Monday, December 17, 2012

Can' Wait to Hear His Voice!


Scotty is now a District Leader which will keep him busier than ever.  If anyone can do it, Scotty can.  He has moved to an area that is even more rural than before and his companion just learned how to speak English.  I would say he has many things to learn in this new area.  I am really excited for him.

Dignified

Dear Mama,

I am so happy to hear from you.
This week has been a busy week. I am now the District Leader of Bo
District. I have to prepare an instruction for tomorrow. There is so
much to do, with so little time! My new companion Elder Lokpo is an
awesome guy. He is from the Ivory Coast and so 3 months ago he spoke
no English. Now he speaks it almost perfectly. I am very excited to
work with him.


The new area, Njaie Town is soooo confusing I am always lost. We are
in the villages and it is way out there next to the jungle. But it is
such a cool looking place. I will get a lot of pictures of it. But I
am taking things small small right now. As Elder Lokpo shows me around
the area more. We have a really strong branch.


I have not received my package yet, but that is probably due to the
fact that it could be sitting in the mission office, waiting to be
carried out to Bo. So do not hold back on sending more!


I do not know if the Senior Couple out here have a blog or not. But
you could look for an Elder and Sister Schlehuber. The work is going
well. But I am trying to get into the groove of the area.


So Mom, continue to be the saint that you are and keep praying. Mom I love
you dearly.


Love your son
Elder McDonald
P.S. coordinate with Dad about the phone call on Christmas. Whoever
wants to be apart of it needs to be together. I get 1 phone call for
about an hour.

Reality

Hovercraft with Elder Holland

This is a video of the hovercraft that brought Elder and Sister Holland into Freetown, Sierra Leone for the celebration and creation of the 3000th Stake.  Sister Roggia posted this on her YouTube channel.

Six Months Already!!!!


Scotty is being transfered to an even more remote area of Sierra Leone.  I asked him quite a few questions about his living conditions and the area around him, which he answered in this letter.  I am anxious to hear about his move and being made a District Leader.  I know without a doubt, Scotty will make a great leader for the district, as he has already proven in training so  many new elders.  



Dear Mama,
I am glad you are able to see about the 3000th stake thing. It was a
sweet thing to be apart of.
So this is the last week of my 4th transfer. This is the last week I
will be training Elder Hovley. He will now be training a new Elder
here in Rokel. I am so happy he will be training. That also means I
will have a grandson. Wahoo.


I am now being transferred to the city of Bo. My area is called Njaie
Town. I am so excited. I have actually been called to the District
Leader of Bo District as well. I will be leaving this Thursday. I will
be the senior companion to an Elder Lokpo. He is the same MTC group as
Elder Hovley. But he is from Cote d'ioviore and I guess when he came
he could not speak even a bit of English. He had a french speaking
trainer so hopefully he knows some English now. But out here they do
not have an English training for the French speaking Elders. So he has
to pick it up as he goes. So I hope I will be able to communicate with
him.


I will be hitting 6 months on Saturday! I cannot believe it has come
so fast. Mission is just getting faster. I hope everything is going on
alright at home. 


The area I was living in is pretty rural. But Bo is suppose to be even
more so. There in Waterloo our plumbing does not work properly,
everything leaks but maybe 2 or 3 times a week we have water flowing
out a faucet in back. And occasionally we get power mostly on
weekends. But in Njaie Town we will be fetching by well. Out in
Waterloo people do random small things to sustain themselves. But
truly it is very undeveloped. Everyone lives in either a concrete home
still without lights or water or a sheet metal shack.


So how is Justins business going? How is he doing? I hope all are doing well.
I am now going to be a Njaie Town Elder next time you hear from me!

Love your son
Elder Scott McDonald

Exchanging Gifts
Time to play Scripture Jeopardy
The Missionary Gang!  What is that hanging out of Scotty's mouth?

Monday, December 3, 2012

3000th Stake In the Church

 Scotty was able to participate in something wonderful, and that will be explained in his letter.  We don't get to hear from him much because he is out in such a remote area.  He left this note telling us how to see where he is on Google Maps.
I guess you can actually find our house on google maps. Go to a place
called Waterloo and look for the Police Station on Liddle (or Liddel)
street. We just live down from it by like 50 ft. Let me know you can
find it. It is at the very first part of Waterloo if you are heading
there from freetown. The very first junction.

