Well today was my birthday. I woke up with a pretty terrible sore throat, which wasn't fun, so I skipped breakfast on the way to our zone conference. The zone conference was a little crazy because somebody decided to invite their ward mission leader over to tell us "how we should be handling things in the zone". Well, truth be told, he shouldn't have been there in the first place and was causing quite a disturbance. The Togo assistant Elder Dih happened to be at our zone conference and told the guy, in front of everyone, to leave, in an appropriate yet satisfyingly not-so-subtle-like manner.
I was very pleased that Elder Dih also brought me a package from my family! Elder Dih's companion is Elder Bretherton who is technicaly an "office Elder" since the Togo missionary couple finished their mission and there is no mission office in Togo, Elder Dih and Elder Bretherton kind of have to take care of Togo for us. They do a good job.
We finished off the day with some banana pudding and some hamburgers which I managed to eat. It was an overall good day.
Later on (Sunday the 21st), the Gbandis family invited us four Americans over to their house for dinner to celebrate my birthday. How nice! We had curry rice, some vegetable sauce, and chicken. Sister Gbandis actually makes very good tamarind juice that my companion and I like to buy often. She made us some for the occasion as well as "bissap" or jamaica as it's elsewhere called. They actually hand-make these two drinks in Mexico too.
I also had the opportunity this week to go on splits with the other missionaries in our district. I went with Elder Magré on Wednesday and Elder Atherton on Thursday. It's a good experience to teach with other missionaries and see how they do things. Elder Atherton and I taught the only non-member son in a family the word of wisdom lesson at his house.
The funny thing is that his mother sells alcohol for a living. There is a very powerful drink called sodabi that people drink here that's made from palm sap. It's cheap and apparently you can get smashed for like 20 cents worth. There will be a long bench full of zombie looking people and each have a small wooden bowl of sodabi resting in front of them. Anyways, this is the kind of business that this member runs.
So we're sitting there, right, pretty much in their family bar with his family and we get to the part where we talk about the harmful substances. Elder Atherton said (in French of course):" there are certain things that are harmful or addictive for us that we shouldn't take into the body, things such as ......... alcohol". We all burst out laughing haha. It seemed like one of those elephant in the room moments, everyone was just waiting for the mention of alcohol. I'm pretty sure mama had even served up some gin in the middle of the lesson. It was funny.
Other things.... we had an exterminator come and spray down our whole apartment. We had a cockroach problem. They were small ones but they seemed to be everywhere. We had to pack up all of our things and move them outside.
Just today, Monday, we decided to burn a rotten old armchair that has been outside for a while along with anything else we wanted to get rid of :) the fire almost lit up our tree, but luckily we had a water hose to control it.
I wish you a happy week! -Elder Archer
Elder Magre, Elder Atherton, Myself, Elder Sagers and Frere Gbandis