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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 30-31, 2011

Tuesday we went to Kilili and the Byrd’s went with us. They did a presentation on drying food and food storage. They are trying to encourage the members to save a little of their food for the future and rotate it but flour and corn maize are so scarce that they don’t want to even set aside 2-3 spoonfuls from each small bag to save. Elder Byrd helped them cut large branches and make poles for the dryer. Then they lashed and nailed it all together. Plastic was cut and draped over it for an oven effect to hold in the heat. They cut up mangos, papayas, bananas, and tomatoes and laid on the plastic to dry.
After the presentation they served everyone juice and biscuits/cookies. They all collected the plastic cups. Because they live in the hills, very few ever come down to Nairobi. They have us collect plastic milk bottles, water bottles, egg carton, jars (like peanut-butter jar) and grocery-bags for them. We collected garbage after the activity and they took the wrappers and papers out and left it and took the plastic grocery sack home. We hit a terrible traffic jam on the way home. Cars just go crazy with there is a jam. On a two way road, at one point there was seven cars side-by-side. They just inch up in-between each other and on the shoulder of the road. Some go nuts and drive down in the barrow-pit and high center. Buses, trucks, it doesn’t matter. They just want to get ahead. CRAZY. A 2 ½ hour trip took us 4 ½ hours to get home.

Wednesday was transfer day and we took Elder Olsen up to Kyambeke. He is from Logan/Young Ward and knew Uncle Reed, Nadine, and Mindy. It’s just amazing to me how the saints seem to always connect. I made chocolate cake for the Mitini Elders and Kyambeke Elders. They just get so excited for treats.

Again, we had way to many for keyboard class today. Temple class is always the best at Mitini Branch and we got away in good time. Best news of the day: I got a picture finally of some Giraffes. We saw 5 on Tuesday and 2 today.

We are getting ready for Elder and Sister Scott to come and stay with us before we leave for the Safari on Saturday. We have been cleaning up and making room for them in the back bedroom.

This man is a Masai. They are the nomads that wonder in the desert. I wish you could see the huge holes in his ears

Yea in modern Nairobi there is a brand new KFC

August 26-28, 2011

I just love these little wooden bikes. This little guy had his going so fast. They all wanted their picture taken. Boys from Ilima

Friday was Ilima’s day and all went well. On Saturday we spent the day getting our groceries, baking cookies for the elders in Kilunga Hills, preparing our lessons and working on the member applications for their birth certificates. (Preparing to go to the temple takes many months some of them have to be legally married first.) Saturday evening we went to an amazing Italian Restaurant. There were many African Safari vans and Jeeps as many tour groups make it part of the Safari package. I had Spaghetti, the food was yummmmmy and then after we went across the street and had real ice cream on/in cones.

It is Sunday evening. We have returned from our Sunday service at Kymbeke . Again the youth are their great strength. I just love the youth what a blessing. What a chosen people. My goodness it is a privilege to just be here. Just like dad tell them all the time”It is Africa’s Turn and Africa’s Time”. A man asked me to help him learn a budget and help him with his money. Hurray! I can do that. I’ll use some of my Weber High Finance skills with them. How fun is that.

We fasted today as we will be gone on our Safari next Sunday. We will not travel that day and President Broadbent will preside over a special sacrament meeting for all mission couples. We are to take Sunday clothes for that meeting. I am excited for that trip together.

Did you know I have read five books since we have come to Kenya (well one was on the plane). I have never read this much in my life.

Another week is over but a new one begins tomorrow.

...Falling in love with the saints not the smells

These carts are pushed along the roads all throughout Kenya. They are always heavily loaded.
This adorable little guy fell asleep in primary and everyone left him there while they went out for the break. He just slept through it.

Missionaries come to say good bye. Returning to Smithfield Elder Larsen and Elder Dalling Rosevelt, Utah.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 23-25, 2011

Good News! Driving is getting easier and we seem to take it more in stride. Dad handles the trucks and busy highway with confidence and even a few tricky moves himself.

We went to our 3 branches and taught our regular classes. The Mitini Branch seems to have really taken hold of the temple lessons and all of the keyboard classes are growing. With so many at a keyboard, no one is really getting a good turn and it’s frustrating to all. I’m not sure how to handle it. I really need two sessions in most of the branches.

