Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week #38 - Happy New Year

Sunday, December 29, 2013
Attended services in the Wellington 2 Branch, and then traveled home by way of the mission office where I input more CDE's; this assignment never lets up as this mission continues to reap a very large harvest of converts. When we left the office I still had another 60+ to enter before the end of the cut-off date of January 10th; this is not even counting the CDE's that should be turned in tomorrow from the missionaries coming from Bo/Kenema for the Mission Leadership Council meeting.

Scott and I have been reading old Ensign issues of conference reports. I read the 70's, am now on the 80's and he has been reading the 90's. Last night we read one from the 90's and as I was looking ahead in that same conference, I found a talk by Vaughn J. Featherstone entitled, “Prisoner of Love” April, 1992 Ensign. 21 years ago, and the plea for senior couples to serve missions. I actually read the same plea from a conference talk in the 70's. Elder Featherstone's remarks really struck a chord with Scott and me as we read it. Just to quote:

“We are prisoners of love. Come, my beloved brethren (sisters). Let our generation do something great and noble, come join our ranks. Let us march by the thousands out into the vineyards to nurture, teach and bless the tender branches (so true in a mission consisting of more branches than wards). Let us protect and bless the fruit of the harvest. Let us gather the sheaves into the garners, away from the storm, safe from the whirlwind, a holy place where the storm cannot penetrate.”

“There has never been a greater need than now (21 years ago) for an army of mature couples to go out into every far corner of this earth and retain the fruit of the harvest.”

“There is a holy hand behind the divine purposes of God. We can be His 'instruments.”

“........As we come to the latter years of life, we come to a mature spiritual understanding. We have these next years to do something great, important and significant for God, our religion, our wives (husbands) and children. We ought to raise a new title, not a title of liberty, but of love – a banner that will remain long after we are gone.”

Who knows, but what God will grant for us and ours what we do for others? Come, lift your banner high and march with us into the mission field in the spirit of love and caring.”

I needed this talk to rekindle the flame of commitment, service and consecration. I pray God will grant for Scott and me and ours what we do for others here in Sierra Leone!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
New Year's Eve – our first and only 31st of December we will spend in Sierra Leone. We went out to dinner with the Burns and Ostlers; we came home through terrible traffic when we attempted to take a short cut by driving down the wrong side of the road with oncoming traffic, a very angry policeman diverted us into a parking lot. While another motorist in the same predicament was out of his car arguing with the officer, Scott backed up and out of the parking lot and we proceeded to where we came from, taking a much longer route home. I promptly laid on the couch, began reading, fell asleep and came to about 11:45 am. I don't even think I wished Scott a happy new year, and went to bed. Exciting times!

Last Mission Leadership Council was held today for the year, bringing in all zone leaders, sister trainers, and assistants from the entire mission. I believe it will be the last of its kind; the continued growth of the missionary force will warrant a council to be held in Bo/Kenema due to the logistics required to transport missionaries to Freetown.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Can't say that this past year has been uneventful with 8 of its months living in Sierra Leone as missionaries. Today was very eventful, fun, joyful, and emotional.

Richard Carlos and his family invited us to their home for a day of celebration, but on our way, we stopped in Grafton to deliver beds to the elders' apartment and transfer their water system from a hand pump to a switch with an adapter attached to the faucet; the Burns' were with us and needed to stop at the polio camp in Grafton because the Waterloo Zone was providing service by painting one of the buildings in the camp. I am so proud of our missionaries; I feel so blessed to serve with them. Our Grafton elders were there as well, so Scott and Elder Burns left us to “oversee” the painting while they attended to the bedding and water issues in the apartment.

I experience so many emotions when I visit one of these camps; first, such admiration for these people, dealing with their afflictions and how they survive and exist. I looked for the two little boys I met when first out on our mission and within the first week but could not find them anywhere. I then witnessed a scene that was heart wrenching – Rose, who seems to be the matriarch of the camp was holding a little boy in her arms, not much older than 6 months. She named him John. I asked Sister Burns if he was her son and she informed me he was delivered to the camp by someone who found him abandoned along the side of the road by a bridge......words can't describe what I felt for this little guy with Rose confined to a wheelchair doing her best to care for him because it was obvious he was sick. I asked Scott and Elder Burns to give him a blessing; there are no “homes” to enter where it ccould be more private, so while the missionaries were painting, women cooking, and kids all around, the little guy was annointed with oil and given a blessing. What more could we do, and what is the future for this little one?
John from the Polio Camp.

