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Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30, 2011

The drive to Ilima started at 6:00. We went with the Nevins and had a lot of items to be delivered to the Mitini and Kymbeke missionaries. The drive is so hard and scary but the rewards are so tremendous once you get there. The baptism in Ilima started an hour late as the people are pretty layed back and they have to walk many miles to get to the church. One son baptized his mother and then he baptized two younger boys that lived in the branch. They were raised by their grandma. Her third grandson probably five just came and held my hand. So sweet. He didn’t talk once. The baptismal font was a large blue garbage bin like we have in the United States. The lid was set off to the side and they had made a metal ladder for the candidate to step down into the water then the latter had to be lifted out so that they could be dipped into the water. The water was very cold and very dirty but know one said to much. After, we heard testimonies from the new members. The Branch President then told me that we were in charge of all the baptism clothes and we would be in charge to take them to baptisms. So I am going to work really hard to get them white. There are two large Rubber-Maid containers.

The Mitini missionaries then asked us to go with them to see a member and his family. We left our truck at the top of a ridge and hiked down a narrow bumpy path to Brother and Sister Boneface’s house or hut. They moved from there mud and stick hut to a sandbrick house. They have ten turkey’s that provide money for their children to go to school when he sells two. They have a cow and chickens and 2 geese that he is hoping to produce more.

The two grandmothers live with them and they have eight children. Two of them are his brothers children who died. Sister Agnus, is the YW President. (they have forty girls in their branch).

The conditions were something I couldn’t put into words. They brought out wooden stools for the four of us to sit and the two elders sat in the dirt. Four of the children sat on the turkey box. The chickens and turkey wondered through our stools and legs. We were under a huge avocado tree and the grandma was next to me sitting on a burlap bag, rubbing fibers on her leg to make a rope. We had an opening prayer, a message from the elders, then a testimony from Brother Boneface. They are such a humble and sweet people. There was a good spirit there. He asked Dad to give a closing prayer and blessing on his family and son Joseph who has been very ill. Sister Agnus took a bag and filled it with huge avocado’s to take home. I noticed Elder Navin quietly gave her some money.

We then hiked up the mountain path and returned the missionaries to their flat in this (I want to say sleazy but I won’t) little village. Its hard to explain but they live in some apartments, goats and chickens hang around the door and the bottom floor of occupants all us this one bathroom toilet and it is not a flush toilet. Anyway the Elders were told they needed to clean-up and attend to their flat as it was bad. Last night’s dinner was still on the table. They were embarrassed.

On the way home on Monbasa Road we saw not only zebras, but camels, ostriches, gazzells, and wildebeests'. It was so fun. We are going to start taking the binoculars with us. We got home in good time, chatted with some of the kids online, packed our lunch for Sunday and went to bed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 28th and 29th

Thursday and Friday were days spent at the mission home, practicing getting to know our way around town, going to the market and even visiting a high class four story mall. The shops had very expensive clothes and home furnishings. They had a grocery store, meat market, flower shop and a hardware store also. To me it was just fun to look. I also made my first baked item, a lemon pound cake. The flavor was great but too crumbly. Friday evening we had a visit from the cute sister missionaries. They have a hard time here in Nairobi. Many people here think we are devil worshipers. Sister missionaries cannot tracked and are left to referrals from the members. They told us they get very discouraged and President Broadbent always cheers them up. After they left we packed our lunch for Saturday and went to bed as we would need to get up at 5:00

These are some picture of the Mission Offices. It includes a CES building and office, Humaintarian Office, Finance Office and a Distribution Center.
The Chapel for this area is here as well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27, 2011

Today we drove out to Kilunga Hills and met with people from the Matini Branch. We taught some lessons about the Melchizedek Priesthood and Temples. We also met with the younger Elders who are serving there. They are living out there without any running water and without electricity most of the time. They were also out of propane for cooking. The temperature is so consistent that there is not any heating or cooling. They buy food from the local markets which are just shacks along the road sides, which are not really roads just dirt trials. The Elders live mostly off of vegetables, meats and fruits are hard to come by. Most of the roads in the hills are just wide enough for a small pickup to go on. And they are also steep. I had to use 4 wheel drive more than once to get up a hill today. People are so poor to things of the world but they are also very happy and seem to be very Christ like. Most all of the children and many of the adults will wave so by the time you get out of the Hills your arm is tried. The drive on the highway is especially tiring you have to be paying attention 100% of the time there is always a car coming head on towards you I can’t even describe the feelings of driving and the traffic jams.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011

