The elders waiting to be interviewed by Pres. McMullin. While he was busy interviewing elders, Terri was checking on their health, and I was inspecting the Ward building.
The Mwene Ditu building– the chapel seats about 75, for a congregation of about 150-200! Every child must sit on a lap, and they use a large covered porch, as well as outside seating for Sunday meetings.
After the Pres. was finished, we walked to a small restaurant nearby for dinner with the Zone Leaders, and the Assistants to the Pres. who traveled with us.
The Pres. and Sister McMullin walking hand in hand as we traveled to the restaurant, just ahead and to the right.
The view from the ‘penthouse’ suite of the restaurant. They had just opened this section of dining, and we all were getting a little overwhelmed by the fumes from the stain on the wood. You got upstairs by walking up some very narrow and slightly askew wood stairs– watch out for the first and last steps, as they were a big taller than the rest!
The next day was a busy one. While Pres. and Sister McMullin were at Zone Conference with the elders, Terri and I traveled with our driver Cotefoi and the owner of the hotel we stayed at (story to come later) to get some things for lunch and for the trip to Luputa.
Cotefoi and Jean Pierre walk the markets of Mwene Ditu to aid me in finding all the things for the trip: mattresses, a tarp, rope, water, etc.
We were asked to get water and bananas for the Elders for a lunch break (we would all be eating dinner together later), and also to find 8 mattresses to take with us to Luputa. All the elders in Mwene Ditu and Ngandajika would be traveling to Luputa for Stake Conference and they would need additional places to sleep. Who knew how hard these items would be to find!
After a lot of walking, we finally found bananas! It took 4-5 stores to find enough bottled water for our trip, and for the elders lunch break.
A lot of the market was hidden, and we walked down narrow alleys and through covered spaces. We finally found some mattresses, but he only had a few. We negotiated with him, and he sent a runner to all the other mattress stores around, and one by one we got 8 foam pads to use as mattresses for the elders in Luputa.
Once we got the mattresses, we had to tie them to the top of the car. The back was already full of luggage and bike parts.
We covered the foam with a large orange tarp, and then used rope to tie the ‘package’ to the top of the car. It traveled amazingly well over the very rough roads from here to Luputa!
A picture of the Mwene Ditu Zone
After the Zone Conference was over, we traveled to the same restaurant we had been to the day before. Here we all are in the ‘penthouse suite’ ready to eat.
A funny thing happened on the way to finishing dinner… We received some water bottles for dinner, and as they were being passed around (well, a few attempts were made to ‘toss’ them to elders down the line…), one of the bottles hit a plate of food, and, voila!
At almost every stop along the way, Terri was stopped and asked medical questions. Here, she was teaching some Zone Leaders how to do a Malaria test. Since many of the Elders are in very remote locations, they are being taught to look for signs of illness in their elders, and be able to then communicate with Terri the status of their health.
No matter where we went, children seemed to follow!
This is the neighbor to one of our Mwene Ditu missionaries. We stopped at their apartment, and as usual, I stopped to try my French on anyone around. After a short talk, I asked them if the missionaries had stopped to talk with them about the church. They said no, they always just waved. So I asked them if they would like to learn more about the church, and offered to have the missionaries teach them– they said yes!
You can see our ‘caravan’ ready for the trip to Luputa, as Pres. McMullin says goodbye to some of the children that had gathered around us.