On the same day that the Howard's went to the airport, we had another missionary come to our mission. He should have come with our last group from the Johannesburg MTC last week, but while he was in the MTC, he contracted the mumps and was sent home to recover. He was SO disappointed. He says he had worked so hard to be able to go on his mission. And ended up having to wait 8 months. He was so excited to FINALLY go to the MTC, and then got sick and had to stay home for another week. I think he's anxious to get out there and be a missionary! We are excited to have him!
While we were on our way to the airport to pick up this elder, there was a torrential rainstorm. It was coming down in buckets!! This is an amazing place, I can't believe how much rain can fall when it is raining!! Wow! I took a picture of the road that we drove down that was really flooded. There really was only room for one lane of traffic. Funny thing was, we drove down this same road the next day, and there are deep ditches on each side of the road, at least 3 feet deep! I couldn't believe that the ditches on each side of the road were completely full, and you couldn't even see any evidence of them during the rainstorm. Crazy.
The next day we were on our way to Rwanda! It's interesting, with each country our mission is in, the feeling is completely different. It really is like we have 3 missions. I don't know how else to describe it. President Collings always has interviews lined up when he goes to Rwanda. They have 3 branches, but no District yet, so he is the priesthood leader. Basically, any temple recommends, priesthood advancements, or leadership callings, like branch presidency or elders quorum president, he takes care of. The church is growing very fast in Rwanda! We have added another set of sister missionaries, and another set of elders, so there are 14 missionaries in 3 branches. But they are staying very busy, in fact, last week there were 39 investigators in the 3 branches. The new sister missionaries have only been in Rwanda for one week, and they found a family of 16 who are interested in the gospel. It is two sisters who live by each other, and their spouses and kids. When the missionaries come to teach, both families gather together. There are 10 of them who are over the age of eight years old, and can be baptized.
While we were at one of the churches, President Collings stood at the gate just outside of the church and spoke to about 5 different people. One of them said he had been a member and then a few years ago he just stopped coming, he said he would like to come back. Another one said that he wanted to hear more. He spoke with one of the missionaries, and committed to come to church on Sunday. As he left, he thanked President Collings and said something felt different in this church. We went back to the hotel and had to stop at reception to figure out some things with our room. One of the ladies behind the counter is a member of our church, we met her the last time we were in Rwanda. She was there. As we were being helped by another lady, she started to ask about our church. President told her that the lady right next to her was a member of our church. She was so surprised. The more time we spent with her, the more excited she acted. She said that she would like to start coming to our church, and that she would ask her co-worker to bring her. She was very anxious to give her contact information to us to pass on to our missionaries. It seemed like we couldn't get out of the lobby of the hotel, we were stopped by one of the other workers, who also asked us about the church. He said he had seen it by his house. He said he would go and also wanted to give us his number. I think in one day, in less than a half hour total, he had eight referrals to give to our missionaries.
We went to church in Rwanda on Sunday in one of the branches. There were so many investigators, we were surprised. The family of 16 came, and several other investigators . One man said that he had a dream that he should come to this church. Another said he was led by the spirit to this church. One woman who was baptized a month ago brought a friend with her to church. Each of these individuals got up and said that they believe this church is true, and hope to be a member. This is all in one branch in one day. Another branch had 2 baptisms, and as we watched the baptisms, we were introduced to two other men who will be getting baptized in the next few weeks. Yet another looked it up online and decided he needed to go to church here. The country of Rwanda is really prepared to hear the gospel. It's amazing.
This week in the mission has been a week of missionary interviews. President Collings has tried to raise the level of accountability with the missionaries, but still show a high level of love. We have noticed that the missionaries who are being obedient are truly seeing miracles.