Our First Two Weeks



So here we are beginning our third week in our new home, in Lubumbashi.  It feels like we have been here for a long time and the sights that were so new to us,  have become a little less surprising.   We have officially met with our missionaries here in Lubumbashi, and 2014-07-03_08.06.28have taken a three day trip to some areas up north, to meet the missionaries there.  Brent interviews missionaries for five hours straight, followed by 1 to 2 hour meetings with Stake and District Presidents, and does it all in french.  I don’t know how he does it along with all of the other business he must attend to.  Actually, I do know.  He gets a ton of help from the office staff here.  They are amazing and I am SO impressed with them all.  The mission literally could not run without them.  We invited them for a little get-to-know-you dinner our first Friday in the mission.2014-07-05_10.37.19

It is a hard life for the people here.  Very, very few have running water or electricity, and they get by with very little in the way of material things.  An average family here has 12 children, and there are people everywhere.  People of all ages help carry water for quite long distances.  I’m impressed by the straight postures and strong necks the women must have.2014-07-09_01.05.152014-07-09_01.04.40

The hotels here are not quite what any of us are used to back in North America.  They are very spartan and lack the comforts of our hotels back home.  They have locks everywhere, and I mean everywhere!  But a lock on the outside of a shower?








These are an easy people to love.  This is our housekeeper/cook, Solange and her one year old son, 2014-07-02_04.38.34Joseph Smith.






The children here are beautiful.


This is my first attempt at “blogging”, and I know nothing about computers but with some patient help from Sister Clawson I’ll get the hang of it.



About carethomas1

Mother to six. Grandmother to nine. Dislikes bugs, camping, sitting and waiting. Likes to talk, eat, free agency, peace and order. Loves dogs, dear friends, and family (not necessarily in that order). Grateful for the trust Heavenly Father has in me, to ask me to come here and do this, with the one I love most.
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25 Responses to Our First Two Weeks

  1. Phil & Joy McMullin says:

    We are delighted that you are settling in. Best Wishes, Joy & Phil


  2. Meg says:

    Beautiful photos. We are the Clawson’s son and daughter-in-law and we are reading your blog from Philadelphia. Keep up the good work.


  3. Kate says:

    We’re excited to read your updates and learn about your day to day life. What an amazing work you’re doing. Glad you’re slowly settling in.


  4. Glenda Draper says:

    It is a great start. Aren’t the children so adorable? We are getting excited to come, more and more every day. Our ‘farewell’ talks will be on August 10th. We are thinking of changing our flight to Salt Lake to August 9th. (just kidding) I don’t hope to ever carry a big bucket on my head!! I think I might break my neck. Good to hear from you!! Glenda


  5. Callie Thompson says:

    I love seeing pictures!! They look like such humble and kind people.


  6. Gaby says:

    I’m so happy that you have a blog!!!!! I loved reading your first post and seeing the photos, can’t wait to read the next one, I love how technology connect us through the distance : )


  7. Lindsay says:

    We’re the Davis’s daughter and son-in-law. It’s so fun to see you all together on this adventure! I know my parents are loving you already.


  8. Cathy E says:

    You made everyone’s day by starting your mission blog. It makes me emotional just reading it and seeing the pictures, knowing that you and Brent are doing the work of the Lord among a beautiful people. You make us proud!


  9. Vickie says:

    Shoot Carolyn I didn’t know you’d left yet, since you never answered my email, so I called your house today. Katy had me thinking she was you! Anyway, please shoot me an email and tell me what you think. I need Brent’s French since I’ve been talking to Paula (Scotto) and may be talking to her sister really soon. (There’s a story!) Praying for your success! Fai la brava! Tanti baci, Vickie


  10. Paula Packer says:

    I wish you all the best as you experience something unbelievably exciting and wonderful. You are truly blessed and in time you will realize this more and more. ppp (wife of first Lubumbashi Mission President)


  11. Paula Packer says:

    Please give my love to Solange and tell her that Joseph Smith is adorable!


