As you have probably read over the last year in my blog, we have had issues with the church buildings in Rwanda. In January 2018, the Kigali 3 branch was large enough that President Collings was starting to work on dividing the branch. We were surprised when the church buildings were shut down in February 2018, and instead needed to turn our attention to getting the members buildings where they could worship each Sunday. Little did we know that it would take almost a year for Kigali 1 and 2 branch to get their building, but most unfortunate was that Kigali 3 branch is still without a building a year and 4 months later. They are still worshiping in a building, but they have to travel to the Kigali 1 branch building, which is quite a long distance. The good news is that there is a building ready for the Kigali 3 branch and they will be meeting there in the VERY near future.
The first building that was reopened was the Kigali 2 Branch. Since the branch moved into their new building, they have seen significant growth, and because of this, President Collings requested that we divide the Kigali 2 Branch. He received permission from church headquarters, and on 9 June 2019 he divided the Kigali 2 Branch and created the Kigali 4 Branch. It was a very exciting day for the members of the church in Rwanda.
Elder Palmer, the Area President, was also in Rwanda. Because we were having this meeting with the 2nd Branch, he decided to spend time in the 3rd Branch and then have a fireside after church for the 1st and 3rd branches. It didn't matter what branch you were in on Sunday, Kigali was a very special place to be. It was fun for us to meet with him one more time before we leave.
Our final Zone Conference of our mission took place in the Rwanda Zone. When we talked with the Zone Leaders about the meeting, they suggested an outline. President Collings said that their idea would be fine. We thought the entire conference would take about two hours. We were wrong! The Zone Leaders asked President Collings and I to speak, then they opened up the meeting for testimonies. Every one of the missionaries in the zone stood and bore their testimony and shared a tender mercy that they had seen on their mission. Then we invited the missionaries to ask us questions. I was so impressed with their questions. They really made us think, and we were able to teach them some amazing things because of the questions they asked. We then ended with thoughts from myself and President Collings. It doesn't sound long, that's why we thought we would be done in a short time, but with the testimonies and the questions, we were really able to spend our time just teaching and sharing. It was a very special time.
What can I say? We have really grown to love our amazing senior couple, Elder and Sister Maughan. They go out of their way to help and to organize and to accomplish the vision that President Collings has had for Rwanda as well as helping with the other districts in our mission. I've said it before, they do the work of 4 Senior Couples. We love them! It's hard to think that this is the last time we will see them until their mission is over in about a year. They will be a great blessing to the new mission president.