Sunday, September 14, 2014

9/14 - Baptism, Preaching to Pentecostals, Truck Repair

Another baptism in Bonaberi: Andre Ngnandji.
Frere Gregoire Eli baptized André Ngnandji
Prince Frank came to our apartment with his sister and promised once again to come to church, make an appointment with the missionaries, prepare for baptism, go to BYU, etc.  That is always exciting.  I asked if he could show us around the University of Douala sometime.  So on Sunday he and a friend, Didier, picked us up and gave us a tour of the two campuses.  University tuition: $100 per year.
University of Douala Classroom Building
Frank & Elder Coleman in a Classroom

Sign on a Class Wall (no tribalism allowed)
In a Classroom

This Lecture Hall Seats 1000 (obviously skinny) Students
 Then they took us to a friend's home where we came in near the end of a Pentecostal praise meeting.  After the guests left we had a nice first discussion with the Pentecostal leaders.  I was afraid they would bristle at the idea of another church but they were very interested so we bore our testimonies, left a BoM and two brochures, and exchanged phone numbers.  I’m not sure if Frank is really serious because he has missed so many appointments, but he is definitely giving us opportunities to testify.
Parfait & Sidonie, Pentecostal leaders
Sister Coleman had some great training sessions with Primary and Relief Society presidencies.  They have a lot to learn and readily accept training.  And Sister Coleman can almost get by in French now.

We had another marathon branch council meeting (almost 3 hours) in which everyone wanted to voice his or her opinion about whether we should make an annual plan or not, and other “vital” issues.  I got the impression that nobody wanted the meeting to end.  (You can’t have too much fun, right?)  Afterwards I asked Brother Njembele, the Sunday School president, if he prefers meetings that last 1 hour or 3 hours.  He replied, “What am I going to do in my neighborhood?  I would rather be here doing the Lord’s work.”  OK, I guess, if it keeps him off the streets and out of trouble…

We spoke about marriage at a youth activity.  (They call everything an activity here, even firesides.)  The youth have so few examples of legal marriages in which both husband and wife belong to the church that they asked us to come and testify of marriage.  Three couples spoke followed by questions.  One of the questions: “My parents told me to marry within my tribe.  Is that important?”  The branch president told a story of a couple from different tribes that fell in love but were forbidden to marry.  Like Romeo & Juliet they committed suicide and their families mourned. 

He counseled the young women to decide whom to marry and ask their parents to make it easy and fast, rather than passively watching their family demand a huge bride-price, thus delaying marriage and starting married life with a debt.

Other questions posed: “When you go on a date do you have to plan on marriage?”  “Do returned missionaries have to get married quickly?”
Youth Activity on Marriage

The facilities manager came from Kinshasa to train the branch councils.  We were excited to see his interest in fixing the problems in our meetinghouses.  We made a list of problems and discussed them.  Now we wait and hope.

I had to explain again at the post office that mothers send candy to their sons for sentimental reasons, not because they don’t like African food.  And it doesn’t mean the missionaries are rich, so they shouldn’t charge $60 duties on a $50 box.  But they seem determined to charge at least $20.

Elder Waite is ill.  The missionary doctor said it is classic Dengue fever.  It is very common in these parts and seldom severe.  But there is no medicine for it and he was suffering from a headache and body aches, which is why it is sometimes called “Breakbone fever”.  After nearly a week he is much better.

The previous couple here had had a minor accident in the mission truck.  It was a hit & run with cosmetic damage to one fender.  It never bothered me but the leaders said to get it fixed.  The dealer quoted ~$1600 and 5 days, while two other shops each bid $140 and one day.  One shop was highly recommended by a branch member and close enough to walk to so we got it done there.  I dropped it off at 9am and picked it up at 7pm the same day.  It looks good, if you don’t look closely.  A branch member, Eberé, has a shop and said he could get it done so I pestered him for over 2 months for a quote.  He finally came through but too late.  His bid was $242, anyway.
Before Repairs

After Repairs

No comments:

Post a Comment