Monday, May 11, 2015

Members and Missionaries

We don't have a lot of photos of our members.  Here are some that show baptisms (which is where we take most of the photos, sorry!), as well as some of the members at the buildings or at activities.  The members here are great--and sacrifice a lot to be active!

The Mpessa family at Soeur Mpessa's baptism--It took some convincing for Frère Mpessa to perform the baptism, but he did a great job!
E. Nzema and E. Tshibanda with Claire at her son's baptism.

Bastos 1 Primary.  Soeur Mireille is on the back row--she's the president and one of our piano students.

E. Waite and E. Brockbank at a baptism at the Anguissa building.

Members at the Anguissa building at an open house.

Sr. Zang and Sr. Messi, both speak good English!  (E. VanAusdal and E. Waite in the background)

E. Tucker and E. Rakotondrabeharison's baptism

Modeste and Danielle, a piano student and sewing student as well!

E. Bacera and E. Wright at a baptism, just outside the Bastos building.

Baptism for E. Tucker and E. Beutler 
Family members at the baptism of the grandmother

Soeur Dimond with E. Brockbank and E. VanAusdal at a baptism in Ekounou

We needed the baptismal clothing from both buildings at this baptism!

Sister Dimond playing the clapping game at a primary

Young Single Adults making ice cream by kicking a can filled with ice and a smaller can with the mixture.

They loved it!

YSA members playing 21 sticks.

Sister Dimond trying to get some proxy "grandma" time!  (She does that every chance she gets.)

Missionary Apartments

We were very surprised at how nice our apartment was when we first came to Yaoundé.  The missionaries' apartments are also very nice--although not quite as nice as the senior couple's.  One mother of a prospective missionary wasn't sure she wanted him to go on a mission, because the living conditions he'd experience as a missionary would be so much better than he'd had growing up.  That's very true in many instances.  Here are photos of our two apartments for the elders; one is in Bastos and the other is in Ekounou.

Soeur Monga starting the Ekounou apartment inspection with E. Brockbank

Ekounou kitchen

S. Monga and E. Beutler in the Bastos living room

Bastos dining room

Bastos kitchen

Bastos dining room looking into the living room

Don't you love their ingenuity?  Water bottles as supports for their shoe racks!  (You definitely need to store water here--it's off frequently!)

Notice the shower has no separation from the rest of the floor--the drain is on the same level.

Bastos bedroom

Bastos spare bedroom

Public Transportation Insanity

We've seen all kinds of things in taxis and on motos (motorcycles).  Most taxis have 5 "places"--the driver plus 4 passengers.  They fit more in than that on many occasions.  They'll also put huge bundles of whatever people are taking to sell that day, 50 pound bags of onions, etc. hanging out the back end of the cab.  One day we heard a squeal come zipping past us--a pig was tied to the seat of a moto on its way to market or home, we weren't sure which.  It wasn't a happy hog!!!

Of all the things we've seen, this was by far the most amusing.  A man is sitting atop his newly purchased love seat on the back of the moto, cruising down the highway.  Amazing!!!

Mother's Day Dinner 2015

We had a great time with our elders calling home or Skyping for Mother's Day.  Not everyone celebrates when we do in the U.S., so we'll have half of our elders calling/Skyping on May 31, Mother's Day in Madagascar.  We're so blessed to have such wonderful young men serving with us here in Yaoundé.  Every transfer we hold our breath, thinking maybe one of the new elders will be a challenge.  So far, we've been very fortunate!  They're fun, hard-working, happy young men, with great senses of humor.  Right now, eight of our ten elders are either from Democratic Republic of Congo or Madagascar.  They're all great!!!

The elders enjoyed home-made chicken noodle soup, French bread baguettes, fresh bananas and pineapple, with a chocolate sheet cake for dessert.

Clockwise from bottom left:  E. Tshibanda, E. Bakajika, E. Bulendolo, E. Mpongo, E. Kabenga

E. Bulendolo, E. Mpongo, E. Kabenga

E. Tshibanda and E. Bakajika

E. Bybee, E. Bacera, E. Rakotonindriana

(Near Table)  E. Bybee, E. Bacera, E. Rakotonindriana, Sis. Dimond

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Yaoundé Church Buildings and Site

Currently, we have three buildings where we hold church services here in Yaoundé.  Recently, Marius von Mollendorff from South Africa came to inspect our buildings and see the property the church owns.  Here are some photos we took at each of the buildings.

This is the building closest to our apartment.  It's been in use for several years and is currently home to two branches, Bastos 1 and Bastos 2.  It's right across the street from a huge high school, so people usually know how to find it.  Bastos 1 has 71 members who speak English (although not many come because services are almost totally in French.)  There are plans to create an Anglophone branch very soon!  Bastos 2 is ready to be divided.  We hope to have a different building for them to move to soon--one that would be closer to their members.
Bastos building exterior within the outer walls....
Bastos chapel.

Bastos classroom (young women)

Bastos hallway leadng to district president's office

Bastos kitchen area

District President and first counselor--Pres. Bala and Pres. Tchanda

Bastos Primary room

Bastos Relief Society Room

The following pictures show our building for the Anguissa and Mimboman branches.  It's amazing how many members you'll find at the church, just about any time of day.

Ekounou building exterior--Relief Society and Primary are on the top floor.  The chapel is on the lower level.
Baptismal font (outside the upper level)
Branch president's office
Stairs leading down to the chapel rear entrance and additional classrooms.

Seating in the chapel.  (Not very comfortable.)
Piano in the chapel.

Primary classroom (where we give piano lessons on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.)

Primary room.  Notice the colorful chairs!

Relief Society room (upper level)

Kitchen (no propane hooked up to the stove......)

Sister Dimond next to the unplugged fridge (not much cooking/heating of food goes on here.)

These next photos are of our newest building--Ekounou.  The remodeled house didn't have a room large enough for a chapel, so a pad was poured behind the building, and metal walls and a roof were added.  It gets really HOT there in the afternoon. 

Ekounou chapel


Relief Society room

Upstairs hallway with supply closet

Ekounou kitchen

Ekounou primary room 
Narrow stairway leading to upstairs classrooms (one person at a time, please!)

Wiring in the kitchen

Upstairs classroom

Here are a few photos of the land the church owns.  It's in a beautiful spot--a nice view across the land's just quite a ways from the current members.  Hopefully we'll be able to find many new members right around the location--it's been purchased with the plan of building a district center on it.

Dirt Road in front of property

It's a large parcel, but lots of slope.

Quite a view!

Right now a man and his family live on the property as security.  Here's their corn patch outside the "house".