Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I loved all the quotes in this little 3 min. movie
and I love you so I wanted to share. Enjoy!!....Marie

You've probably heard the 3 keys to making money in real estate...location, location, location.
I'll now share the 3 keys to managing your attitude...reinforce, reinforce, reinforce!
What are some of the secrets to staying positive? Just click here to watch this inspiring 3 minute movie.
And if you like it...share it with friends, family and co-workers. It'll put a smile in their heart'st!

Monday, June 28, 2010


So yeah time does fly by. I feel like Monday was two days ago. I saw the pictures from your party and that looks pretty fun. oh i also saw the pictures on the blog of you guys at the temple and Dad and Courtney are both looking pretty good. Like they have lost some weight. Well I have lost some more too. I haven’t felt sick for a while which is really good for me. I think taking soda out of my diet was a big part. Well. So this week I learned a ton about faith from some investigators of ours. They are still pretty new. Well one day when we went over there and the mom was sick so we offered a priesthood blessing and explained it worked based on faith. She accepted and the next time she was all smiles for us. Before that she had been kind of shy to us. The dad there is even more amazing to me. We committed them to come to church Saturday night and then Sunday he was there even though he had to cancel some work he had. The mom had to take care of the sick daughter but the dad came because we promised him he would be blessed for coming to church and he wanted the blessings. Well that taught me a lot about faith. I could definitely show more faith like them. We have a lot promised blessings and why shouldn’t we collect on them. We just have to show our faith by doing what is right now even though we can’t see immediate results. Well besides that just had a good week. We helped some people move some dirt into their house so it doesn’t flood. (they have dirt floors) so now their house is a little higher than the dirt around it. oh and big improvement in my tagalog this week. i don’t know why i just felt something new this week. Lord works in mysterious ways. well thanks for all the support. oh and the challenge for the week cause i am forgetting sometimes is to have family prayer this week. This really is a tool that the lord has given us to combat Satan. He is attacking the family and we need to become closer as families to overcome his attacks. this will help up be closer.

love you. Elder Cameron Leavitt

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Dearest Family and Friends,

We have now served here at the Cove for about 14 months and have had good experiences and great experiences. Many of you, especially our non-member friends, may wonder why we would be willing to give up this much time out of our lives to serve in such a out of the way place with it's extremely unpredictable weather. Besides doing our best to serve the Lord, I think this email Sister Leavitt received last week sums up the reason we are here, and in some small way makes us feel like we are able to help influence the lives these young people who come on trek. We love and miss you all.
Elder and Sister Leavitt

P.S. This weekend was our last weekend with the Bretzings -- what a great blessing it has been in our life to know and associate with them. We wish the God speed as they end their stewardship over the Farmland Reserve Missions and begin another exciting journey in their lives.

----- Original Message -----
From: jansisneros@comcast.net
To: Peggy Leavitt
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 8:18 AM
Subject: Things I learned on Trek...

Sister Leavitt,
Here is the email I sent you about "the things I learned on Trek".
I read this at our post trek fireside on sunday June 14. Everyone laughed at the 8 humorous things because they could all relate to them!
It's good to share the funny and the spiritual side of things. It's fun to laugh and pray together because it forms such tight bonds.
I'm glad you are having such good weather there. It has been beautiful here as well. The other day we had some big billowy clouds in the sky before a rainstorm. I just sat on my back porch and watched them. They were so beautiful and it reminded me of Martin's Cove.
Thanks also for forwarding my letter onto Elder & Sister Bretzing - that was nice of you. I hope they know how appreciative we all are of the efforts of all the missionaries there. It's a lot of work to bring so many people to one place and make it all work out so smoothly. We just love y'all so much!
Hope you have a great day. Thanks for being my Trek buddy and my friend at Martin's Cove. Makes me feel like I'm still there.

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: jansisneros@comcast.net
To: "Sister Leavitt"
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2010 10:08:54 AM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
Subject: Things I learned on Trek...
Sister Leavitt,
Thanks so much for sending me your home phone number. I have family that live in St. George and we do get to Las Vegas occasionally. I would love to stop by and see you some day.

Here is a list of some of the things (funny & serious) that I learned while on Trek:

1 - $2.00 rain poncho's from WalMart don't work...in Wyoming!
2 - $5.00 rain poncho's from WalMart don't work....in Wyoming!
3 - Duct tape is the 8th wonder of the world! We used it for blister control, tent repair, shoe mending, clothing repair, and on and on.
4 - I can eat with the same fork for 3 days without washing it and I won't die.
5 - There are approximately 8 tents from the Syracuse Bluff stake drifting some where on the plains of Wyoming!
6 - A ford truck can pull a 53 foot semi out of the mud!
7 - A 5 oz tent pole, blowing in the Wyoming wind, could actually be considered a weapon of mass desturction! We had one come loose from a tarp and found it impelled into the side of one of our food trailers! Can you imagine if it had hit someone in the head! We were protected...
8 - The pioneers might have been tough - but they never had to remove a lid from a 5 gallon bucket! I came home and my finger tips were so sore. I couldn't figure out why they hurt so bad. Was it putting up my tent? Was it loading the semi? Was it saving a young woman in the sweetwater river? No...it was that cotton pickin bucket lid! Ouch!

