Sunday, February 23, 2014
I think today was one of the best Sunday's I have had for worship services since being in Sierra Leone – the reason why? No generator! We visited the Thunder Hill branch this morning at 9:00 am and the fans and lights were working but not because of the generator; NP power had kicked in. It was so peaceful and reverent in the chapel and without a microphone working I could still hear the speakers (surprisingly Scott and I were the concluding speakers – didn't know it until the branch president asked us to come to the podium). As I was sitting in the chapel watching people arrive, a sister sits in front of me with her toddler and husband. It is obvious they have walked as he literally takes his finger and wipes it across his forehead and the sweat runs off of it. She has perspired through her dress and it is moist because she has probably carried her child on her back during the walk to church. I sat there thinking of saints at home, who call for rides to church and can't come (or won't come) if someone doesn't pick them up. This family I watched today will likely never own a vehicle in their entire life, but church is important to them, and they don't give it a second thought about the probable 30 to 45 minute walk to church.
We drove to Kissy to meet with both branches; Scott attended Branch Council meeting in Kissy 2 and I was making a video of the Young Women in Kissy 1. Once again, lights and fans on but no generator. What a difference! Pray for more consistent electrical power in this country. I had a request from a sister in New Mexico to video a group of Young Women reciting the YW's theme as well as share some of the challenges they face. I was expecting comments like – no running water, no electricity, no inside toilet, no car, no refrigeration, no money (average household makes $1.50 a day); must fetch water every day at the community well; cook over a charcoal burning fire. None of these challenges were even mentioned. They were challenged by friends of other faiths or being the only member in their family. To view the video, you would think these beautiful young women were quite well off for living in a 3rd world country, but they are not; yet they do not know what they don't have and they simply live the Gospel and are simply happy!
It was a great go to church Sunday.
Had the Seader's over for dinner tonight; they are the replacement couple for the Burns, serving a humanitarian mission. Ostler's got home after picking up another 2 missionaries at the dock so I fixed them a couple of plates and then we headed upstairs to play some cards and chat.
It has been a delightful Sunday.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Fun day! Walked this morning, fell this morning, shopped this afternoon, stiff tonight from the fall, but all is well.
Rachelle and I had a fun day shopping downtown. Visited with my friend the Dock Lady and as usual, she had a bling-bling bracelet for me and food/drink to eat. Lots of fun shops downtown with African material to buy; the colors are so beautiful. I have never been comfortable with negotiating lower prices, but it is the way of life here and I am getting better at it though I still probably end up paying too much. My day's purchases were scraps of material to make napkins, a pair of shoes off the street, and some kitchen items for home. Oh, and a beautiful West African blouse, though I found a teeny, tiny spot on it that “bugged” me, so the merchant said - “give me until Friday and I will make you one exactly the same.” I am good with that.
Downtown Freetown is one ginormous Deseret Industries!
Not quiet Nordstrom Rack!
Kanzler's and President Ostler
Friday, February 28, 2014
I have been challenged all week preparing the Mission History and getting it ready to send to the church historical department. Just when I think I have it all together and ready to email, I try to attach the document and it is too big; consequently, I begin the process of determining which photos I am going to delete and in doing so, the file is still too big. Today was my goal day to send it in and here it is 9:00 pm and it will have to wait another day.
Can I just say this has been a difficult day and week? I have not felt well, so Rachelle brought down a pill yesterday to “relax” me and let my system settle down; it relaxed me alright! I took it around 3:00 pm fell into a deep sleep came to at 9:30 pm and managed to eat some dinner then to bed at 11:30 and slept until 8:00 am. I got up and was still feeling the affects of that tiny little blue pill. I was “dopy” until around 3:00 pm today when it finally began to wear off. That is the most sleep I have had in ages! I do feel better though. That tiny blue pill carried quite a wallop!
I don't think there has been a day on my mission when there has never been a problem of some sort or other; I get calls or text messages every day from someone requesting something, needing something, or wanting something fixed. It is like always having a file open on my desk. It reminds me so much of my career for 40 years. I am not one that can leave it at the office, step away and relax. I am wound pretty tight (I am sure there is someone out there in addition to Scott who will verify this); how I wish I could just let it go and pick it back up in a day or two. But I have been this way my entire life so what makes me think I can change now? Next mission? 6 months – Dream assignment? Sitting in a lounge chair somewhere with my feet up, pushing a button to let people in the door. Though that could become stressful if the door didn't open when I pushed the button.....
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Haven't had a driving adventure with Scott of late, so he thought we should have one today. We drove to Kissy to check out an apartment that one of our missionaries found. We dropped off some supplies to missionaries at the church building then began our little jaunt up the road a piece to look at the apartment. We came upon a church member to ask him for further directions and he kind of led the way and when we came to the street of location, Winter Street, the member took one look at it and declared, “not drivable.” For some abnormal reason, that doesn't deter Scott; he gets out of the car looks up the road, comes back and gets into the car and declares, it's drivable, no problem.” He turns on to the road, I have him stop the car, and I get out and walk, while he is behind me driving the car. At one point, people are just hanging out and as he approaches this very narrow space that is all broken up, he starts one way, but they call out to him to come “this way.” It is just nuts what he thinks is drivable and what really isn't. (Click here for the video)
It is March - the hottest month in Sierra Leone!
Love to all!