Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Watchcare.... October 30,2014

Taking care of the Elders....

Part of our call as a Senior Missionary Couple, is watching out for the Elders.  Because our Mission President is about 16 hours away by bus, he relies on us to be his "watch care".  We look after our 9 missionaries and help them if they need any help.

About a month ago, Elder Bybee developed a Pilonidal Cyst by his tailbone.  Being a very spiritually strong and physically strong Elder, he thought that it would just go away. . . . . so he endured and endured.  Finally, when the pain was affecting his ability to do his work, he called Elder Bailey to get his advice as to what he suggested he should do.  After talking with President Monga, we took him to the Hospital to have it looked at.  They surgically removed the cyst that very day.  It is a 6 week recovery plan for most normal people.  But Elder Bybee is not normal..... remember he is "Super Bybee".... so he has been staying with us so that we can take him to the hospital every other day to have his bandages changed.  He is doing very well and we are taking one day at a time to see when he can get back to work in the Pointe Noire Branche.  Meanwhile, good old Elder Naughton, who is still waiting for his invitation letter to Gabon, has been filling in for whomever he needs to. . .... so it has worked out well.

Elder Johnston, Elder Bybee and Elder Bailey

This is our wonderful hospital "NetCare".  It is very up-to-date and has been a blessing.  Neither Douala, nor Yaounde in Cameroon have anything like this. We know that Heavenly Father watches out for His missionaries.

Elder Johnston was a very concerned companion... They allowed him to stay the night and "watch" over Elder Bybee.  He said the air-conditioners were so cold that he had to wrap up in the blankets they provided.

Elder Etherington, Elder Bybee, Elder Sperry and Elder Nkulu

He arrived home on Wednesday the 22nd of October.  He stayed in the apartment for two days and then has been staying with us until he can get out and work the 8 hours each day that missionary work requires.

Doing the Lord's Work....

Elder Garland and Elder Sperry have been teaching Hermeland.  Last Saturday he was baptized by the Aéroport Branche Mission Leader, Paco.

We had to show a picture that we took this past Sunday when he was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We especially loved the tie!!

Elder Ralison, Exaucé,  Elder Tripp and Elder Naughton

The Mpaka Elders baptized this past Saturday as well.  It is so great to have Elder Ralison back and working hard.  He has had to go to Brazzaville to have some tests, but everything looks good for him to work hard for the Lord!  Again, Elder Naughton filled in for him while he was gone.

This is Frere Delov Pehot.  He is the 2nd Counselor in the Mpaka Branche.  He baptized his son, Delov this past Saturday.  Although this is not a convert baptism, it is so wonderful to see fathers baptizing... it is a very special experience.

Patiently waiting for the services to begin.

Watching...... the things we see in our everyday world.

This is the gas-station where we get our gas for our cars, generators, and propane tanks.  It is right around the corner from where we live.

When we are on our way to the Elders Apartments, we pass the latest fashions of the day.  These dresses are some of the "everyday" wear that would be worn by the women.  We especially love the mannequins. 

This street is the street by our home.  Everyone has an umbrella to put over their little stands.  It is the rainy season right now so they allow them to work through the rain.

These are the "garbage trucks".  These men work so hard to gather and sort the "poubelle" ..... which is garbage in French.

We always share the road with the "handcarts", taxi's, tractors, forklifts, and two ton trucks, etc.

Heads are like a 5th hand, they carry everything and anything on them.

This the market of Fond Tie Tie.  Each morning the trucks come to drop off the produce etc.  Then the millions of people come to pick them up to sell at their little market stands.

These are the "manioc" bags.  This is a "staple" for the people of Pointe Noire.  It is what our tapioca is made from.  


We are so grateful for everything that we see and do each day that is part of our mission for the Lord. We love our work, we love our missionaries, and we love the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.   

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fishers of Men....October 17, 2014

We have been very busy here the the Congo with many responsibilities and day to day experiences that come our way.  We continue to learn and grow and love our mission.  We officially reached our "hump day" on October 6, so we are on the down hill from here.  One of the highlights of being a Senior Missionary Couple is sharing in the conversion of wonderful people that the missionaries teach and baptize.  We have come to love over 80 converts to the church since we arrived in January.

In Preach My Gospel Elder Dallin H. Oaks said: "We do not preach and teach in order to 'bring people into the Church' or to increase the membership of the Church.  We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives. . . . We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the the sons and daughters of God.  No one else can do this.

We are so grateful for the trust Heavenly Father has put in us to be here.  We love the work and those we serve alongside.   We wish to add our witness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that it has been restored in these latter days to prepare a world for the second coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Fisherman. . . . 

This is our night guardian Anicet.  He is making a fishing net to earn money for his family.  It will take him over two months to "crochet" the net which he will sell for $20.00. 

He is making progress.  After all of his "nightly" duties are done at our house, he works on his net.  He has no electricity at his home, so he takes advantage of the lights in his room where he sleeps.   He told me he learned the "art" of net-making from his father, who he watched as a little boy.

Fisher of men. . . 

When our Savior asked Peter, Andrew, James and John to leave their fishing business and become "Fishers of Men", he was trying to apply the work that needed to be done to something they could relate to.  As missionaries, just like Peter, we are asked by our Savior to love our work more that we love the world we left behind. . . . . . . to feed His lambs and to feed His sheep.   Each and everyday we find joy in working hard for the Lord.  Our missionaries here in Pointe Noire are truly being ..... Fishers of Men.

