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Friday, June 29, 2012

June 23, 2012

Friday was dedicated to writing the Church History in Kenya.  I have collected a lot of information but keep putting it off because of my poor skills in writing.  Bruce and President Broadbent gave me a blessing so we started at 8:30 the following morning and didn’t quit until 7 that night.   Saturday we were at it again adding and editing.  It’s now about one third completed but the best part, tying in Kilunga Hills and Kilili is my project for Monday.   Oh there is just such great history here and I hope I can do it justice.  After it is written we will start to combine and organize the pictures that have been collected.  I am not a historian so I am surprised I have been blessed with such a strong desire to write this story.  Tomorrow we will attend Mitini for Sacrament meeting.

These are some of the early pictures of the church in Nairobi Kenya
First group baptized in Ilima
Here is an entry from what Rachel-
“Elizabeth and Richard Matuvi came from Nairobi and stayed at Gideon’s House (where the chapel now stands in Ilima).  I found them there.  Richard had come to start the church.  There was only Elizabeth and their son Wendell,  1 Book of Mormon, 1 Bible, and 1 Hymn Book.  Elizabeth taught me, she said “We have a new church, welcome”.   Then I came the next Sunday and a missionary couple were there named Whaley’s.   I talked to my husband Dennis he agreed to come.  We were told to bring a chair to sit.  After 2 month we were baptized in the Kiusyi River".
Converts, two International Missionary couples, and Dennis Child (in the back) around 1985.  Dennis, an American, living/working in Nairobi with his family shared the gospel with Gideon Kasue from Ilima.  I get excited and wish I could tell you all the details.  It is just amazing how Heavenly Father works his wonders to prepare. 

Bruce’s Entry

The last couple of days we have been working on the life stories of the people. Well we have worked for a long time collecting them and Sharon has been typing the stories. Then she gives the people a copy of their story with their picture. They don't have cameras so they are so excited to get a picture. Now she is typing up the general history about the church here in Kenya and I have been putting the life stories together with their pictures and saving them to a thumb drive. That way it will be easy to forward to anyone that would want copies and very easy to store for the future to be added too. The people just don't have any written history about their families and most of them don't even know when they were born. The stories of their sacrifices and successes are so amazing. Most of them tell a story that pulls at your heart strings. Through all the trails and heartache they have developed a strong faith and are such a happy accepting people.

The weather has been really dreary and cloudy tonight it is raining pretty hard. They have just started to harvest their beans so the rain is bad for the beans but good for the corn. The problem with that is the beans are planted with the corn in the same rows.

Most of the people in the Hills are out of food from the last harvest so they are eating daily from their gardens and the harvest doesn't look like it will supply the needed food to last until the next harvest. To dry or to wet they don't have any way to control the water to store for irrigation or to drain it away if they get too much.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Temple Ready!

 Hurray we finally have 18 completely ready to go to Johannesburg to the temple.  There are thirteen from Mitini and five from Kyambeke. They were able to come in to Nairobi for their yellow fever shots, pass-ports and marriage certificates and stayed overnight in a hotel which was a first for most all of them.  The last form will go in now to request the temple date.  Something we are especially happy about is the Branch Presidents have taken the lead.  They know the procedure now and they (and their wives) will get to go with their people, assisting in translation and child-care.  This is what a “Membership Leadership Missionary” couple does . . . help them to run their own programs and auxiliaries in the branches. L Because the Temple is closing for a three month roof renovation, previous candidate have been pushed to fall dates.  There is such a back log that this group will not be able to go until January. But the good news is . . . they are TEMPLE READY. 

