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Friday, August 31, 2012

Youth Confrence

August 24th 2012
After nine months of planning and reading the Book of Mormon, the Kilungu/Kilili Youth Conference was held August 22-25th at a school and a neighboring conference center at Salton Hummad, a small town/village off Mombasa Road.   One hundred and ninety two youth and leaders attended.  The theme chosen by the Youth Council last December was “A Light to the World”.

Bruce and I spent Monday and Tuesday gathering supplies and last minute preparations for Youth Conference.  I finished the Four branch flags for the Book of Mormon Challenge, at mid-night Tuesday and we were at Salton Hummad  the next day by 10:00.  One branch had been there since 9:00, another bus load came about 11:00 and because one bus picked up 3 hours late, the last group from Kilili came in at 3:00.   It started off slow but after a soda and loaf of bread each, they all were ready for games, scripture chase, and Book of Mormon (teams) quiz.  We left at 6:30 for Nairobi to pick up a fun missionary couple from Tanzania, the Rydalch’s .  They kindly agreed to teach dancing at Youth Conference.  Thursday morning we arrived early and heard funny reviews of the evening; the youth had stayed up and played and visited all night.  Some took showers at 3:00 A.M. and laid down for a 2 hour sleep.   The leaders were flustered but I just laughed because that is just what would have happened at home.   Everyone was up by 5:30 to shower and a walk around the area.   After breakfast of coco and bread activities began with  scripture study, games  until one o’clock, then they returned to the cafeteria/building for lunch  (suma wiki/ Kale chopped finely and steamed and eaten with ugali/ corn meal and water cooked to an almost solid state).  Then the afternoon fun began.  There were four groups with fifty in each and they rotated around to four activities.  Dancing was the highlight.  They just couldn’t get enough.  The youth just kept sneaking back in for another round of dancing leaving the group they were to follow.  The cooks came in to dance, two people from the school office came in and the youth were dancing outside by the window.  It was just hilarious and wonderful.  It was really the most funI have had here in Kenya.  I was laughing and dancing and they were laughing and dancing with/at me.   They especially loved the “Chicken Dance” because it was so easy but “The Macarena” was a close second.   After four fun, hot and sweaty sessions, we went back to the rented conference center and divided up into branches.  Each branch was given a box full of identical supplies; a roll of masking tape, 15 balloons, 24 Pringel potato chip cans, and 40 paper tubes of different sizes.  (By the way it took us 9 months to collect all of these tubes with the help of other missionary couples, we were so glad to get rid of them all).  They were instructed to use all of the items and see which branch could build the tallest and sturdy tower. The branches got very competitive; one branch president was going around getting ideas from other branches.  It was fun to watch them think and create.  The winners may have been a little too prideful, dancing and shouting around but Bruce summarized the activity and compared it with life and the gospel; that we need a good base to grow in the gospel and we need to support each other.  We left at six that evening, when the youth headed back to the school for a special supper; stew with meat, and chapattis.   

Friday morning the youth were able to pick from 202 scriptures bags made by the Plain City Stake in Ogden.   The youth were really happy and very possessive of their choice.  Testimonies, skits, group pictures and singing closed the conference at around one in the afternoon.  Everyone was happy and very tired, just the way it is in Utah after a fun 3 day youth activity.   It was just wonderful and just like home we are relieved to have it over.
Finishing the flag

   Youth preparing their banner
   Fun games

 Branch members serve and cook for the youth.
 Dancing was done in groups of fifty as they rotated around to different activities
The Tower Challenge really got competitive between th branches

The youth were excited to see how many read the Book of Mormon in their branches.  They loved their flags.
Scripture Bags made and sent from Plain City Stake Youth  They loved the testimonies and pictures in the bags.  
 Kyambeke Branch
 Pictures with their scripture bags 
We love them all so much and want to share their beautiful faces and spirits.  I wish I had a camera that would take a picture of all 195 together.  They really are a "Light to the World"

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 19th 2012

At each branch this week we took supplies and members made a “Strong Family” poster to take home.  They loved the glue sticks, scissors and paper.  They were as busy as a class of first graders and just tickled with their poster.  It was just enjoyable to stand back and watch them.  One man accused another of copying his work so the other man picked up his poster and went to another room.  Both were pleased with their results.

After visiting  Ilima Friday, we stopped at Mitini for the Primary Activity.  They got a great meal and practiced their songs for the Primary program.  They appreciated a good meal but patiently waited for their turn to be served.

Saturday was “Helping Hands”  we went to Kilili Branch and spent 1 ½ hours helping them clean the market then rushed through a short-cut (terrible 1 hour drive through a river bed) to have closing prayer with Kyambeke, Ilima, and Mitini Branches.  For their project they planted trees and cleaned around district offices, the dispensary, and the market place. There was a big turn-out for each branch, definitely a success.

4 pictures of Kilili branch. Last picture Kilungu Hills branch, they had already taken off their vests and were ready for soda and bread.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 12th 2012

We have had a good week with our branches but fell into a pit of discouragement with Youth Conference planning, but after an attitude adjustment we finished up the week with two baptisms for the Mitini Branch.  Junesta is only 16 and has a very powerful testimony.  Her mother Felista is now taking the missionary discussions.   Julius, only a member for 6 weeks was able to baptize his older brother Joseph.  It took a few extra dips at the baptismal font but they were so happy with each other.  Kilili also had baptisms, one nine year old and three young women ages 16-19. 

Today a new branch was formed in Navisha where Elder and Sister Holmes are serving.  The group grew so fast with the help of the Holmes and the Elders.  Today they had close to 100 people there. We are happy for all of them.  We were unable to attend as it was our day to visit the Kilili Branch.
Kilili's baptism included Michael who is blind and his wife Stella

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Fun Collage of Pics

This is little Eric with a strip of camera film over his eye's. He was feeling pretty cool with his version of African Sunglasses
A group of Young Single Adults from Mitini they are good friends.
Visiting after Church at Kilili
Bruce and the Young Women at Kilili  They think he is pretty great and love to tease him.
Elder Lewis reading a letter from home and having a home-sick moment.
We see so many different sides of Kenya.  
This well dressed man is the "Doorman" at a fancy restaurant/ hotel.
Village ladies going to a meeting at the market.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mission Calls

James and Katherine finally got their mission calls.  President Kasave couldn't contain himself with excitement.
They leave on the same day and called to the same mission.  Zambia October 25th
They received new scriptures.

Papa John and Sister Josephine's last born They are very proud of him. Katherine's parents were not available.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Elder Dio

Elder Dio as we call him, wants to tell all his Canadian friends "Hello" and We want to tell all of Canada how much we love and respect  Elder Dio.  He has been such a great influence on the missionary work in Kilungu Hills.   We'll miss him but he is so excited to go to Tanzania.  Best Wishes Elder.