The Freetown Stake Presidency is Pres. Swarray, Pres. Charles and Pres. Minna with Elder Holland.  The 3000th Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was created this morning.  We had almost a 1000 in the congregation.  This is the first stake in Sierra Leone!
Historic Day:  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765616902/Historic-milestone-Sierra-Leone-stake-marks-LDS-Churchs-3000th.html?pg=1

Dear Parents,
I am so happy to hear from you. I want you to know it is very fine to
send me long letters. I have the time to read them. I just have a hard
time getting things sent out. Many times the internet crashes as I am
typing so I continually have to restart if I was not continuously
saving or copying my current text. So I enjoy the long letters.
I am so thankful about the recovery of Jareds stuff. I hope all his
health issues are resolved. I know that no matter what he will be fine
though. It is truly a miracle that has taken place. I wish I could
have seen it first hand, but it does not make much of a difference. I
am grateful that the Lord is looking out for where I cannot. I hope
all is going well in Phoenix as well as Tremonton. Amy and Jaron say
they are doing well I see, how are the smaller kids doing with the
change? Particularly Samantha.
Back to things in Sierra Leone, things are going very fantastically at
the moment. We have had a good time in our proselyting endeavors.
Elder Hovley and I have found so many amazing investigators, the best
part is that they are mostly all potential missionaries. I would love
nothing more than to see them go on missions. There truly is no better
place in the world to be on a mission. I am guessing you might have
heard of it or you soon will. But Elder Holland came to Sierra Leone
yesterday, we attended a conference in western Freetown. Freetown west
District is now the first Stake in Sierra Leone. He came and gave an
amazing talk. The coolest thing is that he was specifically sent for
this because it was a special occasion. Sierra Leone Freetown Stake is
actually the 3000 stake ever to be created in the Church. The Church
has always celebrated the 1000 mark. The 1000th was created in Nauvoo.
The 2000th in Mexico City and now Sierra Leone has been the 3rd. It
was so cool. But it was a sweet sweet day.
So about the international call, I will probably call you for like 1
second on the phone so that you will have the number and then you just
make the long distance call back to me. So look into the cost or
whatever to make a long distance phone call. I will probably be able
to be on around an hour. I would advise maybe writing down a bunch of
questions and stuff you would like to ask me. If you want me to just
talk I will not know what to say. So get me a bunch!
So I should be getting the package soon. I am excited, also in my next
one I could use a bottle or 2 of multivitamins.
But I love you all dearly,
I will talk to you again next week :)
Love your son,
Elder Scotty Ross McDonald
P.S. my companion is currently trying to send pictures to his mother,
so hopefully they go through and you get them.
Elder Hovley and Elder McDonald enjoying some chocolate cake


 Here is an interesting picture that was on the mission blog.  What a way to move a mattress!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Yay, A Letter From Scotty!!!

It has been a couple of weeks since Scotty has been able to write me or his dad.  He is in an area that has very poor internet service.  Before, he was able to go to a internet cafe and send off an email without too much trouble.  The letter is short, but at least I was able to hear from him.

Dear Mama,
This is my second time trying to email you today. I have spent about 1
1/2 hours to get into my email.
So sorry I have not been able to email you for a while now. Things
have not gone well in the internet department. As well as being very
busy.
Things are going very well with the missionary work at the moment.
Elder Hovley and I are doing very well with working with the spirit.
We have so many spiritual experiences. I wish I had more time to type.
I am looking forward to my package hopefully it comes before Christmas
time. But also look into international calling for Christmas. By the
time that rolls around I will probably be in a new area though.
The transfer ends on Dec 16th and then I will be finished training
Elder Hovley and he will take over Rokel and I will go some side.
I hope all goes well. Do not worry about me mom. I am like 1000000
times tougher than you.
But you better stay tough. And tell everyone I love them. Especially
Dad. I do not have time to get an email to both of you today.
Love you dearly,
Love yo son Elder McDonald


 Left to right, Elders Walker, Woodhead, Serafine and McDonald.  Elder McDonald says, "Hi, Mom."  They have had trouble with the internet staying up at their Waterloo internet cafe so there have been no emails to home for two weeks.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Moving Day to Waterloo

I was getting worried today because I had not heard from him and neither had his dad.  After checking and checking my email, I decided to go to Brother and Sister Lauritzen's website  and there I found a possible reason why I haven't heard anything and that I shouldn't be worrying.  Here are some great photographs of Scotty and his fellow companions moving to their new apartment in Waterloo, which is the new area that Scotty helped to open. These photos are from their blog as are the captions.  I am so thankful that they are watching over my son and the rest of these amazing young missionaries.  We are so blessed to have these men out serving and teaching the Gospel.  

 Elders McDonald and Woodhead at the Grafton apartment.

Moving day at Grafton.  The Waterloo elders and the Rokel elders left the Grafton apartment and moved to the new Waterloo apartment.  The mission is expanding.  The young man in the center always hangs out at the Grafton elders' apartment.

The whole gang before the split.  From left to right:  Elder Aniabre, Elder Woodhead, Elder Iheanacho, Elder Bogh, Elder McDonald, Elder Serafine, Elder Nwoso, and Elder Hovley.

