Glad to hear that California was a lot of fun. Sounds like you did everything that was fun (did you go to Legoland? I've always wanted to check that place out.) I agree that that is definitely a quicker car trip than for HCP. It wouldn't feel like very much time at all these days. Especially after the 30+ hour itinerary coming home that I could have.
We don't do late night driving here. Latest I've ever been out on the roads was about 8:30 PM, and that was because we were taking the Cococodji Elders back to their apartment. President and Elder Semken once were out later due to an emergency, but our members in the government freaked out and told them they should never do that. As far as what we drive, we have a Ford Ranger, a Toyota Hilux, and some sort of really narrow Toyota bus that I'm pretty sure doesn't exist in the US. There are a lot of interesting car brands out here, lets put it that way. I've been really surprised by the number of mercedes and BMWs that I've seen. Also, there are Peugeots and some other European brands that you never see in America. I'm getting a little better at driving again, but I'm mostly just letting Elder Burkhart do most of it. He doesn't mind much. I'll try to get a picture of the car after we come back from a Cococodji trip. It can get really dirty if it rained recently.
Teaching has been going a bit better these last few days. We actually just set a baptism date for a teenager named Romario. 15 June. We had fixed that date for our Nigerian investigator as well, but we haven't been able to see him this week and we won't be able to cover all the material with him in time (it's a little slow with him even when we do see him). I'm excited for Romario though, he seems to really be getting it, highlights in the chapters we give him to read, and has been sharing a little bit with his friends and family. We're hoping to get some contacts from him in the future. That has been one thing I have really noticed here in the office. All of our investigators that have progressed have been ones we received as contacts or contacted us themselves. I never received enough contacts in any other area to notice it. Lets hope that that continues.
We got to watch the priesthood session this last Monday for a "mission FHE" activity. We called it that so that the sisters could come too. Except we had speaker problems, and the projector died twice, and the last two talks never did get downloaded so we just read them out loud.... 2nd world problems (fun fact, Benin was literally a 2nd world country, it was allied with the USSR in the Cold War). It was still really good though. I really liked Elder Uchtdorf's priesthood talk.
I'm still missing two sessions of conference, but I've had the chance to read most of the talks anyways. I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that I only have one conference left on the mission!
You want to know something interesting that happened to me? You do? The other day while we were doing companionship study, the Census man came by! So I've been officially counted on the 2013 Benin Census. I'm sure that will be fun for my great-grandchildren to see on Family search v 8.6. Except apparently my middle name is Elder. Still kind of interesting. I can only imagine how hard it is to get an accurate census here with all the villages and everything.
Another cool thing that happened to me is that I received a letter this week. Not just any sort of letter though. No, this was a letter from Jerusalem. Shout out to Katie who wrote me two months ago in the Jerusalem Center just to test to see if a letter could make it from Israel to Benin. Myth Confirmed!
Downside of the week is that I had to go out to Cococodji again to look at more branch buildings. Usually this is okay. Unfortunately, the dust and dirt really got on me and I had a huge cough for the next day. I ran through an entire bag of Halls breezers in one day. But hey, I never needed them until now. I'm feeling a lot better already though. Cococodji really needs a branch building though. The first week they had their group at the missionary apartment, they had 50 members/investigators show up! And they are looking to have even more at church tomorrow! We are working on that.
Elder and Sister Semken are going to Togo tomorrow and Monday. This means that it is just us Elders running the office Monday. I've been entrusted with the finance office key. in case of emergency. The joke is that I'm trusted with the safe, but not the oven. Security levels here are very clear on that regard. But the safe is locked anyways, and I don't know the code.
This week I got to try and help Elder Semken with the accounting website/program we have for all the credit card transactions. It was interesting to see a very accounting scenario. In someways I had no idea what I was doing, and in other ways technology felt natural. Unfortunately, we got so stumped to the point we had to call in to Salt Lake. The problem...... The website didn't support Chrome. Oops.
You bought me a phone? Thanks I guess. You'll have to show me tomorrow what kind.
Speaking of talking tomorrow... I'm thinking that that will be before church your time. I should call in about 8 or 8:30, unless something goes wrong. Then I'll be calling at about 11:30. So know that if I don't call before, I'll call then. But everything says I should be able to call in the morning your time. Excited to see you all tomorrow!