Best part of the day was going for a walk in the rain. It was amazing. Of course we didn’t plan it that way but it turned out fun. The rug is still outside wet from the rain.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Our Daily Drive

Our drive each day take between 2 and 4 hours each way. The traffic is so bad and scary. The roads are bumby and hard to drive on. Along the roads there are little stores called dukas. They are built out of whatever they can find, Some are just wood tied together with rope. The following pictures are on the road to Llima.

July 25, 2011

We slept well last night and got up to cleaned our flat which is weird because Consalota our cleaning lady came at 8:00. This is for Angela; She changed the two beds, washed the linens and the rugs. Cleaned both bathrooms and mopped all the floors through-out the flat, dusted, cleaned the kitchen scrubbed the filter towers cleaned the CD player, scrubbed all the light switches and the base boards. Then Dad took out our big living room rug in the parking lot and she scrubbed that, cleaned the basket-woven end tables outside and brought them in. Cleaned the Laundry porch and wiped off the washer and dryer and her price was for the day was 1500 shillings or $16.75. That is good for her and she is very happy. She is a member of the church and they like us to help them. Honest that is the going price. Dad and I mostly cleaned out the filing cabinets and got a list for the branches of supplies we need to take up to them. We cleaned up and went to the mission office to pick up those supplies then off to Nuka matt for groceries. When we came home I made some fresh Italian vegetable soup with pasta. We enjoyed it a lot. The power went out and it rained hard for quite a while. (The rug that was drying is now soaking on the line outside).

Tonight we go to the Nevins for Home Evening.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 24, 2011

The power is out here in Nairobi. We are having a huge rain storm. It is good because now I can sit down and write about our day going to Llima. It’s long but for many I think you will find it interesting.

July 24, 2011

The day started very early as President Broadbent and wife were picking us up at 6:30 to travel to Llima Branch Conference. We traveled out of Nairobi on Mombasa Road which is a two lane road that large cargo trucks travel bringing there goods to and from. The trucks move very slow and almost block the road. It is very dangerous to go around them. Drivers go very fast. The road is paved off and on and it is busy. The travel is very desert like and yet there would be little dukas (stores) that would group together as you went along. We passed a large steel mill, cement company and new housing being built. Next to it would be people living in terrible living conditions (the slums are worse). We saw some zebra and a beautiful rising sun that was blood red. After traveling for 1 ½ hours we turned off to Kalunga Hills.

Kymbeke Branch President

Kyambeke church house Kyambeke children

Future missionaries Childs toy made out of a jug

We stopped at the Mititzi and the Kyambeke branches to meet their branch president before heading up to Llima. We traveled on very bad dirt and rock roads for almost an hour.


The hills are beautiful. The members live in stone brick houses that they make and if you have a metal roof you are very fortunate. Most roofs are made from plants and greens. The hills are terraced deep into the hills and the little homes are on the edge of the dig. They plant their crops and walk along the digs. The hills are high, green and steep, forming beautiful narrow valleys. The trial really begins as you continue up to Llima. The road is like a trail that you would ride horseback in the Uintahs, very steep and windy. I couldn’t believe how high we went. Once at the church, we visited the out-house with a hole in the floor. It was an experience. The people are so kind, very excited to see us all but very shy and won’t talk just smile. They are dressed in layers of clothing

Lima Sisters

totally random. Their hair is very short or bald. Many have scarves or hats on. Llima is covered with red dirt/sand and your car shoes and clothes are covered when you leave, thus the children are usually barefoot or have plastic sandals. The children are so sweet and you just want to get them in a tub and scrub them up. I ask Elder Naven who sat by me in sacrament meeting if it would be offensive if I wiped this little boys nose. He said oh he will wipe it with his shirt sooner or later. One little boy had a pair of zip up pajamas cut of to the mid-calf and that is what he wore to church.

