Glad to hear that everything is going well back home.
I am finally able to email and it feels so good! We’ve had very little power for what seems like the past forever. It’s gotten to the point where I just assume there is no power. I woke up one morning and went straight to fetching water from the well, carrying it upstairs, and boiling it for a shower, not even realizing that we actually had running water that day.
It is so frustrating trying to log on at the cyber café. It took me a long time to be able to log on today. The last time I emailed the power cut half way through the session so I was only able to email a few people. Then the next Monday was no power for the whole day, so no emailing (no showers either!). Last Monday, we had to travel almost all day across the country to sign a paper. We got back at 3:00 and right after we arrived, the power cut out, so again, no emailing. We weren’t able to get laundry done last week either. There is always something here!
I had a lizard fall from a tree and attack my face during a lesson (how often does that happen in the United States?!). Luckily no broken skin and I sanitized pretty well afterwards, so no Ebola.
We have a lot of investigators but almost all of them all unmarried couples (we are teaching about 7 couples). It’s a huge problem in West Africa. To get married you have to pay a bridal fee (like Johnny Lingo and the 7 cows) but no one has money, so people just don’t get married. And, of course, before they can be baptized, they have to be married, but then there is the money problem. The church can only help a little bit, so a fairly significant portion of the bill falls on the missionaries. With 7 couples its nearly impossible to handle, so now we have maybe 2 couples we are focusing on, the others will have to wait.
We have another investigator named C*** who had a pretty serious Sodabi problem (the local drug). His health is pretty bad, but he wants to change. He stopped taking the drug and has seen some improvement, but he still doesn’t have the strength to walk to church. He relapsed a week ago, and apparently fell into a daylong coma afterwards. Now he is convinced that it isn’t anything he should be taking. Hopefully he will get to church soon, but his health is not very good.
We had District Conference which was in Cadjehoun, so we rented a bus for all of our investigators and recent converts (again all the $ out of our own pockets). We squeezed maybe 32 people into the 20-seat van for the trip there. At the Conference, there were other members who showed up for the meeting, who upon seeing the bus decided to hop on for the return. I think we had about 40 in that tiny van on the way home! I myself had 2 older primary kids in my lap.
We had our Stake Conference here yesterday. Elder Bednar, and Elder Uchtdorf and Sister Jean Steven of the Primary General presidency spoke via recording for all of West Africa. They spoke about how we have to give up the cultures and the traditions of our fathers for those of the gospel. They also spoke about Church growth and Ebola. What I understood was very good. It was difficult for me as a real Frenchmen did the French translation. We all had to listen very carefully.
Anyways lots going on, as for your questions: Elder Seka from Cote dIvore replaced Elder Seidl. The blood-work I had to have done was for my citizenship here (or something like that). Thankfully, I have not had any real health problems. I have lost some weight though. Not sure how much as the scales here are in kilos, but people have noticed that I am thinner. What I would love for Christmas—cookies and protein bars rock. Don’t worry about sending sauces and meats and stuff, were covered pretty well there. Drink mix would be awesome, maybe beef jerky.
Have a good week. Hopefully, I will be able to contact you again soon.
Love you all!