Thursday, May 9, 2013

May in Nigeria

It has been a long time since we have written for our blog.  Sorry!  Much has transpired.  We are getting in a lot of new missionaries that continue to swell our mission. This requires opening up new areas, and creating new church branches or congregations.  We are certainly feeling the effects of the church announced age reduction for missionary service.  In the next 3 months we will have 27 missionaries going home, and 54 new missionaries arriving.  This really requires a lot of effort to accommodate this type of expansion.

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

Church members 

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 

All brothers 

Elwood and a member

Members of the church 

Penny with a little girl 

A wonderful church family

Mother and daughters


  1. These are GREAT pictures! Thanks for sharing. Love to you both! Lisa

  2. Thank you for posting the blog. It is great to follow their mission adventures. Glad to see all is well!

  3. As never before, more sister missionaries requires more work by senior missionary sisters to train them and set the example. Interesting food there. Also interesting that Chevron makes their own world in Nigeria.