Wednesday, July 30, 2014

When you leave an area, you are likely to never see these people again in your life, so its not easy!

So first to answer all of your questions. Yes we can get cold water if we buy it but its hard to come across ice. Yes, you spell it Dramadri for those scriptures for the Elder. Yeah we only have 2 elders in our mission from Zambia... pretty interesting people too!

Its crazy to think that so many people from home are coming and going on missions. It goes so fast too. All the days seem to blend into one!

On an exchange with Elder itomo, we went to a service project in someone's house. We were making the floor level. He's a sweet guy from Nigeria!

Found this guy crawling around at a service project.. tasty too :-) ...haha, just kidding!!

Another sunrise in Salone

So I guess its strange to email you on a Wednesday. We had a national holiday here on Monday so the internet cafe was not open and the shops all closed. Its called prayer day (Ramadan). All the muslims go to the mosque to pray one last time while fasting. They fast for 30 days (they can eat after 7pm until sunrise). So we taught a lot of people about prayer and we also watched a few  church restoration films. Usually we can't watch films because there isn't any light (electricity) but because it was prayer day, the electricity was turned on and everyone had light. It was actually a problem. I have never had to ask a person to turn off the TV to start a lesson. The TV's are really distracting. I am not used to having them around. I would not do well in the US where everywhere you go is something distracting to look at... hahah it was an interesting day! You could hardly find people in the street because everyone was inside watching films.

Elder Vinson from the quorum of the 70's came and talked to us yesterday, that was super sweet, he's from Australia.

After the service project, they gave us a lot of food. Even though 8 of us ate, we couldn't finish it!

Elder Zenovieff and I in the bush after some home teaching

We went visiting teaching with Sister Turray. She is one of my favorite members in Wellington. She always gives us food, when her own family struggles to eat.

Next week I should be transferred, I have been here a really long, so we will see where I'm going next. Hopefully not too far, I like this place. Also, when you leave an area, you are likely to never see these people again in your life, so its not easy!

Well I have long life and well body.
Elder Beckett

Ebola Update


Sierra Leone Freetown Mission

28 Jul 2014

President Ostler

Dear Elders and Sisters,

The outbreak of Ebola continues. I appreciate your prayers for the people affected, for Kenema where it continues to spread and asking the Lord to stop it spreading to other areas in Sierra Leone.

Here are some things we know:

- The survival rate for the outbreak is substantially higher when people receive early treatment. Overall the survival rate is 50%. For those who receive early treatment it is about 70%. Helping people to trust the health care system and get looked at early with symptoms increases survival.

- The US embassy conducted a briefing on Thursday which our couples attended. They were briefed by senior US and Sierra Leonean medical experts. They confirm that our precautions are the right precautions. They also confirmed that although there are a few cases in Freetown and Bo, these people were all infected in eastern Sierra Leone. There still is no person to person transmission in Freetown, Bo or Makeni.

- It is widely reported that there was a case in Freetown of a woman who was at a local hospital whose family took her from the hospital. She has since been found, but later passed away reportedly as an Ebola victim

- Kenema continues to have new cases and some civil unrest. The Jests have been relocated to Freetown as a precaution. One of our members in Kenema died from Ebola last week. The lead doctor in Kenema has contracted Ebola and is receiving treatment.

- There was a case where a Liberian flew to Lagos and collapsed upon arrival in Lagos and has since died from Ebola. He contracted it in Liberia. Airlines are now monitoring health of passengers. There are travel restrictions other than checking whether travelers are in good health.

- Our humanitarian couple is providing general church relief to the government and to the members in Kenema.

- We have called 14 full time branch missionaries from Kenema to serve in Kenema. They will serve for several months and are staying in our apartment and following the missionary schedule, missionary rules and will help the work continue to progress in Kenema. The 7 senior companions are all returned missionaries, so we expect that the work in Kenema will continue effectively.

We continue to monitor to ensure our missionaries are safe. We pray that you will continue to follow the guidelines which we have provided.

With Love,

President Ostler

Monday, July 21, 2014

I am planning on leaving my missionary library!

Hello Mom,

The river looks awesome! I expect Zac to barefoot for me, so tell him and get pics for me please. Who from our family is there?

Yeah I guess that I have really gotten used to this place, so nothing seems super shocking to me anymore but I will still try to share stuff with you about Sierra Leone. I have more pictures today too.

If you see Landon, Elder Mthembu was wondering how Elder Gold is doing. Its funny to see someone from South Africa that knew Elder Gold. 

So sweet to see people going on missions. When is Sam Chamberlin going and also when is Grant Hiltbrand going to Botswana? Ends up that Botswana and Namibia are in the same mission and I know a few people from Botswana and Namibia, so I want to send him something when they go home. 

This week we were doing a lot of finding in a part of the area I haven't really ever been in, so it was really nice. It kept me really motivated.

