Sunday, February 26, 2012

Who You Gonna Call? The Missionaries!!

After the baptisms we all walked across the street to our cars to make plans for the coming week. Some man was driving his car on the sidewalk of all places and was distracted. He inadvertently drove his front right tire off the drop-off and was stuck. What to do? He was sure fortunate that there were about 12 missionaries standing by to help. And help they did. They all went over to help lift the truck back onto the sidewalk and the man drove merrily away still on the sidewalk!!


The work is going well, our missionaries have been blessed and busy! The missionaries are always very supportive of one another whether it comes to handing out towels to the converts as they exit the font, or coming to sing extra loud at the baptismal service, missionaries are great and the Saturday baptisms are always the highlight of their week! The Viana branch was out in force to witness the baptism of Elvimira and her brother, Fernando. Then after that picture was taken, Elder Arrington was so excited he wanted one more photo taken so his family could see just how happy he was for these two new members of the Viana branch.

The work is going well. Baptisms for Cassequel included Isabel and her son Christiano with Elders Schioser and Bene. Isabel's daughter was baptized many months ago and Isabel has been a regular at church since then. The Elders from Viana, Kearney and Arrington, couldn't contain their happiness for Elvimila and Fernando, a brother and sister and relatives of our former missionary, Elder Nequetela, along with Elders Anhanha and Bauer. Elder Kearney was thumbs up for convert, Elvimila. Elders Borden and Sande were all smiles for Isabel and Christiano. Everyone was happy for this mother and son from Cassequel!

Scenes Near Viana

People seem to be everywhere in the Luanda area. We rarely see beggars and everyone is trying to make an honest living any way they can. They sell tires along side the road, or carry buckets on their heads with cold water or housewares to sell to the passing cars, all while carting around their little ones. The traffic always seems to be congested and everyone tries to fit in wherever they can and tries to get ahead of the slow line of cars, which only adds more to the congestion. You just have to sit back and enjoy the ride and the scenery!

After visiting the Elders in Viana, we took a new road home and there were so many interesting things to see along the way. For miles and miles there were little shops along side the road, people selling cold water and fruit, pineapple trucks, tons of people and lots of traffic. We came upon a pipe gushing water and the people were taking advantage of the "free" water. Water is very precious in Angola, especially when it appears to be a drought year, and you have to pay for a delivery truck to bring it to you. So the neighbors were bathing, washing clothes, or just enjoying the cool water. They were gathering it in buckets to take home even though it appeared to be less than pure and clean. The missionaries have assured us that they do boil it before drinking or cooking with it.

Life in Viana

Our missionaries in Viana, Elders Kearney, Arrington, Rainbolt, and Bene, are often lacking energy (electricity) and water. But not any more! The church just got a new huge generator that means no more dark nights or sweaty hot Sacrament Meetings. This is a momentous day!! The missionaries have been living in an apartment out back of the chapel, but soon they will be moving into a 3 bedroom, 2 bath duplex complete with a little yard. It is in a nice part of town and the neighborhood shares a generator so they will never lack for energy. Elder Arrington gave us the tour while Elder Kearney joked about where the big screen TV and the video games would go. Gotta love missionary humor!

The Work in Luanda 1

When President Walton had to do a baptismal interview, we met Elders Walker and Kelsey at their home and then walked the narrow alley ways to Zeca's home. Everyone along the way knew who the missionaries were and yelled out "Elder" or "Amigo". At least they know who we are and that we are Christians wanting to talk about the Savior. The work is fun and interesting!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bom missionario - Elder Schioser

Elder Schioser is a good example of dedicated missionary service. He had his baptismal ficha all filled out perfectly and it was ready to go right after the sacrament meeting where his new convert was confirmed. Way to go Elder Schioser and thank you for being so prepared!!

Three Returned Sister Missionaries!

It was exciting to have 3 sister missionaries return home to Angola after finishing their missions! Sister Lourenco served in Cape Verde. Sister Pinto also served in Cape Verde. Then Sister Lourenco, a younger sister, returned home a few weeks ago from Zambia/Malawi/Zimbabwe. Returned missionaries are a strength to church leadership wherever they live. Welcome home sisters!!

