Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bienvenu and Bon Voyage! ! !

I realized that I have not posted photos of the new missionaries when they arrive,

or the missionaries who are being released. I will try to remedy that with the missionaries

who have come and gone since the first of July.
Above is the picture of Stephen and JoAnn Hanks
They served for 23 months in Yaounde, Cameroon.
When they arrived, they didn't speak any French at all,
but took classes for most of the time that they were in Cameroon
and were both fluent by the time that they left.
They add such wonderful things to the branches in Yaounde.
Elder Hanks was a wonderful priesthood mentor for the leadership in
Bastos I and Bastos II branches.
He helped them create a wonderful meeting place of a rented
space that was pretty bad the first time we saw it.
Elder Hanks saw the vision of what it could become and worked very hard
to make it a reality--a lovely building for the church to have their meetings in
and to be proud of.
Sr. Hanks added much to the lives of the members with her musical
talents. She taught several to play the keyborad and helped both
branches with their Primary music.
And the young American missionaries will forever remember the Hanks
for the fun meals they shared, the laundry done, the great lessons learned
from the Hanks and the fun and laughter that they shared.
We love and miss the Hanks! !

Because I am a lame blogger, I can't figure out how to get rid of this
extra picture of Elder Lubumta! ! Sorry! !
Elder Lutumba just returned to his home in Mbuji-Mayi. He is the youngest of 10 children
and has I think 2 brothers who are members.
He will always have a special place in our hearts, because we almost lost this
young man. He kept complaining of chest pain and a couple of other symptoms (starting in the MTC in Ghana), and went to 3 or 4 doctors while on his mission. Finally one day
after a series of tender mercies with a new hospital and doctors, we got some
real answers and discovered that he had an extreme case of Tuberculosis and Aspergulosis.
The day he was finally admitted into the Biamba Marie Mutombo hospital, he could hardly walk and had serious problems breathing. They started with some serious medications and got him healthy enough so that we could send him to South Africa where he had one of his lungs removed. We are so thankful that he was able to get the treatment that he needed
and that he returned and finished his mission.

This sister is Sister Mpemba. Sister Mpemba was asked by Brother Willy Lumala Mulambo to be his wife. She said Yes!, but I want to serve a mission first. They agreed that it would be a good thing, as it would give him some time to prepare financially for their life together. He worked at the distribution center for the church near our office. Each time I would go into the center, Willy would smile and say, "Sr. Livingstone, how are ALL of the missionaries in the mission doing??" I would always assure him that they were doing very well! !
Then I would promise that I would give a special greeting to Sr. Mpemba the next time I saw her. 4 week after her release, we attended their wedding! !
That is the subject for another post soon! !

This is Elder Freddy Mol. Elder Mol came to serve in Cameroon from Vanuatu--a series of very small islands in the South Pacific. Elder Mol's father died just shortly before he came on his mission, and after he had been serving for about 8 months, his mother passed away, also. What faith for him to continue his mission and serve with honor. His voyage home took about 48 hours with 4 -5 plane changes. I'm sure he was one tired guy when he got home.

We welcome Elder Wigginton. He just arrived from Southern California. Elder Wigginton has greaduated from UC Irvine and worked and was accepted to law school, but felt the tug of the Lord that he should serve a mission. When he arrived, his French was incredible! ! We are sure he will be a fabulous missionary.


theodoreable said...

President Deadrock {aka Lame Blogger} - just highlight the picture in the post and hit delete. That is it.

You can see some fun things from China about the Olympics at our blog

We love and pray for you guys. What a great work you are doing and an example you are setting for those of us that consider you family. Shooty Babbit

Chris Keller said...

What incredible stories your missionaries have. It is wonderful to hear of their personal challenges and faith to overcome those troubles to serve a mission.