Friday, December 5, 2014

Week #48 - Long Days!

Sunday, March 9, 2014
We attended both Kissy 1st and 2nd branches today; Moses Jenneh spoke in Kissy 1st – he leaves in 2 weeks for his mission to Nigeria. We met him within a month of coming on mission; quite a precocious and cocky young man, but Scott has been working with him and encouraging him to serve a mission and it has resulted in him ready to go. We were very pleased with his talk and happy to have him going. His sister just left 3 months ago. Their “mum,” Sister Melville is a remarkable woman – a convert of about 4 years raising her children as a single parent.

In between blocks of church, a set of elders took us by an apartment they had found. Not the best of roads (so what else is new), but very nice looking on the outside; I stayed in the car while Scott went with the missionaries to look around the compound. The owner happened to be around and lives on the premise, so he showed them the apartment. Looks like it is going to be a win-win and negotiations will take place later on this week. While I was sitting in the car, some people were hanging out around the car and when Scott comes back he notices a distinguishing shirt on a young man – Sacramento Kings – go figure.

Sacramento Kings Fan!!!

Scott with a Sacramento Kings fan we found in Kissy while looking for an apartment!

Monday, March 10, 2014
Preparation Day! That means laundry, cleaning of apartment, grocery shopping, and attending the Super P Day sponsored by the Freetown Zone. We, of course, picked up their lunch for them and then watched a movie – Elder Tucker, one of our office elders was in attendance and sitting 2 rows in front of me. During the film there were a couple of scenes of a man annointing and blessing the sick. Each time, as the ordinance began (in the movie, mind you), Elder Tucker removed his baseball cap. I was touched by his respect and reverence for a sacred act that was performed in a movie.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
In the office today until 3:00 and then traveled to Kissy with the Ostlers for a 4:00 pm training of the District leaders in preparation for Saturday's training of the branch leadership. Typically, the leadership in the district and branches “lecture” rather than “train”, so Rachelle and I worked with Primary, YW and Relief Society while Dave and Scott took on the priesthood organizations. The purpose for our getting involved was to get the leaders ready to train the branch leadership on Saturday. Rachelle and I trained in tandem and it was such a delight to be with these wonderful women. Now we hope and pray they are prepared on Saturday. We left the Kissy building around 6:00 pm and didn't get home until 8:30 – long day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Office today and then home by 4:00 for a four hour meeting with the Jests and Ostlers to discuss the training we have conducted and where, and the calendaring of future training. There is so much that needs to be done and it requires small-small steps throughout the process. The Jests will be re-locating to Bo until such time as an apartment is secured for them in Kenema where they will have primary responsibility to train the leadership and develop a program for returned missionaries who many times return home to Sierra Leone and get “lost.” Scott and I, on the other hand will be traveling to Makeni every other week-end likely for the duration of our mission to locate 2 new chapels, create 2 more branches; prepare the 3 branches to become a district, and find another apartment. We will also provide hands-on leadership and guidance to the current branch priesthood and auxiliary leadership to ensure Makeni saints adhere to the Church handbook of instructions and stay on a correct course. Additionally, we will continue to provide support to the Kissy District to prepare them to become a Stake.

Another long day.

Thursday, 13 March, 2014
Picked up supplies from Marian for another possible 4 new apartments. We stayed downtown in order to be close to pick up people coming on Sea Coach slated to arrive around 5:00 pm. Just as we were headed that direction we got a call from Daniel letting us know that the flight had been delayed and they wouldn't arrive until 8:00 pm; so we went out to dinner and then drove to the dock and waited for them. By the time we got them all in the car and drove them to Country Lodge to spend their nights, we didn't get home until 9:00 pm. It is really a challenge to get home at such a late hour and then just get ready for bed. I need to prepare dinner, want to read, check out my emails, look at FB, download my photos and just generally wind down which means I don't get to bed until 11ish and then up at 6:40 am to walk. Explains why I am tired much of the time.

Saturday, March 15, 2014
11 months on mission today!

A new generator was delivered Friday to the mission home. Hopefully once it is set up, Rachelle and I can do laundry (washing and drying) simultaneously with out tripping the connection and the power going completely out.

Out to Kissy before 1:00 pm for District training of the branch leadership and Rachelle and I provided shadow leadership and coaching in the event the training turned to a lecture. I was so pleased with the sisters! They used visual aids, did some role playing as only Africans can, and had audience participation. The theme of the Saturday training and the adult session was retention. With so many baptisms a month, retention is quite a challenge. I just can't express enough what a joy it is to be around these wonderful women! In attendance was a woman from Lungi, who sought out President Ostler to speak with him and she was thrilled to find out that starting in April, Lungi will have missionaries and she won't have to travel by ferry every 4 months or so to attend church. Here name is Zainab.

Beautiful Aftrican missionaries

Elder Edwards and Scott

Eyes do not get more brighter than these!

I tried on her head wrap!

Others joined for inclusion in the snap.

They are not shy!

The back road is open again (so exciting) so we took it, got home around 7:30 pm and met the Call's at Country Lodge for dinner. As we were walking into the entrance to the hotel, we strolled by the kitchen that seems to be under construction and remodel and I saw the biggest rat to-date! Apparently it is obtaining food from the kitchen. Last time I eat there!

Another long day. This has been a week of long days.....

Love to all!

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