Let’s see if I can portray an adequate picture of what I do in the office in this email.
In the morning, we had a meeting with President and Sister Clawson, the AP’s, and Bishop Markus (the facilities manager for the mission). We discussed how to get missionaries to clean their apartments and take care of mission property, who is going where and doing what for the week, and how to stress me out more if possible. We got like three more projects in this one hour.
Afterwards, we talked with Sister Clawson to decide how to get to the market, buy supplies at reasonable prices, and get back with all the supplies. It was determined that I would drive the Clawson’s Fortuner Toyota with her, my comp, and a native girl to help us with prices. We were there for like five hours trying to find everything. At one point I illegally parked in a bus stop in front of the police headquarters as two buses also came and did their thing. This was literally the most convenient place to park. By some miracle, we were not hauled away in handcuffs.
To be honest, I can’t really remember how this specific day went other than we did some apartment deliveries around Freetown in the evening. I have learned that Elder Nyoka is an amazing driver. He’s had to go down roads only to find out they were so bad that they became impassable, then back out for fifty yards and parallel park. We carried the supplies the rest of the way.
We moved about a billion boxes in the mission office at night because we were busy proselyting earlier. Inventory and organization for that mess of a closet. You could hardly open the door before. With the help of the Belliar Park elders (our unofficial assistants), we got it done and did it well.
Elder Nyoka and I helped load the Clawson’s car with materials for three hours to go to the three new branches that are getting set up on Sunday as they were leaving to go there in the morning. Then we proselyted.
One guy we saw Bro Abubakar, a great investigator who just got back from traveling to Bo to see the other half of his family there We had a great discussion together about the kingdoms of glory that blended into the story of Joseph Smith somehow and then the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong. The whole time he had his head bowed in deep thought as he contemplated what we were saying. He asked questions like, “How can I know from God what you are saying is true?” That’s before we even had time to reach that point. I love him.
We spent three hours dropping supplies to Kissy apartments. Three hours because we left the lights on and our truck died. Elder Nyoka used serious skills coupled with our prayers and got it started. As he was explaining how he did it I got confused so he knows way more than me. Oh! I was able to see Elder Adokou again as we delivered to the apartment he was in. It was way fun to talk with him a little again.
We organized and inventoried the other supplies (distribution and our own) upstairs in our apartment. It took a long time and there was a lot of gecko poop everywhere. Our unofficial assistants helped us again. We found old shoes, manuals, a Samoan Book of Mormon, a million tithing envelopes, and DI-level clothes. It took almost all day. Then I came to do this.
SO, a lot of things go wrong for us every day and plans never actually work out but we get everything done we need to through God’s infinite grace. It’s insane and fun and I love it. It’s preparing me a little for the intricacies of life as a real adult. Next week hopefully I’ll be a little more spiritual. I don’t get to study or proselyte that often so I’ve had to adjust to amazing doctrinal revelations coming only occasionally. Have a great week!
Excerpts from other letters:
The mission home has three buildings: the big people’s house (i.e. for senior couples like the Miner’s, visiting general authorities, and mission president and his wife); the chapel for the Belliar Park Ward and eventually also the distribution center; and the mission office where the Miner’s and distribution are. Office elders, AP’s, and the Belliar Park elders live on the second story of the mission office.
My official title is “special assignment” elder but everyone just calls us office elders. That’s funny though because we’re rarely actually in the office. There is zero regularity in what we do. I had to make peanut butter for goodness sake.
I live with my companion and the Belliar Park elders (Elder Robinson and Elder Beutler, both Americans). We’ve already had some pretty good times.
We don’t really report to the office because we don’t really work in the office. We drive around all over the Freetown area delivering supplies, doing inventories, ordering supplies, or other random projects calculated to benefit mission organization as directed by President or Sister Clawson. We are working on a mission media library right now, a better system of organizing, tracking, and ordering mission supplies, an apartment cleanliness campaign, and a couple other things
The office is air conditioned. Our apartment has a unit but it’s broken. We do not have a clothes washer, but the Clawsons let me use theirs to wash my garments.
Literally everything needs organizing. This place is a mess. I’ll put more about it in my weekly. I want to work on the lower cage. Then in a couple months all things will fall into place as distribution stops invading our property. They take up too much space for the little that they actually do.
I still have not driven manual. Elder Nyoka does all the driving and knows everywhere and everything so I’m just trying to get it from him. The roads are a total mess in Freetown. A bunch of unmarked random one-ways and side streets make up 90% of the roads here. I know almost nothing about this city haha. I was supposed to learn a little today but we didn’t have time. I have to be cleared to drive by President or Sister Clawson before I go outside the mission home with the truck.
The mudslide occurred pretty much on one mountain, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and other people were caught in flooding throughout the city. There is a massive scar on that mountain. I will take a picture of it when I get the chance. There are still many, many people missing that will likely never be recovered. Bodies have even been found on the shores of Guinea and Liberia.
Lunch is kind of a rarity. I just eat whenever I have the chance. Sometimes I forget…
Elder Nyoka is from South Africa. Johannesburg to be specific. He regularly lived in two places in the city. One in the middle, one on the outskirts.
There are no other missionaries serving in the office, aside from the AP’s.
Last night we got back around 10:00 after delivering supplies to apartments in Kissy, a remote part of Freetown.
Sister Miner is one of my favorite people in this mission, maybe in the world. I love her so much. I actually look for opportunities to have business with her haha.