Monday, May 18, 2015

Voodoo Prayers, Song and Dance

Hey guys!

It's been a fairly long week, lots of stuff to do and lots of stuff going on, We were lucky enough to be able to get out of the apartment and work almost everyday of the week. Thankfully, my comp wasn't sick, and no plumber visits like in the weeks before. 

Seems whenever we are out in the sector, bizarre stuff happens!

The first story that comes to mind happened this Wednesday, We were trying to get a member to go with us to visit G* (our ami whose aunt does not want her to be baptized). We need an adult male with us because of mission rules. It can be difficult to find someone because she lives so far away, and they have to be willing to walk with us to get there. We finally got Bellmond to go with us (he’s a 20 year old recent convert who likes trying to rap and sing in English). Because it took so long to get someone to go with us, by the time we got to her house it was already dark. Apparently, her parcel turns into a whole new world after the sun goes down. Her parcel is comprised of more traditional and older families, so during the day it is quiet. However, as soon as we sat down with G*, her aunt came out of nowhere and starting singing some sort of traditional Beninois chant at us and dancing--topless. All the other older women in the parcel came out of their hiding places and joined in as a dozen little kids sitting around a fire clapped along. Needless to say our lesson didn’t really work out, as we excused ourselves pretty quick!

It’s really interesting to see some of the cultural things of Benin that having existed for a long time, but are never get let go (even by members of the church). For example, Mami Wata (or Mother Water), the Voodoo mermaid, goddess of Oceans, that everyone is terrified of. Many people claim to have actually seen her walking the streets. 

We had a soccer activity on Saturday, which is always a nice reminder of how bad I am at soccer. People take soccer pretty seriously here, which can lead to some intense exchanges at times. 

Anyways that’s all the crazy stuff for the week. On the brighter side we were able to get more work done and I was able to see a lot of the amis that I’ve been wanting to see for the past three weeks while we were confined in the apartment.

I got to see G*, Cyrille, and Florence again. I don’t know if I’ve told you about Florence, but she’s the sister of Isaac and lives pretty far out, so you have to be willing and ready to make the walk out to see her. And find a member willing to take the journey with you. It was good to be able to make up for lost time with our amis. 

We’ve also found some new amis this week. There is Ambras, who is 16 and speaks English really well for having only studied in school. He currently belongs to the church of William Brahnim (which has a lot of similar doctrines as us, but believes that William Brahnim is the prophet, Elias). Also, we are teaching Flore, who has a nice family with 4 kids and their father who still lives with and supports her. We’ve only taught one lesson with her, but I think she will do well, especially if she is willing to attend church. 

All in all, I’m doing well.

Love you all,
Elder Walls

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