I also learned these lessons:
1 - The 6 most important words in the english language are "I Love You" and "All Is Well"
2 - I can cry when it rains....and it will still rain
3 - I can complain when it rains....and it will still rain
4 - I can worry when it rains....and it will still rain
5 - When the gong gets tough, we can stand in the rain and cry OR we can put on our boots and trek thru the mud.
6 - We can learn good things from bad weather
7 - Everybody has different opinions and different personalities and that's what makes life interesting.
8 - A smile is understood in all languages
9 - Kindness and forgiveness are better than hatred and anger
10 - I can make a plan, but the Lord might have a different plan and I should just smile and say "okay".
11 - As a Sister in Zion one of the most important things I can do is support my husband in his calling and honor his priesthood.
12 - I learned how to apologize when I did something wrong, and forgive if I had been wronged.
13 - It's important to say "Thank You" and "I Love You"
14 - Trust and obedience are better than judging and criticizing
15 - The best way to lead and to teach someone is to love them - not forcing or yelling or demanding...but loving them.
16 - The most important things in life are my family - my husband and my children - not "stuff" but people and relationships.
17 - A good attitude makes life more enjoyable
18 - The plains of Wyoming have a special place in my heart.
19 - I learned that you can put 100 young women in a barn on a cement floor to sleep and none of them complain.
20 - I learned that those same young women can wake up the next morning and have their own private testimony meeting that they will never forget. Had the storms not come, they would not have had this opportunity.
21 - I heard a father give his daughter a blessing to calm her fears and strengthen her body.

Each one of us that went on Trek together, formed a bond that will never be forgotten. On the Monday after Trek, each one of us went back to our regular routine in the regular world. We have tried to tell "others" about our Trek experience but in doing so have felt a little lost. If the "others" had not been on Trek then they simply did not understand our excitement and enthusiasm. They just don't comprehend. But we know in our hearts just what happened. Our hearts are connected now forever. Together we all witnessed the workings of our Heavenly Father. Together we all felt the spirit. Together we all helped one another survive and endure. We have our own language now - the language of Pioneer love. In our Stake, we have created what we call the "Trek Salute". Whenever we pass someone who has been on Trek, instead of stopping and talking about our experiences, which could take a while, we simply put our hands over our hearts and pat twice. This simple gesture says so much more than words could ever say. It says "I was there! I felt the spirit! I love my pioneers". It is our own language....the language of pioneer love.


Monday, June 21, 2010


well Hello again. It has been another great week here in well wherever you are. It has been a great. So i have to tell you guys about this funny story that happened last monday at a family home evening we had. so we got there and i had never met the family before because we were having one at a different ward. so we get there and there was 3 boys maybe 6 10 and 12 of age. they had no idea that i could speak tagalog so we convinced them that i couldnt. we spent like 30 minutes getting a pretty secure case they thought i couldnt speak a lick. then it was announced that i would be giving the lesson. Which was planned. so when i got to the lesson i said well im sorry that i dont speak tagalog very well so pray for me. Then i went into a lesson in all tagalog. the kids were amazed. the middle one about ten was just sitting there with his mouth open the whole time. the oldest one was laughing and the youngest one just looked so confused. it was way funny. But thats what we are supposed to do. The gospel isnt about boredom. It is supposed to bring joy to us. so why not make it fun right? well this week has been pretty good. We moved our house which makes 2 houses that i have moved since i got the philippines. we are now living next to a gas station about 100 yards from my old house. We just carried all of our stuff down the street. It must have been pretty funny watching us carry all of that stuff down the street. Our new house is actually pretty nice and a way cool part is that we are hooked up to the generator if there is a power outage. which are very frequent here. Other than that i have been really happy that our work is picking up here again. People are listening to the message again. Im really happy we struggled for a long time here in my area but we are finally getting back to where we can just work. YAY!!! it is so hard to have to find people all day. well i love you all. keep on keeping on.

Love Elder Leavitt


Happy Father's Day Family and Friends!

There's a saying that goes. " Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a DAD". I have been a father for a long time, but hopefully I have evolved or at least am evolving into being a dad. It a great blessing and privilege to have children and to be involved in their lives and to watch them grow, learn, and develop their own personalities and become the individuals that will reach their full potential while becoming productive members of society. I truly believe that if they rely on the Lord and do all they can to serve Him that there is no way they can fail.

Well, this has been a hectic and busy week! It started out with thousands of trekkers being caught in a storm of epic proportions, which included 60 mile an hour winds, lighting, and a torrential downpour. Tents were blown down or blown completely away and everyone was soaked clear to the bone. To help some who were suffering from near hypothermia we allowed them to sleep in the barn. As mere mortals we could not imagine how this could be a good experience for them, but all the reports we got back, told us that it just what they needed to give them a greater appreciation of the pioneers and what they had to suffer through. We were told that most of them would go through it in a heart beat to have the great spiritual experience it provided. That is one of the common threads here at Martin's Cove, which is the opportunities for these youth to have life changing experiences that are found in fair weather or foul.

I am still busy grading roads, helping with the building projects and serving on the posts. The river reached it's peak runoff this week and the lower part of the site was underwater. This caused a spectacular water fall down at the dam below Pathfinder reservoir. Sister Leavitt and I drove down and took some pictures. It reminded us of our second date back in 1983 when Hoover dam was going over the spillways. We also were able to attend the National Collegiate Rodeo which is held every summer in Casper. These are the best of the best rodeo competitors. Great fun! We also had a Dutch over cobbler cook-off out at missionary village today. With the peach, cherry, apple, and chocolate-cherry cobblers, it just doesn't get any better than that. Sister Leavitt and I don't cook with Dutch ovens, but we sure do make little pigs out of ourselves to make up for it.

This week we also had a much anticipated visit from our dear friends Ross and Susan Johnson who were returning from their mission in Ohio. It was a great treat to have them here for a couple of days. The weather wasn't that great, but we were able to continue our canasta competition which has been going on for many years. We men, of course, continued our winning tradition, with one or two exceptions. We are jealous that the Johnsons will be so far ahead of us in golf practice, before we return to Boulder City, that we will never be able to catch up.

Life is still good here at the Cove and the weather is starting to get nice and warming up into the high 70's and 80's. We love you all and appreciate your emails and prayers.