These are the wonderful people that are going to the temple with the exception of  William and Mary  I'll post a picture of them soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday brought excitement and a little anxiety.   In an attempt to bring interest and improve the image of the church, we held an open-house at the Kyambeke Branch on Thursday.  To prepare for the open house, sacrament meeting was focused on families and the family night program. Speakers introduced the blessings and promises that have been made by our prophets about family night and the responsibility parents have to teach their children.  I gave a talk sharing our plans to start a family class as we had done in our other branches.  We encouraged the members to invite friends and neighbors to attend the class, emphasizing; “Strong Families, Build a Strong Village and a Strong Country”.   Large posters were hung in the village market and we gave the members some small flyers to hand out advertising the date, time and purpose of the open house.   The missionaries were ready for questions about the church and the Mission Public Affairs Couple (E/S Pugmire) came to support us.  We started at 12:30 and there was a wonderful calm spirit.  After a song and prayer we showed three short videos made in South Africa about African families.  The last video gave information about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In closing we invited everyone back for family class next Thursday and the missionaries came to the front and said they would be happy to meet with anyone that wanted to know more about the church.  After the closing prayer we had refreshments.  It was well worth the effort and I think it helped others to realize that we are a church that loves and believes in families.
President Onesmus covering the windows so we could show the family dvd's from South Africa. Elder Pugmire and Daniel had extra cords and wires to work with but it finally worked out.
We put up 5 posters in the village market.  Each one shared a strong message about "Families" and how we could make our families stronger.
We had 11 investigators and about 35 members attend.  Even if it changes the opinion of 1 person in the village it was well worth it.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 19th Our Kilili Tuesday

Today we had a Relief Society/Priesthood Activity and included the birthday of Elder Bhala.  When we arrived they had already started cooking.  I was busy getting things out of the truck when Bruce came to me and said, "I don’t think you are going to want to go out there, they have killed a goat to cook today".  When I went out back sure enough there were three fires going, sisters cutting onions, garlic, tomatoes and goat meat.  Goat legs were over by the one fire and the goat head was in the fire being singed so they could scrap the hair off.  Then it went into a pot where it would cook for many hours.  Two men were making the chapatis and which was very different from other branches; (its usually the women) but they were delishhhh.  Sister Phylis was showing the sisters her secrets to making rice pi la (or pilo I am not sure how it is pronounced). They saute onions, garlic, oil, strong seasoning and goat meat.  She cooked it for 1-2 hours and then added water and rice.

While they were cooking, Bruce gave a Priesthood lesson to the men.  About 1:00 we stared to eat.  I have to mention that a large bowl/plate was filled for the children and they sat on the cement in the court yard and all ate from that large plate with their fingers. Everyone really dishes up their plates. They love to eat and love to eat together.  I was trying to be busy frosting the cakes I had brought but they saved me a large plate of rice, soup and goat meat.  Really I just could not eat the meat.  There were all different parts in there and I’m sure I saw liver and large blood vessels, so I just edged my way over to the kids bowl and did a quick swish.  They didn’t even look up, just kept eating. 

After the meal we had traditional dancing and singing, sang Happy Birthday a couple times, ate the banana cake and left for Nairobi about 2:30.   It was a wonderful and fun day of memories that we will never forget.
Yes that is the goat head, singed, scrapped and ready for the cooking pot.  
The goat was bought for 2000ksh or $25 American money.
Sister Phylis sharing her skill, Beatrice adding the oil  
 In Kenya a party isn't a party without chapattis.
 This meal would be expensive for them and saved just for special occasions.
 He loved his cake and all the attention. "Birthday Bhala" was transferred the next day.
Bruce really got into the swing of dancing with Sister Elizabeth and Anna.  
They all just laugh and giggle over him.
 Traditional Dancing and singing  So fun to watch and hear.
These are rhythm shakers worn over your shoulders.  
The older sisters know the dances and take the lead in most of the dances.

Friday, June 8, 2012

May 30 - June 6, 2012

Emilee and Maddie came in on Friday night at 9:00 pm. They brought so many wonderful supplies and treats for us. Grandma Hall even sent hand-dipped chocolates, three bottles of jam and sent 75 diapers (for the babies out in the Hills.)

