Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30, 2016


Holy cow it has finally happened! I have been transferred from the office! 9 months here in Sinkor, and I have loved every month, but I'm excited to experience a change of environment, and an change it is! I'm now in Caldwell, we replaced the Sisters that were moved today into the city. Caldwell is not city. It has the familiar feel of dirt roads, water, and goats. I'm gonna love it!

The best part though? I'm training! and Elder Degen is in my apartment. For those of you who don't know, Elder Degen and I came to Liberia together and will be leaving Liberia together, we're pretty good friends and it is gonna be a lot of fun to be with him the next three months of our missions. I receive my new companion on Wednesday, so until then I am with Elder Degen and Elder Smith, his companion. We're going to have a blast.

Im really gonna miss the people in Sinkor branch, it still doesnt feel like Im leaving them. It feels like I'll go back there soon enough and be with my family again, but I wont, I just have to contine to work hard enough to stay worthy of their trust.

This week was really good though otherwise. We had District Conference (I was in the branch for the last District Conference too...) and it was wonderful!! The first few talks were on the temple and getting sealed. In fact, all the talk were centered on love. Something they really needed to hear I suppose because everyone spoke on it. Love is NOT something that is shown too much here in their culture, let alone the words,"I love you." But the speakers, including President Carlson, touched the hearts of these people. All the people I visited afterwards said something about how it helped them or how they learned something. I was walking away from the Sanwon family, a part member family we are very close with and one of them says, "Elder Verdoni, we love you!" It took me by surprise! I would have never thought to hear that, I could feel the love from them, but to hear someone say it is quite a pleasant surprise.

Well that's really it, I don't have too much to say. I am jumping into this new area blind, but all part of the adventure, just another thing to make it unforgettable. I am ready for the challenge. Sorry no photos this week, Im sure my mom will put them on the blog, but it cost money to upload photos and I'm poor for the next week haha.
Love you all!
Elder Verdoni

My quote of the week: "What if you woke up today with only the things that you thanked God for yesterday?"

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2013

"Never Let a Day Pass, That You Will Have Cause to Say, I Will Do Better Tomorrow"

I love that quote from Brigham Young, and it is certainly something I have been striving to follow, especially this past week. The week has been phenomenal actually, Elder Wight and I rightly crushed it this week with 42 lessons! It's not the highest for the mission by any means but for us and our responsibilities, it's a new record high for us, which we are very grateful for!

Elder Randall and Elder Pabie, two of our Zone Leaders, came into our area this week to go on exchanges with us, and it was a lot of fun! Elder Randall and I come from the same place, in fact we went to rival high schools! (Red Mountain and Mountain View) But don't worry were pretty good friends, we go home the same day, which will be fun. Elder Pabie is a Liberian who was transferred from Nigeria to finish his mission serving in his own country, I worked with him, he goes home next week. They are both stellar missionaries! Great teachers and great people!

Speaking of great people, I love my converts and my investigators. Holy Moly these people are some of my favorite people on earth! (don't worry family, you're still on the list but these people are catching up!) I just keep thinking about how much I love them and that I will have to leave them soon. 9 months here, transfers are coming in a week, and I think it's time for me to be transferred. They have become my friends and my family, they've become home. The Lord has allowed me stay in each of my areas long enough to feel that way, to feel at home (I've been in 3 areas my whole mission) and I love it! Some missionaries I know have been in 6 or 7 areas, so Im one who sticks around a while haha.

As my mission is reaching its final stages, I pray that I continue to work hard enough and live worthy enough to see these people again someday in our Heavenly Home, because I don't know when I'll ever have the opportunity to come back to Liberia. I love how the gospel, no matter where we are, or who we meet, brings us closer together, it unites us. In the Gospel we are not strangers, we are family, Family Members remembered and reunited. Children of a God who loves us perfectly. And I thank God for sending me here.

Alma 31:35 "Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee."
Elder Verdoni


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 16, 2016

A Good Week

Hey everyone!
This week was good, we had all week to proselyte and work in our area while President is doing his quarterly missionary interviews. It was so sweet! Elder Wight and I absolutely killed it!! One of the best weeks we've ever had, okay THE best week we've ever had in terms of lessons at least. We taught 36 lessons in 5 days! On Thursday we went on exchanges and so we were not able to work in our own area so we were down a day but holy moly it was so nice to see all the people that we did. We have a found a lot of new investigators who are really prepared! It was so cool.

The exchanges on Thursday were good too, I went with Elder Hales in Matadi to do some good work! I love Matadi, it's a great place but I know I'll never get transferred there because I know it well enough already. hahah

We found and taught a less-active family this week. They are a sweet family and we had a good lesson with them, it was more of a casual get to know you and break the ice kinda lesson, but they loved and the Spirit was present as we explained our purpose. The kids came to church on Sunday at least, but the parents will take some more time.

Our branch has been doing a great job at getting the Recent Converts involved in the Branch here. 3 were just called as Branch Missionaries (And it's awesome!), they're in the Elders Quorum presidency, the YW presidency, teachers in those quorums, and ones the Executive Secretary! Also, the Branch President has a different Recent Convert giving a talk every week! It is so awesome. These converts are really becoming the strength in the Branch and they have no idea. I am just grateful I've been in this branch long enough to see all of this happen to them and to see them grow. I love them all so much. To see the fire of their testimony in their eyes and in their whole demeanor increases my own.