Elder Leavitt

Hi everyone -- as usual, Elder Leavitt has done a great job of summarizing the last 2 weeks.

We were so disappointed that the weather was awful when the Johnsons were here. We were unable to do any of the things we had planned for when they were here. However, they were still able to feel the great Spirit that is here and to learn about our heroes -- the handcart pioneers. It was wonderful seeing them and to hear about the marvelous experiences they had on their Mission.

The morning they left the weather warmed up and it has been quite beautiful, by Wyoming standards.

We finished the 2 busiest weeks of the season in fine style. I worried and prayed about it for weeks but the Missionaries were amazing and we hosted and served the 1000's of trekkers we had visiting us and it really was quite remarkable how everything fell into place. Another factor was that the worst weather we have had was during this busy time, and everyone -- Missionaries and trekkers -- turned it into a positive experience. I don't have time today, but next email, I will send you a quote from one of the trekkers who was here.

Love and prayers to you all,

Sister Leavitt

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Dear Family and Friends,
We have been without a computer for a while as you will read in the attached. All is well and we are now back with a brand new computer. We continue to love our work here even though it seems we are confronted with many trials at every turn...but, we keep plodding along. We are behind in our journals but will send another one tomorrow and then be caught up. We are happy to report that our Grandson Evan received his Eagle Scout as some of you contributed to his cause and the orphanage he supported here. We are so very, very proud of him. We continue to love and miss you all. Thanks for all you do.
Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, Marv, Sue
Elder and Sister Leavitt

Sunday, June 13, 2010
Today we attended Sacrament meeting at the Gbedjromede Branch and then visited all three other branches following. We needed to meet with all three Branch Presidents and present their order forms for their 2011 curriculum supplies. We found it a little challenging not speaking French but we were able to detect that they need help in their ordering process. We told each of them to prepare what they think they need and we would meet with them individually again during the coming week and go over their needs and prepare the final draft. They seemed to like that idea. We experienced very cloudy skies all day today and we were thankful to return to the apartment at the end of our day before the rains came down…and they did.
Monday, June 14, 2010
We are up and awake early today as we need to run errands and take care of business before we head for the Benin Marina Hotel to meet with President and Sister Ayekoue and Elder and Sister Herr. President and Sister Ayekoue will be with us until Wednesday conducting the Benin Zone Conference, and they have just concluded the Togo Zone Conference and the Lome District Conference in Togo. We anticipated their arrival from Togo at the hotel around 12 noon but they actually arrived around 1pm. We have not seen Sister Ayekoue since last Christmas. She has had some health issues and undergone some surgery. She seemed tired and Sister Herr said that she had slept during the ride in. We got them into the hotel and turned our truck over to President Ayekoue who seemed to have trouble with the security system (more about that in our observations). We then left with the Herr’s who will stay the night with us as the weather is awful and the roads flooded. We ate lunch at the Chinese restaurant and then did some shopping at Erevan. We then headed to the apartment and dropped Marv off as he was feeling very tired. The Herr’s and Sister Leavitt continued the shopping experience at the Orca Store. We had a light supper and basically visited in the apartment for the remainder of the night. The rain was torrential and the thunder and lightning frightening at times. President Ayekoue stopped by around 9pm after finishing missionary interviews in the apartments. We had hoped that Sister Ayekoue would have been with him but she stayed at the hotel. President literally waded across the street in his big rubber boots to get to us…what a trooper. Heavy rains continued through the night and the thunder and lightning was some of the worst we have ever experienced. At one point we swore the lightening had hit the house…very bad.

