All seems to be going well; we are save, happy and well fed. Elwood has eaten some African dishes such as: pounded yam, large rubbery snails, cow gut and a greasy, leafy concoction. If this was all we could eat, for sure we would lose weight and save a lot of money on food costs.
We have had many interesting experiences -- our mission president has request that we visit some of the far away congregations of the church to give support to the leaders. We have visited two congregations so far and this weekend we will visit more. The people are so welcoming and happy to see us. Many are quite poor, but they have a positive attitude and you would never know about their limited circumstances without visiting their homes. When they come to church they are dressed well, particularly the women and the children. When they sing, they sing with their full heart and soul. We are amazed they seem to know every song in the hymn book. We really love these people!
We took a day off and went into another world. The Chevron Oil Co. sponsors an artist bazaar sending invitations to selected groups to attend. The Chevron complex is huge. The Chevron employees have all they need to live well and be comfortable. What a contrast to the area around them. Near Chevron, we found a Domino's Pizza restaurant and a Cold Stone ice cream parlor - both were yummy!
Back to the real world -- Elwood has been busy finding apartments for missionaries, negotiating lease agreements and getting the necessary apartment repairs completed. We are both working to purchase and distribute necessary supplies to the missionaries. We search outdoor markets for everything from mosquito nets to phones to washing tubs for clothing. Penny has her hands full of developing and organizing training for the missionaries. She has strengthened the missionaries ability to focus on the work. We had our first meeting under the new Church instructions to missions. In the past every month all missions around the world held a Zone Leaders Council Meeting; now every month we hold a "Mission Leaders Council Meeting." The difference is under the new format, Sister missionaries are part of the leadership, not just the Elder missionaries. With the age being reduced to 19 for sister missionaries, more and more sister missionaries are entering the missionary service, and their voice is essential. Penny sets a great example for these young sister missionaries.
This is probably enough for one blog entry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We love you.
Elwood and Penny
Typical site, men riding on a truck
Full view of men on the back of a truck
Two lanes of traffic become 4 lanes during congestion
Many signs have a religious name
Elwood's first African breakfast: Boiled yam, spicy eggs and chicken leg
Church members in Ile-lfe
Church members in Ile-lfe
Little girl at church
Penny and members of the church
Elwood and a member
Members of the church
Penny with a little girl
A wonderful church family
Mother and daughters