Sunday, July 26, 2015

7/26/2015 - Baptisms, Transfers, Helping Hands

Two baptisms in Bonaberi: Kepehe Lysette (Lysette) and her daughter, Tchouayap Chinasa Okwaraji Megane (Megan).  That makes 7 weeks of baptisms!  Our missionaries are doing great.
Elder Sperry, Lysette, Megan, & Elder Mbuyi

Transfer day was well planned, well organized, and all of the missionaries cooperated.  But this being Africa, it turned into 4 trips to the airport, 3 to the bus station, 1 to the police, 2 to the hospital, 1 to a dentist, 2 to a pharmacy, 1 to Bonaberi, 2 to the Elders’ apartment, and 2 hours stuck in a major traffic jam.

We had to include a hospital visit because the doctor had given the 3 perspective missionaries (PMs) a 7:30am appointment on transfer day so we squeezed that in thinking it would be quick.  We told them to meet at our apartment at 7:00.  Two were 30 minutes late due to the rain causing traffic jams and the other was even later, so we made 2 trips.  But the doctor showed up over 2 hours late anyway.  The PMs needed x-rays, minor dental work and medication, requiring trips to the pharmacy and a distant dental office.  They finished up their medical exams and started their hepatitis shots.
The doctor gave us these bills to pay.

Coffin shops just outside the hospital (location, location, location)
The planned bus from Yaounde only had 2 seats left so the 4 Elders came in on 2 buses.  One Elder’s flight was delayed by 10 hours until 11:30pm.  Then we got word that a missionary, Elder Dina, is coming home from his mission at 5:35pm and we needed to pick him up and get him released.  We were blessed to be able to make everything happen but we are sure glad that day is over!

We were sorry to lose Elder VanAusdal but happy to gain Elder Mpongo, from the DR Congo.
Elders in transit, staying, & Elder VanAusdal, departing

Elder Mpongo just joined our team

Handsome Elders in transit

Welcome party for Elder Hermann Dina (red tie) at the airport

Elder Etherington had it the worst.  He got up at 3am to pack for a 5am, 4 hour bus ride, ate foofoo with the African missionaries in Douala because his flight was delayed, and after more delays finally arrived at his new apartment in Gabon at 3am.  24 hours to travel to a city about 300 miles away.  TIA.  At least he got to eat foofoo.  (Hey, I like foofoo!)

We worked in the Douala Branch’s Mormon Helping Hands activity.  It was sweeping and mopping in a women’s and children’s hospital.  They seemed to have emptied out the wing that we were working in so we didn’t see many patients.  Turnout of members was low due to confusion about the date.  But at the same time, across the river, Bonaberi Branch had a great turnout at their Helping Hands activity.
Mormon Helping Hands Work Party

Cleaning the hospital patio

Branch President Essomba

What is a sick Yamaha doing in the hospital?

The nurse's desk has a kerosene lamp for power failures.

The hospital is kid-friendly.

Elder Sperry

Romeo came over and offered to help with Identity Cards and Passports.  He knows how to throw his weight around and make things happen, so we have high hopes.

We tried the new restaurant called Le Moulin de France.  I had a salty crêpe with bacon, cheese, and egg.  Good but expensive.  Sister Coleman had a quiche.
Whole wheat salty crepe

We got to meet with the new temporal affairs manager, Noel, who was visiting from Brazzaville, and tell him of our experiences and concerns.  There is more accountability now and temporal affairs are working better than last year.

Sister Coleman made a set of YW values banners and delivered it to the Bali building for use by the 3 branches that meet there.  It is very cool!  I'll get a photo next week.

With 2 weeks left in our mission I should be wrapping things up and planning to leave.  But it doesn't seem possible that we could be leaving.  This is our home now.  I hope another couple is found soon to come and carry on the work in this great city.
Marché Central

Marché Central

Sheet salesman

Purita & Fleur preparing food

Sister Coleman burning sensitive documents

Packed bus with people hanging out the door in the rain

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