Elder Masse Baptism Sept 2014

Elder Masse Baptism Sept 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"I wouldn't want it any other way."

 "I have loved my mission! The best two years. And seemingly the only two years that I have really lived." - Elder Devin Masse 

MAILING ADDRESS


ELDER DEVIN MASSE'

L'Eglise de Jesus Christ des Saints des Derniers Jours
B.P. 3171

Douala, Cameroon

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014 - "See you in America!" - LAST LETTER FROM AFRICA

 Area: Pointe Noire, Congo




Dear Sister Masse,
It has been a great blessing for us,Sister Monga and myself to come to know your son,Elder Masse. The people of Cameroon and Congo in Pointe-Noire have been blessed by a dedicated service of Elder Masse,we will really miss him!
His itinerary will soon be sent to you.I'm in a Mission tour with a general authority I will get back to you once I'm back in the office.
Sincerely
President Monga
Brazzaville Mission

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Dearest Mother,

Well here we go again. The very last email that I will send from
Africa to you for probably a very long time. In any case, here are my
thoughts about your questions.

I am guessing I probably won't be too hungry considering I will get
some plane food, but if that doesn't work out, I can think up
something while we are on the way home.

If it's at all possible, I would really like just to go straight to
the Stake center and get released. That would be my vote if
possible. So Airport, food maybe, Stake center, and then home! We can
talk about that though when I get home. Ha ha. Weird...

Bring a jacket to the airport. I might be cold. Or a blanket. We will
see what happens.

If I am hungry I will let you know. I have no idea how I will feel though.

Well for dinner Sunday night we could eat whatever. I really don't
care. =). Have Aiden decide for me. That will be the best thing. =).

I will let you know what I picture my first days home. I would like to
go to the dentist and get my teeth checked out. And I really want to
go to the temple so we will talk about that too.

I have plenty of money don't worry about it.

I don't think I need anything. My checked bag is a little heavy but I
am prepared to pay for the fees in Atlanta if I need to. I am not too
worried about it though. It will get home one way or another.

Well I can't think of anything I don't want you guys to do but it will
all work out in the end so who cares? =). We will see what happens.

I had my exit interview with President Monga- and that was awesome.  I love them and will miss them. 

Well that is about all I got! We are getting ready to go to the beach with the Bailey's so I'm gonna run!

SEE YOU IN AMERICA.

Love Elder Massé

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014 - " I have loved my mission! The best two years. And seemingly the only two years that I have really lived."


Hey Dad,

I love you. I look forward to hanging out with you soon and listening to music and talking for several hours. It's hard for my brain to realize that I have literally not listened to DCFC in two years. But it was a great trade off and I wouldn't want it any other way. I have loved my mission! The best two years. And seemingly the only two years that I have really lived.

See you soon!
Love, 
Elder Masse

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Dearest Mother,

This week is my last full week and it really blows my mind. It's
probably a good thing that I have SO MUCH stuff to do this week. It's
going to be absolutely nuts so we will see how it goes.

Today is P-day and it's going to be a busy day. We played
basketball, we are at cyber now, I am going to the art marche after we
are finished, and then we will probably head home for the night to
clean, get ready for the week, and rest a little bit because I am
absolutely whipped.

Tuesday is a normal day, probably, where we will work all day as usual.


Wednesday,  President comes to give us interviews and to do my exit
interview because I can't go to Brazzaville anymore.

Thursday,  I am going on splits with Elder Garland and preparing our
baptismal candidate for the 27th.

Friday,  splits with Elder Tripp.

Saturday, we have a baptism for one of our candidates as well as 12
other people. 12. Yes you read that correctly.

Sunday, we don't have church because Pointe Noire is completely shut
down for elections which means there is also no church. And up to this
point the news on the street is that President Monga has asked us to
stay in the apartment for the entire day. 

And then Monday again. And then I am home. Crazy.

