, and she's gotten real close with some of the other girls in the branch. Which is great! We've also had a lot of members who have stepped up and helped us with the missionary work this week, which was a miracle. They do such a fantastic job. There's just something from a testimony coming from a fellow Liberian than from some foreign white guy from the States.

Funny thing about Liberia: Good Friday is a national holiday for them, so you would think that, Yes of course, they know all about Easter. But 9 out of 10 of my investigators couldn't tell me why we celebrate Easter.. and it was barley mentioned in my branch on Sunday.. hahah TIA (This Is Africa) (it's a real term) Although we made sure to talk about it to everyone we saw, and it went really well.

Well, really I'm struggling to think of what to say. We played basketball today with the Gardnersville Zone! That was a lot of fun, but holy cow it was hot. Man dry season is getting deadly lately! It be no small ting-oh, the sun don bea (beat) you well-oh! so yeah, that's my daily vernacular, I love it. 
But I love you guys more,
Elder Verdoni

Letter to Mom
So yeah, that's it pretty much. But man it is so hot! The Dry season is bad now. Everywhere is hot and there's no escape. Good thing I have a fan. If I shower at night I don't dry off, I just sleep wet. It helps sooo much. I am just sweating bullets all day! haha but that's the name of the game though here in LIB.

Also, I had one of the spiciest meals I've ever had this week. Now I can take spice, more than what the average american can most likely. The pepper they use here is as spicy as the Habanero pepper, so wicked hot. I can take it most the time. But we got one meal this week, it was so hot, that everytime I stopped taking a bite and drank cold water, I got dizzy and light headed. And then it didn't even take water anymore, I was just dizzy every bite. But it was so good that we couldn't stop! Also, we didn't want to be rude. At length, we finished it. When I tried to stand up, I lost balance and fell back into my chair. Hahaha It was wild, but delicious!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mar 21, 2016

2 Kings 6:16-17

I love that scripture, We are Never alone. And we are less alone than we think we are. It reminds me of a quote from Elder Holland,
"In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike--and they will--you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham's seed.”

It's something that I love to think about. This week was pretty good but I don't have too much of noteworthy events that happened that I can think about, okay actually there's a few! 

I went on exchanges this week with Elder Degen and Elder Eguko in Gardnersville New Georgia. It was a really good time! It was even better because I slept on an air mattress and not the floor! You remember when I wrote how I felt something crawling on me all that night when I slept there last time? I figured it was a roach or something, no big deal. No. They found it the day after we left. Probably the biggest spider I've seen here, if not it was a close 2nd. I'll find a picture. Other than that the exchange was sweet, I always love seeing other areas. 

We also Had a zone activity today with our zone (Sinkor) and another (Gardnersville- Elder Degen is a Zone Leader there) to play some football (soccer) and eat and have a good time! And it was a good time! And hot...really hot.

But this week has been great in terms of the people we are teaching. We have a few that are just doing exceptionally well who'd I'd like to mention. "E" is a 19 year old girl we've been teaching for a little bit who ran up behind us to tell us she wants to be a member of the Church. Turns out she was actually serious! These past few weeks have been good but she's usually very shy, doesn't look you in the eye, quiet and hardly laughs or smiles. But man she's been getting better small small (it's an expression here go with it) until we had a Relief Society Program this week and she went! We met her after and turns out she loved it! Made some good friends with my Recent Converts in the branch which is such a blessing. But she is all smiles now, and laughs and talks and is really progressing. I think it really helped her take the next step and feel more comfortable around us and the Church. She'll be baptized on the 9th of April.

We also have "I", he is a solid man. He's been coming to church for over a year now so the Gospel isn't that new to him. We've had to work to overcome a few problems with him but he has and to see how his faith has grown when he tested the Lords promises and the Lord fulfills those promises (He always does) He will also be baptized April 9.

I have never found more happiness than in helping those I care about become happy and to see their lives change. To see them change. I love it and I love who they become. Happier, free, and filled with His light and Love.

"The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature."
- Ezra Taft Benson

Love Elder Verdoni
Elder Degen and Eguko


 It's hot, very hot

 Tuna Melts!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Mar 14, 2016

3 Nephi 15: 9

Well this week was long. I could have sworn to you the first part of this week happened two weeks ago. It was a good week! But long haha, a lot of things happened though!

