Sunday, July 19, 2015

7/19/2015 - Baptism, Blessings, Bangui, Birthday

Another baptism in Bonaberi: Bossadi Pauline.  That is baptisms every week for 6 weeks now!
Elder Muamba, Pauline, Gustave, Elder VanAusdal

Some of the little kids across the street from the church like to call out “les blancs, les blancs” (the whites, the whites) when they see us.  So, I call back “les noirs, les noirs” (the blacks, the blacks).  Everybody thinks that’s funny.

A missionary just finished his mission in Lubumbashi and came home to Bonaberi.  His name is Massoma Yannick and he is ready to jump in and help out the branch.  First he needs a job, a home, and a wife, but he’s brimming with confidence.
Massoma Yannick

We taught an FHE group at the Su’s home again.  We love those meetings and miracles.  There were 6 investigators and 3 members.  We taught the Joseph Smith story and testified of the BoM.  I explained that my testimony came through the Spirit and not through a vision.  Frère Su jumped in and said that his testimony came through a vision, and described it.  (See March 22 blog entry.)  The best part was when one of the investigators, Marthe, chimed in with her testimony.  She said that she had been studying with the missionaries when “Alma 13:4” suddenly and repeatedly started popping into her head.  She didn’t know what it was and dismissed it but that reference kept coming back to her, day after day.  Finally, she looked it up.  That verse was talking to her.  She testified that God was speaking to her through the BoM.  She scheduled her baptism for August 1st.  People here are ready for the gospel.

The Bonaberi Single Adult group asked us to come and show them Fireproof for FHE.  They had about a dozen people, half men, half women.  We hope it inspires them to make the sacrifices necessary to get married.

Two of the young men here that are hoping to serve missions, Elvis and Petrus, are from the Central African Republic.  They have been classified as war refugees, so getting a passport is tricky.  The branch president has been working to get them alternate travel papers (Titre de Voyage) hoping that they could serve with them but I haven’t gotten the go-ahead from the Church legal department on that.  And since time is short for us, we decided to shell out the bucks to send them back to their war-torn country to get passports.

We first visited Petrus’ parents to talk about helping him on his mission.  His family is Catholic but he is 25 and his father is willing to let him choose his own religion.  We talked about their 10 kids.  We congratulated them on their fine son and the good that he will do as a missionary and told them what a great growth opportunity it will be for him.  We told them how important families are in the church and that, as a missionary, he will be required to write home every week.  We said that we wanted to help him financially to get a passport so that he could serve.  After we left, his mother called and said that they wanted to help pay for the passport!  Financially, their contribution is insignificant, but as a show of support for their son it is immensely important.  We were thrilled!  The father offered to use his influence in the government to help both young men get their passports quickly.  They left on the bus that evening for the 1,000 mile each way trip!  More blessings and miracles.

The next day we walked past the hearses and shops selling caskets and floral wreaths strategically positioned outside the gates of the Laquintinie hospital.  We were there to take 3 other prospective missionaries to get their pre-mission checkups.  One of the doctors took them under his wing, as a Christian, and saw them immediately without an appointment.  What a blessing!  The checkups cost about $2, chest x-rays $14, and lab work $90 each.  We go back next week for the lab results and dental checkups.  (Most dentists work at hospitals here.)
Valery, Fleur, & Davy at the hospital

We taught another music leading class in Bonaberi.  That is a fun thing to teach, with everyone showing his own style.

The Dimonds came for one night to attend a Seminary/Institute awards ceremony.  We love their visits.

We celebrated Sister Coleman’s birthday with lunch at 5 Fourchettes (5 forks), our new favorite restaurant.
Birthday Pizza!

I ordered pizza and salad.  The salad came between the pizza!

People are starting to say goodbye to us, now that we leave in 3 weeks.  Simon said that a lot of people will cry when we are gone.  Frère Bayard gave us a gift of some kind of natural ginger drink powder called “Zingiber’s Power” good for all kinds of ailments.  He is an herbal pharmacist.  We are going to miss our many friends here.
I love the sound if it: Zingiber's Power

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