  Elder Bogh and a dismembered fan.  Said today, "This is the best mission in the world."

 

Elder Aniabre ... the district leader for the new Waterloo District ... a quiet but mature missionary and a natural leader.


The new Waterloo District, left to right:  Elder Hovley, Elder McDonald, Elder Bogh and Elder Aniabre.

The moving is done.  It's just about time to go hunt down something for dinner.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Scotty's Birthday On Halloween

Scotty just had his 20th birthday on Halloween.  I remember when he used to think that everyone was dressed up for his birthday...so cute!  He has always loved having a birthday on Halloween, just gave him another great reason for celebrating such a fun holiday.  As usual, he is working very hard and struggling to find the time to do everything.  It sounds like he and Elder Hovley are working very hard and making some great plans to teach even more people each day.  I can tell he is busy because this has got to be the shortest letter I have gotten so far.

Dear Mama,
I am very happy to hear that about your schooling. I can understand
that you would not be ready for the class yet. I hope your week has
been good. Though,
So I had a fun time on Halloween, me and a couple of the Elders each
tried to eat our own individual box of bon bons that night. Wowee I
thought I was going to puke. But I still love bon o bons. So I hope
you guys had a fun Halloween. How is everyone currently doing?
I am still trying to find time to get letters out to everyone. I have
probably like 10 letters I have been meaning to write. So I will try
this week.
This past week has been wonderful. Elder Hovley and I are
experimenting with different techniques of finding and our pattern of
teaching to try to maximize our efforts. Things are going well. On
Saturday we had an amazing lesson. I do not know if I have ever felt
the spirit so strongly. I could hardly sit still. But this lady was so
flippin stubborn. We were both thinking how are you not converted
right now?!? Even though it was a first lesson. I wonder if maybe her
heart was so hardened to the Spirit, she still didn't or barely felt
what was so overwhelming to Elder Hovley and I. But we spent probably
45 mins of pure Testimony about the Book of Mormon especially. I love
all that about your testimony. A testimony is the #1 thing a
missionary needs to be armed with. Followed by the Scriptures. But no
one can ever argue your Testimony.
But I hope all goes well. I will write more back to you next week


Elders Wuthrich, McDonald and Bogh

Book of Mormon and Shieks

I am a bit late putting this on the blog, sorry about that.  This is his letter from last Monday, and I will have a new one to post tomorrow as tomorrow is Missionary Letter Day!!!!!  I look forward to Monday mornings every week as they are the day that I feel connected to Scotty.  He is companions with a great new missionary who is friends with Kait Boman, a very special friend of Scotty.  I am so proud of how strong he has become, and that is he able to share his testimony and strength with the new elders he has been assigned.  I may be prejudiced, but I feel they have the best example in the entire mission. I know that my testimony has grown since Scott has been on his mission, as I feel the spirit closer than ever.  Today was Fast and Testimony meeting and I truly felt his strength in me as I bore my testimony.  I feel that I have not shared with my testimony enough with my children which is so important as they develop their own testimonies.  Scotty, I know you are reading this, and I want you to know that you are setting such a great example for so many of us here. We love you and miss you so much!!!!
Scotty and his wonderful companion Elder Hovley on their first meeting with Shieks from Saudi Arabia

Dear Mama,
This week has been a very interesting week for Elder Hovley and I. All started last Sunday. We had 2 people baptized the day before a mother and her son. They missed confirmations and got to Church during the
Sacrament. As soon as it was over and I went to talk to her. She was so saddened she had missed it. We visited her after Church. We got there and she was standing outside still in her Church clothes just very upset she now had to go one more week before she was a member with the Gift of the Holy Ghost. So we had a small lesson and we didn't have much to share with them. She explained she feels there are spirits there at night. So we told her let us know if it continues. So we shared a scripture and asked them if they had any questions. Her son a 13 year old boy who was very sad about missing it as well, looked at me and asked "What does it feel like to have the Holy
Ghost?" My heart dropped. I felt inspired just to remind him he knows what it has felt like, and we reflected on his spiritual experiences that let him to conversion. From here on out we couldn't think of anything else to tell them, then I just had the urge to bear my testimony to them. It was a very powerful short meeting. But now they were confirmed yesterday, and her son received the Aaronic Priesthood,  we visited them once again after church. And they were just beaming with smiles. They were so happy, I felt so happy as well. But after discussing a bit, she asked if we would say a prayer for her house because of the feelings and things she hears at night. So I said a
special prayer for them. Afterwards I felt prompted to let them know that it will improve not because of the prayer but because they now have the Holy Ghost and especially she now has a Priesthood holder in the home. So we will follow up on that this week.  


