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, May 18, 2015

Unfriendly caterpillars :(

Hello everyone,
Well, today the eighteenth of May is officially my eighth month in the
mission. I am still in my first area and there is a great possibility
that I will be transferred at the end of the month :( I am thinking
that it will be a bitter-sweet experience. Somehow I ended up in the
apartment with the two American assistants and my Tahitian companion
who is pretty much like an American too. Fun times.

My companion was attacked by one of those caterpillars the other day.
He woke up with a huge rash on his shoulder. The caterpillars are not

Here's a nice spiritual experience. The Relief Society president lives
with her mother, children and a sister. We spent one Monday at their
home for a family home evening and it was very special. We laughed and
visited and there was a good spirit there. After that time, we began
teaching the sister. She doesn't speak French very well so we visit
her with a member to translate Fon into French.

An interesting detail is that Sister Idah's (the Relief Society
president) mother is actually a voodoo/idol practitioner/worshipper
person, which is kind of creepy but she is nice to us. A couple of
days ago, we visited Sister Idah and she had told us that as she knelt
down one night to pray, her sister came over and knelt down next to
her to join her. It was the first time that she had seen her sister
pray. The next Sunday her sister was at church. She is very receptive
to what we teach and I feel that she is one of those who has been
prepared to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'll have to call Elder
Teihotu to see how it goes if I get transferred.

Have a nice day!
Elder Archer

Monday, May 4, 2015

Oh no :(

Dear friends and family,

First of all I will begin by saying that there are presently for some reason or another many caterpillars in our apartment. Some are the little green inch-worm kind but others are dark and fuzzy. Hopefully they are harmless or do their metamorphasis thing into butterflies soon if they are not.

Here we go, first mission sickness experience:

Last week, a burning fever came upon me several minutes after entering the apartment Wednesday night. This also took place as we were experiencing a ... water outage? We hadn't had running water for around four days at this time. 

Anyways, I was feeling strange during our last rendez-vous and I began shivering while walking back to the apartment and my joints felt very achy and sore. During daily planning I suddenly got a fever and felt nauseous. I changed into some shorts, turned on the fan in the living room, threw the spare mattress down on the floor and layed down. I would shiver when the fan was on, but I figured it was better than overheating.Then, as if things could get any worse, the power decided to go out, which in this mission means that you're probably not going to sleep that night. (Unless you sleep in front of the open door like my companion, haha)

I decided that laying on the tile floor would be cooler than on the mattress that was now very warm. So I did for a while but then I went back to the mattress. I figured I had malaria because... I've never gotten so sick so suddenly before. So there I was, lying on the tile floor of our 88 degree temerature powerless and waterless apartment, probably with malaria, in the dark. The strange thing was that despite the fever and the heat, I didn't sweat. Then when I began feeling better, I would start sweating when I shouldn't have been. Weird.

Not one of the most joyous moments of the mission. I was worried at the time but I am now happy to report that I am up and well. I had taken a series of anti-malarial medications and gave my companion some extra p-days as I rested. I spent the last couple of days at Cococodji, a district in our zone, for a split and had no problems. I am happy to be back "home" in Cocotomey. We will be watching general conference next week!

Well, have a nice week everyone. More to come.