Congo River Shenanigans 6.11.18

 

Bonjour!!

Last week was pretty crazy, Brother Morell, one of our investigators, asked us to visit him every day of last week. So in one week we went from lesson 1, the Restoration, to lesson 4 the Commandements. He is really pumped about the gospel, and he reads all of our brochures before each lesson, so even before the lesson he knows everything about each topic. Some of the most spiritual lessons that I’ve had have been with him. He has been really touched by our message and he is currently prepparing for his baptism this Saturday. The religious culture here is really different from that of Cameroun, the people here are extremelly receptive to the Gospel. We currently have three candidates who are preparing for their baptism this Saturday, I’m so happy to be back here in Brazzaville. Haha even if the people bully me more for being white.

It was pretty cool, the other day while we were driving to the zone conference in Diata we were driving down a hill and the brakes in our taxi went out. The taxi driver started freaking out because he thought we’d either die or get injured pretty badly. However, a couple seconds later there was a gap in the traffic of the neighboring lane and the driver was able to swerve over and drive into a sandy area where we were able to slow to a stop. It was a pretty interresting experience and everyone around the taxi was shouting about how the taximan was saved because he was driving men of god. In hindsight we probably could have gotten a couple of good contacts from the experience.

Oh this week we had a zone activity! Earlier today we went to this area close to the river, hiked a little bit and had snacks. It was pretty cool though because we where able to play games and mess around with everyone in our zone, it was a really fun time and I’ll send a couple pics later.

That’s about it for this week

Elder Thomas

Advertisements

6.4.18 pics and 5.28.18 letter

June 4, 2018

Baptism and reuniting with an old mtc bud.  In the sector pics:

 

 

May 28, 2018

So this week we had a baptism for three candidates!! It was a very spiritual service. Brother Jeanve, one of the people who was baptized asked me to baptize him so I was really honored. He is a really cool guy and he is really interested in serving a mission one day. So the bishop gave him a copy of preach my gospel after the service and he was really excited. Sister Cornelli another one of the candidates spent three years as an investigator before she decided to be baptized. She was really prepared and had a really strong testimony.

Right now we are teaching a group of four Papas, brother arssen, adolf, rock, and philip who were invited to take the lessons by one of the members. They are awesome and they are all really stoked about the lessons. They all really want to be baptized, but so far only Arssen has come to church. I love teaching them because they love the lessons and understand really well.

We are also teaching an investigator named Brother Morell. I like him a lot! The first lesson I had with him he layed his cards on the table and told us that he really wanted to be baptized. So, we are working hard to finish the lessons with him so that he can fulfill that goal. Wow, the work here is a whole lot easier than the work in Yaounde, the people just flock to the baptismal font.

That’s it for this week, I’ll send baptism pictures next week.
 

5.21.18- Brazzaville, Nkombo Ward

So about a week ago from today I was transferred back to Congo, I am currently working in the Nkombo ward, roughly three miles from my old sector. One might think that I’d be dissappointed to work so close to an area that I already know instead of experiencing the other cities and countries of the Congo Brazzaville mission, but I am actually pretty stoked. It feels so amazing to be back in the city that I have grown to love so much. It feels so familiar too, as if the entire city was on pause during the year I spent in Yaounde. The sights, the sounds, and even the smells have greeted me here in Brazzaville like an old friend. I even feel nostalgic whenever I hear the people shout moundelle at me. It feels good to be back, and it felt even better yesterday during stake conference when I had the opportunity to see all the people who had made a significant impact on my life back when I was in Massa. I was able to see most of my converts, pretty much all of the members, and even an old investigator who even now hasn’t been baptised, it was truly a remarkable experience. I had thought that most of the people here would have forgotten me, but I was proved wrong. Not only did the people here remember me, but they even remembered my name, and we were able to talk about the experiences whe had shared together. The Congolese are truly an amazing people, and I am excited to serve among them once more.

I am also working with Elder Muluane who is my first companion who isn’t from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is from Vanuatu, a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. He is an amazing guy, probably one of the nicest and one of the most humble missionary I’ve ever had the chance to work with. I am excited to work with him.

