***Leave us a comment...

We would love to hear from all of you! Leave a comment or send an email. dbhall0716@gmail.com

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 24-28, 2012

We were blessed to have another safe week. Thursday we visited families in Kyambeke. The Elder’s Quorum President went with us and we visited three areas. First a sister who is crippled and can’t attend church, a young couple getting ready to go to the temple, a member who had an enormous swollen foot, and family of investigators.

Bruce gave blessings, I gave out a hard back triple, and a Liahona. We had hot, hot chocolate, climbed up hills, got dirty and sweaty, but it was just the best.

On Friday after our lessons in Ilima, we picked up a small 4 year old boy and his parents at the Kikoko Hospital. He was badly burned and was advised to come into Nairobi to see a specialist. He had lit a mattress on fire and was very lucky that his mother found him. He slept most of the time and we took them to the Kenya Hospital In Nariobi. His body was all bandaged up and his face and ears were pretty burnt.

Saturday we didn't have any baptisms in any of our branches so we stayed in Nairobi. We took an early morning fast and hard walk, it took about an hour. The whole time dad talked about Plain City and growing up there and about the five famous athletes and famous horses that came from there. I sure enjoyed it. When we got home I washed my hair and about 10 we took Olsen's out to JoGo Market where they make items (I call it the sweat-shops). It is so crazy and dirty there, yet so Africa, I just love to take people there. We both bought more underwear for the Orphanage and a soccor ball for the kids. We then went and got a few groceries and came home to eat lunch and bake. I made 5 dozen cookies, a banana cake and chocolate frosting for a future chocolate cake. Whew I'm tired. Tonight we go to eat out with all the couples so that will be fun. Opps I just found out I didn’t put baking soda in the banana cake. Darn, it’s flat. I guess I tried to do too much at the same time.

This is the first we have seen a man working with the wife, carrying a heavy load.

Dad trying on some African wear at JoGo Market.

This is a very nice sink that sit in the yard. It actually drains out in the back. It's the first we have seen.

This older house use to be level with the ground but after years of erosion it sits very high on the property.

I think Dad secretly wants to be a donkey herder.

Family we visited who are planning to go to the temple with mother

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 23, 2012

The last day of the “Mission Tour Conference” was held in Nairobi. We had the opportunity to join with our Mission President and Sister Broadbent, Elder and Sister Carl Cook, the Nairobi and Kilunga Hill Missionaries, and seven missionary couples. Great instruction was given, very powerful. The comments from the young elders showed wisdom and maturity beyond their years. I wish their parents could have had a window into the meeting that day. They would have been so pleased. The couple missionaries were able to attend a dinner that evening at the mission home. Elder Cook wanted to hear from each of us and how we felt about our mission. He shared some very spiritual experiences that he has had with his calling. It was a great reunion for 3 Plain City boys, Elder Hall, Elder Dean Olsen, and Elder Carl B. Cook. Although their ages were different they each enjoyed the visit and sharing memories. The church definitely connects us together and makes the world smaller. In closing, President Broadbent had us kneel for prayer together and we returned home, ending a beautiful and special day of our mission.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 18-22, 2012

Wednesday we finally had a rest day. We slept in until 7:00, did some planning, got groceries and had a wonderful dinner with our new couple the Olsen’s. Hurray they are here! Thursday was another day of lessons at Kyambeke and Bruce led a great discussion with the temple class on the difference of Salvation and Exaltation. What great comments. Now Friday Woot! Woot! (As Addy would say) We went to Ilima to visit a few families but ended up spending 1 ½ hours at one home. Sister Rechell Kamawthe Muei and her husband Dennis Kalelu were early pioneers of the church in Ilima being baptized in 1986. She spoke great English and shared stories and showed us pictures. She told how hard it was to have the surrounding village people persecute them and ridicule the church. She said "we were failing because no one wanted to be with us or around us". At that time the government had given permission for them to meet for private worship in small groups of less than 10. Later in 1989, the government asked all missionaries to leave Kenya. They were not allowed to return until 1991. Sister Rechell said that they could only pray in their homes and could not meet together. She has not been active for almost one year because of hurt feelings but as I talked with her she bore her testimony to me and we challenged her to return to Ilima branch to church and to prepare to go to the temple with Dennis her husband. She agreed and there was such a glow about her and we just felt such a great spirit. I am so excited to see if she went Sunday as we are scheduled to the Kyambeke branch. I just hope if she does, the people will be so welcoming. Isn’t it interesting that the saints in Africa have the same “people problems” as the saints in Utah. We then headed back to Mitini for branch council meeting including lunch.

