Monday, June 30, 2014

Content with that Allotted Unto‏ - June 29, 2014

It has been an extraordinary week here in Salone, not just for me but the Sierra Leone Freetown mission as well.
  I was still feeling horrible Tuesday but I got myself to District meeting, I was in a trio with Elder Hofman and Ifenyi. Afterwards we went and taught one lesson before I couldn't take it anymore. So we went home and called the mission nurse Sister Barney. She and her husband came and picked us up in their nice FJ Cruiser and we went to the hospital. They did a quick blood work test on me and I had malaria. The Barneys told me how to take the medicine each apartment is stocked with for the home treatment. My case was not as severe as in Ghana but nevertheless malaria.
  Meanwhile within the mission even as transfers started on Monday many additional unannounced transfers started to take place. Some were because of problems between missionaries and others just because things were over looked. Well due to this and my illness I got a call from President that my call had been changed and I would not be training anymore. Instead I'd receive Elder Lokpo a Zone Leader and we would be "power missionaries." This is a new thing President is trying, putting two old experienced missionaries together for the purpose of being examples in teaching families and kingdom builders. I was a bit sad not to train, but saw it so because I had gotten sick (was my fault, but I am up on my meds now.)
   Thursday afternoon Elder Lokpo arrived and we started our companionship. He is from Ivory Coast and at 27 is my oldest companion (funny Elder Hofman was my youngest.) He goes home in September (actually came on Sept 7th) his MTC group included lots of my buddies from Ghana such as Elder Paleatonga. Here is some proof of the gifts of tongues, right from when he entered the MTC he spoke only French not a bit of English, now he is totally fluent in English and sounds like he has used it his whole life. I'm really enjoying my time with him and we are doing great.
  Well the rest of the week was some of the best work I feel I have done on my mission. Maybe because we taught 22 lessons in 4 days of rain and the fact I was recovering from Malaria! Now it’s not about numbers, I know that, but this was the fruits of us working strong in the area and meeting with some great people. We were able to contact a few families, as well as a hand full of "kingdom builders" or people of mature ages that will help the Church grow here.
   Sad news though is on Friday after a sweet lesson to one of our investigators, R, there was a large commotion about beach. Later we found there had been a drowning and it was her nephew. Sounds like at low tide the boys waded to a sunken boat in the small harbor which can be seen easily at low tide. They played inside until the tide rose, but the one boy couldn't swim so he was stuck there and his friends weren't fast enough to get help. It was terrible news and I really felt for the boy and family. It was something I know I would have done back home, we didn't have sunken boats but I had mines and ghost towns. Shows how such innocent fun can quickly turn tragic so fast. The family is Muslim so Sunday after Church we stopped by and sat with R, I shared a lesson on resurrection, how all mankind receive this gift and then a wonderful quote by Neal A Maxwell  (I could live off his quotes and talks, hence the title of this week’s letter.) It said: “Death is not the period of life, but the comma". I sure felt of the Spirit there and it was a wonderful moment.
    I'm glad to have the knowledge we do in the Church and with the Gospel. It’s a comfort to me in hard times and Elder Maxwell as one who went through so much in the end  also realized this. I’m grateful for his words and the spirit it brings.
   Elder Ray

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