Sunday, July 29, 2012

Providing Training in Zion

We met with James Kennedy, elders president, and Sister Pannoh, Relief Society president, of Pt. Four branch. We parked the truck and walked about 5 minutes between various houses and alleys to this area. James asked me if I knew where we were. I said, "Pt. Four." He said, "No, we are in Zion." I asked him to explain. He pointed to houses where two district councilmen lived, other nearby houses where the Primary President, branch president, first counselor in the branch presidency, Young Men president and branch mission leader lived. There were so many members of the Church living relatively close to each other - to him, this was Zion. What looks like a cement wall on the right of the picture is actually a cement tomb where someone is buried. This is very common.
James is the only member of the Church in his family. He is a returned missionary trying to get into the University. We reviewed the Church Handbook 2 instructions on home teaching in particular and elders quorums in general. We focused on how to get home teaching started in his branch.
Sister Kirkham met a few yards away with Sister Pannoh, the Relief Society president of Pt. Four branch. They talked about organizing visiting teaching.
They practiced what you could say in a visiting teaching situation. They read in Handbook 2 about visiting teaching and its purpose. Sister Pannoh committed to organizing visiting teaching in the branch and assigning sisters to be visiting teachers.

Elder Harris & Elder Nickle helping with GPS

Elder Harris and Elder Nickle are helping locate each member in the Congo Town branch using Google Earth in the mission office in the Monrovia district center.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

From Convert to Missionary

This is a road in the community of Caldwell. We are on our way to pick up Ansu Kamara and take him to Roberts International airport to fly to the MTC in Ghana, Accra. Ansu joined the Church in December 2010. He is the only member of our Church in his family. He received a testimony from reading the writings of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon.
This water well is about a 10 minute walk from Ansu's house. It was placed here a few years ago by LDS Charities. We are driving around the well and then to the right to get to Ansu's house. This is where Ansu's family gets all their water.
The neighbors came to say good-bye to Ansu. Ansu is 23 years old. He just graduated from high school, which is a requirement to be able to go on a mission. He was able to pay his high school fees because the school gave him a scholarship to play basketball. Otherwise, it would have been extremely difficult for him to finish high school.

Ansu was READY to Go!

When we drove up to Ansu's home, he was immediately out to the truck with his suitcase in one hand and his scriptures in the other hand and his friend (a member of the Church) along with him. He was anxious to GO! I told him he had to wait because we wanted to take some pictures of his family.
This is a picture of Elder Kirkham with Ansu's father in their "sitting room" (front room). Ansu's father is Muslim, a very quiet man. Ansu said his father always allowed him and his brother and sisters to do as they wished regarding religion. Ansu's mother passed away in 1998.

Ansu's Family Pictures

This is a picture of Ansu's family. The young man in the red shirt is a friend of Ansu, then Ansu's father, Ansu, Ansu's "big" (older) sister and Ansu's "little" (younger) sister.
Elda Kirkham, Ansu's father and Ansu - with his scriptures.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Perfection in the Making

I grew very tired of the Family Bakery bread we had been buying for over a year for our daily peanut butter sandwiches. So, Sista Kirkham decided one day to make bread the old fashioned way. Using some whole wheat flour we bought, she kneaded the dough by hand.
For bread pans, she used some pans we brought with us from our old apartment.
The results were spectacular - PERFECTION!
And the bread tastes even better than it looks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bushrod Island Zone Service Project

The new Brewerville branch meetinghouse was experiencing flooding. A service project was scheduled by the missionaries to dig trenches to prevent flooding at the meetinghouse. The day of the service project also happened to be a day of Liberian rain - or "standing under a waterfall" - as we describe what rain is like here.
The point of greatest flooding was where a large pipe comes under the road at the front corner of the property, dumping all the water from the other side of the road. Elders Liufau, Addo, Yongjaye, Smith, Pentreath, Willis, Mohlahatsa, Obinna, Akwah
Moving a tree stump to try to minimize the flooding at the corner of the property. Elders Mohlahatsa, Obinna, Yongjaye, Pres. Blama-Kai (branch president), Elders Addo, Sekirime
At the back corner of the property, Elders Akwah, Buckman, Esiaba, Pentreath, Addo, Willis, Smith, Molahatsa and Liufau. Notice how deep the water is.

