Hello to all who may be checking on the Congo Experience!
I can't get this blog to upload pictures and it is very distressing to my brain cells. I am sure it is something I don't really know how to do because I need blogging lessons!!
We are here! Traveling here took all the faith I think I have ever had. I have lived in a safe happy bubble for my whole life and here Ben and I are off to a country of uncertainty. We traveled well. We had more complications in the SLC airport than any others. We made it safely to New York, then off to Paris, France. Paris did have an interesting way of going through security. The guards with guns kind of freaks me out, little did I know all the police here in Kinshasa carry really big ones and they are on every street corner. Does that make you safe??? I don't know, they pull you over just to get a some money or whatever you give them, but that is another story further on in our experiences here. Okay, so we get on another really big plane and head to Africa...do you want to know what is going on in my head??!! Something like, I am so excited....then freak out.....What am I Doing??!!....calming down....get some sleep.....I get excited....then freak OUT!!......What am I doing????......calm down Dixie, you are serving a mission this is what you've been called to do.....you can do it!! The Lord is watching over you, great things are going to happen......Remember what you've just learned and have faith!!..... It was something like that for 7-8 hours. I really did try to have more faith thoughts than freak outs! Well, we made it here a day and 1/2 after leaving SLC, UT. We were here, in Kinshasa DRC! We got off the plane walked down the ladder steps that they pushed up to the plane and here we were. It was just getting dark and it was muggy, and I was just going to hold onto Ben's arm and never let go. We got in line to get on a very full transporting vehicle to take us to the customs. We were to look for a gentleman named Antoine and he would help us get our luggage without being hassled by the guards. We made it through customs....Yeah, I was a little scared! Then we walked through the luggage doors and there was Antoine with a cardboard sign that said "Hatch's" Yeah!! He protected us and took very good care of us. The guards hassled him and he showed them our missionary tags and they left us alone. Wow, I am thankful for Antoine and my missionary tag!!!! We got to the front doors and there was President Headlee and Thierry right there for us. They gave Antoine some money for taking care of us and off we went to get to the cars, remember how the sun was going down....well there are no lights in the parking lot. I like street lights!! Be thankful for street lights! Okay, now we are in the car with doors locked and after paying someone to look after the car and paying off a policeman that happens to be standing close by, we are off. I don't know if anybody has the game "traffic jam"...well that is what it was like going from the airport to President Headlee's apartment. Cars everywhere. The street is like a two lane street, but I swear there were 4-5 lanes of traffic going in every direction, cutting in from the right and left and I don't know how there are not more accidents. Many of these cars didn't have lights that worked....remember it is dark now. Cars stalling in the road, oh, and the amount of people in their cars was amazing. I later found out they were all mostly taxi's filled to the brim. Remember ever trying to see how many people could fit in a VW Bug. Well, all taxi's are filled beyond, bodies are hanging out everywhere. I feel safe. It was amazing that I felt safe. We made it to Pres. Headlee's home. It was lovely, his wife is Pam, she is happy and fun. I like her a lot. We are going to get along great. The bed was comfortable. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland slept in that same bed just a few months ago!! He dedicated Cameroon, I heard the blessing, Wow, it is so wonderful to have an Apostle on the earth today. Well, the next day the Humanitarian Sister and Sister Headlee and Ben and I went shopping for food (another story to come) and then took us to our apartment! I have pictures to show later. I am humbled to be here. I love it. The people here are an inspiration to me. They are hard workers no matter their circumstances. I hope to bring them hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to help them. I believe it is only through the gospel of Jesus Christ that these people and this continent can be helped. They have so little, therefore they can recognize the spirit, and as they learn of their Heavenly Fathers love for them they rise up and know. Heavenly Father has a plan for all of His children......it's their turn to hear about it, and they are listening. I entered 222 baptisms for the month of September. The numbers are down because they just split this mission in half in July and more than half of the missionaries are brand new. I will keep you posted on the baptism numbers throughout this mission. Ben and I are happy, and we are loving this experience. Thank you all for your prayers.....they are felt by us.
I hope to get some pictures on soon!