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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 27, 2011

It’s another Tuesday and we have been out to Kilili. We took the elders with us again. They are so discouraged because they cannot get into their flat out there. The will have such an impact that we know that the adversary does not want them there. Soon we hope maybe this week.

Yesterday on our Preparation Day we were asked to entertain a visiting couple from Tanzania. They were so enjoyable and fun. They requested a visit to the Animal Adoption Refuge and also the Giraffe Center. I was able to actually feed the giraffes. Some people put food pellets in their mouths and then the Giraffe kissed them. Too slobbery for me. We then went to the shopping center for lunch and bought some groceries. It was a fun diversion.

These baby elephants were saved after their mothers were killed by poachers, or starved, or killed by other animals. They would have died if they hadn't been brought to the center. By the way Graiffies tounges are so girtty and rough; and they only sleep 30-40 minutes in a 24 hour period.

September 25, 2011

Every day the roads are busy. We pray every morning for safety and we really have been blessed. Sundays are good mornings to leave town because we can drive right out of town the traffic is very light. There are always new accidents. Trucks turned over or trucks with broken axles and many flat tires. They do not move them off the road. We have seen men changing engines and transmissions right in the middle of the highway and take two or three days to get the trucks moving.

Today was Kyambeke’s branch conference they had painted the building inside and out the favorite color here is a light blue. Many families had their pictures taken for a branch history book. They are excited to write life stories and have a history of the growth and development of the branch. The branch presidency, relief society and elders quorum were reorganized and a new branch mission leader was sustained. Seven men were advanced to the Melchizedek priesthood one father was able to ordain his son right after he was ordained an elder himself. He gave his son a wonderful blessing. His wife is also taking lessons from the missionaries.

President and Sister Broadbent were there today along with their son David and his wife Jodi.

The people are all talking of the rainy season which is to come from late October thru December at least that is the most popular time frame mentioned. The gardens need to be planted it is interesting to hear their different opinions about exactly when or how to plant. The main crop is maze which is corn at home. All of the farm work is done by hand with a large hoe used for tilling. The gardens are terraced onto the hill sides just like the farmers at home each one does a little different.

Sometimes your emotions get the best of you and you just need a little cry even while serving with your best friend and wife. Home is home and occasionally you just miss home. We are doing the right thing for the right reason in the right place and this is the right time for us. We both know and have testimonies of a God who loves us and our Savior Jesus Christ. Our faith will prevail and make us whole. Dad

We see wrecks daily
Pictures of Elder Olsen from College Ward, Utah. He only has 10 days left in the mission field. His shirts are very yellow and way to little, his pants might not make it off the plane they are so thread barren. I had to take a picture. One elder teased him that he must have sat around a lot, He was really a great Elder!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 20, 2011

We just want to say that we appreciate all the prayers and support of so many of you that are reading the blog. We love sharing our thoughts and experiences with you. Leave us a comment if you have a minute. We'd love to hear from you.

As our mission proceeds it seems that we are falling into more of a routine which is both good and bad. Bruce mentioned today that the shock factor is leaving us and the sights that shocked and upset us have now become common place. The poverty and begging, searching in garbage piles still really upsets me but I realize that no amount of money can answer the problems in Kenya. A member asked me today if I could help him with a floor mattress and blanket for his 5 children. I just looked at him and said I would love to give you that and more but the only things I can give you is my love and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I cried as I tried to explain to him that I can’t give to everyone so I must not start. He promised me that no one would know and I could only respond that I had committed to our Mission President that I would not start giving to the members. He just looked down and said he would pray for us both. He is so poor and yet he loves the gospel and his family very much. We then were told by the counselor in the Branch Presidency that there are two families that have no food and they are plagued with sickness. We left feeling sad but so thankful for fast offerings and tithing.

A herd of camels crossed the fast Mombasa Highway yesterday. This is the best picture I could get.

