Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Our Preparation Day in Quissama Park

After talking about this for weeks, we finally found the day to visit the Quissama wildlife park. All of the missionaries in the Luanda Area left Luanda at 5:00 in the morning so we could see the animals at their best, bright and early in the dawning morning. We had the opportunity to ride in this big truck. All 18 of us fit in and were ready to go by about 7 AM. President and Sister Walton got everyone organized and the Elders quickly found their place in the truck. We can just see Elders Bene, Tolman, Anhanha, Rainbolt, Borden, Eckman, Schioser, and Arrington on this side of the truck. We're all ready to go!

With Elders Bauer and Davis behind, Elders Anhanha, Borden, and Kelsey are enjoying the start of our fun safari ride in the wilds of Angola. It's hard to believe that we are only an hour away from Luanda!

The open truck was the perfect way for us to see the beautiful countryside and the amazing animals. Elder Kelsey had a front row seat that was perfect for his viewing pleasure, even if he was occasionally whipped by the passing bushes. Elders Arrington and Davis were always looking for any kind of wildlife as we bounced along.

We were all very excited to see a group of zebras off in the distance. So our guide sped over the dusty, pitted roads for us to have a better view of these very African animals.

The truck was fun but it was one bumpy ride as we traversed Quissama Park. Elders Schioser and Bene were ready to take a rest and walk around.

Here we have Elders Manuel and Sande. Then there is Elders Bene, Bauer, and Sande. Good group of missionaries enjoying Angola!

During our stop in the bush we had the opportunity to take some group pictures. Elders Schioser, Eckman, Manuel, and Bene enjoyed the complimentary cookies and cold water. Sister Reedy was kind enough to take a picture of Elders Walker, Rainbolt, Borden, and Anhanha.

Elder Arrington really likes to be comfortable on his preparation day, so he came in his extra big pajama pants and was relaxed the whole day!

We had to stop long enough for a water break and to take this picture of our whole group.

While this monkey sat happily in his tree, safe from the noisy crowd, this is what it looked like from inside the truck once we spotted the animals in their natural habitat. Fun times!

After chasing the animals through the bush, our driver stopped at the river for us to enjoy the beautiful blue river and the green grassland. Happy birthday to Elder Manuel. What a way to spend your birthday! Elder Tolman had to have his picture taken on the rocks (I don't think there were any crocodiles in the water) while Elders Eckman and Borden talked with Sister Walton about this fun day.

Then end of a long, fun, adventurous preparation day found the elders all worn out!


Last weekend in Luanda, we had the baptisms of Agircia and Iveth. They invited their friend Nataniel, from the Luanda 2 branch, to baptize them. Elders Anhanha and Bauer taught the two friends and they were both baptized on the same day.

Most of our baptisms are always a full house, and the baptism of Agircia and Iveth was no exception. The missionaries presented the special musical number and sang "I Am a Child of God" while Elder Anhanha accompanied them on the recorder.

After the baptism, Elders Tolman, Anhanha, Bauer, Walker, and Rainbolt, stop for a picture with Ivo. His daughter, Iveth, was just baptized and he is an investigator too. He is a professional basketball player in Angola. He is at least 7 feet tall and towers over our tallest missionary, Elder Bauer. His hands are enormous and perfect for handling the ball.

Interviews in Viana

Most of the time when interviews are scheduled, President and Sister Walton will travel to the missionaries. While in Viana Elder Rainbolt showed us how clean his bedroom area is. He is a very obedient missionary! Elder Bene, the District Leader, showed us the new branch bulletin board that they created during the week. Good job Elders!

Cassequel District Meeting

Elder Manuel is the District Leader in Cassequel District and Elder Davis is his companion. They are doing some good missionary work in this district!

Elders Borden, Rainbolt and Walker participate in Elder Manuel's Cassequel district meeting while Elders Bauer, Tolman and Harper listen intently.

