This week was a good week. I was able to go on an exchange with Elder Zolo on Friday. We had a good companionship study. We did some role playing and it went well. The entire day was a good learning experience. I felt very comfortable with Elder Zolo as we continued to teach throughout the day. Our first lesson was really good. We met a sister to one of their investigators. It was the first time the missionaries have met with her. We introduced ourselves and taught lesson one and it went really well. I could tell she felt the spirit. She accepted to be baptized on May 24th. I hope I will get to find out how this lady does.
There are a few issues with the branch that I have talked with my companion, zone leaders, and our Branch President about. In our branch we do not have any type of working computer system which is needed to print off baptismal certificates or any certificate for that matter. We also don’t have a way to easily get membership record numbers. It would be a great time to have MLS for our branch. Elder Falemai was a ward clerk before mission and would be a perfect teacher for the branch clerk or at least would be able to answer a few questions if needed. Another problem is we have no checkbook and have not had one for a while. Not having a checkbook has hindered branch activities as well as conference attendance. This is because we don’t have any means to get a bus.
There is a video club across the street from the church that plays football games on a very loud speaker. This can make it hard during the church classes to hear. When the people can’t hear it is hard to focus on the teachings. We talked about this with the Branch President and he said that there is nothing we can do because the video club is on private property. I wish we could do something to help.
I also wish there was something we could do to make the church generator quieter. Those in the back half of the building can NOT hear anything and I do not see it as an environment that is conducive for the spirit. Sadly, I feel like some of my investigators lack the experience of feeling the spirit at church. We have as many as we can sit in the front but if you come on time you have to sit in the back half because we use all of the space in the chapel every Sunday.
On another note, some measures taken for health safety have made things more difficult. We are not allowed to shake hands or accept meals from members. A few people felt a little hurt when we refused food especially because they don’t have much and when they make some rice for us it can kind of be a big deal. I hope they will understand.
We now have a pump working to get water from our neighbor’s well. We fill up two 50 gallon tanks of water as a reserve. For the first time in Liberia I had a shower with running water this week so that was an exciting moment. We also can flush the toilet now but the sink in the bathroom still does not work. We sure have made progress.
We sort of have limited water but not like before. Before now, we had to use the same water for as many things as possible leaving the dirtiest water for flushing the toilet. Right where we are now, we don’t have to worry about water as much because the tank stays mostly full. Most areas in which the missionaries live do not have running water so we are blessed.
Here is something random: I can’t remember if I told you that Elder Gunnell and I went in together paying half and half on a thing of whipped cream that we found at the store. It was really good but also very expensive which is why we split the cost. Oh and while we are on the topic of food, this week I tried a few handfuls of bugs that they call baocaba. I don’t know how that is spelled because I have never seen it written and it may also be a made up word. I thought the bugs tasted a little like peanut butter. So dad, eating them didn’t bug me at all.
– Elder Orton