Monday, December 30, 2013

Krissmus dundun‏

So Christmas has come and gone. I love Christmas here... you only get homesick for like 1 day because it feels like its August 25th here and there is not a lot of decorations and obviously... no snow, so that means nothing to make me homesick except for the call home! The call home was super awesome! It was so nice to talk with all of you and hear your voices. I can't believe that it's been almost 3 months now.... time does go by fast if you live in the day.. meaning you don't look forward to the end and you don't look back into the past. Its a very hard thing to do. But small small. So mom you were asking if i wanted anything to come in my package. Things i want are.... some more pens (but i think i already told you that) and some blueberry muffin mix that i used to get from Winco! Other than that you can put whatever you want in it and surprise me! Thank you for the Christmas package! I am definitely enjoying it and i love the football! Elder Oyetola is from Nigeria and he is in our apartment and he plays with it like its a rugby ball and i really think he thinks its one because he's never seen a football... im just not gonna tell him and we'll see if he ever figures it out. But the football.... is awesome... in fact i've already created a game with it. It's called "Kill Ball!" So pretty much what you do is you take the Kill Ball (football) and you earn points by throwing and smashing spiders, flies, mosquitoes, giant spiders, rats, champions, and....... cockroaches! Spiders are 10 points, flies mosquitoes and champions are 25 points, giant spiders and rats are 50 points, and cockroaches are worth 100 points cuz they are frickin fast! So that's Kill Ball and my evening entertainment. 

So one of the opportunities that the missionaries that serve in Sierra Leone is to build up a very strong ward. And that's exactly what Elder Gherkins and I have really been targeting this transfer. Last Sunday was a missionary Sunday.. which means the missionaries do everything in church... talks, teach investigators class, elders quorum.... and guess who didn't get told that it was a missionary Sunday until 5 minutes before church... the missionaries.. so pretty much it was a day of chastisement and we really kind of unleashed on the ward how ridiculous it was and how crappy elders quorum is... sounds like we are horrible missionaries right? Wrong. Nothing worked better than this... Because before this we would have our investigators go home and skip elders quorum because they never taught out of the manual and they never had a lesson prepared.. at the beginning of class the teacher, whoever it was that stood up cuz the elders quorum presidency was never present, would ask what the class wanted to discuss today and then another man, Bro. Samba would stand up and talk about how many miracles he's seen in his life.... back to the story. We chastised and then after church we had a closed meeting with Bishop and we discussed what we needed to change so that church would be a better experience for our investigators as well as the members. Our Bishop is a great guy! He served in the Enugu, Nigeria mission and he knows all the problems with the ward but one man is just not enough to flip a ward around... so we set some rules for Elders Quorum. 1- We need manuals 2- Every person must sit within the first three rows 3- Bro. Samba isn't allowed to teach 4- The Elders Quorum President must be present and either teaches the class or assigns someone THE WEEK BEFORE to teach the class. So this sunday... was awesome! It worked. Elders Quorum was awesome! It was definitely a place that we would want our investigators and it was just like back at home... kinda. But it was way sweet! 
During elders quorum i saw that Paul Sesay's freakin awesome son Abubakarr was sitting outside alone. So i went and carried him into elders quorum and we sat in the back and i gave him my pen and a sheet of paper and taught him how to trace his hand... it was way sweet til he attempted to trace inside the hymn book. So that was my sunday... next week church time changes to 8:30 in the morning..... sweeeeeeeeeeetttttttttttttttttttt............. Anyways transfers are just around the corner.. we find out this week if we stay or go (hopefully stay).

So ever since i started teaching Paul i've just kind of been drawn to his and Abubakarr's relationship and i could never find out why. Paul and Abubakarr are ALWAYS together.. you never see one without the other even though Paul is 54 and Abubakarr is 2. They always are talking and laughing together and whenever paul is gone abubakarr has this very down look on his face. So i could never figure out why i thought that their relationship was so sweet and for some reason i felt drawn to it.. then one day it just hit me... their relationship is almost exactly how my relationship is with my dad! Its so crazy... from what i've always been told about how i would follow dad around and cry when he would leave and i would just hang out with him... this was exactly what it sounded like! So anyways i thought i'd just let you all in on that... Other than that there really wasn't anything else that was to crazy this week other than the usual stuff! Love you all! Mallowai!

