Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 22 - 28, 2017 - Deliveries, FHE, Elder Rasband

May 22 - We took President and Sister Shumard to the airport early this morning. We then went to 3 different apartments delivering their solar lights, brassier cookers and charbonne. Each apartment was busy doing laundry, cleaning the apartment, etc.
Gecamines 1 Apartment

Bicycle loaded with empty yellow bidons
 Upemba Apartment

Elder Boutsebe washing his shirts
 Charbonne can be purchased in a big bag with sticks wrapped in string to hold the charbonne in.
Elder Omony showing his strength to carry the charbonne

Elder Boutsebe with their dumb bell
While waiting for Emmanuel at the Gecamines Chapel we watched the sights around us.
A young boy delivering a sofa on his bicycle

Sparks flying as this man saws metal
 Emmanuel came and we drove to the Bishop's house for Family Home Evening.
Anny, Bishop Francois Mukengela, Junior, Brigham, Emmanuel
Carmel, Plamedi, Ephraim, Joseph

This is the bundle market (Justin tells me the real name is Matshipisha Market) that we pass in the daytime. At 7:30 p.m. it is still "rocking" with many people. Small fires or candles or other lights are used to display the wares for sale. Justin says they are selling until 10 or 11 p.m.

May 23 - Found this little guy on the wall in our sewing/exercise room. He is about 3 inches long.
 May 24 - These are the stairs we walk up and down near the small hyper pisaro.
Sister Nancy Peterson, Elder Peterson, Elder Lorin Peterson, Sister & Elder Eastmond and my shadow
 May 26 - This is a new gate put up recently. Saw it on our walk
 May 26 - The wives of General Authorities, meaning apostles and Seventies, have been asked not to conduct auxiliary training meetings any more. Stake Auxiliary leaders should conduct their own training. It is an opportunity to study and grow in their testimonies.

A group of 18 women from the 3 stakes in Lubumbashi were invited to attend a focus group. Ages ranged from 19 to 56 years old. Seven of the 18 are not married and have no children. Eleven are married and do have children; the largest number of children born to one woman was 10. The number of years as a member of the church ranged from 3 to 26 years; three of the woman were born into the Church.

I was in attendance at the meeting to take notes for Sister Hamilton to send to Sister Rasband who was ill and not able to accompany her husband, Elder Ronald Rasband on this trip to Africa.

Sister Claudia Hamilton, whose husband is the Africa Southeast Area President, was in charge of this meeting. Sister Shumard was also there to assist. Sister Hamilton stated the purpose of the meeting. This group is made up of a mixed group, ages 18 and up, single and married. We are not looking for your church position. We want you. You represent all walks of life. We want to see a little into your life as a member of the Church, how you are progressing, and how we can strengthen you, your family, and the future generation of the Church. There is a good cross section of women and we want to hear from you.

The Africa Southeast Area Plan was discussed and the women were asked how their families were implementing the goals. There was great participation.

Sister Hamilton ended with. You are a holy people. The goal is that we can raise up a pure generation to the Lord. When I think of that it is a son or daughter of God trying to be Christ like. Christ is pure. Love is pure. Everything he has done is out of His pure love for us. We can be a pure people. We can be blessed. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only thing that can bless the world. He speaks through you as a mother, as members of the church, as wives. All the wonderful things you do as neighbors. We are all Heavenly Father’s children and you are doing a great job. I love you!   I just love you so much! Thank you Sisters.

It was a very inspiring meeting to witness. Elder Rasband came in at the end of the meeting and shook every one of the sister's hands and then had a picture taken with them.

I went with Sister Hamilton and Sister Shumard to a room where they could rest for a few minutes until they attended a meeting with the brethren and the young single adults of the 3 stakes. Elder & Sister Peterson had brought refreshments and set them up in the room. Usually we all then stand outside by the door making sure no one interrupts the visiting authorities. But Elder Rasband invited us in. He had us two Sister Peterson's sit across the table from him. He wanted to know how we received our call to the Congo. As a member of the Quorum of the Twelve who has a responsibility to assign senior couples to full time missions he was curious about our particular situations.

Sister Nancy Peterson responded first, stating they had their choice to serve in a medical position in either Atlanta, or somewhere in Florida, or here in the Congo. They chose the Congo.

When he asked me, I told him the only thing we put in our application specifically was to serve for two years and French speaking. 

He then shook our hands and thanked us for our service. Then it was time for them to go to the next meeting. I helped Elder and Sister Peterson clean up the leftover food. We then drove to Al Basha restaurant where we met up with my Elder Peterson and the Eastmonds for dinner.
Outside prior to the start of the meeting

Close up of Sister Shumard and Sister Hamilton with several of the sisters.
 Pictures of the women in the focus group

Sister Hamilton greeting each one individually

May 27 - President & Sister Shumard traveled to Likasi with Elder Rasband and Elder & Sister Hamilton for member meetings there. Elder Peterson spent the day in the office. I had another cooking day--homemade crackers, tortillas, and a big pot of chicken soup and my now famous layered green salad. I then steamed a bunch of vegetables (green beans, carrots, broccoli) that I didn't use in the soup and made some rice.
Chicken vegetable soup

May 28 - Today was the member meeting with Elder Rasband for the 3 stakes here in Lubumbashi. We went with Elder & Sister Eastmond, leaving at 6:30 a.m. When we arrived at the Stake Center 15 minutes later, the chapel was already full and several rows into the cultural hall. The stage in the back was filling up with our full time young Elder and Sister missionaries.