Brother Sankoh is still a boss! Man he is such a powerful and inspirational man. Its so sweet to see people grab so tightly to the gospel and gain so much knowledge about the church. He is answering peoples questions in the gospel principles class and every time we go to visit him he is reading his Book of Mormon. 

Brother Sankoh is still a boss!! I love this guy!

We have started teaching his wife and he wants to be sealed to his family. Ends up she has a word of wisdom problem, and that was one of the first things we taught her. She struggles to understand us a little bit, but I have seen the spirit teaching her so much. She has stopped some of her habits and says that she is thankful for a prophet to help her know that those things will harm us spiritually and physically. That family is so sweet. I am planning on leaving my missionary library with him, because you cant get those books here. I also want to give him a nice pair of scriptures  but I cant get them here. I want to know if you can send me the standard works for him with his name on them "Osman B. Sankoh". It would be a blessing that he would use his whole life. I love that guy.

Also if you could send another standard works I would love to give it to an Elder whose scriptures are falling apart, and can't afford new ones. Its that really sweet one that I love from Uganda. I have sent a few pics of him. I know it is kind of expensive, so I can pay you back in a year.

 Elder Dramadri, my body guard and my boss from Uganda!

Also with packages, to make sure that no one breaks into them, put duct tape on all the edges. They wont even try to get into it. Oh and when you do send a package, include something that I can give to converts like a "true to the faith" or a picture of the first presidency or a card with the articles of faith on them or anything that would be good to strengthen them. I got a package from Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle Brent and Chad. Thank you guys so much! Those packages seem to come just when I need them.

Did I ever show you this guy? Jana would love it!!

Our area book got wet.

I changed the oil in our generator. Oh and an Ebola poster haha!!

Well we are doing good, enjoy the river.

Elder Beckett

Monday, July 14, 2014

I Love the Gospel and Sierra Leone!

Yeah, I seem to get sick just about every transfer. I don't really know what it is, there just isn't good sanitation here so  I guess that's the problem. More and more people are talking about ebola, it scares some of the missionaries, but a lot of the rumors here are not true. Kenama is now closed to missionaries, so the branches out there are doing missionary work on there own.

When we first heard about Ebola, we were not allowed to shake anybody's hands. So at church, members would think that it was weird that we wouldn't shake their hands but today when we go to church, you can hardly find a member to shake your hand. All we do is fist bump. haha!!

Im glad Zac is enjoying EFY... tell him a mission is like a long EFY!!. So sweet to hear about Jordan and Brandon (friends both leaving on missions soon). Almost all the guys are on mission now. So sweet!
Yeah the weather app you have is pretty correct. Yesterday, for the whole day it rained. It came down hard! You have never experienced rain until you come here.

The mission is changing so much here, all the leader that were here when I first came are now gone. It is like the mission is trying to figure out how to do everything. President Ostler has made some sweet changes to how missionary leadership works, so all the missionaries are more accountable for what they do.

I have been reading from the Teachings of Joseph Smith this week and it is amazing to read the words of the prophet of the restoration. I have no doubt that he was a prophet!

Also, I found out that there is Boy Scouts here. There is a scout camp about 30 min away from where I am. They have almost all the same stuff that we do. I have seen a few of them walking around and its fun to tell them I am a scout.
Well my perspective in life is changed every day, I love the gospel and Sierra Leone.

I will see you soon!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Baffling News! The Gospel Is Restored!

Wow, you had a wonderful week! All those pictures are so sweet, and the beach makes me miss home a bit. The 4th was nice, it was a standard day for us, but in the evening we ate a chocolate cake that Elder Zenovieff had. We put a lot of candles on top and lit it all on fire. Cake tasted really good. On Thursday I had a pretty high fever, so I had to come home early, but the week was good.

We made a cake for the 4th of July and put matches in the shape of an A on it... A for America!  I am very grateful for America! 

                                 So this is how I play the music that you sent me. It just plugs into the side.
         (*Note.. the candles sitting on the pamphlet - that's Cody's light when he doesn't have electricity or generator use)
Our makeshift gym

We are enjoying a free meal that a member gave to us.

Sometimes it's pretty funny and amusing to see the reaction people have when they hear that the gospel has been restored. It would be pretty shocking news to know that all a persons beliefs have just been blown out of the water and that they have been lost for so long. Some people totally reject the message, some are dumbfounded by it, others are so excited. This week we were teaching David, who was actually a former investigator that I was teaching when I first came to this area. We explained the restoration and the Book of Mormon, and as usual he had questions to try to figure out what all of this meant. It caused him great concern. Even in his prayer he told God that he was "baffled and confused". It just reminded me of the wonderful messages that we are bringing to people and the great importance that it has. I know its true because I have lived the gospel and have felt that it is something that does and will bless me and give me happiness. 

Oh and missionaries have been pulled out of Kenema (area in Sierra Leone) because of Ebola. I am far away but who knows what will happen. I am sure the missionaries are safe.

Love Elder Beckett