Monday, January 24, 2011

Other New Beginnings in Bujumbura

Just as with a new season, the winds of change blow through.  With the Bujumbura Group, officially becoming a Branche, new changes are beginning, too!  With a Group, only Sacrament Meeting was authorized,  but now that the Branche is getting organized with new leadership, this past Sunday brought the institution of the "3 hour block"! A big new change for this new little branch.

The first Priesthood meeting was held.  The men started out in a smaller classroom, but it became too full even before the meeting began so they happily switched into the larger meeting hall. And...people were on time and enthusiastic!! The new Elders Quorum President, Frere Aimable, taught the lesson on the nature of God, the Father. There was a very meaningful doctrinal discussion amongst the men.

The first Relief Society meeting was held, with a new Relief Society President, Soeur Magnifique, presiding..  Sister Jameson gave the first lesson on what the programs of Relief Society are, such as Visiting Teaching, Sunday Education, and weekday Relief Society meetings.  As she taught in French, Sister Malabi translated it into Swahili. Most the women you see here are brand new converts to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Aren't they beautiful??

The first Primary went wonderfully!  Sister Frogley started with a brief message in French, explaining that Primary was especially for them to learn about the teachings of Jesus.  Anne-Marie translated that short message into Swahili and then masterfully continued to teach the children for another hour.  They were spell-bound with her excellent teaching skills and visual aids.

There has been much anticipation for the Branche to be officially formed.  Now missionaries can be called and several cannot believe that they can now put their papers in!

Even with the longer hours, the joy and excitement was very warm and wonderful!

 Our building is already s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d at the seams!  New plans are already in the works to make more room!

                                               This week we added over 100 new chairs!

 The future generation doesn't know it, but their whole future has been changed for the better by these events!
The word is spreading and the missionaries are keeping very busy!  Father in Heaven is sending wonderful winds of change for his children in Burundi!

This little boy is so appropriately named "Welcam".....for all ARE WELCOME by the open invitation of the Lord, which has never been rescended.... 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Very Own Stripling Warrior Sons!

May I introduce to you our very own Stripling Warrior Sons ("for they are worthy to be called sons"-Alma 56:10)!
This drawing by Elder Kizimbou was a Christmas Gift.  You will see the messages and also each of the signatures of these eight hand-picked missionaries who have courageously commenced teaching the gospel in the city of Bujumbura!
Elder Kizimbou and Elder Diazola are companions.  Elder Kizimbou is full of confidence.  Elder Diazola is very determined! Guess who is the oldest of the two?  Yes, Elder Diazola.

Elder Tshituka is one of the kindest people I have ever met!  Elder NGondo is very wise! They make a powerful companionship!

Elder Mpoyi is an excellent musician!  Elder Moussa has an intense personality! They touch many lives together!
Elder Mousselle is saintly!  Elder Kintembila is optimistic!  They are the Zone Leaders and make a powerful team! 

They were so honored and joyous to meet Elder Holland!

These servants of the Lord are like sponges!  They love to absorb the truths of the Gospel, especially at the feet of an Apostle!

The day of the Dedication of Burundi is a day they will never forget!

As we have experienced the character and strengths of each of these fine men, we have felt honored to associate and learn from their fine examples of discipleship. 

They express love and fellowship to everyone!

Yet, they are fun-loving and a joy to be around!  The sound of their laughter is contagious!

You never know when one of them will pop-up with something hilarious!

They love to sing.............

and sing.....

...and SING!!!  They never need an instrument and they sound awesome in full harmony!!

These missionaries never need an invitation to help.  Many times, we will recognize something that needs doing and when we go to do the job, they are already there doing it or have already completed it!  Exceptional!

From the moment our feet landed in Bujumbura, they have worked....

and worked...........

and worked some more, following instructions beautifully!

They also do all kinds of domestic work. Elder Diazola is washing white shirts while Elder Tshituka is crushing cassava leaves to make manyok.  He adds onions and bell peppers to make a sauce all of the missionaries enjoy!

You can see them out on the streets of the city..


in all .................



of neighborhoods,

Day or night.

Rain ........

or shine!

These are missionaries that know the gospel of Jesus Christ...

and love their Savior.

These are missionaries that teach the Gospel powerfully in Swahili and French and a few other languages.

"Now this was the faith of these of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually." Alma 57:27


Sunday, January 9, 2011

An Historic Event in Burundi!!

President and Sister Packer have been in Bujumbura now for three days!!   It is always a treat to have these dedicated servants of the Lord.  They travel all over Africa with a vision of what the church should be and WILL BE in Africa someday.  They are not short term thinkers!  They think of what must happen NOW and what that will mean for the next generation and the one following that generation.  They are very inspiring and we love their visits.  But did they come for a specific reason?

Was it to hold a Zone Conference with their two couple missionaries and the eight exceptional young missionaries? Well, yes, partially!  And it was really motivating  and helpful for us to feel their excitement and their testimonies of the restored gospel. Both President and Sister Packer addressed us and shared eternal truths.

The REAL REASON was an historic event! The members and missionaries are so grateful for this milestone.  President Packer  and his counselor, President Jameson, worked to officially form the Bujumbura group into the one and only Official Bujumbura BRANCH!! It is the only Branch in all of the country of Burundi! far. :)

Through guidance from the spirit, these are the men who were called to serve in this new Branch.
From left to right, (remember that the last name is first here in Africa)  Frere Johnson -First Counselor;
President Malabi ;  Frere Simon -Second Counselor:
 Frere Aimable will serve as Elder's Quorum President.

These fine men have wonderful wives and families to support them in their service to these tender people. Frere Simon's sweet wife was unable to attend so his tall, wonderful son is standing with him.

Here are our Mission and Branch Leadership thus far!  More leadership is to come with the Relief Society, Primary, Sunday School and other branch organizations.  It is most exciting and the members are eager to serve!!

There was a stirring of excitement!!

There was much gratitude expressed!

There was much hope for the spreading of the gospel into neighboring cities.

There are many investigators still learning about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

"..And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward.  And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church." (Mosiah 18:17)