Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sister Burton and Sister Dalton Visit Sierra Leone

Sister Elaine Dalton with Sister Fatmata James, Freetown East District Young Women President and Sister Petan Mansaray, Freetown District Young Women President

The evening’s activities were so spiritually inspiring.  Sister Mariatu Brown had arranged to have the Minister of Social Welfare, and Gender and Children (I know I haven’t remembered that title correctly) and the Director of SLANGO (Sierra Leone Association of Non-Governmental Organizations) who is also a woman, come to the dinner.  They were introduced before dinner and then given an opportunity to speak.  The Minister of Social Welfare said that she had actually joined the church in Liberia, but had not been able to find it when she moved to Sierra Leone.  She knows where it is now, of course, and had actually been encouraged by Elder Holland when he was here to come back.  She was very complimentary of the Church and all we do for the people of Sierra Leone.  The Director of SLANGO says she has wondered many times why the Church does not publicize more about the humanitarian projects that it does.  She also mentioned that she knows of our youth and really wanted to know what makes them so different from others.  She has noticed something about them that she cannot find in other good youth in Sierra Leone.  She wondered what it was.  We all smiled and knew that those young people have the Holy Ghost with them and the joy of the gospel shines in their eyes.  Previous to her speaking, Sister Dalton encouraged everyone at their table to recite the Young Women theme for her.  She was quite impressed.   President Roggia spoke next and  mentioned many of the humanitarian projects that the Church has coordinated in Sierra Leone including bore holes, wheelchair distribution, neo-natal resuscitation training, measles immunization campaign as well as others that are in the beginning stages through the work of Elder and Sister Burns including helping a polio camp orphanage, a blind school and a deaf school.  He said that the Church does not publicize a lot of the projects because that is just not our way, but that we are so grateful for an opportunity to be of service to the people of Sierra Leone. Both ladies were presented with a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and a Personal Progress book.
Both Sister Burton and Sister Dalton had an opportunity to introduce themselves along with their husbands.  We were inspired by what the husbands said about their wives and we could see such a great example of valiant marriages that was inspiring to us and will be to the Sierra Leone saints. Elder and Sister Sitati each gave some remarks and I was impressed with what they said.  Sister Sitati just told of the daily habits of family prayer and scripture study as well as weekly Family Home Evening that had helped their family to grow and mature in the gospel.  Elder Sitati said that when they joined the Church many years ago, their oldest child was 9 and the youngest was 2.  The branch they were in had 19 members.  There was no one to look to for guidance about how to integrate the gospel into their families so they just listened to all that the prophets said and tried to follow their teachings.  Elder Sitati said, “We began to have family prayers, scripture study and Family Home Evening ‘because the prophet said so.’” I was so impressed with his example of a willingness early in their church membership to follow the prophet. 

Brother and Sister Burton told everyone the story of how they met.
Brother and Sister Dalton
The Minister of Social Welfare
The Director of SLANGO (Sierra Leone Association of Non-Governmental Organizations)
Elder Joseph and Sister Gladys Sitati
So many important sisters enjoyed the visit of Sister Burton and Sister Dalton
These are the leaders from both districts in Freetown enjoying a moment with our visitors.

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