From: Ethan Cade Brimhall [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, December 2, 2017 10:31 AM
This is transfer number 14 of 17. I have at most two more companions and areas, more likely one each.
It was Elder Nyoka’s last in Freetown ward. We went around visiting a bunch of members he has gotten close to and, of course, being fed way too much. He is a great man who is loved by everyone he interacts with. It was also my Sister TC’s last in this mission, as they were boarding the plane home the next day. We had dinner with them up in Pres. and Sis. Clawsons’ apartment. We had a nice dinner of chicken, fried rice, and some salad while they told stories, bore testimonies, and cried a lot. It was a touching experience to see all of them reflect upon what an incredible journey they’ve been on. Sisters Abakah, Ogar, Muadi, Okpara, and Uwakwe are now Returned Missionaries.
Monday to Wednesday
As usual, transfers was insane. This was actually the biggest transfer we have ever had, with one-third of the mission moving. Funny story: a random dude hitched a ride on a mission-chartered van and stole the 500k Le payment for the driver. Not sure how he got on in the first place. That was the only hiccup, so it was fairly successful! A lot more organized than last transfer. While buying stuff for the last time with Elder Nyoka, there was a 6-inch space between two cars that I passed through and instead of following me he matter-of-factly said, “I will not fit there” and went the other way and I about fell down from laughing so hard.
We picked up the 10 new missionaries from Seabird on Wednesday. 5 sisters to replace the ones that left and 5 elders. It was Elder Chitedze’s first day as office elder and he gets to feel some of the greenie spirit. He needed it. He was feeling super overwhelmed. We got them settled in for their overnight stay and then ate dinner with them at the Clawson’s place. They had their first of many plates of groundnut soup and rice. Some liked it, some didn’t. The next day we took one to his new apartment. I didn’t say this last week, but my “son”, Elder Kabosha whom I trained, is now training! The posterity lives on! He got Elder Erickson from Idaho Falls. I have a grandson, everyone.
We took 8 departing missionaries from Salone to Seabird in the morning. They were set apart at 9:30 and their boat left at 11, so we had like zero time to get both trips done. Thankfully, God provided a tender mercy and there was almost no traffic on the road. I flew there, back, and there again and we finished with 15 minutes to spare. It was a miracle.
We had a meeting with President and Sister Clawson so we could get the lowdown on their vision for us for this transfer. The helped us get back on our feet after transfers and gave us some good ideas. After that, we attempted to proselyte, but were only able to teach Bro Abu, our baptismal candidate. It was a great lesson and a great way to finish out transfer insanity.
To end the day, we reviewed what happened the past few days, looked at the Office Elder guide Elder Nyoka and I had created, and compiled a list of tasks we need to do before the week ends.
Sister Clawson was going to Bo, so we set out everything we needed to send to that side. After that, we were informed that the two crappiest trucks in the mission have a flat each that we needed to fix. Not only that, but one of the trucks’ spares was flat. It took some maneuvering, but we changed the tire on the one with the okay spare and took that truck, the flat tire, and the other truck’s flat spare to a garage for patching. During that time, we walked around Freetown looking at stuff. We got back and changed the tire on the other truck and tried to drive it. It wouldn’t move. I tried to force it and it made some really loud noises from the wheel we had just replaced, so we got out and found that the wheel was flush against the brakes. We just took the other truck and the dead tire instead of using that one to test the spare we had just repaired. All-in-all we did like three changes and a lot of driving. In one of the tires, there was a quarter-inch screw with a half-inch head that caused the flat. It was an interesting experience. Elder Chitedze knew how to change tires better than I, so he did most of it.
I have been having some intense headaches every day or two for the past 3 weeks that totally incapacitate me for a couple hours. Like, migraine-level stuff. I have been talking with the AMA and we resolved that it’s some sort of crazy stress-induced headache. I grind my teeth in my sleep when I’m really stressed out and that causes some mad pressure buildup in my temples and then my brain just screams at me for a while until it goes away. Nothing we were trying was really working until the thought came to me, “Why don’t you pray about it?” I felt pretty stupid for not doing that earlier, so I did it right then. I experienced the headache mildly one time after that, and since then, nothing. God is mindful of every one of our needs, and nothing we righteously desire is beneath His attention and care. We have a great God watching over us.
Excerpts from other letters…
One of the most popular songs in Sierra Leone is “To the Beat” by LXG. That’s a Sierra Leonean artist. You can look up Davido and Sarkodie for Nigerian and Ghanaian artists that are popular here. I am definitely looking forward to jamming to some Naija tunes with all of you guys. They have some pretty good stuff.
I am really excited to video call you guys at Christmas. It’ll be a highlight of my year for sure!