New Year's Day - found this beautiful boy at the Polio Camp.

New Year's Day - Missionaries painting a building at the polio camp in Grafton.

New Year's Day - Missionaries painting a building at the polio camp in Grafton.

New Year's Day - Missionaries getting ready to paint buildings at the at the polio camp in Grafton.

New Year's Day - Missionaries painting, using a stick as the paint brush pole.

New Year's Day at the Polio Camp - unusable wheelchairs

Rose and John
We left the camp and traveled about 20 minutes to Waterloo and the Carlos family compound; very humble circumstances, but Richard is so hospitable and kind. Chairs were set all around outside his home and invited guests included neighbors, members of the branch, dignitaries from the community, the Burns and us. He had us all stand up and introduce ourselves; of course there was very loud music and of course there was dancing as well as a short program. It was just a wonderful place to be on New Year's day. Scott and I have danced so much in the last 8 months I won't be able to keep him away from Church dances when we get home. Apparently, my bunny hop is known throughout the East, because unbeknownst to me, Richard gets up and announces the last shared talent of the day – you guessed it. Some of the young women who attended the activity in Lungi earlier in the month prompted the announcement and joined with me once again. When finished, Richard thanked me for dancing the “body hop,” and it took a few moments to get through to him over the blaring of the music that it was the bunny hop. But, body hop isn't such a bad idea the way I look and all my motion.

New Year's Day dancing cheek to cheek

New Year's Day gathering at the home of Richard Carlos - families and friends.

New Year's Day gathering at the home of Richard Carlos - families and friends.

New Year's Day gathering at the home of Richard Carlos - old and young.

New Year's Day gathering at the home of Richard Carlos - this is a rare shot!

New Year's Day - Scott's new move.

While sitting around and talking, I saw some commotion with a little boy with his head under a bush and I see that he is pulling a rope that has a chicken attached. I am thinking he tied up the future meal for someone, but I am going to rescue it; I proceed over, get on my hands and knees and stick my head in the bush to find 2 chickens tied to the bush with the rope around one of their legs. So while the boy is pulling on the rope, I am telling him to stop and I am trying to untie the chickens! I was amazed at how they didn't peck me as I tried to free them but to no avail so I called over Sister Burns to help me...that didn't work and I gave up quite upset about the chickens. Scott is wondering what is wrong with me but I can't speak. In the meantime, Sister Burns comes back and we find out the chickens belong to the Carlos family, and if they don't tie them up, they will be stolen. There I am a guest at their home trying to free the little the feathered creatures!

The day ended on a very happy and joyful note.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It is with deep sadness I record the news I received this morning on my walk with Rachelle. Elder and Sister Lauritzen, the office couple, were informed today that their 39 year old daughter passed away suddenly in her sleep. They were scheduled to go home the first week of April, but due to this event, they will be leaving next Tuesday after serving for 19 months. Wonderful, faithful, dedicated people; you don't expect something like this to happen while serving as a senior couple on a mission – “we should be exempt from such things by the mere fact we are on a mission, right?” Of course not, but it is still very difficult - though the Lauritzen's are taking it all in stride, as they wrap up 10 months in the mission office in 4 days as well as train 2 office elders to take over their responsibilities until such time as another senior couple come to Sierra Leone. This is not the way a senior couple wants to end their mission. Additionally, two weeks ago, Elder Lauritzen's brother lost his daughter suddenly to death.

Love to all!

Week #37 - Christmas? It was 87 Degrees!

Sunday, December 22, 2013
We attended church with Kissy 2 Branch and low and behold the newlyweds showed up! Decided to come to church before leaving on their honeymoon – NOT! They probably spent their first night together as husband and wife in one of their parent's homes. I did notice that Brother Kamara had taken his blue tooth out of his ear. He wore it for his wedding announcement pictures as well as his wedding yesterday – nice accessory.

