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,