Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11, 2015 - No trip to Mbuji-Mayi, Christmas Decorations

December 11 – We woke up about 4 a.m. to finish packing and get ready to go to the airport for the flight to Mbuji-Mayi. We picked up the one sister who is going home and arrived at the airport before 6. While waiting to get our luggage checked in, it began to rain. Buckets and buckets. It rained hard. The sky was totally overcast. I thought it would probably rain all day. Then we found out that the plane has a mechanical problem and the flight has been postponed until 6 p.m. tonight.

Originally this flight (only one today) was scheduled for 11 a.m. Last night they changed it to 7 a.m. and now it is 6 p.m.  I don't think Delta Airlines would like to run their business this way. We originally wanted to return home next Wednesday, but they have already canceled that flight and we will have to wait until Friday to return. However, I guess that could change several times before next Friday arrives. Interesting way to do business, but as the President says, “When you are the only game in town, you do what you want.”  

We left all our luggage at the airport and came back home. It was still very cloudy. Again, I thought, it will be gloomy all day.

Emmanual, who is in charge of all the apartments for the mission was in an accident last night. Apparently the right front tire tie rod had a problem. He rolled twice. He was very blessed not to be killed. Justin, the office manager drove a truck to pick him up. Justin took a tow rope and Emmanual's brother with him to steer the damaged truck. They had to come home very slowly. It took all night. Emmanuel has complained only of a headache. Elder Mikesell checked him out and says he seems to be OK. Emmanuel didn't want to go to the hospital. Here is what the truck now looks like. 

Emmanueal had no cuts even after the windshield shattering

On the way to the office I took pictures of some of the people who work here:

Solange who cleans and helps Sister Thomas. She is the one who cooked the fufu.

Justin, the office manager. He handles the visas, passports, driver's licenses, and airline tickets. 
The gardener, Elunga, who also washes the fleet of vehicles. Wears his stocking hat even in the heat

On the office computer I wanted to make a couple of changes on the blog. Unfortunately for me when I tried to add the accent on the word “Sambé”, it totally deleted my entire blog post. I quickly did Ctl Z to undo, but that did nothing. Since no one else was in the office I had no work to do so I went back home to start over again from December 7. It takes a while to upload pictures on the Internet connection. It is no where near as fast as at home--but we are grateful we have it. I can wait. 

After working at home for a couple of hours I went outside to go to the office. To my surprise the sun was shining brightly. It was a beautiful day. That lifted my spirits after the flight disappointment.

After arriving at the office Sister Vance and I started working on the "Names of Christ" Christmas tree, laying it out on the tables. Sister Draper came in, got her laptop from her office and put in a CD of Christmas Music. None of our desktop computers have speakers so we can't play music from them. We all started getting in the mood for Christmas. Sister Cook walked in and started helping.

Here is our tree - "Names of Christ" 

"Names of Christ " Christmas Tree

Sister Vance creating "Names of Christ" Christmas Tree

When Sister Thomas came over and saw what we were doing, she said she had some Christmas decorations at her house in the closet. They didn't decorate for Christmas last year and were not planning to this year. So we all went over to see what she had. We had a great time creating a joyous atmosphere. This is the result.

Christmas Tree by the front window of the Mission Office

Small tree sitting on top of a filing cabinet

Sister Draper also had the DVD of Brian Stokes Mitchell and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert so we listened to that entire program as we worked. We decided on a menu for our Christmas Dinner. We received word this afternoon that the flight at 6 p.m. will not stop at Mbuji-Mayi on its way to Kinshasa. So only our departing missionaries going home to Kinshasa will be on that flight. We now will not be leaving until Sunday morning at 10 a.m. So goes life in the Congo. Plan A changes to Plan C or D in a hurry. Elder Draper went to the airport to pick up our luggage.

Solange came by dressed to go a ward Christmas Party. She is the mother of 7 and a grandmother.
Solange, a beautiful woman


  1. So are all the helpers-- Solomge, Emmanuel, Justin and Elunga members? Are they paid as a job or are they missionaries or members doing service? What are you missing by having to wait until Sunday? Does that change the district conference time? How do the members communicate this information to one another (changes in the schedule) and how do the missionaries know of changes? Do they have cell phones?

    1. The missionaries all have cell phones. I will explain more in detail in a future blog about how they are used in the mission finances. District conference has been postponed until June. I am not sure how the members would have received the information. Home teachers, maybe???

  2. Love your tree and decorations too! Now you are ready for Christmas!

  3. Mom-- my kindle is signed into your gmail account for blogger so my comments about your tree came up as comments made by you! Too funny! I guess you used my kindle for something before you left! I guess I could hack your blog too ;)