Friday, December 5, 2014

Week #49 - Gary Gecko Came and Went!

Sunday, March 15, 20114
Freetown East District Conference today and it was historical. The district was divided into 2 districts and the new names are Kissy District consisting of 5 branches and Kossoh Town District consisting of 4 branches. In 3 months or so, there will be an additional 3 new branches in the Kissy District taking it to 8 branches. The church is growing rapidly and it is a challenge to keep up with it. The Kissy chapel, though still under construction, was, however able to use the extension to seat most of the members, though overflow was outside and standing until more chairs arrived. It is so exciting to be loved and accepted by these wonderful people and be a part of their lives for a moment in time. 

District Conference

R & R

Rachelle Ostler, Sahr Doe, and yours truly

Relief Society Presidents of branches and district

Relief Society Presidents of branches and district

Saints attending the Freetown East District Conference

Saints gathered for Conference

Three young ladies at the conference

Young woman at the conference

I wore an African outfit I had made and the ladies loved seeing me in it. I have no wish to offend them by intruding into their dress culture but they are thrilled when I dress somewhat like them. I will never be as beautiful in the garb as they are with their black skin and eyes. Their high foreheads make wearing the wraps so stunning; when I tried one on yesterday, I just couldn't pull it off as well as they do. One sister remarked to me today as we were having pictures taken of our Sunday dress that I was now Nyanda which in Mendi means “you are our own and we are your own.” I will leave a part of my heart in this country when I go home.

I am now Nyanda - I am theirs and they are mine!

Monday, March 16, 2014
Scott has been without the use of our printer at home since yesterday, so he has been staring at his screen ever since uploading, downloading etc. to try to get it to work. I, of course, am printing at will and don't know what his problem is when after about 2 hours, he performs a test print and has success! In the meantime, I need to re-charge my tablet and cannot find the cord that was plugged into the same power strip as the printer. I am looking everywhere for it when suddenly Scott pulls it out of his laptop and says, “you mean this?” He had it plugged in thinking it was the connection to the printer. That explains why he couldn't print. So how was he able to do a test print today? With all the efforts he made for 2+ hours, he managed to connect wireless to the printer. He is so proud of himself.

I finally made a phone connection with Shirley in Santaquin. She sounds good – got through the surgery and just waiting for test results and further plan of treatment. I have been blessed with her friendship for over 40 years.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Kissy Zone Conference today and it was held in one of my “favorite” driving spots – the Thunderhill Branch. 

Kissy Zone Conference

We get there and I need to use a restroom and can't find one without disturbing the conference so I look around outside for some privacy; not going to happen. I go back inside the chapel, find the bathroom and it has the generator stored in it. By this time, I am desperate, so I crawl over the generator to get to the toilet, but can't sit (wouldn't anyway) so I must straddle the toilet bowl! I am so grateful that I am still somewhat flexible (attitude as well as physical).

Woman vs. Generator

We had a dessert farewell for Elder Aluka this evening. He is from Nigeria and goes home tomorrow after serving a two year mission. He told us of his home and family, a story that is not unique. When he joined the church at 15 in 2002, his mom disowned him and he left home (father was already long gone) and lived on his own until he was 24. In the meantime, he stops going to church, but always knows it is true and he returns to activity and prepares himself to leave on a mission just prior to his 25th birthday. No one in his family knows nor really cares, so he gets himself ready and receives a call to Sierra Leone. Just barely 6 weeks out and he must return to Nigeria for hernia surgery, but stays with a friend. 7 weeks of recuperation and he returns to the mission. Mother's day rolls around and he calls his mum; she asks where he is and he tells her he is out of country doing missionary work. Fast forward to this evening; tomorrow he returns home and who will be at the airport to greet him? A fellow missionary who served here. Where will he live? A friend who was his seminary and institute teacher has invited him to live with his family until he can find work and get back into school. The stories of hardship, resilience and faith are endless.

Kanzler's and Elder Aluka returning home to Nigeria

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Skyped Megan and Ryan last night to get more details on some health issues. Though we are thousands of miles away, I am comforted after talking with her and listening to her options.

Grandson, Carson is getting baptized on the 29th of this month and Scott and I have been asked to prepare a 10 minute baptismal talk. We will video it to and upload to Youtube to ensure it is playable on that special day.

I took my Doxy this morning on kind of an empty stomach – that was a big mistake. Within minutes, I had terrible stomach pains and nausea that lasted most of this day, and we made a trip to Kissy to see our friend, Moses Jenneh off on his mission. He will be serving in Nigeria. He was quite emotional which is unusual for a West African man; his friends and relatives were somewhat mocking him for doing so stating such words as “be a man.” I tried to reassure him it was alright for him to cry; shows he cares for his family and friends and loves them. I wish him well; Scott and I will likely never see him again. He was one of the first members we met out east and he was always happy to see us, greeting us with his wonderful smile and handshake.

Me with Moses and his mum

Moses with his mum

Scott with Moses Jenneh departing on his mission to Nigeria

YMCA in Kissy

YMCA in Kissy

YMCA in Kissy

YMCA in Kissy

Friday, March 21, 2014
When I got home from walking this morning, I went into the kitchen to wash my hands and as I turned on the tap and leaned over the sink, out jumped Gary (the gecko). He scared the bajeebers out of me; I think I might have jumped a little higher than him and I know I let out a yell louder than him. His eyes were bulging out of their sockets and he couldn't get out of the sink. Scott to the rescue as he scooped him out with the strainer and placed him on the outside window ledge. Hopefully he sneaks back in somehow as he keeps the cockroach population at bay.

Saturday, March 22, 2014
We are in Makeni for the week-end. Today's objective was to look for apartments and buildings that can be used for chapels. The plan is to split the current branch and make 3 branches out of it. Elder Hill was a great help as he had scouted out places in advance for us to view. It is so hot here and I would say at least a 10 degree plus difference than that of Freetown. After looking around for most of the afternoon Scott and I drove downtown Makeni to do some “window” shopping – not! Just parking the car is a challenge and once out of the car, the motorcycles are everywhere honking before they hit you – they do warn before impact. We gave up and checked into our our -1 star motel. I am grateful it is only for one night. The last time we were here, I ate something that caused me problems for two weeks, so this time I came prepared with bread, honey and peanut butter. I figure for 24 hours, I can survive along with water. Scott isn't too happy about it though I gave him the option of eating out and I would just take my sandwich along.

Love to All!


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