Monday, April 8, 2013

6 months out!

This past week has been quite busy but eventful.  We held two zone conferences in Ibadan and at the stake center in our mission office compound.  Penny and I had major responsibilities for the logistics and the training.  The Ibadan conference consisted of four zones (56 missionaries) from the most distant part of our mission.  Unfortunately, we did not make hotel reservations thinking the huge hotel where we wanted to stay would have plenty of rooms, but we were wrong.  We drove around with the mission president in the dark for over an hour trying to find a safe, secure hotel.  We finally found the one where we had stayed before called “His Grace Hotel and Suites”.  We were just happy that the toilet flushed, there was a sheet on the bed (one that is) and that there was water (unfortunately cold) to shower.  The second zone conference consisted of eight zones (110 missionaries).   This conference proved to be a difficult one, not just because lunch arrived an hour and a half late, but because the former mission president and his wife wanted to participate.  He was released five months ago for medical reasons.  It turned out to be very disruptive because of a number of issues.

We also attended a tribal wedding and two days later the western version of the wedding for the same couple.  It was very elaborate, unusual and educational.  We will share more of this experience in our next installment.

We are in the process of trying to find mosquito nets for the missionaries to use over their beds.  We have had no problems in the past, but now cannot find the type we need.  This is a necessity because the missionaries sleep with their windows open and mosquitos carrying malaria are a severe problem, even with all of us taking anti-malaria medication daily.

Our last excitement was visiting a “Johnny Rockets” restaurant on Victoria Island, which is the wealthy part of Lagos that we rarely see.  It was just like the ones in the USA…art deco 50’s style.  The food was great, but very expensive as is all western food here.  (If we could live on pounded yams and rice from local markets we would be set, but for a variety of reasons that is not possible.)  A milkshake was approximately $12 and a hamburger was $15…nothing special, just a regular hamburger.  When we arrived at the parking lot, the attendant asked where Elder Brown was as he remembered him from a previous visit.   He asked about the Mormon Church and was delighted when Elwood told him that the missionaries would come to his home to teach his family.

The mission is progressing, we are having more baptisms and the missionaries are becoming more spiritual and working harder.    We love the work.

The start of the Ikotun shopping area.  Notice the slight incline.  The yellow taxi buses have a hard time getting up this grade - they burn rubber.

Ikotun shopping area

Fresh fish for sale

Open area of Ikotun shopping area

This is the dwelling under the "rock" where people hid and lived during the tribal wars of the 1830's.

This is Elwood taking a short cut to the top by hiking through a slit in the rock. 

Sign indicating where the church is 

Penny and Elwood and the Adebayo children while at church. 

Both sister Brown's.  This lady came up to us at church and said she too was a Sister Brown, so we took her picture. 

Children at Ijebu-Ode District Conference (church meeting)

Members of the church

Brothers and sisters dressed in the same fabric  

A young church family