Gary, with Gilbert and Odette (brother and sister) at Odette's baptism.
This afternoon (Saturday, the 27th) we picked up the Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Thomas, at the airport and headed straight to Branch 1 where they were having their Christmas activity. It started in the chapel with singing and a nativity play presented by the Primary. Then the activity moved out onto the lawn. President Thomas gave a short talk, and then they served a delicious meal.
This is the decorated chapel for the Christmas activity.
Here are the Primary children sitting in their seats patiently waiting for their Christmas gift from the branch.
Their "gift" was a round lollypop. Here the gifts are being distributed.
President Thomas addressing the group at the Christmas activity. Does this vaguely resemble anything you experienced during the Christmas holidays? Green grass, no coats, no snow and lots of sunshine.
The next day was Sunday, and we attended sacrament meetings in branches 2 and 3 so the President could speak to them. Following those meetings and several hours of interviews, we had dinner at our house with the Thomas's and the Van Wagoner's.
On Monday evening, we treated the missionaries to dinner at an oriental restaurant named Shanghai.
I think everyone enjoyed the Asian cuisine except one poor elder who was flummoxed that there was no fou-fou on the menu! He was a little pouty and a lot hungry when we left the restaurant!
The next day 36 members were bussed in from Uvira to attend a training meeting with the other branches here in Bujumbura. The 1st 11/2 hour was a training with all of the presidencies from all of the auxiliaries given by President Thomas. The second hour we divided the sisters from the brothers, and Sister Thomas and I did a separate training for the sisters. I got to give a training on "Women, Men and the Priesthood," based on an article in the Liahona by M. Russell Ballard.
On the 31st we had a 5 hour zone conference with the full time missionaries. Next day, after arranging repairs to electricity in 2 apartments, changing out and replacing the gas for the propane stove for the sisters, testing one of the sisters for malaria, exercising with the President and the Van Wagoner's, and getting the President and Sister Thomas to the airport, we took a deep breath and things went back to normal. Whatever normal is!