Monday, April 22, 2013

LIZARDS! ! As if Bugs weren't enough ! ! !

Another week is here and past. I can't believe I'm starting my sixth week in Benin tomorrow. We've kept ourselves super busy and can hardly keep up with all the appointments that we've had. Things at the apartment have taken on a different spin with everybody agreeing to prepare their own food, but we'll get into that later.
To start things off we only baptized 8 of the 13 candidates this week. The five that didn't get baptized were children that want to wait for their parents to get married so we can baptize their entire family together. So we've just pushed their baptismal date back a bit.
Getting the 8 candidates to the baptism on time was a challenge in and of itself. We ended up having to beg the office to let the assistants bring them in the mini bus. Driving with the assistants is awesome, because their car has air conditioning.
All and all we have two families that we're trying to plan weddings for, another family that has been progressing nicely and is pondering baptism, and other investigators that want to know more about what we have to teach. We also have received an assignment to keep our eyes open and talk to anybody that owns a building that the church could convert into a chapel for Cococodji.
One of the biggest problems we have with our investigators is getting them to commit to the 45 minute taxi ride to Menontien for church on Sundays. Having a chapel could potentially double the number of people we could bring to church and progress towards making the covenant of baptism.

With all that said I can start talking about the life of the missionaries when they're in the apartment. This week has been.... interesting. When I first arrived we were taking turns prepping and cleaning up dinner/lunch. After a couple of weeks of people not really making the best of food, doing dishes, or having much variety we decided that we are going to fend for ourselves.

I've basically just stolen a plate, a bowl, a fork, and a frying pan to hide on top of the cupboard because I know when I use them and wash them they're clean. Everything else I can't say the same thing. Almost nothing gets washed by anybody else, and by washed I mean watered down. Soap is too much work. It's only a matter of time before one of us dies from food poisoning. At least we'll die of that and not from dehydration... the water still works! Ants have taken over, bigger bugs are starting to follow, and I can only imagine we'll have rats in a matter of days. I will never ever ever complain about loading or unloading a dishwasher again.

Still no sighting of whatever that bug was, but we've started seeing spiders. Really big spiders. The lizards must eat the spiders, because we've started seeing those more often too. The other day I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to use the bathroom. I opened the door, flipped the lights on, walked in, shut the door, dropped the shorts, turned around, and that's when I saw it. Trapping me inside the bathroom with only a plunger to defend myself was Godzilla himself.

I really don't know how my girlish scream of terror didn't wake up half of Africa. I didn't really have to try to use the bathroom either. It just sort of happened. If somebody could send me any information on the lizards that have taken over this country that would be nice. I really want to try and catch one for a picture; but I'm afraid that it'll eat my fingers, or give me some flesh rotting disease, or something like that. All of these thoughts were flashing through my head as I saw Godzilla just chilling out on the bathroom door.

I was convinced I was going to die in that bathroom. After a good bit of time pondering on the thought pot I realized I had the superior intellect and I wasn't going to trapped by a giant lizard. My escape efforts started primitively. Throwing wads of toilet paper wasn't very effective. Neither was the cardboard toilet paper roll after I had exhausted my ammunition.

I thought about using the plunger as a sword, but then remembered that would require me to be within close proximity of this dinosaur, so I quickly disregarded the idea. Then I thought about throwing the plunger, but then realized I wouldn't have any reasonable defense.

It was then that I realized I was wearing flip flops! Taking aim I let loose the first shoe. When it hit the door Godzilla flinched and moved just a bit. Progress. I let fly the second shoe and he moved a bit more. The next however long it took was spent slowing using the plunger to recover my shoes to hurl at the door. Long story short. It worked and I lived to tell the tale. Really though if somebody can prove to me that these lizards aren't poisonous I'll catch one Goblin Valley style and take pictures. They're big.

So yeah. That's the crazy adventure for the week. I hope you all know why I'm here and that's because the church is true. We have the gospel of happiness and it's our job to make sure everybody knows about it. I love you all and I hope you have the best of weeks! :D


-Elder Cheston Gray



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