Week 67- Successful Week


Hey Everyone!!  First off I want to say I’m sorry about last week.  We had some technical difficulties out here in the bush of Sierra Leone so please forgive me for not emailing last week.  The past two weeks here have been great!  We ended up doing it a day or so late, but we did carve some pumpkins for Halloween so that was fun! We bought them and then when we were done we set them outside.  Everyone probably thought it was witchcraft hahaha  My companion is from South Africa and they don’t do anything like that or Halloween so I had to explain.
So this last week we were super super busy and had an awesome week. We handed out 5 baptismal dates for our most solid investigators. We also did some contacting and found 6 new people to teach and most of them are part of non member families so were hoping we can get the rest of the family involved. It should be so awesome! It’s just sad that I don’t think I will be here to see who progresses with transfers being in two weeks but we will see what happens.
We also had district conference yesterday which went really really well! We had the chapel filled with both members and investigators and had a super nice service with all of them!
So kinda a funny story.  This week as I was waiting for a bike to go somewhere, a guy dressed up really funny pulled up his bike next to me and started talking with me.  Well turns out he is a missionary too… he came from Liberia.  Lets just say if I had to dress like him as a missionary you could count me out!  He looked ridiculous and carried around a megaphone…. He then asked to take a picture with me so I said why not and I had them take one on my camera as well haha. He was a funny guy and said he would call me so we could discuss some doctrines and things so it should be interesting when/if he calls me.
Anyway I hope everyone is doing great and if anyone needs anything from me and if you still take the time to read my weekly emails you can feel free to shoot me an email haha…. Love you all have a great week!!

Week 64- Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!! Its crazy how fast time has gone! I remember last halloween here in  mission like it was yesterday.  Even the Halloween before I came on mission seems like it was just last week! I have no idea where time is going.
But as for this last week we had a better week than the week before. I asked my district for a favor this last week and they were generous enough to sacrifice some time to come to our area and help us with some contacting in an specific area we cover.  We had some good success!  So we now have some people we can work with and it was a true blessing.
​This last week we had one member of our district hit his one year mark on mission so to celebrate we ordered some burgers! It was so good but they are so expensive!
Just to show you the difficulty to say some of the african elders names I took a picture of one of my district members tags next to mine…. yeah it takes some practice….
Anyway we had a really successful week and I
hope you all are doing good!!

Week 63- Tough Week

Hey everyone I don’t have a ton of time today because me and my companion have a few appointments we gotta get to.  Monday the power and internet connection went out so thats why Im late again.  But we did deep clean the apartment.  To be honest, I forgot what a vacuum cleaner was called…  Like I saw one at the mission home and could not remember!!!  We mop and sweep but don’t really dust because that would be impossible here.  To cut the grass we use a machete.  So its different.
Anyway this last week we had a bit of a hard time. We are struggling to find new people to teach in our area because most of our area is muslims that don’t give about the message we share so its been difficult. We do however have a district contacting with my district planned for this next week so that should be good for us!
Like I said I don’t have much time to talk today so i gotta get going! I love you all and I’ll talk to you next week!!

Week 62- Sao got Baptized!!

Hello everyone!! Sorry Im late again.  We couldn’t get money at the bank on Monday so we didn’t have anything to pay at the cafe.  But we are all good now.  Well another transfer down. Going on transfer number 11! As for me and my companion we will be staying here in the IDA area/branch for another transfer, which I’m stoked about because me and my companion have a ton of fun together. We are going to work really hard this transfer to find some serious men that can help this branch because it is really struggling.
This last week we had a couple baptisms!!! Sister Sao was finally baptized along with Sister Rebecca so it was a great week!  It was a little crazy at first because there was no water in the font but we were able to get water from a water company and they filled it for us.
We also had a family home evening this week in another area that we were invited to. We came up with an activity and blind folded everyone in the room and played clips of the Saviors life and it was amazing.  Literally brought the spirit so strong it had almost everyone in tears when it came to the sound of christ being beaten and nailed to the cross for us. There were some powerful testimonies given after and we were all spiritually edified.  It was one family home evening I will never forget.  This gospel is true. Christ is our personal Savior.  A powerful scripture I came across this week in my studies is in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 14:10) it reads:
“Yet it pleased the Lord to abruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin…”
Christ suffered so that we can come unto him. Don’t let his suffering be vain. Use the power of the atonement of Christ everyday.  I promise your life will be more joyful and you will see the struggles of life become easier for you and it will bring peace into your life.  I love you all so much and don’t forget your Father in Heaven loves you and knows you perfectly!  Thats why he sent his son. You are never alone!  Everyone deserves to feel loved and it is sad because some people do not have an understanding of the love their Father has for them.
Im out of time!  Have a great week!

