First Week in Congo

Bonjour toutes le monde!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week has been amazing!! Definitely one of the greatest weeks I’ve had here in Africa, ooooooo and also my very first week here in Brazza. There is so much I want to write about and describe (but also very little time).

Alright, so my trainer, and first companion in the field is an Elder named Elder Mongo. He is from Kinshasa, and is an amazing guy, he has helped me out so much this past week to get situated and to feel comfortable here. He is a native, but he served for four months in the Yaounde, Camaroon English branch, so he also speaks English very well. So that has been very helpful for me. My first area is the Massa, Brazzaville branch. It is such a gorgeous place (in my opinion), Massa is also pretty far outside the main city of Brazzaville so it is very rural. The layout of this area is pretty cool though, but it is kind of hard to explain, there are a few really big hills, and the valley of these hills is where all the shops, main roads, and vendors are. But my favorite part of the city are the hills (where we do most of our poselyting) because on these hills is where most of the people live. Also these hills are full of children running around playing, amazing people, and the most gorgeous views I have probably ever seen. The houses are usually either some sort of concrete, or tin shack. We do most of our teaching outside though in lawn chairs that the investigators set out for us. There is a lot of hiking, just because most of our lessons are on the hills, but once your up there you get an amazing view of the Congolese river, and the adjacent hill, covered with vegetation and run down houses.

Our apartment is really really really nice, compared to how I thought it was going to be. I say this because we have a lot of really awesome commodities that I am really grateful for, for example, we have a washing machine, air conditioning (never thought I’d be cold in Africa), and also hot water. Although the downside is that our apartment is filled to the brim with cockroaches, mice, and the occasional palm sized spider. But that’s alright.

Also the Elders in our district are really really cool, elder Kayembe, and elder Cicon. Elder Cicon is an American, so we talk about movies and books and stuff which is really nice.

One of the most tender things to happen to me this week, and probably in my whole life happened after Elder Mongo and I taught this group of six kids (children of the ward clerk) ages 3-8. After the lesson they all insisted that they walk us to the main road (probably 2/10 of a mile downhill). So we started walking, them all giggling at my broken French, and one of the boys really really wanted to hold my hand (here in Africa everyone holds hands). While that was happening one of the little girls wanted to hold my other hand, but I was carrying my scripture bag. So she offered to carry my scripture bag, so that she could hold my other hand.

Oooooo another thing to happen this week was that I got to help gut and prepare fish, and make foufou. It was so good, and I was surprised because in the MTC foufou tasted like rubber, but the foufou here is awesome. It’s probably one of my favorite things to eat.

It was pretty funny, while we were walking down from one of our other lessons this group of guys called us over. But a few of them were mocking us, one of them was actually showing us his pubes. But Elder Mongo chastized him by saying “votre corps est un temple” which means your body is a temple, which made him feel really ashamed. But yeah we actually ended up giving them all pamphlets and getting their contact info.

It’s kind of funny, all of the children, and a few of the adults yell out to me with one of three names. Ndala which means white man in Lingala, Chinoix which means chinese in French (this one is usually followed by nihao chingchingchingchingchingchong), or messi. Also everyone stares at me, because besides the missionaries I am like the only white guy here.

All the members and people here are amazing, and we have had the opportunity to teach so many amazing lessons. I have felt the spirit so strong, and everyday I am grateful for the opportunity to be here. I swear I’ve never seen this much green in my life. Brazzaville is very jungly, I will try to send some pictures next week. But for now, Au Revoir.

-Elder Thomas

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