Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July 25 - 31 -FIVE Zone Conferences This Week

July 25 - We left about 2 p.m. to drive to Kolwezi. We drove with Elder and Sister Peterson "B" in their truck. President and Sister Shumard, along with Elder and Sister were about an hour ahead of us in their silver pathfinder. The first counselor in the mission, President Mwinkue drove his vehicle, and the two assistants to the president, Elders Bosso and Luyatu drove another mission truck.

Just a bit outside of Likasi we passed President Shumard who had been stopped by the police and everyone was out of the car. No fire extinguisher could be found so President had to pay to get back on the road.

We arrived in Kolwezi after dark and went straight to the District Chapel. President had a meeting with the District Presidency. We then checked into the hotel and had a late supper.

July 26 - Kolwezi Zone Conference. Started out by playing a game with the missionaries divided into four teams. Each person had 3 ping pong balls where they bounced the ball and tried to get it to land into an egg carton. That loosened everyone up, laughing and having fun. Then we moved into the Relief Society room for the zone conference instruction.

President Shumard had asked that each of us seniors teach a principle and bear a short testimony in FRENCH. We have been here eight months and this was my first assignment in speak in French to an audience. So I typed what I wanted to say in English, put it into Google translate into French. Then had Elder Barlow and Elder Peterson "A" tweak the grammar. I tried practicing a few times out loud to pronounce the words right. However, I didn't ever get it perfected. But I tried. The missionaries are very patient with all of us as we are learning to speak French.

The principle I wanted to teach was to Follow the Prophet. Here is the English version of what I said.

On Sunday the 24th of July in Utah is the day we celebrate the pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley. Two of my great-great grandfathers were with Brigham Young that day. They lived in Nauvoo and helped to build the Nauvoo Temple. They received their endowment in that Temple. It was a hard journey over 1,000 miles they walked to Salt Lake. The Prophet led them to safety. We call them the Pioneers.

In this country, you are Pioneers. The church is young in years here. As you follow the prophet you and your family will be blessed. 

Elder Bednar is coming to visit. I testify that he is an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ—just like Peter, James and John were apostles. Elder Bednar has asked us to read, study, and ponder 4 of the talks he has given. If we follow his counsel we will be blessed. He is coming to help us understand the gospel so we can better keep the commandments.

Our allegiance is to Christ. Elder Bednar is His representative. President Shumard is the Lord’s representative with keys to lead this mission. President Shumard will follow the prophet. As we follow his counsel we and the people of the Lubumbashi mission will be blessed.  I know this to be true.

I know that God is our Heavenly Father. I know that Jesus Christ is His son, our Redeemer. I know they live. They know you and me by name.  I know they love us just as Elder Peterson and I love our children and 30 grandchildren. I know that Joseph Smith restored the gospel to the earth. Jesus Christ leads and guides this church. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. As we follow his counsel we will be blessed. I know this because my family has been blessed by our obedience to the commandments. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

 For those who want to read it in French. Here it is:
SurDimanche dernier le vingt-quatre de juillet dans d’etat d’Utah est le jour que nous célébrons les pionniers arrivé dans la vallée du lac salé. Deux de mes arrière-arrière grand-père étaient avec le prophète Brigham Young ce jour-là. Ils ont habités à Nauvoo et ont aidé dans la construction du Temple de Nauvoo. Ils ont reçu leur dotation dans ce méme.
Ils avaient fait un voyage dur plus de 1 milles trois cent kilometres à pied à Salt Lake City. Le prophète les a amené à la sécurité. Nous les appelons les pionniers.
En Afrique, vous êtes les pionniers aussi. L’Eglise est jeune toujours ici. Que vous suivez le Prophète vous et votre famille seront bénis. Elder Bednar vient de vous visiter. Je témoigne qu’il est un apôtre du Seigneur Jésus Christ, comme Pierre, Jacques et Jean étaient les apôtres.
Elder Bednar nous a demandé de lire, d’étudier et de méditer sur quatre des discours qu’il nous a donnée. Si nous suivons son Conseil nous serons bénis. Il vient pour nous aider à comprendre l’Évangile, ainsi nous pouvons mieux garder les commandements. Notre allégeance est envers Christ. Elder Bednar est son représentant.  Président Shumard est un représentant du Seigneur avec les clés pour guider cette mission.  Président Shumard va suivre le prophète. Pendant que nous suivons son conseil, nous et le peuple de la mission de Lubumbashi seront béni. Je sais que c’est vrai.
Je sais que Dieu est notre Père céleste. Je sais que Jésus Christ est son fils, notre Rédempteur. Je sais qu’ils vivent. Ils me connait et ils vous connait par nom. Je sais qu’ils nous aiment comme Elder Peterson et moi aiment nos huit enfants et trente petits-enfants. Je sais que Joseph Smith a rétabli l’Évangile sur la terre. Jésus Christ dirigent et guides cette église. Je sais que Président Thomas S. Monson est un prophète de Dieu. Pendant que nous suivons son Conseil, nous serons bénis. Je le sais parce que notre famille a été béni par notre obéissance aux commandements de Dieu.
Au nom de Jésus-Christ Amen

