Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mbuji-Mayi Missionary Zone Conference

Diulu Branch Building -- unloading the lunch

Conference on the veranda because there was a water leak inside

Missionary Training: Two elders teach a father, President Packer is the blaring TV, the mother and child have not yet been invited to join

Elder Zafi from Madagascar

A picture of the group: 8 missionaries, President Packer and Sister Packer, Elder and Sister Moore,
Elder and Sister Kaelliker (Seventy from South Africa), and Elder Alfred Kyunga (Seventy from the Congo)
We hope this picture will show for you.

Sophie: She does our shopping in the Marche.  (Cheaper and safer for her to buy vegatables and fruits)  She also cleans 3 times a week.  She speaks passable English.  She had wanted to become a doctor and could have if financial circumstances weren't so dire.  While she was shopping in the Marche, she extended her  payment of less than a dollar and someone snatched the money from her hand. 

Sophie's family: 2 month old's name is Grady = Grace de Dieu (Grace of God)

Blog July 4th, 2011
June 30th is the Congo Independence Day, Independence from Belgium in the 60’s.  We were instructed to avoid crowds and to stay away from downtown Mbuji-Mayi and the celebration parade.  Downtown consists of a 2-lane road on the right and a 2-lane road on the left separated by a median and bordered by a very deep ditch.  Interestingly, both roads are marked to have traffic in both directions.  Our gardener Simba (means “twin” in the Bas-Congo dialect not “lion” as in Swahili) went to the parade and wished he hadn’t.  Huge crowd, packed like sardines.  He said some people fainted and were trampled and went to the hospital.  He said some were killed.  The park (???) across from Main Street was dotted with several hundred “widows” to day before.  We never understand the whys?
Last Tuesday was zone conference for our 8 missionaries.  Elder Koelliker (spelling) [2nd Quorum of Seventy from South Africa] had come to create the Laputa Stake and he taught the missionaries about the Holy Ghost and its importance in teaching.  I took him to the airport at 9 am while the conference continued.  Sister Moore had cooked 2 frozen chickens (from Brazil) and made delicious chicken salad sandwiches on short french breads.  Apples, cookies and Sprite rounded out the meal followed by cubed pineapple, the favorite. 
We love these missionaries and think that they are very handsome.  We have heard them teach with power.  One who has been here 9 months (since Mbuji-Mayi was opened to full time missionaries) has over 50 baptisms here.  The branches are filling all of their chairs so we expect more branch divisions in the near future. 
One interesting non-missionary experience involved a man Frere Bobo and I met in the alley coming from giving the missionaries their monthly living expenses.  We were on foot because President Packer had the truck in Laputa.  Most missionaries in the world use an ATM card.  Here the banking system is not reliable so the mission office wires money each month.  A man named Boaz recognized Frere Bobo then asked to visit me.  I set the appointment for Monday but he didn’t show.  Tuesday I found him at the gate after I had dropped Elder Koelliker and company off at the airport.  He was miffed because I had kept him waiting at the gate for 45 minutes.  Sister Ann (home alone fixing the missionary meal) wouldn’t answer his banging on the gate.  Simba wasn’t here yet.  This long story boils down to him being a “trafficker” and wanting to sell me “minerals” (diamonds, emeralds, gold, etc.), not wanting to know more about the Church.  “Just put them in your suitcase when you go home,” was his advice.  What a joke!  I have absolutely no interest in minerals.  August 2012 would find me in jail instead of attending my grandchildren’s baptisms. 
Next week we start teaching English to the members here and begin the temple preparation classes. 
Elder William and Sister Ann Moore

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