Monday, July 27, 2015

Greetings from Porto Nauvoo!

Just posing, not actually riding a moto!
Dear Family,

We’ve had a great week. One of the highlights was our Zone Conference that we had on Thursday. I love getting to see and hear from each of our missionary leaders.

The Dyson's gave the first presentation which was a funny object lesson. They wanted to teach us how to keep a shirt clean. They started with a sketch where they were promenading and ran into two missionaries (played by the office Elders), who had purposefully dirty shirts with yellowed collars, and lots of black marks on their backs. (Sweat usually turns collars yellow here, and we get black marks from tucking our shirts in.) The office Elders completely refused to listen to them.

So the Dysons grabbed a water basin, threw in a few shirts, and said that they would now show us how to wash a shirt. Elder Dyson showed us a dirtied collar, rubbed some soap on, and then started rubbing the collar ends against one another (as we usually do). He then put the shirt back into the basin, said a few words, and then pulled a different shirt out of the basin to show us the nice clean collar. It was kind of like a cooking show where they magically show you the finished product.

Then they warned us against the dangers of using too much bleach by pouring a whole bottle of it into the wash and then pulling out a shirt with holes cut out of it. Everyone laughed, but we got the message: Scrub harder.

President Morin's messages are always very inspired. One of the strong points that stood out to me was when he said that a testimony is a gift from God, but that conversion is a choice we make. Elder Ribera and I discussed it quite a bit when we got home.

Something else special from the week was the Sunday school lesson. I am trying to have members teach now. Grace volunteered to teach this week, and took the manual with her. I told her I would call on Friday so that we could coordinate and see if she needed any help planning, or teaching. However, I was never able to get a hold of her. I finally contacted her sister who assured me that all was well. And it pretty much was except for one minor detail:

Just before Sunday school started, Grace showed me the lesson for the week (which was definitely a difficult lesson for a newer member to teach—the title was, “Edification of the Saints in Nauvoo.”) She said that she had studied the manual but had one question, "What’s a Nauvoo?" I did my best to give her some quick pointers and then assured her I would help her. (My memory of the history of Nauvoo was definitely a little rusty—I think I was 9 or 10 years old the last time we visited Nauvoo!)

We basically tried to compare the experience of the early Saints arriving in Nauvoo to the early church members here in Porto Novo. We discussed how when the Saints first got to Nauvoo it was initially just a swampy area, but they kept their hopes bright and saw the potential that the swamp had to be a city. And through their faith and hard work, they built up the beautiful city of Nauvoo. So, then we discussed the church here in Porto Novo, which started as practically nothing, but is continually growing.  What helped them draw a connection between the two was that they couldn’t pronounce Nauvoo, but instead said "Novo" which led one member to the conclusion that we are just like them because we are in “Porto 'Novo.” So then we split them into groups to have them discuss what they could do to be pioneers of the church today, and had each group send one person to share their ideas. It was fun to hear all they had discussed, especially one youth who said that we had to obey the “Law of Wisdom and the Word of Chastity!”

I was happy with how the lesson turned out, and am also happy to be a part of the start of the church here. Eventually there will be a Stake here, and I’ve even picked out a little open space in my sector for the temple. 

President announced in his address that Porto Novo would soon be receiving additional missionaries; meaning that this next transfer might be interesting—stay tuned.

It’s always great to hear from everyone. Love you!
Elder Walls

PS Mom, I am excited to get the package! It is just a second too late--we just had Zone Conference on Thursday! Maybe in a week or two I'll be able to pick it up. 

Out in the Boonies
African Goat Cheese--very rubbery, not like cheese in the States
Women sell it straight from of buckets of water which they carry on their heads!


No comments:

Post a Comment