Sunday, I testified and gave a short talk for 15 minutes... But I
don't remember a single thing I said. Weird how that works. Anyways,
that was Sunday  and I took a million photos with a lot of people and a
lot of women came up to me and said they wanted to cry. 
 It was kind of weird. But I am glad that people are so
concerned about me going home. 

Anyways, my mind is going nuts. I am trying to focus but I am having a
rough time doing that so I will talk to you soon. Love you mother. I
will see you very soon.

Love Elder Massé
















Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014 -letter from Aiden, 3 weeks until end of mission, Sis Bailey Birthday, Miss Natalie a lot,


 dear. devin how are you  do you wveant to  sleep in my room with me and do you want top bed or bottom.  what do you want to do when you get home.  mom is puting a desk in my  room for you.  do you want to play catan with me  i love you  Aiden
Hey Aiden,

I would love to sleep in the same room with you buddy. Would you rather have top or bottom bunk? I would like the bottom if that's okay with you. Just let me know.
I have a lot of stuff that I would like to do when I get home. I want to go hiking, and camping. I would like to go swimming and play board games with you guys. And there are about a million other things I want to do too.

If you want I could teach you a little French too! What do you think about that? Let me know what you get this email. =).
I love you Mr. A. I will see you soon.

Love Elder Massé









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Dearest Mother,
It was a pretty short week and time just seems to fluctuate back and forth like that right now. It  goes really fast at some points and really slow at others, but all is well. It's weird to think that my homecoming will be the 19th. I try not to think about it honestly.
The week was good, and there wasn't much that happened besides receiving my travel plans. My focus now is just to work hard for the rest of my mission and try to have at least a small iota of concentration on the task at hand. Although it is INCREDIBLY difficult to concentrate when two years has passed you by and all you want to really do is see your family again.
To be completely frank though I miss all you guys, but for whatever reason the person I miss most in Natalie. I have thought a lot about her lately and I think I am just really stoked to spend time with her in one of the best vacation spots in the world. I look forward to studying together, working on projects, going on dates, and spending time together just laughing, talking about the Gospel, and life in general.
I do miss all you guys a lot, but I am not homesick yet and I don't imagine I will be. I will wait until I get on the plane and then I think I will have the right and possibly then the desire to be homesick. Ha ha. But then again, it might not come considering how close I will be to home.
It will be nice to get a break for a week and stay up all night talking about life and whatever else. You guys will be dead tired and by the time I get home it will be like me getting up in Africa so I will have all the energy I need. Ha ha. Good luck keeping up with me. You guys will probably have worse off than I will but we will figure that out soon.
The week was great, and I will talk to you soon. It's weird to think about going home. And I will be home soon.
I love you. I will talk to you soon.

Love Elder Massé

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014- Getting Robbed - I didn't tell mom for obvious reasons..., Happy Birthday Sister Bailey










Hey Dad,

It's been an okay week. There were some ups and some downs but that is pretty normal, however there was one thing that I didn't tell Mom for obvious reasons. I know you will tell her, but I didn't want her to freak out. Ha ha. Anyways, here it goes.

So Friday morning I wake up at 6:00, hop in the shower, and I am dressed and ready to go by 6:30. Before leaving my room I grabbed my shaver, my pen, and my journal, because I use every scrap of time I have to claw my way through my journal entries. I am honestly very looking forward to not writing volumes upon volumes of words everday.
It takes so much time...

Well, I grab my journal and my pen and my shaver and I head out into the living room and notice an unusual amount of light pouring in from somewhere. As soon as I stepped into the room I could sense something was wrong and immediately my eyes were drawn to the corner of the room where an extra door and gate, (that we never use), to the house were wide open for the first time since I had been there. I knew something was wrong and it didn't take me long to figure out we had been robbed.

I immediately looked at the couch to my left and saw that my backpack, my blue and black Dakine one, was no where in sight, and immediately after that I did a 180 and looked into the hallway and saw that all the money on the table was gone.

