Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ramblings of Elder Semkens - 2 Febuary 2014

2 February 2014
To all of you,
    Where or Where did January go??  
The mission has been very busy as usual.  Except for one delightful sister we have just had the normal amount of sickness.  Every missionary has responded well.   The one sister from the Congo returned home for some medical treatment.  We think that she will return following her recuperation.
    It seems that all new missionaries go through a period of adjustment that they may question why they are here.  The president takes his time and can see their future and knows that they have been called to Benin to serve two years by the prophet.  It is extremely rare for a missionary to return home because they decided that Benin isn't paradise.   I only know of one.  I think that as the missionaries go through the various trials and challenges of any mission that they come to know who they are and a little about how the lord tempers them for life and for eternity.  These young men learn a lot about persistence and team work.  
     Yesterday, I attended the baptism in Gbedjromede.  Unlike a year ago my behavior was significantly different.  The baptismal font had not been filled.  It took until a little after 11 am to fill it.   The service was suppose to start at 10 am.  My type A behavior a year a go could not handle that.  The water runs slow here.   Some of the missionaries used a bucket to pull water out of the well to shorten the time to fill the font.  Yes the were in their white shirts and ties.  I showed them a little trick on how to keep their ties clean and not get wet.  Either take your tie off or tuck it in you shirt.   Oh, they said.   They were wonderful.
   We started our monthly apartment inspection.  The apartments were good.  Some better than others.   Does this sound familiar:  A before an inspection of one of the apartments I found a few things disgusting:  Trash in the hallway for example.  A lot of trash.  I counseled them to get rid of it.  When I walked into the apartment I looked for the trash.  It had magically disappeared.  While no one was looking I opened a seldom used door to a balcony, yep, there was the trash!  Unlike a year ago, I just mused.  I then gathered the missionaries together and led them to my discovery.  It was looking in the closed close to hide the clothes not hung up, or looking under the bed for the hidden soda pop can.   We all had a nice laugh.  They asked if they could just drop it over the balcony.  
      We got more mail on Thursday.  Yes, some more packages arrived that had been mailed in November.   One 4 November 2013.  
     February will be a busy month again.   Zone Conferences and a missionary conference in Togo and Benin with a General Authority.  A few missionaries will have a visit with the General Authority.
     Your missionaries are doing well.  Thank you for your prayers.   They pray for you as well
                 Elder Semken

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