Monday, June 27, 2016

June 27, 2016

General Authorities and Blue Rice

Well this week was really eventful!
First off, the rain is killer! Don't get me wrong I absolutely love the rain but I do come home wet and muddy everyday haha. I am just too lazy to wear those dang rain boots! I enjoy my sandals just fine and they are dry enough in the morning haha.

But really this week was really cool, Elder Vinson of the Seventy, and the new Africa West Area President came to speak to us on Thursday. What an incredible experience. My Zone had a special musical number, so we sang "Bright Beams Our Father's Mercy" to the tune of "Come Thou Fount" It was pretty good! But after we sang Elder Vinson used it as a lesson! 

That a lower light, is the light below the light house to give the ships out at sea the more direct route to the safe harbor. The lighthouse gives the general idea to wear the harbor is, but the avoid the reefs and rocks a lower light is needed. Of course we are those lower lights. He used a story of a time when Elder Packer was in Samoa and was on a boat en route to another island at night and in the midst of a severe storm. They reached close to the island where the lighthouse was but could not approach the shore due to the rocks lurking underneath the water. The problem was that the man who was to use his cars headlights as the Lower Light was there, but asleep and the car was off. They waited and waited in the storm. They had to leave at a point due to the severity of the storm and took a very dangerous route around to the other end of the Island. Elder Packer said they almost capsized and drowned. All because one man was asleep. 

I cannot afford to "sleep" and turn my light off. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is heaven" That light of mine is what will guide people to the safety of our Father. I won't know when those people will see the lighthouse and then be looking for the lower light to guide them. I need to be ready at all times, wherever I may be, to teach and testify about Christ and his Glorious Gospel. I love it.

Wow this long.
On Saturday, one of my converts, Comfort, got married to her long time boyfriend, Timothy. She was baptized in October and Timothy will be baptized soon. Super happy for them and they were happy too. It was really nice going to that wedding because I saw a lot of my friends/converts. It was super fun. She came to take a photo with me and the she danced with me, don't worry she's a mom, it wasn't weird just awesome and everyone got a kick of the white man dancing. Anyway they fed us before we left and it was fried rice, with some sides a DELICIOUS chocolate cake. But the weird thing was that the rice was blue! I have no idea how or when they would have added the color but it was awesome!

Life is so good. Tonight I will go home and eat french fries for dinner. And then tomorrow spaghetti. Our goal is no rice. That's what happens when you put 3 Americans and one Ivorian (Ivory Coast) who loves fries and pizza together.

But on the serious note, we are having a baptism this week of the couple that was married two weeks back. Super excited for them, they've made great strides!
Love you!
Elder Verdoni

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

June 21, 2016

Hey Everyone! Instead of spending 10 minutes trying to decide what to put as my subject line, I just left it hope to figure it out by the end of this email and not forgetting to put anything there.

This week was good! In terms of missionary work it was sweet! Elder Tana and I are steadily improving with the area and the people we're teaching. We have a number of investigators but my favorite as of now are the families we are teaching, it's hard to find strong knit families here, but God has helped me find three of them. One of which just got married at the church on Saturday and will be baptized in two weeks. Man I love them, they are just awesome people. We have been working hard with the other families (no small help from the members either) to help them progress. They're great. 

Something that can just make your heart sing is when you see a less active member come to church. This Sunday we had two. We've been working with them very closely and it's been a great experience. I love them all. That's just what I have been trying to do. Love the people. Once someone understands that you actually care for them and are will to help them and become their friend, they tend to open up and listen to what you have to say because at some point they start caring about you too. I'm not here just speak some words and make sure they come to church. I am here to make sure they know that God loves them and that happens by feeling my love, which gives them the confidence to do the things I ask them to do to repent and feel the Spirit. 

Elder Tana has also been improving in his teaching abilities greatly, he isn't reluctant to open his mouth and testify, which has been a great blessing to me haha. I love that man, he's a lot of fun and a great Elder.

