Monday, April 2, 2018

 This was a multi zone conference held at the Congo Cross Stake Center the Thursday before we came home.  Elder Ashton came and spoke to us.  He is the counselor in the General Sunday School Presidency.  Above was just a random picture I took before the meeting started.  On the front row 3rd from the right is Elder Beecher, he is one of our favorites.  (We have a lot of favorites). Front row 2nd from the right is Elder Ngadi. Also 2nd row 2nd for the right is Elder Izekor.  He is also one of our favorites.  He is the first missionary we welcomed after we arrived in Sierra Leone.  Elder Newton is front row far left. (another favorite) Elder Owen center with blond hair.  We do love this group of great missionaries!
 Above is Brent and I with a couple of our Filipino missionaries, Elder Caetano and Elder Carmona.  Our Grandson Filipino, Elder Cornista was serving in Bo and could not attend this day, but we had his friends.  Below is Elder Peterson with us.  He has the cutest sense of humor and is a wonderful missionary. 

 Some of our all time favorites, (again we have many)  Above Elder Beecher and Elder Fefegula.  Elder Fefegula is waiting for his Mozambique visa to come through and then he will head to theProvo MTC to learn Portuguese.  He has not been to the MTC or the Temple yet, but has been serving in our mission with Elder Beecher since October.  They are great missionaries.  Below is Elder Newton and Elder Fefegula.  Both waiting for Visa's from Mozambique.  I helped both young men acquire their Visa's for the US so they could attend the Provo MTC.  (side note since I am writing this after we returned home.  Both boys were able to receive their Visa's and are now in the MTC in Provo.  I feel like all my ends are tied up and I have completed all my tasks for the mission that needed to be finished.)

 Above is a picture of all the missionaries that were at the Zone conference.  President and Sister Clawson are sitting to the right of Brent and I.  They presented this plaque to us at the Zone conference and asked us to bear our Testimonies.  It was a sweet and humbling experience.  Below is Brent and I with Elder Cluff.  He took the picture above and we wanted him in a picture with us also. 

 These ladies prepared the meal we had at the Zone conference.  The sister on the left is the main lady.  She has catered several meals for conferences and her food is very good.  Her daughter is in the picture below and her name is Mariama  They are neat gals. 

 Our last week in Sierra Leone was truly bitter sweet.  It was exciting to think about going home, but sad to leave the beautiful people and so many good friends.  This post is of people we met on the street as we walked each day and made friends with.  Above is a cute granny who always asked us for food.  The last day we walked past her we took her a meal we had bought off the street.  She was a cute granny.
 This granny (above)was more educated and could read.  She was a good friend and the lady below with her and her little boy were neighbors.  They lived on this street.  The little boy warmed up to us really well and one day Brent said to him, "I love you" and he repeated back to Brent, "I love you"  It was so cute.  He usually said hi to us and waved and then said" bye, bye"
 Below is Brent with Alfred and he lives on the same street as the granny and her friend.  It took us about 3 months to get Alfred to talk to us and smile.  He would just sit on a stool and stare and we would always say hi.  Finally one day he made eye contact and Brent did knuckles with him.  After that he would say hi and smile and we would give him apples and oranges sometimes.  He was super friendly after that and always talked to us. 

 These ladies are the ones we bought fruits and vegetables from at the market by Chorthrums.

 The gal above with Brent adored him.  She was one of our favorites.  She was kind of the queen bee on this street and took very good care of us.  She would sometimes negotiate with the other vendors for us.  She gave us super good prices and sometimes things for free.  A couple of weeks before we left she had some good grapefruit and gave us some to try.  We liked them so much that we went back the next day and bought all she had.  The gal below was next to our sweet one eyed lady above 

 This little girl was one of the few children we ever picked up and hugged.  She was never afraid of us and when she saw us coming she ran to us and jumped into our arms.  We sure love her.  The last day we gave her a Book of Mormon Stories book and she hugged it and looked at it and handed it back to us.  We told her and her mom it was hers to keep and she smiled so big and just hugged the book to her chest.  I think her mom can read and will read it to her. 

 This gal is a sweet lady that we bought bread from for awhile.  Then we found Red Lion bread and liked it better, but she always had a smile for us and talked to us when we walked past her little shop.  She loved Brent, they all did!

 Above are some cute girls that were on the street and I wanted a picture of the painting on the wall so I had them get in the picture with Brent.

 These 2 ladies always talked to us and we became good friends with them.  The guy just happened to be there the day we took these pictures.  We didn't know him, but he was their friend. 

 The picture above is a guy we became friends with on Campbell street that we walked most days.  He took passport pictures there on the street and was a really nice guy and seemed pretty educated. 
The guy below sold phone top up credits on Campbell street and Brent gave him a Book of Mormon the last day we walked past him.  He was always friendly to us and he asked for the Book of Mormon.  Brent wrote his testimony in it for him.  

Sunday, January 28, 2018

28 January 2018.  Today we had 19 children in Primary counting the little nursery age boys.  I took a snap of all of them because I am not sure who will be there next week for our last week and wanted a picture of this group. 
 Sister Mattu is a counselor in the Primary Presidency and a very talented lady.  She is a seamstress and she also made these beautiful wraps for me.  When she gave them to me she said, " I made these for you so when you make food for your friends you can wrap these around the food to keep it warm."  They put their food in big plastic bowls here and wrap these around the food to keep it warm and keep the dust and bugs out.  They they put the big bowls on their heads and carry them.  I was so touched.  She is the sweetest lady and so beautiful. She has the biggest smile.  I love her dearly and will miss her. 

27 January 2018 we rode down to Lumly beach.  This is pretty typical of the traffic and the streets in Freetown.  

 Lumley Beach.  It is really sad they do not clean up the country.  I think they could have a very good tourist trade if they did.  Their beaches are beautiful, but I would not dare swim here at this beach. 

This is the gray truck we get to drive for a couple hours on Saturday and to go to Church on Sundays.  Most of the time we just walk everywhere. 
 26 January 2018, we went for a walk up in mountain.  It is more like a tall hill. This young man had a pet monkey and let me take a snap of it. 

Everyone carries things on their heads, even the little children.  They were selling the things in their baskets. 
 These little ones let me take their picture.  We have to ask, because sometimes they like to charge and I mostly wanted pictures of the houses up there.  Below these two men called to me to take a snap of them. 

 Above, you can see how close the houses are to each other.  The children love to have their picture taken. 

                                                   More of the houses and the hillside. 

 Once I started taking pictures the children would come running. They all wave to us and want to say hello.  They call "white man" and then keep calling hello, over and over and they wave and smile so big.  I love it.   I didn't realize it until I looked later, but I also caught a young man, in the back, Yup, doing what you think he is doing.  That is really common place here because they don't have any bathrooms in so many places and especially up the mountain.  

I had stopped to dance with a gal and the children gathered around to watch.   They were all fascinated with Brent's hair.  One boy dared to touch it and then they all wanted to touch it.  Don't you just love those cute smiles?

 26 January 2018.  This is the cute scene I saw out the window when I left our apartment on my Birthday.  Our Elders had written this to me on the driveway.  You can't see the banana trees to well, but they are on both sides at the top  On the right is a bunch of banana's and a loaf of banana bread.  They do like banana bread and I have made buko, buko loaves for them.  I love to make it for them. 

 They left me a very sweet note that  made me cry. (I seem to be doing that a lot these days)  I do love these wonderful Elders!