Many of the member walk with their children for three hours before getting to church. They sacrifice a lot to come. There were 240 there and it was very crowded. Sister Broadbent played the battery-ran piano but they kind of have their own melody they sing with the hymns. It’s funny to hear them. The men usually do not sit with their families. This is something the President is trying to change. Women are not valued. The church is cinderblock with a main room and then 2 larger rooms for YW and Relief Society. They sit on black plastic chairs but all the children sit on small colored plastic lawn chairs. When Sacrament meeting is over they all stand and put their chair over their heads and walk down to primary (down the hill a ways in an old building).

Children take care of the babies and little ones. They are very nurturing. If a baby cries they hand it to the mom and she will nurse the baby (sacrament meeting, primary, anywhere) and hand the baby back to the older child. Very tender. It was amazing to see how quiet the little one’s sit in primary. The Primary president will say something then say “Repeat” and they do. It’s like robot teaching. She then sings five words of a song and says Sing and they sing the whole song. That is how they are taught in school, if their parents can afford to send them. I also got to go to YW. They were so fun and they were shy. When asked questions about the lesson they answered with very sincere statements. They all are excited about the Temple. I didn’t go to Relief Society. Sister Elizabeth is the President. She has formed a co-op with the sisters to make beads out of magazine strips dipped in lacquer and they make these great beaded necklaces. They now have a source that wants to sell the necklaces in London.

Leaving the Lima branch

Getting ready to leave the Lima church

The children running after us
When church was over we traveled back to Kyambeke with the Elders and had lunch at their flat. Sister Broadbent and Sister Nevin brought sandwiches and fruit with banana bread. It was so simple but so very good. We were all hungry.
View of Kyambeke Chapel from the missionaries flat
Missionaries Dad and I by their clothes line
After stopping to leave food for the Elders in Mitini we continued on our way back to the scary Mombasa Road. It was hard to try and be calm. The drive is really nerve-racking and Dad drove all the way back. There is so much pressure from other drivers to pass and move. One time a small bus got frustrated and totally passed us on the other side and continued driving passing a huge truck and a car. Everyone honks and blinks theirs lights. Elder Nevin says that it is ok to call them idiots. When we finally arrived back to our flat, 13 hours later, Elder Nevin shouted out “We cheated death another day”

Dad and I have to repeat that same drive 5 hours 5 times a week. I don’t know how we will do it but I just keep saying “The Lord gives no challenge that we can’t over-come”. It’s so bumpy I told dad to pretend we were riding in a covered wagon everyday like the pioneers. We are amazed that the mission doesn’t go through more vehicles and even more tires.

Anyway we do need your prayers... for us and our vehicles.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July 23, 2011

Late last night (mostly by accident) we were able to Gmail Chat with Lindsey and Addy. How wonderful it was to see them and the kids. And today we were able to chat with Angela and family. Love it Love it. It is hard for Dad to see them all but we still feel closer when we know that we can visit now.

We got up early and were on the road to practice driving some more. We drove to the mission office and back 3 times. I think it helped a lot. At 10 we had an appointment with a ZuKu rep. to come to our flat and sign us up for a month of High Speed Internet. She didn't come until 3. Everyone tells us that the culture is just laid back and don’t count on punctuality ever. I had a little melt down when I realized I can’t get a large barrel curling iron here. They only have small ones that do not heat up very hot. I also have to buy a new flat iron if I decide to. The electricity current is so different here. Sister Tuttle who trained in South Africa said the plugs are even different to what they are in Nairobi. She showed me a drawer of adapters and converters she had collected.

At any rate Angela when you said I would get to the point “that appearance won’t mean so much” I guess it is going to come really soon. I can’t wash and blow dry my hair every day.

City Center Market
City Center parking lot

Scaffolding made of just sticks with netting over it, So scary.

