February 1st marked four months since we started our mission. I guess time goes fast when you are having fun because it sure has gone quickly. Although, the 'having fun' part does not happen for me when we are traveling to our office and need to go around the dreaded circle or round-about. My dear companion was traveling with Henry to our apartment to fix the air-conditioner, when a taxi cut him off without warning and he was rear-ended again. At least this time, the driver that hit our car was totally accountable, although frustrated with the taxi driver. A good thing is, that it was in the same place we were hit before but, of course, more damage and the trunk would not open. Our car is in the repair shop this week and we are driving a diesel vehicle and will be glad to get ours back.
February is also the start of getting back to apartment inspections, which we do almost every Monday. It was good to have a break during the holiday season, and I find myself a little reluctant starting again because of the traffic and challenge in finding their apartments. It also, is not the highlight of my day to tell missionaries they need to do better. For now, we have 33 apartments that we have to inspect every quarter. In March we will be giving out awards for the 4th quarter of last year and those decisions are made by us. The Sister missionaries always have the cleanest apartments, but at least we give out a 'most improved' award also. This last Monday, I asked the missionaries of the apartments we inspected, what they thought Elder Avery and my daily schedule was. Whether it worked or not, I wanted them to know that we are at our office by 7:30-8:00 every morning and do not leave until 7:00 -7:30 most nights of the week. I was trying to teach them that they have to organize their time and do a little something every day, and then on their 'P' day they get started earlier. I tell them that my companion helps with the cleaning and dishes and that they ALL needed to be doing their part also. We are now doing the 2nd inspection on these apartments and if there are not improvements, I am going to take pictures and show Sister Judd. I know the condition of a lot of these apartments is not ideal, and I take all of that into consideration, but is all about obedience to the mission rules, their health, and 'critters' that thrive in dirty conditions. Anyway, enough of that.
We had Elder and Sister Dalton stay with us for two days this week while their vehicle was serviced. They live in Abomosu, which is one of the areas that is what we call, 'the bush'. They sure like to talk and have a lot to share, so we were their captive audience. I can't even begin to tell the experiences they have had up in that country, but if I mention that he has been referred to as a 'Crocodile Dundee' type, then, if you use your imagination, you will get the picture of what he has experienced with the villagers. The Daltons are wonderful people and truly magnify their missionary service. They work with the members in their branch and are of great help to the missionaries in that area.
An interesting bit of information to do some research on, is what is called the Harmatan. The spelling may not be correct, but it is what we have been experiencing here for a couple of months and will still have for a couple more months, although I am not sure.The atmosphere is full of the sand or dirt from the Sahara Desert and it has its good points and not so good ones. When you think dirt in the air and that it has to come down, then you know the not so good ones, but the part I like is that quite often the weather is a few degrees cooler and the humidity is lower.
I had a good piano lesson with Linda yesterday and the really amazing part,( take heed dear grandchildren), is that it took her close to an hour to walk from her home to the Stake Center. She is 17 years old and has a goal to learn to play before she goes on her mission when she is about 20 or 21. The other amazing part is that she does not have a piano and will have to practice learning on a paper keyboard at home and find time to practice at the Stake Center. I need to look through the information I received on this, before we came on our mission, and see of the possibility of her having her own keyboard at home. I pray I am successful.
Well, it has been another full busy week and I am not able to share only a fraction of it, so I hope I remember it well when I write my personal history one day,(hopefully right after this mission.)
I am so grateful to actually be seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ growing in a land so far from home. It is hard to express the feelings that this brings to my heart, especially when I hear the strong testimonies they share. Each time they declare the gospel is true, I echo yes, it is true!