Saturday, July 26, 2014

Farewell to the Hezseltines and other July pictures….

Farewell good friends and mission mentors…

July 23, 2014 - Elder and Sister Hezseltine left for home. They have worked so hard to get this mission up and running.  We will miss Elder Hezseltine's expertise with the computer and Sister Hezseltine's shopping knowledge of where to go to get what you need for the best price.  In my mind I can still hear her saying, "Is that your best price?"  

All the Senior Couples went to the The Flower Chinese Restaurant for a farewell dinner.
L to R - Elder and Sister Dever, Sister and Elder Berrett, President and Sister Kirkham, 
Sister and Elder Hezseltine, Elder and Sister Miles.
Salt Lake Butler West Stake - our home Stake - did several service projects as part of their yearly Women's Conference.  One of those projects included writing to some of the missionaries here in Liberia.   

The missionaries have been so pleased to receive the letters.  For some it was the first letter they'd received while on their mission.  They were so surprised when I handed it to them.  It was as much fun for us give them out as it was for the missionaries to get them.
Here are Elder Anang's, Banguara's, and Enwukweri's happy faces after reading their letters.

Elder Banguara was so excited to show us his letter because our daughter Lara had been the one to write it.  Made us happy, too.

We gave Elder Maurana -from Zimbabwe - his letter.  He immediately went into his apartment and read it, came right out and said to me , "This is the sweetest letter."  
Good job, Nathan and Brita Croft family!

I've had phone calls from other missionaries who received letters, saying thank you…so I'm passing on a BIG THANKS to all of you who took the time to write our missionaries.  
Your letters meant a lot to them.

We thought this was a great picture of 3 great missionaries as they were walking on their way to the mission office.  I love that you can see the ocean in the picture, too.  This is Elder Finau's last Sunday in Liberia.  The next day he left for his home in Tonga.
L to R - Elders Finau, Dahin, and Burr - our Mission AP's.  

We had just come from church where the Sisters in the branch told me I looked African.  That made me happy.  I bought the material and our friend Abraham (the young man that Elder Berrett baptized) sewed the outfit  for me.  
We had to have our picture taken with Elder Finau before he left for home.  We will miss that smile.

We just got a shell put on our truck this week.  It makes our deliveries to the missionaries so much easier.  We're being patriotic with the Liberian flag on our window.  
July 26th is Liberian Independence Day.  

Here is a picture of our New Kru Town Branch on the day that they were divided to create the new Lagoon Branch.  It was Elder Conner's (back row) last Sunday in the branch before he was transferred to Thinker Village.  His companion, Elder Smith, is in front.  Love these people!

In our branch is a small boy named Favor Weah.  When we first started attending church there, he would run from us - he was so afraid.  Now he runs to us.  He especially loves Elder Berrett.

We stopped at the Caldwell apartments to make a delivery.  In front of the compound was a group of children playing marbles.  Elder Berrett used to be a marble champ when he was a boy so couldn't resist giving it a try.  Some things you never forget how to do!

It was my birthday on July 18.  When we arrived at the mission office there was a group of missionaries there who were preparing to go home.  They beautifully sang 'Happy Birthday', then did an impromptu birthday rap.  They were really good!!  Love these missionaries.
(L to R. Elders Dahlin, Humpherys, Myaka, Finau, Marondera (in front), Ayim, Burr

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The First Time Ever in Liberia ….

The first YSA Summit was held in Liberia on July 11-12 at Ricks Institute in Virginia, Liberia.
173 Young Single Adults attended the two day Summit.
Elder Berrett and I were asked to be the advising couple to help with the planning.

Elder Terrence Vinson, 1st Counselor in the West Africa Area Presidency spoke to the YSA.

Lillian Martino also spoke.  She is an 18 year old girl who was born in Ghana and later adopted by a family in Heber City, Utah.  She has started a foundation that helps needy children in Ghana.
And our Mission President, President Kirkham, spoke.

