Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20, 2014

My family,

What a great week. Tuesday evening Elder Mukonda came to Kyambeke (just from Mitini, the next area, though it is a two hour walk up a hill to get there) and settled in. Wednesday we started work. Theamount of work we were able to accomplish was incredible. Every daywe worked for most of the day and went inside in the early evening. On Sunday, it took us a long time to get to Ilima because we had to climb and climb and climb while the ground was slippery and it wasfoggy and hot. I was filthy before I even got to church!

At church we spoke with the Branch President. He shared with us tha there are a number of families who were baptized last year but are now inactive (20 or more). We have our work cut out for us. But there is nothing I love more than someone telling me "You know, I just have too much work to handle. Say, elders, could you do this work?" How greatis that? Someone actually giving me work!

I saw the pictures that you sent from our house. They made meuncomfortable. Keep sending them, please! But you'll have tounderstand... I'm now used to mosquito nets and half a week withoutpower, red cement floors that are constantly dirty, bugs swirling by the lights, small fridges packed with long-life whole milk, rats in the ceiling, filtered water, and flavorless lunch. Instad of bein weird to me, that is what I've become comfortable with. It is what I like. Please don't be offended when I feel weird my first few weeks at home. We just don't have nice things here.

By the way, I am constantly dirty... Constantly. Showers don't fi it. Besides, our shower is broken right now, so we have to takebucket showers anyways. Those aren't as efficient in my own opinion.

Today my companion and I got som slingshots (handmade, of course) and went bird-hunting. Those suckers are fast... He was going to show mehow to cook and eat one, but we didn't kill any. We are going tobring the slingshots (mapanda) with us proselyting and see if we can't find a nice bird to boil when we get home. They boil everything here.That is just how they cook. No one has ever heard of salad... Theyboil all their vegetables and meats and everything. So salad (raw cabbage) is disgusting to them.
We all know that most of the conceptions that white people have about Africans is wrong... Well, how would you like to know what Africans think of white people? I have two stunners. FIRST: Africans think that white people only fill up their glasses halfway when pouring a drink because their noses are too big so if they filled it up all the way they would get juice in their nose. SECOND: You know how cats eyes shine in the dark? Africans think that white people's eyes do that, too.

This week we had FHE at this member's home. We taught about Ammon and why he sets such a good example. As I was speaking I felt a strongimpression to testify of how we need to have good examples, especiallychildren in high school (there were two children in high school there). The spirit was strong and it seemed as if the father might cry, as if following that prompting was an answer to an earnest prayer that he had for his children. I went on to share about how I faced the same challenges in high school as children face over here: drugs,alcohol, immorality, etc. And the way to choose the right is to pick a good example to follow, examples like Ammon and Nephi who stood up in the face of persecution and peer pressure and chose the right even when the choice was not popular, even until death. The Book of Mormon is real and it is for our day!
I am so used to the hills now. I wish y'all could come and pick meup. It is just such a different world out here! You would never fully comprehend unless you were able to come and be here yourselves.

So at this moment it is 8:30p. We just got back from the Masakufamily. They own Kyambeke. They have just been around as long as this good earth and they are a large family. We taught about Alma 49, how Moroni fortified the cities of Ammonihah and Noah. We related that to us and the gospel, how we each have weaknesses. In v. 2 it says that the Lamanites whooped the Nephites before because of their(the Nephites') iniquity. For us, if we continue to rebel (not being weak, but actually rebelling) then we will be weak and defeated. In contrast, if we truly desire what is right and to be rid of sins, theLord, through His Atonement, can help us to become better. He can help to fortify our weaknesses and make them strengths. It was a good lesson.
Well, that's all folks. 'Til next week. Next week is Thanksgiving. We have MLC on Thanksgiving day. It'll be a lot of fun! Keep sending pictures.

Coming toward the end of my mission it seems weird. I mean I know Istill have six months left, but it just seems like it will go on forever. I know that I will go home, but home just seems like someabstract idea that people talk about rather than some place that we will actually return to and where we actually came from. I am comfortable now. Things are going smoothly.
I love y'all and I'll talk to soon :)