Church of Latter Day Saints Slowly Takes Root in Sierra Leone
GRAFTON - Elder Saylor Levi Taylor could be in college, driving fast cars and chasing young ladies in the United States but as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, he is busy saving souls in Sierra Leone. A native of Star Valley,Wyoming, Taylor, 20, along with Samuel Essego, 19, a fellow missionary from Nigeria are crisscrossing the peninsula villages near Freetown preaching the Gospel.
Distinctive in the white shirt and dark tie common among Mormon missionaries, Taylor arrived in Sierra Leone about four months ago after a year in Liberia. He is well into the two years Mormon young men have to devote to missionary work. There are sixty missionaries in Sierra Leone currently.
Taylor demonstrated wisdom far exceeding his twenty years. He spoke of respect for other people and religions and acknowledged the influence Islam has in Sierra Leone. He said he brings people to Christ through debate and appreciation for the potential convert’s culture. Taylor classified his mission in Liberia and Sierra Leone as successful because “the worth of souls is great in the sight of the Lord.”
As he spoke, O’Bai Kamara, a Sierra Leonean convert to Mormonism was busy fixing his black leather shoe which had a big hole in the sole. He said he put everything on hold to do his missionary service. Mormon missionaries are responsible for airfare and live a frugal lifestyle upon arrival at their designated stations. There is a review every six weeks and missionaries could be rotated to a different district. Taylor had just been rotated after six weeks in Waterloo.
“It is the best thing I ever did,” said Taylor who hopes to return to the United States in August.
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