We were on our way to a rendez-vous, and there was a massive pond in our way that we couldn't get around. We stepped into water that was up to our waists, and we trudged through the swamp water. My companion cried for help, and I turned to see a snake swimming towards him in the water...
Okay, just kidding, haha, Attiegou is not that African. But seriously, I am in love with this town. Here are just a couple of "I'm in Africa now" moments I've had this week:
- There are these cool/creepy flying insects that swarm lights in the evening. Freaky, but cool.
- We found a patch of our sector that is seriously village. It's tall grass, large ponds, and little huts. Maybe not legit village, but still, this town is awesome.
- We had about three massive Noah's Ark rainstorms this week. One of them happened during a zone meeting, so we were trapped inside the church for a while. The second happened while me and my companion were out proselyting. We stayed inside a member's house for several minutes, doors closed, in a small one-room home lit only by flashlights and cell phones. Afterwards, when the rain was tolerable, we trodded and sludged our way back home. When it rains, the red earth turns into slick clay. It's slippery, fun, sometimes annoying, and epic. The third one happened after church.
- After a rainstorm, bacteria/fungus/stuff grows in the ponds leftover from the rain. When the water evaporates, the bacteria mixes with the red clay, making this epic scarlet/deep green mix on the ground. It looks so cool.
- Crossing a rain pond using bricks as stepping stones.
- To avoid muddy roads, walking on a short brick wall, road on my left, corn field on my right.
- Tasting baobab. There is a member that makes it, and it's delicious! I love it! (:
- Going to the Marché at Kodjaviakopé. It's the Togo equivalent of Benin's Marché Tokpa, and it's so much better. The people are comparatively nicer, things are much more calm, the prices are much more cheaper, there is less yovo-price-jacking, and there is a better access of legit African souvenirs. I love it!
- Walking to our last teaching appointment of the day, after nightfall, we were walking with a member along a road, and in the distance, I see a large pond in the road. Then, of all things, I hear a deep chorus of croaking. Like, the croaking you hear on something like Planet Earth. In my head, I think "No way." That's right, they were bullfrogs. I didn't see them, but for a good two minutes, and again on the way back home, I heard an epic bullfrog croaking soundtrack. Totally made my day.
The Togo adjustment is going better. I'm still helpless when it comes to the sector, but I think I'm getting my feel for the life here in Togo. I'm growing to love it more and more, and each day is its little adventure.
Eli, Noelle, and Louise all have their dates fixed for the 25 June. Also, I mixed up Celestin's situation. The patron of his school is actually officially too old to fund his school, so he is now officially free to join whatever church he wants. He came to church for the first time yesterday, and he loved it. We're going to order a Braille Book of Mormon for him, and we plan on fixing his baptismal date for the 25 June as well. We also plan on fixing a baptismal date for Philomenne and Brigitte, the wife and daughter of a member.
The sector did improve, from a numbers standpoint, just a little bit this week. Little by little.
Me and my companion, well...
Sacrament meeting in a legitimate, Church building was awesome. The Spirit was more tangible. The Attiegou ward is much more organized, comparatively speaking. We aren't getting any contacts from members, which is hard, but I feel that if we work hard and earn their trust, we'll start changing things. There is a member who is trying to learn piano, so she gets top piano priority in sacrament meeting, but if she doesn't know a hymn, I hop in and play it. The Attiegou piano is so much nicer than the keyboard at Akpakpa.
If there is a spiritual thought for this week, I would say it would be becoming a daily Christian. In the third hour of church, we talked about "True Greatness," and during a group discussion, we came to the conclusion that acts of selfless service make us truly great, and that true greatness is charity. One member said that true greatness, as demonstrated by the Good Samaritan, is focusing on people more than obligations. I really liked that, and I'm going to try to apply that more in my daily life. It all starts with prayer, which has been such a big help to me this week. Pray to the Lord, and He will show compassion to you and to others (see Ether 1). People are the most important things in life.
I love you all. Have a super epic week, stay together, and know that I love y'all soooo much!
Mawu ni fomi (God bless you),