Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hill Station Branch Primary

This is the Hill Station Branch Primary gathered for Sharing Time.  There are 38 children in one tiny room.  A new chapel is being built for them, only the third chapel constructed here in Sierra Leone. The children know the gospel and are learning the Primary Songs.  They have a sweet childlike spirit about them.  At least one of the children says "Thank you, Auntie" after I finish teaching them each Sunday.
The two little ones on the mother's lap are twins.  She brought them in to the Primary so the children could sing Happy Birthday.  We sang and then I taught them "You've Had a Birthday" to sing as well.  After Primary, each child got a little bag of popcorn to take home as a birthday treat. When we finished singing she tied the little girl on her back with a cloth and she promptly fell asleep.  She carried the little boy in her arms.  The only strollers we see here are those used to push around things to sell.  The sister in the corner is signing the ledger they use for a Relief Society roll.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Eleven (Make that Twelve) New Missionaries

This group is our largest since we came on our mission and we have been anxiously awaiting their arrival for several months.  New missionaries add such a spirit of dedication and enthusiasm to a mission and these are no exception.

There's lots of luggage with new missionaries and Elder Barth and Elder Appleby are always anxious to help.

President Roggia meets, greets and directs. 

Waiting to load luggage in the truck and bodies in the van.

Elder Arikpo and Elder Flament

Sister Roggia publishes a fabulous blog, mostly for the "mammas" at home who are anxiously awaiting news of their boys.  She always has a camera in her hand. 
We were disappointed to receive word on the day of arrival that Elder Penia got all the way to the airport and it was discovered that he did not have a Sierra Leone visa.  Our helpers in Ghana went to work and he was able to obtain a visa in time to fly to the mission four days later.  He was able to serve those four days in the Ghana Accra Mission.  We are so happy he has arrived so the group is complete.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Feimata's Baptism

Elder Randall was asked by Sahr Doe if he would baptize his wife.  Brother Doe has gone to BYU-Hawaii to go to school and was not able to do it himself.  They have been married for over two years and she has been investigating the church for about nine months.  She told me she was embarrassed at being the "oldest" investigator in her branch.  At first I did not understand because I could see the man on the left in the picture below and knew she was not older than he.  When she explained how long she has been an investigator, I explained who Brigham Young was and told her that he had investigated the Church for two years before he joined.
Here are the baptismal candidates for 22 September 2012
Elder Purcell is a missionary from Samoa who has been teaching Feimata.  She has had several missionaries teaching her.  Brother Turay, on the right, is a branch missionary assigned to Elder Purcell for one transfer.  He will leave to serve in the Ghana Khumasi Mission on 19 October.
Feimata bore a powerful testimony after her baptism.  Because she has taken time to investigate the Church, she knows well of the truthfulness of the gospel. She began by saying how grateful she was to Sahr for introducing her to the gospel and the Church.  She said, "He is the pillar and backbone of our home.  Without him, I would not have found the true Church.  this is a new beginning for me--the beginning of enduring to the end.  I pray to God that he will give me the strength to endure faithfully.  I know this is God's true church on earth."
She began by saying how grateful she was to Sahr for introducing her to the gospel and the Church.  She said, “He is the pillar and backbone of our home.  Without him, I would not have found the true Church.  This is a new beginning for me—the beginning of enduring to the end. I pray to God that he will give me the strength to endure faithfully.    I know this is God’s true church on earth.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sahr Doe

This is our good friend, Sahr Doe.  He has been working in Facilities Management here in the mission.  It is a huge job with responsibilities for all chapels and the mission home.  Recently he informed us that he has been trying to get a visa to go to America to go to BYU-Hawaii.  It is a challenging process and he has tried two other times, but this time he was successful! We wish him well in his new adventure, and congratulate him on his desire to grow and improve as a husband, father, and son of God.
Sahr has some of the flashiest clothes and shoes of anyone we've ever met. 
Sahr helped us look for an apartment for our humanitarian couple.  We were so grateful for his help! He has also been invaluable in negotiating with landlords for missionary apartments.  We will miss him in many ways!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Aberdeen (Not the one in Scotland)

We had a nice dinner with the senior couples in Freetown at Crown Express (sorry, I forgot to take pictures there) and then traveled to Aberdeen where there is wharf.  This wharf is one of the places where water taxis arrive with passengers from the airport.  Neither the Lauritzens nor Burns had seen where it was and they will need to know so we took a little "sightseeing trip" to show them.

Freetown is a very rocky place and the wharf is no exception, but the ocean is beautiful no matter where you go.

This is NOT the Sea Coach Express which picks you up from the airport, but it certainly could be!