Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28 - September 3, 2017 - One Year Departure Anniversary, Departing missionaries, and Baptisms

August 28 - During our walk today I noticed something I haven't seen in the DRC that I can remember. YES it is a Dandelion. One - alone - all by itself. Perfect.

August 29 - It was exactly one year ago today that we flew into Salt Lake City and were met by the most beautiful family in the world. It wasn't planned--but we met our youngest granddaughter for the first time and my mother, Betty Wood, was there to greet us too. It seems like only yesterday, but so much has happened in the past year.

Doctor appointments; Mother's cancer diagnosis; Elbow replacement surgery; physical therapy; Mother's last month with us; her sweet, peaceful death and burial; more physical therapy; happy times with the grandchildren; disappointment with elbow recovery; holidays with the family; return to Africa, etc. etc. etc.

I am usually the one taking pictures, so today I had a picture taken of me. I am getting a bit older--more wrinkles (I like to call them laugh lines) and I regained all the weight I lost after the accident and surgery. Time for another haircut.
Life is good. "Time flies on wings on lightening. We cannot call it back." We have less than 6 months to serve in this mission full time. There is still much to accomplish,We love the people in our ward. I have learned each of the sisters who attend Relief Society by name. Many of them speak only Swahili so I don't understand what they say. But I feel their love as I greet them each Sunday.

We are enjoying the people who attend our English classes on Wednesdays and Sundays. Many are not members of the Church. We hope that through our class they will welcome the missionaries to teach them the gospel. Some of them already know some English. Some learned a little English in school; others were in the English classes Sister Cook taught here while on her mission. They are eager to learn and very appreciative of the time we take with them. Our 1 1/2 hour class stretches to at least 2 hours and a bit more. For the more advanced we are using the Liahona magazine to read from in English. They also have been given a French copy of the same month so when they are reading at home they can refer to the French if they don't know what the words mean.

August 31 - Morning walk by the lake and the small hyper pisaro.
Reflection of the sunrise in the window of the restaurant
There are beautiful gardens in the area by the small hyper pisaro and the other small shops in the strip mall.

5 Missionaries are departing for home. Their successful missions completed.

September 1 - Walked over by the large power lines and continued way down the road. Elder Peterson has run this route before with the other Petersons but I had never been so far down the road.
There were many bricks stacked up ready to be fired.

Mother hen and her chicks

Wood ready to feed the fire for the bricks

Metal trusses for the roof

Strip mall waiting for occupants

We are not sure if these are ponds for raising fish.

Unstable bridge we had to cross

Possible fish ponds

A long brick wall is being built all along one side of the trail we were walking. As we approached a main road we saw this gate. Apparently it is going to be a developed housing area when it is finished.

A few homes already exist inside

Smashed puddle jumper????
September 2 -  Today is Wesley's 10th Birthday. Happy Birthday to Wesley in Grantsville.

Baptism at the Gecamines 2 Ward. Yolande and Socrates attend our English class.
Lucien, Yolande, Socrates, and Yancey

With the Sister Missionaries who taught them

With the missionaries and President & Sister Shumard

With Yancey

With Socrates

Elder Bleak, Sister Peterson, Lucien, Elder Peterson
We walked home with Sister Nana who had come with Yancey.  Lucien, Socrates, Yolande, and a young man who also attends our English class, Benjamin went with us. At Sister Nana's home we met with her husband and some of the neighborhood children. They sang a song for us and then posed for a picture.

Yancey with his mother and his siblings.
September 3 -
Beatrice and her children

Jeremie and Gracia and their daughter - new investigators

Two sisters who came to church for the first time
After church, there are always children wanting their picture taken.

Sœur Bendicte and her son
With transfers this next week, we are not sure if these sister missionaries will still be in this ward. They were having pictures taken with many of the members of the ward after church.

Yolande and Lucien were confirmed today. Yancey came to church too late, and Socrates never did come.

Yolande and Sister Conteh

Sister Lokana, Yolande, Sister Conteh