I was shocked.  I was upset that my backpack had been stolen mostly because of all the adventures I had had with it. It went up Helens, I took it to France, I took it hiking up some slot Canyons in Utah, it went to Africa, and it was going to go to Hawaii too. But it was gone.

All in all we gathered that they had taken only about 300 - 400 dollars worth of stuff which was fortunate actually. And not to mention, if the thieves actually knew what they were doing they would have made off with a lot more, but alas, I am thankful.

They ran off with about 60,000 francs, which is $120, give or take, my backpack, Elder Tripps suitcase which had a bunch of clothes in it, they took a pair of my work jeans, (Lol), my Gerber Leatherman, a DVD player, a small radio, our companionship phone, (which honestly was probably one of the worst losses), and that was it, if I remember correctly.

It could have been much much worse. I managed to save my drivers license which I found with my wallet in the inside of the gated area of our house. If they had searched a little more they would have found my camera, my watch, more cash, and all my memory cards since the beginning of my mission. We were fine though.

We chained the gate down so that they couldn't break in again, they cemented the bottom, because honestly the house has way to many doors. There are five ways to get in and out of the house. Anyways then after they they put six bolts on the door to protect the inside as well. I think it's good now. I have taken some extra precautions now and chain the front door every night, make sure every door in the house is locked, and not to mention, there are more than 30 doors in the house, African design for you so keep that in mind.  Anyways, we were fine, everything they took is replaceable so all is well. I decided to give Elder Tripp one of my suitcases and all my clothes when I leave so no big deal. It's honestly awesome to be rid of all of it. Ha ha.

So that was my week. All is well though. We were protected, and I don't think they will be getting in anytime soon. The apartment is pretty secure now so I am not worried.

Well that is about all I got. I will talk to you soon. Or better yet, see you soon. Only three p-days left. I will see ya when I see ya.

Love you Dad.

Love Elder Masse
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Dearest Mother,

The week has gone quickly and time is running out unfortunately. It's so hard
not to think about going home while I am just sitting there making
dinner, or cleaning dishes, or brushing my teeth, or writing in my
journal and it just gets worse as I write a new date in my journal
everyday and it seems like I am writing a new date every five minutes.
Seriously. 

I haven't packed yet
and I don't plan on it until my last day. I honestly haven't thought
about it too much, but my goal is honestly to get rid of everything. I
just don't want to have to deal with so much weight and junk. But I will see what happens when the time comes.

The week went pretty great and everything seems to be going pretty
well. We had a baptism on Saturday for a man named C. and he was
confirmed on Sunday and he even testified as well. I thought that was
really cool. He has a good testimony of the Gospel and he is doing
great. We should see him on Wednesday and Friday so that will be fun.

The week was fine, but it was utter chaos honestly.

I have three weeks left, give or take, according to my calendar. The
week of the 29th will be the week I go home so it will be really
really short. It's weird to think that I will be flying in a bunch of
airplanes soon. It should be exciting. I am excited to be honest but I
will miss my mission.

Well, I guess that is about all I got. I will email three more times
and I will be home. I imagine I won't write anything on that last
Monday, but we will see what happens. Who knows.

And that was my week. Looks like you and Dad have been really busy and
you both seem really exhausted. Ha ha. All is well though. I love you.
I will see you soon.

Until next time,

Love Elder Massé







Monday, September 1, 2014

September 1, 2014 -Area Seventy Elder Hamilton, Bore Testimony at Zone Conference, Cheesecake!, 25 lessons, "I plan on finishing strong"

Sister Masse,
We are sending a picture that we took yesterday of the Elders with President and Sister Monga and Elder and Sister Hamilton who is in the 1st Quorum of the 70 and in the Central African Area Presidency.  We love Elder Masse and know that you are anxiously awaiting his return home.  He was able to give his testimony yesterday as the final one in a Zone Meeting.  He has served well and faithfully the wonderful Saints here in Pointe Noire,

Sincerely,

Elder and Soeur Bailey

-----------------------------------

Dearest Mother,
It's been an awesome week. I worked hard, I taught a ton of people, I met a member of the 70, we had an awesome zone conference together, I saw my mission president and his wife, I had my final zone conference of my mission, we ate great food, and everything is just awesome.

