Friday, January 20, 2017

January 2 - January 22, 2017 - Back HOME in Lubumbashi



January 2, 2017 -

We finally arrived back in the DR Congo, Lubumbashi Mission on January 2, having spent the previous four months in Utah where Shauna had surgery for an elbow replacement and physical therapy due to a fall here in July. It was so special to meet our newest granddaughter, Lynden who was 3 months old, and a blessing to be with Shauna's mother during her illness and passing. Spending time with family members for the holidays was a real bonus. But, living in limbo is very hard--not being where you need to be. We were so anxious to return. We are so happy to be reunited with the other missionaries to assist President and Sister Shumard in the work here. We are loving the weather. It is the rainy season, but warm and sunshine for a good portion of each day. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers that helped us to return to this important adventure in our lives.


Monday afternoon we arrived in Lubumbashi. President and Sister Shumard met us at the airport, and took us to the grocery store. We unpacked and ate dinner at the mission home with the Shumards and the only other couple here at the compound right now, Dr. and Sister Peterson.


The time in Joburg helped acclimate us to the time zone here. 




January 3 - We hit the ground running. Literally--we met the Petersons at 6 a.m. for our usual run/walk. While we have been gone they have been running. So today they had to slow down for me; Dad is in shape because he has been running also the past few months. Sister Nancy Peterson has been retraining me in the office duties. There have been some changes in procedures etc. since we left. We were busy until 6:30 p.m. I was so tired I went to bed about 7:30.

Everything is good here. It is the rainy season. Rains hard at night; sunshine much of the day.

January 4 - This morning we did more running than yesterday. After no real exercise for the past 4 months I am not doing too bad.

The 3 zones here in Lubumbashi had a post-Christmas get together today. It was good to see the young Elders and Sisters. We received a wonderful welcome from them.

Each zone had prepared a Christmas song. We love the enthusiasm with which the Congolese sing.

Thank you all for your prayers that helped us get back to our mission. We miss all of you but know we are where the Lord needs us right now.

January 8 - Our first Sunday attending the Gecamines 2 Ward. Love these African people.
In Relief Society



Two little girls with their mothers


family photo 
January 19, 2017 - Eastmond's arrived. They are the Humanitarian Aid couple for our mission.
Nick & Irene Eastmond from Logan, Utah
Elder & Sister Eastmond, Sister & President Shumard

Showing off Ilunga and Sister Barlow's garden

Elder Peterson right at home in his office

Sister Peterson moved from inside office to the main large office

Beautiful clouds near sunset



December 26 - January 1 - Cedar City, Good News, South Africa

December 26 - Visited grandchildren to see what they got for Christmas. Flew to Cedar City for an overnight, quick trip for one last goodbye to Rachael's family.
Shauna, Ron, Olivia

December 27 - Took the 9 a.m. flght back to Salt Lake City.  Just after arriving there was a telephone call from a missionary doctor asking about my recovery. I assured him we were ready to go back to the Congo.  Later that afternoon we learned of our final clearance to be able to return to Lubumabashi.  This has been a long awaited event for us, but we are very excited at getting back.  We will be set apart tomorrow evening and leave Thursday morning. Thank you so much to each of you for your valued friendship and interest in our behalf.  More to come upon our arrival in Lubumbashi.

December 28 -  Ron and I went to the Ogden Temple this morning. It was a session of gratitude to Heavenly Father for allowing us to return to our mission.

Over the years I have always admired the tatted alter coverings. Today, near the end of the session my gaze lingered on the alter. I couldn't believe my eyes!! I had to blink twice to make sure I was seeing it clearly. There on the alter was the exact pattern of the tablecloth Grandma Keele crocheted for my mother during the war years of World War II. I grew up with that delicate tablecloth on our kitchen table between meals. At one point in time it came off the table because it was unraveled in several places. Several years ago mother and I carefully cut a small section of the tablecloth and  Ron cut the mat and it was framed for each of the grandchildren.

I was started and started to cry. Never have I seen that pattern on an alter. It was a tender mercy from the Lord. I felt like mother and grandma Keele were there with us in the Temple and they were happy because we could now return to the Congo.

We were re-set apart tonight by President Jason Killian as full time missionaries. One thing I remember --My light can affect other people. He has been so helpful through this process of reinstatement.  Badges are back on. Feels soooo good.

Final packing and weighing of bags.

Elder Broadbent, the In Field Representative from our mission wrote: "We are pleased that Sister Peterson’s health will allow you both to return and serve in Lubumbashi.  This is a wonderful blessing."

December 29 - Rebecca dropped us off at the airport on her way to work this morning. Just as she had dropped us off many times earlier for other trips. This one would be a much longer one before we will ask her to pick us up again.

We made the first flight out to Atlanta at 7 a.m. Spent a restful day in the Atlanta airport. Caught the 7:15 p.m. flight for Johannesburg, South Africa. Arrived there 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 30.

Stayed at the Citte Lodge at the airport for the weekend. Welcomed in the New Year 9 hours before our family. We were able to Facetime with most of our children and grandchildren.

