Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Delays, Delays It's Life in Africa

Jarren was supposed to be on his last leg of his journey home today but his flight was canceled on Monday and rescheduled for Today, Tuesday April 16th.  We are so excited about his coming home after two years of service in the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission.  I can hardly believe the day has finally come where he will board a plane and begin his journey back to Texas.  His plane leaves Freetown at 7:25 pm which is 1:25 our time. The flight will take 8 hours and 10 minutes. He will fly to Brussels and lay over for 5 hours.  It will be Wednesday, April 17th,  then he boards a plane at 10:00am and flies to Newark NJ. The flight from Brussels to NJ will take 8 hours and 40 minutes. He leaves NJ at 2:23 and arrives in Houston at 5:00 pm. His layover in Houston is 3 hours and 44 minutes.  At 9:16 he catches the United flight to Killeen where he will land at 10:19 pm.

Breanne is leaving right after school is out to come home and go to the airport with us on Wednesday.  Sterling and Cameron could not get the time off to be there but are sending their love and support with us. 

It is amazing to me how fast these two years have come and gone.  I have grown as a mother in putting more of my faith and  trust in the Lord instead of  relying upon my own resources for strength and comfort.  I know that Jarren has grown into adulthood from his experiences and from the wonderful gift of missionary work.  He has been a part of a marvelous work and a wonder in Africa.  I hope at some point that he will have the opportunity to go back and see that his hard work and sacrifice have found promise and that Africa will have bloom as a rose on the dark continent.

I have already made an appointment for Jarren with Dr. Horn to have him checked from head to toe for parasites, TB, and worms.  I dread to see what they find.  Jarren has been on Doxocycline (an antibotic) for the last two years.  I notice on the Mission Blog that the missionaries that leave Africa have to be checked for yellow fever before they let them go home. That is one hurdle that he has cleared.  I pray that all well be well and that if their are problems that they will be treatable.  I understand that anyone that has traveled, much less lived, in Africa are not allowed to give blood in the United States. But I know the blessings from this mission will serve him well for the rest of his life.

President and Sister Roggia

Last Companion Before Saying Goodbye to Sierra Leone Mission

Jarren with Elder Etuk

Five Elders Returning With Honor After Two Years of Service

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013

This is the most current picture of Jarren with his companion Elder Egbo.  Jarren is training him. 

A Little Bit of History

A Sierra Leonean named Brother Samura was living in the Netherlands when he learned of the Church and was baptized in 1981. He returned to his home and found that the church did not exsist in his country of Sierra Leone. " I decided I'd had better do something about it", he stated.  Bro Samura contacted the missionaries that were serving in the ward he attended while living in the Netherlands.  He wrote letters to the Church in Salt Lake City, asking for a church to be established in Sierra Leone. 
Five years later another Brother Sankoh was baptised in 1986 in Spain.  He also returned to Sierra Leone and began telling anyone who would listen about this new church that he found.

In 1987, Moses Will was a member of a Protestant church in Goderich. After some controversy, 42 members of that church broke away and held their own worship services. During that time, Elizabeth Bangura and Monica Orleans, who had been baptized in Ghana, settled in Sierra Leone and told him and his group about the Church. Sister Bangura gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, “Gospel Principles,” and other LDS literature “so we could get first-hand information.”

Brother Samura, Brother Sankoh, and Brother Will were unaware of what each was doing to get the Church established in Sierra Leone. Brother Sankoh said the first reply to the letter he wrote was, “‘Wait, the Church will come to Sierra Leone, but we don’t know yet when.’ After some time, I received a letter from Utah telling me they are prepared to establish the Church in Sierra Leone. I was so happy that for the rest of the day I could not eat anything. [I was] just singing. My parents met me in my room, dancing alone. … I said, ‘My dreams have come true.’”

The Church is Established

On May 6, 1988, Liberia Monrovia Mission President J. Duffy Palmer and his wife, Sister Jocelyn Palmer, arrived in Freetown to welcome two days later the first missionaries called to serve in Sierra Leone: Elder Claire J. Fisher and his wife, Sister Ilene Fisher; and Elder C. Erwin Waite and his wife, Sister Colleen Waite.
The missionaries started teaching Brother George and the Goderich group and others. A group was established at Lower Pipe Line, Goderich, in West End Freetown. The first converts, 14 in number, were baptized on June 11, 1988, at Atlantic Beach, Lumley.

The Goderich Freetown Branch—the first branch in Sierra Leone—was established on August 7, 1988, with Christian George as branch president, Michael Samura, first counselor; Joseph P.E. MacAnthony, second counselor; Bai Sama Sankoh, branch clerk; Elizabeth Judith Bangura, Relief Society president; and Joyce Orleans, first counselor in the Relief Society presidency.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bo Zone East Meets West

Notice Jarren is first man on the front row. On the front bench are Sister and Elder Schlehuber, Sister and Elder Curtis, and President and Sister Roggia.  This is combined Bo East Zone and Bo West Zone.  Jarren is serving in Bo East Zone.

Jarren greeting and meeting Sister and Elder Curtis.  I don't know if that is Elder Coffe his companion in Bo just behind Jarren.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Tme in Sierra Leone

                Christmas Time in Bo District.  Notice that Jarren is in the back holding the red R. 

We got to talk with Jarren Christmas Day.  We called him around 7pm his time.  It was wonderful to hear his voice.  Things are going well for the missionaries in Bo, and in all of the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission.  The work is progressing at a very fast pace there.  Jarren mentioned that on average they usually have between 6-8 baptisms each week.
 He has lost more weight.  In all around 70 pounds.  He said that he gets a lot of exercise walking everywhere.  I asked Jarren if he was eating enough and he said that he ate so much earlier in the day at a members home that he was uncomfortable the rest of the day.
 He has only 4 more months to complete his mission.  In June this mission will split in two.  There will be the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission and the Liberia Montrovia Mission.  Jarren told us that they are not sending any of the Sierra Leone missionaries to Liberia for the rest of his mission.  I am grateful  for that.  I didn't want him going to Liberia.  I don't know why I just felt uncomfortable about him going there.