Monday, February 24, 2014

The Pointe Noire Mission Life ~ Feb. 24, 2014

     We wanted to let everyone know of some of the missionary experiences that we have here in the "Congo" mission. African missions have their own uniqueness that are all their own.  We have learned to find the greatest joy on our mission when we look through the Saviors eyes.   
     A Congolese made this powerful comment, "We are all children of God, hence all candidates for eternal life"....
     We feel it a privilege to be here, doing our part to hasten the work of salvation along with these wonderful Elders who are giving their "all".

     Elder Bailey went with Elder Gelinas and Elder Morin to teach two brothers in Fon Tie Tie.  They were teaching the brothers when the whole family decided to come and listen in on the discussion.  The next three pictures are of their home and family.

A mother giving the children a bath.

                                         Elder Gelinas & Elder Morin teaching the brothers

Mothers and children listening to the discussion

We had an opportunity to do service this week with Elder Lundberg and Elder Wright.  This is the home of Alphonse who is a member of the Pointe Noire branch where these Elders are assigned.  Alphonse lives in this house with no electricity or running water and has a hard time walking, but does his best to get to church.  We wanted to help him weed his yard so he can have a place to plant corn, etc.

Elder Lundberg and Elder Wright

     We also had an opportunity to help Elder Wright and Lundberg with a Young Men and Young Women activity at the school.  We brought along a football and frisbee's and had many spectators that wanted to join in the fun.

Sister Bailey playing frisbee with the Young Women

Our cheering section

We love our Mission, and love the trust that Heavenly Father has put in us to be here.  It has been a wonderful week!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ponton Beach Paradise... Monday, Feb. 17,2014

Monday's are Preparation Day's in the Mission Field.  So after all the "Preparation Work" was done, the missionaries asked if we would take them to the beach.  We prepared ham and cheese baguettes, pasta salad, chips, and brownies.......packed up the Coleman cooler, and headed toward the "beach".

We have to take all eight Elders in the truck, so four sit in the back seat, and four sit in the back of the truck with the window up.  They don't mind the heat back there,  because besides being great, valiant Elders, they are "boys" at heart.  And boys LOVE adventure!!

Elders Baker and Lundberg were the navigators as we are still trying to find our way around and we headed toward Ngoyo and Ponton Plage (Beach).  We were not prepared for the beautiful, paradise that we spent the afternoon at.  The pictures, I hope will do it justice.

Sister Bailey, Elder Gelinas, Elder Hatch (He can't believe he is here) Elder Morin, Elder Lundberg, Elder Garland
Elder VanAusdal, Elder Baker and Elder Wright
Elder Gelinas, Elder Wright, Elder Baker and Elder Garland....Jumping for joy!!
The Pointe Noire Zone
Bottom: Elder VanAusdal, Elder Baker, Elder Wright, Elder Lundberg
Middle: Elder Morin, Elder Gelinas, Elder Garland
Top: Elder Hatch
Elder Bailey's ....... Footsteps in the sand

Elder Morin & Elder Lundberg will leave in 17 days. They are looking towards home, but a part of their hearts will always remain in the Congo!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Work of Salvation Feb. 17, 2014

On Saturday, February 17, the Aeroport Elders, Elder Morin and Elder Gelinas baptized "Papy". 
 All of the missionaries love him because he is the guard at the church.  They work with him every time they have to come to the church for interviews, to teach English, to meet with the Branche Presidents, and to play basketball.  

Elders VanAusdal, Baker, Lundberg.Hatch, Morin, Garland, Gelinas and Wright

At the baptism, these little children tried to get into the truck, so they could come home with us!

One of the Sisters made homemade "yogurt" to give to everyone after the baptism.  This is Elder Wright who thought it was the best he had ever tasted.  

It was a wonderful day being involved with these valiant Elders enjoying the "Work of Salvation".

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Our President Arrives! February 10~13, 2014

On February 10 at around 8:30 P.M. President & Sister Cook arrived in Pointe Noire for our Zone Conference on Wednesday.  They looked exhausted having just come from Gabon and Zone Conferences there.  Sister Cook said it was the hottest she had ever been in her life!!

They were grateful for the "cooler" weather here and that we had air conditioning.  When we arrived home, the "generator had kicked on because we were without power.  But during the 4 days they were here, the power stayed on the whole time.  President must bring some great "power" with him.  

He spent Tuesday interviewing Elders Baker, VanAusdal, Garland and Hatch from Mpaka.  We "owed" them a breakfast, so they were here bright and early, despite the heavy rains and having had to walk through deep puddles.
President and Sister Cook

We celebrated President Cooks 63rd Birthday at the Zone Conference on Wednesday.  They sang "Joyeaux Anniversaire" in perfect harmony.  For their gifts they wrote letters to him of something they had sacrificed to be a better missionary for the Savior and for him.  President loved them.

In Zone Conference, the Elders learned about simple solutions to solve problems.  He did an exercise where the missionaries had to find a simple way to solve a problem as a companionship.  They worked and worked on it, but could not figure it out until President showed them. He wanted them to know that there is a way to accomplish what seems to be an impossible task when they work together, and had help from someone who knew the answers.

Elder Garland & Eder Hatch

Elder Gelinas & Elder Morin

Elder Baker & Elder VanAusdal finally figuring it out with a little help from the President

Sister Cook teaching about the new handbook...Adjusting to Missionary Life...

President taught them from Moses 6: 31-36.  Verse 34 says:
Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify;  and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn form their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.

It was such a marvelous conference.  The missionaries were taught by  President and Sister Cook, with Elders Morin and Gelinas teaching them about the attributes of the Savior and how they can use them in their companionships, and also how to use their Area Books. 