We tried hard to stream the Priesthood Session so that our Elders could watch.  We were able to watch Elder Cook, but that was about all. 

The "Grandpa" of Pointe Noire missionaries celebrated his birthday on October 8.  We had a "small" party after Family Home Evening where Elder Garland received his "pillowcase" and some "Peaches Gummy Candy."  Elder Sperry made him some special cookies for the night.

These are the Sisters of the Loandjili Branche.  They wanted me to teach them how to make banana cakes this past Thursday.   What I found out is you make banana bread batter and then you cook the batter like pan-cakes because they don't have ovens.  I also taught them how to make Chinese Chicken Salad.  We had a wonderful time trying to speak to each other so that we could understand, but we got it done and had a great time.

Our missionaries are definitely "super heroes" besides being "Fishers of Men".  This is 
"Captain Bybee".

Elder Etherington and Elder Nkulu are teaching "Prisca".  This was her first time to come to church.  She is deaf so everything has to be written down on her little white board.  Because she  also has problems with her equilibrium she had to find someone that would come with her to help her walk.  The little neighbor boy sitting on her lap volunteered to come. 

Elder Ralison and Elder Tripp baptized Fallon on October 4,2014

Elder Naughton is waiting for his invitation letter to Gabon, so until then he is working in a threesome with Elder Tripp and Elder Ralison.  They baptized Belfort this past Saturday.

This is Naomi, she also was baptized by Elder Tripp this past Saturday.  This is her father who was very proud that she was baptized.

The Work of Salvation is going forth here in Pointe Noire Congo.  We are taking the words of our Savior to heart....."Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men"...  

We love the work of the Lord and where He has called us serve!

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Going Home ~ October 3, 2014

Elder Massé going home....

Serving a two year mission is such a wonderful experience for these young Elders.  They put their heart and soul into working hard for the Lord.  This past week, was the last one for our Elder Massé, as his mission ended on Oct. 3, 2014.  So this week we had many wonderful activities to celebrate his "Going Home".

We began the week, as a request from Elder Massé, heading to our favorite beach resort, "The Ponton Plage".  We finished up our Preparation Day with everything we needed to do, and then met at our home where we gathered up everything we needed for the trip.  This time we decided to roast hotdogs.  We had a hard time finding hotdogs, but Elder Johnston found chicken ones that worked great.  He bought 50 of them and we ate every one of them..  We couldn't find any hotdog buns, so we made our own.   We had to bring our own wood that we purchased from a little place by the church and we found the roasting sticks that other couples had made and packed up the cooler and away we headed.  

Back row: Elder Bailey, Elder Naughton, Elder Garland, Elder Massé, Elder Sperry, Elder Tripp, Elder Johnston, and Elder Ralison.
Front row: Elder Etherington, Elder Nkulu and Elder Bybee


The Elders love playing volleyball.  Elder Garland is always in the sand for one reason or another.  

...and always hogging the ball!

Elder Johnston gives a great volley...

Elder Naughton is trying out Elder Garlands moves...

Elder Bybee hits one over the net!

Push-ups now??

Elders Etherington and Elder Bybee  fight for the ball.

Elder Bailey looks forward to playing with the Elders.

Elder Johnston tries his dance moves...

Elder Sperry volleys one over.

These little children watched the whole time the Elders were playing. They are the poorest of the poor.  The little baby was being taken care of by his brother, who took such great care of him.  I asked them where his mother was, they said she was working at the market.  

Roasting our hotdogs....     all 50 of them!!

These are the hotdog buns that we made to go with our chicken dogs.

It took a minute to get the fire going, but once we got it started it worked out great.  We had the super-duper roasting sticks that cooked up to 10 at a time.  They work out great for 10 hungry Elders.

All of their scouting skills paid off. . . 

Waiting patiently for the dogs to be ready.

We cooked all of them and then took them back to the tables to prepare them.

Even the little children joined in to watch.

Patiently waiting....

Elder Ralison takes over, and Elder Bybee tests them to see if they are done.


After 46 chicken dogs ( we gave 4 to the little children), Elder Naughton and Elder Sperry just need time for everything to settle.  

May I have this dance?

Elder Johnston and Elder Nkulu letting everything settle in!

We always love spending time with these wonderful servants of the Lord...

As the sun was going down we took our final picture by the ocean.   

Farewell Dinner . . . . 

On Thursday, we had a farewell dinner for Elder Massé.  We had Lasagna, beans and fruit salad.  For dessert we made cheesecake with raspberry topping.  

Elder Garland, Elder Tripp, Elder Ralison, Elder Etherington, Elder Naughton, Elder Johnston, and Elder Massé.

As our final part of the day we had a farewell testimony and advice from Elder Massé. And then each of the Elders gave their favorite memory of him.  

Elder Bybee absorbing the wisdom!

Goodbye to the Cave. . . 

The Mpaka Apartment is affectionately known as the cave.  Elder Bailey and I picked up Elder Masse at 2:00.  He was packed and ready to head to the airport. Here he is having one last picture with 
Elder Tripp, Elder Naughton, and Elder Ralison.

Saying good-bye!

 Goodbye to Africa. . . 

So as the sun set in Pointe Noire, we said good-bye to a very fine Elder....
"Well done thou good and faithful servant."
We are grateful for his great example and love that will continue with the Elders still serving here.

Welcome Home. . .

And on the other side of the world, a very excited family, welcomed their missionary son home after a long 2 years apart.    

We love you Elder Massé..... Good luck in the next part of your journey!

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