Wednesday, 27 March 2013

New from Ed, March 2013

Ed has had a great month! He is now what they call a 'zone leader'- meaning that he does some of the missionary training of the other missionaries- we think there are 20 or 30 missionaries in his area. He is really enjoying it, and having a brilliant time with the new missionary he is working with (his "companion"), who is Elder Harris, from the USA. They used to share an apartment at the beginning of his mission so they were already good friends! It sounds as though they make a great team. 

He has a crazy story about a man they are teaching, who is an 'Evangelist' of a different church: "We have a wonderful prospect for a man called Augustine, who’s an ‘evangelist’ over another church in our area. He absolutely knows that our church (the Mormon church) is true and we have been talking with him and his ‘assistant’, which sparked his assistant pastor to pray for himself and also learn that our church is true. We’re planning this week to head a bible study class for him; we've been pushing it back a couple of weeks so that we can have as many people there as possible. He regularly has 75+ attend his church and for the past couple of weeks he’s just been teaching everyone about the Book of Mormon and how he’s ready to close his own church and how everyone needs to come and be baptised with the real Priesthood, which is only found in our church!"

Ed is a zone leader back in the place he left six weeks ago (he moved out to the bush a bit in between) so he says that is quite surreal. The local chapel is called 'Brewersville'. Some bits of this week's email: "Ahh so this week has been great! I'm really enjoying serving with Elder Harris, no surprises there, and the work's coming on small small really! =D So really exciting thing this week was when Elder Harris and I got out of a taxi, Elder Harris went to pay and I casually looked up the road to see a huge lorry bouncing off its axles and skidding on the wet tarmac (it had just finished raining).. I let out a stereotypical Elder Pentreath "oh my days, Elder Harris, let's move!" Sure enough we ran pretty quickly out of the way and just avoided getting flattened by a 10 ton truck.. the taxi we stepped out of wasn't so lucky and the back bumper was taken off.. then the truck tipped and landed on top of another parked car... pretty loud! We looked at each other, it was really surreal and the world went silent and in slow motion we threw our scriptures to a passer-by and ran to the truck to get out anyone who'd survived.. we climbed down into the side/top of the cab and hauled the passenger out and sat him on top.. somehow the driver had already pulled himself up and out and pegged it. In true Liberian style about 200/300 people crowded around the truck and threatened to climb up and beat the passenger to death, thinking that he was the driver.. It was really weird and was kind of like a computer game and Elder Harris and I circled the man and pushed off all the guys who were trying to climb up and drag the man down and beat him. The rain was pouring and we were up there for about 30 minutes! Crazy stuff! Finally the police came.. 2 of them on the back of a random pedestrians bike.. and started directing the traffic.. took them 15 minutes to do anything with the actual accident, which was just crazy, but that's what we're here for, missionaries save the day!! =D"

Ed also shared a story about how they are teaching a man in a very sad situation- his wife died shortly after giving birth to their daughter, and some missionaries had stumbled across him while he was beating his daughter :( But he has been really touched by learning about God's plan for us to return to live with him and our families forever and is turning his life around and Ed is working with him. Ed wrote that he could really feel God working through him, and he started teaching the man things that he hadn't planned to share originally, but it was clear that he really needed to hear. He said, " I was so surprised by myself and what came out of my mouth that I just started crying with gratitude that I'm able to be worthy and be in the right place that the Lord could just use me as a tool in his hands. The man started crying as we explained what God's plan was and what it meant for him and his family, it was just such an incredibly powerful moment which really strengthened my belief of the importance of just following the holy spirit in every way! I love the work and am grateful to be a part of it in Liberia right now as the Lord is unfolding so many miracles to these wonderful people!"

And now a couple of photos of life in Liberia:

A rubber tree, which produces latex, wood and block rubber to make tires 

A snap of some goat washing!!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Great updates from Elder Pentreath

Mon 4th February

Well, I'm moving... toooo... Gardnersville... yea.... generator and no water ever apparently. The missionary who told me on the phone explained that the new apartment is not as nice as the one I'm in at the moment ... ah... gonna be interesting!

Friday morning I received another phone call to say that I'd be serving with a missionary called Elder Anderson! Elder Anderson is from the States, lovely guy, finishes being a misisonary this October.

I'm starting to look like Mr. Incredible, not gonna lie. Hahaha I literally look so different. Not there yet though!!! Lots more work to do and plenty of time to do it!

