Terri and I have been very busy. Since we are the only senior missionaries who can drive now, both of us are constantly taking people places. Terri is now a bonafide ‘Congo Taxi Driver’ as she goes out on her own, even at night, to take missionaries various places. For example, often meetings held at the mission home last till dark and we drive the missionaries home. Terri will go one direction, and I will go the other direction. But she comes by her skill naturally—her father was a truck driver!
Often we begin at 530 am to take missionaries to the airport, and, like last night, received a call about a sick sister missionary, so we were out till about 8 pm making sure she was okay. One never knows day to day how long your day will be, especially since Terri is ‘on call’ 24/7.
Terri is busy prepping for the next transfer, that begins in one week (didn’t we just do this?). We have 18 new missionaries coming, then another 50+ that are transferring around the mission various places, and Terri has been assigned to figure it all out! She has created computer programs to help her keep track, then prints out a daily ‘chore’ list for us to use (who picks up or drops off, etc.). Lots of moving parts and pieces that she has to be on top of so no missionary gets lost or left behind.
However, all of our work on apartments has finally paid off! With all the new missionaries coming, we don’t have to spend much time prepping apartments—they are already set and ready for new missionaries to arrive. We still have work to do before the NEXT transfer, when another 18-20 new missionaries arrive…but we are having furniture and beds made so that they will have a place to lay their heads when they arrive.
We have also started working on solar and water projects again. Several of the new apartments had poor water and/or poor or no power (you take what you can find!); so we have installed more water tanks to hold water (when the water comes on it automatically fills the tank so they have water when they need it); and solar panels so they have emergency lighting and power.
We had another new couple arrive this week: the Van Waggoners. They stayed a couple of days then traveled up to Bujumbura with the Neeleys and the Cahoons (who will be leaving shortly).
This weekend we will be helping with an Open House at a new church building in Mwembila—a suburb of Lubumbashi. I approached the Stake President about having an Open House when the building opens, and they had never heard of it before. So I have been giving them some guidance and support, and they have really taken it to another level! They are having TWO open houses: one in the morning for dignitaries (the Governor is supposed to come and cut the ribbon…). I am making gift baskets for them which include a Book of Mormon and pamphlets, etc.. Then in the afternoon the building will be open to the general public. We will have about 30 missionaries there to aid with the crowds. Should be interesting!
The most important part of the new building?
The new chapel
The bathrooms and classroom buildings
Front/side entry where people will enter the chapel
There is a center courtyard, with the baptism font at the other end, open air
two large water tanks for storage. They will be installed on high platforms in the future to give some water pressure even when there is no power
It has a generator– hey, it’s the Congo…no power, remember?
The chapel and one set of classrooms
They have a small kitchen off the Chapel area
Typical room for les enfants
Relief Society room
One of the legacies left behind by sister Wright are the ‘bag ladies’. Sister Wright has taught many sisters how to crochet bags and other items out of plastic bags. They have been able to turn this into small cottage industries and earn money from it.
The president had a slow leak in his tire, so I was off to the local repair shop. I am always amazed what these men can do with NO tools!
They had an old compressor to fill the tires, but the hose kept breaking and the end of the hose that would be used to attach to the tire to fill with air- simply wasn’t there! So in order to fill the tire they had to remove the inside of the tire inlet , then put the rubber hose in the OUTSIDE of the inlet, holding it tight so the air would not escape. Then, when the tire was full of air, they had to put their finger over the tire inlet, and somehow quickly screw in the pressure valve before the air came out again…
It took them 1 1/2 hours to fix the tire, and charged me $5
Well that’s it for now. Will take pics of the Open House to show you.