We actually managed to slip in a little missionary work this week in between all of the business chores that crowd our weekly schedule. There is a young man in the Gbedjromede Branch by the name of Obed. He is 12 years old and was baptized a year or so ago. Normally we don’t baptize children by themselves (without a parent) but in Obed’s case, he was a neighbor to the Relief Society President and a good friend of her children of the same age. He wanted to be a part of everything and kept after Soeur Black for a Primary song book until she finally got him one here. I think she wrote about that in a previous blog. For that she earned her first African kiss from a young man. He wanted a subscription to the Liahona magazine but didn’t have any money so I let him come over and wash the car and paid him enough for a one year subscription. (It only cost $2 over here because the Church tries to make things as inexpensive as possible for the member to afford. Sometimes that can cause problems because Bibles also sell for $2 but on the street they bring $6 so we have to be careful we don’t create a business opportunity in the process of trying to get scriptures in the hands of the members. A $4 profit is a very good day’s wage over here) Obed never missed church until a couple of months ago when we suddenly became aware that he was not attending any more. We started asking questions and found out that he and his dad and little brother had moved away and word was that his Dad didn’t want him to attend any more. We got Lillian and Hendick (the Relief Society President’s children) to go with us and show us where they now lived and paid the family a visit. They invited us in and were glad to see us. We had met Obed’s father before but didn’t know him well. I told him that he really needed to come to church so he would know what Obed was being taught as he needed to be comfortable with it. Turns out he went to school for 3 years to become a Church of Christ minister, knows the Bible well and seems to be a very good man. Last Sunday they came. On Wednesday we set up an appointment to teach them and had a very good lesson which Obed helped us to teach. He is a very smart kid. This Sunday they were not able to come but we are hoping he will continue or at least encourage Obed to participate.
We are very proud of our new Super Walmart here in Cotonou. Well, maybe not exactly a Super Walmart but a very nice similar kind of store opened here a few weeks ago. The Erevan store has wide aisles, a great variety of things from food to hardware and is in general very nice. Prices are a little higher than the smaller markets where we normally shop and it is located by the airport, which is a ways away, so I don’t suppose we will change our allegiance but it is nice to have another possibility for shopping.
Pierette, the little daughter of Pierre and Rosemond, turned one year old on Sunday. We were there to help Rosemond when she was born one year ago so it was a good occasion to help her celebrate. We have not been over there as much lately so she cries when she sees us coming. We are making progress as she will tolerate us now. Her birthday was like our birthdays at home–the older sisters were more excited than she was.
It was a fun time to be with their family. She did not think much of the cake, though, but the rest of the family appreciated the refreshment. We also visited the two little girls of Charles and Helen Briga. Their aunt and uncle are taking care of them while their parents are away with the military. We got our usual grandma and grandpa welcome!
We have been driving a lot on the muddy streets lately and the pick-up was in a pretty sorry condition. The kids are out of school for the summer holiday so we asked Obed, Lillian and her brother Hendrick to come over and wash the pick-up. Most of the kids have almost nothing to do so they were most eager to help us out, especially for a few cfa’s.
They took the assignment very seriously as every inch was scrubbed and shined. Besides, it appeared that they enjoyed the water and they went away with big grins on their faces and so did we!