Say Cheese..... or fromage in French!
We are behind in our blogging, but will catch up as soon as time and internet permit. We have been in Brazzaville since last Wednesday and arrived home yesterday. That experience will be on the blog on Monday!
One of the most rewarding parts of missionary work are the wonderful people that you meet and get to know. We have 4 Branches that we work with and in each Branche there are very special people. We are so grateful for the "valiant' spirits that have been taught by the missionaries and are now involved in the "Work of Salvation" in their own part of the world. One of these valiant spirits is Giscard that we met when he was in the Mpaka Branche. He has not missed a week of church, that we know of, since we arrived in January.
This past Sunday, I mentioned how "handsome" he looked. He smiled back and asked me if I would like to take a picture of him. Everyone knows how much I like to take pictures, and so I said that I would love to. I always try to run them off and them give them a copy the next week. For some, it is the first picture that they have ever received. It is one of my favorite parts of missionary work, and it doesn't require too much French.... everyone understands pictures and what to do!
What this picture doesn't show is that Giscard does not have working legs. He was born with only one foot and legs that do not work from the knees down. So everywhere he goes, he walks on his knees. He is the only member in his family and comes to church each week by himself. This does not hamper his smile, his faith, nor his enthusiasm for life. This is just what he was given to handle and he has chosen to handle it with dignity and joy.
When we made a new Branche in July, Giscard was in the boundary changes. This now means he has to go to the church located in Mvom Mvom. This church has three flights of stairs to get to where the classes he needs to attend are. So every week, he climbs the three flights of stairs on his knees, to attend his meetings so that he can be faithful to the 'covenants" he made in the waters of baptism.
We are so thankful for his example of faith and trust. He has been a member for less than a year, but has a testimony that one day, he will have legs that work. Until then, he will find joy in the message of hope, found in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ that is on the earth today.
Giscard outside the church this past Sunday, August 10, 2014
This picture of Giscard was taken at the Mpaka Branche where the church is all on one
These young men were outside the Mpaka apartment after District Meeting. They always say "Good Morning" no matter what time of day it is. I can "relate" to them because I always say "Bonjour" no matter what time of day it is..... These wonderful young men of Pointe Noire are the future of this country. They have such beautiful spirits, and such hope. I asked if they would let me take their picture and they all lined up and were ready to go.
This is Jhostovie. He is one of our piano students. He received this certificate for playing the prelude in Sacrament Meeting. Even though it is just with one hand, they are so proud of this accomplishment. And so were we!
Raoul played the postlude.
Slasvy played his prelude on the organ. He did a wonderful job.
Elder Sperry and Elder Garland have been teaching "Fall". He was baptized last Saturday, August 9, 2014.
These are the friends and family, along with a few of the "English students", who came to see Fall be baptized.
More pictures of the week....
Elder Etherington and Elder Naughton helped "Eugenie" move this passed Saturday, August 9th. Elder Bailey took the cab off the truck so that they could get more of her belongings in. It took two trips, but they got it done. Eugenie is a recent convert and a wonderful Sister in the Gospel.
Elder Naughton rolls up their beds to fit them into the truck. Most of those we have helped move have "bedrolls" that they sleep on. These make it very easy to move!
Load number one!
Load number two. . . . The one on the right is Eugenie's daughter. I did not get her name...
Another beautiful sunset in Pointe Noire.
This has been a wonderful week filled with many experiences with the people of the Pointe Noire Branches. We are thankful to our Heavenly Father to be able to be a part of this world, and to be a part of the work that is going on here. We love the faithfulness of the Branches......Aéroport, Mpaka, Pointe Noire, and Louanjili... and the wonderful people who love the Gospel of Jesus Christ....
Until next week.......