Monday, October 28, 2013

You might enjoy reading...

Our blog story of the missionaries filling the font by hand was seen by someone who works for the Meridan Magazine - a church based online magazine.  He wrote to us and asked if he could use our story and pictures.  I just checked today and the story is there.  Look up Meridan Magazine (LDS, Mormon and Latter-Day Saint News).  When it comes up, click on Church in the gold colored bar.  Then click on LDS Missionary.  Now more people will get to read about our fabulous missionaries!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Logan Town AND ...

'Defenders of the Faith'

Don't they look official?  
Here are a few of the Elders from the Logan Town Zone in the Bushrod Island District.    
 (L to R - Elders Humpherys, Zaugg, Price, Bowring, and Guymon.)
As these Elders were getting ready to leave after Saturday's baptism, we noticed they all had on their  sunglasses...well, we needed a picture of that!  Saturday was the nicest baptism we've been to here in Liberia.  The missionaries had made some changes to make it an even nicer meeting than usual. We were glad we were there.  


Here are some pictures of the Logan Town Branch building where Elder Berrett and I have been assigned to attend.

Our truck is the only one parked at the church on Sundays.  The members either walk or have to pay to ride a motorcycle taxi to get to church. The road in front of the building is full of deep potholes which fill up with water when it rains.  It's quite the adventure just getting to church!

Notice the roof and shutters on the windows.  There is no glass in the windows and no electricity or running water in the building.  When it rains, the ceiling leaks and the members just slide over on the benches so they won't get wet.  The branch will be fasting this next Fast Sunday that we can find a new building for them to meet in.  Please join with us in our fast.  These humble and devoted members of the church need a better place to meet.  

Update - It rained so hard at church yesterday, that the rain hitting the zinc roof sounded like a freight train.  The ceiling started to leak - really leak - emptying the first two rows of benches.  Rain was blowing in the windows so they shut the shutters and boy, was it dark.  We could barley make out the white shirts of those setting up front.  Because there's no sound system, we could not hear the speaker. Everyone just sat quietly, trying to listen.  I never realized before the humble circumstances that many of the members attend church in each week.  I love these Logan Town members.



Elder Berrett used the timer on our camera to get this picture of the chairs, us, and our first Institute Marriage Preparation Class.  You should have seen him run to get into place before the camera took the picture!!  (He's not slowing down at all.)  We are all holding our Student Manuals.  We teach twice a week in two different locations. These classes keep us on our toes.    

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Oh the things you do on a mission!

Oh the things you do on a mission!  Here is Elder Berrett helping a farmer castrate his pigs.  

There were a number of children that came running when the pigs started squealing.  Any kind of activity brings quite a crowd.

Random pictures for the week

Look at this picture closely.  

Can you tell what's going on?  Look closely.  See on the front of the white truck it says MISSIONARY, backwards?  That's because you are looking at our reflection in a large mirror that is being hauled by the truck in front of us.  Elder Berrett is driving and I'm taking the picture.  Can you see us?  When we first glanced up, we thought this truck was coming towards us, but then we realized it was just our reflection!

So in one of our missionary apartments, their iron broke.  Their landlord gave them a Liberian iron to use. You open the top and put hot coals in to heat it up.  Notice the cute little chicken shape on top.  I'd love to bring one home with me, but I'm afraid it is way too heavy.

One minute it was so sunny and we were following this truck full of bags of coal and people setting on top of them.  Then it started to rain.  And I mean RAIN!  Those setting on top were able to pull a tarp over them, but those standing on the back bumper of the truck just had to hang on.

Look closely and you can see there are 3 men on the back bumper hanging on for dear life.

Then the rains stopped and these beautiful clouds appeared.

We were talking with one of our Liberian friends and he couldn't believe that we don't see bananas growing like this at our house.  This is Brother Miles brining us some bananas.  

Here's Elder Berrett going African on us - trying to carry a box of books on his head.  Only difference is that a true African wouldn't need their hands to help balance it.  He did say it was easier to carry the box this way instead of in his arms.  

We've seen people here carry the most amazing things on their heads.  Saw one woman with two cinder blocks balanced on top of her head.  You see people with 5 gallon water containers, or large bowls of fruit to sell.  Even little children use their heads.  We see children at church balancing their scriptures on top of their heads.  They can even bend down and pick something up while perfectly balancing what's on their head.  Amazing!

Now this is how it's done!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

No Water.....No Problem!!

 Almost every week there are baptisms at the Duala Chapel.  This week when the missionaries arrived the generator was not working to supply power to the water pump which is used to fill the baptismal font.  Do you think they thought "Better postpone the baptisms?"  NO WAY!!  Instead they got to work and filled the font by hand.

This a picture of the well. 

