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Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 27, 2011

It is 9:00 in the evening here in Nairobi, we are sitting here with the lights very dim, a brown out, and waiting for them to go out. This is the third night in a row that we have lost power. It is raining very hard, the air is humid and it’s about 72 degrees. It is the rainy season and it has been a wet one. Bruce is reading his scriptures and I am glad I didn’t try to make the elders cookies as I had planned. I am sending this picture because we were to get new curtains today but pretty much it fell through. Consolata came to clean this morning, we left for the hills and she took down all the old curtains for us. When we got home our windows were bare and so we had to make some quick adjustments. Elder Byrd said they will be ready tomorrow but he has to go down and pick up the curtains himself and the man needs a ride so he can hang them up. That is so Africa, when the man gets here, he will want you to give him a chair or a stool to stand on while he does his work. Elder Byrd will then need to take him back to his shop. ( if you get in an accident you have to have someone go and pick up the cops and bring them back)

Here are 2 pictures taken of the Mitini Market. Bruce was standing on the porch of the chapel and this is the view. It is hard to explain how you can fall in love with a place that looks so barren but when the people are there and walking to church it just comes a live. I get a warm feeling just talking about it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011

Wonderful day at Kyambeke Branch Saturday, where there was 19 baptisms between Mitini and Kyambeke branch.

When we arrived in Nairobi that afternoon we always pass by this big park with a big out-door stage. As we passed these wonderful ladies were getting ready to perform so Bruce stopped and I asked them to sing for me. We both loved it. Bruce took some pictures and they said they wanted a copy. They said they would be here again next Saturday and I said we will try and the lady in charge said don’t try be here. So I got the pictures and I will go back. It was well worth it.

October 21, 2011

Yesterday the Elders called at 6:40 and told us it had rained hard all night in the Hills and most of the morning so not to come. We felt bad because it left us with a day with nothing to do. Now that may sound great but here it is terrible, boring, and depressing. Luckily another couple invited us to go with them to the Stake Center in Bura Bura and we stopped at this market where they make and sell clothing articles, purses, backpacks, soccer balls and much more. Also known as the "The Sweat Shops". It is a fire waiting to happen, so crowded. The shops are cramped together, three stories high and a very rickety and old building. The lighting is very poor. I'll put some pictures on the blog. Anyway I love that kind of adventure but Bruce doesn't so I was happy the Byrd’s took us. They are so fun and adventurous. We will sure miss them when they leave in November.
Man hand sewing a soccer ball and the soccer balls ready to sell.

Making patterns for dress makers, the paper garments in the background are actually patterns. Some women are in training learning to use the machines.
Men loaded up and taken to areas for work. Nearly 100 in each load, just happy to have a job for the day.
Sweat shops
Blades being sharpened using bike power. Children playing outside the shops.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011

We have had a lot of rain in Nairobi and up in the Hills. We are very happy that they are getting rain for their shambas (garden fields) but in the hills the red clay becomes greasy to drive on and the mud gets deep. We have bought some black chore boots to walk in and when we get to the church we put them in plastic bags and put on our other shoes.

They need a good dose of sun now to help those seeds start growing. Our classes are about the same for each branch; keyboard, teacher development, priesthood class, and temple class. The best part of the week is the time we spend with the members. I probably have said that before but I’m pretty sure I will say it again many times.

The long drives up and back are very wearing but it makes it worth it when you visit with the people. Bruce spelled a word wrong on the board and Lucy said in broken English “They have spoken English since they were born and they still can’t spell it” She is just amazing and preparing for a mission. She was baptized a year ago.

The pictures show two new elders we were blessed with for this transfer. Also the missionaries finally were able to move into their flat at Kilili and they are so full of energy and enthusiasm. Elder Khamalo is 26 and has an engineering degree. He came from Durban, South Africa, he is very smart, serious and has a great testimony. It is so pleasing if you can get him to giggle or smile. Elder Pocock is from Idaho and may be a new missionary but he is well trained and focused and always has a smile and a twinkle in his eyes. We love all our Elders, I check on their flats and make sure they have a cake or cookies if they keep it up.

We are preparing for a Zone conference in Mombasa the first week of November. It is 6-7 hours of driving away but I think it will be fun and we will be staying two nights with the Scotts. They are a very fun couple and a joy to be around.

The week-end of the 29th, they are having a big training here in Nairobi for the Priesthood. The big names are coming in for it. Elder Neilson and many of the area leaders will be here. The couples are fixing a luncheon for them on Saturday afternoon, but we are not invited to attend. We will get to hear them speak on Sunday.

We really appreciate your prayers and support, please don’t stop. Thanks so much

These are two new Elders, (Jackson from America and Rocotulala from Madagascar) that were just assignment to the Kilunga Hills area, standing with Elder Mpahlele. We are excited to get to work with them.

Taken along the road, vultures eating a camel.

Another Truck wreck, happens everyday

The truck slid down off the road blocking it. We had to pay them (they wanted liquor) to dig out the road so we could get by.

We went to Kikoko to visit the Matua family. It was raining quite hard but it just added to a wonderful experience. We love these people. They made us hot milk and we sat and visited. There are many families that are all related and live on the hillside there. It is very beautiful.

