Week 75- First week with Elder Isaac

Hey everyone another great week over here in Bo!! Me and my new comp Elder Isaac had a great week and get along so well!!  A little background on my comp is he’s from Mississippi. He is super chill and he’s really into music and has a ridiculously good singing voice.  He has the thickest southern accent haha  but we get along super well and had a killer week!  Today we actually played some basketball!  We found one court and an elder with a basketball.  It was super awkward to play again honestly.  And we got to chill with Elder Burns and his comp.  He went to Basha and lives in Chandler.  So that was fun.
We got some interviews done for some baptismal candidates this last week and all went super great!!  Involved in that was the police officer Brother Fortune! I’m so stoked for him! Missionaries have been working with him for almost a year now and he never felt quite ready but now, finally, he does!  I’m so grateful to be part of these people lives and spiritual progression!  They truly are amazing sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and I know that God has a plan for each one of them and each one of us!!!
So this week something happened that I kinda feel a little bad about… Me and another white Elder scared this little 8 year old girl and she will probably be afraid of white people forever now! So we were getting ready for a meeting and she was just following us around and chillin with us everything was sweet.  Then our South African zone leader started telling the little girl that white people are cannibals.   When he said it the other white dude I was with started chomping his teeth together like he was insane and the little girl just dropped to her knees and started balling!  I felt so bad but at the same time just busted out laughing.  After the meeting was over I found the little girl standing next to her mother and the mother just looked at us and started dying laughing when the girl got scared haha!   I guess that shows how comfortable people here are with white people haha!
Another thing that happened this week was we went to a restaurant that is in town and randomly sitting in the corner was 4 white people!!   I was pretty astonished.  They were all talking in american accents.  Well one of them came to me and started talking to me just normal asking where I’m from and stuff and I’ll be honest with you all, I was a little intimidated.  I honestly have no idea why.  I think its just because its been so long since I’ve had a normal conversation with an American thats not a missionary.  My companion even noticed it in me…. It was really awkward… so yeah i guess its not just Africans that are afraid of white people now, I might be too!!
But other than that all things are going well!! No more dog stories this week so thats a relief!! Love yo u all so much!  I’d love to hear from you guys!!
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Week 74- Evaded another Dog Bite

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a sweet week and didnt party too hard for the new years! But its really Crazy that its officially 2018! Time seriously flies!!!
This week was a little bit of a hecktic one waiting on transfers and having meetings and everything else.  But busy weeks are some of the best weeks when you’re on a mission! Really gives you a feeling of accomplishment at the end of a hard week!
As for the work this week, we had a good week! We were able to finally have a lesson with a less active woman and her husband and child. The husband is not a member of the church and has stopped allowing the woman and child come to church.  He makes them go to the born again church that he worships at.  So we were able to have a sweet lesson with him and introduce him to the Book of Mormon and we are hoping we can get him to church this Sunday and just try to work with him and make the whole family active again!
Also this week I was almost bitten by a dog yet again!!  When I say almost, this time I mean the teeth were on my arm… Bro Fortune (the police officer) has a dog named  bullet.  He is like a typical German Shepherd size. Unlike the states, pet dogs here are not really taken care of so they are basically wild.  Anyway, this dog I pet every time I go to their house and it normally allows me and even comes to sit by me for every lesson.  Well this time I tried to pet him and he wasn’t having it and leaped at my arm. The teeth dragged across my arm and I just quickly pulled away.  I was super lucky this time…. the treatment for dog bites here is not fun! The shots are very painful.   I asked our investigator what happened and he just laughed and said he’s hungry, we haven’t fed him in two days because he wont let us wash him… My companion was laughing so hard.
Also this week we got the privilege of using our well and drawing some water for ourselves when the tank ran out!  That was a lot of work but kinda a cool experience at the same time.  Our well just fills up with water from the ground… Im not sure where it comes from….
And this week marks the end of another transfer!!!   So that means we got transfer news this last week.  The news for me is I’m staying here in the J quarter Branch.  As for my comp he is going on transfer to Freetown.  I will be getting a new companion.  His name is Elder Isaac. He’s actually an American!  I’m super excited to get to know and work with him, it will be a new experience for me!  I’ve never had an American companion so I’m a little excited for him to come!!
But the work is progressing here in Sierra Leone and I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to be apart of it!!  I know God is preparing these people and has been for a long time! Missions are amazing!!
I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!!
For those of you who are wondering what is on the rice that looks like something a person creates, it’s casava leaf!  One of the many leaves they crush up and boil and put on rice!  Hope your mouth doesn’t water too much looking at that amazing meal!!! And the last picture is of Elder Raymond.  He is cousins with the Olsen’s and his family lives in Queen Creek! He has become and good friend.

