Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 23 - 29, 2016 - President last trip to Kasai - Visiting Emmanuel and Marlene

May 23 - After our morning walk, I also worked out with the 40 minute trouble spots workout. Used the 1.5 pound Fanta bottles filled with dirt only.

The moving company came today to pick up all the items President and Sister Thomas are sending home in their "container." So it is starting to become a bit real--the changing of the guard--so to speak. President and Sister Thomas have served tirelessly in a very hard mission. There are cultural challenges that are very specific to this mission. It is not like every other African mission. The longer we are here, the more we admire what they have lived through, the lessons they have tried to teach the missionaries. Obedience, honesty, loyalty to the Savior--these are just a few of the topics addressed in Zone Conferences the past two years.

President brought over the transfer tonight. We postponed Family Home Evening so Elder Peterson and I could work on the transportation schedule. Justin will need to purchase tickets tomorrow for the missionaries going to and from the Kasai area. This is the last transfer before the mission split. So missionaries will now know which mission they will be part of. President Thomas still has until June 30 to make any additional changes he wants to make. We will be sad to see some of these Elders and Sisters for the last time. And we will not see those who have been up north and will be staying.

May 24 - President and Sister Thomas, along with the two Assistants left this morning for the last trip to the Kasai Province. Both Elder Peterson's were needed to drive the two vehicles to the airport. There was many boxes of supplies being sent up with them. So our morning walk was cancelled. The 40 minute "Trouble Spots" workout was completed before going to the office.

On July 1 Mbuji-Mayi, Mwene Ditu, and Luputa will become part of the Mbuji-Mayi Mission. The Mbuji-Mayi Zone Conference was held the same week as the new Mbuji-Mayi Stake was organized. This trip will be the last Zone Conferences for Luputa and Mwene Ditu. Saturday and Sunday is the Mwene Ditu District Conference as well.

This afternoon will be missionary interviews and then a dinner.

Today, tomorrow, and Thursday Sister Cook is holding her English class celebrations. Tonight we helped her put packets together that she is giving them. It includes a picture from the gospel art, Family Proclamation in French, the Living Christ in French and English, For the Strength of Youth in French and English, Joseph Smith's Testimony in French, an English Book of Mormon, and an audio CD of the Book of Mormon in English.

Some of her students are members, but many are not. She is having the missionaries from each of the three zones attend the respective celebrations so they can answer questions any of the students may have after the "graduation" program.

May 25 - Took a few great photos on the morning walk/run.
Saw this bicycle parked loaded with the charbonne.

Flock of birds with the moon at the top

Couldn't decide which picture was best so I put all of them in

Birds closer, but without the moon

Sister Nancy Peterson and I asked this lady if we could take her picture. Moments before she had been carrying another bucket in her other hand. We have seen her before at the edge of the busy street cooking something over her charbonne stove. Two stoves are in this blue plastic container. The charbonne has already been lit and the coals are red. I tried capturing the coals in the next picture but it was too dark to see it.

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Charbonne coals are red but cannot be seen in this picture.

The large smokestack isn't producing, but a smaller one from the mine is.

Part of a cemetery along a road we walked
During the 40 minute workout I used the 2 pound Fanta bottles with rocks and dirt.

This morning Elder Peterson and I went to the Distribution Center to pick up some supplies, among them 400 Book of Mormons.

There were 3 English class celebrations this afternoon. Sister Vance and I went to the middle one. Some of the students performed short dialogues in English. Then the certificates and packet of gifts were given.

May 29 - Church with Job and his mother. Visiting their home

Visiting Emmanuel and Marlene at their home

Marlene, Emmanuel, Vainqueur

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16 - 22, 2016 - President in Capetown

May 16 -  Here are the weights I made for exercising--Congolese style. I have been using the white bean cans (1 pound). The first set of Fanta bottles are filled with dirt only. They weight 1.5 pounds. The second set of Fanta bottles are filled with rock, then dirt filtered between the rocks (2 pounds). The milk bottles are filled with rocks. They weight 3 pounds. Now I can work out using more weights than 1 pound.

I have been using Jillian Michael's 40 minute Trouble Zones Circuit Workout DVD that Sarah sent with me. Up to now only the one pound bean cans have been used.

