Sorry no pictures today.
Sunday evening at 8 p.m. our stake president came to our home to set us apart. Two sons and the bishop also came. We were interested in the blessing the Lord would give us through His servant. Settings apart are one time that the Lord speaks directly to us. Just a few of the multitude of blessings follow:
The Lord blessed Ann that she would be able to communicate, that she would have the gift of tongues, that she would be a leader, that the people would see the light in her countenance and want that light in their lives. She was blessed that she would have an influence on families being united for eternity. Considering the poorness of the DRC and the nearest temple being 1000 miles south in Johannesburg, that is a major prophecy. She was promised good health and energy. The Lord thanked Ann for her willingness to serve.
The Lord also blessed Bill with good health and energy, that he would speak the language fluently, that he would be protected and know what to do. The Lord reminded Bill to follow the directions of the Mission President. The Lord thanked Bill for being a good example on the members of the ward and stake to serve missions. Just today in Church an elder asked me what he needed to do to prepare financially for a mission. He had heard us talk about putting the date on the calendar, even if they had little children. My advice was no debt, including a home mortgage.
We were promised so many blessings. The blessing was so personal and tailored specifically for each of us. We are so thankful for the Priesthood and the willingness of our leaders to give of their time to bless our lives.
Tomorrow (Monday) we start taking our daily malaria tablets (an antibiotic). Hope we can find yogurt in Lubumbashi to resupply our systems with good bacteria after the malaria pill kills everything else. Tuesday we start our training in Public Affairs in Salt Lake for 3 days. We'll come home to an almost empty house each evening. My sons helped us move the furniture into the basement in preparation for Ann's niece who will housesit for us. We trust that she will treat the home well. It's better to have someone in the home, but there are numerous horror stories of trusted and close relatives trashing a mission couple's home.
Two of the major concerns of senior missionaries are #1 What to do with our home? and #2 How much money will the mission cost? Preparations for a mission have many hidden costs: dentist, doctor, immunizations, clothing, batteries for hearing aids, even an 18 month's supply of vitamin pills adds up. Since Medicare doesn't cover outside of the United States, we needed special insurance from the Church. But the good thing is that there are people in the Missionary Department who helped us complete all the necessary steps. The mission staff in the Congo have found a nice apartment for us. It's like going to the temple for the first time: there are workers to help on every step of way.