Elder Benjamin Archer

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

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Last week was kind of interesting!

First of all, the assistants had asked us to drive the "bus" to Ouidah last Monday (the snake place). It was for a zone activity. This was the third time I had been there but only the second time inside. I didn't go inside the last time because whats to see had been already seen, but, seeing as how my it was my companion Elder Adjo's first time, I figured I'd have a second go. The only interesting part about that trip was when an African tour guide was translating French into German for a group of German tourists. There is actually a pretty solid German presence here in Cotonou along with Chinese people, and maybe some French people.

Sometimes Elder Adjo and I eat random things at the office. The other day, we realized that we had switched cultures. He was eating what we Americans could consider a "meal", and I was eating African food:
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We contacted some of our online mormon.org referrals and met an English tutor who is interested in listening to our message. In the evening he teaches English at his own private business which just happens to be on the second floor of one of our favorite grocery stores. We feel that he is sincere in his desire to learn about the message of the Restoration and we've had two appointments so far. Maybe one day we will stay to attend one of his evening English practice sessions.

The best part of the week was seeing our investigators come to church! Lincoln and Komlan. Lincoln is our Chinese friend and Komlan is our Togolese friend. Considering that the missionaries in "the District" missionary training video taught a Chinese guy, I think that we have followed their example to the fullest extent possible.Inline image 2

Apparently I wore the same tie in those two different photos taken on two different days.

Until next week!

Elder Archer

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone!
I haven't written a "long" letter in a while, so today's the day.

Well, besides a rather momentarily painful stomach problem two days ago, I have been doing just fine.
My companion and I are generally at the office during lunchtime and we buy food from a woman down the street who sells rice, pâte, chicken, and all kinds of sauces. (Not that this has to do with the stomach problems) She has come to be known as the "rice lady". The rice lady didn't work during the Christmas-New Years period, so we had to find food somewhere else. That somewhere else became the bakery down the street where a "meal" (a cookie and chocolate milk) costs 3$ instead of your standard and filling 90 cents plate of chicken and rice. We ended up eating random things during this week and a half or so, things like cookies and avocados. A balanced diet. But thankfully the rice lady is back now so we eat more normally now.

Mondays are a special day, preparation day for the other missionaries and bureau meeting for us. The assistants from Togo travel here to Benin and all of the leaders and office people have a meeting to plan things for the mission. 

Last Monday in the evening, president Morin stepped in and asked to borrow a pen with black ink, I gave him mine (which is a little nicer than your ordinary every day pen). He said: "merci, je le rendrai après" which means, "Thank you,I will bring it back afterwards". We went back to whatever it was that we were doing when president exits his office, says goodbye to us and leaves the office with my pen in his shirt pocket. I guess he likes my pen! He came back later and I asked him about my pen and he kind of jumped in surprised and smiled as he gave it back to me. We all laughed.

Missionary work is going kind of slow for us. We give out brochures in public quite often as we come across lots of people during the day but we don't have many stable investigators. We are currently teaching a student named Moïse (Moses). He lives next door to a convert from Ghana and he picks things up pretty well. We hope that we can continue teaching him, seeing as school has just begun. As for our Chinese friend, he has been quite busy at work and we weren't able to visit him last week. Hopefully tomorrow. We asked for contacts from the members during the branch council meeting last week and they have promised to send us some. The most effective people to teach are contacts from the members. They automatically have support and an example from their friend.

We are expecting the visit of the first counselor in the Relief Society presidency and the second counselor of the Primary in February. I made some announcements for that.

I will keep you up to date.

I hope you are all doing well and are doing good things.
Elder Archer
   here is "the bus" picture
    Christmas 2015