It was an excellent week and it was extremely exciting to have so much stuff to do and so many people to teach that I don't have time to teach them. I have to get more people at sacrament meeting!

Zone conference was awesome. We spent a lot of time talking and chatting with Elder Hamilton and having an open discussion with him. It was so cool. We talked about how we could help further the work here and the things that we could do to help our investigators, recent converts, and members come to church on Sunday. He was super nice and really fun to talk to. After Zone conference ended we ate taco salad and had cheesecake that Sister Bailey made. I about died because of how good it was. Cheesecake is amazing. Anyways yesterday was awesome and we all really enjoyed laughing and learning with Elder Hamilton as well as President Monga and his wife. And Sister Hamilton, of course; she taught too. 

I love Sister Bailey. She is such a nice woman! And she is just like my mom too. =).

This week was great for teaching. We slammed out 25 lessons and it was awesome. I was super stoked. Anyways,  I am coming home in a month. I am just getting to that point where I will just tell you everything that happened soon anyways. Ha ha.

Needless to say, it was a great week, all went well, and I plan on finishing strong. And that is what I will do.
I love you. Talk to you soon.

Until next time,

Love Elder Massé




Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014 - Elder Nkulu from Lubumbashi DRC, Service Project, Tranfers, Beach, Found a giant onion in the ocean, Went to a Wedding Anniversary Party,

Comp: Elder Nkulu
Area: Pointe Noire, Congo









Dearest Mother,
The week has gone okay but it was mostly due to being so busy with activities, service projects, and transfers. I didn't get to teach as much as I would have liked to, but it's all good. Next week will be better.
My new companion, my 11th companion to put the record straight, not counting MTC because my companion didn't come to my mission, is named Elder Nkulu and he is from Lubumbashi in the DRC. He is nice and I told him that we would work really hard until the end of my mission.
The week was crazy.
Monday we had P-day and we got tranfer letters.

Tuesday Elder Tweneboah and I worked all day long.

Wednesday I was with the Baileys all day long because of transfers and because I didn't have a companion. It ended up being fine because I just spent a bunch of time talking and hanging out with the Baileys while waiting for my companions eventual two hour flight delay. The flight was scheduled to get here at 4:15. He left Brazza at 4:45. We didn't see him until 6:45. Africa.
Anyways, I talked with Elder Bailey and we had a great time. After that we ate dinner at a small restaurant and headed home for the night.
Thursday we had to finish a PMG evaluation that no one else finished except me so we didn't finish weekly planning or really study because we had to go into the city to finish it at cyber. Then we headed back and taught for the rest of the day.
Friday was normal.
Saturday we went to the beach and had a service project. It was probably the funnest service project of my life. We just walked around the beach without our shoes on picking up trash and talking about life. I had some fun times with Garland and Sperry so that's what we did. We walked along the beach to rendezvous with the other members doing the project and on the way we found a squid, a beautiful fish that I wanted to keep and eat, and two large onions - one which I kept and later cleaned, chopped up, and put on our pizza last night that we ate. Ha ha. It was one of the biggest onions I have ever seen. So that was probably the funniest thing.

I found a giant onion in the ocean, saved it, took it home, cleaned it, chopped it, and put it on a pizza that I later ate. Awesome. I found an apple too. Ha ha.
Following that we went to a wedding anniversary party that some recent converts invited us to for their parents. It was really fun and we ate some really great African food. Oh I love African food.
Sunday we went to church and going home really hit me hard when I realized I could count on one hand how many Sundays I had left. And I don't really want to talk about it honestly. Blew my mind. And it's just scary. It's probably a good thing I don't have my flight plans yet. Ha ha.

Anyways, it was a really stressful week but it was fine. I am a pretty seasoned missionary so it's normal for me now. I just go with the flow and do what needs to happen.
And that was my week!
I love you guys and hope everything is going well. I will see you soon.