January 1 - Rented a car to go to Church in Johannesburg. Pictures of the chapel we attended.





November 28 - December 26, 2016 - Disappointment, Temple Trips, Waiting!!!! & Christmas




November 28 - Still with Leslie's boys. Ron is at Sarah's helping Trent with the basement. Finishing electrical this week.

Drove to Ogden in a horrible snow storm to go to therapy for my arm.

December 1 - Dr. appointment - The x-ray shows the break is healing. Dr. Baucom said he would release us to go back to Africa. But in one month he wants us to send a x-ray from the Congo so he can see the continued improvement.



We wait for him to email our stake president, then on to the missionary reinstatement committee. It was a long weekend.
December 5 - then Monday about noon we receive word that we must wait until the next x-ray and the doctor has no conditions on our return. We called the doctor's office for an appointment. Instead of having to wait one month, December 29, Dr. Baucom said we could come on December 22 for the last x-ray.

Another rerun. We haven't left yet. Our poor family is exhausted with all the good-byes. 

Since we couldn't leave for the Congo right away, Elder Peterson thought we should "drown our sorrows" in temple hopping. So I changed from hopeful inactive missionary to active travel agent. So grateful for a Delta employee as a daughter. Thank you Leslie, for the flights.

Tuesday, December 6 found us on a plane to Fort Collins, Colorado. Today is the day Elder and Sister Barlow are leaving Lubumbashi. Our replacements in the office are headed home. Dr. and Sister Peterson will be handling our job as well as their own.



Notice the sun on the top left of the photo



After the temple session we caught a flight to Minneapolis where we spent the night.

December 7 - Wednesday morning, we flew to Hartford, Connecticut for a 6 p.m. session and spent the night.


Hartford Connecticut Temple
















 December 8 - Thursday it took all day to make connections to Philadelphia.  Hartford to Detroit then Detroit to Philadelphia. There was a delayed flight of several hours. It didn't matter, however, because on Thursdays there are sessions only in the morning. We needed to wait until Friday anyway.

December 9 - We attended the 11:30 a.m. session at the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Temple







































It is a good thing we had already been to Philadephia to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin museum and print shop, etc. etc. Otherwise this quick trip would have been disappointing.
After the session it was back to the airport to catch the only non-stop flight to Salt Lake City, arriving at 10 p.m. Becca and Joe picked us up after attending her work Christmas Party at the Hilton.

Monday, December 12. We had planned to fly to Idaho Falls today to go see Elder Peterson's sister, Jami and her husband, Bob. However, all the flights were full. So we drove instead. Spent a great day with them, enjoying a delicious dinner at a great restaurant.

December 13 - Jami went with us for a session at the Star Valley, Wyoming Temple. A small, but very beautiful building with a special spirit inside. This is our 115th temple. Now we are caught up again on all the east to get to temples.














It is a good thing we had already been to Philadephia to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin museum and print shop, etc. etc. Otherwise this quick trip would have been disappointing.
After the session it was back to the airport to catch the only non-stop flight to Salt Lake City, arriving at 10 p.m. Becca and Joe picked us up after attending her work Christmas Party at the Hilton.

Monday, December 12. We had planned to fly to Idaho Falls today to go see Elder Peterson's sister, Jami and her husband, Bob. However, all the flights were full. So we drove instead. Spent a great day with them, enjoying a delicious dinner at a great restaurant.

December 13 - Jami went with us for a session at the Star Valley, Wyoming Temple. A small, but very beautiful building with a special spirit inside. This is our 115th temple. Now we are caught up again on all the east to get to temples.
November 17 - X-ray showing break 


This x-ray is the one from December 1.

Here is the x-ray from today. The bone looks really good. It is filling in nicely. Dr. Baucom says we can go back on our mission. There are no restrictions to put in his letter to the Church.

December 22 X-ray 

Friday, December 23 - Dr. Baucom gets his letter to our stake president this morning, who then sends it on to the missionary reinstatement committee.  Unfortunately, the church offices are closed Friday an also Monday because of Christmas holidays.

Tonight is our Peterson Family Christmas Party. Everyone is there except for Rachael & Klint and their family. Grandma Wanda Peterson ventures out of the house to be with us. We have a great time together. This is a great blessing for us to be here with our family for the holidays.

The children portrayed the Nativity, reading from Luke. Lynden slept right through the whole thing.
Lynden as baby Jesus


Brittney, Ron, Grandma Wanda Peterson, Shauna, Ella, David


Doug had two cakes made for Leslie's 40th birthday. On the top of the off white cake has a picture of Doug and Leslie with Elder Peterson and I and both sets of our parents at Doug & Leslie's wedding.  And the bottom picture is the Peterson family picture. 

The white cake is a picture Leslie & Doug with their children
Doug, Leslie, Jared, Mason 

This is the piece of cake cut for Grandma Wanda Peterson - Her and Grandpa Herb.


This is her priceless reaction when she saw her piece of cake. She didn't eat it - she took it home to save it for a few days. She was given another piece of carrot cake to eat right away.