Monday, October 31, 2016

Baptism Count: 2 1/2

Oh wow, the apostasy is over! Today we got money for the next month. Here in Benin we do not receive the full 300 dollars a month like most people but we receve 70000 west african francs which is about 117 us dollars a month and it is hard to survive on so little. About the last week and a half of every month is what we call the apostasy and we start being very careful how we spend our money and then some people run out completely and because I am a saver I have been buying food for the whole district for a week and a half. Everyone dips into personal money to feed the apartment at some point, and I am happy to do it.

Benin is crazy, as always,  and time is super realtive here and is all dependent on your attitude: I have hit some low points but have bounced back stonger every time. I think one of the points of being on
a mission is for it to force you to put your trust in the lord and grow close to him by preaching his message. I know I couldn't do anything without His help and all your prayers, so thank you.

Okay last week I talked about how Mukendi can't crack eggs and I just wanted you to know the highlight of my week was when Mukendi was embarrassed to keep asking me to crack the eggs so he tried to crack the egg like me (the normal way). But it is not something you can pick up by just watching, I guess. I was cutting tomatoes when I saw Mukendi winding up with an egg in hs hand and I watched as he just smashes it against the table and egg and shell goes everywhere and he looks up at me were both coverd in egg and I ask what was that, and he said I thought that is how you always do it and we just laughed for ever. It was the funniest thing. I still crack all the eggs and Mukendi doesn't know how to tie ties and so I get to do that for him too. I am so glad he is my companion.

And there was a baptism Saturday the people baptized from our sector was a couple brother Jo__ and his wife sister Ed__ and they have a cute noisy baby named Ah__ the cool thing about Ed__ is she is the first baptism I've had where I was peresent for all her lessons and I am so glad these 2 have such strong testimonies and faith because what they went through with the baptism would have really shaken me. Baptisms here are so hard to coordinate, people need interviews so we send in zone leader and then the baptism font is in a bulding in a different part of Cotonou and there are no addresses or GPS so no one knows how to explain to a taxi-man how to get there. So we have a taxi man who we use because he knows all the church locations and he has to come and tell the other taxi guys on motos where to go. Then we have to pay out of pocket for our investigatiors to get to the baptism but because I am white it is more expensive, and it was in the middle of the apostasy so I am the only one with money so I have to play for elder Olelas investigator too. Then we arrive at the font and the investigators aren't there and they left before us. We go out to the busy street and wait for 45mins hoping they will arrive and btw it is ranning like crazy so we are getting muddy and soaked. They finally show up. It turns out Jo__'s taxi guy got in an accident on the way and Jo__ scraped up his leg. Then I don't really know how to baptize people that well and Jo__ didn't go in the water very well so after 6 tries they had someone else come and try to baptize him but they still couldn't. After 5 more tries we finally got it and I got to baptize Ed__, so that is why the baptism count is 2 1/2. And that baptism service is actually about as smooth as it gets here. I hope little by little with these stories you can feel what it is like here too.

Classic no smile picture
We got smiles!
New stake center where we have church. It is a 45 minute walk, which we had to do because we didn't have enough taxi money this week.