Monday, January 6, 2014
Spent the day in the mission office and as soon as I get there, Sister Lauritzen promptly tells me they received a phone from Elder Lauritzen's family and his older brother had just passed away. This sibling is the father of the niece who passed away 2 weeks ago! So difficult for me to wrap my arms around – 3 deaths in a family in 2 weeks!
The Lauritzen's left for home today and we received 22 new missionaries tonight from the MTC in Accra, Ghana. It was a very busy day; so many moving parts and I am exhausted!
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Transfer day! 22 new missionaries had to be assigned to companions and other existing missionaries were transferred to new areas and or/or given new companions. Very long day and add to that, I drove two new sister missionaries out east to the Thunder Hill apartment in very congested traffic with a standard transmission truck. Thankfully Rachelle was with me and kept me company on the long drive; once we got back in Freetown it was to Crown Express to pick up pizza for Elder Aniabre's last dinner meal as a missionary. He returns to Ghana tomorrow after serving 2 years in Sierra Leone.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
Scott had to leave before me this morning and with the extra truck I drove home yesterday, I drove it to the Mission office this morning; my first solo trip from the apartment to the office. We live on a hill, that reminds me of San Francisco, which I would never drive there unless I had an automatic transmission; Scott was kind enough to turn the truck around so it faced forward upon launching myself out of the compound this morning. So as I start up the truck and the guard opens the gate, I gun it and start to turn to the right so I can get out of the gate and up the hill in one motion and not have to roll back and put on the emergency brake; in the process, I forgot about a cement block which I zoomed over that kind of bent something that in turn was rubbing against the back tire; the guard motioned for me to back up (big mistake) so he could straighten it out which I thought he did, but he kept on motioning me to either back up some more, or turn off the truck. I saw my opportunity with the gate completely open and just threw it in first gear, squealed the tires and zoomed up the hill onto the main road while I had the nerve to do so. Along the 30 minute ride, I actually passed a vehicle on the curvy road with no problem! I was so proud of myself. Upon my return home, I noticed a big chunk out of the cement block....
While we were recovering in the office from transfers yesterday, the Campbell's appeared out of no where! They are a sweet couple who live in Kissy, have no jobs, and we see them a lot at the Kissy Chapel (they actually do their laundry there when there is water). In our attempt to find apartments, we have engaged members to help us and if their “finds” result in a signed lease agreement a “finders fee” has been set up to reward them. Well, the Campbell's found an apartment in Upgun that we are very interested in leasing so they came into the office to inquire as to the status. I was shocked to see them and asked how they got to the office. They walked approximately 7 miles! We weren't able to give them positive information about the apartment, but we did arrange for them to come to the mission home and clean the Lauritzen's apartment to ready it for the Jests who will be arriving next week. We “advanced” the Campbell's money so they could take transport to the mission home next week and get home today without walking. It was a sweet moment to come up with a plan to help them financially by providing them some employment.
We are limping along in the office with the Lauritzen's gone. The office elders had only 3 days of training so it is a challenge to say the least figuring out all the procedures to keep a mission running smoothly. They are missed!
Friday, January 10, 2014
In the office to help out the office elders for awhile, who are sitting in for the Lauritzen's. From there, we drove out to Calaba Town to look at a building as a potential meetinghouse and then to Waterloo to do the same. The Waterloo building has great potential. It is located in Kissytown, just beyond the 5/5 area and would service a lot of saints who travel 3-5 miles to get to the Waterloo chapel. One might think 3-5 miles is no big deal, unless you have to walk it, or get two transports to get there; 2 transports are the equivalent of 2,000 leones one way, which translates into $1.00 which is 2/3's of ones total average daily income of $1.50, so that is a lot of money.
While looking at the Kissytown building, Richard Carlos and President Kamara told us of a recent convert who lived just down the road so we paid her a visit. She suffers from some sort of degenerative hip disorder and has a marked limp. Upon seeing her today, I remembered attending her baptism, and she walked to the river! We found out she was taking a motorcycle transport the other day, and just at the intersection of her home when she was dropped off, the guy lost control of the motorcycle and she fell off with the cycle on top of her and landed on her bad hip. Such a cute little young lady, sitting on a bench outside her mom's home; we took a few moments to give her a priesthood blessing, surrounded by kids, chickens and people.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Today was laundry and food prep day; we had 6 missionaries from the Hill Station apartment for dinner – they come from Zambia, Uganda, Fiji, Tonga, and Utah. Very diverse backgrounds and families. A delightful evening and when I called upon them to leave us a message it was themed around companionship’s and avoiding/resolving conflict. I learned a lot from these wonderful elders tonight as each one shared personal experiences from their own families as well as their missionary companionship’s. What they are learning on their missions will serve them well when they are husbands and fathers.
Love and Blessings to all!