Saturday, February 22, 2014

February 17, 2014

Let me tell you about a neat thing that happened.  First off, Nairobi traffic is TERRIBLE.  You would HATE it.  It takes us two hours sometimes to drive two miles, and that is a normal day.  The slowest I went, and it has happened many times, it is not uncommon, is about 300 feet per hour.  We plan for these things.  Anyways, we were in traffic and saw people pulling heavy carts up a hill we were on.  They pull carts of stuff and make money.  They pull it by hand.  We saw a man who had no help so Elder Tauzie and I just ran and pushed it from behind and we all started sprinting up the hill.  After we got to the top he was really grateful especially because we had done it for free.  It was a happy week because we were all just focused on serving others and not worrying about ourselves.

We also went to Kilungu Hills, where you climb mountains and walk hours to your appointments.  It is the "bush."  There is electricity 50% of the time, unless it rains. Then it is 0% of the time. It was a really neat experience!

Elder Dick

February 10, 2014

What an up and down week.  Let me just quickly update everyone on what was going on.  We have been having visa problems.  3 visas FINALLY got approved so we are getting 3 missionaries that were serving in South Africa this week.  On the flipside, 6 visas were denied and they ran out so 6
missionaries are being deported to Tanzania.  It is week 4 of the 6 week transfer, so it is really hectic.  The good news: Langata is basically the next area over to the east of my area (not in my zone).
The missionaries that were serving there are both getting deported so guess who is replacing one of them?  My friend, Elder Russell!  We will see each other a lot!  I miss that guy.  It has been about 4 months plus some change since I have seen him and a lot has happened since then.  I am sure his Swahili is prime whereas all I can show for my time in the office is a few nicely done spreadsheets. At least I can apply my skills somewhere.

In other news, on Friday of last week I spent 9 hours in traffic and went a whopping 16km.  I thought I missed driving.


Elder Dick

February 3, 2014


First off, the important stuff.  How in the world is Duke doing?  I heard that they were ranked third, which would be surprising except for the fact that they are the best team (currently third best).  Where is UNC?  42nd?

Secondly, I have had a trial recently in recognizing spiritual promptings.  I realized my mistake so clearly when I listened to a talk from Elder Bednar in Oct 2011.  I had been receiving spiritual guidance and I didn't even know it (D&C 6).  It was a big struggle because I thought I wasn't getting an answer to my prayers.  My prayer was that I could KNOW that this gospel is true with all of the things that go with it instead of believing.  I thought I was going to get a huge spiritual manifestation, but instead the Lord saw fit that I be taught from the time I was born line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.  I never realized that all this time I was growing in knowledge and testimony until I can now say that without a doubt I KNOW that Jesus Christ is my Lord.  From my head to my toes, there is not an ounce of doubt.  I did not need an angel and the Lord knew that.  I could not have gained my testimony in any other way than he had me.

Go Duke!  

Elder Dick

January 27, 2014

Hola!  Let me tell you about the visit by Elder Bednar.  He spoke with all of the members in the Nairobi Stake and the missionaries were just invited, so he didn't actually sit down and speak to us specifically.  The format of the meeting was that he would ask the members questions and they would answer, then the members would ask him and he would answer or defer the question to Elder Clayton (Presidency of the Seventy) or to one of the three members of the South East Africa Area Presidency, or to his or any of the other Seventies wives.  It was a powerful meeting.  The questions asked were all questions of the soul, such as "Why is it important to be kind?"  "I am being diligent, but is there anything I can do to make being diligent easier?"  "When will it be easier to be a member?"  And many other questions like that.

I came to the meeting with a lot of questions.  Most of them were answered during the meeting, either by things that someone said or by impressions from the Spirit.  Other questions that I had that were not answered during the meeting I had answered before I went to bed that night after talking to some other missionaries.

I apologize for any birthdays I have missed and also in advance for all of the birthdays I will miss.

The newest discovery this week.  I had a remarkable revelation where I figured out exactly how heaven feels.  My companion received a package with "Cookie Butter" in it from Trader Joe's.  If anyone doesn't know what it is you really need to find out.  It tastes like the kind of peanut butter that God might put on his PB&J and I mean that in the most descriptive and unsacrilegious way possible.  I had first just a regular spoonful with nothing else and it changed my life.  Then I had it with vanilla ice cream.  Brothers and sisters the veil is thin.  We can feel what heaven is.  Also if anyone is going by Trader Joe's please just grab me one or two jars!

Much love,
Elder Dick

January 20, 2014

Elder Bednar is coming on Thursday!  I am so excited that I get to see him.  More than see him I get to work security when he comes.  We got stopped by the police this week while my companion was driving.  We made a completely legal right turn and it was almost midnight and they all ran out and pulled us over and basically went through this whole thing about how we owed a TON of money to the government or they would take us to jail.  After some tactical negotiating and with the Lord's help we were able to get on our way :).  We were on our way to the airport to pick up Elder Bednar's security man who arrives a few days before Elder Bednar.
I love you all and I will be sure to tell Elder Bednar a joke.

Elder Dick