School Children

Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 16, 2011

This has to go down as one of my most favorite days on our mission. We went to the hills to visit with the members. We went to see Joel and his wife Regina. They had a beautiful new baby on Monday. Four days old baby Ruthie. She is adorable. I love her parents so much they are trying to get ready to go to the temple. They have 5 children and live in a 2 room house the size of the computer room at home. No lights, no running water, no bathroom, or beds. You can see in the picture the tiny wood create cupboard in the corner area where cocoa cups and 4-5 other glass dishes are kept. She made cocoa for us on the floor stove. Dad and I, the elders, Brother and sister Joel, and two neighbor ladies (it is a custom to have care for the new mother for 1 week) a small low table and wooden slender benches on each side of two walls; were all in an area one half the size of the computer room at home. I sat there and just could not believe that I was really there. I couldn’t hold back my tears. They cannot speak much English so we did a lot of smiling and hand talking and the Elders helped some. The spirit was wonderful and I held baby Ruthie and her blankets became very wet and I handed her to Regina, she opened up the baby's many blankets, wrapped another cloth, like a white tea-towel, around her bottom, wrapped her back up and handed her to me again. I didn’t care at all I just loved holding her.

I took 2 loaves of bread, (it is like cake to them and they love it) some cooking oil, a baby blanket, soap, and diaper with pins. I found out later that they do not use diapers just swaddling clothes. When we drank the HOT cocoa she gave everyone 2 slices of bread. Joel asked the missionaries to give the home a blessing. The love that Heavenly Father has for this people is so evident with such a strong spirit. My words will never be able to express the wonder of this experience.

We then went and visited Boneface and his wife Agnus again. Previous Post. He wanted us to take pictures of his turkeys. He is a character and very ambitious. His son Joseph is the one who has crippled legs and they are trying to stretch them and help him walk again.

Our last sister lives 2 hours from the church. She said it is too hard to come to church. Her husband is a preacher of another church but she is a committed member and has stayed strong. The distance is keeping her from coming very often. The elders tried to encourage her to make the sacrifice to go to church and take the sacrament and her journey would be made light. She had us eat boiled kasava, it tasted like a fiberous potato but good.

Just a delightful day, we came home feeling so humble and grateful.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September 15, 2011

Today we attended an African funeral. Usually the village performs the funerals but the church was given permission to conduct this one. However two priests from other churches we there seated in the front. After climbing down into the valley, about 15-20 minutes on a very narrow and steep hiking trail, we came to the clay brick home. It was very small 2 room home. Outside they were preparing rice, beans, potatoes and chicken in large pots outside on fires. To the side of this cooking area, 15 feet away from the home there was a large deep hole dug for the body. We arrived at 11:30 but the coffin did not arrive until 12:30. The coffin was carried down that small, ruff, trail by men in the village. We explained to President Koseve (two days before) that we needed to leave by 1:00 as we had a commitment in Nairobi at 4:00. He said “No, we’ll sing a song, have a prayer and then you will speak, then you may go. So that is just what happened. We were pretty shocked. We then explained to the people and asked to be excused. Then came the trip up, up, up, the trail. My legs were shaking by the time we arrived to the car. What a work out. I made it and I wouldn’t have missed it.

That evening at our flat, we had dinner for 17 people, welcoming two new couples to the Nairobi, Kenya mission. Wonderful people.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011

Sunday we rode out with the Broadbent's and had a great Mitini Branch Conference. Twelve men were ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood. That is so wonderful because the church can only progress as fast as priesthood strength grows. Dad was able to ordain four of the men by request.
The Primary put on their program for Sister Broadbent and me. I hope they are still planning on doing it in sacrament in the future.
I attended the Relief Society meeting and Sister Broadbent went to the Young Women's and they wrote letters to girls in Ogden. The three young women in this picture are Eunice 25, Janet 17, and Christine 24. They are all in the same grade in secondary school. Eunice was very sick as a young girl and got behind in her schooling. Christine's parents refused to pay for their schooling because she joined the church when she was 16. So now these girls have gone back to finish their schooling.
These two missionaries will be the first ever to live in Kililil. They rode out with us today to the area but were frustrated to find their flat had not progresses and had to return back to Nairobi for probably another week. They are very excited to get going.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 10, 2011

Saturday we had a quick trip to Kyambeke where two baptisms took place. A young man 23 years old, Kevin and Esther, who is 24 and have two children.

