Monday, April 30, 2012

April Zone Conference

Zone conference - that special time when we all get together to learn from each other and from President Walton.  Elders Kearney and Sande are serving together in Viana.  Elders Hobbs, Wilson, Walker, Wilhelm and Tolman listen to the training.  Zone leader, Elder Richter, talks with the other Elders about how to begin teaching.

Zone conference is always a time to learn, be together, be fed physically and spiritually and to just get that shot in the arm that we sometimes need.  Elder Walker is doing a good job with his new missionary, Elder Wilhelm.  Lunch - always a highlight for Elders Perry, Bene, Guente, Chandler and Wilson.  Our special musical number was provided by the Viana district which includes Elders Hansen, Wilson, Tolman, Kearney, and Sande.  Elders Wilson and Hansen took part in one of the role plays on how to be better teachers of the Gospel.

Birthday time singing and sharing included Elders Kelsey, Chandler, Tilley, Rainbolt, Richter and Bene who all (or their companions) had their aniversarios sometime over the past few months or in the month to come.  

Hopefully during zone conference there is a lot to learn and listen to.  Elders Richter and Kearney seem to be paying attention.  Elder Guente practices teaching with President Walton.  Our new missionaries were still in the MTC during April General Conference and they all got to sing in the Conference Center for the Saturday afternoon session.  We decided to watch a replay and see if we could spot Elders Tilley, Hansen, and Wilhelm.  Happily we saw them all.

Public Affairs in Luanda

Our Public Affairs director in Luanda, Lassalete, has been busy.  This past week we visited the Quicama School located in the remote city of Muxima.  This city located at the edge of the Kwanza River, was where the slaves were baptized and then loaded onto the ships to sail away from their homeland.  We presented the students at the small, one room school room with writing tablets for their school work.  They sang us a song and gave us high-fives.  With a television crew with us, it was definitely a way to get the name of the church out among the people.  The same night we met with some government officials and talked with them about the Family Home Evening program.  South Africa came up with a FHE book for nonmembers to help teach their family members about good principles within their own home.  It was well received and another great way to get the name of the church out to the public.

Mission Life

Elder Wilhelm found out how hard the ceilings can be here when he tried to hang his mosquito net.  The  missionaries are hard at work trying to find themselves some new apartments to live in so they can free up some space at the chapels.  It's a difficult task when no one advertises what is available so we have to ask around.  On the way to an apartment, Elder Hobbs described where to go while someone on the street contacted Elder Perry.  This place Elders Perry and Hobbs found was unique.  The kitchen was so big  that they planned on hanging a basketball hoop for some pick up games, but it also meant it was open to mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies.  Keep on looking Elders!

Baptism Saturday

Baptisms make our weekends here in the mission.  Guilherme is the first in his family to be baptized.  Stay tuned for more members of his family to follow his example!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ready, Set, Go!

Once the training was over, the companions and areas were revealed, it was time to head out.  But Elder Tilley was overcome from the more than 24 hours that he had been traveling to Angola.  Elders Hansen  and Wilhelm thought it was funny, but they were struggling as well!  One final picture of the group of three on the mission home balcony and it is time to go.  We had rides for each of the duplas to their areas, and Elder Tilley happened to be with President Walton and the official mission camera, so one final picture in front of his temporary home at the Luanda 2 chapel.

New Companionships

After all was said and done, it was time to find out where and with whom they would be serving.  Elder Tolman will be training Elder Hansen in Viana.  This will be an interesting transfer for them because they will be in a tripla and Elder Wilson will be receiving his second transfer of training from Elder Tolman.  Only good things ever come out of Viana!  Then Elder Rainbolt will be training Elder Tilley in Luanda 2.  This is the mosquito corner of the mission and we're hoping they will have a new apartment in the next few weeks.  Then over in Cassequel, Elder Walker will be training Elder Wilhelm.  These are three amazing duplas and we'll be seeing more of them in the coming months.

Training the Verdinhos

Once we got Elders Tilley, Hansen and Wilhelm back to the mission home, it was time for a good breakfast to keep them awake during the training we had planned for them.  Elders Tilley and Walker listen while Elders Bene and Richter talk about life as a missionary in Angola.  Elders Wilhelm and Hansen stayed wide awake during the couple of hours we trained them - surprising!

Three New Missionaries Arrive!

Last Saturday we received 3 more missionaries from the Provo MTC.  The greeting committee included President and Sister Walton and Zone Leaders, Elders Richter and Bene.  Elders Hansen, Wilhelm and Tilley were understandably tired, but all they could say once they left the airport was that they couldn't believe they were in Angola.  They've brought with them the MTC fire and they are ready to go!

Good Times in Viana

Viana is one of the branches that is always fun to visit.  They have an awesome Primary and the members are strong and committed.  Three of the Elders  serving in Viana include Elders Tolman, Hansen and Wilson.  Both Elders Hansen and Wilson are new to Angola and Elder Tolman is teaching them to be the best missionaries that they can be.

Another Missionary From Angola

Joel is another young man from Angola who has been working on getting ready to serve a mission.  His call came this week and on Sunday members of the Cassequel branch gathered to watch him open his call and read where he will be serving.  He will be serving in the Cape Verde Praia Mission and will enter the MTC in Spain this July.  His nonmember brother and mother are so proud of Joel and his commitment to serve the Lord wherever and whenever.  Parabens Elder Rego!!

Trip to the Grocery Store

Going to the grocery store with the missionaries is always an adventure.  It's fun to see what they will choose to eat that week.  First thing on the list are the essentials - soda and chips.  Then comes the already made, frozen meals.  Elders Borden and Eckman did choose other nutritious foods, but they also got things they wanted and liked!

Huambo Becomes a Yellow Dot!

We have a map in the mission home that shows where all the cities are in Angola that we have members.  The yellow dots are cities that have branches that are functioning and growing.  Red dots are cities that we hope to open sometime and send in some missionaries.  Joy of joys this week - we received permission from the Area Presidency to open Huambo!!!  We were so excited to change the red dot to a yellow dot and we will soon be sending the first missionaries ever to this wonderful, beautiful city.  Wonder who it will be?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Final Farewell to Two More Missionaries

Farewells are never easy. So it was a bittersweet experience to head to the airport one last time in the past day to send Elders Allison and Bauer home to Canada and Utah. After checking in, Elder Allison was able to talk with the wonderful Lassalete. We took a moment to take a few more photographs with the members and missionaries who came to say goodbye and wish them well. Elders Perry, Allison, and Richter will carry their friendship beyond the mission boundaries. We've all made friends for life in the mission field.

Elder Anhanha, the First to Fly Out

For some reason, our three departing Elders left at two different times. Elder Anhanha left very late on Wednesday, then the other two left the next day. So we had to say goodbye two different times in less than 24 hours - talk about a rough time. But we wish our three Elders success with the next phase of life.