Week 61- Snake

Hello Everyone! This week was a packed week full of meetings and interviews and it really made this week fly by!!
So sad to say, we had to push the baptism of Sister Sao again because she got sick.  She is still excited to be baptized so we are just pushing it back one week again so we will get her ready for this week Saturday! Due to her blindness she has asked us to get her some audio of the book of Mormon. We are currently working on getting that for her.  But she’s super excited, hasn’t missed a week of church since we first met her, and she’s definitely ready!
This week we had a pretty funny/exciting moment! Sadly, it totally drove the spirit from the lesson but I’m sure you will understand why.
So we were teaching one of our candidates who has accepted a baptismal date the commandments and in the middle of teaching the word of wisdom a ton of people started yelling and running out of the house! Then a few guys started beating this huge snake with some sticks until it was dead.  They then cut off the head and I wanted to see how big it was so i picked it up. The African children were really surprised that the white man wasn’t afraid of the snake. They however were still really afraid of it!  So as a joke I started chasing them all and made them all run away!  All the adults started laughing and we had a good time! Sadly we couldn’t finish the lesson we planned so we ended there and I’m sure we will have to reteach all the commandments to her again but it was a funny experience!
Anyway the power is about to go out because a storm is getting ready to wreck us all outside so I’ll have to go for the week but I love you all! Let me know if you need anything!
 The church is true!!!!!!!
*The Missionaries in the Kenema Zone had an activity last weekend.  Pictures provided by Sister Clawson.

Week 60- General Conference

Well everyone, last week was General Conference, so you already know it was a great week!!! Watching conference as a missionary is comparable to watching your favorite movie back home! And don’t get the wrong idea, its not because its like the only television we get to watch as missionaries….. Its because you learn so much and it is literally like a spiritual recharge for everyone!!
There were so many talks given that I loved so much, but if you haven’t had the chance, go listen to Elder Jeffery R. Hollands Saturday morning talk. It is seriously so amazing. Doesn’t matter if you are a member or not I encourage you to go listen. Its only about 15 minutes long. Listen to it in the car, or turn off the television for a few minutes. Whatever you gotta do. I promise you if you find the time to listen to it there will be something inside you will learn and benefit from.
There were so many amazing talks given i wish i could just go back to that day and watch all of it again!
Other than that we had to push the baptism of Sister Sao to this Saturday because the last Saturday was a really busy one for her and us so we decided together to wait another week. But we are all super excited for her and cant wait!
Other than that nothing to insane or new for this week that I can think of. Im sure something happened because this place never fails to surprise but I hope you all had a great week and continue to have a better one! Oh one funny thing happened… Me and my comp were using some bikes one day and he tried to just a little dip and fell straight into a muddy pond of water and had like 50 little african children swarm him haha I was dying laughing and he was pretty embaressed but we all got a good laugh!!
But here’s just a  random friendly reminder from conference…. Service doesn’t have to be some big extraordinary act, serve those closest to you.  Show them you love them.
I may not be able to physically serve you guys right now but I hope you know I love you all! If you need me you know where you can find me. I”ll still be here… so just shoot me an email! Talk to you all later!!

Week 59- I got to Ride a Bike!

