Wow, there was a lot of news in your email. This week I don’t have too much news to give you but I do have a wonderful story. It was written by my new investigator.
I, Joseph, heard about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the year 1995. This was my first encounter. It was in Accra, Ghana and the event was a television show in which a member of the church of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was interviewed. The only thing I remembered about that show was a question the host asked the interviewee. The question was: “What are some of your principals you live by or believe in that you consider yourselves latter day saints?” Part of the interviewee’s answer I vividly remember was, “When we canvass to win and bring souls to Jesus Christ we live by example. That is why we don’t drink or smoke nor do we engage in things that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
My second encounter with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was in 2007 during a workshop which was conducted in the churches edifice located on Horton Avenue Bassa Community Monrovia. The work shop was conducted as a consequence of an agreement between the US Congress and the Liberian Legislative. This agreement was referred to as House Democracy Assistant program: where delegates from the US Congress will conduct lectures on preliminary affairs. At the end of the work shop I was moved by the thought to meet the then Elder in charge and his wife. Quite frankly I do not recall their names. They were very polite but time could not permit us to talk more. They gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon and extended me a welcome invitation, I did not honor it and I never met that lovely couple again.
For many years in the Offices of the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia, where I was responsible for political and legislative affairs, my office mate Anthony who is the administrative assistant is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Whenever he mentioned his affiliation with the church with someone I would always raise my head and say innerly, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I never asked or encouraged a discussion about the church but let me empathetically state I always felt strange when I heard the churches name. I changed my residence from central Monrovia to the township of Caldwell in December 2010 AD. Caldwell is one of the oldest townships in Liberia, and has been existing since the 1820’s when freemen of color from the United States of America founded Liberia. Because of the minuteness of the township, one would frequently and on a daily basis, see two young men always dressed in grey pants with white shirts with a necktie, backpack or hand grip, moving as if they are in search for something or someone.
Exactly opposite The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in Caldwell, there is a social spot, called the Oldschool. This is a spot where mostly elderly men congregate after their day’s work, for some to smoke cigarettes and have a drink whilst listening to the latest political or sports happenings. For others like me to merely participate in the discussions. At times whilst sitting at the Oldschool with the proprietor Mr. Andrick or with his wife Mammie, I would say how strange this church is to me. On one occasion Andrick told me he had previously affiliated with the church. I don’t remember him saying anything about the church in the negative. I also did not ask him why he discontinued his affiliation with the church.
Each time I sat at the Oldschool social spot and looked across the road I would see The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I would then experience a flash as lightning in my mind and spirit. But something peculiar happened I vividly recall, on Thursday July 10th 2014 at about 4:30 pm. As I sat with Andrick’s wife Mammie on this day at the Oldschool, I looked up and saw two men dressed like their usual in their grey pants with white shirts and neckties, sitting on the steps of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In my conscious mind I found myself walking towards two young men sitting on the church’s steps, what was my motivation? Or how I rose from that chair to take the first step remains a mystery.
I greeted them, introduced myself and told them I only briefly wanted to talk to them. They both warmly greeted me and each introducing himself as Elder Gunnell and Elder Agyei respectively. Elder Gunnell asked me, what was it that I wanted to talk about.
Our investigator still has to continue his above story but I think it will be really fun to read what he writes next because a lot of miracles have happened with him and he is just an amazing investigator.
This week was the Liberian Independence Day was good. We had a lesson with Joseph and we had a great discussion. He reads everything we give him more than once and is half way through 1 Nephi. It rained most of the day but that did not stop everyone from celebrating.