They are truly obedient servants and will go wherever they are called. This is a difficult assignment (and that is stating it mildly). Prior to arriving here they left the Area Office and spent ten days in Kinshas at the mission office and service center. Then on to Mbuji-Mayi to start setting up their office and apartment. On the ground floor of their building is a bank, the office is on the 3rd floor and their apartment is on the 4th floor. The mission home is about 2 miles away.
The Needs are staying in the apartment above our mission office.
May 31 - 6 a.m. Run/walk around the Golf Course
|From the pumping station, looking across the lake to the Karavia Hotel|
|At the pump station, looking across the lake|
|At the golf course tee|
|Running between the fairways|
|On the green|
|At the 8th Tee|
|The 8th Tee|
Sister Needs and I sat with copies of the checklists I started when Sister Draper was still here. Each transfer has seen additions and tweaking. As we went through each item on the "Transfer," "Arival," and "Departure" checklists, more adjustments were made to clarify and refine the tasks.
Meanwhile, Elder Needs and Elder Peterson were going through the financial side of the office--MPESA payments, soutien, and apartments were part of their agenda.
Both Elder and Sister Needs have a great attitude toward their monumental assignment. They are easy going, but thorough. Each has a great understanding of the computer along with the documents and spreadsheets programs we use.
We went through the various steps and procedures used to get the transfer completed. It is good that they were able to arrange their schedule to be here this particular week. They can see first hand how the arrival and departure procedures work--the interviews, check in process of new missionaries, training meeting, departure testimony meeting and dinners. This will give them ideas if President Kyungu wants any input when he arrives July 1 to start the Mbuji-Mayi Mission.
Tonight we all went to the Chinese Restaurant for a farewell dinner for Sister Cook. She leaves on Friday, June 3. Her English classes are meeting Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon with Bishop Mbidi from the Church's self reliance office here in Lubumbashi. He will give them ideas on how to find employment. So tonight is her only free night to go to dinner.
|Chinese Restaurant - Sister Cook's goodbye dinner|
the waiter, President & Sister Thomas, Sister Vance, Sister Cook, Sister & Elder Peterson "B"
|Elder Peterson "A", Elder & Sister Needs, the waiter, President & Sister Thomas, Sister Vance|
|Picture in the Menu - Anyone want Chicken? "Here's lookin' at you!!"|
|Sister Vance singing the goodbye song to Sister Cook|
We were told that office supplies such as paper, staplers, etc. would be shipped from Kinshasa for their office. However, when they arrived Elder Needs told us they would have to purchase those office supplies. We took them to two different stores downtown where they were able to find the items needed. The stack of boxes needing to be shipped is growing.
This afternoon 6 new missionaries arrived. Four missionaries from Cote d'Ivoire were not able to obtain visas so they have been assigned to a mission in their country awaiting permission to enter the DRC. Elder and Sister Needs helped process these new missionaries. There is no substitute for getting in and doing the work; it saves a lot of typing instructions.
Thursday, June 2 - The training meeting for new missionaries was held this morning. Siting in on the meeting was very helpful for Elder and Sister Needs, both of whom speak fluent French. After the meeting I was reaching down to pick up a pillow to put it back into the supply bag. Partway down my back tweaked out like it does every now and again. What a terrible time to have that happen. I cannot straighten up completely. I walk like I am 160 years old, and the pain is not real fun. When it happens at home the remedy is to go to bed and alternate hot and cold packs on it. But there is no time for that now. There is work to be done that only I can do and I am supposed to be training Sister Needs on how to do it.
I got the paragraphs from the President that need to be incorporated into the release letters and printed. This afternoon at 4:30 was the testimony meeting and departure dinner. Sister Cook and Sister Vance are part of this departure group of ten other missionaries.
Friday, June 3 - We picked up the two sisters that are returning home this morning, Sister Ipatatele from Kinshasa, DRC and Sister Raharinjaka from Madagascar. The 8 elders were brought to the airport by the two APs.
|Elder Bin-Kahozi, Sister Peterson, Sister Ipatutele, Sister Raharinjaka, Elder Peterson|
|Departing Missionaries - most going to Kinshasa, DRC|
Sister Vance and Elder Peterson took Elder and Sister Needs downtown to purchase supplies for their July and August incoming missionary supply bags. There is no guarantee of finding blankets, pillows, sheets, etc. in Mbuji-Mayi. The IEA store said they could order it in--but Elder and Sister Needs are not taking that chance. They will purchase the supplies here and have it shipped up to Mbuji-Mayi. Then they will order some from the IEA store and see how long it takes to arrive. On August 1, Elder and Sister Needs are flying to the United States. Two of their sons are getting married. They will not return until August 18, so they are making long range plans for supplies now.
While they were shopping I stayed at the office finishing up some paperwork and babying my back. I knew I could not walk around town for several hours. The shopping trip was a success. Supplies were purchased for 20 missionaries.
June 5 - Saw Justin's wife, Christine, and family at church today.
|Christine and Joeres|