We had dinner today at the Ghazzawi's – wonderful Lebanese food and people. It is always a treat to be with them. Marian gave me a skirt for Christmas and Manal gave me a pair of shoes – I feel pretty special.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
What do you do in Sierra Leone on Christmas eve? Leave at 8:00 am in the morning to meet up with “finders” and investigate apartments they have found, and blessed day, we rented one for sure with a second pretty secure as soon as we determine the price. Here in this country, you rent for two years from the get-go and you pay the entire two-year lease amount up front prior to taking occupancy. When we arrived in Sierra Leone 8 + months ago, there were 11 existing apartments in Freetown East and West. As of today and our involvement with finding apartments, we have found 11 more (with at least 10 more before we complete our mission). I say “found” loosely, because of the belief I have, we are just instruments in the hands of the Lord; we do the walking, driving and asking and the people come forward who either own the apartments or who know the owners. In September when we were first given the assignment to find 4 apartments and got a bonus of one, I was very stressed and anxious the entire 6 week transfer period. But as we get more entrenched in this part of our service, it is quite wonderful to see the acquisition of an apartment unfold; it is truly a miracle.

We got home tonight to internet for about one hour and then it went down so I have not been able to complete my email for the week and all the accompanying pictures. Hopefully we will have it tomorrow so we can contact our families.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Woke up this morning to no internet; that isn't good with our desire to make contact with our families today....

We had a brunch with the Burns, Ostlers and Lauritzens which was nice. Food was good as well as the company.

Walked this morning with Rachelle – not too much traffic – even better.

Very uneventful Christmas day – able to Skype Loren, Ryan and Megan, Dan and Bethanne, and Deb/Stan/Mom Kanzler. My family on the other hand – I zigged when they zagged and we did not get to speak to each other today; it made me sad.

Thursday, December 26, 2013
Week continues to be slow and quiet. Scott drove out to Calaba Town to finalize the apartment with a contract; I stayed in the office and don't really recollect what I did....not good.

Friday, December 27, 2013
In the office again after two apartment inspections out east, for a transfer week meeting in order for everyone to be on the same page. There is a lot that goes into transfers, besides the acquisition of apartments such as, setting up the new apartment(s), new missionaries coming from the MTC, companionship assignments not only for the new one's, but existing missionaries, orientation, food prep, transportation of new missionaries to their areas of assignment, and farewells for any missionaries going home. Whew! We the senior missionaries are always relieved when the week is over with relatively few hiccups. Oh, and by the way, transfer week is next week!

We went to lunch with the Burns and Ostlers after the meeting and from there drove down to Aberdeen near the hovercraft dock and did a little after Christmas shopping. No sales per se, just a lot of bargaining in order to reduce the price. Bought some fun stuff, one being a great looking West African shirt for Scott.

Saturday, December 28, 2013
Back in the office today around noon, and I spent a good portion of 5 hours putting away supplies for 3 new apartments, while I kept out all that was needed for the Calaba Town apartment that will be occupied in next week's transfers. There really is a lot to getting an apartment ready.

We are hardly into the dry season and we are already having water issues; the more apartments we acquire, the more water problems we will continue to have; my challenge is discouragement over this and concern for the missionaries particularly when I can't seem to solve the problem within a day.


Downtown Freetown on Siaka Stevens Road

Back road beautiful scenery

Drying clothes on a beautiful winter December day.

Fishing canoe inlet in Waterloo

Young boy with 40 pounds of water on his head.

Young boy and his brother each with 40 pounds of water on their heads.

Young boy, his brother and their mom each with 40 pounds of water on their heads.

We were driving through this crowd!

Just being missionaries on our trip to Calaba Town to check out an apartment.

Week #36 - 8 Months, But Whose Counting!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

8 months today we have been on our mission! Where has the time gone (sarcasm) and how did we fill our time (more sarcasm)? I try to stay in the moment and not look too far forward, but the holidays are difficult as I long to be home with family and friends.

We attended church in Waterloo today; between the boom-box p.a.system, and the first speaker, Divine Gloria Fredrica Walker, I wasn't sure the ringing in my ears would stop. Church is always interesting – most of the time Sacrament meeting consists of the introduction of visitors for the first time, the confirmation of new members, welcoming the new members, sustaining any new convert brothers to the priesthood, and not to forget announcements. Once a speaker gets his/her time, members of the branch presidency have no hesitancy in standing up and passing a note to the speaker that their time is up. This usually happens within about 7 minutes into the talk. Women are “openly” feeding their little ones, cell phones are going off, metal legged chairs on tile make a horrible screeching noise when moved and the chairs are so crammed together it is impossible not to make noise. Just your typical reverent, feel the spirit, Sacrament meeting.

This is the view from my rolled down car window!