Elder Zolo, Elder Pearmain and a branch mission leader  filled buckets from the well,  then poured the water into this 50 gallon barrel.

Here's Elder Bowring moving the barrel into the church.  Notice the flat tire on the wheelbarrow.
Watching him are Elders Osato, a branch mission leader, Zolo, Godi, Price, and Estigoy taking a picture.

More pictures of their bucket bridge.

They worked so hard.
L to R - Elders Guymon, Bowring, a barefoot Humpherys, Erickson, and Zolo.

These are some of "OUR" missionaries on Bushrod Island.
L to R -   Elders Zolo, Osato, Jensen, Godi, Guymon, branch mission leader, Estigoy, Pearmain, Bowring, Manqana, and Elder Price, who arrived last week and had a baptism this week.

Here's Elder Humpherys and Elder Zaugg (Zone leaders in Logan Town) and Elder Erickson.

Here's Elder Pearmain filling the font.

More filling! 
The missionaries' hard work paid off and the baptism went on as planned and 11 new members of the church were baptized that day. 

The newest members of the church in the Monrovia, Liberia Mission.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Our Life in Liberia

Are we are eating well?  Well, yes we are!  Today was a good day at the store.  There were good oranges, apples, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, and carrots.  That's not always the case.  The apples cost $4.95/lb - the oranges were $3.24/lb - the red pepper was $4.95/lb.  Before we can eat them, we have to soak them in bleach water.  We also wash our dishes in bleach water.  We've been wondering just how much bleach we have actually ingested since we got here.  The silver cylinders are our 3-filter system for drinking water which we are grateful for.  Food is expensive - a box of cereal is about $8, a package of Oreos is almost $9.  You can find almost everything you need if you're willing to pay the price.  No fresh milk.  The milk is the kind you can keep on the shelf and don't have to refrigerate.  I've found if you put a little chocolate in it, doesn't taste too bad!  We're in search of a good loaf of bread.  Haven't found one yet.  

Here's our apartment building.  The Pink Palace!  We live in this guarded, gated compound with 2 other Senior Missionary Couples, both with the last name of Miles.  Two brothers and their wives are serving here.  One Miles couple are Humanitarian Missionaries and the other are the Office Couple.  Our apartment has 3 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths, a front room, dining room, and a kitchen.  We are very blessed to live in such a nice place. All missionaries in Liberia have to be in their apartments by 7pm each night - that includes us - because the female mosquito which carries maleria comes out at night.  We sleep under a mosquito net.

Elder Berrett took this picture of the Liberian money.  They only have bills, no coins.  Right now the US dollar is worth about 80 Liberian dollars or LD as they call it.  This picture shows all the Liberian bills which add up to $185 LD.  That equals $2.31 US.  Notice there are no one's in LD.  The stores will take US dollars.  If you have change coming, they will give you the cents in LD.  The other day we had $.35 in change coming and they gave us 45 Liberian dollars. Street vendors only take LD.  It kind of shocks you when they say you owe $160 LD till you remember that is only $2 US.

When we arrived, we had a brand new Toyota truck waiting for us.  It doesn't look so new any more!  You would not believe some of the roads we've driven on!  Pot holes so big that you are afraid you might not make it out the other side.  Elder Berrett has done a great job learning to drive like a Liberian - CRAZY!!  I'm still practicing.  Notice it says Missionary on the truck. That makes us TRY to drive courteously.

This is the missionary's washing machine.  Really!  The missionaries wash all their clothes by hand.  I'm so grateful we have a washing machine in our apartment compound, even if we can only wash with cold water.  A lot of Africans use these also.  They get their clothes so white and hang them on clothes lines or some put them on the ground to dry.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How da day?.........Day awrigh.

It's been very hard for Denney and I to understand what's being said to us.  We listen very carefully and watch their mouths BUT...   The missionaries are trying to help us learn to speak Liberian.  The 'th' sound is pronounced 'd' and you don't finish your words.  Plus, we've learned that we talk too fast and use too many words so we are hard for them to understand.  We pray every day that we can communicate better.  So, as a greeting you say - 'How da day?'  (How's the day)  They answer 'Day awrigh' (Day's alright)

We finally got our missionary boots.  They are just like the ones Denney wears in the garden at home but I don't care what they look like, they keep our feet dry.  It rains almost every day.  Some times so hard that the wipers on the truck can't keep the window clear.  The streets flood and all the pot holes fill up making it hard to know how deep they are.  It's said that Monrovia gets 200 inches of rain a year. Sometimes I think it all comes in one day!

Took four missionaries to the airport to fly home yesterday...Elder Willis, Elder Harris, Elder Andersen, and Elder Smith.  Such great young men.  It was hard for them to leave and us to let them go!

I think we found ourselves another BYU fan here in Liberia!!