Page Two
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Early wake up as today is Zone Conference with an 8:00am start. The Herr’s also wanted to hit the road home early. We decided to check emails before leaving and found that our computer was dead…nothing would come on. We decided that in the night the lightening probably had hit the house and damaged our laptop. We said goodbye to Elder and Sister Herr and, armed with our umbrellas walked over to the Gbedjromede chapel for Zone Conference. President and Sister Ayekoue arrived but Elder Leavitt had to take the truck and go rescue the Menotin missionaries who were stuck with flooded streets and no hope of getting transportation. He reported he found them wading through water and were oh so very glad to see that truck and white man heading their way. We had to start Zone Conference 45 minutes late. Sister Ayekoue for some reason decided to make a bed for herself on one of the benches and slept through the first half of the conference (Elder and Sister Leavitt was quite perplexed by this). As always President Ayekoue’s teachings were on the mark. Elder Leavitt did ordinance training sharing some of the incorrect things he has observed in the branches and enlisting the help of the missionaries to help the members correct their mistakes. Sister Leavitt did an object lesson with Oreo Cookies and how companionships should develop an unconditional love for each other. She also presented each missionary with a new toothbrush and toothpaste urging them to keep their mouths healthy. Sister Ayekoue (after her nap) presented a story about a mouse and choices…all in all it was a great conference and a very strong spirit. Following we all headed to Festival de Glace (where else) and had our Zone Conference lunch. We were then dropped back at the apartment by President and asked to meet up with him and Sister Ayekoue at the chapel for auxiliary training at 6pm. Sister Ayekoue to train Relief Society, Young Women’s and Primary. We had time for a nap as we were so tired. At 5:30pm we walked over to the Chapel only to find President in front of about 30 women training. The minute he saw Sister Leavitt he asked her to come to the front and take over. He then went to conduct interviews for members who had been waiting for him since 4pm. Confused and taken back Sister Leavitt took over (thankfully one sister could interpret for her) and continued to train until 7pm. Sister Ayekoue had decided not to come. Poor President had to stay until 10:30pm to catch up on interviews. We then took him to his hotel and said goodbye as tomorrow they will catch the hotel shuttle and fly back to Abidjan. We love Sister Ayekoue and the service she gives to this mission but every time we have occasion to interact with her it is a negative experience. Once of our missionaries actually asked Elder Leavitt why she bothered to come at all as she spent little or no time with her missionaries….good point.
Page Three
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
We have to stay focused today, early start for bank, post office, paying bills and shopping for groceries. We also dropped our laptop off at the HP store to see what has happened to it and were promised a “diagnosis” for tomorrow. We managed to accomplish all and even took time to have lunch at our Thai Than restaurant, however it was a negative experience as the owner’s little boy was a holy terror running around the restaurant and bothering the customers. We headed back to the apartment and got all our groceries put away and then headed over to the Menotin Branch to meet with the Presidency on their supply order. Two sisters cornered Sister Leavitt for a private meeting regarding their getting no support from their Branch. What it amounted to is that they wanted money from Sister Leavitt who quickly reminded them that she was a missionary who paid her own way and they needed to go to their Branch President for assistance. This is all too common for white missionary couples and unfortunately some couples give and make it hard for the others who come after and would rather teach the members to be self sustaining.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
What we want most out of this day is a NORMAL DAY, to stay home, get caught up on household stuff. We did make one run to get drinking water for our missionaries for tomorrow as we have our Super P Day. We experienced more rain today and hope that tomorrow will be nice and dry for the missionary’s trip to Ouidah. Not having a computer is hard for us, we found out that the motherboard was fried and not repairable. They said they could get another one but the laptop is old and it has crashed once. We cannot buy a laptop here as they all have French keyboards and they are three times the price of laptops at home….so we have decided to take our time and figure out what to do.
Friday, June 18, 2010
The long awaited day has arrived…SUPER P DAY is here. The bus arrived promptly at 8am. We decided to not go with the one Sister Leavitt looked at in the marked but found a nice brand new one for them. The missionaries were more than ready to go and looked interesting in their variety of “P” day outfits. Elder and Sister Leavitt followed the bus in their truck as we would like the option of our own transportation and yes, an escape route if necessary. We arrived in Ouidah in great time. The weather was absolutely perfect.
Page Four
The missionaries split into two groups, one group went to the snakes and the museum and the other group took the walk of sorrow to the beach. Elder and Sister Leavitt drove back and forth checking out the sights and checking on the missionaries. We all met at 12noon at a restaurant we found called Cote d’Pesce owned by a very nice Frenchman who had been to Salt Lake City and knew all about the Mormons (or so he said). The restaurant was very clean and the service albeit slow was good and the food was great. The favorites of the missionaries were, Pizza and Lapin (rabbit) with rice. Elder and Sister Leavitt had omelet’s. After lunch they were off again and were having such a great time they asked to stay an extra hour. At 3pm we gathered under the “dead tree” and heard their stories of the day, then we headed back to Cotonou. They all voted that this had been a truly super SUPER P DAY. Elder and Sister Leavitt were truly exhausted and called it a day, too.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Woke up still tired from yesterday, but we have a busy day planned. We need to get final preparations finished before Elder and Sister Bailey arrive tomorrow. We did some last minute shopping and my sweet husband took a side trip to the Boulangerie (bakery) to buy me a wonderful chocolate birthday cake. We stopped at a Cyber Café (internet) to check our emails and let our children and family know that we are without a computer and capability of using Skype. That afternoon we attended the baptism with five being baptized. Following the service we returned back to our apartment to finish getting ready for the upcoming, very busy, week.
Marv’s Weekly Observations:
My observations this week should be termed “revenge of the fleet manager”. I have had such a horrible time with the Fleet Department getting the right vehicle and having it turned over to us. When I arrived at CFAO Motors to pick up our Toyota truck I was expecting a keyless entry, power windows and automatic locks. What I received was no keyless entry, no power windows and no automatic locks. However, for the paltry cost of $600.00 they gave me a security system that if not clicked every single time the door(s) open and prior to starting, the vehicle will turn off automatically. This is wonderful if your vehicle is stolen but a total pain if you have a short memory and you have fat fingers. The switch is located in a tiny hole under the steering column and you have to insert your finger and click twice. Every time I forget and my truck stops I have a sudden urge to wring Dweama Frimpong’s neck, but since I have developed so much new patience I think of happy things, forgive him and go on (after clicking the switch of course).
Page Five
Sue’s Weekly Observations
To continue to with the truck security theme. So now we have to pass on this system to President Ayekoue as he will be driving our truck for two days during Zone Conference. It was so funny watching Marv demonstrate and explain what he had to do. The first time the truck lunged forward almost hitting the Ford Truck in the rear, then he kept forgetting to hit the switch each time the doors opened. I told him that to remind Elder Leavitt I take my right index finger and bend it twice in from of him and say “click, click”. He loved that idea and now, whether driving or not when he sees me he bends his finger and says “click, click” Sister Leavitt.
Til next week….Elder and Sister Leavitt, Le Couple.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Well here we are now homebound in Benin. We thank the Herr's daily for their service in Togo. We love and miss our family and thank all of your who prayed for Dorothy, she is doing much better, still has a long way to go, but doing better. We hope you had a good week and have an even better one next week.


Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Grandma, Marv, Sue

Elder and Sister Leavitt


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Our plan today is to attend the Gbedjromede branch. Sister Leavitt especially wants to monitor the Relief Society as we have been getting some bad reports from the missionaries that the Relief Society is not running at all well and that new members are complaining that the sisters just sit and gossip and do not “greet” them. We also understand that the President of the branch is releasing the old Relief Society President and calling a new one. When we talked with the missionaries they stated that the Branch President was doing something different for today and that was, after Sacrament meeting all the adults were meeting together to watch two hours of the Priesthood session of General Conference. Sister Leavitt voiced a concern that it was his decision but could the women not at least watch the Young Women’s conference instead of Priesthood? Elder Leavitt met with President Lokossu and gently recommended that if he wanted the adults all together, maybe watching the closing session of General Conference would be more appropriate…and so it was changed. We therefore left following Sacrament meeting and went over to Akpakpa Branch to meet with President Desiree and the branch clerk over the recent audit conducted by Elder Leavitt. We were thrilled to see that President had listened to Elder Leavitt and had designated a teacher for Victor Dike (the lone Deacon). His new teacher is Elder Bertoch whom he loves so much…good to see that when you teach and make suggestions they are acted upon. We finished our business at Akpakpa and then headed back to the apartment for some nourishment and rest. The evening brought some mighty thunder, lightning and eventually torrential rain. As we sat in the apartment nice and dry we heard the doorbell downstairs …Sister Leavitt peeked over the balcony but could not see anyone in the driving rain. Again the doorbell, again nobody, then a third time and now she sees two drowned rats standing soaked to the skin. Sister Leavitt buzzed them into the gate and it was Bertha (Precious’ sister) and Victor. They had been attending a practice for the Africa West youth activity and could not get a transport home. We dried them off with towels and gave them something to eat and then Elder Leavitt solicited the help of Elders Halterman and Aisseba to accompany him as he took them home. The rain was so torrential you almost needed a couple of oars to get going.

Monday, June 7 2010

Today we knew we must stay focused and get some much needed things done. First stop the post office and then the bank. Thank goodness we got there early enough that it was just a quick in and out and not a repeat of a week ago when it was a two+ hour wait. We also needed to make hotel arrangements for President Ayekoue at the Benin Marina and do some serious grocery shopping. We were blessed today with decent traffic and our navigating the city was quite tolerable. We even got to pay some power and water bills. Erevan was a disappointment as it seemed to have half empty shelves…(maybe they are waiting for their ship to come in). We had lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant and it tasted very good.
In the afternoon Sister Leavitt had an appointment at the dentist to take impressions for her new cap. It took about thirty minutes total and the new tooth should be back in a couple of weeks. We then headed back to the apartment via DHL to check and see if we have any packages. Natasha assured us that we had none and none were on their way so we decided to call it a day. We had been back in the apartment only a little while when the doorbell rang and we looked down and there was DHL with a delivery of 5 packages for us (I will never figure this DHL thing out here). They contained the May General Conference Issues of the Liahonnas (very, very, late), which everyone has been anxiously awaiting…we were glad to finally get them.

Tuesday June 8, 2010

We started our day heading off to get Pierre who will show us where the Ghana Embassy is located in order that we may apply for our Ghana visas for our visit in a couple of weeks. We filled out the forms and left our passports and were told to come and pick them up tomorrow. We took Pierre back and then ran some more errands ending up at the Orca store to buy some new rugs for the bedroom. We are getting a sense of how nice it feels not having to rush around because in a few days we have to head for Togo…that is now in the past for us. Precious came and cleaned today and she and I worked on the Primary Booklet which, is now in the final stages of corrections…I am very proud of the way it has come out and feel a sense of accomplishment in this project and, appreciation for Precious who has been there with me every step of the way. It will not be perfect, but pretty close and, if it can and will be used by the members here to get the Primary’s where they need to be…then it all will be well worth it.

Wednesday June 9, 2010

Pierre called to say that the Ghana Embassy had contacted him and there was a problem with Elder Leavitt’s passport and we needed to go speak with them around 9:30am. So our plans for today changed and we headed for the Embassy. The problem was that Elder Leavitt did not have enough blank pages left in his passport and the alternatives were, cancel the trip to Ghana, obtain a “letter of travel” (whatever that is) or try to get the U.S.Embassy to insert more pages. So, off we go to try and find the U.S.Embassy. Marv had an idea as to its approximate location but we could not figure out how to get to it due to street barricades. We finally got it worked out and got close enough to park. We then had to go through three security checks until we were finally in the building. It was so nice to be able to talk with people and read materials in English. We were told to come back after 3pm and the pages would be inserted for us. We then left and went to find Precious who wants us to help her pick up some household things a former member of her branch has left behind, as he now lives in Nigeria. Well we picked her up but she did not have specific directions to the place and we got hopelessly lost in the horrific traffic so we gave up. She said she would get better directions and we told her we would try again tomorrow.
We then headed back to the American Embassy and waited until 3pm at which time we received the passport. Quick trip back to the Ghana Embassy and they took the passport and inserted the visa and VOILA! we are done.

Thursday June 10, 2010

We need to deliver the missionaries their Liahonnas and then head over to pick up Precious. This time she knew exactly where the place was and we were able to get there and get her stuff loaded in no time. The three of us then stopped at a Festival de Glace for an early lunch. While we were eating two nuns came in and they were with the Sisters of the Poor in Calavi. I had met Sister Angela at the airport a few months back and I asked them about her. They were thrilled that I remembered her and their project. We promised to put on our calendars a visit to see them in July, and we will. After lunch Precious called a driver of a bus who wants to transport our missionaries on their Super “P” Day to Ouidah on June 18th. We made arrangements to meet him in the Danktopa Market to see his transport. I would like to describe to you the Danktopa Market but words cannot express the mass of human flesh, trash, and total chaos that this place represents…in a word it is HORRIBLE. My husband has tried to get me to let him drive us “through” many time only to be met with my screaming rampage of protest. Now…we go IN. It was everything I had imagined made 100 times worse with the rains which had produced ankle deep waste of rotting garbage. The driver met us and told us to park (there was no place to park) so my husband directs me to get out with Precious and walk over to the bus to check it out. As we tried to navigate the mud, water, rotting filth and try to avoid being hit from every angle by a moto, truck or just a pedestrian I could only think to myself….”have I really been born for such a time as this”? We did make it and the bus was not bad. It was loading with men, women, children and the occasional chicken and then this crazy white woman climbs in and starts to count seats…I definitely amused them. We got the price and told the driver we would be in touch. Then we attempted to exit the market without taking out another person and/or vehicle, and we did. We took Precious to a transport stop and then headed home. My head was pounding and we both agreed that this had been a most eventful day.