May 17 - 

We are doing great. The office is a bit quiet this week. President and Sister Thomas are at the Mission President Seminar in Capetown, South Africa. Our new missionaries don't come until the 31st of May. I already have the arrival packets and supply bags complete.  Also everything for the 10 departing missionaries is done except what I am waiting for from the President. I have some extra time to work on my French. I am not learning very fast.  A lot of the missionaries here want to practice their English--so with their little English and my little French, we can usually figure out what they need. If I get in a bind, we go in to Elder Peterson's office and have him interpret.
A home under construction

Came upon a local trash dump. This is the start of the burn season to burn the trash.

View of the outskirts of the city southwest of where we live

Bricks that weren't used when made--have deteriorated so now they cannot be used.

Another view of the city suburb southwest of us

More suburb views

More suburb homes

May 21 - We went to a baptism at the Kisema Ward. Brother Gedeon Nkelende baptized his son, Aaron Mbiya Nkelende and a woman my age, Lucie Maleya Kabeya. This is the first baptismal service we have attended since being here. The outdoor font had cold water and there was a breeze blowing that made it even colder. Unfortunately, the young man had to be baptized three times before he was all the way under. The woman took two times before she was completely immersed. I felt sorry for them because I was a bit cold without being wet.

Elder Luyatu, Brother Gedeon Nkelende, Aaron Mbiya Nkelende, Lucie Maleya Kabeya, Elder Bosso

After the baptism. Some who witnessed the event

They are filling this dump truck one shovelful of dirt at a time

Cute baby during Sunday School

Relief Society President with her four children

Cute hair--looks very time consuming

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 9 - 15, 2016 - Granddaughter born this week

May 9 - Driving home with Sister Vance from the Distribution Center

Man watering the lawn--getting water from a bucket and throwing water from small container

Woman filling buckets from a spigot a couple of gates down from ours.
May 10 - morning walk
They started burning the brush. Ruined our sunflowers. Glad we took pictures last week.

Road still muddy. Water pipe still broken
May 12 - Sarah and Trent add a daughter to their family. They went to the hospital at 6 a.m.(2 p.m. in the Congo) They called through FaceTime after her water was broken and she was settled.  We talked on and off during the evening here until 9 p.m. (1 p.m. in Utah) Then I went home to sleep for a few hours. Trent called the phone around 2 a.m. I dashed over to the office and called through FaceTime. Trent clipped Sarah's phone to the side bed railing. So I was sitting right by her at her head the entire time. Lynden was born about 20 minutes later. Was able to hear her first cry and see her right away. What a blessing technology is. I don't know how I could have endured not being with them at this special time. Elder Peterson joined in after she was born.Stayed on FaceTime for about an hour with them before going home for a couple more hours of sleep.

May 13 - Morning walk with the Peterson's. Explored a new section of neighborhood to the west of us, across a main road where we usually turn. 

Usually on either Friday night or Saturday night we go to the food court for some dinner. A chicken burger, a hamburger, pizza. Tonight Elder Peterson tried the half chicken with fries.
Beautiful sunset as we were preparing to leave for dinner at the CarrFour

May 14 - Saturday morning walk with Sister Cook. The Peterson's did not go. Got a text saying Sister Peterson was not feeling well.
Love these gates

New construction

A broken water pipe caused this mess in the street. It reminded us of what it looked like during the rainy season.

Painted mortar around stones

Anyone for lunch??

Around 11 a.m. Elder (Doctor) Peterson gathered us and the Senior Sisters for an "information meeting." Sister Nancy Peterson had trouble all through the night with severe pain. He took her to get some tests at a lab downtown. The CT scan was sent through the Internet to Belgium to have the results read. She came home hooked up to an IV. We started a fast for her.

The Petersons were on the phone with Elder Jubber in South Africa and a doctor in Uganda discussing what to do. Later in the evening Dr. Jubber wanted to air-med her to South Africa. Sister Peterson did not want to go. She was afraid they would send them home. Finally, Dr, Jubber said they would wait until morning. Sister Nancy Peterson felt better during the night. Apparently she passed a gall stone. So all is well with her.

May 15, - We took President and Sister Thomas to the airport. They are going to Johannesburg and then on to Capetown, South Africa for the mission president's seminar.

We attended the Kisema Ward. It was created about 6 weeks ago.
Little girl at church

Bishop Steve and Matilde Mutombo