Monday, December 16, 2013
After Scott and I helped out the Freetown Zone missionaries this morning, we went grocery shopping. This consists of 3 grocery stores – Mona Prix, Freetown, Nassim's - Bashim's Bakery as well as my produce vendor who hangs her umbrella at Nassim's market. Bashim's has roasted chickens that we eat a lot and I buy all my bread from them. We spent a total of 948,500 leones which translated in dollars is $221.00 or two chickens and sandwich rolls; 4 pounds of ground beef (I think it is actually goat), frozen vegetables, butter, yogurt, cola, mayonnaise/mustard, candy bars; 25 pounds of rice, spaghetti sauce and noodles, Pringles, cream of chicken soup, tahini paste (to make hummus); canned peaches, mandarin oranges, cans of beets, kidney beans, garbanzo beans and oatmeal; crackers; grape/cranberry juice; and 10 rolls of toilet paper and a box of kleenex.

I am already having an emotional day with news from home of loved ones with health challenges, so when we pull up to Mona Prix and see little goats tied up out front, I know what their fate is and as I get out of the car and look back, there are slaughtered goats with pieces of cardboard covering them up – that did it for me; the tears began to flow and ran down my cheeks the entire time in the store. I know animals get slaughtered in the states, and yes, I still eat them, but it is a little more harsh here and difficult for me to witness. In the last two days while reading Christmas stories Megan has emailed me I note the following two quotes regarding animals:
“Kindness pardons others' weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all – the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high.” President Ezra Taft Benson   
“I believe in the beauty of nature – the flowers, the fruit, the sky, the peaks, and the plains from which they rise. I see and believe in the beauty of animals.” President Gordon B. Hinckley
Sierra Leone has quite a ways to go when it comes to the kind treatment of animals, let alone one another!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
We had a 4:00 pm appointment with the single adults out East today; as we approached, the Primary kids were practicing their Christmas program and were dancing to, Feliz Navidad – really cute and of course I had to video it. 

Primary kids showing up at the Kissy Chapel for their Christmas program practice.

The drive out only took about 45 minutes to go 10 miles, but coming home it took 2 ½ hours and we were in the dark! I found Christmas music with jive on one of the radio stations, which helped keep Scott a little more calm and we were able to avoid him running down a motorcycle.

When I got home tonight I had an email from my grandson, Dallin (11 years old). He told me he was looking online for survival items to help us on our mission. Included in the list of 28 items for the Zombie Survival Kit, of which we have the majority, was a suggested firearm that uses common ammunition such as a 12 gauge shot gun or a .308 rifle. Don't think I could have packed that when I came on mission 8+ months ago, however..... he is thinking about our well being here and I am so grateful for his love, concern and daily prayers in our behalf.
Zombie Survival Kit

Rachelle and I were back walking this morning after a 10 day “rest” (she was in Bo/Kenema). Good to be back at it; I keep forgetting to mention a no trespassing sign we have seen in the past. “Private property; keep off! Violators will be persecuted!” Got a chuckle out of that.
Trespassers will be persecuted.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Today was the Kissy/Waterloo Zones' Christmas Celebration. We met at the Kissy building and it was so much fun to watch the missionaries mingle and celebrate. They were having a great time reuniting and just enjoying each others' company. This was the 1st of 2 celebrations where we handed out the gift items that came from home. Scott and I told them of our dear friends from our Stake who wanted to share in our mission by offering gifts for all the missionaries in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission. We really are blessed with wonderful friends. After the gift bags were handed out, they spontaneously burst out in “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” I love these missionaries – stripling warriors as far as I am concerned and Helaman would have been honored to have them join his band of 2,060. See the video here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niDcjBO1yKE&feature=youtu.be and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPH7PoArEkU&feature=youtu.be

We got back into Freetown, dropped off the office elders and made it in time for our birthday dinner appointment at Crown with Marian Ghazzawi (dock lady) and her daughter, Malan to celebrate dock lady's birthday. Just a delightful evening with my Lebanese friend.

Marian Ghazwawii birthday celebration

Marian, her daughter, and myself!

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Woke up this morning to “fog” and wind! Love it! Shorts and t-shirt weather for Americans here in Sierra Leone, but all the locals have on coats/parkas and ski caps. They think it is cold!! It is the month of Harmattan which is defined as follows:

"In some countries in West Africa, the heavy amount of dust in the air can severely limit visibility and block the sun for several days, comparable to a heavy fog. It can even break the trunk of the pine trees, growing in that region, through their dryness. The effect caused by the dust and sand stirred by these winds is known as the Harmattan haze."