Love Elder Massé

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014 - Good-bye to Elder Tweneboah- "We were killing it in the sector and I loved working with him!"

Comp: Elder Tweneboah
Area: Pointe Noire, Congo







Dearest Mother,

It's been a crazy week and a lot fo unexpected things have happened,
but it's been good. And I am totally in if you want to spend a week in
Salt Lake in November! That would give me enough time to go visit everyone in Utah
including the Whitesides, the Gaileys, all my old companions and
friends, and so on a so forth. It would be a really fun trip. I could
even see some of the people from my district too! It would be an
exciting trip to see everyone. That totally has my vote and stamp of
approval. Plus I could talk you to you about my mission and life. That would be
sick. Ha ha. Lets do that. Plan it!

Anyways, we got transfers today and Elder Bailey dropped us a hint
that one person was leaving Congo but he didn't even know who would
leave until THIS MORNING... And he told us on Saturday. Well, we got
letters this morning. And to my great surprise, my companion is
leaving! I am getting one last and final companion!  That makes 11 companions in
16 transfers!!! Quelle pagaille!!! I have had 11 companions on my
mission, and what makes it even crazier is Elder Tweneboah's transfer
letter was the only letter we got. So we have no idea if other people
are being transferred across the city or other situations like that.
And I don't even know who my new companion is! Elder Bailey doesn't
know, I don't know, and we don't know anything more than the fact that
Elder Tweneboah will be leaving on Wednesday and that is it.

Oh my. I freaking loved Elder Tweneboah. We were killing it in the
sector and I loved working with him! The transfer went by so fast
because we were having such a blast and working hard!  But I am trusting in the Lord and I
will finish my mission like a boss because that is how Massés do. We
work hard and never give up and I will work to the end!

I only have one transfer left Mom!!! And then I am home!!! What the heck?

So anyways, I have no idea who my companion is. Elder Bailey told me
that an Elder from Brazza whose name starts with a K will be coming
but that doesn't mean that he will be my companion. It's possible that
someone else from the other side of the city could come and replace
Tweneboah and Elder "K" is coming to be with someone else. We will see
how it goes. Anyways, I am super sad that Elder Tweneboah is leaving.  

My mind is exploding with excitement and although I am getting a new
companion,  it should be no big deal. I am a pretty seasoned missionary
eh hem... (Shoulder swipe of coolness).  I love my mission!

Well, that is about all I can say for today so I will talk to you next
week!

I had to do a survey for when Elder Hamilton comes so it took a ton of
time. I will talk to you later!

I love you and have a great week!

Love Elder Massé

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014- BEACH!!- Paradise of the Congo, passion fruit Fanta, "My advice to all missionaries is to make teaching fun", Elder Garland

Area: Pointe Noire, Republic of the Congo, Africa
Comp: Elder Tweneboah

















Thanks to Elder & Sister Bailey for the pics!
http://calledtoservethecongo.blogspot.com/?m=1

Dearest Mother,
Yet another fantastic week in the paradise of Congo. I love Congo a lot and it will be hard to part with the idea that I won't be here anymore, but I am working hard and things are just swirling around me at an incredible rate of speed. I guess when you really do lose yourself in the work you really do "lose yourself".
Anyways it was a fantastic week. I went on splits with Elder Tripp and Elder Garland and they both went awesome. Elder Tripp is working hard and his French is great now. And going with Elder Garland was kind of like old times. We had a blast. He was showing my houses and where people lived, and after all of that we had a baptismal interview followed by a baptism so that was the rest of our day. I had an awesome time.
Elder Tripp and I had some fun teaching the 10 commandments with all the hand signals and we laughed and joked as we did it. My advice to all missionaries is to make teaching fun. Be engaged and don't just be a robot without feelings. Have some fun with it. Anyways, we had a great time and I did a baptismal interview for them in their sector and she is golden. She is one of the coolest people I have ever interviewed and she was awesome.

