Monday, April 11, 2016

Le Jour Beni Est Arrivé‏ (The Blessed Day Has Arrived)

Baptismal service for C and J
Dear Family,

The best news! Cecile and Joseph's baptism finally happened!!! They’ve been amis since before I even came out here on my mission. And they have been waiting soooo long just to get married and then baptized. It finally happened! 

It was a really special day. We were able to get permission for lots of the missionaries who have taught them in the past to attend. And practically the entire Branch, and lots of people I don't even know were there to support them. 

The service was really special. One moment that really struck everyone was when Cecile started crying after coming up out of the water. She took her towel and covered her face with it (wanting to hide). And then she stood at the steps for a good minute, not wanting to get out. It was very touching to see how much this meant to her. People here rarely cry--hardly ever. I think I have only seen a few amis or members cry my entire mission. 

After the service, the Relief Society threw a big reception for them with music, food and drinks for everyone. Then the next day, they were both confirmed without any problem. It was great to be a part of such a special ordinance for such a great couple!

Reception after the baptism
Food served at the reception
We continue to work hard, anticipating the new Stake.

I’ve got quite few photos to send, so I will probably get going on that.

Love You!
Elder Walls

PS You know those ultra rugged sandals you sent me last year? They are starting to fall apart, as are my regular dress shoes. With all the walking we do here, especially on such rocky and sandy conditions, shoes don't last long. I will probably look for a cheap pair just to get me through to the end of my time here. 

And along those lines, I will need a new set of scriptures when I get home. My set here is worn out--pages falling out, the binding coming off . . .

Elder N'sengyiumva and Elder Bailey were able to come for the baptismal service
We had a lot of missionaries attend the baptism, including: Elders Bailey (from MTC) and Elder Nsengiyumva, Teihotu, Arek, Archer, Adjo,Miller, Teaupa, Pellevoizin, Mutumbo, and, of course, Mayamba and Walls

J, looking fresh after his baptism (like the world right after rain),
and photobombed by Roman, one of the Young Men in the Branch
Cecile after the service, it was touching to see how much this meant to her
One of our amis, Phillip
The secret to getting our shirts so white!
Close up on our little laundry helper
Birthday party for Cecile's daughter, Mathilde, who turned 1
Elder Archer and Adjo work in the bureau and have some flexibility in their schedule, so they came to the party
Come, similar to patte, but spicier. When I was training, Elder Adeji made me eat this everyday.
Mama Cecile loves to feed the missionaries--and we love to eat!
Mama with her little piggies hanging out in the trash, a pretty common sight here
Zone meeting we held a few weeks ago.
From L-R back: Marie, Walls, Neubert, Bailey, Moss, Kincaid
> front: Gozo, Kiala, Mayamba, Yoboue, Kabuyah, Barou, Ranriamalala, Nsengiyumva

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