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Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 23rd- April 28th

We were able to experience the Masai Mara Safari with three other couples this week.   We left Tuesday and returned on Thursday evening.  I loved the company.  A mission is a place you can instantly have friends.  We flew in a small aircraft but it was quite smooth. The accommodations were very nice and you literally stayed in a tent but you can see from the picture it was amazing and very nice.  (I loved having a wake-up call with hot cocoa).  The river water was high and it rained a lot but that kept the bugs and flies down.  We had the same driver for all drives out.  They were very well informed and entertaining. The food was very good, served very fancy, and there was sooo much of it.  We had a nice time and came home with many wonderful memories.  We are thankful for the opportunity.

By Saturday we were back on the road again to Kilunga Hills where we had 13 baptisms from Mitini and Kyambeke Branches.  Next week Ilima will have another large group to be baptized three adults and many children.    We love our mission and the good people.  We feel very blessed.
We saw so many but these are some we haven't seen before...

A lion waiting patiently for his lunch

The rain caused the flash flooding in the river.  Our guide told us the driver would be sacked (fired) and it would be many days before the truck could be retrieved.
Our flight home

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 16-22, 2012

It rained very hard for 6 hours yesterday evening.  The long rains have definitely started.  I’ve found the rain here to be quite opposite of Hawaii where the rain was soft with wispy drops.  Here in Nairobi it is a down pour and the drops are splashes.   The thunder and lightning made quite a fuss but it was almost magical.  I enjoyed watching it.

Our week was busy and safe.  Tuesday and Wednesday we held our usual classes.  Thursday was especially fun as we met with the seminary and institute members from three of our four branches (Kilili could not come in to Kyambeke because of lack of funds for transport, darn).  Once we got started we had a gospel message, competitive session of foot-ball/soccer, youth conf. planning, testimony meeting and then lunch.   It was a great experience.  Bruce was the goalie for the football/soccer game but I couldn’t get a good picture.  He was funny. Then on Friday we had a strong family class at Ilima.  Many came and they enjoyed the game we played.  We try to make everything we do very simple for them to do at home.  We try to emphasise having fun with your family.
Sunday when we went to Kilili we took family pictures for the Branch Book.  We have more all the time writing their personal histories.  That is the only way they get their family picture.  Works Great!   We also had New Beginnings after church.  There was close to 20 girls as those in boarding school were home for a break.

Mitini priesthood member digging way down for soil samples.  They are hoping for approval on a new church building. Bruce tried to trick me and told me they were digging new toilets wholes.  
Family Class game at Ilima. They love games

They wanted Bruce to be the goalie
Soccer is called football here and it's big

We were surprised how intense the game got.
After dividing up into 4 groups they shared ideas for Youth Conference
Sometimes these girls are very shy and sometimes they are hilarious.  They like to tease Elder Hall 
The best part of YW New Beginnings Chapattis, Soda, and some Banana Cake.
Ester and Samuel have 16 children and they are preparing to go to the temple

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 8-15, 2012

It’s the end of another week and as I sit and review the week I would have to say listening to conference was one of the high-lights for me. I just asked Bruce what he thought the highlight of the week was and he said “We made it home safely everyday” so that is pretty much a true statement and actually a high-light that we hope continues.

On the 11th of April we were half-way through our mission. I wanted to celebrate and do something but bowling or a movie was out and we weren’t really hungry! Darn! So we just did a regular evening but it was fun to finally get to this day.

We had Friday off and I was busy working on personal histories and Bruce was working on member temple arrangements, when we got a special assignment to go pick up two sick elders and bring them in to the Dr. We left at 11:00 in the morning and did not return until 6:30. At one point we had to bow our heads and have a word of prayer in the truck because we were stuck in terrible traffic and the Doctors office was going to close. Almost immediately the traffic started to shuffle a bit and began to slowly move forward. We made it and the Dr. gave the OK on the Elders. Wild day but it turned out well.

Sunday we went to Ilima and because of the heavy rains the roads were thick with mud. The hillsides had sloughed off into the road and made it impassable. So we parked the truck and walked up to the chapel. This time I did not fall down in the mud Hurray. By the time we started down to the truck it was a little dryer and we had many children to escort us. They are so loving.

