Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Brochure Barrage and Providential Potholes

We heard last month about the little spot the church put out "He is the Gift" and wondered how we could do anything with it here in Cameroon.  We've tried getting it on national TV here, but we don't think that will happen.  (A member has a good contact there, and we think they're going to show "Joy to the World" on Tuesday, though.  That's a good start!)  We decided one thing we could do was to show it on our TV outside the walls that surround our two buildings.  It took a $56 extension cord, a 2'x4' piece of plywood, a couple of tablecloths, a jump drive with ten copies of the video clip (and the one from YouTube with David Archuletta and Jon Schmidt) and lots of brochures!

When we first heard about our apartment, we heard we wouldn't need to order many brochures.   The couple we replaced received an order of brochures that somehow got mixed up in numbers.  We have boxes and boxes of brochures throughout the house.  There are boxes under beds, in closets, in the hall, along a wall in our bedroom, in the living room, in the elders' apartments.  Lots of boxes, and each one has about 400 brochures in it.  The boxes have come in handy--supports for our big dining table when we have everyone over and now the hearth for our fireplace.  We really don't need that many brochures in our house, so we thought we might as well have them in the hands of people here in Yaounde as sitting in boxes in our apartment.

Monday and Tuesday morning we spent hours stamping the phone numbers of the missionaries and times of church for both buildings on the backs of brochures-"The Restoration", "The Plan of Salvation", and "The Gospel of Jesus Christ", along with "The Family--a Proclamation to the World".  We were all set by about noon on Tuesday.

We started out at the building closest to us.  There are some schools across the street, and a lot of foot traffic, so we figured it would be a good place to show the little video clips on the TV and hand brochures out to those walking past.  Very few people actually stopped to watch the video--they were on their way home and were hungry was the explanation one of the members who helped us give out brochures gave us.  It was noisy there and hard to hear, and the TV didn't show up really well in the daylight, but people definitely saw something was going on, and we were able to give out hundreds of brochures.  We had a pretty good chat with one young man--the missionaries just happened to be there after we'd talked and they set up a rendezvous for later on in the week.  The member who was there with us was awesome.  He really was able to communicate to people and they felt the Spirit.  We probably got five or six contacts that day and felt pretty good about our efforts.  The people were very happy to receive something that was free.  We had very few not accept them.   After getting back to the apartment each night, we spent hours stamping more brochures for the next day.

Wednesday and Thursday we went to the other building.  The road it's on is narrow, and very busy.  It's also just next door to a school, and across from another one.  Lots and lots of people come up it, but there's a lot more traffic as well.  I've cussed the big potholes just in front of our building until this week.  They're definitely "providential potholes"!  Cars have to slow way down to keep from tearing their cars apart when they go through them.  As they did, Anne and eight to ten kids and a couple of missionaries from time to time handed out brochures.  The people were very friendly, for the most part, and if they didn't get enough brochures when they went through the potholes, they had another chance 20 yards down the road with someone else who was waiting to hand them what they needed.  There was a great enthusiasm among the kids--which started with Sister Dimond!  She really set the tone and we gave out even more brochures than we had at the first building.  One of the branch presidents saw us on Friday and said several people had been to the church asking for Books of Mormon!  
Sister Dimond in front of the potholes.
Members passing out brochures on the other side of the street.  The blue shirt/skirt is the uniform of one of the high schools nearby.
Sister Dimond and a man from Liberia who stopped to chat--in English!

Videos played on the TV in the back of our van--at least some of the members enjoyed them!
Many people walk everywhere here.
Kids lined up along the road above the church, flagging down passing cars--especially taxis!
Here's a view of just how deep the potholes are.  Now we've had our activity, we hope they get fixed soon!
Friday we were back at the first building.  A different member was there helping that afternoon.  He got another half-dozen or more phone numbers.  We got several, including one of a pastor.  He called yesterday and said he'd like to talk to us, after he's read the brochures to see what our doctrines are.  That should be interesting!  It was a lot calmer atmosphere at the second building, but we still were able to hand out many hundreds of brochures.  One fun experience happened with one of the participants in an Olympics event they've got going on right now.  He's 17 and was interested in our beliefs, so we sat down for about 20 minutes and got to teach him a very brief discussion about the restoration.  We took his phone number and we'll share that with the couple in Douala, where he lives.  He seemed like a very nice young man.  It will be interesting to see if any results come because of this week.  There are a lot of people who at least know where the church is and possibly something about our beliefs.

It's great to be part of such an uplifting, positive church, with wonderful members.  

Merry Christmas!!

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