January 5, 2015
It’s great to hear from you and to hear about all the stories from home; I especially loved hearing about Spencer’s mission. That is too funny that someone wanted to name their baby Elder Walmer! I think if someone named their baby Elder Walls, I wouldn’t try to stop them. I’d love knowing that someone was named Elder Walls after me!
Right now were doing well. We just had the start of the cold and dry
season (it is called Harmattan). Basically the wind blows in a bunch of dirt over the region from the Sahara. And now its really chilly in the morning, and super dry all the time. I am glad that I packed Chapstick.
This past week we had a mangez-vous (translation, dinner appointment?) that was really difficult to get through. We have had pàte (mixture of cornmeal and boiling water) plenty of times, but this time they did something different and it was so terrible. Even the Africans that were with us didn’t want to eat it. We had to keep eating though, or we would offend our hosts. The food here really is nothing to brag about. It’s no wonder that you never hear about it in America. I think it would be more fitting if we Americans forgot the phrase 'there are people starving in Africa,' as a way of convincing children to finish their food, and start using 'there are people in Africa who have to eat pàte!’
Found a Komodo dragon on the way to a rendezvous. Or maybe the term is Gila monster, I am not quite sure. It was freaky—not quite as big as you would see at a zoo, but maybe 3 or 4 feet long. I got a picture and I will try to send it.
Barnes and I are getting over a lot of sickness. I forgot to mention that in my last letter. Pretty much since the day after Christmas my companion and I have been having bad stomach problems. This has been going on for a week, and it’s not fun. Thankfully, the good news is that I haven’t had an accident while we’ve been out teaching. I’ve heard of a lot of missionaries who have, and I don’t want to join that list!
There were a lot of voodoo practitioners in the street on New Year’s Eve, which was interesting. They did a lot of dancing which was fun to watch. Only one guy tried to get us to give him money.
All in all, everything is going well, although, we haven’t had much success with our teaching. Hopefully now, with the holidays close to an end (January 10 is a voodoo holiday here) and being over our sickness, we will have a little more success.
Love hearing from every week. Always a highlight of the week!