Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tis the Season.... 17 December 2014

Tis the Season for Celebrating the gift of our Savior....

This past week has been one of preparation and celebration.  We were asked by our Mission President to plan something in each of our cities to celebrate... "He is the Gift".  We already had in mind that we wanted to do an "Open House Christmas Concert"..... so we just went with that and called it "Il Est Le Don".   

Several weeks ago we chose the date, time and place, and that we wanted each of the Branches to provide one musical number.  The missionaries spent the last 4 Mondays practicing their song, "As Shepherds Kept Their Lonely Vigil" and it all came together last Saturday December 13.  We had a wonderful 2 hours of tours of the church, videos, concert and ended with the Piano Guys playing "O Come Emmanuel".  Everyone was touched and the Spirit was felt.  We had almost 200 people come and many investigators who were also impressed with the evening.

Our greatest hope was that we could bring to all the people the understanding of how precious the gift of our Savior is to the world.    We have been asked by our First Presidency to remember the humble dignity of His birth, gifts, and life, and to fill the world with the light of His love and healing power.

The meeting was held at the Mpaka/Aéroport building.  These investigators and members loved the musical numbers.

We were the final number.  Elder Etherington was the "director" and he had great vision.  He is at the piano so you can't see him.  The missionaries "whistled"..... (African flute) the first part of the song while Elder Johnston and Elder Nkulu gave the account found in Luke.

These are the Aéroport Sisters singing "Away in a Manger".  They were directed by Bienchelvie who is very passionate about music and loves to sing and direct.

After the concert, the missionaries mingled among all of the people.

Elder Sperry, Elder Johnston, and Elder Andri, take a selfie with some members.

Tis the Season to celebrate being a missionary....

Back: Elder Bulendolo, Elder Johnston, Elder Sperry, Elder Tripp, Elder Etherington
Front: Elder Nkulu, Elder Ralison, Elder Andri, and Elder Bybee.

This was our group photo on Monday as we were saying goodbye to Elder Tripp who is going to go to Brazzaville to be the new Zone Leader, and Elder Nkulu who has finished his mission and will go home to Limbubashi DRC.  Elder Bulendolo has only been here for two days and is right out of the MTC in Ghana. 

We had planned on going to the Beach on Monday to have our farewell dinner.  But it was raining so hard that we went to Plan B and had our Barbecue and baked beans at our home.  Every last drop was eaten.....

After our meal we had a testimony meeting where we expressed our thankfulness to our Savior, and had some "parting words" by Elder Tripp and Elder Nkulu.  

This is Elder Bybee and Elder Ralison singing Elder Nkulu's favorite song.  

Here the missionaries are uniting as a Zone to give Elder Tripp a blessing before he goes to Brazzaville to assume his new duties.  We told him "If the Lord brings you to it....He will bring you through it".    We know that we are not alone in the work of the Lord.

Saying good-bye!

This is Elder Muamba,  our new missionary from DRC, who had been serving in Brazzaville.  He will be Elder Johnston's companion for the Mpaka area.

Tis the Season for Mangoes......

We have waited for the mangoes to come back and they are finally here.  There are many different kinds and sizes, but they all taste the same......delicious!

This is the grand-daddy of them all.  It was (we ate it in a Mango smoothie) the biggest mango I have ever seen!


We are so grateful this year 2014, for the season of Christmas, to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  He is the source of true peace.  "If the Savior were among us today, we would find Him where He always was---ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit."  We hope to be following in His footsteps, as we serve here among the people of Pointe Noire!    The Church Is True!

Until next week.........  

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