Friday June 11, 2010

Today we have promised Elder Bertoch we would take him to the post office at the airport to pick up his package. We made one quick pass through the post office to see if our package notification had come (been waiting since February 26th) but no luck. Elder Bertoch as able to retrieve his package with no problems and that was good. We then stopped at Menotin and picked up Elders Starita and Tshibasu. We will have a Zone Leaders meeting at our apartment and Elders Cloward and Kouassi along with Elders Halterman, Bertoch and Starita will attend. We found the meeting very informative (heretofore we have not been able to attend due to our travel schedule) and it really opens your eyes as to what these young men have to deal with on every conceivable level. We are so proud of them and love them to death.
Following the meeting we decided that since yesterday and the day before had been days full of driving back and forth a day at home, in the apartment, was what we needed so we took advantage of it.

Saturday June 12, 2010

No “P” day today as we will be attending the baptism. We did however spend the entire morning in the apartment getting ready for Sunday. We want to meet with all the Branch Presidencies on several issues and need to get our ducks in a row. The baptism was wonderful a mother and her three children were baptized (Elders Yao and Geisler’s contacts) as well as a young man (Elders Halterman & Aisseba’s contact). The spirit was so strong. Following the meeting we had promised to pick up Elders Bertoch and Yapo at their apartment, they did not attend the baptism as they had no candidates but had several teaching appointments. During this past week as we were shopping in a market called Dupont the young man at the cheese counter saw Sister Leavitt’s badge and announced that he had taken the missionary lessons in Togo but had not been baptized. He further told Elder Leavitt that he loved the Book of Mormon and still had the one the missionary had given him in Togo. We asked him if he would like to attend church here and he said he did not know where to go. We then enquired as to where he lived and he announced Akpakpa. We promised to bring the missionaries to him and they would help him and so we did. He was working, and recognized Sister Leavitt immediately, Elder Bertoch got right to work getting his information. Of course Sister Leavitt could not leave without buying some good English cheddar cheese which she gave to Elder Bertoch as he and Elder Geisler love grilled cheese sandwiches. Back to the apartment and we enjoyed a quiet night and, thanks to Elder and Sister Herr, watched a good movie.

Marv’s Weekly Observations:

Boy it was nice to walk up to a counter, speak with somebody in English, make my request, have them give me a form to fill out in English, fill out the form, return it and be told it would be ready in approximately four hours. I am not sure this ever happens in West Africa except here at the U.S.Embassy….great experience.

Sue’s Weekly Observations:

I am always observing my missionaries when we attend meetings with them. I can tell if they are having a good day, or bad day, if they are sick or well, happy or sad…I can just tell. Yesterday at the baptism I observed that my lovely Elder Tshibasu (D.R.Congo) was sitting quietly alone, with his head down, very subdued. Most unlike the other missionaries who were laughing, patting each other on the back and greeting members. I leaned forward and said “Elder Tshibasu, are you alright? You are very quiet”. He looked at me and said “Sister Leavitt thank you I am fine, I am just taking time to listen to the spirit”. Lesson learned from a very spiritual, lovely young man.

Til next week….Elder and Sister Leavitt. Le Couple

Monday, June 7, 2010


Hello again everyone!

Busy,busy,busy! That's the word for the week. We are going like a house afire try to get all our little projects finished before we are inundated with trekkers. We have the Humanitarian Center expansion to finish, the Pavilion expansion to finish, the Cherry Creek restroom to finish, and we also have more handcarts to make because the 180 we have is not enough for all the extra trekkers coming this season. I still have to finish fine grading the entrance road in preparation for paving hopefully this month. I just finished rip-rapping (placing large rocks) the river bank where the high water was washing it out in the location where we do baptisms. Some of the rocks I placed along the bank weighed nearly 5000 pounds and nearly tipped the backhoe over. I don't think the river will move them. We're excited to see the trek groups starting to come in, but this next week we will have over 2000 so we are going to be as busy cats in a room full of mice. It was great to see the 12 week missionaries come in this last week as they will be a great help to the cause. It's a rewarding experience to see the Lord's hand in this mission and see how he can make sense and beauty and actually gets meaningful results out of the chaos which could be caused by a bunch of old people. We may be over the hill, but that only means we are picking up speed!

We had Stake Conference this Saturday and Sunday and it was another spiritual feast. Our Casper Stake President is one of the most spiritual and articulate men I have ever had the privilege of listening to. I find it amazing that no matter where you go in the world there are people who are so well educated and intelligent and are willing to share their talents and abilities and give countless hours to serving the Lord without receiving one penny for their service. I also feel privileged to be one of the thousands of senior missionaries throughout the world, who are giving of their time and talents in serve the Lord at our own expense. I have heard it said that the value of our (all senior missionaries) combined donated work, if paid for, would cost about $500,000,000.00 per year. But, my real truth is, that I could work and serve the Lord from morning to night the rest of my life and not put a dent in what I owe Him for his blessings. I have learned the hard way that we cannot find peace, joy or happiness in this mortal life without receiving those blessings which He gives freely to those who strive to keep His commandments, and follow His teachings. And that's an eternal truth.

Well, we miss you our dear family and friends and look forward to reuniting with you in the fall.

Elder Leavitt

Hi everyone -- I had my part of the email done and the computer "crashed" and I lost all that I had written. So, I'm not going to write much as I don't want to do it again. I didn't have much to add to Elder Leavitt's email anyway.

