Saturday, December 6, 2014

Week #51 - Transfer Week!

Monday, March 31, 2014
Scott was gone all day setting up two apartments and transporting missionaries. It was dessert evening upstairs with 5 departing missionaries – all from America. Great group of young men. My friend Carrie Smith sent an email from her missionary son, Chris who is serving in Argentina and he shares his great insight into the various levels service, that I think is very profound and I wish to record it, as follows:

“In the Gospel, many times we see members (or missionaries) who are convinced, those who are converted, and those who are consecrated. Those who are convinced give what they can when it´s convenient for them, those who are converted have a strong testimony and always do what they are asked, but those who are consecrated understand the ways of the Lord sufficient to do many good things of their own free will. They understand what the Lord wants them to do without needing to be told, they give of their time, talents, mind, heart, strength, everything because they love the Lord and His Church. They are those who always are obedient to the small and simple things that help us remain faithful in life, and help those around them to do the same as well.”

I know, I am nuts but it is good for a laugh between Rachelle and me!

Trying my best on our walk to stop the steam roller!

Where is Flat Stanley when I need him?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
15 new missionaries arrived tonight – 14 elders and one sister. While cars caravand to Sea Coach to pick them up, I stayed behind to get set up for their dinner. All went smoothly for which I am always grateful. One never knows in Sierra Leone.

Elders Mills, Despain, Symons, Jones and Turner all going home!

Get those back packs on and they are ready to head to the sea coach.

Kanzler's with 5 departing missionaries!

Once paperwork was completed and dinner served, they were then driven to various apartments to spend the night. We took the one and only newly arriving sister to the apartment in Congo Cross to spend the night and will pick her up tomorrow morning to drive her into the Mission Office for an orientation meeting.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Orientation and other various sundry items completed, and I went with the Ostler's to deliver missionaries to the Congo Cross apartment and the Goderich apartment. Once we dropped the sister off in Congo Cross, we headed out to Goderich by way of Lumley. On our way, we happened upon a beautiful mission scene – two missionaries teaching the gospel to a woman along the busy, Lumley Road. It was a thrill to see.

It was wonderful to happen upon this teaching moment.

We drove through Lumley to deliver new missionaries to Goderich and we came upon this wonderful scene. Elders Zenovieff and Mason.

Issues with transportation to Bo/Kenema and frustration with our Upgun apartment have played a role in this transfer period; it just can't go without a glitch – something we have to deal with. I will be so grateful when we peak our compliment for missionaries and maybe, just maybe, we will have a 6 week period where we do not have to secure an apartment. I can only hope.

Flat Stanley on his way to Elder Flament's parents in Somerset, England

Thursday, April 3, 2014
Another Sierra Leone friend from Kissy left on her mission today; Marian Browne. So cute and just 19 years of age. The family showed up at the office today around 10:30 and I walked out into the lobby to just Marian. When I asked where her mom and sister were, she told me they were down in the car with no intention of coming in. So, I walked down and invited them upstairs and hauled up Marian's one piece of luggage. And to think Scott and I brought two very large suitcases a piece, in addition to each with a carry-on and backpacks. I am constantly having reality checks in this country. 

I had arranged for Marian to receive her Patriarchal Blessing today and so when she was called to go down to the Stake Center, she was about to go alone when I informed her mom and sister that they could be part of this as well. They came back up for orientation and had Marian's one bag weighed. She still had weight room for more stuff (Scott and I had to pay for overage). It was time to go to Sea Coach and her mom had no intention of taking her, because she needed to get to work; so some pictures, some awkward moments of mom and sister expressing their love and saying good-bye, and they left! I am feeling quite sorrowful by now for Sister Browne who goes back into the office as I try to figure out how she is getting to Sea Coach in that Scott had already left for an appointment in Kissy. President Ostler to the rescue along with the assistants. By now I am quite emotional because the likelihood of me ever seeing this sweet young woman is next to none – I express my love to her, kiss her on the forehead with us both in tears and send her on her way. Not quite the same way a missionary is sent off in America – it seemed so distant between a daughter and her mother.....does Mariatu love her daughter any less than American moms? I don't think so.

Our newest missionary from Sierra Leone - Sister Browne in the middle.

Kanzler's with the Browne's

Sister Browne off to receive her patriarchal blessing.

Elder Bogh came in the office today and retrieved a package from home. In my opinion I thought it was too big for his backpack but not so yeah – he stuffed it in with Scott's help and then found red twine and tied his pack shut; I asked him how he was going to keep from being thieved (pronounced teeved), and he proceeded to demonstrate for me.  (See video here) Hilarious!

Saturday, April 5, 2014
Long and very hot day! We are in Makeni for the week-end and it is so hot here! I had 6 interviews with members of the branch and with no air conditioning, oh boy....I think it is at least 10 degrees warmer than in Freetown. 

 After the interviews, we headed over to the hotel to check-in and as we drove up who do we see, but President Charles, a member of the Freetown Stake Presidency. He is in town to observe the Seminary and Institute program of Makeni, and is staying at the same hotel. So we had dinner with him tonight and had a wonderful yet heart wrenching visit. The civil war came up in the conversation and he shared with us personal stories and personal loss of loved ones. The rebels actually entered Freetown two separate times and were driven out in 1997 but came back with a vengeance in 2000. The second return resulted in Brother Charles' brother and 93 year old great grandmother being captured and made to walk 30 miles. It resulted in his grandma dying and the brother being used to carry the spoils of what the rebels took. At this point, with the exception of Brother Charles and another brother, the rest of the family fled to the mountains to escape the war, but had no food; Brother Charles and his brother risked their lives every day in Freetown, to barter for food for the family and then at night would climb the mountains to take it to them. President Charles (first name Abibu) told us as he was foraging for food on the streets, he saw corpses everywhere and almost daily saw someone killed. He lost other family members during this horrific time. And these loving people today live among the boy soldiers (as they were called) because they are most of the akada drivers (motorcycle transportation) in Freetown. He told us of the story of a woman he knows not of the Mormon faith, who was on a motorcycle one Sunday traveling to church; she got off the motorcycle to get the money out of her purse to pay her fare, but had difficulty doing so because her hand was missing; on closer observation, the young man recognized her and realized he was responsible for her hand being chopped off! He fell to the ground to beg her forgiveness....still so hard for me to wrap my brain and heart around what some of our friends suffered during the 11 year civil war.

As we traveled this morning to Makeni we listened to the Tabernacle choir and one of the hymns was, “I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go.” So I took a video of our surroundings and Scott and I sang the chorus at the end of each verse. It was a moment for us as we looked at each other and sang, “I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or plain or see; I'll say what you want me to say dear Lord, I'll be what you want me to be.” (See the video here).

Love to all! Elder and Sister Kanzler

Additional Snaps:

Turned a little too sharp!

When we passed they were in the process of trying to figure out how to lift the vehicle.

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