Week 49- 10 Baptismal Dates!

Hey guys! I hope everyone is having a great summer and is enjoying their vacations wherever they are!

You know the humid sticky jungles of Africa is a pretty sweet vacation if anyone would like to take a trip and visit….. It’ll get you out of Arizona heat and put you in humid heat so why not!! Just kidding dont waste your money…..
 I’ll get to some of the things going on around here this past week!! Me and Elder Ragogo worked hard this week! We found one part member family at the beginning of last week that we started teaching and they are now all wanting to be baptized!! We also have two more investigators with baptismal dates so total this last week we gave out 8 for a total of 10 investigators with a baptismal date for August 5th!!! I’m so stoked for them!! The only sad part is I might not be here to see it all happen but hey that’s okay I got to be a part of their spiritual journey and progression and that’s all that matters!
We did some contacting as well and we found 8 New investigators this week and we are hoping to get them to church and progressing as well but we will see how that goes!!
There was some crazy things that happened this week that will make good stories when I get home so I think I’m going to save them but one thing that happened on Monday we got to go to the beach!  Our whole zone went, about 20 of us. We played some American football, soccer, and even some frisbee and overall had a ton of fun!!  I did however get fried which I found super unusual because back home I never got burnt.  That African sun will get ya!!  So if you’re ever looking for a good tan for the summer just fly on over I’ll show you a good spot!
We have transfers coming this next week so you all will find out next week if i go somewhere else or if I stay in the Jui branch for longer. So stay tuned.
Anyway that’s how this last week went and for those who only care about pictures don’t worry I got some for you! Love you all!  As usual if you need something shoot me an email!  I mean you probably have someone you could call and talk to in person and that’s probably a better option but I’m here too so feel free!   Later!!

Week 48- Sister Abagail

 

Hey everyone! I hope everyone is doing amazing and are enjoying the cool weather in whatever place you all left Arizona to get to!  For all those still stuck in Arizona I am very sorry, but if it makes you feel better I bet I’m sweating just as bad as you are in this humidity the only difference is yours dries haha…. Anyway let’s get into this exciting week here.
So this last week was a pretty great one!  To start off we got quite a few people at church this week and it was so awesome.  We had an investigator class that literally lasted almost 2 hours because there were so many good questions coming at us we just couldn’t stop!  What made church even better is we are starting a mission preparation class here every Sunday after church!  Now, they have this class already but the teacher only shows up once in a while so it kinda just died  but the district thinks they are going on.  So we decided to do it ourselves and it was super good!  I got a nice little surprise that made me so happy.  One of my recent converts Sister Abagail said she has the desire to serve! When I asked her why she looked at me and said, “I was lost and you kept coming back even when we weren’t really interested at first.   I can see how much I’ve grown, changed, and became closer to Christ and I want to be the blessing in someone else’s life.”  I was seriously so proud I didn’t know how to respond!! So with the time I have left here I hope to try to help her increase desire before I leave this area! But that was by far the highlight of my week.  This letter is already kinda long but just to end I’ve gotten into really studying the Book of Mormon more lately.  I’ve truly seen the happiness that comes from really getting into studying it and I am absolutely loving it!  I’ve truly seen the ways that the Book of Mormon relates to us today and I am seeing the blessings already!!
So the pics… there’s some 4th of July stuff sent to all of us from the fam,  a funny door we found (everyone spells so badly here so I had to take the pic), me and a baby I was just handed while I was sitting down haha, a house we were teaching in and yes they live here and yes that’s a typical Sierra Leone house,  and finally, Elder Tarpeh my MTC comp along with elder Spaulding!!
Anyway this is already really long so I’ll let everyone get back to their vacations!! Love you all! If you’re stuck in Arizona don’t die!! Later.

Week 47- Happy Fourth!

