Monday, May 1, 2017

"Why do you look...rugged?" - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Typical Jungle around Kade.
Dear Family & Friends,

Sunday morning I stepped into our little rented branch house and wiped my face with my bandanna. After removing the bandanna from my face I noticed it was now red from the dust that had clung to my face from the taxi ride from Abomosu that I had just taken. I hadn't shaved since Friday, I was wearing the same clothes I had since I had left Kade on Friday. The senior couple, the Ballsteadts, were there for our branch conference and after greeting me and looking at my dusty, shabby appearance Elder Ballsteadt asked, "Did you wake up late?"

If you want to understand this story better, draw the top left corner of a square and label the bottom point "Kade" the point where the two lines meet forming the 90 degree angle "Asuom" and the last point on the far right side "Abomosu"
About a 30 mile journey on a bumpy, dusty, hot road.  Sounds like fun!

On Friday we planned for our week and taught a few lessons and then went to the taxi station at 5 to travel to Asuom to meet the zone leaders so we could exchange. The purpose of the exchange would be for Elder Msomi (our zone leader) to interview our baptismal candidates. IMPORTANT: all stations in this part of the eastern region close at 6, so the last time you can leave any station in Kade, Asuom, or Abomosu is 6 o'clock. Also Asoum, Kade and Abomosu are 1 hr away from each other, Kade being 2 hours because you have to travel through Asuom to get to Abomosu from Kade. So Elder Ofosu Hene and I met up with the zone leaders at Asoum on Friday night at 6 PM and caught the last cars going to Kade and Abomosu. The Asoum elders don't have an apartment in Asoum, they sleep at Abomosu apartment, traveling the hour to Asoum to proselyte for the day each morning and traveling home each night. Saturday morning Elder Morris and I got up and followed the normal routine, I had packed a backpack with all that I would need for an overnight stay. we proselyted through all of Saturday, it wasn't easy traveling there, but we had a good day. At 5:15 PM we got a text from Elder Ofosu Hene and Elder Msomi saying, "Emmanuel was late, we just started the interview. After completing the interview at around 6 they called us and we decided the best thing to do was to endure and continue the exchange because by the time the elders from Kade would walk from Emmanuel's house to the taxi station there might be a taxi, but there certainly wouldn't be a taxi for Elder Msomi to get home to Abomosu at 7 PM, nor would there be a taxi for Elder Ofosu Hene and I to get home from Asoum to Kade at 7 PM. Riding in the taxi once from Abomosu to Asoum is enough to make your shirt really dirty, especially because they cram 7 people into every taxi.
Elder Ofusu Hene on a footbridge across a stream.

Coming back to Abomosu that night I had no clean garments, all of my clothes were dirty,and because it was Saturday we had church tomorrow. I would be taking the sacrament in Asuom. As soon as we got home I bought a little pouch of wash powder at the provision shop and washed a pair of garments and my white shirt and put them on the line to dry and prayed that it wouldn't rain during the night. My prayer was answered and I ironed my shirt and put on my fresh clean garments to go to sacrament meeting. My pants are to heavy, they never would have dried overnight so I couldn't wash them. It was interesting to me as we went to the station in Abomosu to get a taxi to Asoum to go to church we crammed all 4 of us in the back seat of the dusty taxi, the driver cranked the hip hop tunes and an elder sitting next to me said, "I can't wait to feel the spirit again when I'm going to church" I got thinking about his statement and the sacrament prayer,  "and keep his commandments which he has given them, that they may ALWAYS have his spirit to be with them". As I stepped into our little branch house in Kade 1 hour taxi ride from Abomosu to Asoum, 1 hour sacrament meeting, and another 1 hour taxi ride from Asoum to Kade later I realized what it means to always have his spirit to be with you. Sure I was dirty, I felt nasty, the taxi ride's were anything but peaceful or tranquil, and a stubborn little kid was smacking me in the head most of sacrament meeting, but I knew that I had the spirit with me, because I was doing everything I could to keep his commandments. I wasn't feeling comfortable by any means, but I knew I could take comfort in the fact that the spirit was with me.

After telling the Ballsteadts this story, they felt a little sorry for me, but now understood. There was a lot of other things that happened this week, but the best news is that Emmanuel and Derrick will be baptized next week!

I Love you All,

Love, Elder Peters!
The local Loan Office?
Looking closely at this, that looks like rocks on a drying rack...or it could be some kind of nut. (Elder Perry emailed me that these are Cocoa Beans drying and that it makes an awesome smell in the village) 

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