Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week #28 - Ah, Talent Shows!

Sunday, October 20, 2013
Got up early this morning to travel out East for a branch conference in Thunder Hill. The Ostler's went with us and we dropped President Ostler off at 8:00 am and while he conducted temple recommend interviews, we drove to Wellington and then to Kissy to deliver supplies to missionaries. When we arrived in Kissy two elders came down the stairs; the next thing I see is a bucket being lowered by a rope with church magazines in it. They were delivered to the wrong apartment and Elder Maxfield decided to save himself some time and rather than come down the stairs, he just lowered the bucket. Clever guy!
Elder Maxfield rather than come down the stairs to retrieve the tracts, sent down the bucket instead.

After dropping the Ostler's off at sea coach, we drove to the Ghazzawi home and had lunch with them. Marian called me earlier in the week and invited us. It was so fun to be in their home. We met their youngest daughter, Malan, who is a pharmacist. Home made Lebanese food – was quite good. We love this wonderful Muslim family.
3 generations of Ghazzawi women! We had lunch with them today and felt so welcome!

Monday, October 21, 2013
Took a much needed “preparation day” that consisted of laundry, banking, cooking one of Scott's favorite meals – Spaghetti. Invited two couples to dinner but no takers; less cooking for me though this week as we eat spaghetti for 3 straight meals.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Administration to the sick and afflicted today. This morning we visited an apartment to take the temperature of a missionary so I could report to Rachelle his status as she is in Accra, Ghana until Friday. Found him doing much better so drove into the office or awhile before we had to leave at 2:00 pm to get out to Kissy to speak with another missionary. We then had a meeting with President Kpullum to clear up some issues regarding the Temple trip that is scheduled for November 25th. On the way home, we dined at Crown Express. Such are our days that are very long and can be quite exhausting.

We were going to take a little trip to Bo tomorrow to deliver supplies to our senior missionary couple living there, but we are delaying the trip until Thursday.

Utah license plates on a taxi in Sierra Leone!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Fun times today at the Chinese Friendship Hospital in Kossoh Town! Not a soul speaks English, let alone Krio. We were there for a chest x-ray and it took 3 hours. 364,000 Leones later and we were out the door with a prescription we couldn't understand that consisted of licorice to help suppress a cough. Sounds like a lot of money, but it totals about $90.00 for doctor's visit, two x-rays, the doctor reading the x-ray; the prescription being filled and then returning to the doctor to prescribe the dosage of the medication. I would say I got a pretty good deal! Got back to the office around 4:30 pm and loaded up the car with all the supplies we are taking to Bo tomorrow.
Chinese Friendship Hospital in Kossoh Town.

Traveling back from Kossoh  Town we stopped to hand off supplies to the sisters. Sister Nyawe had to stick her head in the window to feel the air conditioning.

We met with the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Exploration earlier today. He has an apartment we want to rent. Very charming fellow. Seemed to take a liking to me; let's just pray it helps secure the apartment. His office was up 7 flights of stairs (elevator not working) and at each floor as I was huffing and puffing, while West Africans commented “good exercise!”

Thursday, October 24, 2013
We drove to Bo today and are spending the night with the Schlehuber's. They are the senior couple living here; they will be going home in December and they have spent their entire mission 4 hours away from the Mission Office. They also service Kenema which is another hour's drive east of Bo. At any given time there have been approximately 40 missionaries serving in these two towns and the Schlehuber's have served them acting as nurse/doctor, church distribution, apartment maintenance – you name it. Additionally they have served and mentored many branches of the church. Good, faithful, optimistic people.

Kanzler's and the Schlehuber's

As I got ready for bed, I picked up a bottle of filtered water and placed it on the top of the toilet tank; turned to get my toothbrush ready just in time to see the bottle slide off the tank, do a 180 and end upright in the toilet bowl! New bottle....

Friday, October 25, 2013
Visited some of the newly acquired apartments this morning before we began our drive home from Bo. At one stop, I just sat outside taking in the sites, when a couple of kids show up and are talking to me in Mende; of course I can't understand them, but they just want to hang out with me with one little girl wanting to touch my hair and pinch the skin on my arm. By the time we were ready to go, it was quite the gathering.