Wednesday a new couple came in from Washington. We had a missionary couples dinner for them last night and they went with us to Kymbeke today. They are very sleepy and tired and trying to adjust to so much. They will leave on another plane Saturday for Tanzania, where there are 2 more couples. Tomorrow we go to Ilima Branch. I always have to say an extra prayer when we go there because the road is very steep, narrow, and has deep gullies. It is sure wonderful once we get there.

We are missing so many birthdays this month. We wish you a hugs and kisses and a wonderful day!

Josephine and John, member 2 years and getting ready to go to the temple.
A man mixing cement by hand. They really do work harder not smarter. Weaver Bird nests in the trees they look like big hair-balls.
On the road to Kilili Branch, cart with iron wheels. Missionaries new home in Kilili. They haven't had missionaries for many years.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 22, 2011

I love Mondays, we don’t have to travel and it’s just a day to get it together. The day started out so bad. My hair didn't catch on fire actually. I was curling my hair and the curling iron continued to heat up. I wasn’t aware of it until I rolled this one curl and it frizzed and the curling iron started to smoke. It was toast. I turned it off, brushed out my hair and a big clump of frizzled hair brushed out. I just started to cry because that is the only way I had of doing my hair in the mornings. After we had morning prayers I knew Heavenly Father would help me. We had previously looked all over for a large barrel curling iron without any luck. African people do not use curling irons; their hair is so different and if they do they only use small barrels. That is why it was so hard to find one and I continued to use my old one.

Victor took us (a member taxi driver)to two places in the old part of Nairobi (hair supply houses) and sure enough there was one. It cost me $60 and the one I bought in Utah was $9. Anyway Dad was good about it because I was so upset. I felt so relieved and blessed. . . I bought 2.

Picture of paper towel where I lay ed the hot smoking curling iron and a portion of the hair that fried and fell out. I brushed the rest out and did not try to retrieve it all.

We are now working on a simplified family history sheet for the members to fill out. They are losing so much history with the loss of their parents. Many of the older adults do not know who their father is. We feel this will be a benefit for future temple work as well as a wonderful history for future families.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 20-21, 2011

Saturday August 20th
Wonderful, fun and helpful, that is what our day was today. We picked up the Kymbeke Elders at 10:00 and drove over to Watchua Market where we got involved with the Branch project for “Helping Hand in Africa”. All wards and branches were to pick a community service project and include all the community to get involved. The kyambeke Branch chose to help with the building of the medical clinic in that area.
The government said they would furnish the cement but all the bricks had to be made, transferred, baked and transferred again to the building site. The sand stone bricks were made down by the river and left for two weeks to dry. On Saturday we helped get the bricks to the upper hill. We made a long, long line and handed them upward toward the pile that was being made to burn a fire kept for two weeks.
The spirit was wonderful. We needed to leave a little early and go the the second project by the Ilima Branch. We arrived late so they were all but finished. They had a great turn out and had chosen to clean walls and floors of the medical building there. The medical administrator/ doctor took me on a tour of the building. She was concerned and asked me to take off my shoes because it was so clean. The clinic was very primitive but she was very proud. She said most of the beds (3) and supplies had been donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She paid a great tribute to the church and was very thankful.
You can see that the sisters dressed me up for cleaning with a head wrap and lasso for my waist. They made their brooms with bush and tree limbs tied to a stick with coarse rope.

The day was just wonderful. We arrived home for a shower (oh how I miss a hot bath) and went to another wonderful hotel to have dinner. The food was quite American and very fancy (the waiter placed your napkin on your lap and the place setting included 11 pieces of silverware). You could never eat like this in Utah for $35 including tip. Oh they had a live band too.

August 21, Sunday

Today we went to Ilima for sacrament meeting. So darn cold I wish I would have had gloves and a parka. These little children without coats or shoes were just smiling. Two little girls came and sat by me. One just kept looking at me and patted my hands. Then she would copy everything that I did. She was really intrigued with my finger nails and kept rubbing them. They are so adorable. There was a little boy who was quite cross-eyed and mentally challenged. His name is Bob and he just loved my small Primary Children’s Song Book. Partaking of the Sacrament is always wonderful but in Kenya it is just so humbling to me. What a blessing.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 16-18th, 2011

Tuesday classes at Killili started an hour late because many came late. Sometimes I feel like I run the entertainment with the keyboard class. They all love to play them. I can only see two that have some real intent. The temple class is always my favorite I love to hear their questions. Sister Jamaneena Davis brought Dad some fruit (later he found a worm in his orange and had to throw the rest away). When we arrived home we changed our clothes and went for a walk.

