Preparing Every Needful Thing. . . .
Every Monday is Preparation Day here in Pointe Noire. Yesterday, started out at 6:30 a.m. with Elder Bailey getting water for the cistern. It was so low that he and Patrice had to go two times. So 60 bidons later, we had enough water to get us through the day. After they get water he and all of the Elders have a "rousing" game of basketball.
They love to get together and play "sport". Most of the African Elders are not the best in dribbling the ball.... but they are wonderful at participation and willingness to try. Everyone has a great time. Elder Bailey came down wrong on his heel when he went up to make a layup........ so he has been hobbling around ever since.
After getting water and playing basketball, we spend the rest of the day "preparing every needful thing". We clean the apartment, wash, and get Family Home Evening ready. The Elders use this day to physically get themselves ready to be "spiritually" in tune the rest of the week. One of the best ways to invite the spirit is to have a "clean and orderly" home. So they have work hard to make their apartments "Spirit Worthy".
The Mvou Mvou apartment with Elder Etherington, Elder Nzoronka, Elder Andri and Elder Bulendolo, have not had water which is a BIG problem. They also have been without power for a day. This always adds to the "everyday dealings" of being missionaries here in Africa. You never know what will be on your "plate" for this day. We had a "water truck" come and fill up their cistern with water so that they could wash and clean.... Hopefully, today will be "back to normal"........
We try and get our groceries for the week on Monday. On our way to the store we see beautiful "Eucalyptus Trees".
There is always construction going on.... everything is done by hand. The person on the top lowers a bucket tied with a rope and the person at the bottom fills it up with the gravel used in making the floor. They do this kind of work for the whole entire house.
We are amazed at how hard these workers work.
We pass our little market where we get our fruit for the week. We pull up alongside of the road and "walk the plank" over to get the fruit. They have wonderful mangoes, bananas, papayas, avocados and pineapples.
We pass the "high-rises" where people who have work, live. These were all made by hand. From the foundation up they just add more cement blocks.....
This is one of our "grocery stores". We love it, as it has most of everything we need.
What we love most of all is that it has it's own "private parking".. Where you see "Entrée Parking is where we turn down to park. It has been a life-saver in being able to get our food. A policeman is always there to make sure that no-one parks in front of the entryway.
As we return home we take my favorite road. On the other side of this road is where the ocean is. This is where most of the wealthy people have built their homes and where a lot of businesses have been set up.
My favorite row of palm trees.
Not too many cars today!
Notice the "tile-work" on the walls of the fences. The Africans are masters at making cement and tiles. They use tiles to cover just about everything.
We never know who we will share the road with. Today it is a forklift. He just goes right along with the traffic. In front of him are 6 ft. "forks", just waiting to "scoop" somebody up!
This is a statue at the "round-about" by our house. We are not quite sure what it is for.
And this is the road to where we live. It is always an adventure when we head out to go anywhere. We were able to get everything we needed for the week!
Family Home Evening.... Soirée Familiale. . .
Every Monday night we have Family Home Evening. I have to do a demonstration this next Saturday about it, so I decided to make up a chart so that everyone will know their assignments. Our little family of Elders and Young Men loved it. We just use a dry erase marker to change the assignments each week.
This is our family.. Elder Mbikayi, Jhostavie, Desti, Paco and Elder Sperry. We love them!
Jhostavie is the only member in his family. His parents live in Brazzaville and he has not seen them for 11 years. He lives with his uncle so that he can go to school. We love Jhostavie so much. He is one of our piano students who has learned to play beautifully. He now plays for the Baptisms.
After FHE Elder Sperry decided to share his new fruit that he found in the market.
We don't know the name of it, but it looks like a cactus on the outside, has a core like a pineapple, seeds like a watermelon, and fruit like a mango and tastes like a starburst. Does anyone know what it is called?
It takes a little time to get used to the "sweetness"..... but we ended up liking it for the most part.
Preparing For Our Purpose..... Baptisms
Last Saturday, we had three baptisms. To fill the "fond" we have to turn on the normal water pipe and then add the outside "hose" to get it to fill within the hour.
Elder Bailey adjusts the hose so that it stays down in the water.
Elder Mbikayi, Exauce, Elder Sperry and Elder Muamba. Exáuse was so excited about his baptism day. He is the son of Bijou and Alain. When he came up out of the water and was trying to walk up the stairs, he almost passed out! When Elder Sperry asked him if he was ok, he told him he thought he was going to die!!!...... With his "faithful testimony" of our Savior Jesus Christ, he trusted in Him even though he was "scared to death" to go into the water. Elder Sperry just hugged him until he could get his breath. It was a very tender moment for all.
Last week, Ronel was baptized, and this week he baptized his dear friend Tresor. What a very special day.
Elder Muamba and Elder Johnston taught "Hans" the Gospel. He also was so excited to be baptized.
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We are so grateful for the "time to prepare" every needful thing. Being missionaries for the Lord has given us the opportunity to serve the people here, the missionaries, the Branches and each other. We truly love the "hastening His work"......
The Gospel is true!!
Until next week.... or............!