|Elder Folly Ama-Gbodonon, Cote D'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission|
Little Folly remembers well the lack of clothing or food as a child. They lived in a one room house without electricity. He and his siblings and his grandmother were always hungry. And his sweet grandmother was often ill. At the age of ten he would go to the market and beg for money to go to school and run errands for people for money. His little sister sold small bags of water. Using this money, and fending for themselves, he and his siblings attended school when they could. At the age of 17, Folly would work one year and go to school one year, and thus completed high school in what should have been 3 years, but took him 7 years. He recalls that during his childhood life seemed pretty bleak and was merely a matter of survival. During those high school years, the missionaries found his older sister and she wanted him to listen to the discussions with her but he was not interested. Life was not good to him and he did not see how religion could help.
At the end of his high school experience in order to go on to college, he was required to pay for the exams. Folly decided once again to ask people in his neighborhood for help. This time he asked a very kind man, named Joel Lawson-Kiniadga for help. It just so happened that Joel was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joel and his wife had a small child and he felt prompted to help the plight of Folly and his siblings. He also invited Folly to Church. Folly took the lessons and joined the Church in 2013. His older sister, who was still interested in the Church encouraged him to serve a mission. She had just married and had a baby. However early in 2014 she was taking a taxi to work and was killed in an auto accident.
Brother Lawson-Kiniadga offered to not only support Folly on a mission but help him and his little brother and sister through school. Brother Lawson-Kiniadga is the first counselor in the Be-Kpota Ward, Folly's home ward. This is in the Lome Stake.
Elder Folly Ama-Gbodonon is filled with the light of the gospel. His future and that of his siblings is now bright. He is honor-bound to serve a wonderful mission in gratitude to the Lord, in tribute to his deceased Sister and in appreciation to the member missionary who brought him the light of the restored gospel. He leaves the MTC on Tuesday, March 3rd to serve in Cote D'Ivoire.