Elder and Sister Missionaries

Chapel was already full

2 sisters sitting in front of us who attend our Gecamines 2 Ward
Elder Peterson showing them pictures of our cabin while waiting for the meeting to start

This is what happens when you have to get up so early to be to church 

Elder Rasband gave an awesome talk referring to 3 Nephi 11:15 and 3 Nephi 17:7,9,21, 25.
Christ ministered to thousands of people ONE BY ONE!! 

At the end he gave a beautiful apostolic blessing on the people individually in the Church and a blessing on the people of the DR Congo in general.

It was stated that this is the largest gathering of Church members in the history of the city of Lubumbashi. We are a few members short of 5,000.

The following is a post Elder Rasband put on Facebook about the May 28, Sunday meeting:
I often am amazed at how the Lord uses each of us to help bring about His purposes. I received a powerful reminder of this last week during my visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I awoke early Sunday with a distinct impression that I should call on a young single woman to speak at a meeting later that morning. I recognized this as a prompting and determined I would do so. A little later, I felt impressed that I should invite a specific young single woman to share her testimony with us. Her name is Anastasia, and earlier during the trip she had participated in a young single adult panel discussion.
At the meeting, I followed up on this prompting and invited Anastasia to speak to the group for a few moments. Little did I know what a stirring and beautiful testimony she would share.
Before I go on, you should first understand a little bit about the practice of bride price that is still prevalent among many in her country. Bride price involves a sum of money being paid by a would-be groom to the family of his bride-to-be. Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many other Christian churches and civil societies in Africa have spoken against the practice, as the Lord’s will is for men and women to be equal partners in courtship and marriage.
As Anastasia walked to the front of the chapel and stood in front of 5,000 of her peers, she spoke to all parents and said something I will never forget:
“We are not your merchandise.”
She went on to share powerful testimony of her desire to enter into an equal partnership with a husband, live the celestial law of marriage, and ultimately receive all the blessings promised to those who live as faithful followers of Jesus Christ.
As Anastasia spoke with power and with faith, a profound hush fell over the congregation and the Holy Ghost testified of the truthfulness of the words she was sharing.
When it was my time to speak, I brought Anastasia back up with me and I let everyone in attendance know that she had spoken what the Lord wanted for them to hear and that I was only a second witness.
How grateful I am for the great faith of Anastasia and of many other strong, faithful, and humble followers of Jesus Christ in Africa and around the world. Truly there is much we can learn from one another.
A picture of all the full time missionaries in Lubumbashi. It is easy to pick out the Americans 
(we are the ones with the white faces)
Elder Rasband, in the middle, Sister & President Hamilton in front of him; Sister & President Shumard on the right
Left Side back row: Elder & Sister Eastmond, Elder Ron & Sister Shauna Peterson
Sister Nancy & Elder Lorin Peterson to the left of Elder Rasband
After the picture with the missionaries, Elder Rasband, along with President and Sister Hamilton were whisked away to race to the airport for a flight to Johannesburg.

The following are pictures of people in the crowd outside after the meeting. We were mingling for a full hour before we found the truck to go home.

A member of our Gecamines 2 Ward. His name is Muteba Kanki Timothée. He learned English in Sister Cook's classes when she was here. He joined the Church after she left the mission.

Nels and Solange (the mission housekeeper) Sister Peterson

Sister Peterson with Job and his niece. Job served a mission with Sister Vance's grandson.

Elder Peterson, Elder Nick Ngoy and his wife the former Sister Wamalwa, Sister Peterson

Some of of Sister missionaries with Sister Peterson

Sister Missionaries with Sister Eastmond and Sister Peterson
The people stay and stay and visit after large meetings. They love to be together. They are such a happy people.

  This is a picture of Joel Mbayo Lupanda with his son Micheal Ange Mbayo Lupanda and Caron Mevyu Lupanda. Joel's brother introduced him to the church and Joel was baptized in 2000.  President Hinckley said we should learn languages so he started learning English at Church. Joel attended the university for 3 years to become a nurse. He got a job with the mine. Because he knew English he was promoted to a safety inspector. He now works for another company because of his English skills. He said I am like a king in my family because of my lifestyle. I have a car. His youngest son, Caron wanted to see the apostle who stands next to the prophet. Caron's older brother, Micheal, made sure he pointed out Elder Rasband two different times so Caron would know who he was.

Elder Dodo

The Kisanga Stake President's wife (next to Sister Peterson) and some of their extended family members 

Elder Peterson with some Priesthood leaders

Sister Peterson, Elder Kouin, Elder Peterson

Elder Sehi, Sister Peterson, Elder Zoue, Elder Peterson

Sister Peterson with Simone from Nyashi 2 Ward with two of his grandsons

Elder Mandjeko, Elder Kaleka, Elder Aliasia, Elder Peterson

Justin and his extended family members

Justin's immediate family

This is our former guard Joseph's wife and 3 of their children.
The youngest, Carolyn, was named in honor of Sister Thomas
 On the way home we stopped at the Greek Orthodox Church and took a look inside.

Elder and Sister Eastmond

Bird of Paradise in the garden outside
 Across the street is a poinsettia tree. We pass by here often so we took advantage of getting a good photo of it.

Close up of the Poinsettia tree