I was just minding my own business when a crowd gathered.

I drove for 3 hours of the trip home through very beautiful bush country. We got home in time to pick up the Ostler's at sea coach as they had spent the week in Accra, Ghana. I was never so happy to see Rachelle as the “burden” of being available for sick and afflicted missionaries was lifted off my shoulders and placed back on hers. I gained a greater appreciation for her and the responsibility she has to care for “missionary sons and daughters.”

We met the Burn's at Crown Express for dinner and had a delightful evening eating and chatting.

Tomorrow is a busy day – the Single Adults are having their talent show. It is scheduled from 3:00 to 7:00 pm. I can only hope they start on time.

Saturday, October 26, 2013
Before driving out to Kissy, we stopped in at the Mission Office to pick up some supplies to deliver out east, and the found the Ostler's taking up new residence in our little corner of the office. President Ostler determined he didn't need such a big space, so while the 4 of us were gone, Lauritzen's and assistants swapped offices. Our room is now quite big and Scott sits at the president's desk – a very big desk.

So, how do I even begin to describe the SA Talent Show! We knew it wouldn't start at 3:00 pm, so we planned to be there at 4:00. We get a call from Moh Moh asking us where are we? They are waiting for us to start - we tell him we are on our way and to start without us. We roll into the parking lot around 4:15 and sure enough, they should have started on time because there are at least 100 people already there. Scott scampers off to get drinks for 200+ people, and I am left behind trying to get Moh Moh to start the program. By the time he gets a microphone kind of working, and re-writes his agenda 6 times, Elder Hovley approaches me and informs me he has a baptism he has scheduled! I just added more changes to Moh Moh's agenda. I finally get him to start and it is 5:00 pm and Scott is no where to be found. Twenty minutes into the show, and we have a moment of spirituality while a single adult convert is baptized. 200 + people take their very noisy chairs and turn them around to the font for a one minute ordinance and then turn those obnoxious chairs around again to face me.

Elder Hovley had a baptism during the talent show. Over 200 people to witness this ordinance.

The talent for the night – a 4 piece ensemble (2 trumpets and 2 drums) playing, I think, a jazzed version of Come to Zion while a young man has a broom stick twirling it and then balancing it on his forehead and then his foot! Then a brother told a story using all the books from the Bible; from there the talent went a bit south as it was impromptu dancing that I thought was somewhat questionable. In the meantime, Scott finally shows up, just in time for me to attempt to bring the night back to some group entertainment by introducing and teaching the Bunny Hop to them. I wasn't able to download the original music, but was able to take one of the African songs that had been blasting for most of the evening and use its' beat to teach the hop. I demonstrated, and then had Scott join me – never know what Scott is going to do once he gets on the dance floor and sure enough – I am hopping backward, he is hopping forward and vice versa. Quite entertaining to the group as they were cheering, laughing and clapping. Some then joined us and it was quite fun, but so aerobic I was out of steam within about 5 minutes and couldn't go on.

Additionally, we had a round of musical chairs – all women participating and are they ever competitive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gXyHAZpxBo&feature=youtu.be). I am trying to control the situation to no avail and when it gets down to just two women and one chair, a time out is taken in order to draw a circle with chalk that they must stay outside of in order to keep the game somewhat equitable. The winner is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F89ZJEh-Y4k&feature=youtu.be

Missionaries teaching while the talent show gets underway!

SA Leadership motto

Samuella in the make-shift kitchen preparing refreshments.

The SA talent show growing in numbers.

These trumpeters were definitely loud.

On our very late drive home, Scott tells me of his adventures while getting the drinks, thus the reason why he was late getting back; what was a simple task of buying 150 bottles of water turned into a man from a restaurant where he first stopped to get a price, following him to 3 other stops and then back to the church, claiming Scott ordered 50 sandwiches and that he needed to be paid. So while I am trying to control a crowd of 200+ he is out in the parking lot with Sylvanus, President Thomas, the sandwich guy, the parking lot guard, a policeman and a passerby who are all yelling at each other trying to figure out what to do with 50 sandwiches! Now that is talent!
Love and happiness coming your way!

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