Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 19, 2013

So here we go again!  Another Monday is upon us and it feels like the last one was just here.

I again forgot to bring my journal, but I guess y'all are used to that now.

This week was pretty great, to say the least.  We did a LOT of traveling.  Monday-Fri were the same old same so I won't go into depth.  Saturday and Sunday though, they were spectacular.

Saturday we traveled to Buruburu (Boo-roo-boo-roo: a suburb of Nai-town) to do a Mormon Helping Hands thing for the Africa Day of Service.  The matatu (taxi) to Buruburu was so uncomfortable.  The van itself wasn't bad, but the roads were terrible...  So we got to Buruburu and met about 400 members and missionaries there.  It was incredible!  We were all wearing the yellow vests and we walked through this really impoverished block.  It was the poorest place I have been to yet.  The paths were all dirt of course but then there were rivers of water and laundry runoff and house waste that went right through the block.  It was so disgusting, but hanging out with all the members and Elders was a ton of fun.  All of the missionaries from the Nairobi area came, so there were quite a few white elders which caused a huge commotion among the people living there.  We handed out mosquito nets, and that took all of 20 minutes.  

So now the real adventure starts.  George Kasue, a 2-year RM who is getting married in December (to a girl he met on his mission), was the guy from our ward who was in charge of us.  We broke off into 2 groups and the people following George were the 4 missionaries from our ward.  We were going back to the Buruburu chapel and we missed a turn.  We were on foot.  So we ended up walking an extra 2 hours.  It was painfully hot and we were all very tired.  We joked about how the Lord had to have something in mind for us, but actually, He did.  Right before we realized where we needed to go we found a guy whose car had died in the middle of the road.  All 5 of us helped push his car off to the side and he thanked us.  Then we realized what was wrong and we turned around and got back.

Sunday was Missionary Sunday.  The missionaries ran the show.  I blessed the sacrament with Elder Ledwaba and then gave a talk.  The talk was powerful!  I spoke to the ward on how they should support the missionaries and we should all work together, but then I showed an increase of love to the ward (following the counsel in D&C 121:40-46).  

After church we walked SO MUCH.  I had a small breakfast because I ran out of food and then skipped lunch to proselyte, and I have never felt closer to death.  I was getting cooked outside!  The Africa sun is definitely much hotter than the sun that hits NC.  Thank goodness we stopped by the flat.  My loving parents had sent me the most wonderful gift for my birthday: drink mixes!  So I took one and I felt like a completely new person.  I bet I can finish my mission only drinking those drink mixes.  But I won't try.

Anyways, other great things happened, but great things always seem to happen when you are looking at the bright side.  I have realized that this mission is not much of a lesson-teaching mission, but more of a friend-making mission. :)

That's all for now, I'll talk to you next week!


August 12, 2013

Family and friends,

Hello! You haven't forgotten me! Thanks!!

 I have had such an up and down week, but it has probably been one of my most fruitful as far as my learning and growth goes.  I don't have a whole heck of a lot of time but here is some of what happened.

Aug 5
Athi River boys came with us to email.  We went to Pork City for lunch (my favorite!) and then emailed for a while.  Got the most AWESOME haircut from a DRC refugee.

Aug 6 - BEST DAY EVAAAAAAA and best part is it comes every year!!
My BIRTHDAY!!!!!  The only bad part was this investigatorwho said "Dick!  Happy birthday!  When are you getting married?"  I told him 22 or 23.  He said "To how many women?"  So that kind of killed the mood.  But afterward we went to the Sri Lankans and they made me the sweetest birthday cake!  I am sorry, but the computer I am on this week does not have the capacity to upload pictures, so once again you
will have to wait until next week.  But I promise the wait is worth it.  Seriously, an awesome cake.  But at my birthday party at their place I had the opportunity to share a spiritual thought with their family, the Athi elders, and Joseph Matwale, a RM of about 10 weeks.I didn't know exactly what I was going to say at first, but I shared this POWERFUL spiritual thought on prayer.  I had no idea where the words were coming from  (the Spirit, obviously) but they were so wonderful and even though not everyone in the room spoke Southernese,
I know they could feel what I felt.  I think I even made one or two of the Sri Lankans cry.
Birthday party with other Elders and Sri Lankan friends

Elder Ledwaba and a beautiful birthday cake!

Aug 7
I got the 2013 edition of the scriptures!  WOOOOOOO!  Happy birthday to me!  They are sweet.  I mean, they say the same thing, but they are still great.  I was talking to Sister Hicken, the mission president's wife, in the office today and we were talking about how crazy it is here.  We agreed that no matter how many pictures we take or how elaborate our words are, it is impossible for anyone to comprehend how hot, how hard, how busy, chill, crazy, difficult, and downright different it is here without them experiencing it themselves.  So it is a blessing to be here.

