Monday, January 25, 2016

Jan 25, 2016

Loving Life and Living the Dream

I can't really tell if this week was fast or slow, all I know is that it was a busy one for sure.
This first full week with Elder Wight was incredible! He is a solid missionary.We had a good amount of the week to proselyte and and it went great, our teaching pool is now larger and have new investigators who seem very prepared to receive the gospel. 

It was really cool to see God's Tender mercies because I was praying to Him to help us find people to teach, because Elder Treadway and I had worked with everyone we knew already, and the Lord provided. We have met so many people who are just so interested! We have two investigators who were notorious in their area because of how heavily they criticized the Church, now that they've seen how their friends lives have been changed, they want to learn more and are very open, how cool!

We are teaching a couple, "E" and "M" who just got their marriage certificate and can now be baptized. They have a son serving a mission in Nigeria and they are very excited to finally be baptized, it's been a long journey for them. I am so excited for them as well, they are wonderful people and have a great family, to see the Gospel bringing them closer making them happier has been a miracle to witness. 

Anyway, Elder Wight and I have been getting up at 6:00 to exercise and get ready, and I have loved it! It's been a cool experience because I used to exercise at night but now with that and waking up earlier, I have actually been able to feel the Spirit more in the mornings, which is so funny, all I did was wake up 30 minutes earlier, but I did and it's helped a lot.

And Today, we played kickball with our District and the New Georgia District today, It was so fun! I haven't played kickball since 6th grade but it was so great. Got a lot of sun today and it, along with this week, has killed Elder Wight and me. 

But To sum it up, I am loving life and living the dream
Elder Verdoni
 Exchanges in Matadi

Elder Wight and I
our District and the New Georgia District

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jan 17, 2016

New Companion!

So this week was a great one (as always, I might add)
Well the first big thing, I have a new companion! Elder Treadway was transferred to open up Doe Community! They now have there own full-time missionaries and he will get to work his last six weeks of his mission there, he is super excited about it!

My companions name is Elder Wight from Vancouver, Washington. The guy is great, He has been one of our Zone Leaders and is an extremely hard worker! I'm stoked. He arrived here from Matadi early this morning, so it's been a good day.

Also, We had another Baptism this week! This one was a bit more of a struggle, our font still wasn't working and we didn't want to go to the beach again, so we made our way to the Matadi Chapel. We were going to pay for everyone to take a motorcycle there but Felix, a member who Helps out the mission pulls up outta no where and gives us all a lift (6 of us). The service went really well, I am so happy for them, they all have been waiting a long time for this day and worked really hard to get here.

We also had a Mission Tour with Elder Stanfill of the Seventy on Tuesday! He is so cool. I loved interacting with him, and he is such a good teacher/leader. President Carlson and us met with him the day prior to the Mission Tour to discuss it, and that was a fantastic meeting. I learned a lot of things and that little meeting really helped me redouble my efforts here, especially in the assignment that I am in. The meeting went really well, it was a really good time. President and Sister Carlson also gave us belated Christmas gifts; Ties! we all got a new tie, plus the new tie that I got in a package from my mom, IT WAS A GREAT WEEK FOR MY NECK AND MY SPIRIT.

It has been super hot this week, with the exception of today. Today's been weird, Like right now as I type the wind is whistling through our balcony doors and windows, the ocean outside is a super dark menacing grey which I've never seen, with some big waves. And the Clouds are low, dark, and racing across the sky. It's rained really heavy today too, so heavy that at some points you have to yell to speak when you're outside because the rain is so loud, with the accompanying thunder. So today's been incredible.

I love you all, sorry I don't share super cool spiritual experiences like my brother does, he's much better at that than I am. He is a stellar missionary!
Elder Verdoni

Monday, January 11, 2016

Jan 11, 2016

Winter came Late.. then Left 4 day later


Okay this week was incredible! We had a lot of work and had gorgeous weather.
Elder Treadway and I were walking Tuesday and we noticed something very, very odd; We weren't sweating! I hadn't broken a sweat yet and it's nearlynoon! that's unheard of. The weather was perfect, with a super nice breeze. It lasted all day, and then into the night. It's the night that got rough. The wind kept up and it got really, really cold. I had my sweatpants on with my sweater. We slept with the fans off and the windows closed and I was still cold. This lasted three or four days. Just so cold! And lots of rain! made the sky look gorgeous though in the morning but the showers almost unbearable. People were walking around in huge snow jackets and all bundled up.
I checked the weather.. The lowest it got, was 71 Degrees. I WAS FREEZING AT 71 DEGREES! I'm afraid.