Hello everyone who still cares about reading my emails… It’s 4th of July already!! That means we’ve officially reached our 11 months mark on the mission! I can still remember perfectly what I was doing last 4th of July and how much fun it was so I hope everyone has a sweet day!!  Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do…..
Anyway, this week was a pretty great one.  We found quite a bit of new people to teach this week and even better we had 10 investigators show up to church this week!! We’ve been struggling with getting people to church lately but this week we had an amazing turnout and the investigators class was so sweet!! So many good questions!!  For those who don’t know yet they have a class specifically for investigators to sit down and ask any question they want about the church or the gospel just anything they want to ask! But this week we had a sweet class with so many great questions!
I also got to go on exchanges with our district leader last Wednesday and I went over to his area and it was super sweet! We had a blast and had a lot of people to see! I knew a lot of his area because it’s part of my area that was split last transfer so I know his area pretty well!
As for exciting things,  just a whole lot of rain and humidity so I hope everyone is enjoying the 120+ degrees….
That’s about all I got for this week tho… I hope everyone is doing well and I’d love to hear from anyone and everyone so feel free to shoot me some emails!! Love you all!

Week 46- Splits with Elder Evans

Wassup my opoto friends! I hope everyone had a stellar week and all is well with everyone!!
This week was a pretty great week here! To start off this week we had our first branch choir practice and let’s just say that BMT (black man time) is a real issue here… So we planned our practice to be at 5 o’clock and nobody showed up until about 7 at night…. It was so ridiculous but hey that’s Sierra Leone for you! I mean at least people showed up that was nice of them! We had a really good practice and the song went very well on Sunday! We even got asked to sing at our district fireside in a couple weeks so that’ll be interesting haha!
That same day we went on splits with the zone leaders and I got to go out with elder Evans! He’s a super super cool guy and by far the best zone leader I’ve ever had and we had a lot of fun together! We even helped one of our members hand wash all her and her families clothes and hang them and all of that which not a lot of people here will let two white men help them work so it was a lot of fun!!!
Anyway nothing too exciting but it was definitely a good week full of work!! I love you all and feel free to send me emails no matter who you are I love to hear from everyone!!! Make it an awesome week!!!

Week 45- Big News in the Mission

Hey everyone I hope you all had a great week!!
We recently got some big news here in the mission!!!!   They have decided to open up part of Guinea and it’ll become part of this mission!!!  So some of us may be transferred there.  The hard part about that is Guinea is French speaking country!  We all came here as a English speaking mission. We learned no language in the Mtc.  We have picked up some languages they speak here but not French… I don’t know how it will work lol some of us will probably need to learn.  I can pick up French fries but idk about the language hahaha!  But I would go if they ask.  Why not, that just means God wants me there.  The country is 85% Muslim and 8% Christian.
Here in the Jui Branch we had a busy week! So the past 6 months I have had the second biggest area in the mission and we finally got 2 more elders to help us cover our huge area!  It’s such a big help and stress relief for me and my companion.  So this week we have been showing the new elders their new area and a few people and it’s been really good!  We have a new elder in our apartment.  He is from Nigeria.  I cant really tell you his name because I don’t really know how to spell it. Its like Elder Nwauhiara…
Also Elder Spaulding came back to Salone!  He was one of the elder who was injured in the car accident on our first day here.  So thats sweet.  He got sent to our area and he is only 2 miles away! We went to visit him and his companion.  So question….What the freak is a fidget spinner? Elder Spaulding brought one and it was the weirdest thing ever!  I played with one today and this is the coolest/stupidest things ever hahahaha!  Yet slightly entertaining.
We also brought out the American football one day this week and went outside the apartment and had some fun with the kids and we had a blast and they keep asking to do it again so we are going to have to play again this week but we all had a blast!!
We are also starting a choir in our new branch so that should be interesting because for all who know me I have no musical talent at all so this will be fun haha! Anyway congrats to Elder Jake Lunt for completing his mission! Love you bro!! I hope you all have a great week, I’m in a ping pong tournament at the moment but if you need ever need anything shoot me an email!!!