On Thursday we were contacting in our area and we were almost to the top of the mountain so we decided to hit the top. It was a super steep hike but we have some pictures from it I will try to send soon. But what was truly
wierd was afterwards we met with this Muslim man who said he has some people he wanted us to meet. So we went with him to this Hotel Courtyard in our area and met with these 2 Shieks from Saudi Arabia they are hear working on some Islamic stuff. But we discussed religion on very friendly terms. We actually made a plan to meet again and exchange Books of Mormon with Qu'rans. So we met again with them Sunday and I sincerely believe they will read the BoMs. But I now own a very pretty Qu'ran. We have snapped some pictures with
them so I really hope we can get them to you soon. But anyways the work is wonderful and I know it is divine.


Love your Son, 
Elder McDonald

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teeth and Ecclesiastes chap 12 vs 3.

Sounds like Scotty is having the time of his life which thrills me.  I can't believe that he has accomplished so much and grown into this hard-working, responsible man!  Who would've thunk it?!?  I am so glad he is enjoying his new companion, Elder Hovley.  Elder Hovley will never be the same again!  I am so glad Scotty is keeping a journal because it sounds like he is having some really amazing experiences...and a bit of entertainment too.  This is a great letter, don't just skim over it; if you do, you will miss a lot.  

Dear Mama,
       I am so much happy to hear all this stuff. I see you found the  pictures Sister Roggia put up.
     Mom, as you are having a hard time with things do not ever think of  giving up. I know you are meant to be teaching special education. You were even called to take care of Jason for a reason. And it was to bring you into that field. Mom, I want to thank you for the wonderful example you have always been to me. Your dedication to this gospel is no doubt one of the major reasons I have ended up going on a mission. I have always looked up to you for that. Just keep your head level in
school. 
     Honestly I do not know how I feel about how Jared and his GF broke up.  I truly might think it is a good thing. When I was younger I never cared but now I would never date a girl unless she had strong morals and standards backed by the Church. So this is probably best for Jared. And it will definitely help prepare him for a mission which is now sooner then we thought. I am so excited for everyone preparing for missions. It is going to be so wonderful to hear about them going.
      Mom, things are so cool in our area right now. Now that I am senior companion I feel really proud of the work we are accomplishing. Before I wondered if I was just tagging along to my previous companions success. Because he was in charge mainly calling the shots. But now that that is me. I feel so wonderful seeing the Gospel change lives. We are having 2 baptisms this weekend and they are such wonderful converts. It is an older woman and her 13 year old son. They truly understand the Gospel and are living it. It is so encouraging seeing these things happening. I cannot fathom how hard it would be to stay motivated in some of those missions where they do not even get baptisms.
      Elder Hovley and I are having so much fun. Sometimes I am amazed we are able to get any work done. But we manage to do it. I love being able to help him adjust to Africa. I am proud to call him my son.
      So my mind has gone blank as to what would be cool to talk about this week. Maybe I will share about one of our members we found. So one day when were contacting in the village of New York. We were going around parts I have never been before. I asked this women if she was interested in our message and she said "No! Mi na Muslim." But she then directed us to some woman who was Christian. So a neighboring young boy showed us the house. So after we met the woman we left and
the young boy said "Come meet my father he is a Christian." So we went over and there was a shirtless old man laying on a bench next to the big pile of dirt in his home. We looked at his desk and it was covered with books like the teachings of Joseph Smith. Turns out this man has been a member of the church for many years now. But due to his health he is unable to attend Church. So we found him and no one even knew he was there. So we visit him weekly now and he just asks us about
scriptures and stuff. He is an amazing man. Sometimes it seems like he may be losing it small. He asked us to explain the last chapter of Ecclesiastes chapter 12. Man his interpretations were the funniest things I have ever heard. Read Ecclesiastes chap 12 vs 3. He thought it was referring to his teeth. Because the "Keepers of the House shall tremble" he thought the house was his mouth. "And the grinders shall cease because they are few" he mentioned how his teeth are almost all gone and the grinding of his food is ceasing. I laughed so hard.
      But I cannot think of much to say about this week. Lets see. Some drunk lady came and sat down against me yesterday and just sat there pinching my skin talking about how fine it is. But honestly these things are normal to me now. Nothing surprises me.... So life is cool.  But I hope all things are well. I hope my package comes soon. So I do not know what I want in a package. But what would be nice is if you and Dad could send me like 30 dollars or so in packages so I can have some more personal money. But in the packages mainly put sweet food. I want more chocolate pudding(a lot). And Mac N Cheese. But everything thing is good.  So let me know how things keep going. Love you.
 
