Monday, April 27, 2015

Weekly Update


Please don’t worry to much about the incident, it wasn’t bad. I could’ve actually been seriously hurt or had things stolen, so I consider myself protected even though it happened.

I’m going to refer you and Dad to an article in the Liahona, called 'His Promise of Always.' It talks about a mother who was questioning whether the Spirit could always be with people, because she recently lost her 11 yr. old son in a bike accident. She questioned how this could happen when she believed that she was being perfectly obedient and worthy of the companionship of the Spirit. She writes of learning that having the Spirit doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t have difficulties and challenges placed in our path, or even that the Lord wouldn’t allow danger to enter our lives. She also sees that the Spirit plays many other roles, and though she wasn’t warned of her child’s accident, she was comforted nonetheless. The article is in the April issue of this year.

Obedience is a sacrifice that we each make, with a hope of receiving the promises that God makes to us. However, being obedient doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing difficult will come our way. That is not what we are promised. It does, however, mean that we are on the path that God has prepared for us. And when difficulties or danger enter into our lives, they exist for a wise purpose that we may not see. Even if we experience physical death, we will still receive our recompense of Eternal Life, which is the real promise that God has made to all those who are obedient.

OK, enough preaching!

There’s not actually too much to say for this week, you guys have already heard the big story. Not much else is really going on. We've had a plumber doing some pretty serious work in the bathroom connected to our room. He’s putting a giant water container on the roof and putting in pipes that will have water running to it, and pipes from the basin down to the bathroom. So he’s busting up walls and everything. We have had to stay in the apartment for 3 days. We’ve also had people from the mission coming to drop off our fridge—that kept getting delayed and pushed back to later days. We finally got it on Thursday. It is nice to have a fridge again!

With all of this going on, there hasn’t been much time to get any work done. There’s been a lot of banging and drilling too. The good news is that our shower has water.

We had District Conference this week. Most of the speakers talked about temple marriage and missionary work, and other things we are working with all of the new members in the area. It was so nice to have AC during the meeting.

That’s pretty much all I have for this week, The package came this week, thank you again for everything. It is really nice to have little snacks and things from home.

Have a good week,
Elder Walls

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Don't worry, I’m not going home, or in danger, or anything. I’m also not breaking any rules. In fact President has specifically asked me to make a visit to the cyber today so that I could make a report to him.

I had a pretty interesting night last night, definitely one that doesn’t happen to most people in our mission, and definitely one for the story books. I don’t really have much time to recount the whole story, but I can just send you a copy of my report to President because he asked me to do it in English.

Eric's report speaks of someone attempting to pick pocket him. Eric immediately felt what was happening, and attempted to put some space between him and the would be thief. In the process, Eric was pulled into the street and into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. His face was struck by the motorcyclist's shoulder, and Eric's nose was bloodied. Other than his nose, he was OK. The man immediately ran off, and did not manage to steal anything. 

Pretty crazy eh? Again don’t worry, I’m fine, and he didn’t manage to steal anything from me. Please don’t try and contact the mission to complain or freak out at the mission. They know how to handle these situations very well. Also, I didn’t send this message to Mom, I figured it would only stress her out. If you feel like sharing, do so at your own discretion. Elections are this Sunday which is why we are having so many manifestations. Thanks to my experience last night, all the Missionaries get to spend their Sunday at home after church. I think I will try to relax and rest.

By the way, tell Mom I got my birthday package this morning when the Missionary couple came to visit. Thank you for everything, and also the sandals fit perfectly.

Love you all and will talk with you on Monday,
Elder Walls

Monday, April 20, 2015

Missing America



I always love Mondays. I get to take a nap and hear all the news about what’s going on back home. I miss every little thing from America but I’m doing well out here and I’m already 1/3 of the way through. Still a long way to go, but it's nice to hit little checkmarks along the way. We get to see Americans go home every 6 weeks so that always makes the others think about the day when they’ll get to board the airplane themselves.

My week hasn’t been too interesting but I’ve got a few stories from others that are. One of my former comps was teaching a lesson with one of their better amis and the amis' brother was there. For some reason they were arguing. My former comp doesn’t know why because they were arguing in Fon, the native Language of Cotonou. Apparently they got more and more agitated until they were basically screaming at each other. At this point the lesson is basically ruined. It’s hard to teach here because we usually teach outside, so people come and go and distractions pop up. Well, the brother stormed off into the house. The missionaries tried to start teaching again, and right before offering a closing prayer, the brother came back out with a machete and headed straight for his brother. I am not sure how the missionaries reacted, but they were right there!  The brother started swinging, and their ami threw his hand up to stop the blow and got cut right between the thumb and the pointer finger. At this point the entire neighborhood must have been there, gawking. Things kind of cooled down because the brothers were separated. Definitely not the ideal teaching situations. Preach my Gospel talks about teaching effectively even when there are distractions around you. The example they use talks about teaching a lesson where it is hot inside the house and the kids of the ami are making some noise. We always laugh at that stuff because of the magnitude of the distractions we have here.

In other news, Cococodji, my old apartment, got flooded and hasn’t had access to clean water for days. The Missionary couple finally got them some water buckets delivered. We got some of our stuff delivered to (cleaning supplies, water filter etc) but we still need a fridge, couches, shelving tables and lots more stuff as well. Having a water filter will sure be nice.

Fun fact; You buy pure water in the streets here in little plastic bags instead of in bottles. They cost about 4 cents each, and you just bite a corner out and then squeeze the water through the hole.

You asked about insects. As far as spiders and insects go, it’s honestly not too bad. Or maybe I’ve just gotten used to it. We get a lot of these really weird flat spiders. They look like they’ve been crushed, but then they suddenly start moving really fast and their legs basically just slide across the floor. There is a really big one living in our stairwell, but we just kind of leave him alone because he doesn’t try to menace us, and no one really wants to try to deal with him. All of my 3 apartments have been 2nd story so that helps a lot. We get a ton of ants, though because people leave food around. Sometimes lizards wander inside (they are basically the African version of squirrels and they are everywhere!). I’ve never had a rat in the house—at least not that I know of.

As far as my week goes, we said goodbye to Elder Rich on Thursday, now I’m in his place as District Leader (I really have no desire to follow dad in his career because being in leadership positions is always a hassle). It’s a little challenging because I’m the youngest missionary in the apartment. And the rest are all at least 15 months or more into their missions, and are native French speakers. Things are going better now after the first few days, and I am sure they will continue to improve. My comp and I are getting along better. I am going to have him teach me some Tahitian. And I will have Legbanon teach me some Fon, the language of Cotonou. (Maybe I will give my homecoming testimony in either Fon, Guhn, or Minah instead of French—or maybe do a little of both.)

I really hope that you guys are doing well. Know that I am well. I do sometimes get frustrated at things, or dealing with difficult people, or what not. But I do know why I am here. And I will seek to do my best at the job I have been given to do. There isn’t much that could stop me from accomplishing my objective.

I really do miss you all. I also just miss America in general.

Ca va aller,
Elder Walls