The Byrds took us to the city center and it was screaming amazing. So dirty and different. The market is set up in the middle of all these skyscrapers and dirty gravel parking lots. Caucasians get ripped off at the market so most don’t go there but I asked them if we could just go around a little and see the goods because I knew Dad would never take me there again. They also took us around to some different stores the most common here is called the Amawkamatt which is a large chain of stores in Kenya. They are like a low-class Wal-Mart. That evening we went with the Couples to a restaurant at an expensive hotel. They featured American Food. The food here is so different and hard to enjoy but I am sure we will get desperate enough that it will taste good some day. We went to bed early as it had been a very busy day.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011

We went to the Tuttles last night and all the couples brought something to add to Sister Tuttles amazing Lasagna. It all tasted so good and dessert was the best. I think I was so hungry for some good food. Dad still didn’t eat much and I really wanted to eat his dessert but I held back. Best carrot cake with cream sauce I have ever tasted. They were all so so very kind and we had a nice evening and a good night’s sleep.

Today Elder Nevin came again for a driving lesson and Dad drove to a shopping mall that had four levels and a grocery store inside. We had lunch at the food court but honest it isn’t good. They give you a bottle of warm soda with a straw no ice. The food seems to all have that garlic, curry, body odor seasoning. I don’t know if I can get use to it. Anyway I am now going to arrange my furniture in here and see if I can make it look more like a home.

A couple is going to work with us on skype but probably not for a while. I haven't taken any pictures yet but I will and then try to get them on my blog. I looked at the blog’s Please keep them updated. They make me smile and cry. We can't get choc chips here and everyone wants them. The chocolate here is really different. I have one package of M&M from the plane but I am saving them. The couples told us we would never see them for 18 months. Mail is not reliable and if an item does get to you it usually takes 4-6 weeks. That is sad but at least we can use the internet. I don't have high speed but it works. Love my grandkids book so much.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21, 2011

We had a bad night sleeping we haven't quite got the time thing worked out but I am sure tired right now. It is 5:00 in the afternoon. Hopefully we can both make a good night of it this evening. Elder Nevin picked us up this morning around 10:00 and took us to practice driving. He spent over an hour being really patient with Dad as he learned to drive on the opposite side of the road and tried to fight with the traffic. Drivers will just create another lane sometimes if they want and drive so close to the side of you. It is crazy. Then we went to the mission office and met with President Broadbent for over an hour then he gave Dad an awesome blessing and then Dad gave me a blessing. We walked to a restaurant and had a bowl of soup and some bread. Dad is not eating well. He lost 5 lbs in the mission home and I'm sure he has lost another 5. His stomach is just sick all the time. I am learning to work the weird washing machine. It only uses cold water; there is only one hose that goes in to the washer. The dryer is like mine at home.

I have been doing a lot of ironing, as all of our clothes are really wrinkly. The pollution is really bad and it leaves a light dark dust all around. The sister next door told me not to leave clothes out on the laundry porch or it would have a black film on them. Now I can see why people come around and offer to wash your car. The kids in our compound are so stinken cute. They are not poor but still ask for candy. We can't give them any even thought I'd like to. Tonight we are supposed to go to a dinner with all the couples. I'm excited to meet them all.

July 20, 2011

Mission Home
The next morning, after staying our first night in Africa at the mission Home.
Mission Home Complex

Yes we made it here. Many long hours on the plane. We slept at the mission home last night with the BroadBents. They are so very kind. We are a little shell-shocked today between the driving and the smells, we don't know which is worse. We had an orientation at the Mission Office and were overwhelmed with information only to be driven (crazy scary) to a store and told to buy some needs? We don't know our needs yet, but we spent $50.00 on some basics and pray they taste ok. Everything is very different but I'm sure in three months we will be use to all this. . Dad just told me the peanut butter we bought was $9 and the small yogurts were 82 cents the bread was 88 cents butter $2.38 we couldn't tell what the prices were because it is in Shillings. We will have to learn to convert it into dollars so we'll know how expensive things are. Cheese they say is really expensive but the milk was cheap. President Broadbent said he paid $25 for 3 lb of choc chips and said he would do it again if he every found some. Choc chips are hardly ever seen.

