I can’t believe it! Day 4 all ready. Today is what is considered P-Day. It is anything but a day off for Mom and Dad.
It started with Dad going out and paying the Elders. We have 2 Elders being transferred tomorrow and one Elder going home.
Right now Mom and Dad preside over 8 Elders. When they first came there were 12. Right now there isn’t enough Young Men going into the field to send more. This is now my time to give my plug to righteous Young Men of the Church that may be reading this blog. YOU ARE NEEDED DESPERATELY! Be strong, Be righteous, and GO ON A MISSION because you are needed here!
Mom and Dad are kinda like Jr. Mission Presidents/Bishops. It is so far for the Mission Presidents to come here if needed. As we are in a very different country, they are needed more often than say a state side mission. For example, Mom and Dad need to be prepared if for some reason they need to evacuate quickly. And Mom and Dad need to also be prepared enough to help the Elders evacuate quickly. I am not meaning just if there was a natural disaster, but if there was an uprising. Think of Egypt today and think Liberia when Grandma and Grandpa were serving. If you are parents of these cute Elders that are severing here, rest assured they are in good hands with my Mom and Dad.
This brings me to a question that a lot of state side people have asked, “Is it safe?” Yes. Keep in mind a couple of things. #1 Poverty is amuck. There are hungry people here that cannot find work and their “yard sale” is not being successful. Think if you will of Aladdin and Jean Valjean (from Les Mis). Both of these wonderful, strong, good, courageous men that were just trying to survive and help others survive. Yes, you might get robbed here. But you might get robbed in New York City. For crying out loud, the only time I have ever been robbed in Provo, UT. #2 Driving with my Dad is the scariest thing I do. That is when I feel the most scared for my life. Here are 2 photos taken from the drivers seat. Look how close they are. For REAL!
Back to our day: as Elders are leaving, Mom had to do a cleaning check. I know how these Elders feel. Elders…you have 6 Gates kids that know what you are going through. Mom called when we were about 15 minutes away. I told Mom and Dad that I bet right now they are yelling, “Quick Soeur Gates is almost here!” I joked with them when I got there and Mom was in the room checking their work, “I bet you all were going crazy when we called.” They all just laughed, but no one said No.
After paying the Elders and Mom doing her clean check, we ran a couple of errands. We went and picked up a painting that Mom had commissioned. The blue one with the ladies is one that Mom saw and loved. The other two are ones that she asked him to paint.
After our errands, Dad dropped Mom and me off at the house and Dad went to go pick up the Mission President. As one of the Elders is going home President Headlee needed to do a farewell interview. Mom and Dad met with the President and his wife while I took a little nap (I’m still a bit jet lagged and Mom and Dad wear me out!)
The Elders all come over for dinner and games or a movie every P-Day. Mom cooks an American dinner for them. We had pork chops, rice and American Jello. I am not a huge Jello fan but the Elders were. This was one of the items that I had brought from America.
We had Tiffany’s chocolate chip cookies for dessert and a lemon cake. The lemon cake came from a box mix that was bought here in Pointe Noire for about $7. Food is pretty expensive here except for the loaf of fresh bread which is about 20 cents.
We had a great time chatting with the Elders at dinner. After dinner we played gestures. The cutest was to see the African elders play with these American words. They were so darling and very funny. The photos don’t do it justice.
At the end of P-Day we were so exhausted! Mom had been cooking and Dad with his errands. We watched a MASH and fell asleep.