This is our Cassequel District minus Elder Anhanha (a zone leader) who was on a division, so Elder Rainbolt replaced him. Here we have Elders Davis, Bauer (the other zone leader), Harper, Tolman, Manuel (the district leader), Rainbolt (really in the Viana district, but here on a division), Walker and Borden. This is a good big district!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Last week (7 Jan) Evandro chose to be baptized by Elder Rainbolt. Elders Manuel and Rainbolt joined Evandro and 3 friends that he invited to be there at the Cassequel Chapel for this momentous day.

Evandro is a favorite with the missionaries and Elders Bauer, Rainbolt, and Anhanha are happy to see him become a member of the Cassequel Branch.

This past Saturday (14 Jan.) two young men were baptized in the Cassequel Branch. Elders Manuel and Davis taught and prepared Teodoro and Wilson. The Church in Luanda is getting stronger every week!

Another baptism for Cassequel. This is Kelvin with Elders Borden and Harper. That makes 3 baptisms of young men, and future priesthood holders, for the Church in Angola. Amazing!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Baptisms for Lubango and Luanda 1

Months ago down in Lubango Simao was contacted. It took him awhile, but he was baptized the day before Christmas with the help of Elders Richter and Guente. His cute family will follow in the coming weeks. That's a whole family for Lubango!! Then in Luanda 1, 9 year-old twins, Joice and Josemar, were baptized by their father. Elders Anhanha and Bauer helped teach and prepare them for this memorable day. Elders Bauer and Manuel consulted on the program order while everyone changed into their white clothing. After the baptism, President and Elder Arrington tried to carry the bucket of wet baptismal clothing on their heads, but it wasn't going too well. A kind man passing by stopped to show them how the women in Angola wind up a piece of cloth and make a nest for the load to sit in and make it stable on their head.

To Benguela and then home!!

Our last stop on the road trip was in Benguela. Last time we were in Benguela President contacted Eduardo and Isak. They both expressed an interest in knowing more about the church. Over the past few months they have been in contact with President and have been anxiously awaiting missionaries to come and teach them. Finally that time came! We had Elders Bauer and Anhanha teach them over dinner and desert about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. It went well, and now they have to wait until next time we pass through, or when we can send missionaries to Benguela, whichever comes first. Our waiter had been listening while they taught and expressed an interest in the "doctrine of Christ". He is married and has a little one, so this would be a family of investigators in Benguela. Missionary work is awesome! On the way home to Luanda, we passed by this beautiful canyon right near the coast. Then we drove into Quicama Park to check it out for a possible Preparation Day activity with the missionaries and discovered this huge imbondeiro (baobob) tree. We figured it would hold at least 10 missionaries in the cave of the trunk!!

Road Trip for the Zone Leaders and President and Sister Walton

It was time to visit our missionaries and members in southern Angola, so off we went with the zone leaders, Elders Bauer and Anhanha, to Huambo, Benguela, Namibe, and Benguela. In Huambo we had a family home evening with a few of the members and Beatu. It was nice to have an additional new member to the branch. Irmao Pereira is working in Huambo but originally comes from Portugal. It was a nice surprise for President and Sister Walton to make the connection that they knew his family in Viseu, Portugal. After leaving Huambo, we traveled through country that had seen the worst of the civil war. This tank was a stark reminder that the war is over and the people have been putting their lives (and country) back together. After leaving Lubango we traveled through the beautiful Serra Da Leba and it's serpentine road. Once we reached the coast in Namibe (the beginning of the Skeleton Coast and the Kalihari Desert) we stopped to eat lunch at the waterfront. Sister Violin had packed us a delicious lunch, but Elder Bauer was skeptical of Elder Anhanha's choice to eat peanut butter on his hard boiled egg.

New Years Eve in Lubango

New Years Eve was especially fun this year in Lubango. Sisters Violin and Marques had all the missionaries at the Marques home for roast pig and goat. After dinner the missionaries surprised Sister Marques and did all of the dishes for her! Then we had belated Christmas gifts and the missionaries received new ties, socks and new shirts. Sister Violin got a new beautiful scarf. It was a memorable and fun way to ring in 2012!!