Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Day at the Orphanage

Some of the Senior Missionary Couples decided to provide Christmas for the orphans that we had met before.  This orphanage is run by a lady who is a member of the church.  Elder and Sister Gates donated clothes, shoes, and toys for the 18 children that live there.  Elder and Sister Smith received canned goods from a local food store City Market.  Elder and Sister Sneddons family donated school supplies and 10 benches with desks attached, that are being built for their school that is located next to the orphanage. And we brought the humanitarian boxes  that came in our container.  There were hygiene and school kits for all the children and workers. The night before (Christmas Eve) there was a huge rain and thunderstorm.  You can see all the water that had pooled out front of their sleeping quarters.  The children all climbed up on the top bunks to stay out of the water that had filled up to 2 feet deep. They set up this table on a small piece of relatively dry piece of ground.  

The older boys baled out water in buckets all night long.  There is no where the water can go.  Even by afternoon they were still baling water out of their bunkhouse.  The bunkhouse is lower than the yard so all the water goes right into their sleeping quarters.
Here are the three oldest boys (14-17) they have grown up in the orphanage.  The two on the left are blind but get around amazingly. We brought chicken drumsticks, fries, a roll and cheese puffs.  They thought they had died and gone to heaven and so did we!
We ate inside the school building so we could have privacy from all the neighbors that had gathered around to watch
Here is their school building it has nothing inside but separate rooms with a chalkboard and bare floors the children sit ons...but no longer thanks to the Sneddon family!
Here is President Cook doing his magic tricks with the lighted thumbs.  He had that light going through their ears, mouth and noses.  They were absolutely mesmerized!

I wish this picture was in better focus.  Here are two of the youngest little boys showing off their new outfits.  They were so proud if themselves.  The other children just squeeled as they were getting these clothes on.  The boy with the red shirt, Chance is his name, went right outside and showed all the neighbor kids his new clothes.
The boy on the left has a congenital hip problem.  His hip is completely out of socket so his leg on that side is about 6 inches shorter and but still is able to walk.  Our battery went dead on our camera so we weren't able to photograph the children opening their one small gift of a toy.  Soccer balls were given to the older boys, trucks were given to the younger boys and baby dolls were given to the girls of all ages.  Thanks so much to Elder and Sister Gates who organized this for the rest of us missionaries.  Many tears of joy were shed that days, hugs of thanks were given by all. Singing was their greatest gift to us.  We can't help everyone here in Kinshasa but this day we helped and gave hope to 18 children who had never had Christmas before.  We received more than they did this Christmas Day of 2013.  It will be one we will all remember just how much our Heavenly Father loves all His children everywhere.         Love to All
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Merry Christmas from DRC Kinshasa Mission

 This is our missionaries that are serving in the city of Kinshasa.  It was a beautiful sunny hot day! These are only three of our Senior Couples L to R  Sneddons, Cooks, Smiths, and the Gates.

Here we are celebrating Christmas in Yaounde Cameroon. Elders Roth, Porter and Hunt showed us their talent with Sister Whitesides.  Our Yaounde Elders are showing off their new ties that were given to them from our home stake the River Heights Stake. They were so grateful and wanted everyone in the stake a big "Thank You". Elder and Sister Whitesides are the Best.

Here is about the most Christmas decorations that we saw in Kinshasa
Here are the first Elders that have stayed at the mission home.  They were allowed to stay longer for Elder Bednar.  They are also showing their new Christmas ties!  Notice our first American Elder ever allowed into the DRC Elder Graham.  President Cook was able to get his flight for going home out of the Kinshasa airport so he could be here for Elder Bednar also.
Here are our wonderful Elders serving in Douala Cameroon. Showing their Christmas ties too.  Thanks to Elder and Sister Gailey for all they do for these Elders we couldn't do it without them.
Last but not least a wonderful Christmas Zone Conference was held in Pointe Noire Republic of Congo.  Christmas ties and socks were loved by all.  A big thanks goes out to Elder and Sister Bybee for filling-in at Pointe Noire
Here are Santa's Elves packaging up the socks and ties for all our Elders and scarves for our Sisters.  These are our Assistants and Sister Trainers they are Awesome!!! Thanks for your help.
This was so fun ! Each missionary was given their Christmas gifts(Ties and socks or Scarves) You should have seen their talent show! It was African all the way!!!
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Elder Bedar comes to DRCongo and Gabon

