New Missionary Orientation in Cocody

2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (9)Our hearts were as warm as the temperature outside today!  All the new missionaries came from all over (they spent the night with local Elders and Sisters) and we met at the Stake Center in Cocody for our New Missionary Orientation.  2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (1)

The new companionships were announced and each new missionary got to bear their testimony in French.  We aren’t the only ones learning this new language.  It was a sweet meeting.  Pres and Sis Binene both taught us about our missionary purpose, the Doctrine of Christ, and they had a bit to say about adjusting to missionary life.

After the meeting, we went outside for photos.  Each missionary had a picture taken with the Binenes, which would be sent home to their parents.2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (2)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (10)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (3)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (12)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (4)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (13)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (5)

Our Group of New Missionaries!2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (6)

We had a delicious lunch, provided by local sisters–chicken, rice and plantain.2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (36)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (28)

2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (35)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (33)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (32)Oh, so good!2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (30)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (29)2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (31)The room full of luggage!  Two years of life in each missionary’s bags!2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (27)

The Cocody Stake Center:2019-10-23 New Missionary Orientation (38)

Here are a few photos from the Mission Newsletter of the arriving group today:

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Bon Voyage!

When I was a little girl, whenever we drove away to go somewhere far, we’d sing, “We’re on our little way, we’re on our little way.  Good bye house, good bye yard, we’re on our little way.”  We left home early this Monday morning, and those words ran through my mind.  Good bye to all we love, as we travel to a new place to love!

Claire and Aaron drove us to the Salt Lake Airport.  We left home at 5:15 a.m. after a short and sleepless night.   Last minute things included setting up our laptops and sending last communications to friends from here.  Eventually it was all finished and we were ready to go.

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We flew from Salt Lake City to Atlanta, then from Atlanta to Paris, where we had a few hours to sit and practice our French!  Then we boarded our flight for Abidjan, with a stop over in Bamako.  It was one of the nicest planes I’ve ever flown with.  New, big and comfortable.  The flight to Bamako was 5-6 hours.  We were surprised when we got there that EVERYONE got off!  We had the plane almost to ourselves for the last leg to Abidjan.  This plane turned around and returned to Bamako tonight, before loading and returning to Paris tomorrow. 

Here is the camera view of our approach to Abidjan:2019-10-23 Arrival in Abidjan (9)

With just a handful of people on this leg of the flight, gathering all of our luggage was easy.  We were grateful it all made it through.2019-10-23 Arrival in Abidjan (13)

We were greeted by Pres and Seur Binene and their Assistants.  We exited into the warm balmy humid heat of Abidjan.  It already feels like home!  Pres Binene is from the DR Congo.  He has a deep rich voice like James Earl Jones and a hearty laugh like Santa.  He’s learning English like we are learning French.  The Binenes have 4 children living with them here.  They took us to the Mission Office (the Mission Home is upstairs), where we visited and got acquainted.2019-10-23 Arrival in Abidjan (14)Today 19 young missionaries arrived from the Ghana MTC, and one arrived later this evening from the Provo MTC.  The Binenes have had a very busy day.  We had dinner with them, the APs, and the Elder from Provo, at the hotel restaurant, where we will be staying until our apartment is ready.2019-10-23 Arrival in Abidjan (21)

It fit in the back of the car!

2019-10-20 Good Bye to Dad (5)We did it!!  We each get 3 suitcases and 2 carry-ons.  The cases weigh in at 50 lbs and the carry-ons are close behind.  We’re packed for 2 years and we are ready to go!  Today we said good by to family–to my Dad in Reedley, to Adam & Heidi and their kids in Kansas City.  Claire and Aaron will take us to the airport in the morning to begin our Grand Adventure!

John is finally packing!2019-10-19 Trip Prep (6)2019-10-19 Trip Prep (7)2019-10-19 Trip Prep (8)2019-10-19 Trip Prep (9)

Farewell to Dad and Kris,  Dad is making small improvements.  Today was a good day and we had a good visit.  We hope to keep in touch regularly with Messenger.2019-10-20 Good Bye to Dad (8)

Adam and Heidi’s Family in Kansas City.  Josie was asleep.2019-10-20 Good Bye to Dad (1)

We are officially in the Ward bulletin now!2019-10-20 Church Program

Magnificent Murals at the MTC

moses 2Here are the huge magnificent murals in one of the new towers at the MTC.  These murals are composites of painting, photographs and digital images, on canvas, and back lit.  They really are spectacular and they are each in a quiet sitting area where you can sit and ponder.  It feels as though you could step right into any one of these beautiful images.

