Elder Benjamin Archer

Elder Benjamin Xavier Archer
Benin Cotonou Mission
Quartier Cadjehoun #1158
Block F
01 BP 3323 Cotonou
Email: benjamin.archer@myldsmail.net

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24 2014 "Thanksgiving in Africa "

   Bonjour tout le monde! je vais commencer en Francais pour montre que j'ai vraiment un 'pas mal' conaissance de la langue, et en train d'amèliorer chaque jour :) C'est fatiguant d'apprendre une nouvelle langue.

    There is some french for you guys! Today I will write about some things that have happened during the week and some general aspects of life.

    This Sunday was the district conference for all Benin. An event hall was rented out and filled with many.  There were joyous feelings felt by us missionaries as members and investigators from our respective areas entered the building.  This meeting was a non- live West Africa conference in which Apostles Elder Bednar and Elder Uchdorf spoke, as well as the general primary president. I didn't clearly understand everything that was said as it was in French but they spoke about raising children, the importance of paying tithing and the need to discontinue certain African traditions. Specifically  addressed was the tradition of wedding dowry. It is customary in Africa for the bride's family to demand a sum of money or list of items from the groom that must be procured before the marriage is accepted.  This discourage and/or delays marriage for the general population and especially young members. This creates difficulty for some couples who want to be baptized and is the most complicated aspects of the missionary work here,Ii would say. This tradition also places the workload of daily life on the woman as the man feels exempt for "having paid for her". Elder Uchtdorf especially talked about the need to discontinue  this practice as not to hinder eternal progression.

    After the meeting we spoke to our investigators and friends. Sister Cecile, an investigator, brought her children along with her. One of her sons (about 4 years old) was unhappy because he didn't want to use the toilet, he wanted to pee outside. I thought it was funny. There was also sand tracked in on the tile floor and little kids would run by and slip around.

    This experience happened the day of the baptism mentioned a while ago. Anyways, Sister Adelaide, her sister and small son, and my companion and I stopped and hopped in a taxi to take us home. When taking public transportation I often ask myself "how is this vehicle still working?" We had all filled the seats in the taxi and I was in the front seat. To my surprised, the driver pulled over to pick up a young lady and she opened MY door!. Apparently it's normal to share the front seat of a taxi, I didn't know that. Haha.

   I was conscientious about spending my monthly mision funds carefully so I wouldn't run short. I now find myself with only a few days of the month left and 50 percent of the funds. I guess we will have a nice Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Something I love about Africa is that you can buy a sandwich for 200 francs which is equivalent to about 30 cents. I also had chawarma for the first time, which is the food mentioned at the end of the Avenger's. It's like a chicken and lettuce wrap with french fries in it and some tasty sauce.Here they eat a soup with a piece of goat intestine, it is so chewy and rubbery, not my favorite, but I love the rice. What most people eat here is called "patte" and is a rubbery kind of corn dough that is eaten with the hand and dipped in a sauce, Groups of people dip the dough all in the same bowl, which is kind of hard to get used to. And people think the way I put it in my mouth is funny. I tilt my head back and set it in my mouth so I don't drip it all over but everyone says it's like I'm taking medicine. Haha.

    Well there is plentious (I feel like that's a word) amount of fun stuff for this entry. other than that the work is going great and we find people every day to teach. It seems that you don't really do "door to door"  in this mission but the challenge comes in keeping the members active and building the organization itself. The branch president itself ( of Cocomey, my area, if I hadn't  mentioned that) is a recent convert and so we are all working out the difficulties together. We await the baptism of Brother Justin this Saturday! He is a great investigator, he is ready but he felt he needed to wait just a little longer to be ready. He is strong and has shared with us an experience with the word of wisdom in which he asked his friend for sprite when offered alcohol at his friend birthday party. We are sure that Frère Justin will become a great friend and strength as we work to build zion.

    Farewell friends and family. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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