Sunday, May 10, 2015

5/10 - Mother's Day, Baptisms, Open House

Happy Mothers’ Day!  Sister Coleman got breakfast in bed: scrambled eggs and hash browns.  All of the missionaries came to our apartment and called their mothers.  We made pizza for them.  The local Africans recognize Mothers’ Day but don’t do much about it.  It got mentioned one time in church.  But they go all out celebrating International Women’s Day.

We had two baptisms in the Douala Branch yesterday!  Momo Matsa Solange Claire (Solange) was baptized by Elder Tucker, and Mogo Marie Damion (Marie) by Elder Kabasele, both in our pool.  They were confirmed today.
Marie & Solange with Elders Kabasele, Tucker, Mwehu, & West

Monday the Dimond couple came to do a special baptismal interview.  We had a good time with them, shopping in Marché Congo for cute fabric and dining in the Chinese restaurant creatively named “Chinese Restaurant”.  But the most fun is just sharing experiences and ideas.

Romeo came over and described how the school we are helping lined up all of the children, assigned each class a toilet stall, taught them to keep it clean, and told them to “go” in the hole.  Now all of the toilets function and there is water to drink and wash hands.  We plan to spend the remaining money on paint.

I trained the membership clerk for about 3 hours.  My main goal was to teach him how to turn the computer on and off safely.  I don’t think he got it.  As for using a mouse I might as well try to teach him to juggle, the motor skills just aren’t there.

On the bright side, I taught our hired help how to make cinnamon rolls.  They love to cook and I love cinnamon rolls.  Having servants is starting to get fun.
Fleur & Assoumou

Cinnamon Rolls Hot & Ready

An incredible new store just opened!  It is like a full-sized American grocery store that also sells clothing, housewares, tools, and other stuff.  It just might drive all of the small grocery stores out of business.  On the downside, the prices are high, like the other stores, and it is missing the uniquely American foods, like root beer and relish.  But it is a joy to shop there.

The Bonaberi Branch held an open house and really did it well.  It lasted 7 hours from 10 to 5.  The branch missionaries stood outside the gate and stepped in front of people as they walked by to invite them to come in and learn about the church.  The sign-in sheet showed 26 people who came in for a tour, film, and sandwich.
Open House Welcoming Brigade

Buttonholing Passers-By

Sister Huguette convinced someone to come in and take a look.

Some of the Bonaberi Branch kids

Elders Sperry, VanAusdal, Muamba, & Mbuyi at the open house

We have announced a party for married and engaged people.  We wanted to invite them all to watch Fireproof and decided to make it a party.  It has been interesting to watch the debates over what it takes to be considered engaged.  After all, this is Africa, they argue, and the rules are complicated here.  Are you engaged as soon as you feed the girl’s father or does the engagement start when he gives you a list of demands (bride-price)?  I’m just happy that people are wishing they were married so they could come to the party.  We need more couples in the church.

I was excited to learn that a brother has chosen a wife, even though she hasn’t accepted yet.  He has been wooing her for two years but she lives far away and hasn’t directly said that she loves him.  Her family doesn’t trust him and doesn’t worship God.  She is not LDS and has never attended an LDS meeting.  She stopped seeing him for a while to hide the fact that she got pregnant by another man and gave birth.  But he still loves her and wants to marry her.  A year ago I would have thought him crazy but after seeing the dynamics of society here I am excited for him and hope it works out.  TIA.

In Sacrament Meeting today we had a prelude congregational hymn before the opening hymn.  We also had a choir number just before the closing hymn.  Every branch meeting, branch council, presidency meeting, etc. opens and closes with hymns.  Nobody out-sings Africans in quantity of hymns or volume.

Not a lot of photos today so I'll include some random interesting photos from weeks past:
We waited 1 hour and 45 minutes in this line to pay electric bills.

Alain Dieudonné (L) in front of his house, with Pres. Mbengue

2nd floor apartment - If you can't afford a guard rail...

This tree stands out

The kid upstairs painted his face white.  I don't know why.

A school class

This is not what we call a scary bridge.

Stuck in a traffic jam, so here come the vendors.

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