We realize a bog update is long overdue. We are working harder with even longer hours and are quite tired at the end of each day. Ten to fourteen hour days are the rule rather than the exception. We are getting more and more missionaries assigned to our mission.
We have just under 200 missionaries, while worldwide the Church has gone from 58,000 missionaries in October of 2012 to over 85,000 and growing. This creates a tremendous amount of work for both of us. We love what we are doing but it is exhausting and has taken a toll on Penny physically. She was quite ill for a couple of weeks, but she is almost back to normal.
As some of you may recall, I was authorized to purchase 14 mountain bikes for some of our missionaries which has proved to be beneficial to this great work. Many more missionaries have begged for bicycles. The main concern is their health and safety. One rarely sees bicyclists on the streets as most are unsafe for bicycles (narrow, many potholes, crowded, weaving vehicles, etc.) We only are placing bicycles in less densely populated areas that I consider safe. I have now purchased 10 more bicycles. The first group of bikes came from China - big mistake - bikes are having problems. The newest group, which are more expensive, come from Japan with Shimano componentry. I hope they hold up well.
The attached pictures are from a cultural festival representing several tribes from West Africa. The Young Single Adults in the Church organized this event. They had a lot of fun being in authentic costumes and presenting typical tribal food. We really enjoyed ourselves as well.
We think about our family and friends in the USA. We miss you all and look forward to seeing you all again. We continually pray for your well-being, success and health.
Penny and Elwood (Elder and Sister Brown)
Penny and sisters Jennings and Winget
Elwood with some of the young adults
Elders Jennings and Winget with some young adults
Represent a tribe council
Group of women
An unusual looking young woman
A woman covering her mouth as a sign of humility
Woman covering her mouth
Woman with coral tribal headdress
Kemi, Penny, Peace, Sisters Winget and Jennings
Elwood and Penny and the group
Woman in her coral headdress