Landry was baptized in the Douala Branch but we couldn't be there due to meetings in Bonaberi.
Our teaching appointment in Japoma went well. M. Edimo invited all of his neighbors but only 2 came, Joseph & Esther, so it was a comfortable group. Elder & Sister Moody were here on humanitarian business so they helped us teach. Afterward, Odile asked for more brochures to give to friends, so we offered her some and she took about 40. They said more people would come next week. On Sunday Esther came with them to church. It was so uplifting to share our testimonies with them and hear of the miracles in their lives. Elder Moody is usually prohibited from proselyting, since he is in charge of humanitarian work and he can’t give the impression that conversion is a requirement for our help. So he was thrilled to be able to participate.
|Sister Coleman, Esther, Odile, Edimo, Nana, Elder & Sister Moody, Joseph|
Then we took the Moodys to the school where we hope to do humanitarian work. School was in session so we got to see the classrooms occupied. The kids were so well behaved and polite. As Sister Moody left the first classroom she said “Goodbye” and all of the kids called a loud goodbye, happy to show off their English. Our top priority is to get the toilets working. There was a constant trickle of boys and girls coming out to urinate in the weeds next to the playground. Recess started as we were leaving. I took a photo and a lot of kids ran over to be in it.
|We hope to put a concrete floor in here.|
|Everyone's a Star!|
Prince Frank called for an appointment to discuss the BoM and actually showed up! That is rare for him. He was a couple of hours late so he came during piano lesson time, but the power was out (wiring failure) so the pianos didn’t work anyway. We had a nice discussion with him and Odile, who came for a piano lesson. He had some questions about various BoM passages so we just discussed them.
Sister Coleman taught Odile a piano lesson with a powerless keyboard. There’s actually a lot to teach without using the piano.
I had a lot of fun teaching the gospel at a crowded marketplace. We went to teach Monsieur Maevieu at Marché Central but were unsuccessful. He showed up late, then had a meeting, then disappeared. But Sister Coleman got her nails done again and I taught a few discussions. There are so many people there who want to know more. They offer me a seat in their boutique and listen intently. Many say they will come to church but few do. We also found about 10 things that we were wishing for, in Maevieu’s store. Salsa, measuring cups, brown sugar, mousetraps, saucepan with lid, large ziplock bags, plastic spoons, root beer.
One of our Elders has had a headache for about 3 weeks and it seems to be getting worse. We have been consulting regularly with the missionary doctor and he now told us to get a CT scan. Is that even possible in Cameroon? It turns out that it is. Cameroon got their first machine 4 years ago and there is one just a few blocks from our apartment. The doctor visit and scan cost about $220 on a drop-in basis and found everything normal, except for a bit of sinus congestion. Of course, we were worried about what the doctor might say, but the Elder was more worried about making it to his appointments with investigators. It took 3 hours. He wasn’t sure that he could spare the time. We have the best missionaries in the world.
|In the Waiting Room|
|Yes, Cameroon has a CT Scanner!|
The Douala Elders broke one of their bathroom sinks, so I called Romeo and we replaced it. Plumbing here is quite different than in the USA, so I didn’t try to do it myself. Maybe next time.
|The Sink with Broken Pedestal|
The young couple I mentioned before, Simon & Ange are still trying to get married. Here’s the long process: First someone from his family had to ask the patriarch of her family (her brother since her father is dead) for a meeting. Then he had to bring expensive food and gifts to the meeting. His representative had to explain the request to her family. Her family approved of the marriage, so now he can start saving up for the dote (bride-price). Since he earns $50 per month and a dote is typically about $1500 it might take 5 years. In the meantime, they have permission from the family but not from the Church to live together in “concubinage”. We’re hoping to find a way to get permission from her family for them to marry before the dote.
And that’s life in Africa. Great people, archaic traditions, and always new adventures.