Thursday, April 30, 2015

Seeking the Lord ~ 1 May 2015

In a talk on spirituality, Elder Dallin H. Oaks said:
                     "What we see around us depends on what we seek in life."  Our blog for this week will show some of what we see because of what we seek.  Our purpose here as a Senior MLS Missionary couple is to support the leaders and members in their callings, and strengthen them in learning their "duty".     We love this part of our mission especially working in the Branches.

  This past week Sister Helena, the Young Women President from the Aéroport Branche asked if we would come and help to train her Young Women in Personal Progress.  We wish we spoke better French, but the Lord has "qualified" us to do the work that needs to be done.  We made a powerpoint presentation which I am definitely not good at, but better at that than French, so it worked out great.  The Young Women were so excited to get started so that they could earn their medallion.

We love the enthusiasm of the members, especially when it comes to ways they can grow in their testimonies of the Savior.  Elder Bailey and I have found such great joy as we have served among the members and leaders here in Pointe Noire.

Members and Leaders. . . . 

The Young Women of the Aéroport Branche.

Jhostavie just returned from Brazzaville where he went to get his passport. While he was there he took his "Ma Famille" family history book that we gave him.  He interviewed his father and found out about his ancestors.  He was able to find a picture of his grandfather and learned stories about his relatives that he hadn't known before.  Even though his father is not a member, he was so grateful to have Jhostavie learn about his family, so that he could pass it on to his posterity.    This is truly an inspired book to bring families together physically and eternally.

Paco received his "Passport" and now has begun the process of filling out all of the paperwork to go on a mission.  He has been such a blessing to us these past 16 months in translating for us and helping us teach piano.  He will be a wonderful missionary for the Lord.  

Part of our work here has been to help get the many youth working on their mission calls.  It starts with getting their passport.  We have seen the hand of the Lord working as more than 7 youth received their passports this past month.

"Surprise" is from the Mpaka Branche and mentioned to us that his birthday was this past week.  We took him to Delise Mays for a chawarma.  He said it is his new favorite American Food.  We are so proud of Surprise and his efforts to continue to strengthen his testimony of the Gospel.  He was baptized last year and is the only member of his family.  He has been going out with the missionaries on splits and enjoys that so much.  He hopes to go on a mission as soon as he finishes school.

Baptisms. . . . 

Elder Beutler and Elder Muamba have been teaching these two sisters.  They were baptized on the 18th of April. 

On the 25th of April (I did not get her name) was baptized by Divin.    

Missionaries. . . . 

Elder Johnson, Elder Beutler, Elder Andriamiasinarivo, Elder Muamba, Elder Bulendolo, 
and Elder Mbikayi...

Knowing that this week was transfer week and that we would be loosing some of our missionaries, we met as a Zone to have a farewell dinner on April 20 at the "Yes Club".    Some of our missionaries had never been to a restaurant nor eaten Chinese Food.  We had a wonderful time.  We didn't know at the time, but we said goodbye to Elder Muamba, Elder Bulendolo and Elder Nzoronka.  Elder Johnson finished his mission and headed home to Colorado this passed Wednesday.

The "Zone" of Pointe Noire as of April 20, 2015

Elder Andrimiasinarivo, Elder Nzoronka, Elder Muamba, Elder Etherington, Elder Mbikayi, Elder Bulendolo, Elder Beutler and Elder Johnson

Receiving our new missionaries...

The "Zone" of Pointe Noire as of April 30, 2015

Back row: Elder Beutler, Elder Larson, Elder Legerski, Elder Waite, Elder Etherington
Front Row: Elder Kabaya, Elder Kabongo, Elder Mandefu, Elder Mbikayi,
and Elder Andriamiasinarivo 

Companions for the Pointe Noire Branche:  Elder Etherington and Elder Mandefu

Companions for the Loandjili Branche:  Elder Waite and Elder Andriamiasinarivo

Companions for the Aéroport Branche:  Elder Legerski and Elder Mbikayi

Companions for Mpaka B:  Elder Kabeya and Elder Larson

Companions for Mpaka A: Elder Beutler and Elder Kabongo


Seeing the hand of the Lord because of what we seek. . . 

During these past 16 months, we have seen "everything" you could imagine.  But because our focus has been on the Lord, what we have seen and who we have seeked, have only testified of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Gospel.  We are so grateful for our time here and for our part in "Hastening His Work of Salvation."

The Gospel Is True!!

Until next week. . . . 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wherefore... Walk With Me ~ April 14, 2015

Walk With Me.....

It has been almost one month since we have updated the blog.  Since March 19 we have found ourselves heavily involved in serving the Lord and going from morning to night in preparation to finish the work we have been called to do.  As many of you know our "theme" for this mission is taken from Moses 6:34.  We find ourselves "walking" with the Savior each day.  What a comforting feeling it is to know that He is alongside of us every step of the way.

President and Sister Monga spent four days with us as a new Pointe Noire Branche Presidency was installed on Sunday, March 29.  It was amazing to see the power and authority that flows through our President Monga as he interviewed and received the revelation as to who the new President should be.  President Max Gakosso will now move forward and bless the Saints with his leadership, valiant testimony and love.  

