Monday, December 30, 2013

Holiday Festivities

We wish all of our friends and family a Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.  This has been an amazing year for us and it will be very difficult for us to leave our wonderful Nigerian family.  It is hard to believe that we have been here over 14 months and we do feel very much at home.

We just had all of our missionaries (191 of them) here for the annual Christmas two-day event.  Day one was food and games... mostly football (soccer).  Our mission president and most of the missionaries would have been happy with football and nothing else that day, they love it!  But we did have an obstacle course, dodgeball, musical chairs, ping pong, etc.  In the afternoon, we had what may loosely be referred to as a talent show.  Day two was a nativity play, training and more food.  The nativity play was amazing... very African and, thanks to the mission mother, very well rehearsed.  The colors and costumes were bright and made with African fabrics.  There was a crier inviting everyone to watch who was banging a gong.  There was singing and dancing... wonderful!  It really made us feel the spirit of Christmas.  The actors presented their parts very well and took the play seriously.  It was very well received.  Even though this is a religious country, we were surprised how little referral there was to Christmas.  There were not a lot of lights and even in church, there was not a Christmas program.  So we were happy that we were able to see an African nativity play.

With love,
Elder and Sister Brown

Pictures from the day of the Pageant and the Christmas Pageant

The feast the missionaries ate before leaving for their areas of proselyting.  The plates were piled high with food - pasta, rice and beans, chicken, slaw, fruit, fried plantain and cake for dessert.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Life continues in much the same manner.  We love serving the Lord as missionaries.  Our days continue to be long but filled with joy and satisfaction.  On a recent day trip, Elwood focused on taking pictures of children which were mostly school age and seen everywhere.  Many of the pictures are from the village of Ilewo-Orile just outside of Abeokuta in Orogun State, southwest Nigeria.  The kids were admiring the missionaries' new bicycles are from Ajangbadj (Lagos State).

We now have 30 missionaries on bicycles...  And they love them, but are so hard on them that they require constant repair.  One missionary complained after the bicycles were "trued".  (For non-cyclists this means adjusting the spokes so the wheel does not wobble.)  He said he was just riding along and all of the sudden three spokes on the front tire popped out.  He said, "The mechanic tightened the spokes too much and they just broke."  (The old Adam and Eve story... not my fault.)  I asked him if he hit anything and he said no.  Further investigation revealed that he went into a deep pothole and hit a sharp edge while exiting which broke the spokes.

We are looking for good surge protectors for the missionaries.  Electricity goes off and on so frequently that electrical appliances die quite often.  They call and cry that their appliances are "spoiled". We respond with "sorry," which is the Nigerian standard response for sneezing, coughing, dropping something on the floor, or anything negative that may happen in life.

We are trying to get a Pathways program started in Lagos.  It is a way for students to get a degree from BYU Idaho by taking online classes.  It does require a presence of teachers here for the students to meet with weekly for the first year of the program.  There is a lot of interest here, but the closest program now is in Ghana.

We miss you all and love you.  One of the senior couples went home last week... we really miss them.
May the Lord bless you all.
Elwood and Penny