Elder Rogers


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas!‏

 So this week we had a ton of meetings with Christmas coming up. We also had 3 baptisms this week and they were so stressful but so sweet!!!! So
Grandma Ellis sent me a dear elder the night before i left for the MTC and i was there for 11 days so the dear elder came to my mission before i was there and before anyone knew who i was yet so they sent it to Liberia and i wasn't in that mission so they sent it to Johannesburg, South Africa.. guess what... i'm not serving there either. So finally it returned to the correct mission and i received it..... last week:) It was sweet tho! Thanks Grandma! And thank you to all who have sent me letters... and to all those who think they should send me one... it means you should so get on it!! You probably have one coming your way right now... so anyways as far as the call on Christmas goes... we're going to attempt to Skype.. ya that's right... Skype! So the schedule will go like this and you will have to sacrifice small but hey its okay cuz you all love me and would sacrifice your sleep and your Christmas for me right? Right. So we will be following this schedule... 
---- at 1:00 (6:00 your time) I will be on for skyping and that will last for as long as the internet is good and this also might not happen because of it being Christmas and the cafe's might not be open... so anyways you can still expect a call at 6:00 a.m. from me tho regardless because that's when i will tell you if we're gonna do it or not!
---- around 6:00 (11:00 your time) i will be calling and that will be our actual call call.. and the thing is president really wants us to talk with our families so Christmas is not a proselyting day and i can call you so that you guys can pay for it:) and i'll explain that when i get to talk with you and we can talk for .......... AS LONG AS WE WANT:) Which is way sweet! So i will be calling you guys and then i will tell you to call me back.... and also since i'm like 6000 miles away the phone conversations lag.. so if i just start talking and you start and i just keep going i'm sorry i'm not cutting you off i'm just trying to make sure that we make the most of the time that we have.... also i want you guys to write down any questions that you guys have that you want to ask me... one story i will tell you is about my spider story... it was a gigantic spider.... So tonight we have a dinner that the stake is putting on just for the missionaries so i'm way excited... well that's all for this week.... sorry its not full of stories and experiences.. love you all!!
- Elder Rogers


Monday, December 16, 2013

Cockroaches uhhhhh........ can fly!‏

Ya that's right. They definitely fly but its kinda fun cuz they aren't afraid of you so they just fly at you so what you do is roll up a sheet of paper, step up to the plate, and bat away! They are invincible tho! You hit a home run and they go flying into the wall but they just get up and run away so you stomp on them cuz they run at you and if you just step they won't die.. you have to STOMP on them... like almost send your foot through the concrete floor... its so much fun! unless they get on you... that one is no fine! They bite and that is not cool. 
So on to the week. I created this chart that helps us to see our goals and its so sweet cuz it worked so well this week for Elder Gherkins and i that we're trying to get it to become a zone wide and eventually a mission wide thing! IT IS SO HELPFUL! 
So I thought i would inform you of my most favorite food ever that i would eat over anything back home! Its called Nikki Soupwie if you're mendai but you're not so its called Ground nut soup and it is the most delicious thing ever! Can't wait to make it for you guys when i get home.... in awhile:) 
So this week we had such a sweet baptism. Paul Sesay is his name. He is a 54 year old man and i love this guy so much! I got the honor of baptizing this amazing guy! So everyday Elder Sumrak and i would walk past this man and he would greet us everyday but we never felt like we needed to go talk to him... one day when we were walking past we just felt like... TALK TO THAT MAN! So we did. We stopped and shared the message with him and during the lesson this is what he told us..."Just the other day i was telling my wife that we need a new church, the one we were attending was not the right one." she replied with "Wait small" and then two days later.. BOOM!!! There we were! It was so sweet! He told us that if we hadn't come  greeted him and told him about the message he was going to stop us and ask us what we are always doing walking past him... I got to baptize him and it was probably the sweetest thing ever.... after i pulled him out of the water he shook my hand and just clenched his fists in front of him just kinda with that "YES! FINALLY!" look on his face. After the service was all done he walked up to me, shook my hand, hugged me super tight, and told me that he will attend this church and his family will attend with him til the day that he dies.... i could see the light in his eyes! His spirit and joy of the gospel is so contagious! It is impossible to not feel the spirit when you are around this man.... 
I just want to finish up this email by saying to anyone who is considering not going on a mission... if i never had gone on mission i would never have met such a great man and he may not have been baptized.. you never know what could have happened but that joy that i saw in his eyes after his baptism is the reason that i don't want to go home... Its the reason i am here... just a white 18 year old boy walking the hills of Sierra Leone to be a mouth piece for the Lord to share the gospel through. And this is a message that will change lives and bring joy in such an amount that you will not be able to contain it, inside investigators as well as yourself. I can't stand to think about missing out on the experience and blessing of meeting and helping Paul to realize the amazing spirit that this church has. If you are thinking about not going.... go and thank me later! and with that i will have to say Malloway
- Elder Rogers

