Tuesday, September 23, 2014

First "Real" Week for this Yovo Elder in Africa

Not much time to talk--I had to wait over an hour at the internet cafe. Africa is crazy! Be thankful for how safe and clean everything you know is. The roads here are rivers of mud with motorcycles (motos) flying through in every direction. The good news, I am not so scared of lions anymore.

My first day started with a car accident with a moto, which apparently is very common, but we made it out all right and we are working hard now. We teach about 4 to 6 people a day, so we stay busy. The branch is healthy and we get a lot of referrals. 

The people here are very nice. The children all sing to me, "Yovo Yovo Bonsoir, Ca va Bien, Mercie," wherever I go and it drives me crazy. The song basiaclly means "white guy white guy good evening how are you thank you."

I count my blessings when there is running water by the time we get home. I never realized that most of the world lives in one room with maybe one meal a day. Needless to say this week has been eye-opening. I get to come back in two years, but for some this is life.
I love you all!
Elder Walls

From Ghana to Benin

                                                             Elder Walls with President and Sister Morin

Received this email from the Benin Mission Home:

Good morning,
Sorry for the lateness, but we just wanted to make you aware and comfortable of the arrival of your wonderful son in the mission field here in Benin. He will be serving here in Benin with a great companion from Ghana, named Elder Adjei. He is looking great and happy to be here finally. His next Pday when he will email home, is on Monday, so you should be hearing from him soon.  We attached a photo as well of him upon his arrival with President Morin, and his wife.
Thank you again for the service your son is doing here.


Elder Oliverson 
Benin Cotonou Mission

Finishing Up at the MTC

Sorry, that I do not update very frequently, I really don't have a whole lot of time for writing emails, and I tend to spend most of it sending actual emails.

Most of the real stories that I am excited to be able to tell haven't really begun to happen yet, because I spend most of my days inside in training classes. The MTC is great--there is AC here and our meals are prepared for us. I haven't experienced true African culture yet.  I am excited to get to work!
Here is a little history about the Church in Benin
Matthias Eguko joined the church in Nigeria in 1995, he relocated to Benin in 1997 to be a VP in an international school there. Once there, he realized that there was no church there, so he mailed church HQ to find any members that lived in Benin, and found Lincoln Dahl, an American working in the American Embassy who had been holding meetings in his living room with 2 other men.

Eguko quickly started meeting meeting with him, and soon learned that he was planning on returning home, and had been worrying about what would happen to the Church in Benin. Matthias than became the man in charge. They began meeting in his apartment, and slowly the group grew as he talked to more people about it (He knew little French, so this was difficult.) Soon they moved their meetings to the school where he was a VP, and they continued to grow. However, the church was still illegal in Benin, so no baptisms or official organizing could really be done. Matthias impressed government officials and signed the papers making the church legal in 2002. Quickly, the church sent missionaries and the church has been growing there ever since.
So excited to be apart of one of the fastest growing area in the world (West Africa)  and I can't wait to help write the next chapter of the Church's growth in Benin.
--Elder Walls