Since I will be making the blog posts in a book for future posterity, I wanted to include pictures of a couple of logging trucks. The whole time we have been here, logging trucks have been coming from the northeast to the port in Douala. I suppose they are shipped around the world. The size of the logs are truly amazing and reminds me that for hundreds of years, or perhaps more that these trees have been growing.
Note the size of the people next to the truck.
The end of September the father of our dear friend, Romeo Dim, passed away. We were asked to participate in the two day "celebration" and Elder Call was asked to give a talk and to dedicate the grave. It was one of the greatest honors we received while being in Cameroon. Often funerals in Africa are postponed for weeks and even months, we were worried we may not be able to attend. However, the Dim family gathered quickly and Bro. Dim planned a lovely funeral. Bro. Dim's father was Catholic, but Bro. Dim told the Catholic priest who came to help with the funeral that he would not be needed. Bro. Dim's mother consented to the funeral arrangements made by her son which had many African traditions but was presided over by priesthood leaders.
The first day was held at the funeral chapel where friends and family could come and pay their respects.
Romeo Dim standing behind the casket. His mother is the woman in white sitting on the front row.
The next day friends and family gather at the home where a continuation of the ceremony takes place.
Bro. Dim's mother and two sister-in-laws.
Friends sit behind and to the side of family.
Us with a grand-daughter, Die-belle Dim, and Elder and Sister Greer.
The body was then brought from the home and placed on a stand at the front of the congregation.
The meeting was presided over by the president of the branch, Pres. Raul in which Bro. Dim is a member.
Several talks were given including a talk given in English by Elder Call about the Plan of Salvation. Bro. Dim's son, Emmanuel translated for him.
After the talks, the Dim family stood and several gave thoughts about their father/grandfather or brother.
After some African music and singing, the casket was carried in a procession to the cemetery. Flowers and pictures of the deceased were carried by family members at the front of the procession.
At the burial site, people were given the opportunity to give any last remarks they desired to say. Then Elder Call was again given the honor of participating by dedicating the grave. Emmanuel was asked again to translate. However, at one point in the prayer Emmanuel became so emotional he could not continue. Fortunately, his sister Die-belle Dim was close by and was able to continue with the translation.
As with most LDS funerals, it ended with a feast at a restaurant served by family members.
The next day Pres. Yemafo and his wife brought the owner of the bus company, Gregory Dallem, and his wife to our apartment. Mr. Dallem is the owner of the Diamond Bus Company who who took the Bonaberi I Branch to the Aba, Nigeria Temple. He gave his commitment to try and make the bus trips to the temple more and more trouble-free. We in turn, were able to bear our witness of the truthfulness of the Gospel and gave both he and his wife a copy of the Book of Mormon. He promised to study it. We hope also to meet him some day and embrace as fellow members of the Church.
The Zone Leaders decided we needed a going-away party for us and the other Elders who were leaving. So we met at our apartment for food and fun.
The missionaries brought food and I made food...it was truly a feast.
Since time was running out, each day was tightly scheduled. It was Anita's 19th Birthday, so we took her and her husband (Pres. Bartholomew Nyom) out to a restaurant for dinner.
The next day, Elder Call took the Greer's to Yaounde to show them around that city. I did not go because it was the only time left to have the Dim's over and dictate their conversion stories and testimonies to me so I could type them on the computer. I was so glad I stayed in Douala. They have amazing stories and I know the whole family will one day be powerful leaders of the church in Cameroon. We have already used their testimonies in talks we have given.
After Elder Call and the Greer's came home from Yaounde, we were invited over for a delicious typical African dinner at the Dim's home.
Sister and Elder Greer, Bro. Dim, Elder and Sister Call, Sister Dim, Bro. Dim's cousin, Ruth.
We spent our last Sunday at the Bonaberi I Branch. We both bore our testimonies in French. After church, Yanik, a counselor in the branch presidency, invited us over to his new "house". He had finally been able to rent a small apartment to prepare to bring his bride-to-be from the Congo to Cameroon.
A picture at the front door of Yanik's home. He was so proud of it because it had a small room for a kitchen and also included a separate bathroom. Most apartments share a "community" bath.
The only things on the wall were two pictures of the Aba, Nigeria Temple where Yanik hopes to be sealed one day.
That night the Greer's took us to the airport and we boarded the plane with mixed emotions. Excited to see family, but knowing the hard life that the good saints in Cameroon face every day and desiring to still be with them to somehow give our assistance and love. However, we know they are in God's capable hands. What an experience Cameroon was! It was not an easy one, but it was a testimony building and a relationship building experience for Elder Call and I.
We flew to London where we met Cassie and Todd and their family. We spent a delightful 10 days touring famous London attractions and seeing some Church History sites. I will not explain our trip in detail, but would like to include a few pictures.
Sunday we went to church at the Hyde Park Chapel in London.
We had such a wonderful time and each day was filled with exciting things to see and do. We left England Monday and got home Tuesday at 2:30am due to a delay in San Francisco. We were released from our mission Tuesday morning at 8:00am by our stake president, Pres. Kiel.
We arrived home happy and healthy and grateful for the time spent in Cameroon and to be able to have some sweet time with family in England.