  12. Sherry Kay says:

    Beautiful blog! Sending love & prayers in your new “trek”.


  13. Angela Sager says:

    I love these photos and to hear about your adventures!!!!


  14. Donna from Weatherford!! says:

    So happy Marilyn showed us your website on Facebook!! Please be sure to post selfies so we can see you in action!! Love you both and sending you my prayers for a safe mission!!


  15. Andrewkay says:

    Love reading this! It draws my heart back to that lovely part of the world and the incredible people that live there.


  16. Don and Marsha Livingstone says:

    One of our missionaries, Andrew Kay, sent me the link to your blog. We are Don and Marsha Livingstone—MP of DRC, Kinshasa mission 2007-2009 when it was all one mission. now there are three! Such sweet and tender memories as I read of your immersion into life in Africa. Be sure and take lots of pictures and “notice” everything. Soon it will all become common place, and you won’t realize how immersed you are until you go to S. Africa for MP training or something. There is a saying, “We are African–not because we were born in Africa, but because Africa was born in us.” Soon you will feel this way, also, and your lives will be fundamentally changed forever more. Love it –love every minute of it. May the Lord continue to bless you with sweet and tender mercies for the next two years!


  17. Tim from Airdrie says:

    What a fantastic journey you have begun! We have every confidence in you (and Brent, too). You have been such a positive influence on so many here in Calgary, Canada, and it warms my heart to know that you are spreading that love and influence even farther. We will continue our prayers for you and your missionaries.


  18. Ellisa Conrad says:

    Wonderful to see your blog, I didn’t know you had one up and running yet! I had a special experience today that I would like to share with you. I had the opportunity to serve a sister from Kinshasa at the Employment office. She spoke a little bit more English than I spoke French but luckily she brought an interpretor, who happens to be a friend of yours! She told me about your blog. I also met a sister from Bujumbura in the temple the other day…small world, eh?
    Love to you both, and keep us all posted!


  19. Leslie Dorsett says:

    Carolyn, I am so glad to let you know I have read your posts and they are great. It reminds me of my trip to Rwanda. It is very humbling to see how happy the people can be with so little by North American standards. I will let the others from CHHS know about your adventure. Leslie


  20. Monte says:

    Carolyn, you are so right about the children. They are BEAUTIFUL. I love the little one in the red striped dress “eyeing you down”. SO CUTE. I have only seen children as beautiful in Ecuador. But in the DRC even the adults look beautiful. I am so glad they have been blessed by having you and Brent there to teach them and care for them and love them. A reward for their faithfulness! Perhaps if they weren’t so beautiful and sweet and faithful you guys might have been sent to France or somewhere else. But the French didn’t deserve you. So blame the goodness of the people there. I hope the Ebola outbreak hasn’t been a major problem for the DRC and you and your missionaries. Love you. Say hi and we love you to Brent for us. Monte


  21. Monte says:

    Really love you guys. And by the way, you are a great writer!


  22. Chris Comfort says:

    I used your Anne of Green Gables story to home teach Sister Gough. She doesn’t exactly remember who you are but she knows she loves you. That’s all she remembers now. I guess that’s enough.


  23. Debi V B says:

    Just read your blog. Made me cry. We are so spoiled…. You guys are my heroes! Your photos are absolutely beautiful and tell a real story. I’m so proud of you guys for doing this. I always thought I was so ‘tough’, but this is far, far beyond anything I’ve ever done. Love you!


  24. Silvana, Colin, Dan says:

    Dear Brent and Carolyn,
    It is truly a gift for us to see the photos you have taken. Though the journey is tough, We have no doubt you are where you need to be. Your story has become our story….. Your courage is our courage…. Your tears are our tears…. your songs are our songs….
    We love and pray for you always……
    May the lord bless you with all you need…..


  25. Robert Boyes says:

    Hey President & Sister Brent Thomas, We are so Happy for you guys, may the lord pore out his blessings upon you and keep you safe always, we love you!


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