Results of the Brewerville Service Project

Elders Smith, Willis, Liufau, and Pentreath empty their boots.
The elders piled rocks and cement pieces along with this tree stump to minimize the flooding.
This shows the ditches the elders dug to drain water away from the meetinghouse.

Pres. Roggia Installing Smoke Detectors

June 28, Pres. Roggia came with me on subsistence day, when we provide all our missionaries their monthly allotment of money. The Roggia's also brought smoke detectors for each of the apartments in Liberia. Sister Lamwaka and Sister Lemah are watching Pres. Roggia install a smoke detector in the kitchen of their apartment in Upper Caldwell.
Then Pres. Roggia's assistant, Elder Appleby, read the instructions which said that you're not supposed to put the smoke detector in the kitchen (a deep sigh was heard coming from the kitchen). Sister Squire and Sister Akwuruoha are making sure the smoke detector is now properly installed outside the kitchen in their sitting room :).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Couples Conference

We had a delightful time with Pres. & Sister Roggia and the Krumms, playing Zilch and Skip-Bo. It was so nice just to relax, have fun, and enjoy each other's company.
The three chef's at work - Sister Kirkham, Sister Roggia and Sister Krumm. Judy made a delicious pumpkin pie and pasta salad for our Couples Conference dinner at our apartment.
We celebrated Judy's birthday with rootbeer floats and one candle on a piece of Sister Krumm's lemon cake.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Visit to Liberia National Musuem

As part of our Couples Conference, along with the Roggia's and Krumms, we went to the Liberia National Museum in downtown Monrovia.
In July 1827 a ship named Norfolk carried 131, 143 or 144 Africans to Liberia from the United States, of whom 78 were adult women and another eleven or twelve were under ten years of age. One hundred twenty of those people had been found on the slave ship Antelope when it was seized off the coast of Florida in 1820. They had been held in Georgia for seven years waiting for the courts to settle their fate. After being kept under supervision in Monrovia for a while, the people from the Antelope were settled along Stockton Creek on Bushrod Island about four miles up the Mesurado River from Monrovia. The settlement was named New Georgia after their home of the prior seven years. Although "recaptured" Africans (people taken from slave ships by U.S. Navy anti-slave trade patrol ships) had been brought to Liberia previously, none were still there when the people form the Antelope arrived. Most, if not all, of the people found on the Antelope in 1820 were taken to Liberia in 1827 and had originally been loaded on slave ships at Cabinda, and were probably Congos.

Beautiful carvings in the musuem.
We received permission to take pictures in the musuem. This painting depicts the Liberian civil war (1990-2003). This war led to the complete setback of Liberia in all areas. More than a quarter of a million people lost their lives in this war. At the top of the painting are former presidents of Liberia weeping for the war in their nation. In 1990, President Samuel K. Doe was assassinated by the rebels. The soldier on the right of the Liberian flag being torn in half is Charles Taylor. On the left of the flag, I think are government forces. The soldier with the arm patch holding Charles Taylor is from the peace keeping force, ECOMOG (Economic Community of West Africa Peace monitoring group. This group could not contain the violence. Charles Taylor was elected president in 1997 and forced to resign in 2003. He was recently convicted of crimes agains humanity. The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the election of Ellen Johson Sirleaf in 2005 and then re-elected this year has brought great peace to Liberia.

Sisters Conference

The sisters in Liberia had a 1 day conference with instruction, good food and fun. L to R, Sisters Moseray, Lemah, Lamwaka, Akwuruoha, Squire, Kirkham, Agbonifo, Akpanumoh, Krumm, Usen, Asmah-Davies, Jibba.
Sister Kirkham with Sister Moseray, pioneer sister missionary in Liberia, now transferred to Sierra Leone.
Sister Kirkham with Sister Jibba, the other pioneer sister missionary in Liberia, now transferred to Sierra Leone.