I am attaching a picture of Elder Leavitt putting the last truss on the Humanitarian Center. He had quite a crowd out there admiring his skill with the backhoe -- notice the backhoe up in the air.

As he stated we have the busiest week of the summer coming up. We'd appreciate your prayers that despite this hectic time the trekkers feel the Spirit of this sacred site and that their lives are changed for having become acquainted with these heroic pioneers.

We are so excited that we'll be seeing Ross and Susan in a couple of days. When we visited them in Ohio we were blessed w/ gorgeous weather and brilliant fall colors. It will be cold and chilly here but we have baby antelope :)

Until next week -- we love you and you're in our prayers,

Sister Leavitt

Sunday, June 6, 2010



Sunday, May 30, 2010

We attended the Souza-Netime Branch today with Elder and Sister Herr. Following the meetings the four of us will hit the road and head for Cotonou, Benin. A decision has been made by Accra on the Ford Ranger truck, it will become the interim truck for Elder and Sister Herr in Togo until their Toyota is ready. Therefore they are to take us back to Benin where the Leavitt’s will receive their new Toyota on Tuesday. As Elder Leavitt says we have rode this horse way too long and we have titled this journal above as, for us, it is the LAST RIDE for the “lone” Ranger (the only one in Togo) for the Leavitt’s. Back to Sunday. We enjoy this branch very much and during Sacrament the Herr’s were invited to bear their testimonies. Following the meeting Sister Herr and Sister Leavitt went to observe Primary while Elders Herr and Leavitt attended the investigators class. The Primary was superb (one of the best ones I have ever seen in West Africa) very impressive. One little boy caught our hearts with his giant spirit as he attempted to answer ALL the questions during sharing time (whether invited to do so or not), such a cutie. After the block we hit the road to drive over to Cotonou. We enjoyed the ride with the Herr’s and were able to acquaint them with border crossing procedures. Once in Cotonou we headed for the apartment to get settled. We soon realized we had little or nothing to fix for dinner so, it was soup and crackers for all…but we survived.

Monday, May 31, 2010

We plan today to take Elder Herr to the bank and get him set up as the additional signature on that account. We also need to check the account as well as the post office for mail. The skies are cloudy and we anticipate some rain. We had some breakfast and then set off. While Elder Leavitt and Elder Herr were in the bank I walked with Sister Herr down the street to look into some of the fabric stores. Once back together we headed for Eravan as we desperately need some food. We shopped and they shopped and when we were done we were quite loaded with supplies so we headed home. Marv was prompted to check on the progress of the truck we are supposed to pick up tomorrow, unfortunately we did not receive the answer we had hoped for as the dealership has not received the information from Accra they need (oh what a surprise). We were told that hopefully by tomorrow all will be in place. We spent the remainder of the day catching up and taking care of business. We also have received word that one of our missionaries has been in pain with a bad toothache for two months so we had Precious call and make a dental appointment for him as well as Sister Leavitt who has a loose crown.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Herr’s had so hoped that they would be taking us first thing this morning to pick up our new truck and they could then head back to Togo…but not to be. The bottom line is that Accra has not transferred the money into the account of the dealership and, not obtained the necessary proof of insurance. The Leavitt’s and the Herrs were back at the bank first thing to check the progress and also to pick up some cash as the dealership said they can obtain Insurance for us but it needs to be paid in cash up front. The lines at the bank were horrendous and poor Elder Leavitt sat in line for over 2-1/2 hours waiting to obtain the funds. Elder and Sister Herr and Sister Leavitt did the rounds of the fabric shops again looking for good drapery material for the new house in Togo. Finally Elder Leavitt emerged with the much needed cash. We then called the dealership and were told to come after 3pm, so we all went to lunch at Festival de Glace. Then Marv took Sister Herr and Sister Leavitt back to the apartment to wait while he and Elder Herr went back to the dealership with the money and to check the progress of the truck. Back at the dealership Marv realized that Accra had sent a promissory note for the amount due but, the actual deposit would not be in for another two days however, they would honor the note and release the truck to us tomorrow…WHEW! Back at the apartment we all decided to take a ride to the Orca Stores as the Herr’s would like to look for things for their new house. Sister Leavitt also needs some new rugs for hers so it was a win/win. Back once again and we are now firm with our plan that tomorrow, Leavitt’s will have a new Toyota and Herrs will leave with the Ranger. Had a nice dinner of tuna salad, tomatoes, avocados, and freshly baked banana nut bread. Quite a day for all four, but at least things got done.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We have been told we can obtain the truck at 8:30am so the Herrs dropped us off at CFAO (dealership) by 8:15am and they hit the road. We have decided that once we have our truck we will also head for Togo as we need to get our new TV which is still there. We were supposed to go this coming weekend for a training meeting with Elder and Sister Bingham from Accra, Ghana on the Africa West Helping Hands Day coming up in August but, they cancelled the meeting as Elder Bingham is just recovering from Malaria and Sister Bingham has now come down with it. We will also be able to be back-up in case the Herr’s run into any problems along the way. We actually got our truck and were able to drive off the lot by 9:30am. It is a bare bones vehicle but at least we have dealer support for this one in both Benin and Togo…so feels much better. Our drive was under very dark and gloomy skies and the traffic out of Cotonou was the worst we have ever seen. Came upon one dead body and a diversion where a huge oil tanker truck at fallen over and blocked the road but, other than that plain sailing. When we got to Togo the Herr’s were safely tucked away in their house and said they had not had one problem…now they are pro’s. Got the TV and then said goodbye and headed back to Cotonou…again under very dark heavy skies and when we got to Cotonou the rain was torrential. Once back in the house we were very, very tired. This day marks the end of almost eight months of driving back and forth every 6-7 days and taking care of two separate countries and 24 missionaries in total…must say we have mixed emotions but feel a sense of relief. As Elder Leavitt said…we now make new goals for the next ten months as there are lots to do.