Saturday. They canceled the baptisms until next week at Mitini so we stayed in Nairobi. We took Elder and Sister Olsen and the Kellem’s out to see some sights. We had a great time and it was just so fun to be with them. It’s Sunday now and we have arrived home from Kyambeke. We brought some of the Elders in for Zone Conference tomorrow where we will all meet with Elder and Sister Carl Cook. The Elders made a banana cake in the kitchen and we had a fun visit before they left to stay at the Assistants flat which is in our same compound. It’s just been a busy and wonderful week.

These two pictures show a display of fruits and flowers at a fancy market at "The Junction" an up-scale mall here in Nairobi.

What a contrast from the shops in the villages. We really see so many different sides of Kenya.

January 9-17, 2012

We have been to the immigration office with Deacons 2 times and we still do not have our work permit and Visa renewed. We are concerned and had hoped it would be taken care of by now. We keep praying the paper work will surface and also praying that we won’t be pulled over and asked to show our Visa. The legal work here is extremely slow as they use no computers and their filing system is packed in large boxes and on top of their office desks.

We have been traveling 8 days in a row and it has been draining but also rewarding. All of the branch primaries have had their second Auxiliary Training. Next month I will do Relief Society Training. Bruce has Melchizedek Training at the same time. We are finishing up our teacher improvement class in most branches and starting over in some. I’d like all the primary teachers to come to that class. Along with keyboard and teacher improvement, we are starting another class “Family Class”. It will include a wide variety of topics but we are really opening it up to include non-member; “Strong Families create Strong Communities and make a Stronger Kenya”.

Saturday we had another baptism in Ilima, a sweet young mother who had lost her baby just 1-month prior. Her husband baptized her. Her name is Faith and she was shy but very happy.

Monday we went again to the far side of the Mitini Branch, an area called Matua. Two years ago there were many people baptized there. Papa John is one of the family heads and invited us up to come to a gathering. He had invited neighbors, friends and family to come and meet together and hear more about the Gospel and have some beans and chipatis. We went early and they taught me how to make chipatis (fried flat bread) and it was so fun. The younger mothers know how to speak English and that helped. It was just a beautiful day and a great spirit. We sang songs and had a spiritual thought by the missionaries. Bruce hit his head climbing up the hills but he is fine. Tuesday we went to Kilili and worked with the Kellems, (the missionary couple over employment) as they showed the members and non-members ways to preserve food. They also discussed ways to be self-reliant. It was Bruce’s Birthday today and he said it was just a great day until we hit that big traffic jam up by the mission home. I was so tired of being in the truck that I asked him if I could just start to walk and he could pick me us. Twenty-two minutes later I was all the way to the apartment, locked out. I just sat outside and waited for him. The walk was really refreshing but I was sorry that he had to wait out the traffic mess.

Making chapatis is a lot of work but they sure love them.