Goodbye in Krio

Me i geh fo go sum sai just now. I day go na me oose. Buh we go see back on, i feel say, nah next Monday. Tomorrow!


I will translate/explain. So as you can see its just super bad English and the trick isn't so much in speaking it its a lot more difficult to understand when its spoken to you. So pretty much what i said is "I need to go now. I'm going to my house. But i will see (email) you next Monday." the tomorrow at the end is something you just say... its kind of like goodbye but honestly its just something you say. If the person is somewhat educated then you don't say tomorrow cuz they actually understand... 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Marry me and Mystery meat!‏

So mom to answer your letters i don't need any medicine or any journals. I can get those things here but i will let you know about things if i need them:) Thanks for all the care though! 
So this week has been very crazy and i am exhausted! We had Stake conference this last weekend so we hardly got to proselyte on Saturday and Sunday! 
So Sunday we didn't even go out proselyting after conference because this weekend i got a "fresh cold." I know what you're thinking "Really a cold? Drink a cup of 'toughin up' and get out there!" But this cold was on the destroy!!! Headache was really bad and my throat was bad and something about SaLone is they just leave their trash around and once it piles up big enough some kind SaLonian Samaritan will toss a match in and it burns up in a nice smell of..... it smells way bad lets just say that.. sometimes if you're lucky and its humid and hot enough the pile will just spontaneously combust which is nice cuz then you don't have to waste a match! So back to my fresh cold... the smoke is so thick that you can't see through it and when i would breath it in it would burn alllllll the wayyyyy down. Thats not even the worst part... Whenever you get any kind of sickness there are a few similar symptoms... 1 nausea 2.... never trust a fart. End of Story. So that's why we didn't go out! 
So a way funny story this week i have for you is one that i'm not sure if i told you before and if i did then you get to read it again! So last week i was going to buy some 'Saba' (its soap to brook your clothes with) and as i'm buying it the woman selling next to my Saba woman says "buy from me" She was selling raw eggs. I replied "No." she replies with this... "Marry me." i laughed... out loud. Then i realized she was serious and i just walked away. Kinda funny how casual she asked me..... man i wish it was that way in the U.S. 
So anyways another story.. so Elder Gherkins and I were eating at Fatmata's house on Tuesday as we do every week and we're eating and i'm like what is this i'm chewing on? I've eaten it before i just never knew exactly what it was. Elder Gherkins informed me "Oh thats chicken.... gizard." Yummmmm! And actually that's not a lie. It is pretty good! Better than kandah (Cow skin) thats for sure. Now that's one meat solved... how about this one? Meat Profile = has some bones in it + round + has a weird soft/squishey center + its round. If you guessed Chicken skull with brain then you got it! And yes i ate... 3 of them. Not bad but a way weird texture! 
So we were walking home in the dark the other night and we see this thing dancing and its huge and its dancing by a street fire and there are a bunch of men dancing with it and some of the men are banging on drums.. cool right? Wrong... the huge dancing thing is called a Devil. And the people around it are not normal... almost zombie like and under control of something... the power of satan is very real everyone. If you want to see one google it. Don't go looking for one. Right when we saw it i got this intense sick feeling.... and i felt like "RUN!!!" Man i tell you what... JuJu is a huge thing here and the spirit definitely helps us out by throwing us crazy strong 'get away' feelings. Why we refer to a devil as an 'it' is because honestly it doesn't matter if its a her or a him... once its a devil its not a mortal man thing... its very scary to see. 
Anyways on the brighter side stake conference was sweet!! The missionaries gave an intermediate hymn but Elder Gherkins and I weren't in it because we were trying to get all our investigators to a chair inside the venue because it was so packed! But our stake president talked and man he is such a boss! Also we had a white man come!! He is one of the area 70's. His name is Elder Curtis and he is sweet! He talked about the restoration and the truth of it and man it was so awesome! Thats all that i can really say.. it was awesome. 
So we had 12 investigators at the conference so we have a very busy week ahead of us! This one man Paul who is baptizing on this Saturday is probably one of the coolest guys i've met! He was in the war and when he married his first wife he was 30 and she was 14... which is normal here but he's so awesome! He brought 8 of those investigators to the conference. The people here, whether they are baptized or not, as long as they are converted they want to do missionary work SO bad! It's awesome! So i know i told you about Paul's son Abubakarr and how awesomely and studly he is. So this week we were teaching Paul and Abubakarr comes running around the corner with his head back in the air laughing and he is sprinting past us... then we see 4 girls his age run around the corner chasing him! He's so awesome! He always just goes around and says his own name to people and when Elder Gherkins first met him he asked him if he was a pokemon.. hahah Elder Gherkins is a very funny guy.... he is very quick whitted and does just goofy stuff like the other day i walk into the room to find a paper mustache taped to my window just at the perfect height of my upper lip! He just does things like that all the time. We are having a way awesome time and we're becoming very good friends. Well that's all for this week in Africa! 
-Elder Rogers

