September 24, 2022

I remember the events of 1969 well.  I have written about them here. 1969 was a year of initiation for me.  At age fourteen, I encountered racism from my seminary (religious classes for Latter-day Saint youth) teacher and consequently dropped out of seminary–after talking with him about it directly and being directly and publicly rebuked. I remember hearing false prophecies spouted about masses of armed black men who would come into Salt Lake City, invade the LDS temple, and rape... Read more

September 9, 2022

As missionaries, my husband and I taught a Congolese man, Gedeon, from a distant village. The chief of his village was concerned that Gedeon was investigating a church which worshipped “the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” The chief told him that their tribe worshipped and placated “the ancestors.” (Apparently, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not included in “the ancestors.”) Gedeon explained to us that “the ancestors” had terrifying power–which he had witnessed. They could torment or even kill living... Read more

August 9, 2022

The story of Joseph in Egypt has long been my favorite Bible story, but only recently did I become aware of modern people who imprisoned their siblings. One of these cases was in the DR-Congo, where I work with our organization. A brother, eager to claim property belonging to his sister, had her (Yvonne) jailed on trumped up charges. A jailer later confessed to Yvonne that he had been paid to kill her, but that he  could not do it.... Read more

July 3, 2022

Mike Lyon died last week. I have been hit with so many emotions. We grew up in the same area of Provo, Utah, though he was a few years older than I and lived a few streets away. We dated. I suppose we would call it dating, but it was more of a sweet friendship . He didn’t drive and I was terrified of driving. There is so much power in that gas pedal! We went to something in Salt... Read more

May 16, 2022

Songs are my friends. I have seven hymns in Tshiluba with French translations. I have hard copies and also recordings of the songs. Daily, I practice some of the songs. Music helps our brains retain information, which is why most of us remember nursery rhymes. I gave a prayer in Tshiluba at church–to the surprise of the members there. They didn’t know I had been working on it. I had sent myself the words to review on my phone, and... Read more

April 25, 2022

The first step in learning anything is love. A parent coos to the child, sings to the child, calls the child by name. This is love, and it’s the fertile ground for language learning. Must we be born again, you may ask (like Nicodemus). No. But we must love again. Not everyone will have the ability to learn a language with the equal fluency, but success will be directly attached to love. By that I mean that you must want... Read more

April 5, 2022

The word “zombie” probably came from Africa. “Nzambe” means God in many African languages, including here in the DR-Congo. Zombies are terrifying. And people believe in them. (more…) Read more

March 5, 2022

Djemba and Marie weren’t speaking. They hadn’t spoken for a week, not since Djemba had yelled at her for taking too long to serve dinner. They had been married for four years, and had had a few of these spats, which usually faded away. Djemba would say something to Marie—it didn’t matter what—indicating that the time of coldness was over, and they would continue their lives until the next argument. They were at the church, Djemba setting out the chairs... Read more

January 26, 2022

Small and Simple Things   A decade ago, I was writing to LDS missionaries in the DR-Congo. I had met these missionaries because my husband and I had served with them in the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. One of them, Henry Lisowski, asked me to write to his Congolese companion, Aime Mbuyi, whose family could not access the internet. While the other missionies perused and wrote emails to their families, Aime would simply wait. Of course, I did... Read more

December 2, 2021

3 Weeks in the DRC We landed in Kinshasa late on November 2, 2021, just in time to celebrate Bruce’s 71st birthday on the 3rd. We celebrated by attending the Festival International de Cinema- Kinshasa, where we saw evidence of the growing film industry.  Some beautiful films from the Congo and elsewhere were shown, and nascent filmmakers mingled. We were impressed by the common goals and cooperation of everyone in attendance. While at the festival, we met two young men... Read more

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