Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Baptisms in Bo/Kenema

Cattle Drive

We left our apartment Thursday morning and to our surprise there was about 30 cattle a block away from our place.  We found out later that few cattle are raised in this area of Sierra Leone.  They are raised in the north eastern part of the country.  They are then brought here to be sold and slaughtered for the market places.   These must have been dropped off by the trucks.  This  group had been sold to one of the local butchers and were being taken there.  Notice the guy with a switch.  There were about 6 of them driving the cattle.  Can you see that they are trailing a rope that each of them was tied with?  By the end of the day there was just one lone steer left.

We are assuming that is a "brand" on his side.  Tic-Tac-Toe anyone?  At the market they would slaughter 1 cow at a time.  When the meat was gone they would take the next one.  That way the meat doesn't spoil since there is little to no refrigeration.  

Baptisms On Saturday

In the two Bo districts we had four branches doing baptisms on Saturday.  They were scheduled to be done at 3 different branch chapels so we had to time share to get to all of them.  One of the fonts didn't fill because of lack of water, so we had to help transport people from Torkpoi Town Branch to the New England Branch in the same district. We ended up needing to only go to two instead of three branches. The Bo East district had 8 people baptized.  We were able to take pictures because it was outside.  

The Bo West district had 7 people from two different branches.  They held it at the district center which has an inside font.  The water level was about 1-1/2 foot deep.  It was a challenge for a large man being baptized whose feet kept coming up.  We ended up having him sit down and lay him back to get him fully under the water.  

The Kenema district also had baptisms but we were not able to get there.  We were able to witness one of the confirmations on Sunday in the Burma branch.  This young man was very diligent in trying to learn every thing he could in the Gospel Essentials class. I was very impressed.

We echo the Tibbitts in their last post.  They are in the Ghana MTC and had an area authority speak in their MTC.  Elder Stanfield said "This is Africa's time.'  He repeated that many times.  He said Church Headquarters is so interested in what is happening here as the church is growing so fast.  In the past, it may have been South America's time or Europe's time, but now it's Africa's time.  The church is very young here - only 30 or so years.  Members are going to fill this land."

The people here are so ready to receive the Gospel.  They accept it with their whole hearts.  The members here are so dedicated and are willing to make any sacrifice for the Gospel.  A great sacrifice is required of them if they want to go to the temple and/or go on a mission.  They step up and do it in spite of the sacrifices.

We are so blessed to be here.


Michelle Larson said...

It truly is amazing, the work that is going on and I know you guys are a big part of that. I love the picture of the cow in front of the bar/restaurant. Is the cow there for made to order meals? :-) I love that there is a gym advertised right below that so you can stay fit after you eat! :-)

Rachel Whitlock said...

I love reading these posts! What an amazing experience to be out there. We are for sure coming this summer!