Tuesday was a crazy transfer day. We had to pay airport parking 4 times that day with all of our going and coming. We expected it to be simple, but it turned into another African adventure.
Elder Okon left on a flight delayed by 6.5 hours. The airport customs folks informed us that Elder Okon would not be allowed to leave the country to work in Brazzaville until he turns in his residence card and gets an exit visa (because he is African.) With an hour before his flight we rushed downtown to immigration, which was about to close, rushed through their paperwork, and rushed back to the airport making it in time. Three policewomen hopped into the back seat of our truck to help us at the airport and get a free ride toward their homes.
|Douala District: Elders Hatch, Johnson, Okon, & Colindres|
Elder Mwehu, our new missionary, arrived with two missionaries who were going to Yaoundé. We were told that they had eaten, but that was incorrect so we had to rustle up some grub at midnight. (Their flight was 7 hours late.) We fed them leftover pizza, hot dogs, bananas, peanuts, bread, and soda, then dropped them off at the Elders’ apartment. In the morning we sent the two on the bus to Yaoundé.
|Elders Mwehu, Kabenga, & Tshibanda|
Elder Mwehu is from the DR Congo and is Elder Johnson’s new companion. He is the first Elder we’ve had doesn’t speak any English, so Elder Johnson will be forced to live in French. But Elder Johnson's French is good and he seems very comfortable with that. I’m still not used to the Congolese accent and have to struggle to decipher some of Elder Mwehu’s words.
|Planning session with Elders Mwehu & Johnson|
We celebrated our hump day with a meal at la Méditerranée, a mostly Greek restaurant. We are now in the most productive half of our mission, we hope.
Elder Colindres is the only missionary in the mission who speaks Spanish, so he was assigned to call all of the Spanish speaking referrals from Equatorial Guinea. (Not to be confused with Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Papua New Guinea, New Guinea, Ghana, Gabon, Gambia, Guyana, guinea coins, guinea pigs, or guinea fowl.) Equatorial Guinea is the one country in our mission without a unit of the Church and a lot of people there have been requesting info.
|Elders Hatch & Johnson in front of newly mowed Church property|
|Elder Colindres & Frère Nana François|
I found a web site that says there is a library at city hall so I dropped in during my morning run. The first guy I met told me that there is no library there but then the librarian (Mme. Como Nichole?) came along and invited me in. The maze of hallways to find the library is crazy and the library is mostly just stacks of papers. The sign on the door says “Archives”. But we came later, taught a lesson to the librarian and donated a Book of Mormon to the library. She promised to study and pray about it. I love it when we get to teach and testify and feel the spirit of the Cameroonians. And it wasn't until later that I realized that we were teaching inside City Hall (Hotel de Ville.)
|Douala City Hall|
Interesting fact: If you check the Wikipedia entry about the West Africa Ebola outbreak you can see in the chart at the bottom that on 30 October 2014 the number of deaths due to Ebola in Liberia actually dropped from 2704 to 2636. Does that imply that dead people came back to life? Yes. Is it credible? Sadly, no. But there does seem to be a reduction in the spread of the disease over the past couple of months.
Gregoire Elie’s wife, Gabrielle had a cute baby boy. They named him Yhwh, which they pronounce “eve.” Yes, it is another spelling of Jehovah.
President Nkong’s 2-year-old son, Moroni, is seriously ill. He hadn’t eaten for 2 weeks and is very thin. The doctors can’t figure out what is wrong. We took Elders Hatch and Colindres and gave him a blessing, and he started eating a little.
A new investigator came to Edimo & Odile’s home for the weekly lesson. His name is Bakoa Thomas. The discussion lasted an hour and a half because it was so hard to leave. They had questions and love to talk, practically begging us to stay longer. Those visits are fun. We’re arranging contact with another investigator who expressed interest in hiring Odile and hoping that that works out.
|Typical suburban road with kids heading home from school|
I taught the investigator class and showed how to use lots of visual aids. Most classes here tend to be dry and unimaginative, although everyone loves them anyway.
Being a missionary here is a combination of joy, excitement, frustration, ecstasy, disappointment, hope, and amazement. The church is so new here that there is a lot of enthusiasm among the members, but they often make mistakes and go astray. I think that it is a lot like the early Church in Missouri. People expect perfection of others but are surrounded by members who don’t have a clear idea of how to do things. Nobody has seen a well-functioning ward so they just try to follow the handbooks, adapting them to their circumstances and culture. But faith is strong, miracles are common, and the Church is growing fast.
|Our favorite spot to buy bananas & peanuts. No need to get out...|
|We roll down a window and this is what happens. Marketing!|
|School kids. The boys are all in pink shirts.|
|Guys often ride on trucks like this.|
|Pollution controls don't seem to be enforced. There are many smoky cars.|
|Wesley with Elders Mwehu & Johnson|
|Cute Tignyemb girls and father - love the hair|
|Traffic Jam - Drivers stop in the middle of the road to pick up people|