Well, I'm in Benin now. I was transferred to the "bureau" or mission office after having spent around five months in Togo. It surprised me when I found out that Id be working in the office and I felt sad about leaving my area in Togo. I had many converts there and made many friendships. I am happy however for the new experiences to come. I work with Elder Bretherton from Ventura California and we fill out paperwork, read emails, go to the post office, take people to and from the doctor, and takepropanetankstothesistermissionarieseveryweekbecausetheyinsistonnotcookingtogetherandcookingfoodindividuallyforsixpeopleonasinglegasstoveusesupthefuelprettyquickly. We have in our apartment Elder Destribois from France and Elder Yamapia from Congo. Elder Destribois likes to talk about technical sciency things like trains, cars, engines, and astronomy. He speaks pretty good English and helps us improve our French. Elder Yamapia is also a nice guy and will be finishing his two years next week.
It feels different. I feel like I'm not a "regular" missionary anymore, just because of the difference in the daily routine. We still teach people but our schedule is so variable and inconsistent that appointments aren't really sure. Recently, however, we met a chinese man at the hospital and did some "OVB". So in French we don't say "door to door" (porte à porte), we say Ouvre Votre Bouche "open your mouth" (which can be done anywhere and doesn't necessarily require a door). We introduced ourselves, gave him a brochure, and took his number. Later on, the 29th of November, we were able to go to his house and teach him. His name is Lincoln and he has a Beninese colleague that he works with named Komla. Lincoln speaks Chinese and English. He knows practically nothing about christianity but is interested to know all about it. Komla on the other hand, speaks French and English but is part of "Assemblies of God", an evangelical church, so the two are an interesting mix to teach. We taught Lincoln how to pray and he gave a kneeling prayer at the end of the lesson! It was very special. The two enjoy our company and we will see them again next week.
We recently had a visit from Elder Vinson of the Seventy. He came to speak to the missionaries and also at district conference. He and his wife are Australian, so they speak English. BUT, he gave his whole talk in French on Sunday! He spoke slowly and simply but what he did say was correct. It was a rather wonderful gift of tongues demonstration. "The gift of tongues" here in Africa (outside of the church) translates to somebody that has been "gifted" with a knowledge of the tongue of angels, translated again: somebody who screams nonsense into a microphone for the whole world to hear. Apparently "the spirit had descended upon them" a little too violently. Anyways, the Vinson's visit was a very special experience. This took place at an interesting building called Palais des congrès (palace of congresses?).
Until next time!
At Palais des Congres with people from my first area!
Thanksgiving feast: turkey, mashed potatoes, meatballs, and cinnamon apple cobbler stuff.