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, August 1, 2016

Greetings from Togo!

We were planning on having three baptisms last week. One of them went
through but the other three were moved to next week. Matthew is the
nephew of one of the members and he was baptised. This is our first
baptism at Baguida. It was a little hectic because the font filled too
slow and the members started cleaning the branch at the time the
baptismal service was to begin. It worked out and everyone was happy.

One of our dear investigators is named Yawovi. We have been teaching
him since I've been here and he comes to church regularly. He is one
of the kindest and most sincere persons I've ever met. I've noticed
recently that he refers to the church as "our church" which gives a
very endearing quality to his questions, for example: "do we pay
offerings at our church"?

Many people ask us why we don't do cash collections in our church, why
we don't pass "the basket around". It's one of those prevalent things
in nearly every church here. It makes for an interesting teaching

I am proud of the members here at Baguida for stepping up their game
when it comes to branch missionary work. They've held meetings after
church to discuss what can be done to further the efforts. We don't
lack members to accompany us during weekly lessons. Last Sunday
evening, we were outside, far from home and kind of late. We were
hoping that we'd find someone who would feed us. We were near a
member's home and we decided to stop by to say hello. Brother Augustin
opened his gate and he told us: "do you guys eat pâte?" Pâte is pretty
much dough made of corn flour and water that the general population
eats every day with sauce. It's the staple food. There are two things
that foreigner white people do that please Togolese the most. The
first is to have some knowledge (however small) of their language.
After establishing the fact that you took interest in learning
greetings in their language, the very first question anyone will ask
you is: "do you eat pâte?" Well yes, of course we eat pâte we
answered, and the member brother Augustin told us: "good, because I
jus got home and you're going to help me eat". His wife served us a
single lump of pâte which we shared with tomato sauce and smoked fish.
It was really good. How nice of them. He goes on visits with us with
people who live in his area.

Today, Monday, was another market day. The market always makes me feel
uneasy because there are hundereds of people, motorcycles and cars
moving constantly left and right. Being familiar with prices was one
of my biggest worries when I first started but now I have a pretty
good idea of the general cost of things. Many tourists, often from
Europe, visit the market, and not being fully aware of the value of
merchandise will consequently pay higher than would be generally
reasonable. One man today tried to sell me a t-shirt for 18,000
francs, which is like 35$, insisting that there was nothing rediculous
about that rediculous price. That can be annoying.

Until next week :)

Elder Archer

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