Week 44 – No transfer and Fatmata got Baptized

Hello everyone,  so I don’t have a lot of time today but pretty much what happened with transfers is… nothing haha!  I’m still here in the Jui Branch which means I’ll be at least 7 1/2 months in this area!!  Although I was hoping for a little change I guess there’s more the Lord needs from me here, so I will just keep it up!!  My companion is still Elder Ragogo which is sweet, we get along great, I really love my guy!  We will be getting a new Elder in the house though.  One Elder in our apartment is getting moved to Makeni so we heard we will be getting someone new fresh out of the mtc!
The highlight of my week is we finally got to baptize the woman who was pulled out of her baptism about a month ago by her boyfriend!  Well since the last time he agreed to let her get baptized so on Saturday Sister Fatmata was finally baptized and it was great!!! I still think her boyfriend was a little bugged that he wasn’t doing it but he is over it.  Anyway that was my week hope all is well sorry it’s not very long this week but we got invited to the branch presidents house for dinner!!!  Last time we ate shwarma.  Its kinda like a burrito I guess. But there is NO RICE in it.  That is probably why I love it so much haha  Its like meat, fried or boiled egg, some onions, peppers, ketchup, mayo, and some other stuff…  well love you all!!
Elder Turner
(Elder Rogers from Gilbert High School)
(Elder Smith goes home today)
(Check out that clean baptismal water)

Week 43- Hiking

 

 

Whats up my people!?  10 Months gone already!  Theres no way to explain time
on a mission.  Part of me feels like I left last week and the other
part of me feels like back home was just a dream of Heaven.  But anyway,
now I’m just enjoying the rainy season here!  It’s starting up and I can’t
wait for the rain to start pouring so it can cool off a little bit.
The dry season here is rough!   For those who don’t know much
about this country (Im going to assume is 99% of you)… here we have 2
seasons.  Rainy and dry.   Each one lasts 6 months.  And we are just starting to hit the rainy season again here!  So a lot of us missionaries here are stoked!
This was another week where nothing much has happened but i think its
because I’ve spent 6 months in this area now so everything is just feels the
same but transfers are called this next Saturday so we will see how it
goes!   I have really come to love my branch and the people
in it but I’m hoping for a change of scenery.  If not… all is well.  That
means the Lord has more for me to do here so I will keep on going!  I’ll
keep you all updated!
Our district, Kossoh Town, did get to go on a little hike today which was fun!  It’s only 3 miles to the bottom of the trail from our apartment.  It was actually Queen
Elizabeths underground house that she had built here.  Why she had it, I don’t
know but she did haha!  It has since been blocked and torn apart and
its now pretty much a cave so we decided to go inside.  It was a ton
of fun!  I saved it for last since its about the only thing to do here.                                              I have plenty of pictures too so don’t worry Mom and Dad.  And I did not eat any bat!
Anyway I love you all have an amazing week and if you need anything
feel free to shoot an email over!!

Elder Turner

Week 42- I saw Elder Foote and got a Donut!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone had a great week!
This week in predictable Sierra Leone it started to rain pretty consistently! Almost every day now we’re getting more and more rain.  I really hope it stays that way!!  Rain is so much better than the sun here!  The only bad part…. the mosquitos are worse!!   I am getting eaten alive but oh well, I take my malaria pills everyday and pretty much live inside of my net when we get to the apartment.  At least we have nets!
One of my favorite parts of my week this week was when I got to see the good ol’ Elder Foote!!  It’s been almost 6 months since I last saw him in Makeni and it was super nice to catch up!!
Also, we talked with the man who pulled his wife from the baptism the other week and….. HE AGREED TO LET HER GET BAPTIZED!!!!  We were so happy and we have given her a new date of June 10th!!  It was sweet and he apologized for what he did! We’re so stoked for her because she is so ready to join!
To top off the week we went with the office Elders on Friday and we got a legit donut!!!! It was soooooooooo freaking good!
Anyway that was my week not the most exciting… No fights or accidents or police or anything but I guess that’s a good thing!!
Anyway I love you all and if anyone needs anything shoot me an email I’ll be here for about another year plus so feel free I’d love to hear from you! Have an awesome week!

