Monday, April 6, 2015

District Conference in Likasi

This weekend, March 21 and 22, we went with the President to the Likasi District Conference, a 2-3 hour drive.  The road gets worse each time we drive there.

It's been over 2 months since we even had a day off.  I could use a sleep-in day!  I thought it was going to be this Saturday but early Friday morning President Thomas called and said that he felt like we should be going to the District Conference in Likasi with them.  It's like Stake Conference but they are still a District.  He was kind and said if we had other responsibilities in the ward or if we didn't want to we didn't have to go.  So I guess we could have been excused but to me when the Mission President says he feels like something should happen there is no alternative, so we went gladly.  He also mentioned that he wanted us to speak in the Saturday Adult Session as well as in the Sunday General Session.  He wanted us to speak about temples.  Dad also had to do the training in the afternoon for the Executive Secretaries and Clerks.  

The conference was amazing!!  The Spirit at some of the meetings here is so strong!  They had an attendance of 88.5%.  When do we ever get even close to that?  We arrived for the meetings 30 minutes early and the chapel and cultural hall were already packed with people and the choir was singing prelude music.  

The missionaries waited in the foyer for all their many investigators to arrive.
Some companionships would have as many as 20 investigators coming.
It's like that for Sacrament Meetings too.

Saturday afternoon in the Adult Session, 4 - 6 pm because it gets dark at 6:30 and everyone is walking. I spoke about Temples, the blessings, and about how to prepare now for when they can go.  Many here haven't been to the temple yet because of finances.  The church assists them to go the first time.  Many people here choose to save to go to the temple more than once over buying a car and other things we would consider to be essential.  They understand that the temple is vital to our salvation!!  It is wonderful to see such faith.
Sunday morning I spoke to the Youth and the Primary children about preparing to go to the temple when they are older.  There are many things they can do now so they will be ready.
I wrote my talks and Neil helped me with my translation.
This was a very good experience for me!!  I felt the Spirit!

These are some pictures taken after the meeting Sunday.
People here don't go out and rush off to go home.  It's like they don't want the experience to end so they linger in the parking lot and on the lawns to visit.

This picture I took of the children that came forward to see us.  Their eyes are so bright!

I had to take this picture as I exited the building.  There were so many people standing around to visit and fellowship.  It was nice.

No one was in a hurry to leave.

These are some of the missionaries.  
They are gathered mostly so they can talk with the Thomas' and us and have pictures taken.

I loved this little girls pout.  

They all dress as nicely as they can for their Sunday meetings.
I love this little girl's white dress and the suit on the little fellow behind her.

Some of them arrive in jeans but it is the best that they have and is totally acceptable!
The sleeping babies on their mother's backs is a favorite of mine.

This little fellow is enjoying himself.

I love the colours that the women dress in.  Everything here is so bright and cheery.

Isn't she adorable?  I love their hair-dos for the tiny girls.

This is our Sister Kabangu.  I love the way she has done her hair.  This has a take hours but they really know how to braid quickly.  They an do each braid in 1 - 3 minutes.
She is so beautiful!

Her she is again with us.

Elder Lufuluabo, me, Elder Buba and Elder Draper
Elder Lufuluabo just went home.
Elder Buba is a fine elder.  He is also a body builder.

We were taking a picture of the sisters but the elders thought they would just jump in.
Back row:  Me, Sœur Mbala, Sœur Ndomba, Sœur Kabangu, 
Sœur Thomas, Sœur Lazuala, Sœur Mudila
I'm not sure of all the Elders names.

Me with Sœure Lazuala.  She is a new Sister Training Leader.  She is absolutely beautiful!

Elder Lufuluabo with his arm around me.  He's a very happy missionary.  He loves life.

This is the garden that our guard has planted for us.  Sister Thomas gave him some packages of seeds.  At first, he planted them all together and we thought we would never get anything out of it.
He transplanted them when they got big enough and we were all surprised that they lived.
What do we know?

It is time to clean the streets again.  This is how they do it.
It employs many people where a 'street-cleaner' like we have at home would put many people out of work.  These women sweep with their tiny brooms and do a good job.
Talk about back-breaking work.

This is the little marché we pass every time we go out.
You will notice the round black circle things by the onions.
They are dried eels.  They love them here!!!!
They also sell caterpillars here and other fun stuff.

Here's our little house around the corner.  They have really fixed it up with brass doors and all.

This is our little garbage man pulling load up the hill close to our place.

I had to tease Emmanuel about tanning!!  I thought only white people tried to tan.  
He had to take his wedding ring off because it broke and was cutting into his finger.  
He just smiled and said it looked like he was still wearing it.  
(Emmanuel works in the bureau taking care of all the apartments in the mission.  
It is a huge job and he could use some help but we have no one.)

I had another picture in here showing the crowds at the airport waiting for this woman to arrive.
She is the Congo President's wife.
All these people were her supporters.  There was no one there to protest.

They sure were excited when she finally showed her face.
It made for a long wait for President and Sister Thomas to emerge from the airport 
after a tiring week in the Kasai Province.

While we were waiting a women came to speak with us.  We visited for quite a while and I enjoyed the conversation.  She didn't even ask for money until one of the women that was with her told her too.  That is always such a disappointment but they just feel like they have to ask.

We had a big thunderstorm the other night and the power went out.  
That is one of Elder Draper's jobs .. to keep the power going so he had to run over to the generator and turn it on for us.  When he came home he was absolutely SOAKED to the skin.  His pants were dripping wet.  

The next morning he got dressed up to show the President how he would do that in the future.  He knew he brought hip waders for something!!!!  haha

Enjoy your week and we'll enjoy ours!  Love from the Congo!!

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