Other than that We had a baptism this week at Doe Community and it was sweet! Elder Treadway performed the baptism and was shivering the entire time, haha but it was great. That Sunday they were confirmed into the church and received the Holy Ghost. The first hour went like this: opening hymn and prayer, confirmations, the passing of the sacrament, closing hymn and prayer. It took the whole time haha, best sacrament meeting ever.

Also, Elder Stanfill of the Seventy is here for a mission tour tomorrow! I am so excited! We had a small meeting with him and President Carlson to just discuss what the tour will be like and the spirit in that room was incredible, I can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Transfers are coming up this week and the whole mission is going to be shuffling as we have 14 new Elders who need trainers, that's a lot, and some new Leadership assignments will also be made so this next week is going to be an exciting one for missionaries!

Preparing for another baptism this week as well, if all goes well.
I love you all and I love what I'm doing.
Elder Verdoni

Winter attire!

 Look What I caught!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Jan 4, 2016

Good Endings and Great Beginnings

First: I can't believe 2015 is already over!
Second: I love Liberia with all my heart and soul!

This week, or specifically this weekend, has been one of the best in a long long long time. I'm just super happy about everything right now, loving life you could say. Cause I do, I LOVE LIFE.

First cool thing that happened this week was that I finished the Old Testament! Yupp it actually ends. Let me tell you, Ezekiel is tough, Daniel rocks, and everything else is pretty repetitive until Zachariah and Malachi, which are pretty cool. I'm glad that I read it, but I'm so happy that I finished so I can focus on other things. I've started the Book of Mormon again but using a standard copy looking for Assurances of the Lord (Thanks to this Article: )
Looking for times where the Lord doesn't immeditely deliver someone from their trials, but assures them with some form of comfort that all will be will if they endure and follow Him, it's been a great experience and its a great little talk to read.

The New year is here! I can't believe it's 2016. I think its pretty cool though that I've spent all of 2015 in Africa, that might not ever happen again so I'm real grateful for that experience, I have loved it so much. For the New Year we didn't do much, and it really didn't feel all that different but that's because where I am the only thing that changes is the date. Back home the weather changes, school starts, new classes new teachers, the tv and radio show different things, and so on but here it was just the date. No problem for me though, except maybe the weather, it's hot.

So, these next few weeks are going to be some of the busiest of my mission I assume, and that is for this reason; On Saturday we had a baptism, this week will have a baptism, and next week we will have a baptism. It's a lot of work to prepare all of them but it's been some of the most rewarding work. One of our investigators had to have his baptism pushed back a bit because he was struggling to follow one of God's commandments, and when he shaped up, to see the change that he went through with the Saviors help to be baptized, it was a real humbling sight to see. We have been working really hard to teach and see all these people, and it's paying off.

Other than that, I would like to share a story I thought was really cool:
This Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting and one of my recent converts bore her testimony. We'll call her "A." Just as a background setting, the rumor about the church here is that we are some crazy cult/secret society or in their words "a society people." Some say we sacrifices animals or humans, or that we don't even worship Christ, which is funny considering His name is Literally on my chest every day.

Anyway, 'A' thought these same things as she saw missionaries and members of the church, but whenever she would pass by one of our chapels she would admire how beautiful it was. One day she thought to herself, "Let me go see these society people and see what bad things they do." So she took herself to church one Sunday to check it out. She was terrified and her heart was pounding, but as the service went on she didn't see anything wrong, but thought what they were teaching was nice. Anyway church went on and they had to go to the third hour, and for the girls which was Relief Society, at which point she said to herself, "this is it, everything is true, THEY ARE A SOCIETY PEOPLE!"  But as they taught, she felt the spirit, and decided to keep coming to church.

Now, she's baptized and super happy. We met with her after church and met with her for a while. It's a truth that this church makes her, and me, and us, happier. The Lord uses a church, His church to preach his gospel to the world and bring a higher level of happiness to His Children.

I love this Gospel, I love this Church. I love the peace and the Joy that comes from living the Lords Principles. I invite you to do the same, if you aren't already, to try and find a higher level of peace and joy that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Elder Verdoni