Aug 9
I woke up at 3:30 and couldn't go back to sleep...  So it was a long long day...  New favorite scripture that my mom showed me - Helaman 6:37 - The Gadianton Robbers had the gospel preached among them until
they were destroyed.  The Nephites didn't slay them, they converted them to destruction.

Aug 10
Day 3 of no soap/shampoo.  I have been taking water showers for a while.  It is starting to become  miserable.  I am starting to live the African way.  Also, I don't know if all y'all know, but when you "wash
your hands" for a meal, the host just brings you some water and pours it on your hands.  So it basically just rubs the germs around rather than killing them.  Thankfully, I am set apart so the Lord protects me.

Aug 11
So a few things.  For one, after church all the kids ran to the sacrament table to eat the leftover bread.  I say "Hapana" and all of a sudden I'm the bad guy.  I said no because just last week the Bishop was counseled to not let the kids eat the bread.  So then another brother comes and he starts giving the bread to them.  I ask him what is he doing?  He straight up looked at me in his manliest glare possible and said "I know it's not allowed, but here they do it."  Say what???  Well earlier in the week I heard the term "This is Africa" which means that some church rules just don't matter because it is different in Africa.  It is something that is not true,
but some people use the excuse. I also ate so much fish today.  We went to our friends house and she fed us ugali and sugarcane and the best best best fish.  Today I have had very little time to email because the power has gone out twice already.

Thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes.  Seriously, I loved them :)  I love hearing about things going on back home.  Everyone stay wonderful!


Week 7

August 5, 2013

How is everyone?  I wouldn't know because I am not getting so many emails!  Come on, y'all, it is only 2 months into my mission!  Ah, it's okay.  I have enough to occupy my time though.  Seriously, it is so busy here.  We work work work and on top of working hard every day I am also trying to learn a language!  Wow!  
I  heard from Josh Capps.  His birthday was yesterday and mine is tomorrow.  Woohoo I am excited!  And what is more, I finally brought my journal this week.  So here is how my week went.

July 29, 2013
Went to see the animals.  Y'all saw that.  Did you see my sunburn?  I'll attach that picture.  It is bad and I am now peeling.  So my list of probable cancers I will get from my mission is now lung and skin.

July 30, 2013
The sunburn hurts so badly..  I turn my whole body sometimes so I don't have to move my neck too much.  We saw Proba, the Sri Lankan mama, and also Eric and a few other people.  But Eric is one of my favorites because he answers all the questions and takes notes during lessons and just wants to meet us.  He is golden.  The best part of the day though is when we got home and Elder Ledwaba told me "Your teaching has improved kabisa."  He said that I am getting really good now.

July 31, 2013
Today was a super quick day.  We went to Nairobi for District Meeting.  The new quads are out!!  AHHHH I am going to get one next week.  I brought $40, but it is in USD and I have no idea where to go to switch it to KSh.  But when I do, I will be RICH!!  And where am I going to blow $40?  On the new scriptures! 

August 1, 2013
Today is Elder Ledwaba's 24th birthday.  We went to the Sri Lankans in the evening and they made the COOLEST cake.  You'll see in the pictures.  Well, hopefully my mom will attach them because I won't.  It was just a great night.  The day was rough because we got bounced like a basketball, but the night was wonderful because I spent it with 8 of my closest friends here.  The Sri Lankans are great.  They don't really know a lot about any kind of gospel, Hindu or Christian, but they are so Christlike.  They have so little, but they give so much.

August 2, 2013
Today was a friends birthday.  He is an "investigator."  We went there first thing, so at 12 or so, and he and his girlfriend were drunk out of their minds.  They played house music so so so so so loud and made us dance around for over an hour.  It was kind of funny.  Then they got really serious and the girlfriend sat us down and said "Please help us.  My friend needs to change.  He drinks too much.  I drink too, but I don't get into trouble."

August 3, 2013
Such a long day.  We were busy busy and we saw so many people.  We watched Rio in the evening and it was pretty fantastic.  

August 4, 2013
Church was awesome.  Just powerful and full of the spirit.  The Athi River boys now have yet another guy on baptism date.  They are on fire!  We are struggling in Kitengela.  The AP's came and went on splits with us.  We got Elder Schneider (Idaho Falls, Idaho).  We went to visit the Sri Lankans and since he had never met them he just said whatever he wanted to.  Which was kind of wonderful.  Their son, Laddys (lad-EEs), was really sick.  So Elder Schneider told them about the priesthood blessings and showed them in James where it talks about that.  They were so grateful and wanted Laddys to get one.  So Elder Schneider anointed the boy and I sealed the blessing.  It was POWERFUL.  All in all, great week.

So I hope to hear from y'all in the upcoming week!