Sunday, July 11, 2010

First church experiences

We have a beautiful chapel. It is just phase 1, so there is just a tiny chapel (in which we fill up every seat) and no Multipurpose room.
They are hoping to add phase 2, with a full size chapel and rec hall, which they really need. They want to split the 2 branches into 3 branches as soon as we (yes, Ed & Kriss Gates) can find a huge home or a hall of some sort for them to meet in. Pressure! They need it quickly. They are bulging at the seams in this building.

We are also looking for 2 more apartments for the young missionaries, and the Mission President says we can look for something different for us, if we want to. Therefore, we are back in the "real estate" business for awhile.

Our 12 elders are in good apartments and go home each day at dark (6:30 p.m.). They get up at 5:30 and go to bed at 9:30 p.m. They are a great group of young men and we are impressed at what an unbelievable job they are doing. It's hard to believe they were in high school a year ago and they are now real church leaders. They had a missionary activity on Saturday where they taught the lesson on the Restoration, led the music, etc and then for an activity they had strings strung up in front of the chapel and the members had to hold on to the "Iron Rod," and find their way to the "Tree of Life."
The members were blindfolded and the elders pretended to be the voice of temptation trying to persuade them to leave the "iron rod." These are 2 sisters who were "tempted" to go sit down in 2 comfortable chairs and rest... which was following the voice of the adversary. They were so cute when they realized they couldn't make it to the Tree of Life. Yes, their clothes are very interesting, but remember... they are learning.

They had over 50 members and investigators attend, which was more than they had planned on, so everyone got half a banana and some juice for refreshments. Sacrament meeting was fun. We met many of the members and bore our testimonies in French. I must have done very well, because when I was finished it was Dad's turn. He stood up and walked around me, glaring at me, like "Who are you and what have you done with my American wife?" He was so cute, I leaned over and gave him a big kiss up at the pulpit and everybody in the congregation (about 130-140 people) laughed, clapped and cheered. (Not at all reverent for a sacrament meeting.) Then Dad gave his in French. I was way, way proud of him! He is really trying and seems to be getting it, slowly but surely. We are going to another Sacrament meeting of the other branch in half an hour.

Look very closely and see if you can see what they are all looking at.....

Yes! It is Dad's cute little photo book of all our kids and grandkids. The members absolutely loved it!!!


  1. So far away yet so close in mind and heart. The gospel is the same on both ends of the world.

  2. Made me cry thinking of you bearing your testimonies.

    Glad to see you can keep your real estate skills sharp!

  3. I love that they are enjoying your book! Thank you so much for keeping up this "journal" for us all to read! We love it so much!

  4. Yesterday Wayne said, “Your parents just finished their first Sacrament meeting in the Congo.” I was thinking about you both. I worked last night late and then this morning as I was eating breakfast I went on to the blog (my first time) and was so happy there was so much to read. I wish there was a button on the top of the blog that says, “Read Oldest Posts First.” I had to go to the last page and then scroll up then read down then scroll up and then read down…and so on. I have officially added myself as a follower. I hope that means that I get updates to my email. Now that I am done reading am going to go back and comment. Love you!

  5. I am doing the same thing! It is so wonderful to read your posts. Thank you for taking the time to keep in touch with us. So many people in the ward wanted to know all your details. I will continue giving out your blog address.

    The Checketts from the ward just got their call to Washington DC Temple but they don't report until Dec.

    We love you so much.

  6. Wow, sounds like you've hit the ground running. Enjoy reading about the work you're doing. Have fun driving in Kinshasa. Probably similar to driving in Seoul.