Excited to hear from you all, I was definitely in need of a P-day after this long week.
We are still here in Tokpota, and we still don’t have any fridges, stoves, water filters, couches, etc., so we’ve been eating out every meal and I’ve been drinking way too many bottled drinks, and overall spending way too much money on food.
To answer your questions, mom: The people here are better off than other sectors, however, the shopping is not any better. It actually is a little worse as the sector is not as populated as others. And the people have money and means of transportation. So, when they need something, they travel to get it. Like most sectors, there are just a few outdoor boutiques where women sell food or cheap merchandise.
I’ve been eating street food for every meal since Saturday. Usually for lunch we eat placeli, which is like patte (cornmeal mush) but it is mixed with manyok flour. At dinner, we eat atcheke which is a grain that is similar to cous cous, but a little more coarse.
The temperatures here are usually only in the 90’s or high 80’s. What kills you though is the humidity and how direct the sunlight is.
We’re doing fine though, we’ve had to do a lot of street contacting in our new sector which isn’t really my favorite thing to do. We haven’t had as much success as I would like to have. My first week of training Barnes was similar, we were opening the new sector, but at the end of the week we reported having 17 new investigators. Last week, my comp and I only reported having 1.
It will all come with time. Transfer calls came in on Saturday and we got news that Elder Rich will finally be going to Togo after having worked here for 11 months, good for him. Elder Legbanon will the Elder to replace him, he is the only missionary in the mission who is actually from Benin. Up until now he’s only worked in Togo, His name is in the language of Cotonou and it translates to 'Voodoo Witch Queen.' We will have an all-French apartment.
As far as stories from the week go, during Sunday School I taught about Gifts of the Spirit. I was worried that the conversation would turn bizarre, or that someone would bring up the miracles that are seemingly performed in other churches, or by Parfaite (this 30 year old women who claims to be possessed by God), or the voodoo magic, etc. However, it didn’t go too badly. One sister did share a story of when her friend was having breast pain, so this sister put her hands on her friends’ breasts and said she healed her (the pain came back the next day, but that’s another detail the sister didn’t want to discuss!). I had a hard time keeping a straight face as she described the ordeal of praying on her friend’s breasts. I was thankful she didn’t use the word “oil” or “blessing,” or anything like that.
There are many bizarre stories here—even in the church. With the church being so new, many people just don’t understand how things work. One member called the missionaries over to help him consecrate his home—which you can do that, but upon arriving, they found he had poured consecrated oil all over the place.
All in good time. We just keep patiently teaching and leading by example. Hopefully I’ll have some baptisms in the next few weeks. We’ve just had a few obstacles along the way, but everything always comes together in the end
Miss you guys, I’m a third of the through my two years as of the 7th, so only 16 more months to go, not that I’m counting!