Along the roads and even in the parking lots people hold up goods to sell. Oranges, levis, childrens toys, jackets, to name a few. Most walk and it's a good thing because I don't know how they could fit anymore cars on these tiny tiny streets. Everyone just busts in front of you and Elder Nevins said you have to be very assertive because they are so rude. He said he had to quit getting angry and pretend it was a competition game. Everyone honks. I don't know when we will be ready to drive around in Nairobi but I'm hoping it will be easier when we head for Kylunga Hills each day for 2 1/2 hours each way.

As we traveled around, I remarked how nice everyone was dressed. Most all the women were in skirts totally modest. The men wear shirts and most ties even if they are worn out. Of course there are very poor people but in the area the majority looked quite nice. We were told that there is a lot of money in Nairobi and many business ventures.

We have been invite to a missionaries home for supper but we are not hungry at all. It smells like curry and garlic and body odor all mixed up and you can't get away from it.

Our apartment is really quite nice we have 2 bedrooms and 2 small baths, a large living room, dining room with table and a cute little kitchen. That was a very positive sentence.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 18, 2011

Up early and ready when Jensens came to pick us up. We flew to Chicago and at this time we are in the London Airport.

Our time it’s 2:30 in the night but in England it is 9:35 in the morning. We are now going on an eight hour flight to reach Nairobi. It is hard to feel very fresh and perky. The good news is we have 18 months to catch up.

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 17, 2011

Tuckers stayed and attended church with us on Sunday after which we rode to Brigham City to see the Temple that is under construction. After Tuckers left we had visitors off and on until 4:00 when we left for Casey and Alyson’s house for a wonderful family dinner and testimony meeting. It was the best gift ever and what a send off for us. We kissed them all good bye and Joanne and Jerry came by to join in the sadness. Company kept coming by after we got home and we finally got to bed at 12:30.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 16, 2011

Saturday was a busy day. I made a last run to the store where I bought some books for the long flight and made my last visit to Weight Watchers. Bruce and I worked on packing and Lindsey and Dean, Don and Karla, Amie Cragun and her children all came buy. We met Kevin for dinner and then came back to visit. It was nice to have some company to take our minds off leaving.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mission Training Center July 11-15

These pictures are out of order but this is a picture of 3 of 4 couples that were assigned to different areas of Africa.

This is Elder and Sister Asay assigned to Gauna Africa. They are a very young and committed couple and we enjoyed them so much. Great examples.

Sister Imedia, this adorable sister is from Nairobi Kenya. We had such an amazing experience just meeting each other and I know it was a blessing as we were leaving the MTC in 1 1/2 hours. She is so wonderful and will be serving in the New York mission. We plan on meeting her family

She was as excited to see and meet us as we were. She loves President and Sister Broadbent. Of Course!

We just had to do this pose. . . the famous map photo.

These wonderful couples were in our District at the MTC. All couples were so friendly and we met with them daily for class. We practiced and did role plays and even cried when the spirit was so strong. What a great learning experience for me. I love "Preach My Gospel"

Love and Respect but NO Touching. Another one of the awesome Gordon Boys. Steven Keith Gordon Will be a wonderful missionary for Heavenly Father. One of my favorites :)

July 15, 2011

Friday was our last day at the mission home. By this time the food at the cafeteria has lost a lot of the appeal that it had the first day. We ate very little for breakfast and then went and put a couple of cards in some of our new friends post office boxes then reported to class at 8:00. We did more role playing but this time each mission couple used an inactive person in their family the opposite couple acted as the missionaries and tried to visit and learn about the situation. We then went back and made a plan or lesson to present to the less active family. It was a great learning opportunity. Then we switched roles and we role played a family we are acquainted with. We then took pictures of our district, went to lunch and I tried to take pictures of any Weber High students that I could round up. With less than an hour and a half left before we set for home, we had the blessing of finding an amazing sister missionary from Kenya. Sister Imedia was so excited to find that we were going to her area. She was emotional and I was too. She gave me a message for “the couple that she loves” The Broadbents. She also asked us to visit her family. Oh it was just wonderful and I feel so strongly that she was guided to our path. We then met as couple missionaries for a closing meeting where experiences and testimonies were shared.