Wednesday Mitini Branch. We had a good trip, picked up the Elders after we left meat for them and headed to the chapel. I had three people at five keyboards. Needless to say it was a circus. The people who do know a little more and have had more experience just want to play and not help the others along. I felt like a pre-school teacher trying to help everyone and referee at the same time. Again the temple class was great. They are so humble and want to go to the temple. They have many challenges to work through. Many are not married legally.

When we arrived home we walked to the city center. The exhaust fumes were terrible. It is so hard to know how to handle the beggars. One man told dad he didn’t give him enough. I wore a pink shirt and levis but I will never do that again the women wear nice clothes here. 75% look quite professional. If they do wear levis it is with a classy pair of heels. So I learned a big lesson. They look at all white skin people like they are in the way.

Thursday At Kyambeke Branch we had a smaller number at the key board. I had 4 men and 2 younger girls. The men have a real hard time with stiff fingers. They can’t roll their fingers along five keys. We had to work on cupping their fingers and hitting the keys with the pads of their fingers. They were so cute and really tried. Of course the young sisters took off and helped each other.
Elder Megenella (glasses) is leaving to go home. He has been an assistant and speaks four languages and his girl friend is on a mission in England. He as kind and enthusiastic as he is talented. Watch for Elder Magenelli to be a future Church leader in Africa. We love him and the mission will miss his drive. Notice my laso/wrap, the sisters love that I wear it.

Friday An Adventure Day in Nairobi

We went with the Byrd’s to the Kazuri Bead factory. The factory began in 1975 as a tiny workshop making handmade beads. Driven by the desire to create full time work for single disadvantaged, mothers (Many live in the slums and have Aids) Kazuri beads are all hand made and painted. Their beads and jewelry are sold in many countries with the United States buying 50% of their stock.

The Byrd’s are so fun to be with and are so brave. They travel all around and have been to all the fun sights in Nairobi. After we got groceries we stopped and had Chinese food.

We are home now. Our lunch is packed and ready for tomorrow. Dad is reading “Safe Journey” by Glenn L Pace. It is so great. I couldn’t put it down. I read it in two days because I wanted him to read it so we could talk about it. It really was a tender mercy to me and has given me a better perspective of our mission here in Africa.

I also have some pictures of another construction sight by us that Dad wanted you all to see. *

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011

We had a great day today. We got up and talked with a couple of our girls on G-Chat. We heard that the Olsen’s from Pleasant View are coming to Nairobi for their mission Whoot! Whoot!. We won’t be the inexperienced new-ies anymore. Well we will still be inexperienced but maybe we can help them a little. We went to Monday devotional at the Mission Office and picked up four keyboards to take around to the different branches this week. We then went to the Junction (Fancy Mall) and Dad let me do a lot of window shopping, which I love. Then we went up to another level and had KFC Chicken. It was almost like home. It had only been opened for 5 days and super crowded.

They had fountain drinks that were at least cold but no ice. The fellow said the coleslaw was out of commission, no coleslaw at this time. The chicken was good and the bun was better than any bread we have eaten. The catsup was still more like sweet and sour sauce but it tasted so good to us. They had one area where you washed and dried your hands which is what every store in Nairobi needs. It is dirty and dusty. We bought groceries at the Nuka matt, and then we came home. I started the laundry and made some Rice Krispie Squares. The marshmallows here are weird but it works somewhat. We need some treats to put in our lunches this week. Tonight is family home evening. We go to the Byrd's flat tonight.

P.S. If you remember the picture of the building with the sticks for scaffling which everyone uses here? Well look what happened to it.


We used up all the clothing. It was so amazing!
Husband baptised his wife and daughter. Baptism august 13th, 24 new members.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 9-14, 2011

Tuesday we started a very busy week. We drove to the hills everyday for six days. On our trips this week we have seen Giraffs, Zebras and more wildebeests. We even saw some monkeys. You can’t stop and take pictures because the road is extremely busy and dangerous.