Mon 11th February

Wohhhh! Well if I thought the work was sweet, I was wrong!!! The work is AMAZING!!! SO wonderful!! This week has just been so incredible, sooo incredible!! Elder Andersen is absolutely wonderful and it's incredible to teach with him. It might sound stupid because of course throughout my mission I've always wanted to teach with the spirit of course, but with Elder Andersen and I together, every single lesson so far really has been such a spiritual experience. The new area is HUGE, I'm super duper tired because we've just been walking all day everyday, yet still teaching loads as well. It's just been amazing!!

So the apartment, there's 6 of us. The apartment has some lovely missionaries within, who are really striving to do well and work hard, which is wonderful. It's soooo hot, which isn't very nice, Elder Andersen and I are in a super small room which is horrible, but there we go... we're coming on small small! =) The church members in Gardnersville are really trying and I'm REALLY looking forward to working with them!

Mon 18th February

This week has just been wonderful, probably the very best week on my mission so far.

In terms of the apartment and area and stuff, our apartment being in the compound of a chapel is very rare, the only one in Liberia, and it's actually not our chapel either. There's no real roads from the apartment to our area and so we just trek through bush for 30 minutes to reach our area. In terms of animals, there's a lot more monkeys, but they all keep themselves to themselves. There's also a lot more mosquitoes! =D We still most often teach on benches or on the floor outside houses, which are often 'mud-brick' built. Gardnersville being only an hour or so from the main city is bush, but also 'rich-man, working in the city bush', so there’s a few nice-ish places in which there's real brick houses. People are really generous and want to share their food with us. I need to watch my weight and I'm being serious! It's all rice, of course, so I want to avoid getting a rice belly! =S Some people do actually grow food in their gardens, which is so nice to see - they can't really live off it all, but people are growing corn and potato green and... that's it really =P The earth's super sandy though and so can't sustain too much veg growth really.

Mon 25th February
Well, this week has been SUPER tiring! The sun has been so hot and the work has been hard graft really! We’ve been blessed to teach some really lovely lessons, but with missionary training on Tuesday taking up all day and having to do 7 baptismal interviews really gave us little time to do the work we really wanted to do. We also had a problem with the water pump this week and so Elder Andersen and I spent the whole of Friday (as in, the WHOLE of Friday), pumping water.. 340 buckets full of water to fill the baptismal font – we caught the sun and made ourselves both pretty sick to be honest.

This week also featured a surprise in the form of bumping into a celebrity! We were called to help out a guy push his car when afterwards I turned to one of them, introduced myself and received the response ‘oh, I’m from England too, I’ve lived in Manchester since I was 15’.. ‘oh, right! Great! What’s your name?’ ‘I’m Alex, so tell me more about your church?’…. So I explain a bit, give him a gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and invite him to church. He’s just flown in that morning because his Uncle just died and the funeral’s next week so will see if he can come to church… ‘So, what do you do in England? Are you working over there?’ ‘yea, I play football actually.’ ‘oh great, like professionally sort of thing? (yea, right!)… ‘yea, I play for Manchester City, though I’ve just gone on loan to Crystal Palace last month’.. ‘…what?!?!.. ok.. what’s your name again?!’ ‘Alex, Alex Nimely’… ‘you’re Alex Nimely?!?! Wohhh.. ok… you’re really Alex Nimely?!?!? You’re Alex Nimely..?!?! Okkk… ummm well, feel free to move to West Ham, ‘cos no one seems to be scoring for us at the moment and feel free to come to church!’… hahah couldn’t believe it! Then I told all the Liberians we saw for the remainder of the day and everyone’s like ‘you saw Alex Nimely?!?!? What?! He’s here?!?!?’… hahaha so sweet! Super sound guy, really humble it seemed! Super cool! Bless him, no wonder he’s gone to Crystal Palace, doubt he ever gets a game at Man City..

Found these photos online: from July 2011, the missionaries were digging irrigation ditches

Tipping out the water at the end...!

The finished irrigation system!

Christmas pictures

Out and about in Liberia


Are those EGGS on her head?? Amazing!

Ed and another new (senior) British missionary!

Poor 4x4 stuck in a pothole, caused by the rainy season!!

What they do in place of manhole covers... in the middle of a road!

Ed with some other missionaries

Ed with his new companion, Elder Anderson!