Monday, April 14, 2014
A year ago today, Scott and I entered the MTC for what was to be the beginning of 12 months of experiences beyond our wildest dreams. To celebrate the occasion, we had an outing to the Great and Spacious Building, to look, barter, and purchase West African creations. A couple of the office elders who also had their P-day accompanied us and helped immensely with the bargaining; it is expected of us to barter and though I am getting better at it, still something I do not like to do and when a young missionary is so good at it – well.... It was such a fun outing; we then came home to a quick dinner and movie night across the hallway with the Jests, and Margaret had made a yummy coconut cake.
A much needed P-Day outing at the Great and Spacious Building
This is what they call country cloth complete with knit caps that do not fit.
All the fun and beautiful stuff Scott and I bargained for today.
A very delightful day!
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I made chocolate chip cookies last night after a late dinner that finished around 9:30 pm. I set the cell phone timer for the first batch for the prescribed 15 minutes and as usual, one side of the oven cooks hotter and the cookies on the right side of the pan were a little dark on the bottom; Scott determines that I need to set the timer for 11 minutes, so he picks up my phone and sets it for me. I start fiddling around in the kitchen and notice when I think the 11 minutes have expired and no buzzer; I removed the cookies from the oven. This morning around 11:00 am, my cell phone buzzer goes off – hmmm... he had set the timer at 11 hours the night before instead of 11 minutes!
After washing my hair this morning, I lathered up my hands with hair gel (made in Lebanon) and proceed to apply it all over my face thinking momentarily it was face cream – took awhile to wash off all the goo, but I had some stylin eyebrows!
Busy day at the office finishing up CDE's for the month; only 170 baptismal entries for the month of March!
The Jest's are leaving for Bo/Kenema tomorrow to presumably finish out their mission so Rachelle and I combined our cooking efforts and hosted a dinner for them – the 6 of us. Between food and conversation (mostly about movies to view – Scott and I contributed a total of about 3) we enjoyed a pleasant 3 + hours together. As we are sitting around the table, Scott out of no where asks me the question, “Who is Frank?” I have no idea what he is talking about and when I ask, he says I was talking in my sleep last night and said something to the effect, “No problem, Frank.” I really don't know any one by the name of Frank.....
We had quite a bit of rain this evening with a very strong wind – strong enough to take a very large branch down from the tree outside my kitchen window. Let the rainy season begin! It starts the season mid April and I am so grateful. After dealing with the dry season and no water for apartments, the heavy rains will fill Milla tanks and blue barrels so missionaries will have plenty and not have to ration.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
My intent/purpose today was to spend it in the office and go through all the Makeni baptismal records to compile lists of the members by addresses in preparation for the future division of one branch into 3. Well, on the way to the office, I get a call from Elder Flament, advising me that the sister missionary leaving Sierra Leone to serve in Nigeria was leaving today and not tomorrow! Elder Flament told us when we arrived at the mission office to pick up her paperwork, he was in the bathroom when he had the impression to check her flight schedule. I told him, follow those 1st promptings where ever you find yourself! It is almost 11 o'clock and Scott and I go into “think” mode to figure out how, if possible, we can get in touch with this young woman and have her ready in two hours to get to the Kissy building from Wellington, set apart by the mission president who is already there conducting missionary interviews, and get her paperwork and flight information to her that is at the mission office. We are able to contact the young woman and inform her of the mistake in days and ask if she can be ready in just a couple of hours to leave on her mission. She isn't packed or even thinking about it, but with a wonderful and positive attitude, she tells us she will be at Kissy and ready to go.
Scott and I pick up the paperwork at the office around 11:30 am and on our way out to Kissy via Kissy Road. We don't even make it to Kissy Road when we come to a screeching halt on Old Mountain Road, and we sat there for an hour and a half – the road isn't even a mile long to Kissy Road, We are texting the office elders and receiving calls from Rachelle wondering if we are going to make it in time to get the young lady to the Kissy ferry by 1:30 pm, and quite frankly, I am not so sure. A silent prayer or two later, the traffic starts to move and by the time we get to Kissy Road, we discover the problem is a waste management truck – the irony of this country managing waste! Anyway, because of the heavy rain and wind last night, the gutters, etc. were all backed up with garbage that has accumulated over the past 6 months and was all over the road, and “waste management” was cleaning it up, literally by hand and dumping it in the truck.
Waste Management - Oh Yeah!
We got to the chapel at 1:30 pm, and here is this sweet young woman ready to go and it just so happened that a funeral was in the process of a member of her branch, so she was having a wonderful send-off of members of her branch; I took a couple of pictures, got her and her sister in the car and got them to the Kissy ferry by 1:45 pm. We drove through a line of passengers waiting to purchase tickets, and drove up to the vehicle/passenger window to purchase ours; that was a tender mercy for us to go that direction, even though it was the que for vehicle and people tickets; we told them nix the vehicle and we just needed tickets for the missionary and her sister. I took a couple more pictures of her and wished her a safe journey. Never met the young lady before today, but I never cease to get a little teary as I bid these Sierra Leone missionaries safe journey! I wonder how many American families would have handled such a change in plans! Not a murmuring word was heard today but a declaration to Scott when he told her of the change of plans, “no problem, I will be ready.” There is so much to learn of the simpleness of life from these wonderful people and just plain simple faith!
One of our guards, Abdulai who lives in a very humble home with a zinc roof told us today that two of the panels blew off the roof of his home and rain was flooding the children's bedroom, so he had to move them to his room, and he and his wife spent the rest of the night in the kids' room. He spent a good portion of this morning looking for the pieces of zinc but could not find them (someone else's new find) so he had to use precious funds to purchase more.
Friday, April 18, 2014
We had dinner with the Campbell's tonight. They are down to just 7 working days before they pack it in and out of Sierra Leone. We will miss them! What a blessing to have met them in Freetown Market (their first time shopping there) just a month into our mission. We call them our embassy friends and they refer to us as their church friends. Add to the friendship, they live just a stone's throw away from us off of Regent Road.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
With the Easter holiday weekend, it has been kind of a “holiday” for us as well. We did make some deliveries today to the sisters' apartment in Lumley, went to the office for a brief moment, and traveled to Basha's Bakery to purchase 3 rotisserie chickens. I am so ever grateful Scott and I still like the taste of chicken because we have eaten pounds of it over the past year – that and cucumbers – oh and let's not forget white rice! Will I be happy to eat a salad again.
We went out to dinner with the Ostler's. The only ones dining at the time and yet it took over an hour to have our food served and it was the usual – cold. We are always having little wagers as to whether the waiter can get our order correct; we weren't disappointed tonight as Rachelle's meal was not what she ordered.
Love to All! The Kanzlers