Thursday, June 13, 2013

Farewell Visit with President & Sœur Jameson

We had dinner in our home with the Branche Presidents and their wives.  From left, starting with Elder Wheatley, then President Sambo, President Calliet, President Deckhous, President and Sœur Jameson, Sœur Calliet and Sœur Sambo (President Deckhous' wife is deceased).

Front row:  Elder Kende, President & Sœur Jameson & Elder LeFleur, Back row:  Elders Porter, Lavering, Stephensen, Baker, Nash and Christensen.

President & Sœur Jameson and Sœur & Elder Wheatley

REAL Italian lasagna!  The owner, Juiseppe, has his ingredients shipped in from Italy - YUM!

Elders enjoying the feast - notice the Fanta orange replaces the bottles of wine originally on the tables!
President & Sœur Jameson treated us to this special meal at the end of our last Zone Conference with them.
Weekly Letter:

9 June 2013
Dear family,
We have just finished a very busy week.  We think we were only pulled over by the police three times.  The President of the Ivory Coast is meeting with the President of the Republic of the Congo here in Pointe Noire.  Maybe that has them all on edge.  After a string of about ten days with no power outage our luck ran out.  It went down about 7:00 P.M. on Friday evening and returned about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Actually some very important things happened this week.  On Friday, President and Sister Jameson arrived at about 4:00 P.M.  This is their last trip through the mission.  They will return home at the end of the month.  President and Sister Cook of Providence, Utah will be their replacement.  President and Sister Jameson have been in Africa for the past four years.  They had a three month break between a mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then, returning to two years serving  as Mission President.  They have been so supportive of us.  This mission probably covers land equal in size to the continental United States. Six different nations are included in this mission.  Sister Jameson said they have logged 100,000 miles in the air. After their arrival on Friday, I took the President to interview a young man who needed what we call a special case interview.  Elder Wheatley assumes this responsibility when President  Jameson is not in town (he is rarely in town) but is happy to let him do them when he is here.  We then had supper with the three branch presidents and their wives at our home.  Sister Wheatley put a lot of effort into this meal and is was a delightful occasion.  This was an opportunity for the President to express his appreciation for the efforts of these valiant leaders and their wives.
Saturday morning President Jameson held exit interviews for two Elders who will depart the mission on the 28th of June.  Not like other missions where the Elders usually depart from the mission home and have their exit interview the day they leave.  These Elders will get their goodbyes from Elder and Sister Wheatley  and depart from Pointe Noire.  After the interviews we held a zone conference.  The Elders received good instruction about the importance of keeping the recent converts involved in the Church. We also talked a lot about repentance.  A few thoughts:  Repentance has a “feel bad part.” And a “feel good part.”  We have to experience both for it to be repentance.   Repentance isn’t  an event.  It’s a process.
At the end of the meeting Elder and Sister Wheatley were asked to bear their testimonies.  This was a blessing to both of us.  After the meeting the President took us all out to dinner.  We went to an Italian restaurant.  We met the owner one day a few months ago, when President and Sister Jameson and us were eating some pizza in a little shop.  He is a member of the church who has not been active for some years.  He approached us and introduced himself.  He hasn’t been to church yet, because he says he has been too busy getting his restaurant started.  He came here from Italy because he thought he could make a go of it and he says there isn’t work there.  He is actually from Sicily.  He is having to learn French and also speaks a little English.  He has excellent food – the elders were in heaven and it was wonderful to be all together and enjoying the moments.
Following the dinner we had a baptismal service.  President  Jameson conducted several temple recommend interviews and we taught our English class.  We were tired when we arrived back home and headed to bed.
Sunday morning it was off to the Pointe Noire Branch for Priesthood Meeting and Relief Society and more interviews for President Jameson.  We then crossed town to catch Sacrament meeting in the Mpaka Branch.  President and Sister Jameson both spoke.  After Sacrament Meeting,  President Jameson interviewed seven men for worthiness to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. 
Next President and Sister Jameson spoke in the Sacrament Meeting of the Aeroport Branch.  Then more interviews.  It was a very busy day for the President.
We had a little excitement during the day.  The President of the country arrived on Saturday.  You could tell the path he would follow since the people were sweeping and painting along the route.  Garbage disappeared, fences were mended etc.  On Sunday the president of the Ivory Coast came to visit him. After going to the Pointe Noire Branche, and the Mpaka Sacrament Meeting, Sister Wheatley and Sister Jameson wanted a little rest from Church, so Elder Wheatley took them home for a little while.  When we left to return to the Areoport Sacrament Meeting the road was blocked because it would be the path of the motorcade coming from the airport with the Ivory Coast President .  We backtracked and were stopped again.  We would just have to sit it out.  First the soldier guarding the road made us back our vehicle up.  Then he made us get out of the vehicle.  Three cars went flying by.  He got very nervous, released the safety on his rifle and started pointing it at anyone that moved.  We could see his hands quivering.  The motorcade finally passed, about thirty cars and he let us move on to Church.  We would have been the first to fall if he had let loose!
We so appreciate the support of such dedicated leaders like President and Sister Jameson.  Originally their first mission call was to Geneva Switzerland, then then they received a phone call asking them if they would consider going to Africa instead?   A year and a half in Switzerland was replaced by four years in Africa.
When we think of them we are reminded of the story of Rebekah in the Old Testament.  When Isaac sent his servant to find him a wife and he found her( you remember the story of Rebekah fetching water for his camels), he was in hurry to return.  Her family wanted her to tarry for at least ten days.  When the question was put to her, she said, “I will go.”  She didn’t let friends and family deter her.  She became the mother of a posterity that is as numerous as the sands on the seashore.   Like Rebekah is remembered for her willingness to go and serve, many here in this part of Africa will remember the Jameson’s for their years of dedicated service.  The influence they have had will be felt and will increase with time.
We are happy and well.  We love you and miss you.  We are so grateful that Josh Johnson is back with his family again – home from Afghanistan.  We pray for you all every morning and night and thank you for your prayers for us.
Love,  Mom and Dad/Elder and Sœur Wheatley

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