Just as defined, it is very dry and what I thought was fog is dust. I felt its affects when we walked this morning and I had to stop because I could not swallow. Our white car is covered in a butterscotch colored fine dust. Eyes, nose and lips very dry – but it is cooler!!! I am thankful for cooler weather.

We drove out east for two apartment inspections in Waterloo. The back road is drivable now and cuts down drive time by ½. It is so beautiful driving in the country. I captured pictures of spring gardens growing in December and West African women (of course the women) working in their gardens. Loved the drive out east today.
The back road is once again drive-able and the and the scenery is beautiful.
The vicor's home just down from the very old church he serves.

Women working in the gardens

Who do we meet on the back road when stopped - Sahr Doe!

Plumbing problem in the kitchen tonight – the water heater has a leaky hose – Scott the plumber is hard at it right now 9:20 pm and I am staying out of his way; I peeked in and saw black liquid running down the wall – not good....
Scott the plumber

There really is a Santa Claus - my mom and brother send us fruitcake!

Friday, December 20, 2013
Next morning and a trip to “Emigh” Hardware resulted in finding the right parts to fix our problem in the kitchen – yay!

Today was the final mission Christmas celebration in Freetown that consisted of the Lumley/Freetown zones. I snapped quite a few pictures while they were gathering and Scott handled the gift giving from home; I stayed at the mission office so the Lauritzen's could be part of the party and actually enjoyed being by myself and taking an inventory of the mission's water filtering supplies in order to place an order for the upcoming year. There is a lot that goes in to ensuring clean water for all the missionaries and all the pumps, hoses, filters, and systems come from Salt Lake City.

We took 2 missionaries home after the celebration and stopped at Nassim's Market to get a snap with the jiving Santa's outside as well as a video. See the video here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpyAGHEztws&feature=youtu.be

Saturday, December 21, 2013
Today was the wedding of Sidikie Kamara and Elizabeth Campbell, and I was on the program to toast to the health of the guests during the reception. Well, the wedding started at 1:00 which actually meant 2:30 (any scheduled time here usually means it will start an hour later). We are sitting in the chapel listening to a choir sing Christmas carols when I hear drums and a trumpet blaring outside and it isn't stopping. I go out to investigate and find the wedding party (minus the groom) all huddled together and rocking to the racket of drums, etc. 
Wedding Party

Groom shows, and the party is escorted into the chapel. The branch president, I thought, gave great counsel that certainly applies to this country. While speaking, bridesmaids would stand up and take turns fanning the bride; usherettes, in the meantime seated late arrivals and later served refreshments to 300+ guests. Ceremony complete, and the newlyweds were ushered out of the chapel to sign the registry and other necessary paperwork to make the marriage valid. 

Wedding Party - Bride, Elizabeth Campbell

Mom attending to her daughter

Guests sat in the chapel and as they were called out over the pulpit, went into the branch president's office to sign the registry as well. It is now 4:00 pm and I am thinking we may make the missionary's fireside in Kossoh Town yet. Not so as the entire wedding party got in the 3 decorated vehicles and left the church to drive around Kissy. We waited and waited and I said to Scott, if they don't get back by 6:00 pm we need to leave; no sooner got that out of my mouth and they showed back up, however, the reception has a list of 13 events and I am #10 – that is at the very least another hour and a half before they get to me. I was truly honored to be the only “white man” on the program, but we opted to leave. It was a very colorful day not only with what took place, but with the women in their native dress – absolutely beautiful! As I sat in the chapel and looked around at many men and women I have come to know and love I felt deep gratitude for being in Sierra Leone.

Wedding party - beautiful Marian Brown

Wedding party - Elizabeth and Marian

Wedding Party - One of the bridesmaids. They stand and fan the bride during the ceremony.




Driving past St. Mary's market just before driving up the hill to home, the store was lit up with Christmas lights!

Merry Christmas and Much Love to All!

Week #35 - Haircuts in a Foreign Country Can Be Disastrous!

Sunday, December 8, 2013
We decided to stay local today and attend the Freetown Stake Conference. Elder LeGrand Curtis was the visiting general authority who lives in Accra, Ghana. Our friend, Sahr Doe was one of the speakers and we sat in front of his wife and children. Little Bob who is only 2 wanted to be on the stand with his dad and because we were on the front row, he had ready access to him. Scott and I managed to keep him entertained through most of the 2 hour meeting with him sitting on Scott's lap. Sahr has become a dear friend to us and we were able to meet his entire family today.

