8.17.17 Weekly Letter

Bonjour bonjour,

This week we were able to have a zone conference, and recieve some awesome instruction from our new mission president. Also we were able to do roleplay lessons, and me and Elder Reed were teamed up (finally got to fulfil my dream of being Elder Reed’s companion, even if it was only for seven minutes). We taught our mission president’s wife and we decided to give it a go in english, and it was a struggle. Me and elder Reed were both dying laughing at how utterly incapable we are at teaching in english. After the conference we went to a restaurant, like a legit restaurant, up until this point I was unaware that restaurants existed in Africa.

We also had the chance to teach a ton of amazing lessons. We spent a lot of time teaching the Bala family, as they are preparing to get baptized September 2nd. Their youngest daughter, Jessica, got hit by a motorcycle last monday and got a little bit scraped up. So in one of our lessons she gave the opening prayer and prayed that me and elder Kenabualu wouldn’t get hit by any motorcycles on our way home. It was the cutest thing ever, and sure enough me and elder Kenabualu made it home without any unexpected motorcycle collisions.

This Sunday I was also asked to give a talk in sacrement meeting, fifteen minutes before the meeting started (thanks branch presidency). But it turned out really good, and I ended up accidently taking up more than the fifteen minutes which were given to me.

Alrighty that’s about it for this week,

A la prochaine

Elder Thomas

 

8.7.17

Salut!!!!!

c’est comment?

This was a very amazing and productive week, me and my companion were really able to hit the pavement, and had an average of six lessons per day.

If you recall a few emails ago I was telling you about one of our investigators who wanted to get baptized, but her husband wouldn’t let her. Then her husband miraculously decided to let her get baptized on the condition that they get baptized as a family. Well one of the problems with this senario was that it was very difficult for the husband to get sundays off of work, to allow for him to come to church. But, miraculously there was very recently a sudden change in the schedule which switched his rest day from saturday to sunday. So Frere Bala, his wife, and their daughter Jessica are now able to come to church, and they also have a baptism date set for the second of september.

It’s pretty cool, because we started this week with zero baptismal dates, but we are ending it now with seven. If all goes as planned, September 2nd is going to be a huge day.

Well in the midst of all this progress and all these amazing investigators, there are always a few who are crazy. We had one investigator who, after learning about how jesus established his church, asked us the very thought provoking question of, “why did god love david so much?” Another investigator spent about thirty minutes telling us about how multiple things can be turned into alcohol. Oh and another crazy guy named papa bongo who, while drunk, gave us his contact information, turned out to be dead when we tried to contact him fifteen days later. I suppose you win some and you lose some.

La vie est belle

Elder Thomas

7.31.17 Cameroon

Pics- Les Grandparents, On the edge of the jungle/us sitting in the bushes

and Random roads

7.31.17 Letter

Hey hey hey,

This week Elder Kenabualu and I had the opportunity to go out to the more villagey area of our sector once more to teach our investigator out there. Sigh, but sadly he decided not to show up (happens all the time), so me and Elder Kenabualu took a bunch of pictures out there so that the trip wouldn’t be in vain.

We also had the chance to teach my African grandparents (our investigators who are around ninety years old). I love them so much, they are such amazing and happy folks. I asked my African grandma if I could take a picture with her and she got so excited, I showed the picture to her and she excitedly exclaimed “Oh it’s me with my son!” I also took a picture with African grandpa, and when I showed it to grandma she laughed because african grandpa is blind and wasn’t looking at the camera. We also started to teach them about the restoration, but we shifted the lesson to the Plan of Salvation because they worriedly asked us whether or not they would see their family again when they die. They explained to us about how they hadn’t had the opportunity to know their parents very well and about how their brothers and sisters where already dead. They were so excited to hear about how families can be eternal. It’s funny how simple truths that I have taken for granted my entire life can lighten the loads, and brighten the lives of others in such amazing ways.

Ooooooo I also learned a very important fact, if you accidently fall asleep in a taxi with the windows rolled down, the people outside will smack your face.

