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Friday, May 6, 2011

Time Out For Women - Seattle, WA 2011 - Mariama Kallon


    If you have been reading my blog for at least a year, then you might remember Miss Kallon.  She was a presenter last year at Time Out for Women and was the inspiration for the theme of Hope.  My post about her talk can be found here.

    This is one amazing women.  I love her laughter and the joy she finds in little things.  She shared bits of the story she told last year of her experience growing up in Sierra Leone.  She had always had a strong desire and urge to learn specifically English.  She left home to learn and go to school at age 7.  She would do neighbors chores to be able get a plate of food.  Because of the war and the terror they experienced they were take turns sleeping and keeping watch for the soldiers to come.  They learned to wear 3 or 4 layers of clothes because running through the bush it gets ripped off.  It was great to see her find the humor of running and getting one layer torn off and then running some more and then there goes another layer.  She said that she learned to carry things in her bosom.  This is a habit that apparently has stayed with her she admitted.  : )  Through all of this she now believes that Heavenly Father did all this to prepare her to become who she is today.  Clearly, she has overcome much.

    Her story doesn't stop when she joined the church or even when she left on her mission.  A story that was shared in a video by her former Mission President.  One day, as he was walking, Mariama was running towards the South Gate of the SLC Temple (where she served her mission).  He asked where she was going.  She told him that she was going to meet a black person at the South Gate.  He said, "Good for you," and went on his way.  Later, he found her talking to a black man and giving him information about the church.  After he had gone, the Mission President asked who had made the appointment for her.  She replied, "No one," and proceeded to tell him how this all came about.  

    There weren't a lot of people like her there and she really wanted to teach and help someone like herself.  So that morning she knelt and prayed and asked Heavenly Father to send a black person who was from Africa to come for her to teach.  When she finished her prayer, she got up and ran to the South Gate.  She waited about five minutes and a black man from Ghana (I think?) came and you know the rest.  "If we do what He asks us to do He will give us the promised blessings."

    One of the trials she faced while on her mission was not receiving mail, especially in comparison to the others who were there.  She had lost all her family and there wasn't anyone for her to write or get letters from.  While others would receive their packages, she would wish she would have one of her own.  The other sisters felt sorry for and wrote home to their mothers to make a package for her.  Soon enough she was receiving more packages than anyone else.  "Mine angles will be round about you to lift you up."

    Two thoughts last thoughts that I wanted to share:
- Listen to the promptings of the spirit so that you might serve others.
- Don't take the small things for granted.  Mariama gave a small list of things she is grateful for among them were shoes, carpet, and a bed.  Her list gave me some good ideas for my thankful posts for November.

1 comment:

  1. I saw her at Time Out in Nashville, I really enjoyed her talk...it was great!

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