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
THUNDER, LIGHTENING A LITTLE BIT FRIGHTENING!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
3 days ago