Saturday morning we took them to the Nairobi Game Park for a wild animal adventure. After that we went to the Giraffe Center for an up close and personal experience with the Giraffe's petting, feeding and kissing. We went to lunch, did some shopping and out to a fancy dinner that evening with the other Nairobi mission couples.
Sunday We packed a picnic lunch and took a drive to the mountains to Ilima, up high on a mountain to church. It was Fast Sunday and testimony meeting was very good. In fact we stop at all three branches and introduced them to the members at each branch. Maddie had a young woman's project and brought some baptismal clothes which she donated to Kyambeke Branch and she also collected and brought many eye glasses for the members. All donations were really needed.
Monday We went to the Jogo market mostly sweat shops where the people are just packed into little shops. Then we went to Stephens’s orphanage in the Soweto slum. We all had a great time with the children and even had lunch with them. We ate ugali (like grits) and sukuma wiki (kale). After that the girls all went shopping in downtown Nairobi for souvenirs pretty scary for me. I don't like downtown or the slums. Monday night we had family night with the other couples that live here in the complex where we live.
Tuesday We took the long ride to Kilili to meet and teach our classes.  We had a good turn out and there was a sweet spirit there.
Wednesday  Off to Mitini. After keyboard class, the 3 girls and mom left and rode piki-piki's to a school.  President Kasavi had arranged a visit. They were welcomed and entertained to the max. One boy even came up to Maddie told her she was beautiful then ran away. The Secondary School kids (high school age) sang some great songs and did some great dancing.  Loved it loved it.
Thursday we went to Kyambeke and visited families at their homes Maddie stayed at President Onesmus house and they braided her hair. We had lunch with Onesmus and Angel and their extended family. They provided us with Githeri (beans with corn), Chapatis and some kind of soup with mystery meat in it. We brought cake to share with them and they always love that. Everyone was very tired after four days of travel.
Friday our last day together we went out for breakfast, souvenir shopping in the morning and to the elephant orphanage.  We returned to the flat to pick up luggage, have a bite of lunch, and then off to the airport… AND AWAY THEY GO
Emilee and Maddie's trip was more of an educational experience than a vacation We hope they will keep it in their hearts always

Maddie an Faith at Ilima Branch
Baptismal clothes for Kyambeke Branch. Thanks everyone who donated. 

Kyange School with primary group
 Secondary age boys dancing and they can really move

We wanted Emilee and Maddie to visit the Steven's Orphanage at the Soweto Slums. 
 First to the school to see the students and teachers.
 Then to the dormitory where the students live and had some lunch with them.

Brother Cassim and wife Pauline home
 There were chickens on the table
Emilee picked avocados with brother Cassim
  Boneface and Mary's home
 Maddie stayed to have her hair braided and we went to visit families 
 The final results with Sister Angel who did the braiding. 
 Last minute visit to the Elephant Orphanage.  
This little one is 3 months old, his mother was killed by poachers. Notice the school children in the background. They were so happy and excited!
It's all over but the lasting memories.

Monday, June 4, 2012

May 28 - June 1, 2012

We spent Monday with the Worthen’s serving in Tanzania. We had fun with them after they arrived from the airport.  We didn’t get to go site-seeing only to the Junction Mall for lunch and some shopping, but they are fun and enjoyable to be with.  Tuesday was family visit day at Kilili and we were able to visit 4 homes and it was wonderful.  Sister Beth Minino and I did a little cutting with a sharp curved knife, Pininah and Lawrence’s grandson loved Elder Hall even before he gave him a sweet.  We took a four generation picture of Lawernce, his father, son and grandson. Sister Esther received a blessing and Sister Elizabeth loved her cake (we try to take cake to each family).
Sister Elizabeth with her cake
The "Great Primary Escape"...Some pictures from Mitini Primary; four or five little ones moseyed out of primary and found that it was a lot more fun to play in the dirt. They were having such a great time I had to leave and take a quick picture. So fun, they really should be in nursery but there isn’t one.

We have been  collecting family and personal histories from each of our Branches.  What is most important is each family has a typed copy of their history with a family picture.  Records and history have been lost as no records have been kept and their elders are dying.  We hoped that now the younger children might have needed information to pass down. Kyambeke branch has 38 completed histories most including the husband and the wives history.

Wednesday we had family day at Edward and his newly converted wife Elizabeth home.  There was 35 people there including 5 investigators.  I was able to sit with them and share a discussion on the "Plan of Salvation".  It was the first time that I have been able to teach and bare my testimony of it's truthfulness of the gospel in a missionary setting.  I loved it and I loved their questions.  I have such a testimony of the  Plan of Salvation and it felt like my heart was going to burst.  Bruce gave a spiritual thought on the Articles of Faith and others shared their testimonies.  We had juice and bread for refreshments and it was just a wonderful time.
THEY ARE HERE!!!   It's so wonderful to have Maddie and Emilee here safe. 
What's with all the luggage???  Donations for the Saints in Africa and sweets from Grandma Great.