Another week, another batch of adventures. There was a great open house, a trip to Yaoundé, a baptism, and the usual assortment of events.
Most of the week was focused on the Douala Branch Open House, which was on Saturday. The branch mission leader, Romeo, wanted to have meetinghouse tours at 10 am followed at 11 am by a 2-hour meeting and a light meal. I wanted meetinghouse tours, films, and cookies and punch all day. We compromised with tours and films for 2.5 hours, a half-hour meeting, and a light meal. The half-hour meeting dragged into 1 hour and would have gone much longer if I had let it. But turnout was good with about 80 people and about 50 of them non-members. Romeo designed fancy invitations and made a big sign for the busy street. One visitor commented on how well organized we were. We needed all 6 missionaries and many branch missionaries and other members to keep up with the flow of visitors. The missionaries have lots of new investigators now.
|Watching a Film at the Open House|
|Luncheon after the Open House|
|Lots of Open House Discussions (Elders Bacera & West)|
|Elders Rakotondrabeharison, Bacera, West, & Johnson|
|Elders Hatch & Colindres|
Curiously, the building water had been cut off for non-payment, shortly after the Church employee in charge of paying assured me that that would never be a problem again. And I begged him Thursday afternoon to get the water turned on, but he failed. So it is with jugs of water that we had to flush the toilets during the open house on Saturday. But nobody complained.
On my Monday morning run I met a military group and ran with them for a few miles. One of their chants sounded something like, “mabongo bali; bali bali;” repeated 100 times. It sounds better when you get the pitch right. Their route passed through an Air Force base and the guards let me in. We ran down the tarmac past some big aircraft before exiting through another gate. One of the non-functional planes looked like it was a moss covered 747.
After Monday piano practice we took the bus to Yaoundé for a 2-day visit with the Dimonds, Dave & Anne, who arrived 2 weeks ago. We explained some of the intricacies of the financial system, answered questions, and had a great time talking about life here and our former lives. We visited the Cameroon dedication site and hiked the fitness trail. They brought special items from America that Sister Coleman had requested that are hard to get here: gold earrings, file tabs, a small French hymnal, skirt hangers, bleach pens, and good pens. They have been here 2 weeks and seem to be well adjusted to Africa already.
|Sister & Elder Dimond|
|The Site at which Cameroon was Dedicated|
An interesting thing about the Dimonds: they got married a year ago (so they are still newlyweds) and they both retired a few days before their mission started. So, they never really retired; they just got promoted to a much more exciting line of work.
At Bonaberi we gave talks in Sacrament Meeting and I taught a lesson on home teaching in Priesthood Meeting.
Princess Delphine was baptized after church. She has been taking lessons for a long time but had a language barrier. That problem was solved when Elder Okon, our Nigerian missionary, took over and started teaching her in Pidgin. A lot of people who claim to speak English speak Pidgin, which is very difficult for us to understand. It is heavily accented with some non-English words mixed in.
|Baptism of Princess Delphine|
We’re enjoying the cooler weather of the “rainy season”. The temperature is always just right, day and night, never hot, never cold. Sister Coleman even joins me on my morning runs for part of the way.