Week 41- Police in Jui

Hey everyone!  Its summer time!  Well for you… here it’s rain time!!  This week was a good one in the Jui branch/area!  We’re spending a lot of time contacting to try to find priesthood holders for our branch because we can see we are lacking in numbers of them but we’re working hard to find anyone!!
We met one man named Amara and he told us his brother has quit going to his church and he’s asking us to come meet with him so we will see what we can do to help with that one!  Seems like a golden opportunity to me!!
So this week we’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff happen in Jui.  A couple fights and a car accident so we’ve seen a ton of police around lately.  One day this week we were passing through Jui Junction and there was a huge mob around a man surrounded by police right where we needed to go.  As we were walking around we had a ton of the people in the crowd look at us and say “it’s one of your members!”  I was like what am I supposed to do… Well I couldn’t just leave like I didn’t care about one of our members so I told my companion to stop and we pushed through all the people into the middle.  I got in between one of our recent converts and the police and separated everyone and talked to the police to see what happened.  While I was talking to the police our member just walked home.  A white man is a pretty good distraction I guess haha!
To show you how corrupt the police are here, what happened was our member parked a bike in the wrong place and when the police asked for money he didn’t have any so they tried to take him to jail. The 5 cops through him on the ground ripped his shirt and they took his bike and said either he pays 250,000 Leone’s or he comes to the station and spends 6 months in prison!!!!   250,000 Leones is like $35 which is a lot here.  All for parking a bike somewhere… like what!?!  The police just try to scam and be tricky here.  Just a note my branch president was able to get the bike back for him.  He is one of my favorite converts here so I was happy.
Anyway I hope all is well back home and everyone is doing great!! I love you all!! Have an awesome week!! If you ever need anything shoot me an email id love to hear from anyone!!!

Week 40- Stranded

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mother’s out there!!  I don’t know how you do it, but thank you for all you guys do for everyone!!!  So after Skyping our families Saturday, we left the mission home around 10pm.  haha getting back that night was a little rough! We found a car to take us but half way back it broke down and wouldn’t start so it took an extra hour to flag down another car.  The driver was chill though and and he helped us flag down another car.  He didn’t want to leave us because where it broke down is a one of the sketchiest parts of Freetown.  So we gave him a little extra money because he was so cool.  I guess his fuel pump was bad so it just kept dying so there really wasn’t anything we could do that night.  There are not very many cars out at night so it took so long to find another one.  Its kinda like hitchhiking haha  So we found another one and just hopped in car.  If we hadn’t found another car we would have been screwed because it would have taken hours.  So we got home around midnight.
So this week was a little rough… we walked a lot and didn’t really find anyone at home all week so it was a pretty bad week.
 Just to give you one thing that really upset me this week was we were supposed to have 3 people being baptized on Saturday.  They were all interviewed and ready to go but when the day came for the baptism one of our candidates boyfriends wanted to be the Baptist for our candidate.  Now normally this is fine, except we know he is not worthy, so when we told him he could not do the baptism he freaked on us!  Apparently the branch allowed him to bless his new baby boy (he wasn’t supposed to) so when we told him no he got very upset and made us call the branch and mission presidents to explain why. Anyway,  long story short he walked in the room in the middle of the meeting and told his girlfriend to go change and made her leave her own baptism!!!!   I was like what the heck!!  So I pulled him to the side and had a 30 minute conversation with him about how baptism is a saving ordinance and he doesn’t know what will happen tomorrow so he shouldn’t hold her back and he seemed to understand.  Then as soon as we finished talking he grabbed the girl and left and didn’t even care!  He said she will wait to be baptized until HE is worthy (which sad to say probably won’t be for a long time…)  So that morning was kinda hard on us.
 But on the bright side we had two great men both be baptized and they recieved the priesthood this weekend!! Bro James and Bro Abdul!! They’re super awesome!! One is from the wedding photos a few weeks ago.
Anyway that’s about it for my week I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!!!!