Monday, October 12, 2015

Patience is a Virtue

Palace of Congress in Benin
Dear Family,

I loved reading your emails, and I had a detailed response typed out and then the power cut out here at the cyber. I've been trying to get on a working computer here ever since. It's been a little frustrating! Things are so different here than in the States, and some days my patience is not where it should be. 

I love getting your emails every week, and getting to read about your week. And Mom, reading about your experience in the Manhattan temple gave me the idea to look at some temple photos which helped me calm down. I always felt the same calm at the Ghana temple. Seeing the world outside of our bus was scary and full of havoc, but after the temple, it always seemed less so. 
I am sure the trees there in PA are beautiful with the change in seasons. The weather here is pretty constant--there is the hot season, the hot and rainy season, and the hot and dry season. But the trees and other things never change colors. The only thing that changes is how dusty it is. 
I don't have a lot of time, so I'll keep my email this week brief:

We baptized M--she is pretty young (maybe 12), but she is very smart and funny. I had the opportunity to teach her a few times. Really, the missionary I replaced here is the one who taught her. It was great to be able to be a part of her conversion.

I got to go to the Palace of Congress, which is basically the nicest and prettiest building in Benin. We went on Friday with the other zone leaders to find contacts. It was an autonomy training with a Canadian member who has his own university here in Benin. It was a lot of fun, and we probably got 150 contacts which will be distributed to all of the zones and districts in the area. 

Saturday, before our baptisms, we went to Calavi to assist them during the baptismal service that was held there. They have 8 missionaries in that branch, and had 6 different baptisms that day. It was a great service--I think everyone felt something. One of the converts actually passed out after being baptized--she came out of the water and started making some weird sounds and then just knocked out. The missionary performing the baptism had to lift her out of the font, and the branch president and another member carried her inside to care for her. The people here really don't know how to swim and are terrified of water. 

Sunday, one of our less active members we have been visiting came to church! She was baptized in France, but stopped attending church here in Benin. We visited and explained that the church is true no matter where you are--it is still Christ's church. And we explained the importance of taking the Sacrament each week. We were very excited to see her at church on Sunday. We will continue to work with her--we need every member here to do their part to fortify the branch in Cocotomey!
Today, we did a soccer activity with the zone. It was a lot of fun getting to run and play. I am still very bad at soccer, but it was fun. And it was great to see everyone too.

Love you guys,
Elder Walls

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