We were told we couldn't call Elder Gray until after 8:00 Benin time, because they had things to do in their Sector and would not be able to take time to stop and talk. When we did call it was from Grandma and Grandpa Gibson's house in Idaho and I (mom) just sat in the van and talked to my missionary. Other family members if they wanted to talk could come outside and sit in the van and take a very short time. Admittedly I wasn't very good at sharing the minutes. It was so wonderful to hear his voice and feel his spirit of excitement over the phone. He is doing well and excited to be working hard with his new Companion Elder Bulunga. Christmas Phone calls are a missionary moms best present.
Brunch at Walter's apartment
Here is an excerpt from Elder Hawkin's blog:
Wes is a member of our Branch in Gbegamey, probably the only American I have ever seen attend a branch here wasn’t a missionary. He works for the US Embassy and has been here for a little over two years. He’s basically been all over the world: he’s a return missionary from South Korea, he’s been to Egypt, all over Europe, South America, etc. And now he lives in Benin!
So, last Sunday, he invited all of the missionaries of the branch to come and have brunch at his place. Arriving there, I entered into a little slice of America. We had to take off our shoes and I think it was because he knew we would want to feel his amazing carpet with our feet. It has been over a freaking YEAR since I have walked on real carpet and rubbed my feet in it…oh my gosh it was so joyous and one of the best gifts ever!! Also, we sat on real furniture which was just as glorious.
Then we ate brunch that he and his girlfriend (who is visiting from London) made for us: potatoes, quiche, scrambled eggs, real thick ham, and best of all, TOAST! It has been almost a YEAR since I’ve even seen TOAST! I put REAL BUTTER on it (with fake syrup, but I’ll let that slide. I have real syrup back at the apartment.) It was magical (though not magically delicious as there were no Lucky Charms offered). And then we got to drink APPLE JUICE AND ORANGE JUICE, which I have not tasted in OVER A YEAR. Again, it was magical.
Elders Gray, Bulunga, Brou, Maxwell, standing by a decorated Tree, that is about as much decorating as you will see.