Week 73- Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year everyone!!   I hope you all have your 2018 new year resolutions set up and I hope you really strive and focus on accomplishing those goals for yourself!  20 freaking 18!!!  Honestly I haven’t really set too many goals for myself as of now other than just ending strong!  I just don’t want to get tried and start getting lazy.  My goal is to finish strong!
But for new years here as missionaries not too much happened over here in the Bo side of the country.  But hey,  its a new year so thats exciting!  We basically just got together as missionaries and talked and had as best a time we could! It is nice to see a new year and the “dark year” is over!  That is the full year January to December that everyone has to go through while on their mission.  Well for me and my MTC group as well as some others we have just finished that part of the mission and its insane that time goes so fast.
It’s to the point where new elders come and tell you that you’re old on mission and that you are about to go home but it doesn’t feel like that at all!  I feel in some ways that i just got here.  Crazy how fast time flies when you aren’t focused on yourself all the time.
I hope this new year brings Joy to all of you.  I love you all.  God loves you all and is constantly aware of you and your needs.  Just be humble.  Kneel down and ask what he needs you to do today and he will put things in your path.
Love you all have an amazing week!!!

Week 72- Blessings for Christmas

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! First off I want to give a shout out to one of my brothers Hunter Peterson for the amazing example he is to everyone by getting out on his mission. I know he will do big things for all those he comes in contact with! Love you Bro!!
So this week was an eventful one here for sure.  Some crazy things happened and some scary things happened but also a real testimony builder as well. So without making all of you wait I will get into this weeks details!!
To start off we have one of our investigators and his family that we are teaching.  They are awesome but the wife is pregnant so for her to walk all the way to church is a problem. Well this past week we went to visit her when she came out of the hospital.  As we were discussing and seeing the new baby we heard the squeak of car brakes.  We soon turned around and watched as a car flew off the road and slammed into a near by house.  Come to find out there was a little kid sitting in the veranda of that house eating food.  Everyone was looking for the child and couldn’t find him and they thought he was under the car. Well after some minutes he comes walking out of the house. He got up just a minute before the car hit to go inside and get some water to drink. It was so crazy!!  But what came to my mind as we were watching all this unfold is how God really does watch over his children and puts us in the place best for us at the time we need it most.
Now this week I also received a sweet package from my amazing family!!  And I also got a nice little surprise inside from all my favorite mothers in the world!  The Wolf Pack Mothers!  For those of you that don’t know what the Wolf Pack is you can ask my mother. But to explain it briefly to you, it’s basically my whole group of friends who are now all over the world as missionaries…we used to call ourselves the Wolf Pack in high school.  Anyway I got some amazing letters and testimonies from all the amazing Wolf Pack Mothers out there.  And also a sweet shirt, tie, treats, and poem (pictures attached).  I want to thank all of you guys for putting that thing together for us it really made my day!
So we had a ton of other sweet things this week but due to time I cant write them all. But I hope you guys have an amazing Christmas and I hope you all don’t forget the reason we celebrate and I cant wait to celebrate with you next year!!
I love you all and I know that our Heavenly Father knows all of us and our needs and when we turn  to him in humility he will always be there to help us learn and grow.  I know that Christ came to this earth with a special purpose.  I know he went below us all so that he could understand our trials and weaknesses.  He went out alone.  Hungry. Thirsty and physically exhausted so that he could bring others to pure happiness.  I know that as we dedicate our time to listening to the spirit this Christmas season and focus on helping others instead of ourselves the joy it will bring to our heart will top anything we’ve ever felt before. We will feel of the Saviors love more fully and will have a desire to share it with others.
I love all you guys and hope you have an amazing Christmas!  If you need anything feel free to shoot me an email!!
Tanki:)

Week 71- Another week in Paradise

Hello Again. As usual I don’t have much time today but I’ll try to give you a little bit from this past week.
So we had a good week full of appointments and we stayed pretty busy.  We are teaching a man his name is Bro. Fortune. He’s an older man probably in his 50’s.  His kids are grown.  He is a police officer and is Catholic. He loves his church but ever since we started seeing him he hasn’t missed a Sunday.  If any of you guys know my Dad, he reminds me of him.  If you don’t know you can ask him :). But he’s a stud. Before we even taught him the plan of salvation he had read the pamphlet and was able to tell us Adam and Eve didn’t curse us but simply followed Gods plan. Which to find someone here that realizes that on their own is so rare. Like I was shocked!! He is so smart so thats sweet.
Oh and also, I got chased by some crazy dog off the street!!  It kept jumping on me until I pet it and I was pretty scared it was going to bite me so yeah that was definitely not expected!!!  Now me and my comp avoid passing the street that he sits on because it runs after us every single time we pass!
But this week was a great week overall! I hope you guys learn something from the picture this week and I hope you get a good laugh too!  But just know that is a serious issue here.  Like more than half the people here have diseases from that so its a funny picture but a serious issue haha!  Anyway, I love all of you guys so much and hope your holiday season is awesome!!  Happy 48th to my Dad!! Talk to you all next week!!

