Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Preparation Day ~ . . . 27 Janvier 2015

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

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............!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hastening the Work in 2015... 17 January

Hastening the Work..... in California 

This has been a very busy week for Elder & Sister Bailey.  First of all, our oldest grandchild Brody, received his mission call to serve in the California Redlands Missison.  Some of the cities in Brody's mission were in Elder Bailey's California Mission he served in 49 years ago.  Brody reports to the MTC in 44 days.
Oh, how we wish we could be there to help him get ready and send him off, but part of being a Senior Missionary Couple is knowing beforehand that you will not be there for very special events in the lives of those you love.  We told our family before we left that we were not "leaving them".... we were "leading them"... We know our example and love will be with Brody as he prepares to serve the Lord for the next 2 years. 

Hastening the Work in Pointe Noire Congo. . . . 

Elder Mbikayi, Elder Muamba, Elder Bulendolo, Elder Sperry, Elder Andriamiasinarivo, Elder Johnston

Our Elders prepared for one of the first baptisms for the year 2015.  The Aéroport Elders have been teaching Ronel, and all came together today to attend his baptism.  

Elder Bailey, Soeur Bailey, Jhostovey, Ronel and his friends.

Elder Sperry was asked by Ronel to baptize him.  

Frere Kende who is the 1st Counselor in the Aéroport Branche presided over the baptism.  Jhostovey, who is a Ward Missionary, conducted for Paco who had to attend a funeral.  

The person who was supposed to give the talk on Baptism did not show up, so Elder Mbikayi gave the talk.  He did a wonderful job.

Elder Bailey handled the music for the meeting.

Christ gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.

I usually help with leading the music, but when we found out how much Elder Muamba loves music, we now have a new music leader.  He didn't have a music book when he came from Brazzaville, so we gave him an extra one we had at our home.  He was so grateful and already had a leather holder to put it in.

Frere Kende gave the remarks and talked about the symbolism between Jesus' death and resurrection and baptism. 

Finally, Ronel was asked to give his testimony. He was a little hesitant, but gave a heartfelt testimony of his gratitude for the Gospel and finding truth.

He wanted a group picture of everyone who celebrated his special day.


We love this part of being missionaries for the Lord.  The Spirit was very strong today and we all are so grateful to be a small part in the grand work of "Hastening the Work of Salvation"  all over the world.

The Church is True!!

Until next week.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Making Foufou.....5 January 2015

We are trying to "blend the cultures" of all of the missionaries here in Pointe Noire, when it comes to food.  Each companionship consists of different likes and dislikes in the preparation and eating of nourishment.  We have found that everyone loves "potato chips" and fruit.  We know as we try new things and have a "attitude of gratitude" we will all be "happy campers".

 We had a District Meeting and talked about how we are not just African Elders and American Elders, but all "missionaries for the Lord".  We have to learn to be one not only in our purpose, but one in our everyday dealings with each other.  Elder Etherington suggested that we have days of the week that each one cooks, and whatever they make will be eaten with a "grateful heart".  Great suggestion!

Every Monday we have "Family Home Evening" with the Aéroport Elders who live upstairs from us. Elder Sperry suggested that Elder Mbikayi make us his FAVORITE dinner of Foufou and fish after we have the lesson.  He was thrilled, and we were excited to try it.  We want our missionaries to know that we are very willing to try knew foods.

This was our "resident chef' for the evening..... Elder Mbikayi.  He taught us how to prepare foufou and fish.  Sometimes they make it with chicken, but fish is his favorite. 

Elder Sperry and Elder Mbikayi buy their fish at a little market in the Grand Marché.  They shop for food every Monday and freeze them so they will stay fresh.

Elder Sperry was taught how to prepare the fish so he showed me.  So together we prepared the fish to fry.  First you cut off the fins and then the spiny part on each side.

Then, you "gut it" by taking out all of the insides.  This brought back memories of fishing with my boys.....  I asked Elder Mbikayi if you take out the eyes.  He said it was personal choice.  He loves the eyes.  As you can see in the picture, mine came out!!!

You then make three large slits in the fish and you are ready to go.

He put just a little salt on them and cooked them in a little vegetable oil.

I kept my "eye" on the eyeless fish. . . That is mine!

Now we started the foufou.  You have to buy a special flour to make this.  They buy it by the "kilo's" and went in together with the Mpaka Elders. Elder Mbikayi didn't use any measuring cups, he just used a salad plate to measure the flour.  You don't add any salt or anything..... After it cooks for awhile, you add more flour until it turns into a dough.  

Then you take it off of the heat and make it into little "balls" of foufou!

It reminded me of the "play dough" I make for my grand-children back home.  

The foufou is ready!

After the fish is cooked, you take it out and put onions, green peppers, and tomatoes in the fish-oil.  Add a little water and cook until it is nice and soft.  This makes the "sauce".

Then you add the fish back into the sauce and you are ready to eat!

Look at the smile on Elder Mbikayi's face.  He can't wait to get his hands on that foufou.  That is how you eat it too......with your hands.

Elder Sperry really does love it!  

AHHHH!  It was wonderful.  Elder Bailey and I enjoyed it too.  I didn't get a picture of us eating it, but we were very impressed with how everything turned out.  We will definitely be trying that again....only this time, it will be with chicken.  I am still smelling fish in our house 5 days later!

Brother Sebastian Nganga in the Pointe Noire Branche gave us some "organic spinach he grows by his house.  We made it yesterday for dinner.

It tastes the same only it grows on a vine!

We put it in a vegetable soup and it was wonderful!  This is Paco who helps us teach piano, and is our translator for anything we need his help with. He has helped us teach and train most of the leaders in the Branches.


So that is our food-blog for the week.  We love trying new things and especially want to be a good example to our Elders to try new things and not to be afraid to do something different.   We are grateful for "willing hearts" in our mission and for our missionaries who are working hard to be one!  

Until next week!