Wednesday, July 30, 2014

     I have been tying to do training in the Primary, trying being the operative word.  Branch 2 and 3 came at the appointed hour and we had a good meeting, with Carol Van Wagoner showing them some music.  It was great---everyone loved learning some of the Primary songs.  But Branch 1 has been difficult.  Three times I scheduled a meeting with them and three times they didn't show up.  The 4th time I sat and waited an hour and was just cleaning up to go, when 2 members of the Primary presidency arrived.  The president did not come again.  I was quite irritated until I found out she has only been a member for 5 months.  Can you imagine being Primary president after being in the Church for only 5 months?  On top of that she is a single mom.  I bet she is so overwhelmed and clueless.  I need to talk to her.  Sunday we are going to Uvira to do Primary training there.  Van Wagoner refuses to go to the Congo, so I will be flying solo.

     On Sunday, the member who fled Burundi for Belgium and eventually Canada spoke in sacrament.  He told about his son being called to serve a mission to the Mandarin speaking mission in Montreal!  Here he is, a black French/English speaking young man,  and he is sent to teach Chinese people in Montreal!  His son went and was struggling with the whole experience,  feeling a little down.  He wrote his dad, saying his patriarchal blessing told him he would "serve his people" and so what was he doing teaching Chinese people in Canada?  By the end of his mission he came to understand that he WAS teaching "his people", that all children of God are his people, that all are our brothers and sisters.  He came to love the people he worked with, and in fact, this month, he is going to China to spend a year participating in an educational exchange program, attending a university there.

     Back to Primary.  Imagine a Primary where there are no teachers, only the presidency, no dividing into classes, no music director, in fact, no music.  They don't sing Primary songs here because there is no piano, no way to even know what the tune is.  Visual aides are almost non-existent.  There is no nursery for the youngest ones, so they sort of cause chaos wherever they go.  I have to contrast this with a YW summer camp Brooke just went to.  A camp-out with a theme (Girl on Fire), and activities such as archery, canoeing, firing guns, etc.  And there was food.  What an ocean of difference between  the organization of the Church at home compared to the level it is functioning at here!  We really are seeing modern day pioneers over here, watching how the gospel is changing lives, watching the beginning of the Church in our day and time.  It can be exciting, it can be frustrating.  I bought CD players for the branch Primaries along with CDs with Primary songs.  We are teaching the leaders some Primary songs and waiting for branch presidents to call music leaders.  One step at a time.

 This is me at the garden that Branch 1 tends and harvests.  When we were there, the ladies pictured were quite upset because someone had come and stolen all of their beans.

 Gary with our friend Aloys. ( Gary is the short one.)  Aloys is 6' 8".  He is tall and moves with a fluid grace.  There is something elegant about the man.

Some fishermen on Lake Tanganyika early in the morning.

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