From: Ethan Cade Brimhall [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, September 23, 2017 3:12 PM
To clarify, the subject line of last week’s email was an observation made by Elder Wheelock, one of the AP’s. He said that I have come to a sound understanding being in the mission home because I see all the crazy stuff that leadership and support has to deal with.
One of our investigators came to church, Bro Abubakar! He totally loved it.
We worked on the table of contents for the missionary media library that was finished just before I got to the office. It took like two hours of typing and watching 5 seconds of videos to get the titles. I heard a lot of apostles speak about six words before I cut them off.
Elder Nyoka and I then went up to Kissy to visit a potential apartment wtih Bishop Markus. It was fun being able to point out issues to the landlord and give input on how we can make the apartment livable. Parking in that tiny street was interesting too.
We went to Waterloo after that delivering supplies to five apartments. First, we visited the Lumpa apartment (shout-out to the super nice apartment that opened the day after I left that area). As we waited for the elders to get back, I messed around with some kids that were asking me for money or food. They all flipped out at me speaking Krio with them so they made a cute effort to memorize the white man’s name. Later, we encountered a pretty sketchy situation of highway robbery where these guys had blocked an important (to us) road with trucks and were demanding money for passage. It didn’t feel too safe so we got out of there. We took a longer side road to get to the next apartment and it got so late that we just had the elders come down from their apartment on a hill to fetch their stuff. Coming back to our apartment, we encountered some unusually heavy traffic. This woman got super angry with her taxi driver and they both got out of the taxi and got into an actual fight. Luckily, some bystanders were able to help cool things down. It was a crazy night for the two of us!
The AP’s asked us to pick up some bikes for missionaries soon to open a new city, Kailahun. It was kind of a hassle because the guy who owned the bike shop didn’t really know what he was doing. We had to remind him of a bunch of things he left out of the order. He was really nice though and thanked us for our patience with him.
I practiced driving manual after we got back. It was way different from what I thought it would be. But I only killed Charity (our truck’s name) once! After an hour, I got pretty good at first gear and reverse on zero grade, but we will ramp it up this coming week with some hill action.
We found out that Charity had a pretty serious leak, so we had to take her to the car hospital. I promise I did not do that the day before. This thing is so old and dead, but “Charity never faileth.” We took a suuuper long taxi ride back to our area. Both Elder Nyoka and I slept half the time.
Proselyting day! We had a really great lesson with Bro. Prince. All of his questions led us to the Book of Mormon, so we promised to bring it next week. He’s the kind of person that people either get him or you don’t at all. We’re praying that he will have a softened heart to see the truth in the words he will read.
We had a pretty intense game of Phase 10 with Elder Robinson back at the apartment. Elder Nyoka had never seen it before but now asks every day if we will play it in the evening. He won once, so he wants to keep going.
We saw Bro. Abubakar and extended a baptism date! He is set for the 28th of October. That’s office elder history since we rarely ever baptize because we are so busy with administrative tasks. He’s a great guy. It was a perfect lesson if I ever had one.
Around 2:00, thousands of Muslims flooded the street to get to some really big conference they were having at the national stadium. It was a prayer for Sierra Leone in honor of the disasters that have befallen this country. It makes me so happy to see a bunch of people getting together to seek the Almighty’s help in healing their lives. That’s beautiful regardless of your religion.
On our way out, this thirteen year old kid stopped us and asked us if we could pray for him. Christopher was his name. We kicked up a little conversation with him and found out his life is falling apart. We promised to come next week and see if our message can help him. He’s a really bright kid.
Elder Nyoka and I took a couple of those bikes we picked up and rode to Lumley beach early in the morning. The ride was incredibly scenic. There is so much culture here in Freetown. It was longer than we thought, so our legs about failed us dismounting once we got back. [see photos at the end of this post]
Sis. Eva invited us back to teach us how to cook fufu and sawa sawa. It took a long time, but we were able to meet her member husband that just got back from America and eat one of the best meals I’ve ever had in this country. It was a good time to get to know the family and show them that we’re not solely interested in preaching the gospel. People are endlessly surprised that we cook for ourselves and speak their language.
In our lesson with Bro. Abubakar, I bore my testimony of the Gift of the Holy Ghost like I have never done before. God sent me a tender mercy by reminding me of the power of that ordinance similar to how he taught me the power of the priesthood when I was ordained a deacon eight years ago. The simple principles and ordinances of the gospel are the most important. You can get a spiritual high from an increased testimony of faith equal to, if not more than, that of church history. It’s important not to look beyond the mark. I still have tons to learn about those simple things like faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Excerpts from other letters…
There are 161 missionaries now. Maybe 2/5 westerners to 3/5 Africans. There are three elders from the Philippines. One actually from the Pacific islands, not by descent, but actually lived there. No other western countries that I know of.
Having an international drivers license was actually pretty important. I definitely won’t get arrested now. If I didn’t have that, I would have a chance of going to jail — haha. I practiced for an hour on Wednesday. I have to be cleared by President or Sister Clawson first and I don’t feel comfortable asking them to do a driving test with me until I’ve really got it down. I mastered first gear and reverse on no slope so now I have to master hills. It’s really not easy. Elder Nyoka is a great help though. He is from South Africa.
I want to fix how supplies are delivered because we run into a lot of problems as emergencies pop up all the time that could have been foreseen if we had proper planning.
My comp and I went to the beach this morning and actually saw that team [watch link below!] practicing in the sand. It was pretty cool.
I’m happy to be serving in this capacity. It’s eye-opening to see how the mission is supported.