We got new missionaries! 14 to be exact. I am so excited that they are here, as are they. The Lord continues to send stellar missionaries to the this Mission. Like I know he'll never send bad missionaries, cause that's not really a thing but every single one of these new elders just blow me away. We are super excited to have them. 8 Nigerians, 4 Americans, and 2 Ghanaians. They are sweet men.

Other than that to be honest I can't remember much of the rest of the week till the weekend, and this weekend was incredible. Aaron, the man who was released from prison? (His real name is Moses, he gave me permission to talk about him so it's okay now) Yeah Moses was baptized this weekend.

What an experience. This man cleaned the font himself to make sure it was clean and filled and ready for his baptism. He was at the church everyday to make sure it would be ready for his baptism. And what a baptism it was. Although this time Elder Wight and I were certain that this baptism was going to be perfect! Never have I had a baptism that just goes smooth with no wahala(problem) but we knew this one would be. WRONG. hahah we get there the morning of and one of the members (who's also a DEA agent here, he's super legit) said that some kids came yesterday for seminary and SWAM IN THE BAPTISMAL FONT. Are you kidding? They had to drain it, clean it, and were now in the process of filling it back up. We just laughed. At least it was filling up! 

Other than that, it was perfect. Our Branch Mission Leader came back from visiting his family out of the city for three months, so he came back and really took care of the whole program. The people were prepared, talks, hymns and everything! Wow. Also, we had quite an audience for this man. Elder and Sister Wollenzien, who met him in the prison and are close with him, Elder and Sister Kimball, returned senior missionaries (from several years ago and now serving for 6 months,) President and Sister Carlson(!) and Sister Olukunbi, who works for the Red Cross and was really the one who helped him find the church and get him released from prison. Plus all the members who came to show him support. It was the biggest audience I've had here. This man is loved. Both by the Members and the Lord.

The actual ordinance went great, Elder Wight did it, but the water stopped filling up after some time (never flawless) but there was enough water to do a kneeling baptism. It was wonderful. He gave his testimony after words and it was touching. Quite a few eyes were wet, including his own. He never believed he could get to this point, he said, "I never believed that Jesus Christ could accept a spiritual vagabond such as I" but He did. The Lord provided miracle after miracle for this man. Open and visible miracles. The Lord wanted Moses in His fold, and made sure that it would happen. I was just there for the ride. What a spiritual experience his baptism was, knowing this great man has been a spiritual experience. He is just so cool! His Confirmation on Sunday went wonderful. He will be a great benefit to the Church, as the church has been a great benefit to him.

A lot of cool things happened this week, but this is the one that really got me and the one I wanted to share most!
I love you all!
Elder Verdoni
The Kimballs (so cool!)

The Senior couples, President, us, and Moses

New Missionaries

Monday, March 7, 2016

Mar 7, 2016
Well I can tell you this week went by fast. Okay It didn't start out fast but it really sped up!
Elder Wight and I were in the office most of this week helping prepare for this upcoming transfer. We are getting 14 new missionaries on Tuesday! So we had to find 14 Elders to train them, and where to put them, and how and where and when to train the "trainers." It was a lot more work than you think. But now, with these new missionaries the only missionaries that are not training are two Zone Leaders, and Elder Wight and I. Oh and the Sisters, but that wont last long. They will train next month when we get 15 more missionaries, and then 11 more in May..that's a lot. I hope we have enough missionaries to train them and enough places to put them. It's been quite a ride. But we excited to meet these new missionaries and get them out into the field.

The whole thing (I mean working in the office all day) was pretty slow at first, Elder Wight made the comment, "Man this week is dragging, it's onlyWednesday! This time last week it was already Saturday!" We laughed but it's true. And as the week went on it sped up as we got used to the office work, and headaches, lots of headaches. But in the end, it worked out well and worth the headaches.

Really that's the bulk of my week, I was able to go on exchanges though in Matadi with Elder Hales. He is a Zone Leader, and a District Leader, and he's Training. He's got his hands full, but welcome to Liberia. It was a great time! I loved it. Elder Hales is an excellent Missionary and being a different area, okay being able to work at all was just great. And on Sunday Elder Wight and I went on splits. That means I took a member with me, and one went with Elder Wight and we "split" up to go teach some lessons. Now that was fun! Kinda odd being the only missionary but the Members, especially Moses, the one I was with, were solid. Taught some great people.

But yeah, that's my week! This week we get to receive, host, and orientate the new missionaries! I'm pretty excited. 4 Americans, 2 Ghanaians, and 8 Nigerians. Sweet!
Elder Verdoni