Sunday, April 30, 2017
Sunday, April 30, 2017
We heard yesterday that Jim’s sister Julie died, and so we’ve been a bit depressed. We knew very well that she might not last till we returned home, and we were fortunate that Jim, John (his brother) and I were able to talk with her when we were visiting John before we came on this trip, knowing it would probably be the last time. John’s wife Pam had passed away on Jim’s birthday, April 5th, and that is why we were at his home visiting with him. So, it has been a month of departing loved ones, but in both cases it was not unexpected, and both of them had suffered long enough. Gratefully, Julie’s son Tim will hold off on services for Julie till we can get there a little later this month.
Because E/S Carley live a bit far to take us to church, the Mission President’s wife Sister Clawson arranged for the Elders to pick us up and take us to church, along with a short-sleeved, white dress shirt to wear. I still laugh that Jim remembered everything except for his shirt! The Elders happened to take us to the Ward where our good friend Markus is the Bishop. He asked us to give our testimonies just after a confirmation and before the Sacrament was passed. Because of recent events I was a bit emotional and shed some tears, but it makes me grateful for the plan of salvation, knowing Julie is finally with her husband that died long ago, and that both she and Pam (John’s wife) are now no longer suffering.
We love to hear the people sing the hymns because they sing out so robustly. We love to come because someone is always getting confirmed a member, meaning they recently got baptized. I don’t know how they are keeping up with all the training of so many new members. And in each Ward there are always more than one set of Elders—this was no exception. We rode in the car with one Elder Grant who is going home tomorrow and he lives in Castaic, CA, not far from us, and that knows my brother-in-law Andy Lamprey. The others were from Arkansas and Georgia. The one from Georgia was sharing something in class and we noted that his way of speaking was African English that the local people can really understand. We laughed as this red-headed Elder gave his answer and wondered how long it would be when he got home that he’d return to his former way of speaking. The Elder from Arkansas is looking forward to a track scholarship when he goes home—he is a good high jumper and also plays basketball.
They had several fans going and the back of the church had plenty of places for the breeze to come in, but electricity is always going off, at which time Jim would be wiping the sweat off and I would take out my trusty fan. We were pretty heated up and sleepy and hungry when it was time to go home. They spoke a bit about unrighteous dominion at home and at church, paying tithing, getting temple recommends, doing family history, and fellow-shipping new members.
Wherever we go we love to see the delightful children. These are from a few days ago while in Liberia. The children are always so happy!
Today we can relax at the hotel, but tomorrow we will be hiking, sweating and getting dirty again, so we are enjoying our rest. Love, from Sierra Leone