Elder Thomas- Cameroon 11.6 and 11.13

11.13.17

Yoyoyoyo

So this week we had a very spiritual baptismal service for two of our investigators, and one kiddo. All three of our candidates chose me to be their John the Baptist, so I got the chance to get all clad in white once more. It was an amazing service, and I’m sure that everyone present felt the spirit. It was kinda funny because as they were calling the kiddo to enter into the baptismal font they said his full name, and it was in that very moment that I knew I was done for. Not only was his name freakishly long, but it also sounded like someone dropped their keyboard down the stairs. So I had to spend three minutes standing in the baptismal font trying to get the right pronunciation, and during this time the kid was freaking out because it was probably his first time in water. But once I got the name down everything went smoothly.

One of our recent converts also shared a very spiritual experience with us this week. Sister Justine a few days ago had the random impression to read Alma 20 in the Book of Mormon. She has been going through various trials lately and this impression came to her as a little suprise. But this chapter talks about the story of how Ammon was guided by the lord to find his brothers who, at this point, were in captivity. She shared with me a verse in that chapter that really touched her, the verse was one that talked about the hardships of the brothers of Ammon, it talked about how they were naked, hungy, and thirsty, yet how they remained patient in their afflictions. This really touched her, and gave her the streangth to perservere through her own trials.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the people here in Cameroun

Love Elder Thomas

 

11.6.17

Bonjour bonjour

We have an investigator named Sr Esther, she is thirteen but really smart. Her mother is Sr Julie, another one of our investigators. Sr Esther was born and baptized into the Catholic Church, but she’s told us that she has always been suspicious about the idea of a confirmation, she doesn’t like the idea of being confirmed to a church without having an absolute certainty of it’s truth. But we have been teaching her, and really stressing the principle of praying to know what is true. Just recently we were talking to her and she expressed to us her desire to be baptized but, not only that, she wants to be baptized and confirmed.

There are a whole bunch of people here in Cameroun who are seeking the truth, however there are also whole lot of people who’d rather try to disprove our message. This week we contacted a new investigator who met the latter qualification. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and the whole time he tried to ask questions to disprove or find faults in the doctrine. We shared a scripture in the bible with him to support something we said about the Premortal existence and he told us he had a question. He then read to us the greater portion of the first chapter of the book of Jeremy. I then asked him if that was his question, and he said that it was. It was a rather profound question, and I regret to admit that we weren’t able to provide him with the answer he was searching for. I guess you win some and you lose some.

Training is going great and me and Elder Butila are having a lot of fun helping the people here in Yaounde.

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10.30.17- Elder Thomas

Bonjour bonjour bonjour

So the highlight of this week was that we had a baptismal service for three of our investigators. They were all children who we have been teaching lately, and it was a really fun and spiritual experience. They asked me to baptize them, but this week I haven’t been able to put my foot in the water (I’ll explain why later). But it was a great service, and we will be starting the lessons with the mother of the two kids (who isn’t a member).

This week I also got a pretty nasty foot infection, and that made it really difficult to go into the sector. But I was able to limp my way to our investigators houses regardless. I went to a doctor though and he was able to drain and treat it (a really nasty experience). But it’s all good now, I just can’t put in water for a few days.

We had a really spiritual lesson with one of our investigators, brother Rhody. He had certain questions concerning baptism. So we were able to explain to him the ins and outs of baptism. But I could feel that he wasn’t quite satisfied with the answer. I then felt impressed to ask him if he wanted to know the requirements for baptism, and we could see that that was his true preoccupation. So we were able to teach about faith and repentance, and the covenants we make in baptism. We then asked him if he wanted to be baptized, and he immediately said yes. It was kind of a typical missionary lesson, but the spirit was tangible as we were talking with brother Rhody. It was also an important reminder for me of the absolute necessity of the Holy Ghost in missionary work.

Love you all

Elder Thomas
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Elder Thomas- 10-23-17

Bonjour Bonjour!!!!!

So this week I was supposed to get my new companion on Monday, but due to certain visa issues he ended up coming on Friday. So for the first couple of weeks I got to work with the Mimboman branch missionaries (Elder Ngoyi and Elder Constant). It was really fun to work with those guys, even though working in threesome companionships is a little bit awkward.

