June 10-11 Hand-written, mailed letter received 7/14

June 10: I have learned a few things recently, mostly about myself. I am selfish. I am prideful. I am judgmental. I am privileged. And most of all I am inexperienced. I am so reliant on the Spirit every day with everything I do. I am extremely spiritually sensitive. My parents know this. I am not bragging. This is just a fact. It is also a very double-edged sword. Just as easily as I can feel the Spirit, it can be taken away from me. I have to try very hard to always have it with me. One of my most revealing lessons this week was with a mother of 3, Sister Kamara. She is very accepting of us (as are most people here), but she has extreme difficulty understanding the Gospel. She loves God, so it seems, and the problem is not English-Krio differences. It is something else entirely. In my setting apart and in my Patriarchal Blessing, I was counseled to bear a fervent testimony, so that is what I did. Regardless of what language of the tongue we speak and the differences therein, the language of the Spirit is homogeneous among people. I can only pray that she felt what I feel and felt in that moment. I challenged her to pray to know for herself. I can only hope that she did.

June 11: the Market. Packed unbelievably tight with people, particularly on Saturdays. Flies everywhere so the food seems a little gross. The smell is interesting. Not necessarily bad, but always present. Maybe if the scent of fresh produce was changed to week-old produce. the meat is a little unsightly. Every part, and I mean every part, of an animal is used — chicken, fish, whatever. I have eaten gizzard and fish head alike. Elder Ebohan cooks (he is very good), and I am learning a few things, particularly ground nut (peanut) soup — by far my favorite stew dish so far. Since it heavily rained the past two nights, the ground is super muddy. My companions and I had to wear boots to the market. It is not very deep, but just in case. You can bargain for prices, but it is very difficult, usually unrewarding, and not really worth your time. It is especially difficult if you are white because they assume that you have money (which I do, they give us $500,000 Leones for two weeks. We get more on Monday the 13th. I have spent less than half of it). Eggs, chicken, fish, cassava leaf and other cassava products including garri (milled cassava leaf), rice, ground nut, maggi spices, flavoring sachets like beef and chicken, some herbs that I am afraid of trying lest I inadvertently break the Word of Wisdom, and a few other things I cannot remember. Aside from the ridiculous amount of rice I eat (morning, afternoon, evening), I really enjoy the food here. They don’t mess around with peppe (pepper). I am slowly getting used to the heavy spice at nearly every meal.