Well that’s about it for this week,

Bye o

Elder Thomas

Pictures include missionaries and companion in Brazzaville at Stake Conference.  Flood on the Street Road/River.

 

 

4.30.18

Bonjour!!!

So this week we had the opportunity to hold a baptismal service for three people, Sister Niquaise, Brother Nikola, and Sister Abigail. It was an amazing service, and the spirit, as in all of the baptismal services we’ve held throughout my mission, was extremely strong. after the service Sister Niquaise and Brother Nikola had the opportunity to bear their testimonies. They explained how they had both heard of the church a couple years earlier, it had peaked their interest and they researched it relentlessly. Despite their efforts however, they never came into actual contact with the church. One day a couple of years later Sister Niquaise was walking in Bastos when she saw a sign that said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She got really excited and immediately called her cousin Brother Nikola. They attended the church services the following Sunday, and following that encounter they were put into contact with my companion and I. They testified concerning the truth of this gospel, and they testified of their unwavering testimony that the Book of Mormon is the word of god. I was reminded through this experience of the manner in which god prepares his children to hear his word. I am grateful for the people that god has put in our path, and for the manner in which this message has affected their lives.

One of the greatest blessings of living in our appartement is the opportunity to grow acquainted to the smell of rotting rats. The rats living in our appartement complex scurry through an intricate system of holes and tubes scattered throughout the appartement. this week someone in our appartement (names will not be mentioned) thought it would be wise to solve our rat problem by using rat poison. This wasn’t however, a very well thought out scheme because the rats once dead are impossible to dispose of. Because of this we have a couple rotting rats hiding in the infrastucture of our appartement, and when we walk into the kitchen or a certain section of the balcony we are hit with the unpleasant and almost tangible aroma of deteriorating rat. O quelle joi

Oh we also had zone conference this week, it was great.

 

Love you all

Elder Thomas

 

 

IMG_0172.JPGIMG_0175.JPGIMG_0176.JPG

Monkeying Around – Cameroon 4.23.18

Yoyoyoyo

This week we got the chance to go to the Mefou Primate Reserve! It was a really cool experience, and it was really far from Yaoundé, right in the middle of the jungle. At the reserve they work to protect many different species of primates. They save primates that have been mistreated and work to rehabilitate them and to reintroduce them into the wild. There were Chimps, Mandrills, Monkeys, and Baboons, but I’m pretty sure that everyone in the appartement loved the gorillas the most. They would fight eac hother and bang their fists against their chests (which kinda supprised me because I thought they only did that in movies). We spent a while watching this group of gorillas and once the dominant male gorilla got up really fast and ran towards us. This only slightly suprised us as we were separated from the gorillas by an electric fence. But our tour guide yelled for us to watch out, and as soon as she yelled this, the dominant male threw an avacado seed at us at a frightening speed.

I really enjoyed the chimpanzees too, they would hoot and holler, and we weren’t allowed to get too close to the enclosure, as the chimpanzees have an unflattering habit of throwing their own feces at guests. The chimpanzee is super smart too, the guide was telling us about how the chimpanzees in the exhibit would use dry wood to climb over the electric fences and escape their enclosures from time to time. This is possible as dry wood does not conduct electricity.
It’s crazy to see these animals up close and in their natural habitat, and I will make sure to send all the photos we took over there. Ooooooo one interesting fact about the Mandrill is that the male’s face and butt are multicolored to attract females, and the dominant male’s butt and face will become more colorful than the rest.

Because it is far from the city, the road to mefou passes through heavily forested areas, and many small and rural villages. While we were passing through one village we saw a guy holding a decapitated snake on the edge of a stick. We told the taximan to stop, and we got out and bought the decapitated snake from the man. Viper is a delicacy and is really expensive in Yaoundé, but we were able to buy the snake from the man for only 2,500 francs roughly five dollars.

It was an amazing experience and a very up close reminder of how beautifully complex the world really is.

Dieu est grand

Elder Thomas