Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tshitenga Village 

The District Presidency and the Moores as the missionary couple are on their way to Tshitenga to organize a new branch there.  It is a two hour plus walk to Church for the members now, so it is needful.  We are on our way.  Enjoy the sights.

On our way out of town.  Many markets on both sides of the street.

Bridge over the Goat River.  On the other side many merchants from the villages round about.

We need to pass the barrier to be let through.  That means show the passport, pay the money, avoid the bribes.

While we wait, cassava leaves are inspected by the ladies and the boys are anxious to sell their bread.

Fritters in a basket are offered for sale.  Someone was up pretty early to have these ready.

We are ready to go.

I thought this was an animal holding pen.  Correction: A house in the making and ready for mud.

Our destination.  It is Wednesday morning and the Branch is waiting for us, including a choir.

The Relief Society under their own small tree.  Beautiful.

The brothers up and ready to shake hands.

Some of the choir members.  Opening song, "The Spirit of God," and the closing song, "God Be With You."

Priesthood leaders.  Third from the left will be the new Branch President.  The man in the grey suit is the District President

Sammy led the choir.  He is also a Branch Missionary and responsible for many of the baptisms here.

Elder Moore spoke a few words and was able to use the scripture in Matthew 23:37, "How often have I desired to gathered (my) children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings..."

A beautiful bamboo grove on the property which might be used as a gathering place for the Branch.

An outbuilding to be used for Primary or Relief Society?  Everything was so nice and peaceful.

The hustle and bustle again on our way back home.

Beautiful country with the river flowing in the distance.

We have arrived at city center again.  Notice the woman standing beside the landmark.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Muya 2 Missionary Open House

There is something very interesting about this photo.  Can you see it?

The missionaries have been holding "open houses" at the chapels.
This is at Muya 2 Branch.  Two weeks ago at Diulu Branch
it wasn't dark enough for the movie.  This week the elders borrowed
the "wrap-around" fabric from a couple of the sisters to make drapes.

Elder N'Goran from Ivory Coast gestures with his hands when he teaches.
The other man is a branch missionary who is translating from French 
into Tshiluba, the local language.

Elder Zafimanijara is from Madagascar.  

Elder Mukendi didn't need a Tshiluba translater because
he speaks both French and Tshiluba.  Notice the diagram
of the organization of Christ's ancient church on the black

Elder Kapanga

The elders used our computer to project the movie on the wall. 

Two little lizards live in this bush.  They are a good replacement
for the eagle who would have eaten these little guys.

We have another open house this afternoon in Muya 1.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Malaria mosquito on arm

Not to scare anyone but we have noticed an upswing in sickness among our members and friends here in Mbuji-Mayi.  One brother complained of a severe headache and looked ashen (if possible).  After a trip to the hospital, he now is very weak and “faible” (feeble).  The sister who shops and cleans for us also has malaria.  She didn’t come yesterday so we’re short on vegetables.  

From Wikipedia: “Each year, there are more than 225 million cases of malaria, killing around 781,000 people each year, 2.23% of deaths worldwide. The majority of deaths are of young children in sub-Saharan Africa. (That’s us here in the Congo.)  Ninety percent of malaria-related deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, and can indeed be a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.”  There is a billboard at the top of our street advocating the use of mosquito nets, but many don’t use them.  Extreme poverty probably precludes obtaining them, even with government programs in place.  

From Wikipedia: “Symptoms of malaria include fever, shivering, arthralgia (joint pain), vomiting, anemia, hemoglobinuria, retinal damage, and convulsions. The classic symptom of malaria is cyclical occurrence of sudden coldness followed by rigor and then fever and sweating lasting four to six hours, occurring every two days…. Children with malaria frequently exhibit abnormal posturing, a sign indicating severe brain damage. Malaria has been found to cause cognitive impairments, especially in children. It causes widespread anemia during a period of rapid brain development and also direct brain damage. This neurologic damage results from cerebral malaria to which children are more vulnerable.”  

We take one "after-dinner mint" each day

From Wikipedia: “Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of inexpensive mosquito nets.”  We use the mosquito net we bought at REI.  The missionaries are all issued nets treated to repel mosquitoes, but some don’t use their nets.  We also take one doxycycline capsule each day, careful to take it with dinner and with lots of water.  There goes your mother’s admonition not to “drown your food”.  We can’t wait to return home if for no other reason than to stop taking the “green after-dinner mint”.  

Ann wondered if catastrophic disease is a feature of our “Fallen World” from the beginning with Adam and Eve.  Did the Egyptians suffer from malaria?  The Bible speaks of leprosy.  Disease is certainly part of our Earthly test of faith that there is indeed life after death and a resurrection from all pain and sorrow.  “God will wipe away all tears” is mentioned several times in scripture.  Luckily this earth life is very short in comparison to eternity.  [Short indeed!  Today we received an invitation to the

42nd Franco-Belgian Missionary Reunion

Time flies when you’re having fun, and so far this life has been “fun”.  Family makes life fun.  Thanks to our family.  Thanks for all the nice photos.

