Monday, October 19, 2015

Life is Good

Our Stunning Primary!
Dear Family,

The keyboard here isn’t anything to write home about, so I’ll apologize in advance for the plethora of typos you’ll probably find in this---

My week has been great, long but great!

Tuesday, We went Cococodji to participate in their district meeting. It was a lot of fun to be back in my first sector. It seems like a lot has changed, but so much is still the same. I even got to see one of my favorite converts, M--. She and her husband were married and baptized just after I left Cococodji. It was so nice to see them and see that they are strong in the church. Apparently they both work a lot with the missionaries. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, so I still don’t have a photo of them!! I will make sure that I always have my camera ready whenever I go back to Cococodji, just in case. 

After the district meeting, I went out to work in the sector of Elder P, one of my new favorites. He's from the same stake in France as Elder R. He is older (24, I think) and is the only convert in his family. He's a very good guy, and a very good Elder as well. That afternoon we worked in our sector, then left to go to Calavi to do a split with Elder M from Calafornia. Wednesday, I worked all day with Elder M. It was fun--we did a lot of finding activities because he's in the process of rebuilding his sector. We did a little street contacting with a member who convinced us to go talk with this very Harley Davidson looking white guy that we saw on the road (we don’t see many white people here). Apparently he’s from Spain, and has heard a little about the Mormon church and he accepted a Book of Mormon.

Thursday thru Saturday, I was back in my sector (except for one baptismal interview at Cococodji). We are working closely with two amis, F and her daughter, C. The two are both in the Celestial church of Christ (look it up---its interesting---It is also Elder L’s former church). They have accepted to be baptized this next Saturday. They don’t really speak French, so we've had to teach them with members.  Even still I feel close to them, and I love F’s one little son, J, whose probably only 2 or 3, he’s very cute.

Yesterday was our Primary program—it was very, very fun to watch. The leaders are just as new to the church as the kids so it's a miracle that we can even do one. At the end the Primary president announced that we would now hear closing remarks from the General Primary President. I spun in my seat expecting to see Sister Wixom sitting in the back of the congregation, but she was really referring to the Stake Primary president, who did a lovely job of wrapping things up. 

The program was very similar to what you would see in America--some children speaking really quietly, others giving humorously short talks (for example, "I'd like to give my talk about the sacrifice of Christ--it was necessary, amen.") The one difference in the program here is that when a child makes a mistake, the audience laughs really loudly--you'd normally be mortified if that happened thinking it would scar the child for life. However, here it is more of cultural thing--they are laughing WITH the children and not at them. 

Overall, the program ran really short on time. To buy some extra time, the Branch President asked the Stake Primary president to sing a solo (with no forewarning or piano accompaniment). Just as she was finishing her talk, he tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to sing! She went straight into, "Dearest Children, God is Near You," without a second thought. Mom, as you visit all the ward programs, maybe you'll be asked to do the same, ha ha!!

All in all, things are great. My comp and I are running in the mornings now, which always feels like a terrible idea when its time to wake up. My comp used to be in the Nigerian Military, so he likes running long distances. 

Having fun! Amis are progressing, I am getting involved in the branch, having fun with the other Elders in the Zone--Life is good. 

Have a great week! Love you!
Elder Walls

PS I forgot that on Saturday we had an amazing mangez-vous (dinner appt). It was one of the assistants’ amis that invited all of us. We don't get many dinner appointments, and usually when we are invited we have patte which we eat with our hands. When we arrived, we saw they had beautifully set the table--tablecloth, napkins, silverware . . . everything! Then we sat down to a  4-course meal:
1-Salad (I can’t even remember the last salad I had, they used real iceberg lettuce)
2-Patte with a veggie and fish sauce (when well prepared, patte is actually very enjoyable)
3-Chicken and rice (at this point I was struggling to keep up)
4-Fruit and yogurt parfait

It was amazing, we couldn’t thank them enough. We know it was a HUGE sacrifice for them to make this nice dinner for us. They even had a photographer come to take photos, and they sent us away with little goodie bags of Pigne (the tissue that we get shirts made out of here). Their baptisms are coming up soon, so we’ll have to find some way to give something back. It was just sooooo nice what they did for us.

Have a good one!! Love you!!

Elder Walls

1st Course: Salad!
Salad tastes SO good to me now!
2nd course: Patti with sauce crehn crehn--this was delicious!
3rd course:Chicken with rice--I was pretty stuffed at this point!
Another photo of our Primary, with President Comi
Cococojdi church--I was glad to be able to get a photo of the
building since I didn't get one when I was there

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