Following that she gave us some passion fruit Fanta and then some oranges that tasted awesome.
Then Elder Tripp and I walked over to the airport which was five minutes away, got a referral, and watched an EcAir flight take off for Brazza. From 0 to 150 mph from ground to air in 32 seconds. Incredible.
And those were pretty much the highlights of my week. We worked hard, time is swirling around me, and things are just awesome. I couldn't ask for more.
The beach was fantastic by the way. I ran up and down the beach looking for sea shells with Naughton and it was just amazing. A real beach! I will definitely have to go again before I leave Africa. We will see how it goes.
I had an awesome week and I hope you guys did too. I love you and I will talk to you soon.
Until next time,
Love Elder Massé

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

To Missionary Families - "We just wanted to give all of the families of the missionaries here in Pointe Noire a reassurance that everything is fine here."

Missionary Families,

We just wanted to give all of the families of the missionaries here in Pointe Noire a reassurance that everything is fine here.  We know that many have been worried about us because of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  The countries involved are Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.  All of the missionaries have been taken out of Liberia and Sierra Leone and the Church will continue to monitor any other precautions that need to be taken.

We also updated the blog yesterday.  We were not able to do much internet work last week because of the power being off for 31/2 days, so we did two blogs for this week.  We just want you to know what great and valiant Elders we are serving alongside.  They are working so hard for the Lord and are representing their families “valiantly”..

Sincerely,
Elder and Sister Bailey

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014 - Elder Tripp, 19 lessons, basketball, marche,

Area: Pointe Noire,  Republic of the Congo
Comp: Elder Tweneboah
Pointe Noire Sunset (from the Baileys)

Dear Dad,
I highly envy your pile of smoked ribs and I curse you for it... I would try to out do you, but my best story I got this week was hanging out with one of my best friends Elder Tripp among the other Elders in my District sitting in an air-conditioned room. I ate some ice cream and oreos in homage of my love of ice cream. Ha ha. That was my chunk of paradise and the outside world besides having an awesome week out in the sector with my companion Elder Tweneboah.
I had an awesome week and it sounded like you guys had en epic week as well. Elder Tweneboah and I taught 19 lessons, ended the week with 8 baptismal dates, and I worked hard this week and that felt awesome. It was a super solid week and I loved it.
It was nice to see all of the pictures you guys sent me. All of you looked like you had an awesome time together.
Well, today will be an awesome day and it already has been thus far. Here is the details up to this point and the plan for the rest of the day.

So this morning we got up and headed to the church to play basketball, not in any way shape or size regulation standards, but we had an awesome time playing. I was rocking this morning and my ball handling skills seem to have gotten better lately which is really cool.
Now I am at cyber, and after this we will head to marché and following that we will head to the beach, have an awesome time, put my feet in the ocean, and maybe play some soccer or something.
And then we will head home, eat some chicken, and then we will crash for the night. And then we will wake up and work our butts off tomorrow. Awesome.
I am stoked. That is my day and my week. I love you Dad!
Have a good one!
Love Elder Massé

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Note: Elder Masse has mentioned how nice it is to see Elder Garland again.  Elder Garland mentioned him in one of his letters:

"We had an awesome Friday as we went to Darcyne's to help them
rearrange some stuff in the corner of her parcelle.  She had this
whole work force there cleaning, painting, filling the pool, redoing
the electricity, gardening, all this stuff to prepare for the party
after the baptism.  Afterwards, she gave us each these little sand
paintings that are so cool, it was a wonderful surprise.  We went
straight to pick up Elder Johnston's new trainee Elder Bybee, and he
seems like a great kid.  He's been in Douala working in Bonabéri with
my good friend Elder Brockbank in my old sector!  He gave me the best
news in the world - the Moumé parents that has son is on a mission in
Côte d'Ivoire, who I used to teach with Elder Massé, ARE GETTING
BAPTIZED!  I was so happy, I can't even explain.  How beautiful."

