Monday, April 18, 2011
Posted by Amy
I am writing this today, April 18, 2011. I left the Congo exactly 70 days ago today. My life has changed from those 7 days spent. The day after I came home my husband could tell how wonderful it was and how much it changed me for the better and he started looking up on the church website how much it costs to serve a mission as a senior missionary couple. There are groups that I would like to address specifically: Friends and Families of Elders Currently Serving in DR Congo: Your sons are amazing. Thank you so much for what you did to help them be ready and worthy to serve in this amazing area. Don’t worry about them they are in good hands, both my parents and the Lords. Friends and Families of Elder and Sister Gates: Ed and Kriss are doing GREAT! They love each other, they love the work, they love the people, and they love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They miss you all terribly but know the work they are doing is imperative to these people. They love to hear from you. Email or simply just hit the comments button at the end of this or any blog post to send them a quick “hello”. Any member of the Church: Your service is greatly needed! Without you, there are villages of people that will go without having the knowledge of the true church of Jesus Christ. If you are a youth looking forward, prepare now to go when you are 19 (or 21 for girls). If you are past that age, start planning and preparing now to serve in your older years. Not only prepare finically, but spiritually too. Learn a language, every little bit helps. Knowledge is something we can take with us in the next life. Go and Do, NOW! If you cannot serve due to health reasons when you are older, there are many healthy couples that may not have the finical means to serve a mission. Help them. Talk to your Bishop to see if he knows of any needs in your ward or stake. Did you know the minimum age for serving as a senior missionary is 40?!?!? Wayne is 41! Of course you cannot have any dependent children living at home so he is off the hook. When I look back at my week I think of one thing that sums up the time I spent in the Congo. The first day I was there I couldn’t get over how much trash there was everywhere. (But think about this for a minute. These people don’t have a government whose priority is to set up a public trash service, they don’t even have addresses to send a trash man to pick up trash let alone send a bill. They don’t have cars trucks to load all their trash in the back and take it to the dump. So what do you do with it? You make a big pile and every few days, you burn it.) The last day at church a cute Brother who spoke English asked me how I liked Pointe Noire. I told him I loved it, it was wonderful and beautiful! He said, isn’t it dirty? I paused to think of my first day reaction and thought of the piles of trash and I smiled as I thought, no it isn’t dirty it is magnificent. I no longer saw piles of trash, I saw wonderful, pure people who smiled and loved meeting the “Moon Deli”. They aren’t worried about “Keeping up with the Jones”. They live in such humble homes that most of us can’t imagine, but yet, they were all clean and freshly dressed for Church. They may not own a book other than the Book of Mormon, but if you only have one book, that is the one to have. Mom, Dad, I love you. Thanks for letting me share this week with me. Thanks so much for raising me in the way of the Lord. Thanks for setting such a great example. I am ready to come back!