Thursday, July 17, 2014

Our New Mission President

President Elie Kyungu Monga,

Our blog is late getting updated this week.  We had many things that needed to be done, but finally feel like we have a window to get things up and going!

One of the blessings of being a missionary is having a Mission President who guides and directs the mission.  We are now on our second.  We loved President and Sister Cook and admired their love of the Lord, the missionaries, and the work.  We could not believe how hard they labored for the Lord.  We will surely miss them.

On July 1, 2014, our Mission officially became the "Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville Mission."  On Tuesday we met our new Mission President, President Elie Kyungu Monga.  What a wonderful, delightful man.  His laugh just makes you laugh, his love of the Gospel is powerful, and his leadership is evident as to why the Lord called him to the work.

He served as a counselor to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Limbubashi Mission President for the last three years.  He and Sister Monga were looking forward to getting back to "farming" their 60 acre farm, building a home and being with their 4 children.  However, when they received a call from the Office of the First Presidency in March, their whole world changed. 

Our time with them was very brief as we took them to the Airport on Wednesday at 9:30 A.M., but we are so excited to begin this "new" chapter in our mission to Pointe Noire.    

President and Sister Monga arrived at 10:00 A.M. on July 16, 2014.  We picked them up at the Airport, which is about 5 minutes from our home and took them back to greet 10 excited Elders.  We had a three hour Zone Meeting, and then President interviewed each one of them.   At 5:30, he finished his interviews and headed over to the church where he met the 4 Branche Presidents, and their counselors.  For the next 2 hours he met and taught the Leaders of Pointe Noire.

On Wednesday morning, before President and Sister Monga left for the Airport, President set Elder Bailey apart as a counselor in the Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville Mission.  We laugh hard at the world we live in here.  He found out about this as President was talking to the Branche Presidents the night before.  He wasn't sure if what he heard in French was what he thought he heard.  But sure enough, President said he had prayed and prayed to know how to help the mission grow.  He will set apart each of the Elder Couple Missionaries in Pointe Noire, and Cameroon to be his counselors for as long as we have to serve.

President and Sister Monga teaching the missionaries

Our Zone Leader, Elder Garland with Elder Sperry

Elder Etherington, Elder Tweneboah, Elder Massé, Elder Sperry, Elder Garland, Elder Tripp and Elder Naughton.
In the back are Elder Bybee, Elder Johnston and Elder Ralison

The missionaries prepared "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" to sing for President and Sister Monga.  We received three new missionaries last week who only had 1 practice to get the song ready.  They did a beautiful job.

Elder Etherington, Elder Tripp, Elder Bybee, Elder Tweneboah, Elder Johnston, Elder Ralison and Elder Naughton

Sister Monga talking to the missionaries.

Family Home Evening

On Monday night, we were invited to the Gakossa's for Family Home Evening.  They wanted all 10 missionaries to come plus about 20 of their neighbors.  After the lesson, we had a wonderful African meal.  I ate "Tripe" for the first time.  I kept telling myself that this is interesting "chicken"!  Tripe for those who don't know (like me) is intestine from beef.   

The Gakossa family: Prince, Max, Divin and Lodee.  Nuanti was off playing and Elder Bailey was holding Estes.  Estes is one of the most beautiful African babies I have ever seen!  Max is the 1st Counselor to the Branche President in Pointe Noire Branche.

Elder Bailey and Estes.  In Africa, pink is not associated with girls.  Estes is a boy and most most men and boys here love pink!

All of these missionaries piled out of our Toyota Helix.  The ones who like camping ride in the back.  

Divin, Nuante and Elder Johnston

Front: Elder Tripp, Elder Massé, Elder Ralison
Back: Elder Etherington, Elder Garland, Elder Naughton, Elder Sperry and Elder Bybee

This is the wonderful meal Lodee worked hard to prepare for all of us.

They loved it!

Waiting for seconds!

We are grateful for wonderful members who have a vision of Missionary Work and Hastening the Work of Salvation.

The Young Women from Mpaka

From left to right: Auronnie, Light, Nefertiti, Deity, Dorson, Reine, Abdonia, Thersia, Hanne
Front: Pendore and Grace
On Wednesday we practiced for the Seminary and Institute Graduation which will be this Saturday.  The Young Women of the Mpaka Branche wanted to learn how to dance and they asked me to help them.  My only qualifications are a great love of dancing and lessons I took for 10 years back in the 60's.  They were enough for these beautiful Daughters of God who all have a natural gift of rhythm. How I wish I could have known more to teach them, however, they will do wonderful!

Elder Bailey and I are very excited about our new adventure of him being a counselor to President Monga.  Last night he had a special witness to read Alma 26.  With the help of our wonderful missionaries, and our Branche Presidencies and members, we are going to give our all to help make Pointe Noire a "District.  

Until next week......................


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