Hey everyone! This week has been great! As for me and my comp Elder Radebe, we have been really focused on our branch leadership being stronger.  It’s been a little rough but they are coming along a little bit. It is difficult because a lot of the leaders are less active. That causes us some problems but at least we know where to start!!  So I guess that’s a blessing!
This week the A.P.’s brought some bicycles over to Kenema to give to some areas that spend too much on transport. Unfortunately that’s not for us!  We are still walking elders but I got to go on exchanges with some elders who did get bikes in their area!  For a full day I got to ride a bike through the bush to appointments and it was seriously one of the most fun days I’ve ever had!  It’s been way too long since I’ve been on a bike.  It was a little awkward at first but by the end of the day we had a ton of fun!
Other than that we have a baptism coming up this Saturday for the blind woman Sister Sao.  We are teaching her and we are all so excited for her! She is super happy and has the best jokes and strongest testimony ever!  She is amazing and this will definitely be a baptism I will not forget!
Anyway I hope all is going well and you guys are reading your scriptures and saying your prayers and doing all the things Daddy God wants you for do!!  Love you all and I will talk to you guys next week!!

Week 58- Sister Sao

Hello everyone! I’m just going to start off by saying I’m sorry. Again I will have no pictures due to the computer I am on.  It is not reading my card so you will just have to wait again.
This week we had a really great week in the Ida area and had a lot of success! We are still teaching Sister Sao (the blind lady from a few weeks ago).  Let me tell you guys, Sister Sao is one of the strongest people I have ever met. She refuses to miss one teaching appointment, she is always at church, she believes all that we say is true, and she told us its because of the way she feels when she’s around us or members in church. When she told us that me and my comp had the biggest smiles on our faces. She is literally golden! She is also preparing herself to be baptized on the 30th of the month and is so excited! She has seriously strengthened my testimony and has made me realize how lucky I am to have known the gospel my whole life!  If you have desire to do something don’t let anything hold you back!
This week in my studies I read in depth with the atonement of Jesus Christ and let me just say if you haven’t studied that topic in depth please take the time in your day and do it!  I would tell you some of the things I’ve learned but i want to let you learn for yourself. If you would like to talk more please shoot me an email I would love to chat! No matter who you are feel free to shoot me an email!!
I’ll just leave this week by letting you all know that I know Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  I know he loves each an every single one of us.  I know that because of him we have the ability to become clean and change.  He is the one who was sent to free us all.
I love you all and I hope you have an incredible week!
Say your prayers and read your scriptures people:)

Week 57- Love Elder Radebe

​Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a great week!! Sorry I know its Tuesday but yesterday the power was out all day so I couldn’t email.
This last week was a good one but we didn’t get too much time in our area due to some meetings and other things but it was definitely a good week!  We finally got a clear vision with the help of the District President of the things we need to work on specifically in all the areas of my district.  We are going to start setting some goals for our various branches!
As for me and my new companion Elder Radebe from Johannesburg, South Africa, we get along so good! He is for sure on the board for top comps on the mission haha!  He’s so funny, always cracking jokes, and we will learn a lot from each other I can tell!​
Sorry I don’t have a ton of time and I forgot my camera in the apartment but I hope everyone has a great week!

God is good people!!!!! Later! Love you all!!!

Week 56- “Elder Turner helped me turn my life around”

Hey everyone! This week was great! Another transfer down and I am now starting my 10th! This last transfer absolutely flew by and I know the rest of my mission will as well so I’m trying to make the most out of the next year! So I now have a new companion his name is Elder Radebe from South Africa.  I’ve met him before and he’s a super chill guy and I’m excited to serve with him and learn from him!! So to start off, sorry about last week!   I sent an email but you know the wifi isn’t the greatest in this part of the world and the message didn’t go through.  So I apologize.

So this last week we had a baptism! Tamba and Agnes’s were baptized!! It was such a good service! On Sunday when Tamba was giving his testimony he made everyone in the branch laugh! He said to everyone “If we take Elder Turners name and split it up we get the word Turn, and Elder Turner helped me to turn my life around!” (One thing you must understand is Africans laugh at very bad jokes so yeah….) Anyway we have recently contacted a blind women who is a total score!! She’s been learning so fast and coming to church every week and we are going to continue to meet with her! It is kinda difficult to teach her because she can’t read anything so we just have to read it for her and see what she understands but it’s okay she’s super good and understands a lot!!  But anyway we are still working hard and trying to find new people!!

I gotta go though so I love you all and I’ll talk to you all soon !!!