Bogui Part 1
The Mission has a transfer next week and I would like to tell you about 1 of 6 Elders who will be returning to their homeland. As you may know the Ivory Coast had an election a few months back and the Incumbent lost, but refused to give up power. So now the country is involved in a civil war between the newly elected President and the old one who lost. The situation is not good and the country is now a battlefield, many families are in refugee camps, and a lot of people are fleeing the country.
Last week one of the Elders came into my office and asked if he could talk to me. His name is Elder Bogie, he is an amazing Elder who has served well and has been a hard worker. He said " What am I to do? My Father is leaving the country for Gabon, and my family has to stay behind. I am the oldest and they will all look to me for their support and security. There are no jobs because of the war, and in fact there have been a few battles right around my home. I have served the Lord with all my heart, and I will do my best to take good care of my family, but if." Then he started to cry, " But if, I die and I am called to my Heavenly home, I am ready, I have done my best, and I have been a good Elder. But I so want to live."
Such faith I have seldom seen before! When he left my office he was actually smiling, ready for the future, ready to continue on, ready to make a difference in the world. No complaints, just amazing faith.
How dare I ever say that my life is hard. I know that I will probably never see Elder Bogie again after he goes home to the Ivory Coast. I also know that he will be blessed, he has set a standard for me that I will never forget. We all have heroes, our parents, our kids, leaders who have helped us along the way, scripture heroes, but now I have a new hero to add to my list. An African Elder named Bogie, who has taught me true courage, and pure faith.
Love You All,
Bogui Part 3
Bogui Part 2
About a month ago President Headlee felt greatly impressed to fly to Gabon and begin the work of opening that country to the preaching of the Restored Gospel. Now it is not an easy thing to do to get the Church officially recognized by a country and sometimes it takes a long time. His trip there was a huge success. He was able to meet with some members who live there and they were very excited to help in any way they could. The lawyers are working hard and things look really good, now for the rest of the miracle.
As you know from my last e-mail about Elder Bogie the Ivory Coast is a mess and nearly 1 million people have fled the capital city. Because of the situation there Elder Bogie was given an extension, during that extension Elder Bogie's dad has moved to Gabon and his family is soon to follow. Now Elder Bogie has found out that when his mission is complete he will be able to fly to Gabon to be with his family and to start a new life there. President Headlee has told me that a few very strong members of the Church from the Ivory Coast have also moved to Gabon. The Priesthood leadership will soon be strong enough in Gabon to lead that country in the great missionary work that will soon start there. Out of the ashes of war in a neighboring country the Lord is opening the doors for the Gospel to be preached in Gabon. There is no question in my mind that Elder Bogie will have a great part to play in it. The work of the Lord is truly rolling forth, we all are involved in this great work, and there is so much to do. Nobody plays a small part, and we are all needed. Sometimes you might think that your prayers on behalf of the missionaries are not heard, but they are. More than you will ever know, I feel them, I see them. Thank you so much, your faith and prayers work miracles.
Hello to Everyone,
I wasn't going to write anymore about Elder Bogie, but he came into my office before he left for the airport and we talked for awhile. He told me that his family had not yet arrived in Gabon and his Aunt was going to pick him up from the airport when he arrived. He said that he had never meet his Aunt before so it was going to be funny, two people who had never seen each other trying to find one another.( Then he stood on his tiptoes put his hand over his brow and pretended to be searching ) Elder Bogie said that President Headlee had just released him as a missionary, but told him he could keep his name tag on until his Aunt found him. He said" So now you can call me Brother Bogie" ( President Headlee released him as a missionary because there was no one who could do so in his new country of Gabon.)
I asked him how he felt going to a new country where the Church was not organized, and even his Aunt was not a member. He said " Do you remember the story found in Luke chapter 5, about the man who was very sick and could not get out of his bed? The man's friends took him to see the Savior so he could be healed. The crowd was so great that they could not get into the house so his friends took him up on the roof and there they took off the tiles so that they could lower the man down in his bed to see Jesus. So great was the faith of the sick man and his friends that Jesus healed the man. I want to be that kind of friend to all I will come in contact with, that by my faith I can bring others to Christ."
"Someday the Church will be in Gabon, but until then I can stay worthy of the Priesthood I hold. If I stay worthy, work hard, and do my very best then I also know that I will find a rigtheous girl to take to the Temple. I know I can do this. Then if we both work hard and stay worthy we will meet you and Sister Hatch again with our families in God's Kingdom."
Footnote-( Elder Bogie did have one of the Sisters in our mission call him and asked if he would marry her when she got home from her mission.) He laughed and told me he told her no. Then he said to me " She was to old for me!"
Brother Bogie told me one more thing before he left. He said, " Joseph Smith had 3 years between the First Vision and the appearance of Moroni, then 4 years between that visit and receiving the Gold Plates, then 3 more years before the Church was organized. Surely I can do no less than be faithful in that which I have been called to endure."
A handshake, a hug, a few pictures, and a wave goodbye.
Elder Bogie is gone to do the work of the Lord in his part of the vineyard, and Sister Hatch and I to do our part in this part of the vineyard. So we are all called to continue on in this great work of Our Lord. No one is more important than another, but all equally valuable in this great Plan of Happiness. To bless the lives of everyone we can.
This is Elder Hatch, he's the one with his tongue sticking out with Pascal Lombato. They are enjoying a lovely meal cooked by the infamous Sister Headlee.