Other than that I can't really think of anything noteworthy, now I'm sure there is but I'm forgetting it.
Anyway, have a good week!
Elder Verdoni
The view from the top of the mission office

A great friend of mine

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016

Mothers Day!

This week was great! And not just because It was Mothers Day! We didn't teach as many lessons this week as normal but he has a couple busy days in the office!

Some cool things that happened is that I ate Fish balls! They're like meatballs, but instead made of fish. One of the people we're teaching made it for us and it was absolutely delicious! So good!

Also Elder Wight and I drove around town on Saturday! We had to pick up a Branch Missionary ( A member who will serve with a Full-Time missionary for a few weeks) in Paynesville and drop him off in Gardnersville. Elder Wight drove there to drop him off because he knows how to get to Gardnersville. We dropped him at the Elders apartment and talked with them for a while, it was good. I've never been to that apartment before, but now I know it's a nice place! We also stopped by a member that Elder Wight helped to reactivate, Sister "A." Super sweet woman! 

After that, it was my turn to drive. Best part about it is that the truck is stick, so it's pretty fun, and it's diesel which makes it even more fun! The horrible dirt roads were a breeze and life was good till I got to SOMALIA DRIVE. Some of the worst traffic (if not THE worst) in the entire country happens on Somalia drive and we got caught in it. Like, I was still driving, which was a blast, so I didn't mind too much, but it took us an hour to travel what would normally take 5 minutes. This road isn't really good either, it's a narrow two lane road that isn't well paved, yet one of the busiest roads traveled. All in all we had a blast regardless, but a planned 4 hour trip took us 6 haha.

Okay also Mothers Day! The day was great!
Church was really good and we had a lot of great investigators there and a few new visitors as well. They're very excited to learn more so we will help them do just that! But We were excited for Mothers day because we wanted to show our mothers our love for them. Yes I mean our biological ones but also the women that have taken wonderful care of us. There are four; Kunbi, Comfort, Emma, and Rosalyn. We wrote them letters and gave them a little gift. We went to Kunbi's house with some members for lunch and it was so great!

Talking to my family was awesome as well! The webcam didn't work but oh well, talking to family is still talking to family! It was a great time and they kept reminding me that the next time I speak to them will be at the airport hahah.
LOOK PEOPLE I STILL HAVE TIME hahah. So good to see them all though.

I am working hard and loving what I do. I am happy and healthy loving life.
Elder Verdoni
 Calling home!

Our Mothers in Africa


 Kids in Africa!


Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016

"Faith is trust in what the spirit learned eons ago"

This week was nice and busy!
We had Zone Conferences and a baptism, so we sure did have our hands full!

Zone Conferences happen every three months and it's when the Mission President meets with the various Zones in the mission, it's always an exciting time for missionaries. It was a lot of work to plan and prepare those conferences but they went really well. I enjoyed them at least. We had two conferences with two Zones at each one. 

I gave a talk at one of them about Faith. It's never been something I've worried about, I've always focused on "bigger" things, my humility, or diligence but never my faith. "Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble" (Alma 32:13) He humbled me. I had a series of events happened that made me realize that my faith IS NOT enough. "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief" was an honest prayer of mine. The Lord brought me low so that he could take me higher. After that experience, trials of my faith or realizing it wasn't enough, I had again a series of experiences that strengthened my faith greatly. Much greater than it was before. The things I learned, and felt, are things I will never forget. But I would have never learned those things, or increased my faith if the Lord didn't help me see how little my faith was. I'm grateful for that experience. "Ye receive no witness till after the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:6)

Other than that we had a successful baptism for "R." She's waited a long time for this. She brought herself to this, we did nothing. Her faith is wonderful, as is her knowledge. She knew the lessons before we taught them, she's already been enrolled in Seminary for 5-6 months and is just rocking it. Our other "R" will be baptized hopefully soon, but for a few reasons we had to push it back a bit.

Also, "L" which we started teaching a couple weeks ago, it is incredible to see the progress in her. We knew her a little before teaching her, she lived in the same place as the Woe Family we were teaching. One day, while teaching them, she sits in the lesson and loves it! The Branch has done a miracle in fellow-shipping her. Before coming to church she made a couple good friends in the branch who sat with her, and this past Saturday we met her at the chapel at choir practice!! Moses H. came up to me and the conversation went like this, "Elder Verdoni, the fair woman, who is she?" "oh, that's "L". She's an investigator" "Is she joining the choir?" "Well, she wants to be I think" "My man! Now is the perfect time!" He then runs off to her and the choir director and then you see her sitting front row of the choir on Sunday! It was her second time ever coming to the church. She's gonna be alright, her baptism will be the 28 of May.

That's the week! Another hot one, but they always are. Rainy season is taking it's time to come. Coming in like a lamb, but it'll leave like a lion.
Elder Verdoni

Sister Missionaries

Elder Earley

 Look, Arizona!