Jan 19, 2014

12-23-13 Merry Christmas from the Congo!

First off I’m so excited to talk with you all on Skype this week!  I’m trying to think of some fun stories to tell you when I get the chance but we will just see.  Also if you have any questions that would be a great time to ask. I know my emails may lack the detail of Africa you want so let me know this Wednesday.  With that said I WILL BE SKYPING CHRISTMAS DAY 8:45AM!  That’s my time to talk with you all.  I know it’s not preferable but that’s how it fell for us.  So be expecting the call sometime around then. : )  Like I said, I’m so excited to talk with you all!
This week was good work wise but kind of normal.  First, I had to take a sick day.  Not too bad, 1 day of rest for 200 days of work.  I was just feeling sick and had a head-ache and a fever so I slept the entire day and that whole night.  But I am much better now!  Probably just some nasty bug I had. (that’s both literal and figurative haha) I’m glad Lundberg is my companion though. He was totally okay with me taking the rest I needed and never complained. I really have come to love Lundberg, sadly he has 10 weeks left so he won’t be around for too much longer. We have been talking and we think that I’ll stay in this sector until he leaves in a few months and then I may leave to another area.
This week we finally earned the branch's respect.  We went out with the relief society president – Aoeur Sandrine - to do some teaching, and it was incredible.  While the zone leader held a baptismal interview for a 14 year old girl, me and Sandrine taught the family and got them excited to try and get married.  Soeur Sandrine is a return missionary from Kinshasa who is 35 and has an awesome family!  Now we have a new friend among the leaders and our work is being accepted by the members and people are really taking to us as a companionship!  It’s great, the Pointe-Noire branch basically feels like my home ward now.  As I hinted at, we had a baptism.  Soeur Merveille.  She is 14 and loves the church.  She has a bunch of friends in the young women’s and already wants to serve a mission.  She joined the church because her father accidentally attended an LDS meeting on Sunday 6 months ago.  He has slowly introduced his family to the church and now we are just waiting on their marriage so that they can be baptized.  Merveille is awesome and I am sure she will be a great strength for her family.
Next week we may be going to a jungle reserve to see some sick animals.  If that is the cause, it will be all day and I won’t be able to email.  So if you don’t get an email, I’m ok - just playing with some monkeys!!
I love you all and hope that the holiday season has been awesome and continues to go well.  Maybe if possible Gabbie could stay until Christmas morning so I can say hi to her.  But I love you all, and am so glad to be in this family.

Until Wednesday,
Elder Julius Johnson

PS – Also, a bus ALMOST hit me!  We were returning home at night and crossing a connection between the main road and a side road, when a bus came hauling down the street and then slammed on the brakes.  I didn’t notice the bus until I felt a tap on my arm and realized it was a bus!  Well, angels round about, right?!