This has been a very exciting week so I will probably go into a lot of detail and this will probably be a very long email. So bear with me.
Baptism: So Fanta Amara was not baptized on Saturday because her husband (who is a return missionary and in the branch presidency in Makeni) couldn't make it because he had a meeting with the mission president. But we did go with Fanta to get her interviewed and that was an adventure.
Poda Poda: So to get to the interview we had to take poda poda which is the worst form of transportation ever. Imagine a van with all the seats taken out and instead put metal benches. The van should fit about 12 "comfortably" but they push in 20 people. The door is only held up by a teenage boy who is standing on the doorway with his pants down to his knees and he is wearing dirty underwear. Not only are there 20 people in there but there are about 2-3 REALLY REALLY large people in it. And there is a good chance that there is a chicken on the floor pecking at your feet. Then on the outside of the van there are a bunch of funny stickers like "God bless my mother" or "DOOMSDAY" haha It's funny. So this is a Poda. Now to tell you a small poda story.
Poda Story: So while we were in the poda there was a taxi who almost ran into us. So the teenage boy with his pants down to his knees leans all the way out the window and slaps the taxi's bumper and then gets in a small fist fight WHILE the cars are still moving and then he spits on the taxi driver's car. Yeah we see this about everyday. haha Oh Salone. People have no patience here. But we are safe and she completed her interview.
Investigators: So we have a super sweet investigator named Donald. He is super educated and has a family. His wife lives somewhere in the US and he is really, really interested and wants to be baptized. We gave him a Book of Mormon 2 weeks ago and he is already almost done with 2nd Nephi and he is taking time to really ponder its message. This almost NEVER happens in Sierra Leone since most people can barely read. Anyway he is awesome. And let's see. Reverend Moses came to church and knows the church is true and wants to join us. His problem is that he has a hernia and needs assistance but we're working with that. He is such a sweet old man. Anyway we are having some good success. We dropped almost all of the youth that we are teaching who are not too serious because we are focused on a mission now on finding "kingdom builders" or people who can be leaders of the church and also on completing families. So basically we are trying to teach old people who are independent since youth have a strong tendency to go less active.
Food: So I still haven't told you what the food tastes like here and I've been here for 7 months. So anyway there are basically 3 sauces that the people make with rice. Cassava leaf, potato leaf, and ground nut (peanut) sauce. Let's just say that what it tastes like is you mow your lawn. Pick up the mulch and boil the heck out of it. Add lots of palm oil and hot African peppers. This is what we are eating here. It pretty much tastes like fire grass on rice. haha We get used to it. Sometimes people actually make it so it's pretty good. And then as missionaries we make a tomato sauce with cut up hotdogs and put it on rice. This is our dinner every single day for the mission. haha That's life here in Salone.
Flash Flood: Yesterday was crazy. We had a flash flood. The rain was so heavy that in about 45 minutes the roads were so full of water that you could go river rafting down the roads. It was crazy. In fact Elder Koopmans got a bucket and put it outside and within 30 minutes the bucket was almost full. It was crazy. And the hard part was going to church since everywhere on the roads it was full of muddy water that was up to my knees and we haven't received our rain boots yet. So we just had to walk through it. Ahh it was so crazy. I love the rain. The worst part was that it made me really, really want to just sit down and play Pokemon while eating some broccoli soup. That was probably the most I have ever wanted to play Pokemon. In fact earlier we had a fun challenge of trying to name all 151 original Pokemon. I totally completed the challenge like a boss. haha.
Spiritual thought: So recently I have really been pondering about the scripture "If ye love me keep my commandments" and the first and great commandment. As I have been doing this I was thinking about my reasons for being obedient. For example being: not drinking unfiltered water which is an obvious rule in this mission. It's good to keep the commandments because we know that if we drink that unclean water we will get sick. But it's Best to keep the commandments simply because we love our Father in Heaven. I feel like as we keep the commandments simply because we love our Father in Heaven then we will feel his love and spirit more in our life. We will gain a greater desire to keep the commandments and we will grow to know of Heavenly Father even more. This is my small insight. :)
Anyway I am feeling better now. I'm happy. The cockroach war is still ever ongoing. I don't know how but I just killed 400 cockroaches last week and they are all back! I'm just like, "I thought I killed you yesterday". Oh well. At least I'm still killing them. But whatever, it's only temporary. A nice blessing has been that since it's getting into rainy season it's been nice and cool when I sleep.
I forgot to bring my sd reader so I can't send pictures now. If I get the chance I will be back on tonight, my time haha. Also for Mother's Day I will call at around 6pm my time. So maybe 12pm yours.
Well I'm off to the BEACH!! SUPER PDAY!! I'll be sure to take some sweet pictures of us on a nice African beach.
Love you all so much! I can't wait to hear from you.
Love Elder Christian Lehr