Sunday, October 31, 2010

THE road

This is THE road of the wild ride fame. We recently decided to take a walk down THE road during the day time to see just how bad it really was. It doesn't look as scarey in the daylight, but I don't think I want to drive it again anyway!
We made dinner for the Assistants and the 6 elders that live next to the mission office. Elder Gunderson loaned us his "In n Out" hats, so we were official cooks!! Seemed a little sacreligious to be making "teri bowls" and wearing burger hats. The African Elders had not had rice with chicken and teriake sauce before, but they loved it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

There are many many many people who walk the streets with merchandise in pans on their head. Almost anything can be purchased this way. The problem is in finding what you want when you want it. You might see something one day and not be able to find it again either. Some things are so random, like phone chargers, or surge protectors, or shower curtains. go figure.

Shopping on the road

As we drive back and forth from the mission apartment to the mission office each day, we see numerous items for sale. Everything from furniture (tables, chairs, sofas, beds), appliances, bricks, bread, fruit, vegetables, are all displayed rain or shine for purchase. Sometimes, when it rains, plastic will be put over the merchandise to keep it from the rain (but not always).
Playing "football" at No. 2 Beach.

Shopping at No. 2 Beach

a trip to the beach includes looking (and sometimes buying) the various items carved by the local people. While the Elders played football, Sister Patterson had a good time negotiating the prices of some diffferent wood carvings.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Last monday we went to No. 2 Beach for a fun day with the Elders from Freetown Zone and Pres and Sis. Roggia and the Neves (who are in this picture). The elders played football/soccer and had a great day. It didn't rain until we were home later in the day. Elder Laneri & Eshun (the Zone Leaders) arranged for lunch of rice, chicken and fried plantain (which we picked up on the way out). It is always fun to hang out with these wonderful young men. Reminds us of all our young men from home who are now so diligently serving their Father in Heaven around the world as His missionaries.

Group of midwives receiving training from the Churches Humanatarian Group on Neonatal Resuscitation. The training was held over two consecutive days in Freetown and then the Church group taveled to Bo to train others and then on to Liberia. Each of these ladies received the training and they in turn will train women in their areas. Hopefully, all the training will result in better infant deliveries and lower the mortality rate of births in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Ferguson's take their groups to all of West Africa and provide a huge service to their fellow men.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dinner and a Wild Ride

clockwise from the lower left: Mariam Koroma, Mariam's mother, Vidalyn Thomas, Fatamata and her aunt, Mariama Kamara, sister Charlie's daughter and Mabinty Charlie (RS Pres). Sister Thomas and I are visiting teachers to Mariam Koroma. Sister Kamara is my visiting teacher. We had these sisters over for dinner last Saturday. We were only expecting 4 people and had 7 instead. While I finished with the dinner prepartions with Mariam's help, the others watched a video of last year's RS broadcast. Luckily we had plenty of food - spagetti and garlic bread. We made a pizza for an appetizer. After dinner we were trying to figure out how to get everyone home or to pay for them to take transport (either a taxie or a poda poda - which is a VW combi or similar vehicle crammed to the brim with people. Our little truck really is only big enough for 5 people but somehow we had managed to get me and all the girls in it for the drive up. But to take them home, would be a little trickier since Elder Patterson needed to go with us. Sis. Kamara lives over the hill from us and she suggested we take a "short cut" thru the mountain behind the American Embassy. We could drop her and her niece off first and then continue on down the road to the other ladies homes. At first Elder Patterson suggested I just take them, but I insisted he come since it would be dark soon, so he climbed into the back of the truck bed. OM Goodness!!!! I am so glad he went with us. The "road" was NOT A ROAD at all, but a washed out, boulder strewn, washboard dirt path over some really steep and hilly terrain. At one point I thought the truck was going to tip over. On the ride up the hill to dinner the ladies talked all the way up -- now they were totally silent! I know they were scared. Mike (Bro/Elder ) said that he got "big air" about four times. I asked Sister Kamara when was the last time she was on this "road" in a car and she said "a long time". No kidding!! At one point in the journey, a drunken Muslim named Samoa jumped in the back with Mike and bounced around for a while. After we droped the first sisters off I made Mike drive. That was quite an experience that I hope not to repeat.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Guy

I want all of you to meet Markus Wallace. Brother Markus is the mission driver and the go-to person for the entire mission. He either knows, or is related, to everyone in Sierra Leone and has contacts in Liberia too! He can fix almost anything and if not, he personally knows someone who can. This mission would be in big trouble without him.
More than that, he is one of the finest men I have ever met. He is a strong, endowed member whose honesty and integrity is well known in all of the areas where the church has members. He is also highly respected in the Freetown community.
If ever a scripture was applicable to one of us: Alma 48:17 would describe Markus (just substitute Markus for Moroni) He is definitely a blessing in our lives. (he has a really cute wife, too - Rose ; there is a picture of her and their girls in an earlier post in June)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Missionary work in Mexico City with Elder Patterson . We are so thankful to be able to serve here in West Africa while he is in Mexico.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

this is Enid and Woma (see chicken story below) they come to the mission office to "greet us" on saturdays. I told them the story about the boy who cried wolf and why they should always tell the truth. They were very attentive to the story and understood why we should not cry wolf unless it is for real. After the story and the moral, they had one question. What is a wolf? so we got on the computer to see a picture of a wolf.

the end of the fish story. see below for the beginning. (sorry about not rotating the picture before it uploaded - but it is so rare that we can get a fast enough connection to actually load a picture; that I don't want to delete it and not be able to get it back again).

A Fish Story

Last Monday for P-day, we went with Pres and Sis Roggia and Elder and Sister Neves to Buher beach. It was a great day, and it did not rain until we were on our way home. While there, a fisherman came running up to us. He had just caught a "cuda" (barracuda) and offered to make it into a nice lunch for us with rice and cole slaw. We had each brought a pic nic lunch with us and did not want to have that go to waste; so we declined his offer to cook for us. However, we told him we would buy the whole fish and cook it ourselves later. So, after some negotiations on the price (thanks to Elder Neves) we were able to buy the fish, and he cleaned and fileted it for us right there. Luckily we had ice in the ice chest and a bag to store our catch! That night, the six of us had a wonderful dinner at the mission home all for less than $5 per person.

a Chicken Story

Every Saturday the members in the branches that meet in the building next to the Mission Office come to clean the building. There is one little family, the Massaquoi family, that comes every Saturday. The mother sends her little daughter, Woma (aged 10) and her niece, Enid (8) to the mission office to bring us bananas and oranges and plantain (which when sliced really thin and fried makes great little potatoe-chip like snacks). Last Saturday they brought me something else! A LIVE CHICKEN!!! they had the little hen in an old rice sack and so I asked what was in there and they opened it up and at first I thought it was a dead chicken, but then it lifted it's little head up and stared right at me. Oh my goodness! I could not offend them by not accepting the gift. I tried to tell them that I was not used to getting a live chicken and that I did not know what to do with it. So they proceded to instruct me on how to twist it's head off and pluck it! I walked back with them to their little compound and thanked sister Massaquoi for her generous gift. The next day, I gave them a box of Rice Krispies cereal and a carton of milk. So, this is a picture of Mustafa, to whom I gave the chicken. His family really enjoyed their dinner that night.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We hiked to the peak (not exactly Charleston peak) but the highest spot here in Freetown called Leicester Peak. Nice little hike for some old people. This is where Robert D. Hales dedicated the land for the preaching of the gospel.

little stow away

Anyone, but Katie, know what this little stow away is? We found it in the tread of grandpa's sandels a couple of weeks ago. (can anyone say "Polly Pockets"?)