Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy here in the Congo!!

Here we are with another few pictures.
We are getting to know the Elders a little better now.... I mean with their names.
The names are very different.  There are names that are so close to each other but different.  For example, we have Mbaya and Mbayo, Ndomba and Ndombo and Ntondo.  Ngoy and Ngoyi.  Elder Draper speaks with the missionaries quite often - he's the only one who really speaks french in the office so he is our communicator.  I am learning their names because I do transfers and write them over and over again in their new areas and on different documents.

These are three fine missionaries.
Elder Tshimpe, Elder Lono and Elder Kalala
Elder Tshimpe and Elder Kalala just went home before Christmas 
and Elder Lono will be going home in February.
Elders Tshimpe and Lono were the APs.

This is Congolese money.  We can use American money here but there can't be any tear of any kind or they will not accept the bill.
The Congolese Francs however can be hanging on by a thread and it is still circulating.
This is a fairly new 200 franc bill and then some older ones.
They can be ripped, holes in them, taped together and it is all good money.

This is one of the nice buildings that I like.  It is beautiful!!!
The tiles on the roof are staring to decay so they have put tarps on the roof.

Isn't it beautiful?

Another flamboyant tree that I love so much.  
The flowers on these trees are now gone.  I wished they would last forever.

This is at the hotel in Mbuji Mayi.
President Thomas is there with the APs and Elder Mikesell, our doctor, is in the background.

Here is Elder Draper standing at the bottom of the outdoor stairs going down to where our rooms are.

Our rooms are on the sides of the picture and this is looking down the hallway.
It is a beautiful building.

Here is the living room in the hotel.

This is the bathroom. Notice that there is no toilet seat.
They have all the facilities but no water..... well, 2 buckets!!  :)
We just have to smile and be grateful!!

I do love this art work that is on the wall in our room.

We are driving down the road in this picture.  You can see all the congestion and this poor fellow carrying this big sack that looks like it weighs a ton!!
You just wonder at how far he has to carry it.
It could be for miles.

Sugar cane is in abundance here.

It's just interesting to me to see all the packages that are balanced on heads.
This man in the brown t-shirt is carrying something  
with a young boy carrying his load in front of him.  
Look behind at the plastics bottles in the red tub.
They balance them all!!!

These women are selling flours of all different kinds.
At places like this the ground is covered in a white mist of powder.
This woman sitting with her legs straight out and her back straight can sit like this all day.
it is amazing to me.  They work so hard to make a little money.

This is one of the sweetest faces I have seen.
He's certainly looking intently at something.

The other fellow here with thumbs up was pleased to see us.
We waved and he waved back and then gave us the thumbs up sign.  Cute boy!!

This woman is carrying two wooden tubs that I think they make the foo foo in.
It is hollowed out and they mash the foo some how.
I don't know exactly how it is done and I don't like the foo foo either.
It doesn't taste too bad, kind of bland, but it is just like raw dough.
They absolutely love it here.  They have it at every meal.
Neil tries to eat it and the Elders laugh at him as he tries to roll it in his hand.  
I guess they are trying to get it the right consistency or something.  It is fun!!!

This is a catchy little shop to buy a coffin from.
They are not your ordinary caskets either.
How would you like a window in yours?
They are quite fancy ... you must admit!!

I loved these children.  We had so much fun with them.
We were in the truck waiting for quite a while earlier in the day.
The two little boys came to beg for food or money from us.
The taller boy was acting like he was in such need while the smaller boy was using his charm to charm our money out of us.
They would do their thing and then they would laugh hysterically!!!
The smaller boy had such great dimples and I LOVE dimples!
When we started to act like we were begging for something from them they really laughed at that.
This is at the airport while we were waiting for our flight to come.
I was so surprised they found us there and then started their ritual all over again.
The little girl came to watch what was going on.
She is only about 9 years old and that is a heavy bowl on her head.
She acted like she didn't even know it was there.
She would move around like there was nothing there.
Before we got on the plane we gave them our water bottles with water and some cookies and they were overjoyed!!

This is Solange our sister that cleans the office complex and our homes.
She is a very nice woman and a good member of the church.
Her little boy's name is Joseph Smith.
He is so adorable and is starting to walk around.  Mostly he is still on his mother's back.

We lost another sister on this day.  Sister Riendeau left to go home.
She left early because her sister had cancer and she was going home to help tend her. 
 It was terminal but before she could leave her sister passed away.
It was a sad parting.  She was our French lady who did all the translating for us.
She was from France and now lives in the States.  
She is the one in all black, a very classy lady!!
The rest of us are:
Back row left to right:  
Elder Davis, Sister Davis, Sister Mikesell, me, Elder Draper with Elder Mikesell behind.
Front row left to right:
President Thomas, Sister Thomas, Sister Anthony and Sister Riendeau
She is still going to do some of the translating from home. 
She types up the missionaries conversion stories for them and for the church.

Isn't this a great load?  That is all charbon for cooking and a few passengers.
Can you even imagine riding like this down the highway at home?  haha

This is after a Zone Conference.  These sisters have made the meal for the missionaries.
The dishes are so beautiful.  I don't know where they would have gotten them.
So for dinner we had rice, in the middle at the front, foo foo is the white balls of dough, 
matebele is the green vegetable dish with fish in a sauce. 
chicken pieces, bananas and apples with water to drink.
Missionaries love this meal.
The matebele (spelling?) is a leaf that grows on the ground 
and then other things are put in it too 
like fish which is most likely eel that they buy all dried up and rolled in a circle.  
That's a bit much for me!!!

This is celery.  that is what it looks like here.  ... very small stalks that often are very limp.
I needed it for the dressing I made for the turkey dinner at Thanksgiving.

Here is Thanksgiving dinner at the mission home.
It was a wonderful meal.
It was nice to all share it together.  We have lots of fun with these friends.

Here is Sister Anthony, Sister Davis, me, Sister Mikesell waiting to open the bundle of clothing we bought to divide up and give to the orphans that we were going to visit and give  them gifts.
The bundle is on the ground in front of us.  It holds about 250 articles of clothing.

The mission office is on the other side of the fence and our office is in the front corner there.
The house on the right is where Sister Anthony lives and where Heather Vance will live when she gets here.
Our house is on the other end of the office building upstairs.  We have a huge staircase to climb (19 stairs).  The kitchen is downstairs but the rest of it is up.

Here we are looking through it all the clothing and dividing it up into sizes etc.
We had a great time.
Going to the orphanages was a great Christmas gift for us!!!
We felt so good afterwards and our hearts were full with the Spirit!
We are so blessed to be able to love others, even those we don't know, and share time together.
It was a marvellous Christmas indeed!!

The weather continues to be so nice here.  Today it was 88 F.
The rainy season is the summer but when the rains come it cools things down a little.
It is so beautiful when that happens.
I love the thunder and lightening we get too!!!

There will be more soon!!  Love you all and thanks for your prayers.
We feel them.  Serving the Lord is the best thing we can do in life.


  1. Love love love your pictures and stories. I look often to see if there is more. Happy New Year

  2. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. A little late but very sincere. I love your posts and particularly because of the love and enthusiasm that you express. This is an amazing experience, isn't it!!

  3. Hey guys finally commenting!!!! I can't wait to see more pictures, hope things are well!
    - Ayla (ps how is Neil doing on your hair? Haha!)