Jul 22, 2013

07-22-13 We are all in the same Mbota so "Put Your Shoulder to The Wheel"

This week has been a good one. To paint the picture for you, we have 11 progressing investigators. 14 investigators coming to church. 8 baptismal invites! IT'S ON FIRE!! Elder Baker and I have decided to start handing out copies of the Book of Mormon instead of brochures and I think I know why we were enlightened to do that. We have gone through 2 boxes of copies of the Book of Mormon in one week! That's something like 40 books! A piece of advice for the future missionaries at home: the more copies of the Book of mormon you place in your backpack, the heavier it is - the heavier it is - the more your shoulders hurt - the more your shoulders hurt - the more anxious you will be to pass out books. haha.

We have also found a little gem in the middle of Pointe Noire, its called Mbota. its a small neighborhood hidden in the jungle but it is on fire! We have met so many people there this last week who have already had lessons but were simply dropped or forgotten about when the missionaries got to busy or were moved. One young man came up to us, invited us to teach him and said "perhaps a baptism can follow". We simply smiled and responded in the positive - "a baptism can follow". We have decided to focus our energies on that neighborhood as much as we can. We know whenever we walk the streets in that area we will leave with no brochures or Books of Mormon.

This is my favorite story of the week - A pousse pousse in africa is a large wheel barrow. Heavy loads are placed in them and one or two people will push them short distances. After an apointment with Anh we were walking down the road in the same direction as a pousse pousse loaded with large cement sacks. The two men were walking rather slow and we were catching up to them quickly. When we caught up to them we "put our shoulder to the wheel" and pushed along! We walked the entire street with them until they reached their destination. As we pushed, people lining the streets laughed and yelled at us. Taxis literally stopped, and turned around to watch us help these two men push the load. As I pushed it and I thought of Mosiah 4:26 (click link and scroll down to verse 26)which says, you shall administer to their relief, in things temporal and spiritual. We left the two men with a Book of Mormon. I later learned from my companions that pushing a pousse pousse is the lowest job in africa, a sort of a last resort job. Good thing no job is too low for a missionary of Christ!

A note about one of our investigators. Alpha is an amazing young man who I think I have mentioned before. He has a really good memory and loves everything associated with the church. But he always wears the greatest hats! He has this rainbow trucker hat that I absolutely love, and at english class this week he had a Hannah Montana sun visor. lol He is the best!

A note for Maya (my little sister): this past week we were walking in Mbota and met a member named Jesse. After talking with him, Elder Baker and I walked down the street singing the theme song to the disney show "Jesse". So thanks to little sisters, there are two elders singing disney theme songs on the streets of Africa. Haha

A note for all the boys: Because the airport is in the middle of the city, airplanes fly very low right over our apartment. There is a massive Russian plane that flies in every week or so. Whenever it comes in, the more seasoned Elders yell, "It's her", we all run to the window and watch her fly in. So silly! Also last Monday we were walking downtown, and in the middle of the crowds these police men were walking around with fully loaded Ak-47s. Its a sight I'm sure Ferious (my older brother)would liked to have seen.

Well thats the report for this week! We're working hard and loving every minute of it! Time is really going by fast! Oh Ya - we now have a Native African living with us. He's one of the missionaries here in Point Noire. He is awesome and luckily speaks English so I can understand him. He loves American food and has declared Pizza the best of all. Who would have thought?

"Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" is a Hymn we often sing in the LDS church. When the pioneers were crossing the country on their way toward the West, most of the pioneers used various carts or other wheeled vehicles for their journey. The origin of the phrase “to put one's shoulder to the wheel” is a phrase that describes the work of leaning against the wheel of the vehicle that is stuck in mud out of a rut and using your physical strength to push the wheel ahead out of the hole, etc... Another way to describe this is “putting in a great effort in order to accomplish a formidable task”. The idea of a 'the shoulder to the wheel' is an ancient one and can be found in one of Aesop's proverbs called “The Tale of Hercules and the Waggoner”. Reference: