It’s been a long time since I wrote anything. I am embarrassed. The reason I haven’t been writing is…laziness. That’s why I am embarrassed. After not writing for a long time, I thought the website package I bought had expired. But I checked a few days ago, and realized it had been auto-renewed. I remember not choosing the auto-renewal option as I created the website. Don’t worry, WordPress has stolen my money. I will sue them! I wasn’t writing also because I thought my website had expired. Is that an excuse? You see how lousy one sounds when he tries to make excuses for laziness? So I repeat- it’s laziness.
I am in the Democratic Republic of Congo now. I am a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; that’s my church. We, the missionaries, usually walk in pairs. You are supposed to be with you companion always, except when you are in the bathroom. What we do is that we preach to people. We have lessons we are supposed to teach. So we study with the person and after some time we invite him to baptism when we feel he is ready. Our preaching is very goal oriented. Our ultimate goal is baptism. We have planning tools you won’t believe. If a missionary is diligent a lot of thinking will go into his activities.
Right now, because of Corona virus we don’t proselyte. We’ve been told to remain in our flats as much as possible. On a normal day aside the normal things every human being does, I mean bathing, etc., I read scriptures, read other books, exercise and practice the piano when I am not bored. Practicing the piano is difficult. The average time I play is about an hour every 2 days. My goal is to play 2 hours each day, but sometimes I just don’t feel like playing. I have been keeping record of the number of hours I play, so I can’t lie to myself. I keep track of a lot of things as well. Like the number of pages of scriptures I read everyday, the number of times I exercise, even the number of hours I sleep. Sometimes, I get so lazy I don’t keep records. But generally, I am doing well in my record keeping. I wanted to add keeping track of expenses, but I felt it will be like counting beans. A chore. Absolutely boring. Besides I am not a heavy spender.
DRC is a lot like Ghana. They even look like Ghanaians. They speak French- they were colonized by Belgium. So I am learning French. Tu sens mon français? Ça va aller. You feel me? I probably made a lot of mistakes in those two short sentences. I’ve been here for about six months but I still can’t speak fluently. Whenever I feel like the language is becoming familiar, I will find myself in a situation that makes expressing myself difficult. But with the help of body language, I can usually make myself clear. I can return to Ghana at anytime. That’s the decision of church leadership. The problem is that we are having difficulty getting a flight for repatriation.
As I walk the streets I imagine if I am perhaps walking through the footprints of my grand dad. He was a soldier. He served a peace keeping mission here. In fact, I am in the same province he served, Katanga. I wonder if he breathed the same aroma from cooking pots. I wonder if he saw some of the same old trees I have seen. The sunflower bushes. Felt cold. The mist which embraces you in the morning.
My mum tells me an apocryphal story where my grandfather got separated in the forest from the troop when he was here. An old woman appears out of nowhere and leads him to the right way. In all that time, she spoke Twi. And the Congolese don’t speak Twi. They have four local national languages. What I want to say is that most people speak one of these four languages, although there are other dialects in the country. They speak Lingala, Swahili, Kikongo and Chiluba. This makes the story strange.
So that’s what I have been up to. So long!