Saturday, December 6, 2014

Week #50 - Everyone Should Have a Markus on Their Team

Sunday, March 23, 2014
Home from Makeni after only a 2 ½ hour drive. I am so thankful the back road is drivable again. It cuts off at least 45 minutes to an hour of travel time not having to drive Bai Burah and Kissy Roads. There were at least 170 members in attendance today and thus the need to split the branch; it is bulging at the seams. Scott and I will finish out our mission spending 2 week-ends a month in Makeni training, and preparing for the division of the branch.

Elder Hill of Makeni and Scott discussing proposed chapels and apartments.

 Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I got to the Mission Office yesterday and found an envelope on my desk addressed to Elder and Sister Kanzler. I opened it up to a letter from my grandson, Carson, and included in it was Flat Stanley! He made it to Freetown, Sierra Leone in just 14 days. He is going with us on the Kissy ferry tomorrow and will spend the day in Lungi. As the story goes, he is a character from a book who is flattened somehow, which actually makes it easier for him to travel by mail. He needs to get back to Sacramento by the middle of May but in the meantime, Carson and his classmates, track his trip throughout the world with maps in the classroom.

Flat Stanley arrives in Sierra Leone!

Office Elders with Flat Stanley

Thursday, March 27, 2014
Took the 8:00 am Kissy ferry to Lungi to get the apartment set up for missionaries who will occupy it next week. Our SUV was stuffed with items and Markus had his truck which was full and with 4 mattresses tied on the top; he was actually pulled over because of it but convinced the officer to let him go because we were missionaries.

Markus and Flat Stanley!

Made a new discovery today regarding a dead car battery that was discovered while preparing to exit the ferry when we landed in Lungi; I thought we might end up stuck on the ferry and riding back and forth all day. What to do when you can't get to the jumper cables because they are buried under apartment supplies? Markus to the rescue! He jumps out of his truck lifts the hood and starts removing caps from the battery and pounding on it. Car still won't turn over – he finally goes back to his truck and the next thing we see is the battery from his car (he had taken it out). He comes over to the SUV, with the battery in his arms, tilts it upside down so the terminals are touching the terminals of our battery; signals to Scott to try turning on the car and bingo – it starts! I don't know what we would have done had Markus not been with us. We are so blessed to work with him.

Got most of the apartment set up and then took off to catch the 5:30 pm ferry but were turned away as there was no more room for vehicles. Next ferry, 9:00 pm. There is actually an overland route from Lungi to Freetown so we took that option though it was a 3 hour drive. Needless to say, it has been a very long day.

Lungi apartment well

Lungi Apartment well

Lungi apartment

Sunset out the window going 65 miles per hour

By the way, Flat Stanley went with us today. He had a great time!

Friday, March 28, 2014
Busy in the office today getting everything together for two more new apartments for transfers next week – one in Upgun and the other in Kissy. The internet has been off and on all week, but it was on long enough today to receive an email from President Ostler regarding our friend, Moses Janneh who left on his mission just a week ago yesterday. All I knew about Moses' family was his wonderful Aunt Melville who took him in but I did not know why until the email I read this morning that Dave had forwarded from President Robison of the Accra, Ghana Mission Training Center. Quite humbling and emotional. The Watsons are serving a family history mission. Scott and I are so happy for Moses and very grateful for his example of resilience and faith.

Moses and his mum

When we first arrived, we decided to have the missionaries spend their free moments on their intake day, working on Family History.  We have now received 5 groups of missionaries.  We started this program with the second group because I was concerned that the day they arrived they did not have much to do except register and verify records.  Since beginning this effort, the next four groups have submitted the names of 331 deceased relatives for family history work and 127 names for sealing. Yesterday, four of our missionaries did the temple work for deceased parents.  Another 5 did the work for grandparents.  One elder, Moses Janneh, from Sierra Leone, not only did the work for his father, but had the work done for his mother, and then was sealed to them as the Watsons (our family history missionary couple performed the sealing for the parents).  With tears streaming down their faces, the Watsons and Elder Janneh felt the presence of his parents.  His mother was killed in an automobile accident a number of years ago and his father was robbed, then murdered over two years ago.  The body was discovered the next morning. Is this an administrative headache?  Only if we do not remember it is about the one.  Yesterday was pay day.”

With transfers next week and one of the Elder Nwosu going to Lungi, we took him and Elder Sumrak out to dinner. Scott and I grow quite fond of the elders who serve in the office and it is bittersweet to not only see them transferred but to go home.

Scott and I videoed baptismal talks for Carson's baptismal service tomorrow. It isn't fun to see myself on film – my forehead and eyebrows are falling into my eyes and my lips will soon be under my chin! Getting old stinks!

Saturday, March 29, 2014
I woke up this morning to check on the upload of the video to Youtube to find that the internet was down and uploading was unsuccessful. Not happy, so Scott took off for the mission office and I stayed home to attempt another upload. The internet finally came back, but it literally took all day to process and by 5:30 pm our time (just ½ hour away from Carson's baptism) I didn't think it was going to happen. Two hours earlier, I decided to write a baptismal talk to send just in case – well, 15 minutes before the service, the video was uploaded and processed, so I sent it to Ryan's laptop in the event he took it with him to the church. About 2 hours later after Scott and I came home from grocery shopping, I check my emails to fine one from Ryan - “we made it!” The video arrived in the nik of time. Happy about that.

Love and thanks coming your way for your prayers in our behalf!

Robin and Scott 

Additional Snaps: 
Dry season would be the shoe on the left.

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