Alrighty I think that’s it for this week

A la prochaine

Elder Thomas

7.24 Letter

Bonjour bonjour bonjour

This week we were able to have our district conference. that was a fun experience as we were able to hear some amazing talks from our Mission President, and also from one of the area seventies. The member who I was talking about in my last email (the one who’s child me and my companion were able to heal last week) also got to bear his testimony, he bore his testimony on the power of the priesthood and he mentioned the experience we had last week. It’s interesting to see the impact one unknowingly makes on the lives and testimonies of others when one is simply doing his duty to god.

This week me and Elder Kenabualu where also able to go out to one of the more villagy areas of our sector to teach a new investigator. I really wish that I had my camera because this area was bordering a really jungly area. His name is Fr Pierre, and he really opened up to us (even though it was the first visit) about all the hardships he’s gone through in his life, one of which included being a prisoner. We were able to offer him consolation with the simple message that god love’s us. We are excited to be with him and we hope that he will continue to grow and strengthen his testimony.

Ooooo this week was transfers week, and I’m happy to say that I’m staying right here in Anguissa with Elder Kenabualu. In fact no one in Yaoundé was moved, which I’m happy about as everyone here is really cool.

Well I think that that’s about it for this week

Je vous aime

Elder Thomas

Weekly letter yo

Boooooonjouruuruuur

So we were supposed to have a baptism this week for the Soeur I was describing the last time buuuuuuuuut…… pas vraiment. She decided (or rather her husband decided) that she wants to wait so that she can be baptised with her whole family, which is a good thing as it’s always better for things to be done as a family, but it’s a bad thing if her family doesn’t progress. But we are working with them a lot and trying to teach everyone in the family. The only thing that could impede them from progressing is that Fr Bala (the husband) has to work every Sunday, but we are working with him and trying to get his schedule changed.

A few days ago me and my companion went to one of our investigators houses and found out that he wasn’t there (pretty normal) so we decided to pay some of our other investigators a visit. We arrived at their house and we found a group of people gathered at the door, which we thought was a bit strange. We went inside and found that our investigator’s daughter was lying on the couch semiconscious and unresponsive, with her mother on another couch in the same condition. No one was quite sure what the problem was, I think they had some problem breathing. They had wanted to call the missionaries so that we could give them a blessing, however they didn’t have the credits to make the call. But we arrived, and the father told us that the moment we had walked into the room the daughter’s eyes opened and she started to be more responsive. We were able to offer a blessing, and we were told that they were both back to normal by the evening.

Ooooooo I was able to meet our new mission president!!!!!! He is an amazing and very spiritual man, we were able to have a very spiritual zone conference with him as well. Also, his name, President Thompson, is similar to my name so I’ve had to endure several jokes from the members of our branch. Haha now the members get to call me President Thompson, in addition to calling my Thomas Spencer Monson.

Alright I love you all, and I’m loving life here in Yaoundé

Elder Thomas/Thompson/Thomas S Monson

Lettre hebdomadaire

Bonjour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

C’est comment?

Hmmmmm so this week was pretty regular, not much stuff happening, and not really much to explain. We have one person scheduled to be baptized next saturday. We are also helping out our new branch presidency as they were just called last week. We are also still teaching a lot, finding a lot of new investigators, and over all just loving the work.

Earlier this day we got the chance to play soccer, so I, with my extraordinary soccer skills, got the chance to be a meat sheild (In other words I didn’t really contribute to the outcome of the game). But it was pretty cool because we played on a field that is located at the base of one of the mountains of Yaoundé.

Oooo we had a family home evening yesterday at the home of the second counselor of our branch presidency. We taught about agency, and the lesson was good (up until the point where it turned into an intervention for one of their sons). He promised that next week he will cook us either caterpillars, or dog.

I’m a little tired from all the energy I exerted from not really doing anything in that soccer game earlier today, so I’m just gonna end for today.

