Sep 9, 2013

09/09/2013 The Traditional "Feu" for the Passing of Loved Ones.......

To answer a few questions…..All of church is in French and so I only sing hymns in French and I absolutely love it!  I’ve already memorized some of the popular hymns. I love French, even though I don’t speak it perfectly - it has definitely become a part of my identity.  Also, we don’t eat in the sector (Mbota).  We study all morning and eat lunch and then go work in the sector from 12-7pm each day.  Also our baptism this week fell through!! Alpha just never showed up this week and so we couldn’t finish lessons or get him interviewed.  But we’ll try again - who knows.  I love all my investigators!  From the oldest 60 year old to the 19 year old kids! They are all amazing and equally special to me.  We have a massive baptism in 2 weeks - 7 candidates, we are excited!

We searched all over town, literally, for a Code de la Famille and couldn’t find it.  It’s a very rare book that is out of print so we are keeping our eyes peeled.  We didn’t make it to the Mayor’s office but we’ll keep moving along.  So we also had an opportunity to do a service project - we helped a less active move from one place to another.  Who would have thought - church moves in Africa! haha It reminded me of all the moves we have participated in as a family on Saturday mornings for members of the wards in Denver.  I am so thankful that I was raised in a home that taught values of service! I am definitely happiest when I am serving. 

It was a slower week this week. We had some missed rendezvous, Sometimes because we were stuck in a bus for 2 hours!! (and Pointe Noire is not that big) but sitting in buses and walking miles on end is part of this glorious work here. : ) 

Also I received your post card. That’s crazy to think about Elder Helewell and Kafauna. (missionaries that came to our door in 2006 and helped bring our family back into activity in the church) That was so so long ago!  Who would have thought their lessons would later lead to a missionary in Africa?! 

We had a man from Ghana that apparently lives here, come to church.  He bore his testimony yesterday and told a really cool story…..He moved here from Ghana and was a member already. He didn’t know the church was in Pointe Noire, but one night he had a dream where two missionaries told him to go to the "commune de Mvou-mvou".  So that Sunday he went to the commune, and began asking around for the "American church".  He was directed the back of the commune where the church building is located!  This week he returned and brought his wife and daughter!  It is incredible that God can direct the entire church as a whole, and yet care enough about us to direct us each personally! These are the kinds of people I have been able to rub shoulders with on my mission! And i love it!!

Jeanella and her family are dealing with the mother’s death well.  The family has had to split because of living costs but they are still coming to church. We went over there this last week and taught them and they are progressing! Gilberto said he would stop drinking, so we will see how that develops - we have confidence in him!  We also helped them burn all the mother’s belongings as is tradition: clothes, books, pictures, everything.  At one point we had a pretty good feu (fire) going, and as you can imagine we were very hot in church clothes. 

Elder Johnson!

PS - We get transfer letters this week so I’ll let you know soon if I am changing areas. (Every 3-6 months missionaries can be transferred to new areas or matched with a new companion.)