Sunday, November 30, 2014

11/30 - Thanksgiving, Zone Conference, Baptisms, 70 Visit, Soccer



Looking back on the week it is hard to believe that it has only been a week, with all that has happened.  It's been a week full of progress, miracles, and adventure.

Another baptism in the Douala Branch.  Etienne has been studying the gospel for a long time.  Once he burned his Book of Mormon, thinking it was evil.  But then some things happened that he saw as signs from God and his heart was changed.  He received the answers that he sought and accepted the gospel.
Elder Hatch, Etienne, Elder Colindres

Jean Marie Su told us that his wife was baptized today, November 30, in France where she is visiting!  She has been there for maybe two months and has been studying with the missionaries there.  That is exciting for us and probably even more so for the missionaries in France who seldom have baptisms.  She comes home next week.

Mission President & Sister Monga had a whirlwind visit to Douala with Elder Lono, an Area Authority Seventy.  While President Monga interviewed elders Sister Monga inspected apartments.  She was very strict.  The elders have greatly improved their apartment cleanliness since Sister Coleman started inspecting, but they are far from meeting Sister Monga’s standards.  Chipped plate?  Throw it out.
Apartment inspection in Douala

Apartment inspection in Bonaberi

Elder Lono conducted a meeting with the branch leaders.  He and President Monga gave great answers to all of their questions and encouraged them to hold more activities which will bring young adults together to get them to marry.  Everyone seems to be waiting for the perfect person and delaying marriage.

President Monga had a meeting with all of the returned missionaries and other meetings with various members and gave inspired counsel.  Both branch presidents were shown how to give loving guidance in a humble manner to members with problems.  It was wonderful.  Leaders here often seem to act like tribal chiefs and feel that they have to use a firm hand or the branch will fall apart.  Now they have seen the Christ-like way to lead.

The president told me that if we have 3 branches (which will be very soon) we can form a district, and when we have a district we can start a branch in Limbe, and he has friends who are willing to come and serve as a missionary couple here but only speak English.  Perfect!  Limbe is an English-speaking city.

Elder Lono, President Monga and I toured a villa that we might rent for the Douala Branch.  President Monga said that he will arrange it because the usual channels are taking too long and might leave us out on the street.  He also said that approval has been given to build a real chapel on the Church property!  We will probably be long gone before it happens, but that is wonderful news.

We also made progress toward buying the building in Bonaberi, taking more photos and making phone calls.

Thanksgiving fell on zone conference day.  So when zone conference ended at 1:30 we served up a big meal for all 8 missionaries, President & Sister Monga, and Elder Lono.  We served 2 turkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, apple pie, ice cream, and root beer floats.  That was the first time that we’ve seen frozen turkeys here (or any other turkeys) so we made the most of it. 
President Monga teaching at zone conference

Elders Colindres, Hatch, & Mwehu role-play at zone conf.

The Zone with Sister & Pres. Monga, Elder Lono, & Sister Coleman

Thanksgiving Dinner

The Thanksgiving Dinner overflow table

Elder Legerski

We had a skype with all of the couples in the mission on Monday.  It was fun to see everyone.

President Monga has called counselors.  One is Elder Dimond, in Yaound√©.  So now, when we need a special interview or setting apart or something like that, the Dimonds can visit to take care of it.  No more waiting a month or two for the next presidential visit.  Yay!

On Saturday we played soccer with the Bonaberi Relief Society.  Attendance was low; there were about 8 women and 7 men, with all 4 of the missionaries and us playing, but it was fun.
Relief Society Soccer Game

Elders Larson & Legerski

Elders West & Rakotondrabeharison

One of the recently returned missionaries, Leonel, has joined a friend in a marketing partnership.  His friend was a university professor teaching computer graphics.  They put together an animated short video of the life of Joseph Smith.  It is very good for being done in their spare time with no funding for it.  They have an excellent artist working for them.  If you know of anyone in need of a creative animated video for advertising or whatever, I’m sure they could produce it for a very low price.  I’ll try to put a reduced version of their video on here when they get it to me.
Marketing team with art used in Joseph Smith video

Baby Moroni came to church and seemed to be back to normal health.  We wrote about giving him a blessing two weeks ago when he hadn’t eaten for two weeks and many expected him to die.  Right after that he started eating a bit and gradually improved.

Sister Tignyemb is in the hospital with malaria and diabetes so we took a truckload of family and friends to visit her after church.  She was feeling better and should go home tomorrow.  Mboppi Baptist Hospital seemed nicer than some of the others we’ve seen.
Sister Tignyemb's visitors
We were about 30 minutes late for our teaching appointment in Japoma because one of the main boulevards was blocked for a funeral.  I think it must have been a village nobleman.  When that happens they just set up awnings and chairs in whichever street they want and leave them there for 2-3 days.



Why is the main, downtown road blocked?  Oh, a funeral.

This "pouspous" is carrying young chickens.

That's a huge load on that motorcycle.



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