This week we’ve had some fun experiences. On Sunday, right before we got into our taxi, the office Elders called us to say that there was a couple from Utah visiting and that they wanted to come to church. So I called and directed them on how to find the church, but I never got their names. We weren't really sure who to look for, but when they got out of their car I was sure that I knew them from somewhere.
They were in their 30’s, the husband was Beninois and the wife was Utahn. They had a little girl who was about 2 or 3 years old and super cute. We got to talking. (Side note: Speaking English has become an amazing stress release for me!) They told me that they were here because the husband was participating in the Africa Games. And suddenly I remembered who the husband was--He was Rostand Kiki, a Beninois-American professional Taekwondo fighter and he joined the church 4 years ago in Richmond Virginia. I met him in March while Elder Rich and I were running an errand for the Branch. He'd seen us on the road and hadn’t believed that the missionaries were here in Benin. On that day, we talked for only a few minutes.
On Sunday, though, we got to talk for awhile because church started about 35 minutes late. He and his wife seem so very nice and generous. They offered to cook for us, take us out, and even cut our hair for us--his wife is a hairdresser and must not be satisfied with the job that we're doing on our own! We'll see them again this next Sunday, and maybe during the week. They both were invited to bear their testimonies by the Branch President and I really enjoyed both of them. They were really genuine.
Sunday school was fun too. I planned on using the NEW!!! chalkboard to do the lesson. I wanted to draw a stick figure of a man and have Satan's arrows heading towards him. And then draw the armor of God. However that didn't work out, so we went with Plan B--live acting. I scavenged around the church building and found a broken broom (aka the sword of the Spirit), a dust pan which I turned into a shield of faith, and a straw hat that became the helmet of salvation. Arafat, one of my favorite members, played the soldier and I had members throw crumpled up paper at him every time they thought of one of Satan's weapons. It went over well.
This week, I was able to read James E. Talmage's Jesus the Christ. It is an amazing book, Talmage has really done his research. It really helps to understand certain sayings and things Jesus did when you understand the cultural background of the Jews.
To answer some of your questions:
First, getting visas done is simple for us as the office does most of the paperwork. We just show up, wait in line, take a photo and get fingerprints taken. Then we come back two days later. take fingerprints again, sign a paper, and pick up our visas. It's simple because on the first day of the mission they have you fill out all of the visa forms and then they scan copies of them and reuse the same info every time.
Goat snout isn’t special, or in any way considered a delicacy. They just use every part of the animal in cooking, so sometimes you end up with the goat snout. Fish head is really common as well.
I can give you an African recipe that is really pretty good. (Mom, maybe you can make that the next time you have the missionaries for dinner!):
There is something called red patte (traditionally called Amiwo)
To make it---
350g corn flour
200g chopped tomato
50g tomoato paste
1 onion bulbs
50g bouillon or season
1/8 liter oil
1/4 liter water
Pour oil into a pot and add chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, tomato paste, and any bouillon or seasoning desired. Let cook for a few minutes.
Add water, let cook. This should make a red tasty liquidy soupy sauce.
Add corn flour to your sauce, mix, and let cook for up to ten minutes.
Mix in the rest of the corn flour quickly. You have to stir pretty intensely, making sure to get flour off of the sides of the pot. Let cook until you have a nice semi solid red dough.
You should make a simple tomato sauce to accompany this (just with oil, tomato, onion, tomato paste, water and season). You can also serve with chicken
Measurements aren’t that important, maybe you could google Amiwo to see pictures.
|The Senior couple and President M. and his wife came to our apartment after Church a few weeks ago. We made red patte (Amiwo) for them. Apparently, it was the first time they had eaten it. They said they liked it.|
Mom, don't worry about when Nate graduates and not having anything to do. I will always have need of baking from you. Not to mention, the calling of mother is eternal. I've been keeping a mental wishlist of things for you to make when I get home--the list is already a mile long. You should probably start preheating the oven now =)
Thanks for your photos also, feels like I am there. All in all, the week has been fine. I miss you guys lots.
Love you all,