Thursday, May 15, 2014

May 12, 2014

Family and friends,

We had a one of a kind week last week.  Most of our appointments got
bounced, which is very difficult since we then have to think of
somewhere to be on the spot.  Because of the rains that have come our
appointments and our backups just bail on us.

Nevertheless, we had fun.  Of course it was great talking to my family
on the phone.  Fastest hour of my life.

One of the elders I work with has a really short
temper, and though he is not one to yell or get all rambunctious when he is upset, the things he says sometimes just are funny.  We have a lot of trying and difficult times here, and sometimes it gets to him when people try to take advantage of us because we are white or when kids will not leave us alone.  It all got to be a little overboard the other day when some kids were yelling at us.

Scene: a long uphill road coming back from a 2-3 mile bike ride to the
sticks to see a member.  Bikes: the other elder's bike does not change
gears, my bike only has one pedal.

Story: After a decent lesson, the rains were coming, so we were
hauling it back to town.  I say hauling, but there are a lot of hills, so we were slow.  About halfway up the last big hill (the only paved road on the whole journey) we decided to get off and walk since the
rain and mud were too much.  They would've destroyed our white shirts if we kept riding (happened many times before).  As we got off to walk, about 8children, all boys, start walking up to us saying (partly Swahili,
partly broken English) "Hey white guys, give us money!"  "Give me your
bike!"  This is not a strange thing at all.  Usually we just tell them
no, or "Nyamaza" (be quiet).  But today was a hard day.  I told them
to be quiet (in Swahili) but they just didn't shut up.  So my buddy used his time-tested intimidation method of taking off his belt (the kids get beaten by their dads so they usually get scared) but they didn't run away as fast as usual.  Here comes the crazy part.  With my friend you can never tell how much he is bothered by his facial
expressions alone, since he doesn't have any, but you can definitely tell by what he says.  He takes off his belt, and in a very firm and direct voice says "Unataka kufa?"  Which is to say "Do you want to

WOAH elder, don't worry about them!

But it isn't as bad as it sounds, and I guess you would not understand
that until you got into the culture, but I was really surprised.  As we were walking away, the kids kept saying "Mzungu, I'll beat you!" So I turned around and said "What?"  And stopped walking.  They booked it!  That is the last time they bothered us.  I guess you gotta do what you gotta do!  I was surprised, but no worries, none of us are
perfect!  But most of us are really funny! Like my companion that day. That
guy is absolutely hilarious.

Also, an investigator of ours accidentally SMS'ed us a booty call that
was very much intended for someone else he knew.  It was quite
detailed.  We dropped him.

Karibu Kenya, karibuni kwetu.

I love all y'all!

Elder Dick

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Letter from branch president in Eldoret, Kenya - May 9, 2014

May 9, 2014

This is Branch President of Misikhu Branch,Eldoret-(Kenya).We had missionary fun with your son (Jacob Dick) who is currently on mission in Kenya. He is a great missionary as is now zone leader and talks pretty good of his lovely parents back in the states and I asked him for your contact and humbled obliged.

    Have you been to Kenya? please be tourists one day  visit this great country, you could sample some of very interesting tourist attractions eg.treetops hotel where the queen of England had visited with her husband amid news came that her father King George had passed on and also see a snow capped mt.Kilimanjaro but near the equator!

    Meanwhile in Kenya the The church of Jesus Christ of is growing tremendously with following facts:1 stake, 2 districts,and other congregations yet to achieve stake/District status.

    I am married with one wife, 7 children(4) are members,8 grant children. We are visiting the temple 19 members from this branch.Elder Dick had come interview investigators and managed to recommend 2 for baptism, great!

   Else we wish you well in your endeavors to mold better American citizens because of your lovely profession I love reading! My son is preparing to serve mission as end of next year.

     Kindest regards.

April 28, 2014

Week 45

We were praying at a less-active members home.  It was the first time we had seen him or his family ever.  Everyone was a member except for his sister (they are older, 40-60 years old).  I was saying the prayer.  Toward the middle of the prayer the nonmember sister started saying "Jehovah Jehovah Isaiah-saiah-saiah..."  It is not all that odd for people to talk during our prayers and say "Halelujah, praise Jesus, Amen, bless Him," etc.  But this one was a bit different. Nevertheless, I proceeded.  So did she.  She got louder and louder and she started shaking until she was screaming literally at the top of her lungs!  (I stopped speaking)  "JEHOVAH!  JESUS!  ISAIAH!  JEHOVAH! ISAIAH-SAIAH-SAIah-saiah-saiah..."  And she got quieter and quieter until I finally said "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."  All of us (my companion, our member that came with us, and me) were absolutely terrified that she had been possessed.  If anyone asks "How is Kenya?" That is how.

My first area was pretty dead, and it was beyond resurrection.  I know there are no such things as "dead areas" but I worked in one.  Only six members the whole area, and three were inactive.  The church
wasn't even in the town, and no one could afford to go.

My second area I only worked in it at most half of the time.  The other half was spent in the office.

So this is now my first area where there is a ton of work to do.  I feel like I am learning to be a missionary all over again.  It is actually really difficult!  But I at least feel satisfied when I get home at night.

When I am working I am working hard, but when I am idle (at night, in a matatu, etc.) I am thinking about home.  Is that bad?  I have never thought about life before mission so darn much!  I can work hard when I need to, but other than that I am just thinking about home like crazy!


Letter to God from Elder Dick's 9 year-old cousin Charley Grace

Jacob was diagnosed and treated for malaria recently.  Thankfully the treatment seems to be working and he is feeling much better.  The main reason for his recovery is due to many prayers offered on his behalf, such as this one offered by his cousin Charley Grace. Thank you Charley! We love you!!