It was such an honor to have Elder and Sister Bednar and Elder Carl and Lynette Cook come to our mission.  Not only to have them visit was wonderful but they came to dedicate the country of Gabon to the preaching of the Gospel!  They arrived on Monday at noon with the Bishop and Sister Causse.  We fed them lunch and then went straight into a missionary meeting with all of our Congo Elders and Sister and one American Elder who was going home through Kinshasa Elder Dane Graham.  As you look closely at the pictures you can see his white face among our Congolese missionaries.  This is a first to have an American Elder to ever set foot in Kinshasa.  But President Cook worked it out for him to pass through DRC on his way home to the USA. Elder Bednar taught us how important that we need to learn from the Holy Ghost.  That we need to participate in the learning process by coming prepared to be taught by the Spirit.  Questions we're ask by the missionaries and Elder Bednar directed the discuss for three hours.  It was amazing.  Following this meeting Elder Bednar met with the seven Stake Presidents from Kinshasa and directed the discussion.  
 He is a marvelous teacher.  We then left the next morning for Gabon to meet up with our Senior Couple missionary Elder and Sister Michael Moody who have done so much to get Gabon ready for this event.  Miracle after miracle has happened to get this dedication done by Elder Bednar.  The dedication was in an Arboreum in Libreville, Gabon.  We walked for about ten minutes in to this beautiful grove until we came to the huge tree that was about 150 years old.  Just as Elder Bednar was getting ready to start the prayer the sunlight broke through the trees and shone directly on him.  It was a scene from the Sacred Grove.  Other than the mosquitoes everything was perfect.  Once in a lifetime event.   We were honored to have been witnesses to such a sacred moment in history of the Church.
The other news this month was thatBishop Bishop came to visit us in Africa.  President Cook said what a great bishop he isto come all the way to Africa for tithing settlement.  The Sneddons and us expecially enjoyed all the " good news "from home.  In this picture with Bishop Bishop is one of our Assistant fromMadagascar and the other gentleman is one of our office assistants Aime Ngoy.  He andhis wife had a baby girl last week so out came the knitting needles and crochet hooks tomake alittle something for Ariane
Wishing one and all a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Missionary Work and the Atonement (+playlist)

Here is another video that is wonderful about missionary work.  It's the reason I am on a mission half way around the world!

Sedrick's Journey

This is a video that was put out by the Church about a missionary from the DRCongo that we have shown and love.  Even though we do not know this missionary it's typical of the caliber of the young men and women we call missionaries here in Kinshasa

Elder Omam

This is Elder Omam.  He is one our great missionaries in the DRCongo Kinshasa mission.  His father sent Elder Omam to England to go to school and to get away from the Church.  While he was there he decided to go on a mission.  This video was made for that stake in England for their stake conference to be held next week.  His stake president wanted him to bear is testimony about missionary work.  It is a wonderful testimony.  He is an outstanding missionary.   He went home to Cameroon to get ready for his mission.  Just a short while ago another missionary in our mission serving in Cameroon converted Elder Omam's father.  What a great example he has been to his family.  A few weeks ago his father was sustain as a counselor in one of the Branches in Yaoundé Cameroon.

The Singing Zone

I finally figured out how to download this video to our blog I hope it works. These are some of our Elders and Sisters in the Binza zone.   This is a Primary chorister's dream.  They sing with "Gusto"! Notice all the matching shirts the sister have on.  This reminds President Cook of Isaiah 54:1,2

Monday, October 21, 2013

Modes of travel this month

.This has been quite a month of traveling different forms of transportation .  First it was a fifteen seater bush plane on our way to Matadi DRC.  We sat right behind the pilot and president Cook said "it couldn't get any better we're in first class!"  It was a 45 minute flight following the Congo river all the way down.  Then President Cook thought we needed still more excitement so we rode the bus from Douala to Yaounde Cameroon a normal 4 hour bus ride through the jungle.  It started great until I it got dark and rainy and bumpy (because we choose to sit on the back bench-more leg room) and then then traffic hit and it took 6 hours!!!! Sister Cook wasn't a happy camper. And last we rode our first taxi.  Bryce went and put on the seatbelt like a good traveler and he had a permanent imprint of the dirty seatbelt on his suit when he took it off.  I guess no one wears their seat belts in taxis in the DRC.  But all in all it's been quite an adventure.  This month also we had to speak at a stake conference in Brazzaville . There wasn't a building large enough so they held it outside under tents.  It was amazing how many came.  It felt like a ground breaking ceremony.  Here is president Cook speaking he looks more like the president of the country than the mission.  We always love seeing all the beautiful dresses the sisters wear here is one of my favorites.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Our First Mission Tour with Elder and Sister Carl Cook

