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, January 26, 2015

Tower of babel people

Well, I am now done with training. I have graduated from cadet to  I
also got to stay with Elder Amoah
after this last transfer! Things in our secteur are going well. One of
our investigators Sister Silvianne speaks very good French. She was
very happy last Sunday after being asked to orally translate the
lessons in the investigators class and in Relief Society. As there are
some people who speak very limited French, talks and lessons are given
in French and then repeated in the local language called Fon. She did
a very good job and she felt very included and supported from the
members which is very good. She kind of has a spontaneous-drinking
problem which we hope we can help her abandon. The thing is to help
her realize the importance of being free from that kind of influence.
Her baptism is scheduled for the 7th of February and we know that she
will be an excellent addition to the Cocotomey branch.

Speaking of language, language is a huge part of life in Africa. A
common question we ask new people we meet is: "which languages do you
speak?" ("Vous parlez quelles langues?") Usually everyone speaks their
native language, and then they learn the national language, French in
this case, at school. Therefore, everyone that has been schooled is
automatically bilingual. On top of that people usually know one or two
more languages. I would say that the average is around three. I think
this is where all the tower of babel peoples came to after their
dispersement and whatnot. So far I've learned one or two words in the
following languages from local people and from missionaries: French,
Fon, Italian, German, Chinese, Lingala, Yoruba, Zamelana, Malagasy,
Portuguese, Zulu, Swahili, Evé, Twi, Fanti, Mina, and today I learned
that "salam" is a general greeting like "hello" in Hindi! Crazy huh.
It is also here that I learned that the song at the beginning of the
lion king is in Swahili and that "simba" and "pumba" mean "lion" and
"hog" in Swahili.

Anyways, there's some good stuff that's been happening to me lately.
Have a good day!

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