Hopefully, we’ll find a blog topic more positive next time.

Elder William and Sister Ann Moore
p.s. One of the members called Sister Moore:  “Soeur Elder Moore” 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1, 2011
Today’s blog will be a series of journal entries using the “3 Word Journal” format.

Field of Dreams in Iowa
Build it/Mbuji-Mayi/Come
President Packer leased this nice house in Mbuji-Mayi and people seem drawn to it.  Patrick and Fabrice, two young men from affluent families, knocked at the gate one Thursday, came back Friday, and are now being taught by the missionaries.  They seem to accept everything Patrick has come to Church.  Third discussion tomorrow to go along with several meetings with me.  Pa and trick said that there was something about us (not our white skin) that attracted them. 
Do you remember the baseball movie “Field of Dreams”?  The famous quote from the movie: “If you build it, they will come.”  Well, we leased a home and moved in.  Now those prepared by the Lord are coming.  Two young men walked into the District office parking after our English class. They had seen the sign on the wall. 
A week ago when I first saw the Monk's Hood

Congo/Monk’s Hood
There is beauty everywhere; we just need to look for it.  Our gardener planted several of these in a place protected from the sun.  We are blessed to live in a flower garden.  The monk’s hood we saw during our garden tour with the Larry and Diane Sagers wasn’t this nice.  Just goes to show that the Congo can be productive and beautiful with a little TLC.


Our two rhinoceros graze across Connie Bertoch's table cloth toward pumpkin mountain and the water hole bottle of filtered water.

Woodcarver/little elephant
A local artisan saw us at the Diulu Branch chapel and showed me his ware.  He had some nicely carved wooden animals at a reasonable price.  He also had items carved from ivory and a leopard skin.  The trade in contraband items continues.  We bought several elephants carved from bois noire (ebony?) ($10 each), 2 crocodiles, 2 rhinoceros (carved from acacia wood imported from Dubai), 2 ducks (for my brother Bruce), a bust of an African maiden, and 2 lions (a male and a female both with long manes) to go along with the elephants and antelope we had previously purchased.  We wanted to buy gorillas but he brought dog-like baboons (he didn’t know what a gorilla looked like.  There are no books here.  There are no pictures for the school children to look at).  We wanted some monkeys and he said he had very good trio of monkeys: see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil.  No we wanted “natural” monkeys.  He brought his trio anyway, desperate for a sale.  He offered to go into the bush and find some “natural” monkeys, meaning live monkeys.  No, we didn’t want that.  He came back one last time last week with the promised baby elephant (with bone tusks) and a woeful story of his house being blown down by the last rainstorm.  He is a small, older man with a young family of soon 5.  He stated several times that he wanted to sell $100 worth of animals so that he could buy notebooks and school uniforms for his two oldest.  Some of his profit he spent on malaria and typhoid treatment for himself.  He’s an honest man.  He brought the promised “little elephant” as part of an earlier sale.  Then he asked for transportation money (500 francs = $0.50) since it was a long walk back to his “new” home.  

A native plant from the savanna in our garden

This flower has a strong "stale chocolate" smell that irritates Sister Ann, but it attracts ants

A wild story about an older sister who lost 2 husbands.  Husband #1 was assassinated in Kinshasa.  Husband #2 killed by his own 10-year old son who was a sorcerer.  The veracity of this rambling story is less important than the beliefs of the African people. 
The Church suffered much persecution and discrimination when it first came to Mbuji-Mayi 20 years ago.  The word was that the Mormon Church used magic.  The Church is better accepted not, but the subject of “sorcery” is still the hot subject of fiery sermons in the local churches. 
Here’s the story:  Husband #2 was sick so he fasted 3 days and prayed at the church.  After this treatment, he came home and found a note written in infantile script with his keys.  “You will die!”  All the children were summoned and it was ascertained that 10-year old Treasure was the culprit.  “Are you a sorcerer?”  Banished from the house with his school backpack filled with a few items of clothing, Treasure left to live with an aunt.  To purge the evil spirit, Treasure was repeated struck on his forehead.  He also spent time with an aunt in Paris where he reportedly killed several people.  Treasure is now a grown man and lives in Kinshasa, but he is no longer possessed. 
A wild story!  But beliefs in magic and sorcery abound.  It’s hard to eradicate the “traditions of the fathers” from a society.  Even enlightened Utah Mormons have debilitating traditions, one being that we’ll never be good enough to merit exaltation so why try.