Thursday June 3, 2010

All this driving has taken a toll today…we are tired and stiff, stiff, stiff. But, things need to be done. Our first order of the day is to take off and pay bills and check mail, which we did. Precious had cleaned for me yesterday so that was a blessing; she has also managed to get all the paperwork in for the visas on Elders Bertoch, Geisler and Starita. Sister Leavitt had loads of laundry to do so that took up a good part of the day and, we needed to get caught up on personal paperwork. The rain was unceasing today and the temperatures much cooler…we loved it. We find it hard to get around in the rainy season as the roads are very bad and the sides roads all but impassable but, the cooler temperatures and the clean fresh air are a welcome treat for us.

Friday June 4, 2010

Today is “go to the dentist day” for Elder Andon and Sister Leavitt. Left the house very early as we need to pay a phone bill and we could not do that yesterday due to long, long, lines. So we are determined to be the first in line today and we were. A funny thing happened on the way out of the building. Because of the rain and mud Elder Leavitt had me wait on the steps into the building for him to pull up. As I waited a man dropped his wife off and she entered into the building. Then another man came and looked down and there was a wallet in the dirt, he asked if it was mine and I assured him it was not. So he then started to put it in his pocket, it was then I remembered the lady and told him it belonged to a lady who had just entered the building…he ignored me. I realized that he had no thought for the owner, so I grabbed his arm and said (in my horrible French) that he should come with me and we would find her. He had no option but to come with me…I found her going into the elevator and called to her and pointed to the wallet…she screamed and started to thank me, but I gave the credit to the man who just looked dumfounded not knowing whether to take her thanks or apologize for his planned action to keep the wallet. When I related the story to Precious she said “oh Mom, he would have kept it for sure, they never give things back here”. We then headed to get Precious and then to get Elder Andon. Our dental appointment was for 9:30am but we actually got in at 10:30am (even in West Africa dentists cannot keep to appointment times). The dentist who we were told was a white French man actually turned out to be a black woman (his wife) who was from Cameroon. She took Elder Andon first who was absolutely terrified…never had been to a dentist before. His tooth was a mess and she had to remove the nerve. He also has some serious gum disease going on due to not taking care of his teeth, so is on antibiotics now. Then it was my turn. My loose crown which I thought they could just glue back on turned out to be a deteriorated root causing the problem so I have had to have a new crown made. I have to say that this dentist amazed me, she was the dentist, answered the phone, made the appointments and took the payments…she was all over the place. She was lovely and gentle and really knew what she was doing. My temporary crown I have in now is ten times better than the one they took out…I could not have been happier with the results for me.
As for Elder Andon he has to go back when his infection clears up and have a serious cleaning and gum treatments and he is not looking forward to that. I think at this upcoming Zone Conference all our missionaries are going to get a good talking to about taking care of their teeth and a gift of a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Well today is our “P” day and, although we will be busy with the missionaries we will wear our “P” day clothes at least. We have invited all twelve of them to have lunch with us to kick off our new independence from Togo. We have elected to let them make sandwiches of their choice. We really enjoy having them with us and with Togo have not been able to do so as much as we would like. They all came and basically we went through the following:

5-Loaves of Bread 1-Jar Peanut Butter

1-Jar Jelly 1-Giant Bowl of Tuna Salad

2-Large Bags of Potato Chips 5-Avocados

12- Tomatoes 3 –Onions

5-Fresh Pineapples 6-Large Mangoes

16-Cans of Soda 4-Bags of Assorted Cookies

2-Dozen Hard Boiled Eggs 1-Platter of Assorted Cheese Slices

(And a partridge in a pear tree…just kidding)

They enjoyed being together and we enjoyed them. Elder Cloward the Zone Leader says he hopes they are not affected by transfers this time around as he has “the perfect zone” at the moment and they are working hard and bringing in many converts to their respective branches….we could not love them more or, be more proud of them.

Following the lunch they left and Elder Leavitt left with Elder Halterman and Elder Aisseba and a member of the Gbedjromede branch who has a building in Akpakpa for lease that might make a good branch building as their current one is too small. Sister Leavitt stayed behind and cleaned up. At the end of our day we made some calls to family. We learned that Marv’s sister Dorothy is very, very ill in hospital and the prognosis is not good, this has made us very sad as we are so far away. Dorothy’s husband is also fighting cancer and undergoing treatment so it is a hard situation for us being so far away…we ask that you keep Dorothy and Ron in your prayers.

Marv’s Weekly Observations

As parents we always hope that each of our children will be able to improve their lives and achieve much more than we have. This has been accomplished with our children, however as I sit and watch the mothers and fathers of the African young men and women and discuss with them the future of their children, it seems so sad that through the gospel they see so much potential but, in actuality, their country has so very little to offer in respect to education, jobs, Home ownership, etc. Most of the young people have only to look forward to doing the very same thing their parents did and that is, exist from day to day. Hopefully this will change in the next generation.

Sue’s Weekly Observations:

Normally when someone has finished a task (we have finished taking care of Togo), the question would be “well, so what are you going to do with your time now, Marv and Sue? We have the following projects waiting:

Detailed training in all Auxiliaries:

Priesthood, Relief Society, Young Women, Primary

Conducting of Meetings training.

Branch Audits

Establishing libraries in each Branch

Village of Hope Orphanage

Sister of the Poor Old People’s Home

Missionary’s Super “P” Days

Helping Hands Day

And on, and on, and on….so busy we will be.

Till next week….Elder and Sister Leavitt

Le Couple -Benin