Elder Kanzler and Bob Doe

Sahr Doe Family and The Kanzler's

As soon as Stake Conference was over, we drove to the office so I could enter more convert baptisms. From there we drove to Goderich to deliver some much needed cooking gas to the missionaries. Being the housing coordinators is a never ending job; not only finding new apartments, but maintaining them and ensuring the missionaries have all their needs met in them; water and power are ongoing concerns and issues.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
How to have a fun day? Take a trip to Makeni with the Burns and the AP's and ride all the way in the back with your knees under your chin! That is what I did today! We had an apartment signing and needed to go to Makeni so we invited others to come with us and so enjoyed them! One of the perks of being a senior missionary is taking every opportunity to spoil the younger missionaries – food is a spoiler. They will eat anything and everything I offer them. Another spoiler is a car ride back to their apartment when it is pitch black outside. 

When we got back from our road trip, Scott had to go up to the mission office so I stayed down in the parking lot in the car; missionaries show up and of course they are wondering where we are going because they would like a ride - “get in.” No sooner do they, when 2 more show up on the scene who are in the same apartment - “get in.” They were from the states, so they understand my sarcasm and sense of humor and we had a delightful few moments together driving them to their apartment. I just love these guys!

Elder Sumrak and I were crammed in the very back of the car.

Elder Sumrak not used to riding in the car for 3 hours.

Thursday, December 12, 2013
While Scott drove out east with Markus to look for more apartments, I stayed home to wait for the plumber to come and fix the upstairs kitchen faucet while the Ostler's are in Bo/Kenema for 10 days. The Burns came over later today to do their laundry. They are now completely out of water, and Guma refuses to drive the road to get to their home to deliver water to them. So, with the Ostler's gone, Burns were able to use my washer and Rachelle's simultaneously as well as the dryers and get much needed laundry done.

It was so nice to stay home and be casual in my dress. I put on my cleaning outfit (bleached spots on both pants and shirt) and cleaned bathrooms using more bleach!
Scott came home to a surprise dinner – meatloaf and baked potato – one of his favorites. I must say it was very good; we have been eating so much chicken of late I forgot how good beef (hopefully it is beef and not goat) tastes!

Friday, December 13, 2013

I entered CDE's all day until we had to leave at 2:30 pm for my haircut appointment. 

I asked these two to do some alphabetizing for me.

They finally got it all together for me.

Elder Nwosu was under the weather or he would have been involved in the project as well.

I look like a pin head – the guy is Lebanese and doesn't speak a lick of English and apparently my “not too short on the sides” was misinterpreted; it didn't help that I took a little snooze either. They say the only difference between a good hair cut and a bad hair cut is 2 weeks. This one may take longer.

Brother Kallon (served as a branch missionary with Elder Hill), who is now Elder Kallon left on his mission today to Nigeria. When we got to the office, he was taking his luggage down to the parking lot, and I recognized the suitcase – Randy and Carrie's. It will be well used. Too bad (not really) I won't be around to see it in two years when he returns.
Scott with Elder Kallon - the suitcase belongs to Randy and Carrie Smith

Finished up the rest of the Christmas bags tonight. They will be handed out next week when the missionaries from the west and east gather for a little Christmas celebration.
Ready to wrap the sisters presents!
The last of the ties, socks, pencils, pens and rings all "wrapped" and ready for delivery.

Saturday, December 14, 2013
Today, we dropped off a medical kit to the sisters in Lumley and then out East to Kossoh Town while Scott worked with the branch record's clerk to get some members transferred to Waterloo. We also took some medicine to one of the missionaries along with some sheet music I was able to download for him and 3 recipes (easy doughnuts, easy scones, and corn dogs). I don't know how these missionaries think they are going to find all the ingredients to make these tasty treats, but why burst their bubble.

On the way home, we stopped off at the Kissy building, thinking the District was hosting a dinner for the leadership; it was the Kissy 2 Branch having their end-of-year party. We stayed for a little while. The branch president, Fomba, gave us some great news. His wife is having twins; Sister Fomba delivered a baby last February and it died 2 days later, so they are very happy about twins. He also told us of a dream he had while at the temple for the week – a dream about his deceased grandmother who he hadn't prepared the necessary paperwork for her to receive her temple ordinances. She had come to him in the dream and told him not to forget her. My guess is, there are more stories of this type we just haven't been told yet.

Love to all! Robin