From: Ethan Cade Brimhall [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, April 10, 2017 9:33 AM
Last Monday people were crowding around GT Bank (the stupid bank we missionaries use here in Salone) so they could pay for their WASSCE (some exam school goers take). There was a lot of arguing and fighting.
Yes, the subject line is a true statement. Here are pictures for proof. It tasted really good. I’m learning how to cook African-style! I prepared ground nut soup as well, under the direction of some church members.
April 10, 2017
Thursday we had a super spiritual district meeting! I have always hated role playing, but this time was different somehow. We focused on being confident in the Book of Mormon. First role play: I, as the investigator, asked a really difficult question that the missionaries were totally unable to answer and tried to reason with me about. It was hilarious and they failed so epically to address my concern. I laughed at them and told them not to come back (don’t worry, it was all acting).
Then, we discussed what went on and how everyone felt. We talked about some things they could do better and applied them in the second role play:
I asked the same question. The missionaries responded with doubt-crushing testimonies that brought the Spirit so strongly into the room that even the tough Africans cried, participants and spectators. IN A ROLE PLAY. As an investigator, I was humbled to the point of speechlessness (not acting). We all learned the importance of having confidence in what we teach and whom we serve. Look up Acts 28:22-31 for the inspiration for this topic.
Elder and Sister Corbaley also came and fixed my room’s door that I may or may not have kicked down after we may or may not have locked ourselves out of on Sunday.
SICK DAY FRIDAY – WOOHOO! It sucked. I had a bad case of the flu and was bedridden all day. My companion went out with a branch missionary and I stayed home with the new Filipino whose companion was giving emergency blood in Freetown. As my companion was going, he was afraid that he wouldn’t know what to teach. I gave to him Doctrine and Covenants, section 100:
4 Therefore, I, the Lord, have suffered you to come unto this place; for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls.
5 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
7 But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things.
8 And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say
When he came back at the day’s end, he was beaming. Bro Moses, our awesome branch missionary, told me that he taught with power and authority. I talk to the man himself about it and he said: “When I left, I still felt lost. I didn’t know what I would teach. How could I lead alone? But the lessons we had were so powerful. The words you gave to me came true.” I’ve never been more proud as a father than I was at that moment.
Sunday was an interesting day. A marching band made major noise in the middle of people bearing their testimonies! At least we had peace during the sacrament. Oddly enough, I think this was the most spirit-filled sacrament meeting I have attended since being here in Salone. Here are two testimonies from the day:
A super old but sweet man bore his testimony about the miracles of God. He can now see without glasses!
My RC Alieu bore a powerful testimony about the power of the Holy Ghost in his life. He is such a choice spirit. He has blessed my life.
We planned the baptism for this coming Saturday for George and Daniel! Hopefully it will actually work out this time!
Around 9:00, the Clawsons visited us to interview everyone. It was so great to have them come. The first thing President did when he interviewed me was say: “You’re not a young missionary anymore.” What a lie that was haha I’m still a child! He told me that we all have struggles even later in life. Anyway, it was great talking with him. He is such a powerful presence. Motivation and love fills the room whenever he walks in. I don’t think he knows that, but it’s true. He also told me that a newer elder from South Africa, Elder Anderson, told President about how he had read my blog before coming and wanted to be my companion. I had no idea that people from South Africa would find my blog. Crazy! It was touching hearing that. Next time I see him, I’ll thank him for the kind words.
I hope something I said here touches someone this week. If you haven’t read the Book of Mormon, read it and pray about it. It has changed my life and the lives of millions of other people. I have an unshakable testimony of that book. It is the word of God, just as valid as the Bible and for the same reasons. I am blessed to know the things that I know, and I desire this gift for everyone else. That’s why I’m here. Search. Ponder. Pray. You’ll find peace if you do. God knows and loves you. He’s waiting for you. Start the journey now. And if you have started already but are wavering, or even if you’re strong, pray harder! You are never too close to God, and I promise you will come closer through a deep, prayerful study of the Book of Mormon.