Elder and Sister Johnson came to Pointe Noire from Kinshasa at the end of March.     They accompanied Elder and Sister Glade from Utah who are working on a Neo-natal Humanitarian Project that will happen in September.    It was wonderful to see them again as we were together at the MTC in Provo back in January 2014.    They all came to dinner and  FHE on Monday March 30!   It was heaven to be able to talk English and share in the 
work of the Lord.

Conference weekend found us without power or internet.  We were heartbroken when we found out our antennae was the problem and because it was Easter Weekend and a holiday, we would not be able to fix it until Tuesday, April 7.  So we "patiently endured" and waited until Tuesday to find out the news of a temple being built in Côte d'Ivoire.   We were so happy for our dear friends there.  We had heard from some of the members here that more Saints from the Ivory Coast were coming to the temple than from Ghana.  So we knew it was just a matter of time before they had their own temple in their country.   His work of Salvation is moving forward in the wonderful Africa that we love.

Elder and Sister Clayton's from South Africa stayed with us this past weekend.  They came to train our Branches in budgeting, stewardship and sacrifice.  We had booked them at "The Hotel Rousseau"... but when there was no "hot water", we just told them to come and stay with us.  So the Bailey Marriott and Debbi's Diner have been put to great use.... We love serving the Lord wherever and however He needs us.  

We are praying for a couple to come and replace us... please put the word out and let us know of anyone that would love this wonderful opportunity to be missionaries for the Lord. . . . . . He will help you, sustain you, and qualify you for the work...  Elder Bailey and I will never be the same because of this priceless experience. . . 

Wherefore Walk With Me.... this is a picture of Eugenie Kende and myself as we walk home from church together.  Sister Kende has a missionary son in Limbubashi DRC.  We love their wonderful family and the love they give to the Lord.  Brother Kende serves as the 1st Counselor in the Aéroport Branche.

Watching the Priesthood Session. . . . 

This past Monday Night all of the missionaries came to watch the Priesthood Session.  After we got our internet fixed on Tuesday April 7, we downloaded the session so that our Elders could watch.   There were powerful messages for missionaries and leaders given.  Elder Bailey commented that it was one of the best he had ever heard.   Paco, Desti and Frere Okiery also came to hear the messages.  

Elder Etherington and Elder Andrimiasinarivo watch with great enthusiasm as the music was sung.  Elder Etherington is our music major and has been such a blessing here in Pointe Noire.

Elder Ballard spoke and said it was time to "Raise the Bar" not only for missionaries but for the entire generation .. He then asked each one to ponder these questions...

They loved it!

Because we had no internet on General Conference - Easter Weekend, we watched the video "Because He Lives".... We love the Elders and how hard they work to bring souls to Christ.  We appreciated the message to "find" our Savior and let Him help us in every aspect of our lives.  

Back row:  Elder Muamba, Elder Beutler, Elder Etherington
Front row: Elder Johnson, Elder Andriamiasinarivo, Elder Nzoronka, Elder Bulendolo, and Elder Mbikayi

Elder and Sister Clayton's visit. . . . 

We took the Clayton's to the beach to eat at the "Yes Club"... We had such a wonderful time with them this past weekend.  They headed to Kinshasa on Monday to continue the work of training the Branches throughout Africa.

This is taken from our table on the beach.

We watched the sun go down and had such a wonderful evening together.

FHE with the Johnson's and the Glades. . . . 

Back row:  Paco, Surprise, Desti, Elder Mbikayi, and Elder Johnson
Front row:  Sister Johnson, Elder Johnson, Elder & Sister Bailey

On March 30, Elder and Sister Johnson came to Pointe Noire.  We loved having them come to dinner and FHE.  We were at the MTC together in Provo.  They serve as Humanitarian Missionaries in Kinshasa.

Elder Glade is a Docter in Utah.  He and Sister Glade came for 17 days to help prepare a Humanitarian Project in Pointe Noire that hopefully will go forward in September.  The Johnson's accompanied them .   The church is such a blessing to so many throughout the world.

Pointe Noire Training. . . . 

Sister Okiery, Logique, Sister Gakosso (& Divin), Sister Gilery, Sister Nganga, Sister Lidye and Sister Monga.

These beautiful sisters are the leaders of the Pointe Noire Branche.  They came for some training by Sister Monga on March 28, 2015.

Baptisms. . . . 

April 11, 2015, the Pointe Noire Branch baptized 4 people into the church.... Elder Etherington and Elder Nzoronka are working hard to find those the Lord has prepared.  

On April 4, 2015 Elder Mbikayi and Elder Johnson baptized Rustelle into the church.

Wall of Fame. . . . 

This is Navidad our new day guardian. He loves the fact that we have water to wash his clothes.  So here he is washing his clothes for the week.  He is scrubbing his white shirt for Sunday, and it is the whitest white you have ever seen!

This is why I love Pointe Noire.  No highways, or moving trucks or hassle!  They just have little hand-carts that move everything.  Today was mattress moving day.   


We close another blog with our testimony of the great work of the Lord.  We love the trust that He has put in us to be here and we are working hard to strengthen the leaders and Branches and to be a support and help to our missionaries.  Our hearts are full as we think about all of this coming to an end on July 7, 2015 when we will be going home.  Until then we will continue to work with all of our heart, mind and strength.

The Gospel is true!!

Until next week... (hopeful)..............