Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wild Monkeys/Couples Conference

You probably think by the name of this post that I'm calling our Senior Couples wild monkeys...well I am!!!  We held our first Couples Conference 2014 June 14-18. We brought in our couples from the outlying countries of Gabon,Cameroon,Republic of Congo to Kinshasa for instruction, relaxation, and fun. L to R: Brother DaTarr, E/S Bailey from Pointe Noire RC, E/S Smith -PEF, E/S Moody MLS/Humanitarian Gabon,E/S Sneddon Office couple, E/S Coleman MLS Douala,Cameroon, E/S Johnson Humanitarian Kinshasa, E/S Gates-Construction/MLS,  President/ Sister Cook
We started with a fireside Sunday evening with introductions and sharing our assignments.  Each told how they met each other and alittle about their responsibilities in Africa.  
We held the fireside in the Bybees apartment because they weren't with us and we wanted to feel of their spirit.  We missed the Bybees not being with us.  Monday morning started the first day of instruction at the Mission home.  Our theme for the conference was Hastening The Work.  Each couple took a different aspect of this theme and did a 30 minute presentation on subjects such as. HTW Through Training Member Leadership in Branches, HTW Through Faith an Action, HTW  Through Personal Scripture Study etc.  Everyone did excellent and it was a spiritual experience to hear everyone's experiences.  Here's Elder and Sister Johnson presenting their subject.
We had a wonderful lunch of chicken and Jacky's famous coleslaw and then it was off to the church for our Humanitarian Project.  E/S Johnson put together a project they have been working on. It's called the Maturation Program that makes sanitarian pads for young women.  The girls here cannot afford pads when their month period comes they have no protection and many of the girls just have to drop out of school all together. So the Humanitarian program came up with these washable pads with a holder and underware all put into a cute little bag that the young women can wash and rewash so they can keep a job and stay in school.  Here Elder Bailey is cutting and President Cook is sewing the pads on a hand wheel Singer sewing machine.  
I thought our children would get a chuckle at this picture of their Dad sewing.   Isn't this a great photo? !!!!!!  Monday night we had FHE evening and Brother Da Tarr came and spoke on his life story and the history of the Church in Kinshasa that is the photo above at FHE.  Tuesday morning we met at the Mission home again and met with Temporal Affairs.  This was so good for our couples in the outlying areas to have Temporal affairs answer their questions directly about building repairs, visas, rent payments, and ordering of supplies.  Here is a picture of Presient Eustache introducting his staff.  Thank you to Temporal affairs for coming and helping us.
Lunch was provided by Sister Sneddon wonderful chicken enchiladas.  Then it was off for a fun afternoon.  Some of the Elders went golfing and yes there is a golf course in Kinshasa !!! The Sisters were off to a fun afternoon of shopping.  First we went to the fabric store.  There are so many fun African prints. They also have fabric that has pictures of Jesus and pictures of the President of the country.
Here are Sisters Moody,Smith and Coleman sorting through fabric.
After the fabric store we were off to Theives market and the Distributing Office to finish out our day of shopping. Theives market is an open market that sells all sorts of African knick knacks and paintings.  Tuesday night it was Movie Night at E/S Smiths apartment watching the movie "Beatrice Potter" the story about the author of Peter rabbit the children books.  It was so good.  Here are Colemans, Smiths and Gates relaxing before the movie. There was plenty of popcorn for all!!
Wednesday morning we were up early and on our way to the Bonabo Park.  This is the part in my post about the wild monkeys!  The bonabo is a monkey closest to the human family than any other species of monkey even the chimpanzee.  It is only found in the DRC.  They live only here because they do not like water and so they have sent up their habitat in the land  between the two huge Rivers in DRC the Congo and the Kanaga (I think).  The bonobos are on a nature reserve where they can run free in the jungle but are enclose by a long wire fence.  Which President Cook found out had electric current going through it when he touched it with his camera haha.  It was a perfect day not too hot walking through the jungle and watch the bonabos.
The bonabos would pose when you would take a picture of them.
There were beautiful ponds with lilly pads on them.
This was so exciting for President Cook and I because it's the first we have seen any wild animals so this post is for all our grandchildren!  We found a real African hut and we all had to take turns having a photo here is E/S Sneddon in front of their hut.  Isn't this the best picture!
Elder Sneddon pointed out this termite hill/ant hill.  It was huge!!
More jungle and  more monkeys!
This is a picture of the monkey nursery.  These are the baby monkeys that are orphaned and these girls take care of them and hold and feed them and then when they are older they are set out into the jungle.  They have found these babies need to be held and loved in order to live.  Humans still haven't figure that concept yet!! Here is our closing photo of the group. And one more beautiful landscape of the jungle!
Wednesday late afternoon we went to dinner at Da Tarrs restraunt.  We invited our Aime and his wife Alfy and Elder Mbaya to dine with us because following dinner we were going to a rehearsal of the Kinshasa orchestra.  
We had only one disappointment the whole conference when we arrived at the rehearsal place to hear the orchestra they had been asked by the British Embassy to play for them for some event so they weren't there.  The next morning the Baileys, Gates, Colemans and us went across the Congo River.  They were returning to their homes and we were off to Branch Conferences for the last time before the division of the Mission.  We had such a fun week at our couples conference and having to say goodbye to these fine missionary couples in the other mission now was very hard.  They have been so generous to us when we have stayed with them.  They have fed us,transport us around all hours of the day and night, and listen to us ! We love them and will miss them! Until we meet again!!


  1. Beat post yet and yes that is an excellent picture of Bryce...sewing...pads!!! What a wonderful conference. Love and miss you!

  2. That conference was so much fun! We really needed the opportunity to compare notes with other couples. Nobody else will ever truly understand what it is like here at this time. Thank you for hosting us and organizing the conference.