From: Ethan Cade Brimhall [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2017 12:50 PM
Transfers were totally insane and disorganized and that motivated Elder Nyoka and I to be powerhouse planners. Like, we spent an entire day planning the week and transfer and the who, what, when, where, why, and how of every project we have on our plate. It has really helped us! The Clawsons often invite us for some meal because sometimes we don’t have time to cook. That happened more this week than others, but hopefully the planning we have done and continue to do will make it so that is less necessary.
We also haven’t been able to proselyte as much as we would like, so we said “No, office. You have taken too much of our time. Souls are perishing.” and did full proselyting Thursday and Friday. In the evening after proselyting, we did what was required in the office. Updated inventories, called contractors, and tried to fit a laugh or two in there to keep us awake.
So, Charity went to the shop again for the same leak. In the shop for a day and they found the elusive problem: a leaking oil bottle in the covered wagon that leaked through the bed onto the ground. Yes, I’m serious. Elder Nyoka and I laughed so hard when the financial secretary told us that. We have our truck back now, but not for long since a van should becoming to replace Charity.
Some women a week or two ago invited us over to their shop talk to them so we went back there on Thursday. It was an interesting conversation. One asked me to take her child with me when I go home. She also wants to join the church (and she didn’t say this, but implied it the whole time she was talking) because she thinks that everyone becomes a missionary and travels around the world. We had some good teaching moments and talked about faith.
While teaching Bro Prince, a girl came up to buy something from his shop. A guy catcalled her and she just mumbled “I no dey tok to whoremonger.” It took everything I had not to laugh because of the word she used for him. I’m pretty sure she’s a serious Bible reader.
On Friday, we had a super awesome unexpected miracle happen. Last week a member named Sis Nenneh asked us to come by and we never had time, but this week we did. We called her and set a time for 6. Missionary coordination was at 5 and our ward mission leader was sick, so the assistant came. He said he knew where she lived since he was right by her. He took us there after coordination. When we walked in and saw the woman, we knew it wasn’t the woman we were looking for. Still a member, but it was Sis Nana. Still, we figured we could do some good here. Almost immediately, she revealed that her aunt had died that morning and was the breadwinner for two of her cousins. She and her aunt were very close and it was hard for her to hear that. She had actually been crying just before we came. It was obvious even though it was dark. God had obviously, through many turns of events, placed us in the right place at the right time to deliver a needed message to a struggling woman and her twin daughters.
From my personal studies, I have been looking at a lot of different things. One day I was led to D&C 97 as I was studying patience. It is God’s voice of comfort to the Saints who were forced under penalty of death to leave their legally-owned homes in Jackson County, Missouri. What I learned, however, has little to do with patience and more to do with why people do bad things. Verse 7 says: “The ax is laid at the root of the trees; and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire I, the Lord, have spoken it.” I wanted to know why the Lord used the imagery of cutting down a tree at the roots. What would be the root? I determined that the ax is judgment, but I really had to ponder about the other things. I feel that the root is whether you believe in consequences or not That will determine what tree and fruit starts growing. If you believe in consequences, you will by nature do less stupid stuff. If you put caution to the wind and think you can do something with nothing to come back at you, you are so wrong. Judgment is there. The ax is laid. I’m not saying we should do things out of fear for judgment, because that’s a pretty telestial way of thinking, but every motivation helps. I just want to add doctrine upon doctrine to my defense against temptation.
Excerpts from other letters…
President Clawson wants to make this mission a pilot mission for the Africa West Area for proselyting tablets. We’ll see what happens. A huge amount of people here have smartphones but wifi is a problem.
[when asked what he wants for Christmas…] It’s my last Christmas in Africa! I’m in Freetown now and will be until like my last transfer at least. I have unlocked its secrets and now know where I can get pretty much anything from back home if I have enough money (including crepes, milkshakes, root beer floats, alaskan salmon, etc.). Just some letters would be nice!