One of the senior couples serving here in the Congo has gone home… a blessing for them, and tough times for us who are left! Sister Eastman acted as the office manager and Elder Eastman worked with me and Emanuel (a local) with finding and up keeping apartments, as well as did all the material handling for the mission (book of Mormons, pamphlets, etc.). With Sister Eastman gone we all feel like a ship without a rudder, and with Elder Eastman gone, Emanuel and I have to pick-up all the slack… a daunting challenge!
We do have two new senior sisters that arrived just before the Eastman’s left. Sister Riendeau and Sister Anthony are here to work in the office and to teach the Congo sisters. It is hard to tell exactly how they will fit-in as yet, so it is a little confusing. The two sisters will take over some of what Sister Eastman did, but a lot of their time will be spent teaching the local sisters and sister missionaries.
In addition to the normal stress that comes with such significant changes in staff and operations, we have 9 apartments that have been found and must be rented (all the contract paperwork), furnished (beds, tables, chairs, kitchen stuff, etc.), and then the missionaries moved in with all their stuff! And we are still searching for at least 5-6 more apartments to open immediately!
We have created a chart to try to track the progress of all this activity (as there are at least three separate departments involved in getting it done: Justin, Emanuel and I, and Elder Wright in finance.
Add to all of the above… and it was transfer week! We have eleven new missionaries coming in as well as 30? elders and sisters being transferred to new areas of the mission. It is mind boggling!
One of the last requests of the Eastman’s was to go to the Karavia hotel for dinner (we have it so rough here in the Congo…). This is a picture taken after dinner of all the sisters working in the mission: Left to right: Sister McMullin, Sister Eastman, Terri, Sister Wright, and the two new senior sisters, Sister Riendeau and Sister Anthony. And yes, it is as fancy as it all looks!
We also had a farewell dinner at the mission home for the Eastman’s as well as three other sister missionaries who were leaving for home.
There was also a couple of birthdays celebrated: this is one of Justin’s sons
And Emanuel’s daughter Perciany
Even Sister Eastman had a birthday to celebrate! Just seven years old too!
Elder Eastman was not to be outdone! He dressed up as…as…and old man (redundant don’t you think?) and recited a Christmas poem “The Night Before Christmas–with a few changes…. well, it was almost unrecognizable! But very entertaining!
Terri and I got some time pretending to be grandparents with Justin’s youngest daughter.
Her face says it all, doesn’t it?
The next day the three sister missionaries who completed their missions went home. One of them was going home to get married to her fiancé! No wonder they were dressed to the nines!
One last group shot, then off to the airport!