Sunday, May 14, 2017

FEBRUARY 4, 2017, Saturday
We are in Makeni. I inadvertently left my iPad here last time we were here so did not
have a chance to write. Our well here in Makeni is dry and the Sister Missionaries next
door have been without water for a full day. President and sister Clawson are spending
the weekend with us so they can do some leadership training and hold a 3-branch
conference. Don and President Clawson decided to order a bowser (water truck) to
deliver 5,000 liters of water for both apartments. The well needs to be made deeper if
we are going to have water during the dry season (which ends in June)
The last month has been very busy but a lot of fun. Two of my sisters, Jo & Jan, were
here for 9 days and it was awesome to share Africa with them. We drove out into the
provinces to show them how the natives live without electricity or water in their
homes, we went to Banana Island and they got to experience crossing the ocean in an
old wooden fishing canoe, of course we shopped the markets on the street and went
downtown Freetown to the Big Market. We introduced them to African food and
lawless driving. It was a full 9 days. From here they went to Paris for a couple of days
before heading back to America. When they arrived here, they both brought a suitcase
full of items we cannot get here. They replenished our stock plus brought a sewing
machine for Sister Clawson and a suitcase of shoes for a missionary from his mother.
The following week, Don and I went to Kenema to attend the WASH (water &
sanitation) meeting on Wednesday. While there we learned WaterAid was putting on a
seminar and we attended their 2-day seminar on Thursday & Friday. It was very good
and we learned a lot. Then we did welfare training in 3 Districts and Kenema and a 4th
in Bo. They went very well. Don did an awesome job. We used the 2011 October
Conference Talk by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf titled "Providing in the Lord's Way" as the
basis of our training. This was the first time I participated in real teaching since I have
been here. It felt so good.
We had a potentially nasty situation happen between one of our contractors and a
subcontractor. They did not communicate well and we did not sit down with them
together at the beginning to make sure everyone was on the same page. The
contractor called the subcontractor several times to make sure the pricing was right.
They each thought the other was talking about something different and there was a
mixup in pricing. The contractor paid the subcontractor 15 million Leones and the
subcontractor was expecting to be paid 44 million leones. Yikes! That is a 29 million
leone difference. Don had the two men come in to our office to discuss the issue.
Before we started the meeting, we prayed together and asked that the meeting would
be conducted in the same manner that Christ would and a calming spirit entered the
room. It turned out to be a very good meeting. Don put all the blame on us for not
sitting down with them before the project was started. We listened to both sides of the
story and came to the following conclusion. The contractor did everything he needed
to do to get the correct pricing and paid accordingly. The subcontractor misunderstood
the contractor. However, he is still out 29 million leones. When we put in our project
for approval, we asked for extra money for miscellaneous expenses that might come up
plus we are allowed to go 10% over on the project. We were able to offer the
subcontractor 19,500,000. Leones. He was happy with that because that covered his
product cost. The two men left our office relieved and happy and are now working on
another project together. It was truly an awesome Christ-like meeting. What an
Today we attended the Makeni Priesthood leadership meeting at the request of
President Clawson. We did not know why he wanted us there until 5 minutes before
the program was to start. We were sitting on the back row and President Clawson
came to us and said, "this is the absolute worse prepared leadership meeting I have
ever attended." None of the Branch presidents followed-up on their assignments so
there were no speaker, no planned program and he felt he was "in-a-pinch". He asked
Don if we could take about half an hour and talk about self-reliance. We did and we
took a little more than an hour and that really cramped Pres. Clawson to do the part he
planned which was doing a mock branch council. None-the-less, it was a good meeting
and I think many things were learned.

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