Sunday, December 25, 2011


AT THE JOHANNESBURG TEMPLE WITH ELDER JOHN HUNTSMAN - PHILLIP AND JENNIFER'S YOUNGER BROTHER WHO IS SERVING HIS MISSION HERE Merry Christmas From Africa. We celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ today. We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Years. We are grateful for the love and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are thrilled to be serving our mission at this time. We know that this is where we should be. We miss family and friends this year, but know that we are doing the Lord's work.
ELDER AND SISTER WEBB, FROM LAKE OSWEGO, OREGON - OUR HOSTS IN SOUTH AFRICA We are still refugees in South Africa. Our refugee camp is not all that bad. We are being housed and hosted by the Africa Southeast Area. We are staying in a very nice flat across the street from a nice mall with many nice restaurants and grocery stores - and a movie theater. All things we do not have in the DR Congo. The new Mission Impossible is playing at the theater. I really wanted to see it, but questioned if it would be appropriate as a missionary. Then, our mission president told us that they had just seen it at the recommendation of the area president (a member of the 1st Quorum of Seventy), so we saw it also. We miss the DR Congo and the people. We hope to return on Wednesday. If you are following the news, you know that the presidential elections did not go smoothly. The incumbent was announced the winner, ratified by the supreme court, and sworn in. The opposition has dis-avoid the legitimacy of the election, and sworn himself in as president. So, now the country has two presidents, both claiming victory. It is a little tense in the DR Congo right now. We stay in close touch with the Embassy, the news, and with our associates and church leaders there to know what to do. At present, we will try to fly back on Wed., but will have to monitor what is going on on Monday, after the Christmas holiday.
While, here in Johannesburg, we have had the occasion to visit the Temple. Also, we have seen some South African sites. Our friends, Norris and Carol Webb, from Lake Oswego, Oregon, have been our hosts. They are also Perpetual Education Missionaries, so we have been going into the office with them and working. We have visited a game reserve, an African Cultural Center, African War Museum, and other sites of interest. We call South Africa, Africa-lite, as it is more European than African. (the locals don't like that we say that). It is a very modern city with many points of interest. It seems funny to drive on a road that actually has pavement on it. We live not far from the Zoo, and walk mornings around the outsides of the Zoo. (It also seems strange to be able to actually walk around the city with out fear). Oh, by the way, it is 80 degrees here. Christmas has been a little different this year. Being refugees, we have not decorated or anything. Saturday, the senior missionaries who work in the area offices (about 40 couples) held a pot-luck brunch. It was good. Then in the evening the four couples from DR Congo got together for pizza and Christmas eve time. This morning we went to Church and then this afternoon, the mission president and his wife will host us to a turkey and ham dinner (not a lot of turkey and ham int he DRC), so that will be nice. Suzanne is in the kitchen making her famous and delicious rolls for the dinner. We wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a most HAPPY NEW YEAR

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It has been a while since our last blog. We are currently in Johannesburg, South Africa. If you are following the news, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the midst of its second only democratic election for president. The winner will be announced on Wed.Dec. 8, sometime. FOR MORE ON The events running up to the election and the post election issues. Google DR Congo Current Events to learn more detail. The situation was becoming very tense. Both candidates for president announced that they had won the election and were therefore the president.
The incumbent claims victory and assures the world that he will remain in power. The opposition claims he won the election and will take over the country. There are 4 missionary couples - counting the mission president - and we have watched the situation closely. When it was getting very dangerous (it is always dangerous in the DRC, this was really dangerous), the mission president in consultation with area authorities and Salt Lake City, decided we should leave the country temporarily. The attached photo is of the plaza in front of our apartment the day before we left. We decided to fly out to South Africa. We think we probably got on the last plane to leave the country before they closed the airport. The blue vehicle in the plaza is an armored personnel carrier with riot police PICTURE OF US GETTING OUT OF DODGE.
We left our apartment around 6:30 AM,while it was still somewhat dark outside to get to the airport while everyone was still asleep. Our flight was at 1:30pm, but it takes like two hours to get through all the red tape at the airport, and the road to the airport is one of the most dangerous hot spots in the city with the election issues, so we sort of sneaked out of town. We are sad to leave our great friends and associates, but it is best. As of yesterday, the government shut down all text messaging in the county, army and police roadblocks are everywhere. All embassies except the US have pulled their people. US embassy personnel are confined to quarters, and the city is a powder keg waiting to off. Whichever candidate is elected, the other will be pretty unhappy, and will cause trouble. The opposition party does not have an army or weaponry, so it will be street rioting etc. So, we are safe and sound in South Africa. The Church's South East Africa Regional Offices are here. We are being hosted by the missionary couples and the Area Presidency. We are referred to as the "refugees." We are staying in apartments that are owned by the Church and happen to be available. Yesterday we went to the Temple. We fasted for the people of the DRC and ended at the Temple. It was a great day. We keep in touch with people in DRC and they say it is calm but very tense. Our apartment in Kinshasa is a US Embassy building housing the offices of USAID, and housing for US Citizens. We understand that it is cordoned off and heavily guarded right now. HERE ARE PICTURES OF BEAUTIFUL JOHANNESBURG.
Tomorrow we are going to a game preserve. (I think it is the big cat preserve of which Johnny Huntsman sent picture) Then to a bird reserve. That will be cool, and we will do a game reserve blog. We are also doing some shopping - and eating. I actually had a Red Robin type hamburger and fries for lunch. We even had strawberries last night for dinner. We can even drink the water. We have been able to go to stores. We don't have to by bread and bananas from the people with baskets on their head in the street. However, we look forward to quickly returning to the DR Congo. We love the people, the country, and we have a lot of work left to do. Please pray for the DRC and the great people of that country.