Sunday, June 19, 2016

 Sunday June 19, 2016 we attended the Kossoh town District meeting.  These are the elders that serve in some of the branches in that district.  About half an hour into the meeting a young usher asked us to let some investigators have our seats so we went outside where these Elders are and sat.  Pretty soon they were outside also.  The microphone went out so we couldn't hear the meeting.  As I sat there boiling hot and not hearing I marveled at these faithful people who were at a meeting they couldn't hear sitting in the heat, because they were suppose to be there. 
 These children were sitting in front of us and the little boy made all their hats out of programs  I took my program and made fans for the little girls.  Then I made one of the paper games they are holding and they all smiled and the little boy laughed out loud.  So I used more programs and showed him how to make them and he made the other 2 girls one and one for himself.  He was really smart and they were all so cute.  We couldn't hear any of the meeting and it was super hot, but we felt the spirit and made each other smile and it will be a meeting I always remember.  The elders were sitting to the left of us. 

 After the meeting Josephine and Joseph between Brent an I wanted a picture.  They are both going on missions on August 25th.  They are two I have been blessed to get to know and help a little bit.  Josephine and I have become good friends.  The young man to the right of Brent just wanted his picture with us.  There were 3 young men his age that asked me after the meeting if I would have my picture taken with them.  Whites here are something of a novelty and they like having their pictures taken with us. 
We are almost to our apartment here.  You can see the cars on both sides of the road, they are just parked.  They do that here.  There is a great and abominable church on the left that is well attended.  They just stop and park on the side of the road and this nice 2 lane road becomes a one lane road. 
This is Africa! 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

 May 31,2016  This is the first group of missionaries we received to the Sierra Leone Freetown mission from the MTC.  Our first missionaries here were transferred from Ghana and Accra. They are all seasoned missionaries with less than 6 months before they return home.  They are the trainers to all these missionaries.  Our 2 sister missionaries each have 2 sisters to train.  So now we have a total of 6 sisters in our mission. 
 June 1, 2016 Our second group of missionaries for the MTC.  We were suppose to get the whole group on May 31st, but we do not have the facilities to house that many missionaries at one time.  So we received them in 2 groups. 
 These are the AP's Elder Nymebwe and Elder Kochevar.  It is a little blurry, but I wanted you to see them.  They are amazing young men and help us so much.  Elder Kochevar goes home in July and Elder Nymebwe goes home in September.  We will miss them. 
 Brent and Elder Kochevar, A little blurry also, but it was such a cute picture I couldn't resist.  They had just finished taking all the Elders and Sisters pictures.  Cute Elders!
 These young men are all Sierra Leone Elders leaving on their missions.  They left June 2, 2016.  This is the first group my Sierra Leone missionaries I was blessed to help.  They are amazing young men and are on their way to Accra to enter the MTC.  They were pretty stoked.  Left to Right:  KallonThomas, Kpukuma Abdulrahman, Emmanuel Tandason, Ishmail Ibrahim, Martin Bull, Prince Foday, and Alimamy Kamara.  He actually had his mission call reinstated.  He was called in 2014 before Ebola, but then they closed the country and he could not go until now.  (See why I struggle with names here.)
This was after a Stake Conference  It was held in the Miatta Center in Freetown.  It is a conference center, but outside the room we were in is kind of like a Very small Ikea.  They sell all kind of things.  Saidu Conteh is the African young man and it was his Birthday.  He spoke in conference and did a wonderful job.  He is a returned missionary and is a service missionary in our office and does a lot of things for us.  Left to Right:  Saidu's sister, Elder Carly, Sister Carly, President Clawson, Sister Clawson Saidu, Saidu's girlfriend, Me and Brent. 
 Saturday June 5, 2015 for our P-day we went with Elder and Sister Carly and Elder and Sister Miles to the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary.  It is a sanctuary to educate people as much as a preserve for Chimpanzee's.  Over half of the chimpanzee's in Africa live in Sierra Leone, but they are on the endangered list because of poachers killing them to eat, killing families to take the babies and sell as pets and the rain forests being cut down.  It was a guided tour and Yes we did read every sign.  Our guide actually gave us time and encouraged us to read them. 

 This is a Jack Fruit we saw growing on a tree along the trail to see the Chimpanzee's.  It was the first one we have seen here. 
 They only take 2 tours a day and we went to the 10:00 tour.  They plan to feed the Chimpanzee's while the tours are happening so the people on the tours can see them.  These enclosures are for chimpanzee's who still depend on humans for all their food.  They stay here until the people running the sanctuary determine they are ready to move to a more independent enclosure. 

 These Chimpanzee's were in the next stage and they were feeding them Mango's.  They only feed these guys 4 times a day.  They go back into the rain forest you can see behind them and are pretty self sufficient.  The enclosure they are in is about 10 acres and about 60% of all the vegetation in the rain forest they can eat. 

 These Chimpanzee's are in the next enclosure and they are pretty much on their own.  They do feed them a couple times a day so they are not quite ready to release into the wild.  The grandkids will know this, but I didn't.  What is the difference between a monkey and a chimpanzee? 
Monkeys have tails and chimpanzee's do not. 

 This big guy climbed a tall tree right in front of us and went up high.  I zoomed in on him.  He climbed this tree with a big rock in his hand as soon as we arrived on the platform to watch the chimpanzee's in this enclosure.  He kept looking at us and putting the rock from his left had to his right hand.  The guide said to watch him because he likes to throw rocks.  Finally he put the rock in a group of leaves in the tree and just sat down and watched us.  That is when I snapped this picture. 
 The top picture was a picture of the road as we drove out.  We actually parked about a hundred yards from where we started the tour and walked the rest of the way because the road was so rough and steep.  The bottom picture is for Greg and Chad.  I couldn't resist. On our way home we saw this man riding on the back of a motorcycle, (Okata) with a door balanced between him and the driver.  "This is Africa".

Thursday, June 16, 2016

 This is the Godriech chapel we went to church at a couple of weeks ago.  We had never been there before and Brent got directions from the Elders how to get there. They told us it was a gold, two story building and it was.  You can see the sign out front with the Palm tree in front of it. We couldn't find it so we called Elder Kochevar and he got on google maps and we were telling him the color of roofs and he was looking on the computer.  I told him there were 3 red roofs and he saw them and said we were almost there.  We did find it, but we were about 20 minutes late.  It was an adventure. 
 I am standing in the front of the building and Brent is standing in the back of the building in the top picture.  Behind him on the hillside are piles and piles of rock that the people spend all day breaking up by hand.  They take a big hammer and just hammer the rocks to break them into small pieces that they use as road base. 
 These children were so cute.  I sang" Do as I'm Doing" with them and then they said they had a song for me, so I asked them to sing it.  They sang, "The 12 Days of Christmas" for me and they knew every word.  They were so darling.  They didn't even know how much I love Christmas, but Heavenly Father knows and gave me a tender mercy that day.  
 This is James, one of our guards who tilled Brent's garden.  He has been assigned somewhere else and came just to see how the garden was coming and wanted a picture.  The garden is growing well.
 The tree outside our front window is getting more and more blooms on it as the rains come. 
This is a pineapple we bought in a street market. The pineapple and mango are delicious right now and they are not very pricey.