Monday, January 23, 2017

Open Your Mouth

Talk about working hard. Me and Kola work. And it’s not like we get tired, we work with wisdom. This week we did 42 lessons found 20 new investigators and did one baptism. Watch out Zogbo and Menontin Kola and Larson are here. I think the reason we can do all this work is because there are no difficulties between us. We come back to the apartment and whoever is the least tired cooks, the other helps. We joke a lot we have this old guitar we found we both make up songs and play the guitar that neither of us know how to play. I teach him English he teaches me Lingala. And we go out into the sector and teach like mad, and efficiently too. We have gotten in the habit of talking to people who are walking in the direction of where we want to go and while were walking with them we teach a lesson on the way to a lesson or on our way home. You can be very efficient if you try hard enough. In Benin tracting doesn’t exist there is only something we call OVB which is an acronym for open your mouth in French. Because here almost everyone will listen to you even if they are not interested at all. We can get their number, fix another appointment and teach a lesson on the spot. They don’t say no it’s not in their culture. Kola is also good at getting around all their excuses it’s hilarious. We also finally had a baptism for Ma__!!!! I’m so happy. It took way to long with this guy. I didn’t even know this guy was not a member because ever since I came to Benin he has come to church. He is super cool he lives with his older brother who is married and has a kid. And we kept pushing his baptism back and back and back and me and Kola are like no more. We came to church and they hadn’t filled up the font so we left after sacrament meeting with Ma__ and went directly to another church next to Jericho. They were having a baptism right after the third hour and he got baptized there. It was great to finally get him baptized.

And for a funny little tid bit people here have completely different stereotypes of the church because it’s so young here. Most people don’t know us at all. Most people think were just Jehovah’s Witnesses but we are known as a church that is very anti polygamy which is funny because in the US people think the LDS church still practices polygamy but here people are offended that to get baptized they can’t have two wives. Also for Benin the church is very progressive for woman’s rights. People are shocked sometimes when they come to our sacrament meeting and see that woman are giving talks teaching lessons and are supported by their husbands and treated like equals. For some men this is a foreign concept because gender roles are hardcore in this culture and like the idea that the father is supposed to provide for and serve his family and help raise the kid with his wife is a newer idea to some people. Also, there is that occasional person who jumps to rash conclusion and thinks our church practices homosexuality because they always see two guys (missionaries) living together and always walking side by side, dressed the same, teaching some gay religion or something. Not true. I just thought the perceptions of the church are so different and no one calls us Mormons not even the church members, no one.

Cotonou, a clean city

Kola with the trash
Ma__ Baptism
Me and Kola, the best of friends