Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week #27 - She Says

Never a dull moment in Sierra Leone!
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Here it is Sunday night at 10:00 pm and we just received a call that # 4 apartment is ready to sign tomorrow morning at 11:00 am. These past 6 weeks have been some of the most challenging and taxing of our faith and determination since we have been on our mission. There has been a silver lining through all of this; we secured a 5th apartment without even really having to do any work! It is located in Kossoh Town. The missionaries found it, Scott looked at it, it is one of the most reasonably priced, is in a good location and looks great even inside, and the contract was signed all in a matter of 6 days. We truly feel blessed about this.

Scott went into the kitchen to do the dishes when he calls out to me to “come and look!” The biggest cockroach I have seen to-date so I rushed to get my camera while Scott is corralling the big critter. Too late as I couldn't get a shot off before he scrambled under the hutch. I got out the bug spray. He could only hold his breath for so long before he came out from under and Scott smoshed him with the broom.

Attended two branches for church services today – Wellington and Thunder Hill.

While waiting for the meeting in Thunder Hill to end, Rachelle and I had occasion to speak to a young single woman with a baby boy she had named Alma. Such a beautiful little boy. The mother is neighbors with the James family and through their influence the young woman decided not terminate the pregnancy early on nor to give him up to an orphanage; in fact, the James family might end up raising the little guy as this young mother of 18 seemingly has no intentions of taking care of him on a permanent basis. 

This takes me back to my days as a Stake Relief Society President and I would sit on a panel at LDS Family Services where young single women, sometimes accompanied with their own mothers would be counseled about the positive options of adoption and placing their babies with a family where there is a father and mother in the home. These young women struggled with so many emotions because of the bond they had already formed with their little ones and I would say, well over 50% of them opted to keep their babies and raise them. The grandmother's were a deciding influence as well because they did not want to give up their grandchildren. Life here in Sierra Leone is so different and difficult.

On our drive home, just as we approached a round about, I noticed some people gathering and looking (they are very curious here). Come to find out as I looked their way, I discovered it was a homeless man who had died on the sidewalk. Given this very poor country and even though the average wage here is a $1.50 a day, there are individuals who live below that and this man was one. My thought as I saw him, “rest in peace.”

Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Today is the 6 month anniversary of our mission and I spent it home all day with a sore throat!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Up at 5:15 this morning! It is transfers day and new missionary orientation. Scott had to travel out East to bring missionaries in for orientation. I was dropped off at the office to do some catching up because of being out of commission yesterday. I walked into the office to a “see” of luggage! About a ½ hour later, young men began to appear looking for food and direction. Transfer week can be quite hectic and we are always happy and pleased when we haven't left someone stranded somewhere when it is over.

New missionaries getting on the bus from the ferry for the ride into the mission office.

Mission Office after orientation of new missionaries.

We later drove to pick up 4 training elders to come into the mission office for orientation of new missionaries. As we were rambling up the road to the Smart Farm apartment with 2 missionaries already in the car, we saw some sort of commotion at the local watering hole and as we got closer, it was a dispute between a man and a woman and it was quite violent! The two missionaries we had in the car jumped out and were able to diffuse the situation, but it was a scene I have never witnessed before and never hope to see again.
What a day! Yes we “secured” 5 apartments, but they aren't quite up to all that is needed for our beloved missionaries to function adequately, but we will get there.

To top off this day, around 3:00 pm a meeting was starting that Scott needed to attend, but we also had 2 sister missionaries waiting to be transported out to Thunder Hill and two out there who needed to be brought into the mission office. Rachelle and I were trying to figure out how this was going to work when she suggests that we take the sisters out. That meant one of us had to drive and she quickly turned that task over to me. I DROVE FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY!!! 

I drove for the first time today!

It was wonderful and so liberating. Rachelle made sure I didn't drive into any gutters on her side and I made sure I didn't take out any open car doors on my side; we had a great time! It made my day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013
More purchases from Marian for apartments; ongoing issues with apartments and transfers this week. I was glad when this day was over, though not looking forward to tomorrow.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Three missionaries went home today, and 2 were sent off on their missions. This is always a bitter/sweet experience when it is African missionaries; the likelihood of us ever seeing them again in this life is very remote.

Elder Animba returning home to Nigeria

Elder Asiedu returning home to Ghana

Sister Belinda Brown returning home to Nigeria.

Our dear friend Princess Melville who left on her mission to Nigeria

I drove the car again! Rachelle and I were sitting around as our husband's were going into a meeting, and we had missionaries who needed mattresses in Thunder Hill. We looked at each other and said, Yes! Got in the car, I drove and she was the co-pilot. Much more confident today than I was 2 days ago. I really like being able to drive.

Our trip to Thuderhill to deliver mattresses to the missionaries.

On second thought let's put them pack in the car and give the elders a ride a little further down the rode.

Later in the day Scott and I delivered mattresses up the hill to Lumley to Elders Taylor and Evans.

There they go up to their apartment.

Saturday, October 19, 2013
We were involved in a Single Adult Summit planning meeting today. It was a historical moment in Sierra Leone as it was the first of its kind. A senior couple, Elder and Sister Petersen, serving in Accra, Ghana came and conducted the meeting in preparation for the summit planned for April of next year. Games were played as part of the day and these wonderful African saints had such fun and were filled with laughter.

The 1st of its kind in Sierra Leone. Single Adult leaders meeting to begin preparations for the Single Adult Summit in 2014.

SA Summit Planning Committee Meeting. 

We met up with the Petersen's afterward and had a late lunch with them at their hotel. This is their second mission to West Africa. They are from Gilbert, Arizona. Just good people.

Played cards with Robert and Berta tonight. They leave Sierra Leone in May for a new assignment and we will miss them. Robert has the days left calculated at 200.

Much Love!

Another Snap:

Little Alma the Youngest.

1 comment:

gary said...

Kanzlers, Keep up the good work! Enjoy your blog and getting an occasional glimpse of our son--Gary Serafine