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (7)Nephi 1

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (10)moses 3

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (2)moses 1

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2019-10-18 MTC Murals (9)Esther 1

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (8)nephi 3

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (4)martha 1

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (1)brother of jared 1

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (3)sons of mosiah 1

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (3)alma 1

2019-10-18 MTC Murals (2)joseph 3

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Week #2 in the MTC

2019-10-16 MTC (7)We’ve spent the last week at the MTC, learning more about our Savior, Jesus Christ and his gospel and how to share the joy we feel with those around us.  It was a great week!2019-10-16 MTC (3)

The MTC’s campus has 21 buildings on a 39-acre site, with a capacity of housing and training 3,700 missionaries. Over 600,000 missionaries from nearly every country in the world have come to the MTC for training. The MTC trains missionaries for all of the Church’s missions and gives instruction in 55 languages.

Here is a short 8 minute tour of this incredible campus.  You will love seeing what goes on here!

We arrived Monday morning for our orientation meetings.  68 Senior missionaries reported to the MTC this week, and 100s of young missionaries.  Here are our new friends.  Imagine all of the children and grandchildren these good folks are leaving behind! 

Monday afternoon we were divided into Districts with 4 couples in each.  These would be our classmates for the week.  Most of these missionaries move into the MTC and live here all week.  Because our home is only 10 minutes away, we slept at home each night.

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Here is our District.  As we got settled in and met each other, John learned that he went to high school in Hacienda Heights with one of these couples who now live in Mesa.  They’d not seen each other since 1971!2019-10-15 MTC (4)

The MTC campus is beautiful this time of year.2019-10-16 MTC (11)2019-10-16 MTC (6)

Our District with Sis Eames, one of our teachers:2019-10-18 MTC (3)

John and Elder Arens catching up on live since high school!2019-10-17 MTC (22)

John never passed up an opportunity to eat just a few more chocolate chip cookies!  We probably won’t see those again for 2 years!2019-10-15 MTC (2)

With Sister Clark, our wonderful afternoon teacher:2019-10-17 MTC (31)

Here is where the language tutors teach remotely.  We got to visit Evelyn, our French tutor here.2019-10-17 MTC (39)

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Evelyn Maeser, Best French Tutor Ever.

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The views from these buildings are spectacular!2019-10-17 MTC (50)2019-10-17 MTC (51)2019-10-17 MTC (53)2019-10-17 MTC (55)

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We had a wonderful week.  It was a little sad to drive away yesterday.  But we have bags to pack and errands to run before our departure Monday morning.  We are so excited.2019-10-18 MTC (12)

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A Week in the MTC!

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Because of our unique assignment, the wonderful powers that be included us in a week of Humanitarian training at the MTC this last week.  It was amazing to be back on this campus, learning and preparing again to “go forth.”

We met in a class in T-3 with 3 other couples with Humanitarian assignments.  We spent the week being trained by folks from Salt Lake in the LDS Charities and Humanitarian departments.  It was so fun.  Once upon a time I taught these seminars to Senior missionaries.  The principles are still the same, but the resources we have to work with have changed drastically.  We belong to a church actively involved in changing lives, on a global scale, and on a personal scale.

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We are learning how to help alleviate suffering and how to go good in the Lord’s Way.

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Here are our new friends:2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (7)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (8)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (13)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (15)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (23)

We had a fantastic week.  These other couples fly out in a few days.  We’ll go home for a week, then return for our Preach My Gospel training on the 14th.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (10)

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The Johnsons help to coordinate all the Humanitarian missionaries and prepare us to set forth in the world.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (11)2019-10-2 MTC2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (1)

While we walked the halls of the MTC, we found the board of Mission Presidents and the Jackmans, who took our place in Yakima.2019-9-30 (11)

These are the LDS Missions in West Africa and beyond:2019-9-30 (14)2019-9-30 (15)

Here are all of the languages taught.  Afrikaans, which I learned here many years ago, is no longer on the list:2019-9-30 (13)

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We also walked over to the new buildings that were built and dedicated while we were gone.  We went to find Evelyn Maeser, our French tutor there, but just missed seeing her.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (25)These are the cubbies where the tutors teach languages remotely.  This is our favorite Evelyn:2019-9-26 Evelyn Maeser French Tutor (3)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (26)

The view of the other new buildings from the 6th floor:2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (30)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (33)

The MTC campus is beautifully landscaped and there are open spaces for study and sunshine.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (39)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (41)

Seeing this sidewalk brought back memories.  This is where we dropped Adam and Aaron as they embarked on their missions to Chile.  We shed tears here–in happy but hard goodbyes.  This time we’ll be the ones leaving them behind, along with Claire and Graham and our adorable grandchildren.  It’s never easy, but it’s always good.

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The field is white, already to harvest.2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (42)2019-10-3 MTC Humanitarian Missionaries (16)