Monday, October 21, 2013

The African lifestyle doesn't even make me think twice now!

Nengo ehh? (Sweet Huh?) This is Mende. 
(Mende is a major language of Sierra Leone. It is spoken by the Mende people and by other ethnic groups in southern Sierra Leone.)

Sierra Leone

Dad, what's up? How is surfing? Does Zac go with you?

Mom ... how do you make banana bread? Can you send me a cook book? I have stuff to make breads.

(In response to our questions to him about Christmas there) Yeah, a lot of missionaries wont be getting stuff for Christmas. Even letters are cool to send. You should send letters to Elder Hales and Elder Manzini, because they are my companion even Elder Buah who was my MTC companion and Elder Ameworlor, he's a good friend. Even the family can write to them. Yeah ties are sweet for Elders, and candy is great! I don't think they need anything else.

I have to worry about getting sick all the time! Last Sunday I was really sick. I threw up so much! So I have now gained back an appetite for the main things we eat here!

We mostly eat carbs. Rice, noodles, bread, and some veggies and some meat, usually chicken. When we go to peoples houses to eat, we usually get different meat, like cat, dog, maybe even monkey. I eat lots of bananas here, even oranges, and mangos are coming soon. You can buy 5 bananas for 25 cents here. Its so sweet. The fruit here doesn't change colors, it stays green all the time, even when it is ripe. No more yellow bananas, or orange oranges.

 Elder Hales left on Wednesday so we decided on Tuesday we would go and get some Niki soupwii (groundnut soup) its like a peanut paste, made into a soupy sauce and you add meat and spices, you put it on rice and eat it. It is really good. We went to a local shop that makes it really good, got a coke and sat down and talked until we got our food. Every time I have gone to this place I have had different meat. First, cat, then chicken, then mystery meat then a fish head. When you get your meal you get the rice with the plasauce on the side. When the bowl of Niki was placed before me, I couldn't tell what the meat was today. I poured some of the sauce on the rice to drain the bowl so I could recognize what meat I was going to eat. It was dark, black, and it was almost like a tube. I played around with it, using my spoon to flip it and flop it around in my oily brown soup. I thought for a time that it was some kind of intestine. I even poked it and a ball about the size of a quarter or soo came out. At this point I thought it was a goat leg, and a piece of meat popped out. It had skin and hairs on it, so I thought that I was eating goat. The ball that popped out seemed liked bone marrow, at least part of it tasted like it. I split the ball shaped meat in half, dipped it in the Niki and took a bite. It was salty and it was even airy. After I swallowed and re-examined the mystery casing I was eating from I knew what it was..... I had just removed one testicle from the scrotum of a goat and ate it. I re-examined and confirmed I just ate 'the goat"!

The infamous "Goat" mystery meal

Elder Hales knew the whole time what it was, and he never told me. Well I decided I had already eaten some, so Elder Hales and I made a bond of friendship and I ate the rest of the one I split in half and Elder Hales ate the other. The skin was very chewy and I didn't finish it, mostly because there were still hairs on it. Yep we eat it all here.. 

Walking down the side of the road, seeing the crazy African lifestyle doesn't even make me think twice now. Its not weird anymore. Everything seems normal....well except for going to the bathroom by an investigators house. The public bathrooms are  just a tarp made into a circle using sticks to hold it up. The tarp only reaches to my chest, so I can see everyone and they can see me.

I cant wait to see how big the church is in two years. They are sending so many missionaries here, we don't have anywhere to put them, so we split areas. There will be elders everywhere, everyone will know the church! We are definitely laying a foundation, at least in my area. On page 13 of Preach my Gospel are a ton of quotes about missionary work for the members!

I haven't seen General Conference yet, I will get the Ensign magazine before I'll get the dvd of conference. I can't wait to meet Elder Dube (one of the Seventy who oversees West Africa ). I will most likely get to meet him if he comes here!

Elder Dube

Well to all people reading this .... go find a missionary and ask him for a "Gospel of Jesus Christ" pamphlet. Read it and share it. Too many people don't even know what the Gospel is.  Everyone in the church knows about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but not everyone knows what was restored. Yeah the church and the priesthood were restored ... but what is the fulness of the gospel that others don't have?

Welp ... that is the only commitment I have for all of you today. I think I'll give commitments from now on... I guess I am a missionary!

 Elder Beckett

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