We left at 3:30 and went to see Mom and Virg at Greenwood Estates. Mom is experiencing low sodium and kidney failure and was having a hard time being really alert. Deanna,Gary and Laura, Don and Karla were there also. It was an emotional goodbye for me.

Once we got home, some of the kids came by. It was quite calm as we un-packed and started some wash.

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 14, 2011

Today wasn’t as physically tiring as yesterday. We had a excellent speaker Brother Judd this morning his topic was the Book of Mormon it is book of revelation about revelation one that does not repeat by the overlapping of principals. Brother and Sister Tree spoke this afternoon about their missions they have served four. They said the most important responsibility we have is to serve and not to be managers of the people.

Tonight we went to see Addy, Cameron and the kids over in Lehi. We spent an hour with them it was a good diversion and a chance not to feel overly confined.

We also have had some very enlightening and spiritual teaching experiences as we have prepared lessons and testimonies to share. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and gives us the opportunity to learn how to return to live with our Heavenly Father.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 13, 2011

Today was one of the hardest for me I couldn’t go to sleep last night until very late and then I just had bad dreams that kept waking me. Bruce hasn’t slept well since we got here but life at the mission home goes on. We both have very tired rears from sitting so much and glad we don’t have another week here like many of the couple missionaries.

We gave our lesson on the restoration today. It was recorded and reviewed by our district teacher and then we were critiqued. We felt good about or experience and learned some good things to work on. The investigator we worked with was hard and kept asking various questions. It threw us off but Bruce seemed calmed and was able to bring it around to the restoration. In the afternoon we worked on another lesson the Plan of Salvation. This one is a little more involved and we don’t feel quite as prepared so that will be our nights project. We were able to meet Karla and Don, Kent and Betty Tucker and her nephew and wife for dinner. It was nice to get away but we hurried back, knowing we had to prep for tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 12, 2011

Today was filled with study of the Preach My Gospel Manuel. We learned how to prepare a short presentation and a longer presentation for those who we will have the opportunity to teach. It is very surprising how tongue tied you become trying to explain what you know to be true.

Each day we get up at 6:00 am, breakfast is from 7:00 to 8:00 am classes begin at eight and go all day until 4:30 pm. Dinner is from 4:30 until 6:30 pm. After dinner it is back to our room for reading assignments and lesson preparation until about 10:00 pm.

We will get pills to take for malaria and we both needed another shot $64.00 and $90.00 going on a mission is not cheap. We met a couple here that has saved enough money to go on a mission they have not retired. He is 50 and she is 47 they just quit their jobs because of President Monson’s challenge after they return home they will look for work again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

Sunday evening July 10, 2011 Bruce and I along with our family, went to the stake building to get set apart as missionaries. Casey was ordained by Bruce to be a High Priest. Johnny and Rick Lyman, Casey’s father-in-law, stood in also. The Stake president talked about the Hall name and Grandpa Denton and what hard working legacy he had passed on. It was so sweet and very emotional. Then he gave some remarks about serving in the mission field and setting examples. Then all the boys and son-in-laws stood in while Bruce was set apart as a missionary. It was a beautiful blessing and he was given much council and instructed to write in a journal to keep his eyes open and be aware of the needs of the people. My blessing was equally as sweet and so meaningful to me. President Griffin commented on my past calling with the Young Women and how much I loved the youth and I felt very validated. He also blessed us that we would be safe and return home well. I just wish I could have had a recorder.

We went home that night and packed.

We left at 8:30 and arrived at the MTC at 10 ish. Most of the day was filled with information and instructions. There are about 26 couples, most from the western states, going to all parts of the world.

We were surprised how many were going on Young Adult Support Missions. Also a lot of CES missions in many different countries. One couple was assigned to a military base in Florida where they would be military support missionaries. They are all extremely friendly and so far all seem quite positive.

We attended the fireside this evening until 8:30 and then hurried back to the apartment to get ready for our discussion presentation tomorrow.