Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Africa, Alarms and Armor


NIGERIA. This week was another busy week! A man approached us on the street, said he had been taking the missionary discussions in Nigeria, and told us he wanted us to keep teaching him. Sure, we can do that! Our friend group continues to grow, and we can teach even more people. It just means we have to always get better at bussing around the city to fit in the appointments we have. This has definitely been the busiest area of my mission.

IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. The embarrassing moment of the week was last Friday night. We had gotten to bed and were trying to sleep, when someone rings the doorbell. We assume it's a prank and ignore it. But they ring again, and a third time. So we go see who it is: 3 of the young men from the ward (congregation). Two live out of town and came to the third one's house for the weekend, but his mother had already invited guests. She told them to find somewhere else to stay. So they came to us and asked if we could open the church for them to stay the night.

I thought sure, we can do that. They asked for the keys and I said no, we can't give those out -- but we can walk you to the church and let you in. So we walk over, about 20 minutes, and I open the church and we walk in around 11:20. But there's this beeping noise. We look over and see the alarm. Uh-oh. That, I didn't know about. So after a minute of looking at it, it went off: air raid siren, lights flashing on the grounds.

We panicked and left the church, locking the door and walking away (because running would be suspicious, obviously). It keeps going off and I think "Well, I've got a problem. Better call someone before a neighbor calls the police."

So I call the Bishop, and he doesn't answer. Fortunately, one of the youth has the Bishop's wife's number, so we call her. She picks up, and passes the phone to the Bishop. I explain the situation and he tells me how to shut off the alarm, but also that we can't let people stay in the church. Never, never, never. Hmmm. I wasn't aware of that. Oops. In any case, I turn off the alarm and tell the youth they can't stay there, sorry. And we walk back home. Got back around midnight (they end up staying at the Bishop's house).

Last chapter: in the morning I decide to call President Dibb, let him know that we messed up. He was, understandably, pretty mad. He made it very clear that we are not to let anyone stay in the church overnight: missionary, member, or anyone else! Also, being out so late doesn't fly as a missionary. So, a note to those going on missions: follow the mission rules and you won't get into trouble. I didn't know that we couldn't have people stay at the church overnight, but if I hadn't left the house after working hours, it wouldn't have been a problem. Even if it seems like a good the Bishop and have him deal with it; he knows more than you.

That was my "face palm" moment of the mission! Hopefully you got a laugh out of it, and not just a groan...

EASTER DAY. Also, Happy Easter! That's a happy event. Hopefully yours was good. We had ours at home, alone (with a "gift" meal from a family). This was not due to rude members, but due instead to me working hard and not realizing that Easter was coming up, and it not coming to mind that one ought to spend Easter with friends or family. It was a calm Sunday, nonetheless.

LANGUAGE STORIES. And yesterday, on the train, we ran into some Mexican exchange students. They were 2 girls, studying French and German (living with host families), were visiting a friend, studying Italian. It was cool to share language stories, and fortunately they spoke English. So I would listen to their Spanish, and ask my questions in English.

Embarrassing, though, that all I could manage in Spanish was "Soy americano. He vivido en Mexico por un ano, pero se me olvido casi todo. Entiendo pero no hablo." (I'm American. I lived in Mexico for one year, but I forgot almost everything. I understand but I don't speak it.) They were cool, though.

(SIDE NOTE FROM MOM: We told David to focus on the Italian and not worry about losing his Spanish -- a year in Mexico and 3 years of it in High School. We think when he comes back he'll be able to review his Spanish, and it will come back to him.)

TURIN SIGHTS. Today we saw the Royal Palace, Royal Armory, and an art gallery. Seeing that I'm not returning to Torino for awhile, I should take advantage of the museums and such. The armory was really cool: displays decked out with swords, crossbows, guns and armor. And the rooms in the palace were also really cool, full of chandeliers and gold and fancy frescoes on the ceilings. In the gallery, though, my favorites were the landscapes. Mountains, forests, seascapes, villages, just beautifully rendered. The paintings of people, meh. The nature scenes, super cool!

Have a lovely week!
Anziano Whitesell

No comments:

Post a Comment