Fun games were played.  
Try this - put a piece of spaghetti in your mouth and be the first to pick up 5 penne pastas.  
Harder than it looks!

First time they'd ever heard of or tried a three-legged race.  

More picture of those attending.

A BIG thanks to Sister Bryant and Sister Gonquoi who were in charge of feeding 4 meals to almost 200 people.

Take a look at where they cooked those meals.  Notice the charcoal stove in the back.

And the oven where they did their baking. 

They even brought their own bags of charcoal to heat the ovens.  
There is charcoal wrapped in palms leaves inside these bags.

Elder Berrett had a chance to visit with some of the YSA while they waited for their rides homes.

I think this shirt about sums it up.  They are proud to be a Mormon.  
It was a great group of kids that came and enjoyed being with each other.  Some traveling a long as 4 hours to be there.  
They were able to be part of history making in the church by attending the 
first YSA Summit ever held in Liberia.  
And just think….we got to be there too!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Number 21


Born  to Craig and Kacie Berrett
on July 5, 2014
7 lbs. 15 oz.  -    20 inches long


Let's see….that makes 12 grandsons and 9 granddaughters.  Are we blessed, or what!

We are so pleased to welcome this little guy into the family.  We were able to Skype and see him minutes after he was born which is our own little miracle since the other apartments in our compound did not have internet last night BUT some how our's worked!!  A tender mercy for sure.

Give him a big hug for us   :)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

And the rains came down….

Liberia only has two seasons - The Dry Season and The Rainy Season.  It's official - it's The Rainy Season.  Even the locals are amazed by the amount of rain we are getting.  See how deep the water is on this car as it slowly travels down Somalia Drive.

I worried for these two young boys.  I was afraid they might fall down from the force of the water as they tried to cross the street.  The water is up past their knees.

If you have to catch a ride on a motorcycle taxi, hope one with an attached umbrella comes along.

Just as we left the Duala District Center, we saw two of our Elders walking in the rain to get to Saturday's baptisms - Elder Kamara and Elder Price.

We stopped to make a delivery at the Caldwell New Georgia apartment.  The Elders all gathered on the porch to watch Elder Berrett and I make our way across their flooded parking lot.  I think we put on quite a show for them!

The water completely covered our shoes.  WHY didn't I bring my boots!!

A few of the Elders decided to join us.
Elders Erickson, Gunnell, and Agyei

As we drove past the Brewerville/Banjor Branch Chapel, we noticed the members were there trying to sweep the water out of their flooded building.  They'd been at it since 6:30 am and it was now 11:00 am.  
Can you pick out the missionaries?

They were also trying to dig a trench to divert the water away from the building.

Here's Elder LaMont on his way to help.  You can see his companion, Elder Fairwell, ahead of him carrying two mop buckets.

Even the Sisters braved the elements.
Sisters Iwenofu and Dlamini

People will put plastic grocery bags or shower caps on their heads to help keep their hair dry.

No need to let a 'little' rain stop a good soccer game!

When it rains, the window washers come out.  When you stop for a light, they pour laundry detergent on your windows and rub it on with a rag. Then the rain is supposed to wash away the soap and you'll have clean windows.  But, it really just soaps up your windows and makes it difficult to see out.  Then when they are done, they want you to pay them for cleaning your windows.  When we see them coming towards our truck, we start waving our arms and saying, "NO!  NO!" since you usually have to start driving before the rain has a chance to rinse your windows clean. 


As we drove over the bridge from Bushrod Island,  a man dressed up and walking on stilts was coming from the opposite direction.  I wish you could see his face.  It was covered with what looked like burlap  cloth with no holes for his eyes or mouth.  It must have been hard for him to see and breathe. He stopped right in front of our car and I took his picture.  He then wanted me to pay him for 'letting' me take his picture.  We waited for a few minutes and he finally moved and let us pass.