Week 70- Hard Leaving Family

Hello Everyone, lets just say this last week was a little bit of a rough one… Leaving Kenema was a little bit harder than expected. Those people were family to me but its harder than even leaving home because instead of saying see you in two you don’t know when you will ever see them again. Probably never in this life… But a few other things made it a little rough
The top thing is the new branch I was put into.  It’s called J Quarter. Its one of the two branches left in Bo, all other places are now wards in the newly created stake. Well my first Sunday was an interesting one.  I learned that the branch president is a recent convert and was only baptized 6 months ago. The first councelor just returned from the temple and told the whole congregation they don’t have a true testimony of the church until they travel to the temple.  I had to throw some somewhat harsh words at that comment in Elders Quorum.  And the branch is full of women and children. No serious priesthood members. Even during Elders Quorum the branch presidency tried to say that the priesthood is given by force. Whether you are ready for it or not you have to have it. I was astonished at what was going on and I wouldn’t be surprised if the branch no longer likes me because I had to put a few things in place really quick.  So we will be working a lot with the branch and hopefully helping it become greater.  So yeah, its going to be interesting here.
We have a few investigators here but for the most part we will be starting fresh.  I don’t even want to start baptizing people until the branch is strengthened.  So we will be working with small investigators but hopefully more with the branch members. It should hopefully be good though!
Anyway I hope all is well with everyone Im sorry for lack of pictures but this computer is being a little weird so I will try and make it up next week!   Love you all if you need someone to talk to/email I’m here and I’d love yo hear from you!!  Make it a great week!

Week 69- My first time getting Sick

Hello Everyone!   It was a rough and sad week here in Kenema. Why I say sad is transfer calls came in on Friday and I’m being shipped off to Bo to continue the work there.  My new companion is Elder Bennet from Nigeria.  I’ve heard some interesting things about him and have a feeling this next transfer could possibly be rough but we will try to make the most out of it.  I am really sad to leave IDA branch here in Kenema.  I feel like as soon as you bond with the members and everything is going good and you are having a great time the mission pulls you to some random other place. Its really sad. Plus I really love my companion Elder Radabe.
Now why I said I had a rough week last week is because I got sick for the first time since coming on mission!!!  Nothing too serious,  I was just down for a day.  I’m pretty sure it was food poisoning from something I ate but i mean getting it for the first time in almost a year and a half thats a true blessing!  It was bound to happen one day.  But all is good now and I just finished packing up to head off to Bo in the morning.
Something that happened this week was we went on exchanges…  I got to go with one of the guys I came here on mission with, his name is Elder Wolters. We got a call to come back to the apartment a little early so some guys could do some things to the apartment. All of a sudden it got super loud just outside our door at the mechanics shop across the street.  We looked out the window and there were two guys about 20ish in age fighting. Then one of them grabbed a baseball bat sized pole and started beating the other with it. Funny thing is nobody did anything. So i went and put my shirt back on and walked outside with Elder Wolters and broke it up.  Yes two white guys went and broke up the fight.  I could tell it was still heated so i pulled one of the young men aside and decided to teach him a little bit.  Don’t really know why,  I just felt I should.  I sat him down and had a 5 minute lesson with him about why its not okay to do what he was doing.  I gave a few examples of what would have happened if he would have seriously injured the other young man.  He soon calmed down and all went well after that. He told me he wouldn’t do it again and I now see him everyday outside the apartment and he seems to be doing better.  I will say it was a little awkward to sit down and have all these Sierra Leoneans sitting around me as a taught a lesson to him in Krio.  They were kinda surprised that a white guy was speaking their language but all was well and i know if not that young man that someone learned from what we discussed that day.   I know I may still not be the best with controlling my temper and things but I know the Lord will help me if I just trust in him.  Its the same with all of you guys too.  No matter what you are wanting to change, rely on the Lord and you will see the happiness and change in your life!
Anyway that was just kinda a cool and somewhat exciting experience from this last week.
Also since our apartment and district is all being split up we had a little bit of fun on Saturday.  It was a surprise water fight.  As me and my comp came back to the apartment and started to open up the Gate to come inside the other 4 elders soaked us by dumping buckets of water off the balcony straight on us.  Well come to find out they locked themselves out in the back of the compound so they had no way back inside.  Me and my comp ran inside and started getting ready with buckets of water and also some left over water balloons we have in the apartment and the war was on!!  It was an absolute blast but a lot of cleanup inside the apartment!!  We definitely had some fun times in this apartment!
Anyway I  know this is long but if you guys need anything let me know.  And also please pray for me as I take my Journey into the bush called Bo–No light, very little electricity, and hot/ dry season is coming!!!!   It should be a rough but new experience!! Love you all talk to you next week!
​Heres some pics with some of my favorite members of the IDA branch.​

Week 68- Happy Thanksgiving

Hey Everyone I dont have a ton of time again today so I’m really sorry.  This last week started off really good and we were seeing a ton of people.  Unfortunately my companion a few days into the week wasn’t feeling too good.  Due to that we weren’t able to go out and teach a ton the rest of the week.  Luckily he was good before Sunday so we were able to attend church and have a really good Sunday service.  Hopefully we can pick it up this week again and have an awesome week ahead.  I have a story I can tell next week but for now I’m out of time so I’ll talk to you guys next week!  I love you guys and if you need anything let me know!
Eat plenty of food this week and watch double the amount of football for me!!  Happy Thanksgiving! We have so much to be grateful for.

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!!