Love yo son, Elder McDonald

Monday, October 8, 2012

Scotts' Brand New Son, Elder Hovley

Elder Scott McDonald with his new companion next to him, Elder Ken Hovley
Dear Mama,
We wont be watching conference til next month. But we heard the news
about the mission age change. That is absolutely insane. To think I am
one of the last ones to go out at 19 when it was the age. I think the
girls age is even crazier. Now that they will be getting back around
the same time as the boys their age. It will be a very good thing for
these young men to begin their missions immediately after high school.
I think a lot do not go because they get caught up in school or some
other business.
So I hope you got some pictures off the mission blog! I am in a bunch
and there is a bunch of our apartment. We are in the Grafton
Apartment. You can even see me leading the other Elders to church :)
I will still try to get some pictures out hopefully soon. So have
Jared write me Dear Elders or something. It is really hard to write
other than you and Dad at email. But I love receiving letters no
matter who they are from.
So things are going sweet. We just had 2 baptisms on Saturday and I
got to have my brand new son Elder Hovley perform the baptisms! It was
a sweet time. Even though it was a bit chaotic because our candidates
were late.
So yesterday was fast Sunday. Fast and Testimony meetings are always
my favorite. I love seeing some of my recent converts go up. And they
always tell a story involving me so it is fun. Oh mom, I honestly
never know what to say in these. There is so much to say that I feel
like I cannot begin. But I hope all things are well there. Keep
telling me about everyone. I will try to improve on my writing skills.
I think I will make next weeks more exciting. Cause my life is very
exciting but I feel like I have not expressed that. So prepare for
hopefully a detailed letter of my life.
Love yo bobo,
Elder McDonald

Just a FYI, Elder Hovley is a close friend of Scotts' friend Kait...small world!
Their apartment with baptism clothes hanging out to dry
Grafton District apartment, Scotty with his new comp, Elder Hovley to his right with blonde hair
The new elders and trainers were on their way to the Kossoh Town Branch a few kilometers away.  First time! Elder McDonald (on the far right) is the only one that knows the way.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Great Wok Hea de na Rokel

Another letter from mi pikin!  I love Monday's because I get to hear from Scotty.  His letters are the highlight of my week.  I am so happy that  he is working so hard and doing so well.  He seems to really be embracing the work and gaining some great work ethics.  Scotty has never been one to work super hard at anything except sleeping and playing, so he is learning a whole new way of living.  I will post his letter....still waiting on some pictures to post...as soon as I get some, I will let you all know.  Don't forget to write him through DearElder.com.

Dear Mama,
It sure sounds like you have become quite the druggie. I seem to hear
about all your mistakes you make when you are on your highs. But I am
glad things are going well back home.

Mam, you dont call me "Yo Pikin". You should say Mi Pikin.
So I noticed on the blog you left in my baptisms... and the part where
I said to remove it.... Were you on yo pills mom?! Do not worry though
I am not bothered. But I do not want to be seeming to brag on the
blog.

So this week has been sooooo busy. My area has split into 3. And now
my companion and I have almost no investigators. Sooo we have been
contacting new people everyday and it is not easy. Not easy at all!
But I know the work will go well as long as we use the Spirit and work
as hard as we can. This last week I have been working harder than I
ever thought was in me. But I am also training.

I received the wonderful Elder Hovley. He is fresh from MTC. He comes
from Centerville. I am so excited for him in how he is just beginning
to witness the miracles in mission. I know together we will be able to
do great wok hea de na Rokel. But me ah de rayt only smol no mor tude.
I laughed when I saw you say you know I have been working hard because
my letters are getting shorter.

As I am out here longer I do not have much to say about Africa
anymore. To be honest when I first was coming out and when I first got
out I was mostly excited about the Africa aspect. But now almost every
thought is directed towards di wok. I realize I do not always have
much to say. But I am so overwhelmed each time I try to think of what
to write because there are so many experiences. I am even having a
hard time keeping up in my journal. It truly is a busy life. But I
have gone beyond my own strength and energy. I keep getting out each
day and the drive and energy is certainly not coming from my self. 

But mama I hope all things continue well at home. I hope your bladder
problems get solved. And I really liked everything in the package,
send me more yo. I really loved the pudding especially. I would love
more chocolate it is easy to make. And candy corn and oreos and all I
loved it so much. But I want you to know I de do great. Mission is
changing me so much. And I am so glad for it. I am excited for Jared
when he receives the same opportunity. But mama I gee yu adu. An di
fambo dem, grit em gee wi. (PS when you read the krio, the letter i
makes the e sound).

Love yo bobo, Elda McDonald

There are lots of shacks with grass roofs in the interior part of Sierra Leone.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Love Yo Pikin?