Primary Training

Our Teacher Improvement/Training Class in Kyambeke

Dad loves these little ones

Sister Bernice from the Kyambeke branch at her shop with the donkeys

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 2-8, 2012

It’s Sunday afternoon. We have been to Mitini for Church and we are home safely again. As Bruce says we “Cheated Death Again”. They have been putting oil on the Mombasa Road making it very slick. Then the next day they throw sand out of a truck with the shovel and throw it on us. Our truck looks all speckled. What a system. Today we saw a large giraffe crossing the busy road. Everyone did stop for him. We are still seeing many animals on our daily trips to Kilunga Hills.
Our new Elders, Pherri and Frost came in on Thursday. That will give us a total of 8 missionaries. The area is growing so fast that they divided the Mitini area into two: Mitini/Kulungo. It’s just wonderful. Elder Raymond was made the Zone leader. He has really grown and he has been with us for 6 months. We went visiting on Friday in the Ilima area. Everyone is very busy with the harvest, picking beans and mangos. Very few were home but we did meet with a few members.
(Sitting with Sister Florence as she looks through the wonderful pictures of some of the first members in Kenya).
I have been working on the history of the church in Nairobi and have collected pictures and information from many of the first members/pioneers. I get so excited about it and I don’t know why but I just love it and find it so fascinating. I am preparing to write it all after I meet with one more of the sons of Gideon Kasue. Bruce has been patient with me as I have talked with many members.

Bruce went with the men back to the Soweto Slums (Steven's Orphange) to replace more tin on the roof of another classroom. They worked all day and came home so dirty. There were many children watching and some of the older ones wanted to help. The tape measure went home for lunch but when there was a 50 schillings reward announced it appeared again.

The Ilima Elders with Francis (he is preparing to send in his mission papers) he helped us find members in the hills.
A beehive that is put up in the trees when they blossom. Elder Patton said the honey was pretty good.
A classic picture of a bike driver with his treasured passengers, a load of chickens to be sold at a market. They are all alive.
Some people we visited with in the hills

Friday, January 6, 2012

December 27-30, 2011

This week we wound up the year having a “Youth Kickoff Party” for each branch. The purpose was to get everyone excited about the Youth Conference Challenge: Read the Book of Mormon before Youth Conference in August. The Youth Council of each branch, 3 girls and 3 boys, were to take charge and they did a great job. After the talks and testimonies we gave out soft back Triple Combinations, reading charts to glue in the inside cover, small rectangle stickers to index their own books and a white plastic bag (with a handle cut out). They loved having their own scriptures and everyone committed to read 3 pages each day. Between all the branches over 250 youth will now have their own scriptures. The youth are so strong and it is just crazy amazing to be around them. I know this will increase not only their testimonies but just like Elder Holland said they will be able to refuse temptation, have more peace, and will have a desire to share the gospel with others. Now when we visit the branches we say to the youth; Where are you in the Book of Mormon? They just beam when they tell you.

On Saturday we had 6 more people baptized. A youth, Wilson, baptized his father Duncan. A father baptized his daughter Susan who is 16 (The wife and mother is not interested in the church but 2 more daughters are investigating).

In Kilili the youth lined up on each side and cut a large green ribbon signaling the Kick-off to the Book of Mormon Challenge.
llima branch had prepared a full meal to share with us. They had us eat with the Youth Council while the other youth ate outside, it was their way to show love and respect.
Dad led each branch in a different cheer.
We had to take this picture of the African way of adjusting to a problem. Rather than straightening the power pole the property owner build around it.
This little girl had fallen asleep on the median between two majior roads through town, three lanes on each side. She had her little lunch cup by her but we could see that no one was watching her.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

December 25, 2011

Our 6 Elders from Kilunga Hills at the pulpit.

Christmas day was spent going to church at one of the Nairobi Wards. Then we came back to the flat and picked-up our food and headed to the Upper Hills Chapel where we had a wonderful lunch, devotional, and then watched the Kenya Nairobi Mission Video of 2011 (All missionaries were asked to send in 4 pictures) it was fun to watch. We then had desserts and again watched the missionaries over-eat. Elder Tayson had to go throw-up. We had a group picture and then the Elders packed up another plate of left-overs, wrapped it in foil and headed back to their flats or the AP flat to call their parents.