Well. I managed to make it another week. Things here are still fantastic. I really need to just bring my day planner here so I can give a quick overview of everything that happens in the week.
Basically things are as good as they could be for a missionary. We brought eleven investigators to church, have five of those scheduled for baptism on the 6th, and after we help two couples get married, we have another twelve or so that hopefully could be baptized as well. (this week not all of them came to church and some of them could only afford to send the fathers/moms to church).
When it comes to finding new investigators... we just walk from one appointment to the next. As simple as that sounds is just about as simple as it is. People stop us all the time and ask us who we are and what we're doing. We mention that we're as missionaries to invite people to come closer to Christ they're all over it. We get their phone number, give them ours with a pamphlet on the restoration, find out where they live and when they can be there with their family, and that's that. I've heard it's not that that throughout all of the mission, but at least for the people of Cococodji are ready for the evagil.
However, there is opposition in all things. I have discovered that the first week I was here was probably the easiest I'll ever have it. There is a whole slew of things that we have discovered are wrong with our apartment. The power has been all sorts of unreliable and is off more than it is on. It's the same way with the water now. This afternoon and Sunday were the only days that I was actually able to use the shower. The rest of the week we've had to use buckets. Not as much fun.
We've discovered that it's kind of hard to wash 'n prep things for dinner without any water and even harder to do dishes/clean things up afterwards. After that there is the whole it's hot and humid and we need to drink water part too. That part is kind of important.
It's been a really big adventure leaving the apartment with a large bowl/bucket thing and drawing water from a well to do all these things. How many missionaries can say that? Not many. It's kind of awesome. OH! Ok before I forget. I've got to talk about the mosquito nets.
So when I got here and it was hot and crazy humid and really really really hot and dry and hot I didn't notice that we didn't have mosquito nets over our beds because we didn't need them. There weren't any bugs. Then it rained. Did I ever mention that the two things I probably hate more on this planet is being hot and bugs? I guess I forgot to put that in the papers because it's really hot here and after the rain there are a lot of bugs. Really BIG bugs. Scary bugs. I... HATE... bugs.
Anyway. After it rained in the morning and after getting back to the apartment that night I started finding little bugs here and there around the apartment. That's when I realized that I didn't have a mosquito net. So I asked where it was. The other missionaries made fun of me and called me pansy, baby, other words that I didn't know because I don't speak French, and yadayada. Ignoring the comments I hung up my net. .
After a good hour or so and about ten minutes before we all should have been in bed we starting find more bugs. BIG bugs. The next twenty minutes was a massacre. Armed with brooms, mops, and whatever we could get our hands on was used to kill a seemingly endless number of bugs. I'm glad nobody was able to film the ordeal. The whole bit was kind of embarrassing. Four twentyish year old young men screaming like four year old girls swinging at anything that moved would have been quite the sight.
After things somewhat calmed down was when the other Elders realized they didn't have their mosquito nets out. That was priceless. One of the best nights ever.
This morning nearly all of missionaries in Benin gathered to play a game of football. It was legit. Everybody had uniforms and we had a referee and another team to play. The other team were members and their friends. They cheated by bringing people that actually knew what they were doing. I haven't really played much soccer for serious in my life and knew from the get go I was in way over my head.
I tried to explain to my team that I had no idea what I was doing, I don't know how to control/pass/shoot the ball, but that I was going to run around like the silly white man that I am and try to make something happen. Whatever I did worked because I managed to score the only point for our team and tied the score at 1-1 before it ended. I kicked it in and then just of stood there thinking now what. I figured I should jog back to the line like I would after scoring in lacrosse and then I got ATTACKED. Apparently scoring is a big deal in soccer. After the game I found out that I'm the first white guy to ever score in one of the games here. Beginners luck I guess.
So yeah. Things are great here. The work here is about to explode. It's seriously just a matter of time and a little bit of money put into chapels, books, and basic church supplies. The biggest problem that we have is getting people that can actually pay to come to church. Nearly no one here has a reasonable way to transport their families however many miles it is to church here. It's really hard to help someone take that leap of faith to spend money on going and not work for the four hours or so that they would be gone. The people that do are immediately blessed and we can only hope that spreads.
I love you all and if you have any questions let me know. Also I've heard that missionaries are now allowed to email friends as well as family so I y'all could get me emails from anybody that wants to get this email/pictures I can put them on the list.
Love, Elder Gray!