Well, before I post Scotty's letter, I need to let you all know that he cannot see the comments....sorry everyone.  I will put the comments in my letter to him.  He has very limited internet access, which is why he loves it when he gets letters through "DearElder.com"  It is simple to write him that way, just type it up on the site, they make a hard copy and it is delivered to him through the mission home.  I can tell that he is working very hard because his letters are getting shorter.  Thank you everyone for supporting Scotty on his mission.  This blog really helps me feel a part of him and keeps me going week to week. In his letter, I have put a link to a site that tells you about the village of Rokel where Scotty is working right now.

Dear Mama,
I am so much happy to hear from you. I am glad you are able to see the pictures the Sister Roggia has even though they are few. I have been trying to send some but the internet is hardly sufficient enough to email. In fact we are lucky I am able to email today for a while I thought I was not going to be able to. But the guy gave me some free extra time so I can finish. So firstly I am unable to see comments on the blog so I do not know what those people have said. Tell Ashlee to not be lazy and just write me. Dear Elder is so easy and free.

Sounds like the temple dedication was sweet. I will be excited to attend in 2014. I wish there was a temple here. I have grown to really miss it. But oh well for now. So the missionary work is going so sweet right now. You say you want to know how many baptisms mom? I will tell you but do not state the number on blog. I do not want to brag about an ordinance of God.  I just finished my 2nd transfer yesterday and now I am a fully trained missionary. My companion and I are now splitting. He is going to Kenema and I am taking over Rokel. I am actually going to be training a new Elder coming out of the MTC this week. So I will be his trainer for the next 3 months. I am super excited about it. He is lucky cause I have some sweet baptisms for us this next couple weeks he will get to do.


But the weather is nice. I have acclimatized to the humidity quite well so I do not feel it to much. But I still sweat a lot more than I did back home so I know the humidity is still there.


So you say you want to be able to do some research about where I am? My area has now split and 2 different elders will take Waterloo. So I am in charge of just Rokel. Rokel is not really a city, it is more of a mixture of villages spread out so you will not find much on it. It is geographically huge and has ton of people. But it is very rural.


Hehe Mom you keep talking about how Americans complain when we have so much and when these people have so little they are grateful. Hehe that is how it is for some but most people whine and complain. Which they do have reasons, but it is complaining that makes you unhappy more so than the things you are complaining about. These people have nothing but they are trying to live lifestyles of material substance. They are skipping necessities and going for wants. So they are having a lack of progression. They are indeed jumping up in Maslows hierarchy of needs. So when these people are able to ground themselves and actualize what they need to do. They will begin to progress. But with a lack of the Gospel there is to much selfishness, people step on one another for personal gain a lot here. And I have experienced it first hand being a white man out here. These people expect it to be done for them and do not want to pull things together themselves.


But then we get the people who truly suffer, who truly try, who truly are grateful for the small things they get and who truly work and the circumstances are always against them. Those people I have so much respect for. The trials these people have faced have either strengthened and humbled them to an amazing extent. Or they broke and have turned to bitterness. But my heart goes to those that are humble and they are the ones who are truly ready for the Gospel.


But thats my thoughts for now, I am lacking time to share much more. But I love you and I hope all things continue well.
Love yo pikin,
Elder McDonald

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pictures of Scott at Zone Conference

Freetown East and Freetown Zone Conference
Scotty on the back row talking with his companion


just chillin
He looks at the camera knowing he is looking at you

Zone Conference - Becoming More Christ Like

Scotty had a wonderful experience and learned a great deal at the Zone Conference.  In his letter he shares a little about the message of Elder Sitati's talk. Scotty seems to be a sponge, soaking up every morsel of knowledge he can, and applying it in his life.  He is setting such a wonderful example for me, and giving me a greater desire to apply the teachings of our Savior and become more like Him.  And oh how I wish I could have heard him sing, I am sure it was absolutely beautiful and sung with the spirit.
Thank you to everyone who is writing to Scotty, I know that means so much to him.  Several of you have asked how to write him since he is not allowed to receive emails from anyone except family.  The best way to contact him is through www.dearelder.com.  You will set up a brief profile then choose his mission, type in his name, and write your letter write in the application.  It is printed up on a hard copy and put in a pouch that goes to the mission home on a weekly basis.  He is then able to reply by hand-writing a letter and putting it back in the pouch.  He loves to hear about the happenings at home, but with all the work he is doing, I am amazed he has any free time at all. I hope to have some pictures from the Zone Conference in the next couple of days.

Dear Mama,

The Zone Conference with Elder Sitati was amazing. He was able to give us so much instruction to apply to our lives. What really stuck out to me is how we can become more Christ Like. So he broke it down. I will go through it how he did. So before we become we have to make an action. Before the action comes choice. And what governs our choice is our desire. And there are 2 places that desires come from; the spirit and the physical/natural body. So it all roots down to getting our spirit in control over our bodily desires. And from then on out everything will come itself. Also during the conference, we actually had me and my Grandfather (trainers trainer) Elder Wuthrich sing a duet of Joseph Smiths First Prayer. It was soooo sweet.
 