Monday, December 2, 2013

Two months!!

Can you believe its been two months already!! Wow. Anyways this week was a very rough week... only taught 17 lessons. It was my first week showing Elder Gherkins around the area and man was it tough... anyways Elder Gherkins is freaking sweet! He's very positive and he's weird but man is he funny! The weird part is just the best part about him... he's not afraid to do whatever. Anyways this week i would just like to share small about something that is weighing heavily on my heart. Jess talked about how they had an investigator die and i am sorry for that. That is something that thankfully hasn't happened to me. But its something along the lines of that... So we have an investigator who lives with his aunt and uncle who are members and to be honest... we don't even know if this kid has parents... his name is Yucief (You sif) Sesay and he is an eleven year old boy... so as eleven year old boys are he is a very active kid.... and last sunday he was running around with his friends and he fell and snapped his radius in his forearm.. its like pushing on the skin but isn't coming out... no one here has a job so no one has the money to take him to a hospital.. so they wrapped it with a shirt and popsicle sticks. They really don't have any sense because it is swollen... its swollen twice the size of his normal hand and that was on tuesday when we went to see him.... when we went on thursday we saw that it has become so bad that the blood has started to attempt to come out of the skin so his skin is getting super stretched and it looks like he has giant blood blisters... like GIANT... he was supposed to be baptized this coming saturday but we're postponing it to try and get him some help first.... the thing is we can't give any money and they need 25,000 leones, which isn't easy to get, to go to the clinic that can help... any other "hospital" will take him and he'll come back without an arm... and that may seam drastic and at first i said ya right but the humanitarian couple told me that that's what will happen if they take him anywhere other than the one hospital..... be grateful that you live in America... i was so homesick but man i am so glad that i get to return to a place like america when my two years are done. This kid is so faithful too.... its not easy living here... just be grateful for every single thing that you have including your body cuz here if you get something bad enough on any limb that can go... it goes. Anyways i just thought i'd let all you stuck up americans know how blessed you are! So anyways the new food this week.... 
... so i said a while back that i was eating this delicious meat that i had no clue what it was... it was givin to us by one of our recent converts and man..... its chicken gizard.. its delicious!! But at the same time its something that you can't think about while you are eating it.. you just chew and swallow:) So the heat... is very hot. Its dry season so its starting to get crappy... power leaves pretty often so that means trying to fall asleep in 80 degree darkness... not sweet. The mountain is still the same... really steep, really hot, and really large... but this week we discovered a new part of our area so that is really sweet!!! Our investigators are coming along small small. We have a sweet investigator that ill tell you about after he baptizes! Anyways thats pretty much all for this week... I hope you're all having fun FREEZING!!! Malloway!!

Elder Rogers