http://eldergarland.blogspot.com/2014/06/june-2.html?m=1

Deadliest known Ebola outbreak in history in West Africa prompts evacuation of LDS missionaries from Sierre Leone & Liberia; 2 Mormons dead - Deseret News












Ebola outbreak prompts evacuation of LDS missionaries from two African nations

By Tad Walch, Deseret News
Published: Fri, Aug. 1 4:50 p.m. MDT

 A banner reading 'Lets prevent the spread of Ebola, in front of the city hall in Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 deaths in West Africa as the World Health Organization on Thursday announced dozens of new fatalities. All LDS missionaries in Sierra Leone and Liberia are leaving those two African nations due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus-related illnesses there. The missionaries are being assigned to other missions.
A banner reading 'Lets prevent the spread of Ebola, in front of the city hall in Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 deaths in West Africa as the World Health Organization on Thursday announced dozens of new fatalities. All LDS missionaries in Sierra Leone and Liberia are leaving those two African nations due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus-related illnesses there. The missionaries are being assigned to other missions.
(Jonathan Paye-Layleh , AP)
SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church is transferring all of its 274 missionaries out of Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the deadliest-known Ebola outbreak in history has killed hundreds of people, including two Mormons.
The church announced the decision Friday, the same day the World Health Organization's director general said the disease was moving faster than efforts to curb it, which could lead to catastrophic consequences that include a “high risk” it will spread to other countries.
“We are aware of two members who have died from the Ebola virus,” church spokeswoman Jessica Moody said, apparently one in Sierra Leone and one in Liberia.
All Mormon missionaries serving in the two West African nations are being moved as a precautionary measure. They are being reassigned to a variety of other missions: “Missionaries who have been called to serve in these countries and an additional three missionaries in the Ghana MTC will be reassigned,” Moody said.
Of the 274, 157 are natives of African nations and the other 117 are primarily from the United States and Canada, Moody said.
Across the top of the mission blog of one of the Americans is the now-outdated phrase "Serving in the Liberia Monrovia Mission from Sept 2013 to Sept 2015."
Now Elder Rain Price of American Fork, Utah, will spend the final year of his mission elsewhere.
"We've been concerned but not overly frantic about it," his father, Dale, told KSL. "We've always had complete confidence in the leaders on the ground there, and we knew they were monitoring it much closer than we could. It doesn't come as a huge surprise, and it does verify the church is on top of it."
Dale Price, who became internationally famous for wearing a crazy costume while waving goodbye as his son got on the school bus each morning, also said his son and his companion and other missionaries were closely following the precautions outlined by the mission president, President Roger Kirkham.
Price said he thinks his son will be sad to leave Liberia.
"He'd been there 10 months, so he was just getting really comfortable with it and loved the people, loved being there, so it's going to be an interesting change and a new adventure to find out where he's going to go," he said.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the transfers on mormonnewsroom.org:
"Ensuring the health and safety of our missionaries is our top priority. In recent weeks measures have been taken to reduce risk to missionaries, including asking them to remain in their apartments. To date, there are no reports of illness among the missionaries. Families are being notified as the missionaries arrive in their new assignments. This is a very challenging situation for the missionaries, members and citizens of these countries, and like other organizations we are taking every practical step to reduce risk."
A New York Times graphic and Q&A on the outbreak said 1,300 people have contracted Ebola, and more than half — 729 — have died since the outbreak began in March.
The areas hardest hit by the outbreak are Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The church organized the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission in 2007, according to the Deseret News 2013 Church Almanac. The first approved church meeting was held in the country in 1988.
Today, Sierra Leone is home to 13,078 LDS Church members and 30 congregations, according to MormonNewsroom.org.
Liberia has had a Mormon presence longer. The first branches, or small congregations, formed there in the early 1980s. The Liberia Monrovia Mission opened in 1988, at which time it included Sierra Leone.
Liberia now has 8,081 LDS Church members and 22 congregations.
There was no word Friday about whether the outbreak would impact church meetings this weekend.