It doesn't matter the "position" we have, it is how we serve. It is interesting that here in the Congo "position" means a lot to the missionaries. I guess it is their culture. Transfers were announced last Friday and will take place starting tomorrow. Someone who was a zone leader will not be one this time. He feels it is a "demotion". They don't realize that there is not a ladder of success in the church. It doesn't matter if you are a nursery leader or the stake president. All are equal in the Lord's eyes. It is how we magnify our present calling that counts. It is how our testimony grows that matters and our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the acts of service to others, our Temple worship, attendance at Church, praying, and reading our scriptures that adds the oil in our lamps that prepares us for the coming of the Savior.
This morning was new missionary training so all the ones who arrived yesterday came back to the Mission Home at 9 a.m. All of us who work in the Office were introduced to them and told what each of us does to help them. Elder Peterson and I stayed for the extended training that went over the mission rules, what was expected etc. etc. Obviously I didn't understand it all because it was in French, but I did pick up on some of it. There was a powerpoint presentation that had the words printed so that helped me to see what they were generally talking about. The President taught from the scriptures. It is very helpful to have the IPAD that has the English and French translation side by side. That way I could read the English and the listen to figure out some of the explanation from the President.
He was stressing obedience, honesty and loyalty to God. This is a different culture. The mindset of the people is very different from ours. French is the “official” language of the country. But there are other common languages.
Here is a map showing the other languages spoken according to area of the country:
Apparently in the various languages spoken in the country, there is not a word for “earn” or “own”. So they “find” money and they are “with” their possessions. Those who live in Kinshasa which comprise most of our missionaries here are known as “Kinois” . They are more loyal to the “Kinois” way of life than they are to the “member of the Church” culture. Most people in the country are used to paying a bribe for what they want and receiving a bribe for what they do.
Missionaries from this country are supported by the Church while on their mission. They do not have the funds to pay their own way. This is more money to live on in a month than most of them would ever earn.
After the training the missionaries were introduced to their trainers. We then took them over to the office, took a picture of the incoming group (of which Elder Peterson and I are part of the new missionaries) and gave them their big bags of supplies. Four of the eight Elders will be accompanying us tomorrow to Mbuji-Mayi and Luputa so they went back to the large barracks apartment for the night. The Assistants loaded the van with a total of 15 people plus baggage. They were really stuffed in there. A few were left behind and had to wait for the first group to be delivered to their apartments.
|The incoming missionary group of which we are a part. Elder Kipata is on the right of Sister Peterson.|
|The bags stuffed with bedding and other supplies|
|The new Sister with her trainer|
|Elder Kipata and Sister Vance|
|Elder Peterson, Elder Kipata, Sister Peterson|
|Stuffing the last bag in the van|
|The Assistants,Elders Mbeleka and Botenti, with an Elder in the middle|
|Trying to fill the van|
|Keep pushing - more can fit|
|Almost got it|
15 total people in the van and all the luggage
All set to roll out.
The weather here is definitely not like the Decembers we are used it. The sun was rather hot today outside. I am not sure the temperature but it was warm.
I went to the Mission Home in the large meeting/dining room where the departing missionaries had a testimony meeting. I didn't understand a lot of the words but it was nice to be part of it. After the testimony meeting they were each given a certificate and a picture of the Savior. Pictures were taken and then dinner was pizza. Elder Peterson and Elder Draper had picked up 9 large pizzas from the local Pizza Inn.
|Our Departing Missionaries|
We started packing for the trip to the District Conference in Mbuji-Mayi and the 3 Zone Conferences in Luputa, Mbuji-Mayi, and Mwene Ditu. We leave in the morning and will come back on Wednesday.