Hello Everyone, I hope all is well at home.My apologies up front, I left my camera at the apartment when I left to the internet cafe so I don’t have pictures from this week of travels. I only have the group pic above. .
This week we had an amazing conference with my entire mission. We traveled back to Freetown and had the opportunity to hear from 4 General Authorities including Elder Stevenson of the Quorum of the 12. I also had the chance to see many friends from the MTC including Elder Cluff (travel companion also from Arizona). Man I missed that guy!. It was a super spiritual experience and made me realize how blessed you are on a mission. I have had the opportunity to sit in a small room with less than 90 people and listen to 2 Apostles testify about the Gospel, twice now in 6 weeks. The way they talk and the Spirit you feel when they testify is something so hard to explain yet something I will never forget. It is seriously so cool!. The absolute worst part of the entire conference is traveling to and from Freetown. We have to take a taxi and no one here can drive. We almost got into accidents at least 4 times while traveling. People just don’t care and drive where ever they want. It’s like everyone wants to play chicken on the road.
Speaking of Chicken, so remember the chicken bone story from the MTC. Well that officially got crossed off the worst things I ate on my mission list this week. It was replaced by the chicken foot. Yeah, so gross!! I will just tell you all I will not be eating that ever again….EVER!
On P days we get up and we hand wash our clothes, that freaking sucks!!! Then you have to hang them out to dry. Did I mention we are in the rainy season. Yeah so it takes days for your clothes to actually dry. Most the time you wear them damp because you are going to sweat to death in them anyways .After washing we meet up with the other elders and go to the market to shop for food. After that we go to the internet cafe to read and answer as many emails as we can. Then we go to dinner. There are not any restaurants or places to eat that we trust. You don’t know what meat they are serving and how it was prepared, so we stay away. Most every night we are all fed by a member in the ward. We pay her a monthly fee and she feeds us really well. We also make our own food sometimes in the apartment, so it’s all good.
I have been asked several times so I will tell you we get 500,000 Leones every two weeks to live on. ( about 88.55 cents American) Things here are cheap in a way and expensive in others. It is not a lot of money but we seem to make it work without much effort.
As for the members, they are here but times are difficult. People are a little flaky in Africa. This week we only had about 1/2 the ward show up for church. When we stopped and asked them what happened the legit excuse everyone used was it was raining. You don’t go to church because it’s raining? It rains for months straight, lol! That was difficult to hear and understand but is a normal excuse in Sierra Leone. I guess walking to church in the rain and mud is somewhat difficult, but you just do it. The priesthood is sparse in understanding. I have taken part in several confirmations and given a number of blessings because they don’t have a lot of priesthood knowledge. It was good to teach and provide explanations and understanding to others while performing our duties. Perhaps they will one day understand more and be more willing to perform ordinances without us. Oh, and I also got to teach class this Sunday on a moments notice when they had no teacher. That was challenging since my language skills are not quite there. I guess it went pretty good!
So I have to go but I want you all to know Everything is good here in Sierra Leone. I am adjusting and getting used to daily life. My companion is still a bit of a challenge at times but I am working hard to overcome our differences and move forward. I know we will both learn from the experience together and will be better for it. I love you all and look forward to hearing from everyone. Thanks so much for the emails.
Love Elder Turner.