 Oh man I miss those foreign movies. I really miss sitting down each night and watching some weird movie with a pumpkin pie in hand. Oh speaking of which I got your package on Friday. Man do I love it. I have already eaten most of it. But I have shared some because I like to see if the Africans like it. But oh man yeah it is good stuff. I hope there will be another sent out soon. I am now good on soy sauce for a very long time. Also in my next package can you send me my exercise stretchy bands and a jump rope. And I could also use some clippers. 

But things are going so sweet this transfer. Time is going so fast. We are having some wonderful new converts coming in lately. We have had 6 baptisms this transfer and are having 3 this Saturday and that will finish the transfer. I love all the pictures you have sent. You should continue to send me packages of with developed pictures in them as well. But I love you and hope everything continues well.

Love your son, Elder McDonald.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What An Honor for Scotty

I wrote Scotty and told him all about Lorenzo's farewell yesterday, and attached a few pictures so he could see all of his friends again, and feel like he was still a part of their lives even though he is so far away.  Scotty's absence is felt by so many, and yet, his presence in Africa is changing so many lives.  As you read Scott's letter, you will see that he have been given a rare opportunity, of which I am so thrilled and proud of.  I just think of how much he has accomplished and how much he has grown, and he is still in training.  I cannot fathom the growth and experiences he will yet have.  Scotty has made a request about emails.  You will see it at the bottom of his letter.  He really wants to hear from you and will write you back.  And hopefully, next week he will be able to send some pictures. 

Dear Mama,

I am so happy to see all of the pictures from Lorenzo's farewell. I am so excited for him, it literally feels like I was just where he is now. I am glad to hear that everyone around there is doing so well. I cracked up seeing Justin in the back of all the friends at Lorenzo's farewell.

And I know that Jared does not have a GF, I know this girl has been bribed in one way or another. Jared is much to nerdy to talk to girls yet. :P

This week has been sweet. We had a couple baptisms on Saturday, they are going to be some strong members. I hope they will be able to continue to develop in the Church. I have some pictures but I do not have time to send them. So hopefully next week.

So this Friday we will be having a combined Zone Conference. I am very excited. We are having Elder Sitati, the only African in the 1st quorum of the 70 come and speak to us. I have actually been asked to sing a solo. They have asked me to sing Joseph Smith's First Prayer. What are the chances huh? So that will be so sweet.

I now only have 2 weeks left of my training. Then I will be a fully trained and capable missionary. And then my area is splitting as well so I am excited to see how things are going to work out.

So I have not gotten the package yet but I will be expecting. It takes a long time to receive anything out here. So you have to be patient. And sometimes the things can sit in the mission office for a while until someone can get there to get them.

Hehe Mom, you better be careful after your surgery. With your clumsiness you do not want to ruin your brand new and improved bladder. But it will be good. Show your pants some mercy.

I also pray Justin can receive the job, he needs a break. But anyways I love all of you. And everyone take care. And technically I am not allowed to receive email from people outside of family. So mama I need you to urge people to send letters so I can write them. Emails will be a bit more difficult.

WITH MUCH LOVE.
Love Elder McDonald

This is Pademba Road.  The mission office is just up the road to the right.  This is the only intersection in Sierra Leone with signal lights.  They haven't worked for as long as anyone can remember.  You can see the traffic policeman in the center.  Motorcycles (okadas) and taxis everywhere.  There are a few road rules for the cars ... none for the motorcycles. (http://mmlauritz.blogspot.com/)

This is the Freetown Ferry at Government Pier.  This is where every missionary arrives and leaves Freetown across the mouth of the Sierra Leone River to the Lungi Airport. The ferry becomes so full that people are turned away after waiting for an hour.


The cars made with sardine cans and tires are bottle caps, held together with nails as the axle.  He looks very proud of his creation. (http://mmlauritz.blogspot.com/)



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pictures of Scotty and His Mission Area

These pictures are from the blog Scott's of mission leaders, Brother and Sister Lauritzen, Lauritzens in Africa

A local boy playing by rolling a tire up and down the road
The groundskeeper at the mission home
Looking toward the mission home
Soccer match in an abandoned cistern
Water flowing down the hill from the road
Wonder how deep that water is
Rice paddies along side the road
A road from Freetown to Grafton, the area Scotty is living.  This road was built by the Chinese

Laundry In A Bucket and Mud!