Back: Elders Wright, Gelinas, Hatch, Lundberg and VanAusdal
Middle: Elders Morin, Garland, Baker
Front: Elder & Sister Bailey, Sister & President Cook. 

Thanks to all for a great four days.  President and Sister Cook flew out today, Feb. 13, to head to Douala, Cameroon where they will do this all over again.  

Yield to the Right?? February 13, 2014

Today, Elder Bailey and I needed to take Elder Garland his Appointment Book that he had left in the truck yesterday.  We wanted to send a few pictures of our drive to Tie Tie at 6:30 A.M.  

No one will ever understand the chaos that you are in to get from point A to point B.  I don't understand, but Elder Bailey says "guys" love it.  I know the missionaries think it is great!

Help Arrives!!  There are no traffic lights, just traffic policeman!  

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Garden of Eden ~ February 7, 2014

We were on our way home from picking up the Missionaries Visa's (It went off without a hitch!!) when we crossed the railroad tracks and saw what looked like, "The Garden of Eden". We have crossed this road many times, but today I saw what had always been there, I had just not noticed.
 As all of you know, I love flowers and I was like a little girl in a candy shop.  Elder Bailey stopped the car and we got out and walked around all of the beautiful flowers.
I know my eyes are closed, but just look at the beautiful tree.  It was so sunny today!

We finally found a young man name "Mao" who helped us pick out two beautiful houseplants.  He told me the pots would be ready to pick up tomorrow as he had a little more work to do on them.  (They make their own pots out of cement, and they are beautiful.)  So at 12:00 tomorrow, we will hopefully pick up two pots with two houseplants in them.  We will see what our French ordered, and what Mao heard!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Zone Meeting February 5, 2014

Back: Elders Hatch, Gelinas, VanAusdal and Lundberg
Front: Elders Baker, Garland, Morin and Wright

Yesterday we had "Zone Meeting" at our home.  The missionaries came together and were taught by the Zone Leaders.  We have Co-Zone Leaders, Elder Morin and Elder Gelinas.  They are wonderful missionaries and gave information they learned in a "Google Plus Hangout" conference, that they had last Wednesday,  that originated from the Mission Home in Kinshasa.  

   This was the first time that this was tried, and there are still "bugs" that need to be worked out, but they did get to see all the Zone Leaders from 4 countries and hear from President and Sister Cook.  

From left to right: Elders Gelinas, VanAusdal, Baker

Here are the pictures we took yesterday.  We celebrated Elder VanAusdal's birthday, he turned "19".  He is a quiet, giant of a missionary, and a marvelous cook.  He comes from Alaska. We had chocolate cake and ice-cream to go along with our sloppy joe's, potato salad, fruit salad and green salad. 

Mpaka Branch Elders: Elders Garland and Hatch
Mpaka Branch Elders: Elder Baker and Elder VanAusdal

Pointe Noire Branch Elders: Elders Lundberg and Elder Wright
Aeroport Branch Elders: Elder Gelinas and Elder Morin

We love our Missionaries!  We have been called to serve those that have been called to serve.  Our missionaries are the voice, hands and feet of Lord. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

All In A Day in the Congo

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Remember the African Ice-cream bike, well this is the Express Pizza Delivery moto!

     It has been raining so hard that our Guardian, Patrice, could not make it in from the village until around noon. So our night Guardian Annicet, stayed so we would be "protected". 

      We had to renew Visa's for three missionaries today.  We had their Passports, yellow fever cards, a copy of their passports, a letter from the police chief that said they had not committed any crimes (?), a letter from President Cook saying Elder Bailey could represent him, 2 photographs that had to be two inch square, and $240.00 dollars a piece.  We arrived at Immigration and Missingue looked everything over and said we had to have 3 Authorization Letters, one for each of the three Missionaries !?! (We brought two just in case) We never know what we are going to have to do when it comes to anything!  But we learned what to do next time....hopefully! 

     Tomorrow is our Zone Meeting here at the house.  We will send pictures of our wonderful missionaries.  Mpaka Missionaries called today and said they don't have any water. That is not good!  We will be working on that tomorrow!

Making Passion Fruit juice....yummy!
This is the train station where you take the train to Brazzaville.  You can see the puddles of water from the rain.
Elder Bailey in front of our Helix Toyota truck,  It drives great....but I think it is the driver!

It has been a wonderful day, we will have more updates tomorrow after the Zone Meeting.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Baptisms February 1, 2014

     We had wonderful baptisms yesterday that added to the many wonderful Saints here in Pointe Noire.  Our Missionaries have been working very hard to find those that the Lord has prepared. We have some pictures that will show you the joy of the day.

     This is the Mpaka Branch Missionaries with Elder Morin who is the Zone Leader, that baptized a family.  He is Dr. Jean Louzolo, with his wife, Isabelle and their two sons, John and Christ.  It is a wonderful day when a family is baptized into the church!  Also, Prudence ( Back 2nd left), who was pictured with her son Nephi on another post, was baptized yesterday instead of the 15th. 

Elders Baker and Morin (in front) and Elder Vanausdal in back.

The Pointe Noire Branche Missionaries
Elders Lundberg, Bailey, and Wright in front of the new baptismal font for the Pointe Noire Branch.

Ngoma Modeste and  Ngoma Ngoma Exsousa

Exsousa was the first to be baptized in the new font in the Pointe Noire Branche.  He is shown here with his father, who is not a member, and the young man who baptized him.(I did not get his name) If you are thinking that it might look a little like a "dumpster", you are right.  But the members painted it beautifully and it worked just fine, and they are very happy with their new font.