But Elder Butila (my new companion) came last friday fresh from the MTC. He is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (like all of my companions up to this point), he is a really cool guy and he is really excited to be a missionary. I’m excited to start training him.

We had a bunch of really spiritual lessons this week, one of which was with two kids who will be baptized this Saturday. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation and afterwards they asked us who would baptize them, we told them that they could choose themselves, and we gave them the option to choose their Grandpa (who is already a member), but instead both of these kiddos chose me to baptize them. After the lesson their mother, who has already received the lessons with other missionaries but isn’t a member of the church, came up to us and expressed her gratitude to us for the lessons, it was a pretty touching experience for me.

One of our members also gave us a new investigator this week, but he didn’t have her number so we visited her by surprise. She told us that before we arrived she was thinking about leaving to go to the market, but she had the impression that she should stay at her house for a little bit longer. She was really grateful that she did because if not she wouldn’t have met us. She also told us that the night before she had dreamt that an extremely bright light came and filled her house, she told us that she didn’t understand the meaning of that dream until we shared our message with her.

Au Revoir

Elder Thomas

A couple random roads, my new companion, and my Angel Moroni (african verson)

Lettre Hebdomadaire

Yoyoyo

So this week all of the members in Anguissa were asking what happened to my hair (I chopped it all off because of how utterly terrible my last hair cut was). Everyone was telling me how they thought that I was a new missionary because they hardly recognize me with my shaved head. Of course all the ladies in our branch were dissappointed that I cut it all off, but that’s probably for the best.

This week we also recieved our transfer letters!!!!!! Everyone was really pumped and anxious this time around, because there are 20 new missionaries coming into the mission!!!!!! I will be training right here in the branch of Anguissa, I’m not gonna lie I forgot the name of the Elder I’ll be training (something like Elder Butilo), I think he might be Congolaise. But I’m really pumped to start training! This week there will be twenty eight out of thirty six companionships who are undergoing training in this mission, so wish us luck!

Ooooo I also got to help some of our recent converts with some yard work, which was fun because I got to chop things with a machete. Also we subscribed to a “gym” here, so we will be getting buff pretty soon!

The spirit is strong here in Anguissa, and we are having the time of our lives serving the lord and his children.

Au Revoir

Elder Thomas

Elder Thomas- Bad haircuts and reptiles

Bonjour bonjour!!!!!!

This was a really great week, and wa are prepparing many amazing people for their upcoming baptism dates. Sadly a few baptismal dates that we had planned to have this week had to be postponed, but we are still working with them and prepparing them to make this important covenant with the Lord.There’s not much to write about this week, conference was amazing, and we had a great assistance at the service.

This week I got the chance to enlarge my african culinary experience in a rather reptillian manner. The second counsilor of our branch presidency invited me and my companion to eat at his house yesterday. There he preppared for us snake, with a side of caterpillars in a pistachio paste. He told us it was a viper boa, and it was a really interresting tasting but really good at the same time. It tasted like a mixture of fish and chicken. The weirdest part was eating the skin, but all in all it was really tasty!

Oooooo about two hours ago me and the other missionaries of our appartement where walking home from a heated match of soccer, and this crazy lady just came up and hugged me out of nowhere, and called me her husband. But luckily I got away from her “loving” embrace with none of my belongings stolen.

Alright that’s about it for this week Love you all!!!!!!!!

Elder Thomas

 

Elder Thomas- One Year in Africa

10-4-17

Bonjour bonjour bonjour

So this past week was really good, but there hasn’t been running water in the sector for the past six days. Which on one hand is kind of annoying because we’ve had to take a bunch of bucket showers, but on the other hand it has given us a bunch of opportunities to give service by helping our investigators find water.