After all the training, we fed them a lunch of a ham and cheese sandwich, chips, cookies, apple, and water. 

Kolwezi Zone Conference
During the last visit in June that President and Sister Thomas made to Kolwezi, the missionaries sang a song for them. We asked them today to repeat that performance.
Here it is:
Dr. and Sister Peterson visited all the apartments with the zone leaders to gather in extra medical supplies and leave each missionary with a personal medical kit in a gallon zip lock baggie.
We then drove back toward Lubumbashi to Likasi. President Shumard met with the Stake Presidency while the rest of us checked into the hotel. This was very nice with a separate living room from the bedroom. We ordered dinner at 6; it was ready for us around 8 p.m. I think they take the orders then go out and buy the food they need. We had an enjoyable dinner with everyone before retiring for the night.

July 27 - In Likasi the zone conference was a repeat from the day before. It was still scary to give my short message in French. 
Likasi Zone Conference
 At the end of the conference training, before lunch, we left with Elder and Sister Peterson so they could get back to Lubumbashi. During this week there is a first ever Youth Conference in Lubumbashi. About 450 youth with 50 leaders are staying in a residence Catholic School that is on vacation for the summer. All meals are catered by a company that is owned by one of the members here. Dr. and Sister Peterson had been asked to assist with the medical team. There is a full time doctor on site for the entire week, as well as a couple of nurses. The Petersons will aid in giving them a break for this afternoon and the next couple of days.

July 28 - Lubumbashi Zone Conference started at 9 a.m. There was basically the same agenda except where two sister missionaries role played with us as investigators. Elder Peterson answered their questions and I just sat and smiled. There was not time for my message this morning. After lunch a lot of picture taking took place. The missionaries wanted pictures with the new president and Sister Shumard.

Lubumbashi Zone Conference

We left the Lubumbashi Stake Center and headed for the Gecamines building in the Katuba Zone where the conference was held. The missionaries here enjoyed the ping pong ball game as well. I felt a little more confident presenting my message today. I had been practicing more between meetings. This time Elder Barlow and Elder Peterson were the investigators.
Katuba Zone Conference
 We were really tired after arriving home. No one felt like cooking so we went to the Food Court for a chicken sandwich and fries.

July 29 -  This morning was the last zone conference. It went very well. Missionaries were receptive to the messages. Elder Peterson and Elder Barlow participated again in the role play.
Kisanga Zone Conference
After the conference President Shumard and Elder Barlow had some visits to make. We took Sister Shumard and Sister Barlow with us to meet up with Elder and Sister Peterson "B" at the youth conference. All the youth were on a field spelling JSF  For Strength Youth. It was an amazing sight. 
Sister Peterson, Sister Shumard, Sister & Dr. Peterson

 We then took a little tour of the Catholic School campus. There are dormitories for those students who live outside of Lubumbashi during the school year.
Dining area set up
  At the kitchen area, the chef took time to explain how fou fou is made, and some other dishes they were serving for the evening meal.
Chef explaining fou fou
 July 30 - spent the day catching up on office work that didn't get done for the past 5 days, doing laundry, etc.
July 31 - Attended our Nyashi 2 Ward. There are two talks Elder Bednar has asked the members to read and study prior to his visit next week. In Sunday School the teacher reviewed one talk; during the 3rd hour the Bishop used the second talk for his 5th Sunday lesson.

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