Here we are the first day of zone conferences - 7 more to go.  This is the Kinshasa zone and the Ngaliema zone.  Look how refreshing the President and I look.  Imagine after two weeks, 8 zone conferences ,a boat trip across the Congo,  6 airports, and 6 airline flights what we looked like.  We had the opportunity this trip to go to Gabon and see our Senior Couple Missionaries the Moody's what an awesome job they are doing to get the church ready to come to Gabon.  The way is preparing for the country to be dedicated for the Gospel.  As we were flying over Gabon ,Bryce leaned over to me and said " I feel like Parley P Pratt going to a new land".  It was so fun to get to know the Cooks they are wonderful people and love missionary work and the gospel.  The people got real use to all the Cook jokes that were given.

14 new Elders and Sisters came in this week.  Here they are eating Jacky's chicken and fries with her famous coleslaw!  Yummy
Here we are at beautiful Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo.  If you didn't know better you would think we were in Cancun or the Cayman Islands!!  We were going to play "where's grandma?"  ( like where's Waldo) I bet you would not say Africa!!  This is where 8 of our American Elders are serving.  As I looked across the ocean "home is that way".

Here are the "Cooks" looking over the beautiful city of Yaounde.  This is the place where Elder Holland dedicated the country of Cameroon for missionary work.

Wherever President Cook goes the kids flock just like the pied piper.  They love to have their pictures taken and then see themselves on the IPad.  This was one of the branches we visited one Sunday
Baptisms are our favorite Saturday activity.  Here are two of our sister missionaries and their new members.  The little girl in front was so sad two weeks ago because she couldn't take the sacrament because she wasn't baptized yet.  She can't wait until tomorrow.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

First trip to Johannesburg

We had a wonderful 4 days in Johannesburg .  I died and went to heaven.  A bath tub in the hotel that I could actually sit in clean water was heavenly.  In fact I took 2 baths a day !  We spent our first free day walking through the mall that was attached to the Hyatt hotel got our hair cut, went shopping in a grocery store stored up and filled our suitcase!!! We spent 2 full days in training. I think the Area Presidency does this after we have been in our missions for 6weeks and we know what they are talking about and what questions we need to ask haha. Here we are at the Area Presidency's home which is right by the Temple and the Mission Offices.  The temple was closed for repairs. There were the seven new mission presidents and their wives it was so fun to see them again.  Look at that blue sky the first we have seen one.  Kinshasa is kind of smoggy right now.  It was actually cold in Johannesburg .  Still no container!! I'm still wearing the same 5 outfits.  But then so is the President!!!!

Trip to the orphanage

We had an opportunity to visit and deliver supplies to an orphanage that is run by a member of the church.  As we approached the place the children saw and ran to meet us with their arms opened for hugs.  This is new school that was built for the children and also the neighborhood children the director    can then charge the neighborhood children alittle bit for school and this give her means to help the orphanage.  But as we went into the school there is no desks or chairs so I don't know how that's going to work.  We played games hokey pokey, do as I'm doing, head,shoulders knees and toes, and president cook even got the children to play Simon Says. The conditions of this orphanage was bare minimal as you can see from the pictures I didn't think I would see worst than Romania but I did.  Picture of the shower and latrine are shown and then their beds with mosquito nets. The senior missionaries from our mission made the bunk beds before this the children were sleeping on the hard cement floor. There are 23 children in this orphanage.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

 Today was the first baptism that we have been able to attend.  The two gentlemen in the colored shirts are the ones that got baptised.  As they stood in the water I remembered it was probably next week that JC (our grandson)is to be baptised, or soon thereafter. I asked the two, Alexander and Olivier, where there family and friends were?  They said their family had no interest, were discouraging and that they would be the first to join the church and pave the way for other family to come. I told them we were there for them. Today we will stand in for there families. Our JC would understand, he will have lots of family there for him, and in spirit we will be there too!!  Thanks JC for understanding.
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