The rain is still coming, which is why I didnt send this yesterday, the storm knocked out the Internet.. but I am loving the rain, sure not getting this level of rain at home so I am soaking it all in...literally (Ba dum pish)

Well that was my week, it went by super fast! This coming one will be pretty cool as Elder Vinson of the 70 is coming to visit the Mission on Thursday, stoked.
Elder Verdoni

no new pics until later

Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

Tis the Season! Of rain!

Oh man its rained everyday this week, not all day but at least once everyday and I have loved it!! In fact, we were at the mission home earlier today and some of the zinc roofing got ripped off because of the wind! So cool!

Elder Tana and I got drenched this week was well. We were walking back from a lesson and we saw some clouds rolling in pretty fast, so you know, a little rain was coming but we can handle a drizzle. No. Straight downpour... and the rain drops were huge! We took cover in some little shop selling lots of plastic goods like bowls and such.. a few powerful gusts of wind came in and blew all his good everywhere. Time to show the people what missionaries are made of, and boy did they get a kick out of it! Mind you we are amid a market with tons of people watching and laughing at us run around in the rain trying to catch all this mans goods. I had a great time. In the end we got him and his friends number and are seeing them tomorrow. Worked out well!

We've got some great families were teaching too. The sisters here before left us two sweet families who are preparing to get married and be baptized. Its real rare here and its been a very good experience to teach them. They are so prepared and so intelligent. Gosh I love them! I will try to get photos of them soon, this week if I can.

Really I am just enjoying life and taking in everything I can from this wonderful place. Only downside is that I get fed all the time and its giving me a cute little rice gut. So I've been working hard to get rid of that too, and I will! 

I love you all!
Elder Verdoni

Letter to Mom - (because I hate spiders)
This week was great, worked with a lot of members, lots of lessons, lots of rain, lots of Killer Bunnies (card game), and LOTS OF SPIDERS. I have fought and killed the biggest spiders I've ever seen in my life this week. Huge. As big as my palm. 

One was pregnant and hatched all its babies as we were trying to kill it. luckily I had bug spray at the time and blew all 1000 of them to kingdom come. They are all trying to escape the rain. but I legit thanked God for allowing us to catch the prego spider before it hatched in our house............


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

June 7, 2016


Hey everyone!
Sorry this is a day late, we got really busy yesterday and bad traffic caused us not to come home till around 6pm.

In short I am loving this place so much, It has been so much fun working out in a new area. My new companion is Elder Tana from Hawaii!! He's Samoan and huge. Its been so fun. The other missionaries, Elder Degen and Elder Smith are also great guys. The apartment is also SO DANG NICE. We have near constant power, a generator if we dont, a washing machine, tons of games, and 4 Americans, we have too much fun haha.

Of course its not without its challenges. All four of us have been working blind here as the sisters were here before and didn't leave us with much to work with. So we have struggled a little bit but it has improved day by day. The people and families we have found have been really good and have great potential, I'm excited to spend my next 3 months here.

It also rains cats and dogs here. Rainy season has begun (as I type this I am wearing boots) and it's not gonna stop. I love the rain, even if it makes things a bit harder at times. 

Also a great strength I have had here is Sister Smith. She's like the Secretary over at the mission office, which doubles for the church offices in Liberia. Her and I are close and she's in my area! she's a lot of fun and makes great food. Her whole family is awesome. 

Well you're going to have to endure one more week without pictures! The cafes here charge way too much and so I am gonna buy a modem so I don't have to pay tons of money..
But I love you guys, till next week!
Elder Verdoni

Letter to mom
Life is nice though. Holy cow I miss so many people from my last area. I wish I could just spend hours telling you about all of them, I wish you knew them like I do, you'd love them. I don't feel it to much now but going home will just tear my to pieces. Being so excited to see you, but being absolutely heartbroken at the fact that I will most likely never see most of the ones I love again till after this life. It's a hard thought, but I have been able to stay in contact with them so that's been good.

I really really love you mom, you are such a good mother. I read Elder Hollands talk, Behold Thy Mother and man I love you. I miss you too, a lot. I cant believe how much time I don't have left.
anyway I gotta go, I love you!!

Because no pics were sent, here are some from the rainy season last year!