Justus, a return missionary loved Bruce's coat and wanted to trade but it just didn't work out

These sister plus 3 more and one man, came to clean the church they are so good to follow through with that assignment in all the branches we go to. Bruce had them singing "Put your shoulder to the wheel"

These children walked with us up to the Ilima Church. It was very rainy and as you can see one has a green plastic bag on her head. They are so funny and love to carry anything you are holding. I fell on the road on my bottom and my skirt was muddy with red clay. It dried out and was a funny story to share with the members. The primary program was wonderful. They love to sing and they knew their parts so well. Primary is the same all over the world.

Along the roads that are so crowded and bogged up allowing people to sell everything. This lady is selling bananas but the man facing her was selling sun glasses. Our favorite is when they sell Scrabble Games.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 8, 2011

Yes you can tell we must be settling in or getting into a routine as I have been quite lax writing in the journal.

This week I have been having Primary Auxiliary meeting with each branch. It has been wonderful and discouraging. The three big problems they are working on is extreme over-crowding, parenting expecting the brothers and sisters to take the babies to Primary, and then reverence. I had them write a “Plan for Improvement”

Some little ones after the Primary Program at Mitini

And we discussed many things. They seem to have a hard time with problem solving, but we set some goals or baby steps.

At Ilima (high up on the mountain) the sisters seem to have the hardest time with English and I am working on Kykomba but nowhere near enough. While I was sharing with them, 3 of the 5 sisters almost synchronized opened their shirts and started to nurse their little ones. Inside my head I was laughing so hard but I kept a straight face and continued, trying hard to ignore the slurping sounds. I just have to add one more thing so I won’t forget it when I come home. I was trying to tell them see how we could improve the seating in the little primary room with 115 children. I finally actually took them to the room and started moving the chairs around. Finally Rose looked at me and said smiling, “Oh a new system” Who knew that was the word I should have used. Anyway she was pleased and I was relieved. Oh they are sweet women.

Lindsey had surgery on Thursday. Addy is watching her children at our home in Plain city, with Alyson’s assistance. Angela and Emilee are helping over the weekend. We love how they seem to take care of each other and that makes us happy. It has been so helpful to have e-mail and G-chat so we could know that all went well.

I was able to get my hair cut today, the first time in Africa. I was pretty nervous, but I had been checking out some places and asking questions to see where was a good place. All the couple sisters said it is a gamble no matter where you go. Most of the hairdressers don’t know how to do Malunga’s hair. A Malunga is a white person. One lady does the shampoo and massages of the neck and then puts you in another chair for a cut. She then offered me tea or coffee and I said just water so she brought me the usual here in Africa a luke-warm glass. The cute lady that cut it was so fast and really classy. She told me that soon I needed a color, as my roots were bad. So I’ll be saving up for that. I think I’m actually pretty happy with it.

Bruce has gone on a walk, he is homesick and I think he just wanted to be emotional without up-setting me. He really has been so much better. Missions really do have their highs and lows. That is what makes it service and we are happy to be serving our Heavenly Father who loves each of his children no matter where they live or their circumstances.

This is how a lot of the people transport their animals to market.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back at home...

My sweet son in law Cameron plans a date night for the brothers and sisters each month. This last month they went to dinner and the Temple. JD and Catherine had prior plans and Dean was with his ill grandmother so they are not in the picture. I asked them to take a picture so I could show my temple class.

Our grandson Mackay (Johnny's oldest son) is leaving for his mission October 12; he will be serving in the Little Rock Arkansas Mission - Spanish speaking. We love him and are so so proud of him.

October 2, 2011

Today was a rainy Sabbath day as we headed to the Hills. Here are some pictures of members we met on the way.

And some as we were headed back down the road from Ilima after church. It was so muddy we had to leave our truck and walk. After a wonderful Testimony Meeting and Primary, we started to walk down and children wanted to walk with us. I love this picture of Bruce with the children. See how the little children take care of the babies. It really is amazing to me. I need to say that the testimony meeting was full of youth who stood and bore witness of their Savior and the love they have for him. It took my breath away. I just sat so still so I could hear them and feel their commitment to the gospel. Wondeful just wonderful.

Last Picture a tree that looks dead and then in the spring (here now) it explodes with these beautiful purple flowers.

September 29, 2011

We were able to go out with the Mitini missionaries to visit the members. On our way we took a quick picture of some horses. Dad was happy that Kenya has some horses although rare. Once out to Mitini we visited Anthony and Angelina,and family. She has been very sick and had to go to the hospital but is home now. We visited with them, their mothers, and local neighbors Pius and Christine (They are in our temple class).

I took a try at carrying a bundle of sticks like the women do with a strap on their back and head. I could not even begin to pick it up. Dad and Anthony together picked it up as I put the strap to my head. Oh my goodness I thought I was going to fall backwards and they had not even put all the weight on my back. I do not know how they can do it! I am amazed at their strength and endurance. Men never carry these loads. It is a women work!

After a good visit, a sweet message and prayer we headed back up the hill. We drove to Sister Jennifer’s home in Zucchni. She is the sister that walks two hours to church and two hours home. It was getting late by then so we made our last visit to see Sister Rose who had a new baby. Her children would not come out to see us they were very shy or scared. We brought her a blanket and held little Faith for a few minutes.