Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Birthday

I took this picture at about 8:30 on the night of my birthday.  These 4 elders jumped out of the back of the truck in the pouring rain and sang Happy Birthday to me on our way to their apartments,  It was quite a day.  We had 3 missionaries transferring here from Cameroon.  Their plane was delayed, so Elder Wheatley came home from the airport alone the first time.  The 2nd time, the plane was still late arriving and then one of the elders couldn't get through customs until he provided a bribe, because they said his yellow card (immunizations) stamp did not have an expiration date.  So, when they finally got through customs and got their luggage, it was getting late.  We had invited all the missionaries over for dinner to celebrate the new arrivals and my birthday, so when we connected with the rest of the missionaries and everyone got into the truck, there were 4 in the backseat and 4 more in the back with all the luggage.  Then we hit the worst traffic jam we have yet experienced in Pointe Noire, and we were going nowhere..........after about an hour, we all decided it would be best to retreat and take the elders to their apartments.  They had a few snacks with them, and Elder Lamb had made birthday cake (wonderful banana cake) which he generously shared with all of us, and some of them jumped out of the truck and went into a store as we sat stuck in traffic.  Of course, that is when it started to move again as we headed in the direction of their apartments and so we had to start shouting at them to get back in the truck!  In the meantime, it started to rain, then it started to pour, and we handed them out two umbrellas and they played a game in the rain all the way to the first apartment, where they said they would make hot chocolate to warm up.  We finally got home about 10:30 at night and now we are still eating the loaves of french bread we had for the elders and their spaghetti dinner that didn't happen.  They were all so good about the experience and what a welcome to Pointe Noire for the transferring elders!

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