Monday, March 26, 2012

Not Ready For The Gospel

I got this email from Jarren today.  It is sad news but he has mentioned in the past that all the work he does today hopefully will make a difference in the next generation.  The people from Sierra Leone have a hard row to hoe.  It reminds me of the Laminites who for generations turned their backs to the gospel and refused to repent.  Jarren was transfered back to Freetown and serves the Thunder Hill Branch.

The only baptism we had was five weeks ago. There hasn't been anyone baptized who I have taught, yet. The woman who was baptized is very strong. She needed an interview from the president and didn't want to wait for us to take her, she found her way to the mission office all on her own and left us behind.
It's actually good that nobody has been baptized since. I haven't told you but the Thunder Hill branch is apostate. On average we have about 65 or so present in sacrament meeting. After sacrament meeting we have about 30. The youth is gone, the Aaronic Priesthood leadership is not there, they have never done home teaching or visiting teaching they don't hold PEC meeting, coordination meeting is half-half. It is a very big embarasment on us the missionaries to bring invistigators to church and the members aren't converted. Every Sunday they always buy off the street, they absolutly do not observe the sabbath day. Last week was district conference and president roggia gave a wonderful talk on temples and told them if they wanted a temple here in sierra leone they would have to start by building the temples in their homes. told them that they have to observe the sabbath day and keep it holy. told them that bying and selling on sunday is a sin.
immediatly after the meeting anybody and everybody are buying water from the street hawkers, cokes, and food, even calling them to come onto the church property. I chased out four boys selling water, elder burton chased out three. They turned the house of the lord into a marketplace.
There is a lot of work to do in the branch. I don't want to baptize people into the church when the branch is like this.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mailing Tips

The following is from Sister Roggia (the Mission President's wife) on her blog:

Dear Parents, Family and Friends,
When sending packages to Sierra Leone or Liberia, here are some helpful tips:

1.  The Priority Mail boxes usually work the best from the States.  Boxes from the UK have arrived safely.  Pouch is used by most African countries or by travelers coming to Sierra Leone.
2.   Tape well with clear tape.
3.   Religious pictures on the box seems to assist in its arriving in one piece.
4.   Write "Missionary Supplies" on the box and on the shipping list.
5.   If you are sending something new, take it out of the package, use it, wear it,  make it used so its value is "used".   Anything chocolate or liquid, put in a zip lock bag so it doesn't ooze all over everything. 
7.  It will take between two to four weeks to arrive or up to two months.
8. Please don't put anything of worth on the shipping list.  Don't insure it. The customs' charge can run into hundreds of dollars from the mission which are sacred tithing funds.  
9.  We check the post office about once a week.
10.  Anything for Liberia, that comes to Sierra Leone, will go with us when we drive to Liberia---once a month.  If we fly, we take as much as we can in our bags.

TO SIERRA LEONE (letters/card/packages/pictures)
Missionary Name
Sierra Leone Freetown Mission
P.O. Box 263
Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa

TO LIBERIA (letters/cards/packages/pictures)
Missionary Name
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Horton Ave & Capital Bye-Pass
P.O. Box 1905, 1000 Monrovia
10 Liberia, West Africa

One 8 1/2 x 11 inch page written on one side, folded, (can use a little tape) regular stamp, send to:
Missionary Name
Sierra Leone Freetown Mission
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT  84130-0150

Two other ways:
Letter to:
Package with:

Elder Holland Visited

Wrapping up his travels through West Africa, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met with missionaries, members, government officials, and representatives of the press during a three-day stay in Sierra Leone.
After arriving in Freetown on Friday, February 17, 2012, Elder Holland and Elder Steven E. Snow of the Presidency of the Seventy—accompanied by their wives, Patricia and Phyllis, respectively—met with missionaries. Elder and Sister Snow lived in Africa for about five years.
Calling missionaries his “teammates,” Elder Holland said, “Nothing matters in time or eternity like the gospel of Jesus Christ [and] the saving ordinances of the only true Church on the face of the earth. And God turns its future over to a bunch of 19-year-olds. There is no precedent for it on the face of the earth.”
He emphasized the need for the missionaries, as representatives of the Church, to be disciples. “A disciple is one who has disciplined his life in conformity with the gospel,” he said.
He encouraged missionaries to teach lessons in such a way that both they and their investigators could have a spiritual experience.
“If God can have that with you, and you can have that with the investigator, it will change the world,” he said.
Elder Holland concluded by saying that although the world has troubles, the gospel brings happiness and hope and eternity. He reminded members that individuals are responsible to be faithful and to keep covenants. He left the Saints in Sierra Leone with an apostolic blessing.