Scotty is having some wonderful experiences on his mission, many of which are too sacred and personal to share. I started reading a book about the people of Sierra Leone and the trauma and suffering as well as the repercussions of the civil war there. Thousands of people were killed, and young boys, as young as 6 years old, were abducted and made into boy soldiers. The book is call 'A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of A Boy Soldier' by Ishmael Beah. If you want to know what this book is about, you can look the author up on Youtube. The book is his story. You will see in Scott's letter why I mention this. How does one forgive someone who has killed your family before your very eyes? There are so many questions that I have, and won't go into them here. But everyone should at least know the story of the war there and why and how they are related to the diamonds that we love to wear.


This is a post from the Senior Missionary couple that Scotty is working with. "Dinner with the Carlos family. It was chicken and fresh herring on rice served family style. It was cooked over charcoal in a corner of their small front porch. Sister Carlos did not eat with us. It's their custom to put guests first and there was limited space around the plate of food. There were five spoons around the dish and we all sat in a circle on benches in a little room. There was no light in the room except what came through the window and door. It took a little courage to dig in, but we bravely did. It was good. Elder McDonald explained to Sister Lauritzen beforehand that when you are eating family style and you get a mouthful of small fish bones it's best to just swallow it. Brother Carlos told us stories as we ate. We laughed and had a fun time."
Hamburgers and Fries!!!!
Dear Mama,

This week has been so sweet. We had many activities. We had our Zone Conference in Freetown. It was such a great learning experience. And they gave us Hamburgers and French Fries. It was a magical moment for me. Sure compared to the US, they would have been mediocre. But trust me, you learn to be grateful for the U.S. very quickly. That mediocre hamburger and french fries tasted amazing. And then they gave we chocolate cake. Oh man, I sure ate it slowly. So you should know I am very excited for my next package.

So I am glad to hear about the Temple. I wish it was up before I left! That would have been nice to be able to go there. But you noobs better be going, or somebodies gonna get smitten. But anyways, I hope school is going well and I think the art stuff is either under the stairs or in kitchen area.


I am so much happy to hear about Jared. And pfft there is no way he has a GF! He is still so young and goofy. But good for him anyway. I am very gladdy that the letter made a difference. I know Jared has always had good intentions. But he is like me, a procrastinator. So those good intentions are for deeds tomorrow, not today. So make sure he keeps doing well. Or I will send a Juju curse in a package or something. I am also happy to hear about Colin baby. It is crazy to think how big he will be next time I see him. He better be talking by then.

Interesting you have read a book about the war. We have been receiving an increasing amount of stories or questions from the war from our investigators and members. We think these principles we live are easy. But see someone ask about how we are to forgive all when they have had family members killed in cold blood during the war. There were many innocent victims in that time. Many of the things I do not feel comfortable sharing in letter form. I have many of these in my journal you will be able to hear when the time comes.

Thank you very much for sending my blessing. I will be anxiously awaiting. And I am so glad you are involved in Lorenzos life somewhat right now. I am so excited for him at the moment. As we plan each day I think "Holy smokes, Lorenzo leaves soon." Make sure you do the thing that you did for mine so I receive those updates for Lorenzos blog as well. Speaking of Blogs, I actually very rarely see Sister Roggia. I live like 3 hours away. So do not expect to many pictures from her. But I have been seeing the Senior Couple a lot lately, they informed me of their blog. Look up Elder And Sister Lauritzens blog. I am not sure how to find it. But you can do some digging.

I am slowly piling up pictures and on a day when the internet is good I will send some. I am also waiting for these next couple of baptisms so I can send pictures in bulk.

Today we had a very sweet football match against the Elder's Quorom. I am getting a lot better at it as I go. It is a lot of fun. so before you know it I will be so sweet at it. But I always slip in the muddy areas. And then that means I have to to laundry and I have decided I think doing laundry in a bucket is from the devil. I guess it would not be to bad. But when wherever you go is all dirt and you have to sit/teach in it pretty much. Laundry is soooo annoying. I miss washing machines and dryers.

You ask how the new District is coming? I am still in the same district mom. But we did have one Elder transferred and a new Elder come in. I love my district. We get along very well. We have 2 Americans 1 Ghanaian and 3 Nigerians.

But things are sweet right now in my area. We are finding a lot of super prepared people. A lot of people who will be ready for baptism soon. But with my area splitting I do not know if I will even be there for the baptism.
But I love you a lot even though you are super nerdy. Let me know how things go.

Love Elder McDonald


If you have any comments for Scotty, please take the time to leave them here on the blog. He gets a copy of this blog on a weekly basis, at least every time I update it or someone makes a comment. So, if you don't have time to write him, but would like to say hello and give him some encouragement, please leave a comment. He will see it every Monday when he has access to the internet. And those of you who know Lorenzo Martinez as well, I will have a blog for him at www.elderlorenzomartinez.blogspot.com.

Mud! Mud! and more Mud!


Picture of Freetown, Sierra Leone taken from the ferry
East Zone Missionaries