We were so sick of box lunches that we didn’t take anything to eat on Saturday and that was a mistake. Today (Sunday) we took lunch again and it tasted good. We eat in the car on the way home from the Hills about 2-2:30 in the afternoon.

Kililli Branch was our Tuesday drive. I have pictures of the area. I bought a Laso or cloth that wraps around you to protect your skirt. It cost $1.50 and she hemmed the edges for $.25. The ladies in the branch took me across the path to the dress maker shop to get it.

Bruce did an audit with the Branch President and I taught a conducting class. No one can take the keyboard class without completing the conducting class as they have to show commitment. Then a couple in the branch gave a nice temple preparation lesson. When we arrived home we were able to talk to my brother Gary, Tuckers and Ami on G-chat and talk about the funeral. It was nice to see everyone.

Kililli Branch
Dad with Branch President Davis and Jomenna Davis with her two daughters.
Church in Killili and a picture directly across from the chapel.
The lady that sold me the Laso or skirt wrap in her shoppe.

Mitini Branch was Wednesday and Thursday Kymbeke Branch with Ilima on Friday. We met with those who came for classes and enjoyed them all. At the temple classes the sisters always ask if they can go to the temple and have their children sealed to them. Bruce just tells them no but to always be temple worthy and keep praying for their husbands and to love them.

Our temple class in Llima

At the Ilima branch they are building on to their chapel. You will have to look at the pictures. It just makes you shake your head the way they do things. Oh yes I also have to add that the community was filling their water jugs from the baptismal font when we got there at 10:00. They get water from wherever they can.

Mitini Branch: These two pictures are of Brother Anthony and Margaret, they are taking the temple classes and I wanted you to see how they pack their babies on their backs.

Saturday made the whole week worthwhile. It even made the last three weeks worthwhile.

The missionaries from Mitini and Kymbeke had a combined baptism and there were 24 baptisms, all ages. It was just thrilling. The people are so humble. They are so converted in their will and desires. The baptismal font is like a cattle-trough in Kymbeke. The water was quite clean but after all the baptisms it was brown. Some of the children and people should have been pre-baptized I think. We used up all the baptismal clothes. Little children had shirts with large rolled up sleeves and pants. . The one Elder had a pair of pants that he couldn’t zip up all the way and a man had a zipper that was pinned. We only had 10 towels and they kept wringing them out for the next person. No one cared. It was so spiritual and I cried as I watched the wonderful progress of the church going forth in Kenya. Most everyone is a first generation member.

After it was over I took all the wet clothing and towels home to wash.

After sitting in Nairobi traffic for 1 hour and 15 minutes we finally made it to our flat and had a shower, cleaned up and went to dinner with the missionaries couples. It is always a treat to be with them and have some pretty good food. We laugh and share our experiences. Every couple has a different mission assignment and they vary a lot.

Today we visited the Mitini Branch and there were 390 saints. They did not fit into the simple cement chapel with plastic chairs so they had plastic chairs out to the side of the building. When we arrived they had Christmas music playing on a CD player. As they came in they are very quiet and many read their scriptures. Sometimes I think the children are drugged they are so quiet. One little baby had on a red Santa hat with white trim and a white ball. You see everything.

By the time they did all their confirmations and blessed 3 babies it was over an hour. We then had the sacrament. It was so humbling because the bread was pieces of cookies broken very small. Then they asked Bruce and me to bear our testimony. We then separated to classes and Bruce went to Priesthood and they asked him to give a lesson, no other guidelines. He had to talk to them for 50 minutes. He said he is going to have a talk ready in his bag from now on.

The traffic was quite low today because it was Sunday so we got home at 4ish. We are happy that this week is over and that we have a rest day tomorrow.

I do have to add here that Thursday evening we were able to get on to G-Chat and with the help of Emilee and Johnny, watch mom’s funeral, live. No one could see the computer or us but we could see the speakers. It was so reverent and nice. It was 8:00 at night our time so we just enjoyed it. I appreciated all our children being there and participating. What a blessing technology has been for us at this time.