Her husband David, has committed to baptism in two weeks. We left after a wonderful service. Tomorrow is the Branch Conference in Mitini and so when we arrived home Dad and I got busy making a large batch of Sloppy Joe/ Bar-B-Que for our Couples dinner Wednesday. We also made a cake for the elders tomorrow and dad made carrot sticks and sliced oranges for our lunch tomorrow. Then he wash and dried all the dishes. We are riding out with President and Sister Broadbent and we will eat lunch as we drive back to Nairobi. I have been trying to get all the baptismal clothes and towels washed and dried so I can take them back to the branch tomorrow.

September 9, 2011

Sharon and I believe that today was a great day for the people of The Kalunga Hills. Brother Todd Harris came from Salt Lake City to announce to the Saints that the Kikumba language has been approved as a language that the church text and Book of Mormon will be translated. This will be a great help to the people who do not know English. Many older people and women do not speak any other language and many of them do not read very well. Brother Harris ask that about seven to ten people come from the three branches we go to each week but of course here in Africa if they come they come so we had many more about twenty or so and of course almost that many opinions. An English word was presented by Brother Harris and they were asked to say the first Kikumba word that came to their mind. Next a comparison was made from a Kikumba dictionary and from a Kikumba Bible. They will visit four or five areas and do the same thing then choose the most correct translation. A language translation will take some time. They did not commit as to how long but just being approved is a great step and a project manager has been assigned for follow up visits. The members are very excited and know they have been greatly blessed here in Africa.
Pictures of Brother Harris and his assistant Brandon with a couple of members that were assisting in writing and reading the dictionary.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8, 2011

Today we went with Elder and Sister Byrd to Kyambeke to do another presentation on Food preservation.

These cute ladies would not come into the presentation. They are not member and were sitting out in the dirt. The older sister was working with a stringy fiber from a plant and weaving it. I went over to visit and see what they were making. Neither of them could speak English so we were mostly doing sign language. They motioned that they the women was weaving a strap showing me an example. These straps they wear on their head and wrap the strap around the bundle they carry on their back, extremely heavy loads. The children start very young carrying loads of water containers and sticks. I tried a little of the weaving. They are so fun and really have a good time laughing at me. I just enjoy them all so much.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 7, 2011

(Dad’s turn to share)

Today is Maddie’s Birthday she turns 16 years old (HAPPY BITHDAY MADDIE!) she already has a date for the school dance we heard it was this Friday night. We love you.

We went on a Safari to Lake Nakuru National Park North West of Nairobi. We went with ten other couples who are here in Africa as missionaries the same as us. All have different assignments in different areas so it was a great adventure to get together and meet the others. Those who lived out of town came in on Friday and stayed with those of us who live here in Nairobi. We all then traveled to the Park for three days and two nights of Safari life and wild life. Lake Nakuru is the fullest in has been in over 14 years and it did rain every day we were there.

The lodgings were very nice and all of our meals were included in a package deal which was good however we are not used to eating 3 meals per day but of course if you have paid you must eat right? We had driven our own 4 wheel drive trucks (4x4 a must) so with the help of a map away we went. Up close and personal was our experience with Pelicans by the 1,000’s, Flamingos, many other birds to numerous to list, Water buck, Thompson gazelles, Grants gazelles, Impala’s, Cape buffalo, Wart hogs, Oryx, Rhino, Zebra, Baboons, a few different types of Monkeys, Giraffes (Sharon’s favorite), some of our group saw a Leopard, Hyenas, and a very large Python, the high light were the Lions and to see them actually hunt down and kill a large Cape Buffalo which one of the Brothers was able to film with his video camera. He is making us all a copy on a disc. Sunday we had a sacrament meeting all together. The sacrament was blessed and served to all and we sang and shared. Most all were crying. The spirit was wonderful. It was a great experience to be the other missionaries and hear what kind of experiences they are having. It is good to know that so many people are willing to leave their homes to help in many different parts of the world not just here in Africa. Taking three days off was fun but it is good to be home and ready to resume our assignment.