Filling the Font

When we are low on water in our underground water tanks, the Elders need to call for a water delivery. When we needed water for the baptism, the water truck didn't come until almost too late. Once the tank was cleaned by Elders Perry and Davis, the water was delivered and it was time to fill the font, but it was going too slow. So the Elders pitched in and grabbed every available bucket, garbage can, and mop bucket to help fill the font in time. They finally accomplished their task and we started the baptismal service only 45 mintues late. Elder Anhanha dropped and dumped the bucket hundreds of times as Elders Eckman, Kelsey, Borden, Schioser, and Guente hauled and filled the font only to return for another bucket full. We have some good workers in Luanda!

Elders Eckman and Kelsey were the dedicated duo in filling the font. Members, Sebastiao and Jamba, helped Elder Guente drain his loaded bucket.

Elder Borden relieved Elder Anhanha at filling the bucket in the water tank. It is tiring work!

Two Baptisms in Angola

This past weekend we finally got the font filled in time to baptize Levi and Zefa in the Cassequel chapel font. It is always a great way to start the weekend for the missionaries!!

District Leader Training Meeting

This training for the 3 district leaders was a bit different because we invited all the missionaries in the Luanda area. Elders Perry, Arrington, Rainbolt, and Kearney were there in force to learn how to help their district leader organize a good effective district meeting and what part they play in that. Then Elders Davis and Bene listen as Elder Guente gives a training for the missionaries. All the district leaders and the zone leaders contributed to the training and it was well worth the time and effort. Finally Elders Kelsey, Walker, Eckman, Perry, Arrington, and Rainbolt discuss how to help each other in the work here in Angola. It was a great day!!

Checking Out the Blog

The missionaries have limited time on preparation day for their emails so they usually never have time to check out this blog. The Viana Elders came to stay at the mission home so they would be here in time for the District Leader Training meeting the next morning and they asked to see the blog. Elders Rainbolt, Arrington, and Kearney got a kick out of seeing their life in the mission on the internet!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Special Fireside in Lubango with Elder Soares

This was our first mission tour in Angola and we were all excited that Elder Soares from the First Quorum of Seventy and the 1st Counselor in the Africa Southeast Area, wanted to make a stop in Lubango for a member fireside and to interview the missionaries, Elders Richter, Harper, and Allison. The missionaries were on hand to welcome the Soares' to Lubango. Branch President Marques and his wife (from Viseu, Portugal) knew the Soares' when they were mission president in the Portugal Porto Mission over 10 years ago. It was a joyous reunion! Our whole group in Lubango includes Nathalia, Sister Soares, Elder Soares, President and Sister Marques, Sister Walton, Casal Violin, President Walton and in back, Elders Richter, Harper, Allison (the strength of the Lubango branch!).

Our special musical number during the fireside was a group of members and included Elders Richter, Allison, Harper and member Pedro. They were amazing. After everyone left to go home in the dark, President Walton couldn't help stopping for a picture with his menino's in Lubango, Elders Allison, Richter and Harper . And finally before we headed back to Luanda after our very short stop in the south of Angola, we needed a picture of the missionaries with Elder and Sister Soares.

Zone Conference in Luanda with Elder Soares

After getting back from Lubango, the Soares' and President and Sister Walton headed to the Luanda 1 chapel for lunch and an afternoon zone conference. Elders Perry and Schioser were on hand to help carry in the luggage and supplies. While the missionaries ate lunch Elder and Sister Soares talked with them and got to know our wonderful Elders in Luanda. Elders Tolman, Eckman, Rainbolt, and Borden provided us with a special musical number. Even thought Elders Guente, Bene, Schioser, Sande, and Cordencio and Nathalia were in the back row, they were very much involved in the amazing training from Elder Soares.

Elder Soares taught us for almost 5 hours and helped bring the right spirit to help us with the missionary work here in Angola. Elders Rainbolt and Bene shared their daily goals and how to achieve them. The whole group stopped for a pictures, back row includes: Elders Walker, Borden, Davis, Perry, Tolman, Bene, Bauer, Rainbolt, Arrington, Kelsey, Cordencio (district mission leader), Maer (member sending in his missionary papers), and Elders Guente and Schioser. Front row includes: Elders Eckman, Anhanha, President and Sister Soares, Sister and President Walton, Elders Sande, and Kearney. Then all the Brazilians in the group stopped for a photo together, Elders Schioser and Anhanha and Elder Soares.