Au revoir et je vous aime,

Pics:  Football in paradise, Appartement d’Anguissa, Gombo, a vegetable with the texture of mucus, Me and Moroni

Elder Thomas

6.19.17 First week in Camerooooouuuun

First week in Cameroun!! Or Cameroon, if you are an English speaker.

So this week started out pretty cool as the first thing that we did was get water from a local source (this was necessary as the whole area hadn’t had water for the past week). we had to hike a little to get to it, but it was essentially just a pipe with water running from it, from an unknown source. This would have been sketchy if we were using the water as drinking water, but we were only using it to wash the appartment, our dishes, and ourselves.

One of the more daunting aspects of Cameroun, is the vast amount of steep hills. However, I really like the hills as they are a very good source of exercise (I’m seriously going to have amazing thighs when I come home), they also remind me a lot of San Francisco.

This morning I got a chance to play soccer with all the missionaries in Yaounde, which was fun, even though my presence on the field didn’t really affect the outcome of the game. But it was played on a dirt field just at the base of one of the mountains of Yaounde.

My companion and I have been getting along really well and I have been trying to get a hang on the sector as fast as I can. This week we also had a very spiritual lesson with soeur Sandra, in this lesson we talked with her about baptism. Although it was just a regular lesson, it was heavily guided by the spirit, and this resulted in a very spiritually heavy atmosphere. She later told us that what we said really touched her, however we as missionaries know that it’s the spirit that touched her not us.

Oooooooo this week I had another interesting culinary experience. Here in Cameroun, termites are sold as a snack by street vendors. So I got a chance to eat some cooked termites. It was actually pretty good and it was also very well spiced (though a little bit too spicy). I really think that my mission wins the award for the strangest cuisines.

Thats it for this week, I am loving Cameroun and I really think I will be a force of good here.

Elder Thomas

LOVE me some termites

Our really pretty church buildingIMG_0899.JPG

 

crappy pictures, quality bus ride

Goodbyes to talangai, and traveling

Baptism!!!!!!!!!!!!! From last week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6.13.17 Elder Thomas – Cameroon

Bonjour Bonjour Bonjour

So this week was pretty hectic,

For the first part of the week we were pretty busy figuring things out for the baptism of Sister Anita and Brother Richesse. We were working overtime to get their lessons in, and also to get them their various baptismal interviews. But it all finished with an amazing and heavily spiritual service. Brother Richesse came up to me and gave me the biggest hug after the service. These are two people who have both been involved in different churches for most of their lives, and have gone through and overcome persecutions among family and friends. So we were happy to see them go through with the covenant of baptism.

This weeks church session was a little bit sad also as I had to say goodbye to many people who have become like family to me. Many people who I have helped and taught, all of my converts, and many of the people who I have worked side by side with throughout the last seven months. It was also hard to say goodbye to the missionaries here who have been brothers to me, and who have helped me to be the missionary who I am today. So it was a week of goodbyes, but also a week of new opportunities.

Oh by the way I got transferred to Cameroon, I am currently serving in the Anguissa branch in Yaounde. I was unable to write yesterday as I had to take a plane to get to Douala, and an additional six hour bus ride to get to Yaounde. I got transferred with Elder Reed, me and him are both serving in the same district. The plane ride was pretty cool because as we were landing we got a glimpse of the massive jungle of Douala, we saw a ton of rivers and the images of hippos basking in the waters. Sadly though we only got a few seconds to take it in. The bus ride however gave us a more personal glimpse of the jungle as most of the ride was through the jungle.

It is only my first day here but I love it!!!!!!!!! It is so beautiful here I can hardly stand it. I love my new companion and I know that we are going to work hard here. Even though I have only spent about five hours in the sector I have already found out that here in Yaounde there are a ton of hills. It is seriously like the San Francisco of Africa because of all the huge, steep hills that scatter our sector, I am gonna get a serious thigh work out working here.

I love you all and I am excited to work in Anguissa right beside my amazing companion

Elder Thomas