We’ve also had a bunch of amazing lessons this week. One was with one of our crazier amis, Sister Julia. She really likes to be noisy, disrupt lessons, and ask questions meant to disprove our message. But she is also really good with keeping engagements. But we were talking about the plan of salvation and the importance of the fall of adam in this plan. Then she just went off asking questions and posing her theories in her rowdy fashion, without giving us time to put a word in. When she finally let us speak, we referred her directly to 2 Nephi 2. As she was reading the atmosphere in the room changed immediately. A room that was once noisy and chaotic suddenly became quiet and peaceful. I could feel the gears coming into place, and the questions becoming clear. I could feel the spirit in the room testifying to her that this message is true. This experience as well as many other experiences just like this teach me how powerful the scriptures are, and the influence that they can have in missionary lessons, as well as in lives.

This week one of our amis, brother Felix wanted to talk with me alone during church. I thought this was kind of strange, but I went along with it. He then explained how thankful he was for how we’ve teached him, and helped him to grow spiritually. Then he told me that he wanted me to baptize him. We are continuing to help Brother Felix and all of our amis make commitments, and come to know the teachings of Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for this work, and I have a testimony of it’s divinity.

Elder Thomas

 

Pictures:  my companion and I helping our investigator get water

and my very amazing african haircut

 

9-25.17

Bonjour!!!!!!

haha I don’t really have anything to write about this week, everything is pretty much the same as the last time I wrote. We are still really enjoying ourselves prepparing all of our investigators for their baptisms.

I find it kind of funny because all of the kiddos at church really like to sit next to me. I’ll sit down on one of the benches and a whole flock of kids will swarm to me. For example, yesterday I sat down on an empty bench, and by the time church started the bench was filled with kids. I guess that all the kids in my ward really love me, they all love shaking hands with me because I always do the fist bump explosion thing, although it’s overdone in the states the kiddos here in Cameroun think it’s the greatest thing ever. Also before church started yesterday I was also followed around for about ten minutes by two two-yearolds who were both named Moroni (I’ll try to send a little video of them).

Like I said, things here are pretty normal, and there’s not much to write about, haha I’ll try harder  next week.

9/4 and 9/11- Baptisms, Caterpillars and Fries

Baptisms,  Caterpillars and Fries

Sept. 11, 2017bonjour bonjour Bonjour !!!!!!

This week was pretty darn great, we had quite a few rendez-vous, and me and my companion are loving preparing all these fine folks for their baptism. We are planning on having another really big service september 30, which is pretty exciting.

Last tuesday one of our investigators offered us food right after our lesson with her, it was really good but at the same time super spicy, but we perservered. Then thirty minutes later after another lesson, we were offered even spicier food (the Camerounais sure love spicy food), and we pretty much forced ourselves to eat because we were still stuffed from the last meal, it was a struggle. Speaking of food, yesterday my companion and I as well as a couple other missionarries ate at one of our members houses. He prepared us a really yummy meal of frenchfries, and chicken, but the main portion was caterpillars. So I got a pretty nice helping of caterpillars, they weren’t as bad as I thought they would be, and I actually ended up getting seconds. Though I do have to say the legs and little black heads kinda freaked me out haha.

I can’t really pin down a specific spiritual moment to share with y’all because every lesson and moment here is a pretty big spiritual high.

La vie est belle,

Elder Thomas

Sept. 4, 2017

Well howdy

So this was really an exciting week for us here in the ole sector of Anguissa, we were able to have a Waters of Mormon style baptism with a total of eight candidates! It was really amazing to see all of the smiling faces, and also to see these people who have decided to make this sacred covenant of Baptism. This was a very amazing experience for me as for the first time in my mission I was able to Baptize an entire family! Another first for me on my mission was that I was asked by three of our eight candidates to baptize them. That was really an interresting and spiritual experience for me, because though the water was extremely cold, as I was performing the ordinance I felt an overwhelming sensation of warmth radiate from within me, such a sensation was easily recognizable for me in that instant as the Holy Ghost.

I was so happy to be a part of that amazing baptismal service, and I was deeply touched by our newly baptized amis who decided to bear their testimonies after the service. Sister Justine (the mother, and the first of the family to express desire to be baptized) talked about how the lord supported her in her decision to join the church even when her family impeded her initially from being baptized. She also expressed her gratitude for the opportunity which she had to be a light for her family to guide them towards the truth.

I am continually reminded of the eternal significance of this work by the happiness that I see in each of our investigators. I am so grateful to be a Missionary called to labor in this work.

Love you all

Elder Thomas