Elder Semken, Sr. Missionary's 8/2/13 ramblings

To all:
      This early morning I walked to the local bakery.  As I entered I could smell the aroma of hot fresh bread which filled the whole bakery.  It reminded me of  the homemade bread made by Francine and my mother too.  Two minutes is all it took for me to return home and slice the hot bread.  I put butter on it and wished that I had some honey.  What a wonderful way to start the day.  
     We do not have any new missionaries coming or going home in August.  This will allow the missionaries to settle in without any interruptions that are caused by entering the mission field.  That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it provides a time for some longer term planning, and teaching of their investigators by the same set of missionaries.
      We now will have 18 new missionaries coming to the mission on October 16th.  Who knows if they will send more then.  They are all from Africa.  We do know that we will get another 6 sisters by then. Bringing the number to 18.  I think we will slowly continue the number of missionaries up to 120.  We will have about 110 by January.  I wouldn't be surprised to see more.  We could double the number of missionaries in our mission.  All of the missionaries would continue to teach 7 or more lessons a day.  However, it is very important to grow prudently.  We are climbing mountains one step at a time.  We do it as the Lord wants it done.  Constant and Consistent.
     These young men and women are well prepared as they enter their field of labor.  Sure, they have a lot to learn, but they are ready for this great task.
      Someone said, I hope that you, Elder Semken don't judge Benin and Togo on just the city life that we see.  Please don't leave until you have seen more of the countries.  Last week, the President and his wife along with Francine and I were invited to travel about 1 1/2 hours north of Cotonou to visit a village of only 600,000 where a member grew up.  He showed us some marvelous scenery and groves of Teak Trees, etc.  I took the time to look for and photograph butterflies.  Yes, this is a beautiful country.
     The rainy season that didn't happen.  I am told that this was one of the driest seasons recorded.  Many of the crops will not produce.  There is a second mini season that starts in about a month and lasts for about 2 months.  I hope these people get the proper and necessary rain for the production of food.
     A branch was divided last week; and I know two more will be divided in a the next month or so.  So, you can see your missionaries are doing their work well.  they appreciate your support.
      See, you later,
             elder semken