Skyline of Nairobi. A totally different view than what we see out to Kilungu Hills
After church, Branch President Simon and a young adult were challenged to see who could do the most push ups. He won easily, both were surprised.
The Ilima chapel got a new coat of paint and they added on at the back. It looks so nice.
Walking down to the truck with my sweet escorts. We sang primary songs as we went.
Two friends at church, both married and both members. The one with the white top fellowshipped who was baptised in November.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

March 31, 2012

Saturday we (five couples) were able to go to the Orphanage in the Soweta Slums and deliver 40 new desks. Then we all got to work and helped the students paint. They were so happy and really wanted to be involved. There was such a feeling of service and love. Elder Tuttle said that the students have taken alot of ownership with the school and their humble dormitory and they seem happier. What a blessing to be with them.

Picking up the desks at a carpentry shop.
One hammer, one plane, and one saw... that is all they had.
They just loved helping
This little guy is so cute you just couldn't forget him.
This little one's mother is in jail. She left this baby and a brother 3 at the orphanage. Steven could not turn them away.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 1-7, 2012

Sunday evening we all met at the Mission Home (Broadbent’s) with Elder and Sister Hartman. The Hartman’s are the Mental Health and Wellness couple of the South East African Area. He is also the author of the “Color Code”. We had a fun evening with him as he did fun activities to help us learn how to work with others in relationships. He and his wife are very fun and enthusiastic.

Hurray for the crops, it finally rained. Of course everyone is praying that the rains continue but we have to admit we hope it rains at night in the hills, so by morning the roads are somewhat drivable. The people wait until it rains to plant so the seeds will not germinate early and then die. So this week our class attendance was very low but for a good reason. Even with small classes we had good participation and felt a warm spirit. Friday on our return from Ilima, we stopped by Mitini and shared lunch prepared for a Relief Society and Priesthood Meeting. I have started to enjoy those chapattis.

We postponed FHE until Wednesday this week. It was our turn and we had a special lesson on the Atonement. We read scriptures, shared our feeling and testimonies with each other. It was powerful and we felt good about it. It has helped me the rest of the week.

Sister's at Mitini waiting for lunch
Sister at Mitini with Bruce preparing lunch. He wouldn't do that at home.
Easter Family Home Evening at our Flat D1
The happy priesthood class at Kyambeke. I made them brownies.
Stopped at the Primary School in Kyabeke, most are so afraid of Mazunga's or white people.
Sweet Lucy brought us a big cluster of bananas for us to enjoy.
We had our own little safari one morning on the way to Kilungu Hills, giraffes with mom and baby wildebeest's then a group of Zebras.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

March 27-30, 2012

One week a month, we schedule "family visits" and they are my favorite. I can send some pictures but I can't send the experiences and spirit. It really brings you closer to the members to see where they live and share some time with them. The pictures pretty much tell the story and I will add some captions. The days were long and we didn’t get back to Nairobi until late. By Friday night we were exhausted but so happy for the memories. Today as we were coming down out of the mountains (very steep narrow roads) towards Kyambeke, Bruce said "how would you ever explain today to someone"? And that is the truth you just can't.

Tuesday was transfers in the Kenya Nairobi Mission and history was set. Nineteen new missionaries came in, making a total of 104 young elders. What a busy time for the office. We brought in 2 Elders from the Hills and when we got into Nairobi the Assistance’s were gone with the new elders and no key to their apartment for the transferring elders. So we had seven elders at our home from six to nine-thirty. We had fun with them, made grilled cheese sandwiches, pop-corn, juice and snicker doodle cookies. It was fun just to hear all their experiences and where they had been assigned and with whom. Fun Night.

Ilima Visit: Singing with Sister Elizabeth, her parents and some of their grandchildren.
Fredrick and Bernice preparing a pumpkin for us to take home
Jacinta and John are getting a cooking room or kitchen
Sister Anna fed us grand peas and rice
Bruce with Sister Francisca's Children
We met in Sister Francisca's bed room and sat on the edge of the bed the box on the table is her storage for all her important papers. On the wall are many pictures from church. She served us boiled eggs and bread.
At Kilili Bruce helped Christopher and Jacinta do some planting
At Sister Magnaline home she prepared seats for us
Sister Magnaline and her sister-in-law Jacinta and their younger children. Holding hands, it just felt so sweet.
Pictures from Sister Anna Jacobs home. She is the Young Women's President.
Even in Kenya cell-phones are a necessity

Our Mitini Visit was with a large group of neighbors and friends including some investigators.
Priesthood checking out the view.
Sisters getting ready for a song and prayer
Pictures of the Elders the eve of Transfers. We sure love them