Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We are HERE

By the time we left the MTC on Wed., Dec. 11th, Marsha had a dandy cold but fly away we did after having breakfast with the Justin Logan’s and Paula and then visiting with Jeff at the airport.  Our plane was delayed about an hour so we got to visit with Jeff longer than anticipated which was nice.  We arrived in Chicago and had a delay there of about an hour and a half.  Then on to London where we had three hours until our flight to Lagos, but after a bus shuttle, a tram shuttle and walking the airport twice we barely made our flight.  Due to John having shaving cream in his carryon luggage, I think we reached the gate with 10 whole minutes to spare.  Of course they loaded the plane to Lagos and then had 2 hours’ worth of delays on the runway.  John was queasy, as he took his malaria medicine without a full meal, so it was a  'pleasant' wait.  We finally reached Nigeria an hour late and nearly died getting off the plane into the heat and humidity.  Fortunately the couple meeting us endured the delay and expedited our exit of the airport.  Our travel time was about 26 hours.  The drive to the mission home was a blur as it was already dark and our driver handled the awful traffic without a pause. Our apartment is small but fine.  We were given a 9:00 o'clock dinner and then headed to bed.  The next day was busy with unpacking and meeting folks here.  Saturday the Browns took us grocery shopping and it was quite an adventure.  I miss Costco and super markets. I don't know how to describe the traffic other than it is worse than shown on the Internet.  It takes nerves of steel to drive here and the cars are just inches apart.  Lots of horn honking.  Marsha tries to think of something else.  At church on Sunday we were celebrities and everyone was super nice.  It is difficult to understand their English and visa versa.  Monday morning began the mission conference so all 191 young missionaries and the three couples that live here were all in attendance.  The hit of Monday was the soccer games.  Pretty much all day.  The food was African and scary.  We helped dish it out for the missionaries and it was all I could do not to vomit.  I don't know what was in it (it is called 'Swallow'), but it looked and smelled awful.  We ate in our apartment.  Today they had a nativity program and it was very touching.
Then the mission president asked all the couples to sit on the stand and bear their testimonies.  After which he proceeded to address the missionaries for about four hours.  It was inspiring, but my backside was dead.  Of course John had to add to the meeting by pushing a button on his cell phone and having music ring out from the stand where we were sitting.  He was mortified and I tried to be supportive, but I did chuckle.  We have two weeks to learn everything before our trainers leave, so wish us luck.  Merry Christmas.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

MTC - Wow what a Week

We have just finished a week at the MTC.  What a great experience it was.  We were the largest Senior Missionary group that has gone through the MTC, there were 153 senior with 9 of them single sisters making 72 couples. Many of them were going on their second missions, some even their third. It appeared to us that this group was covering the earth, they were going everywhere, you name it and somebody was going there.  Places that we have never heard of.  One couple that we became acquainted with were going to Germany and live in the same apartment were Bob and Yvonne lived.
It is hard to describe the feeling that the spirit left with us in the MTC, other than to say that our hearts were touched each and every day we were there.  We are home today packing and doing some finishing up work on the house. Next week we are oft to Salt Lake for some training and then Wednesday it on the plane.  will have lots to say after 18 hours in the air.  SLC to Chicago, Chicago to London and then London to Lagos.  Fun! Fun! Fun!  80 plus degrees!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Call

Having been released so that we could submit our papers for a mission we started to prepare.  We felt that the Lord would know where he wanted us so left it open as to where and what. Two weeks after submitting the papers a call showed up.  We gathered as a family to open the call some by face time and others by phone.  Justin and family, Paula were in attendance.  Marsha open the call and read the letter out loud to all.  When she read Lagos Nigeria there was some audible gasps and it took a few minutes to sink in that we were going to Africa. Well we thought that we would have a few months to get ready and we did something like 77 days and leave on the 30 of December.  As we talked with people from Salt Lake they wanted to over lap with the Jennings whom we will be replacing.  So we started to plan a week in the MTC and then PEF training in Salt Lake prior to the 30th so that we could overlap.  As we were negotiating times they and us decided that we would start earlier and then we cut the prep time in half.  So we enter the MTC on December 2.  As we looked at the calendar we have started to panic.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

After the Call

If the last few weeks are any indication as to what we are up against then this is going to be a great  experience!!!  Time has been flying by and we are just a week away from the MTC. Are we ready? No!!! Will we be ready? No!!! But we have no chose, the date is coming up.  It's funny every time somebody ask where are you going?  We say Nigeria!!   The response is Wow!! And then a funny look comes on their face.  Oh that will be interesting!! Yes it will we respond.
I have thought often of Elder Scott's statement "To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do thing you have never before done.".  This is surely something that we have never done and the goal was to serve the Lord where ever he wanted us.  I have always known that the Lord has a sence of humor and now I know that He has. Heat is not a thing I tolerate well, but I will have to learn.  Elder Whirthlin's talk "Come What May, and Love It" comes to mind and that is what I expect to do.  We are greatful for the call and hope that we can accomplish the thing the Lord want us to accomplish.

So Much to do so little time to do It

The time has gone oooh so fast and tomorrow we enter the MTC.  This has been a great time, family has been here, fun has been had by all, except Tyler who could not join us because of work. Many tears have been shed as we have bid one another farewell.  We think that the most difficult for us has been the anticipation that good byes were eminent and not looked forward to.  We are still not through with the good byes.  John who is a big world traveler and says that there is still plenty of  Utah left to explore is wondering what he has got himself into.  But willing to serve where every!!!

We actually was able to squeeze in a family photo shoot. Which we will share.  Marsha finished all here jammies for the families Christmas and we opened then on Thanksgiving.  They are so cute (pictures later). 

Spoke in Church Sunday the 24 and was glad to have that behind us.  Taught the last lesson in Gospel Doctrine today 1 December and we are waiting to go to the Stake center to be set apart tonight for our missions.  That kind of makes it official!!! Then in the morning off to the MTC to report in.  Looks like we spend a week in the Provo MTC learning Preach My Gospel and then the following week Monday and Tuesday in Salt Lake to learn about the PEF program. Tentatively we leave on Wednesday and arrive in Akeja on Friday evening - 18 hours in the air I believe.  So stay tuned for the experience we will share!!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Family

Paula, Dad, Mom

Andrew, Emma, Michelle, Jeff, Ashley
Anna, Eli, Eva

Taylor, Justin, Liz , Christian
Camo, Ellie, Paige, Brooke


Tricia, Makell, Matt
Madi, Travor, (Missing Tyler)