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Thursday, October 25, 2012

October 25, 2012

Monday we attended the homecoming of Dominic Kaseve (Mitinit Branch President’s son).  As family and friends went to meet the Elder in Nairobi they forgot to leave the keys to the church yard.  Thus no cooking could be done. So when everyone came to the church to greet, there was no food.  I told President Kaseve not to feel so badly that we could just have bread and juice and reminded him that we had brought 45 liters of juice and the cups.  Well dumb me, he went to the market and bought 110 loaves of bread, some bagged rolls (amazing that they had all that in the small shop)and brought the receipt to me.  “Here Sister Hall you may pay now”   WOW I was taken back.  That is about $65 in American money.  I looked at Bruce and he return with a “You shouldn’t have opened your mouth” look.  So pretty much we furnished the Missionary Party at Mitini.  The best part is that we were privileged to bring Catherine Makau and James Muthini Muthokoa to the mission office in Nairobi where they would report for their mission to Zambia. They were so humble and nervous.  Catherine told me she had malaria.  I think she was just upset and her head ached.   Both mothers were very teary, which you seldom see African women show their emotions.  James is the last born in his family and Catherine is the oldest girl.   They will be wonderful missionaries. 
 James and his mother Josephine. 

Catherine and her mother Anus before we left to take her into Nairobi for her Zambia mission.

Our daughter had back surgery on Wednesday.  We were both so pleased that our kids had a “Back to Back” party for her on Monday.  Her husband Mike gave her a blessing and then they all started a fast.  I love how our children have been so supportive to each other while we are away and especially happy that they have faith and testimonies of the gospel.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 21, 2012

Thursday we were able to hand out 11 Family Home Evening Books during class at Kaymbeke.  We stayed in Nairobi Friday for our Prep Day, getting a lot accomplished and Saturday we attended was a very well planned baptism for seven new members.  In the afternoon President Onesmus and Angel renewed their wedding vows.  This is common and part of paying off the dowry for the wife.  With the help of many branch member they fed close to 500 people.  A cow was bought and cooked for the event.   We only stayed for an hour as we took Sister Catherine to Nuguni to get some last minute items for her mission.  She and James will leave on Monday for the mission office then off to Zambia.   Sunday we visited Kyambeke and were able to hear the Sunday morning session of conference.  I just enjoy how conference just fills your heart up.  The members listen so intensely and even the children are very good.  After 1 ½ hours the children went to primary and we continued to listen to conference.  When we returned to Nairobi I was so tired of sitting I took a relaxing 45 minute walk while Bruce was getting the juice mixed up for the Mitini Missionary Party.  It was a pleasant Sunday.
 Eleven families have had family night ten times and received their FHE book
 Bruce takes a ride with Brother John on his Picki-Picki/motorbike.  Charging people for rides is how he makes a living.
When this husband bore his testimony after the baptism, he publicly challenged his wife to join him in the Gospel
 Great Baptism, (notice Elder Sarlo Mom) these Elders are so powerful
 Jake this picture is for you, these two young men are enjoying the suites that you sent to Kenya
This is Momma Florence.  She got a new dress and wanted me to take a snap of her.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 14, 2012

 Just home from our “Ilima Sunday”.  All the branch Primary’s are all getting ready for their primary programs.  I have really enjoyed being with them this year as they built upon the theme “Choose The Right”  These children are smart and they really do believe in our Savior and know that choosing the right will help them to be happy.  They know their songs and love to sing them for you. 
The people are really struggling for food right now.  They have planted for the rainy season but will not harvest until January.  The church has sent some relief food but as yet Ilima has not received any.  Sister Elizabeth RS Pres. said two sister have had babies and are having a hard time nursing because they are not eating enough.  It broke my heart.  I couldn’t stand for that so I got my bag and gave her Shl 1200 ($14) that is all I had and told her to get some food for those mommas.   We are taking some baby kits and 2 blankets for each family on Wednesday.   Hopefully food will come to the branch soon.   
The history is coming along. Sister Harris has gone through it and corrected many things.  She an English teacher and was very helpful.  Bruce and I spent a full eight hours working on it Saturday and again Monday.  We are hoping to have it totally done by Thanksgiving.  Many members are excited to see it.   
I have to share: we taught the song “If you chance to me a frown” to our family class, just because I wanted something fun for the smaller children and they loved it.  Some took paper and tried to copy the face and the words. It is so fun to see the simple things they love.

We had lunch with President Simon and Lucy.  She had started preparing for us at 4 a.m. that morning.  We hadchipatis, ugali, sukuma wiki or kale and cooked beans.  I must admit I have grown to love it all.
Leanord and Christine's new baby named Schnieder Mwenu after Elder Schnieder
Family Class at Kymbeke.  When Bruce asked Daniel who his favorie prophet is he quickly replied President Spencer W. Kimball because he prayed and the black received the priesthood.  He has been a member for 7 months.
Mirryum, husband and family.   I honestly thought he was her father but I'm glad I didn't say anything first.
This is the Smiley face I used to teach the primary song to the family class.   They loved it and wanted a copy of the face.  They love the simplest things.

The children always tie things over their heads because they get so hot.  She walked with me up to the truck, isn't she precious?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 9, 2012

Our four-day trip to Mombasa was fun, pleasant, and relaxing. We went with four couples, visiting the Tsavo Game Park and stayed one night at Kiliguni lodge.  We saw 40 elephants at one watering hole, many zebras, and giraffes, Cape buffalo and got close to a large crocodile.  Friday we headed for Mombasa and walked in the warm Indian Ocean, did some site seeing, and enjoyed the Scott’s (missionary couple in Mombasa).  The drive home on Saturday was a 9-hour drive but the good news is Bruce didn’t have to drive.
It seems as we continue to serve on our mission, things are more commonplace and so we don’t write about them.   We are trying to keep our energy and enthusiasm up.  We have been able to catch a couple of sessions of Conference and really enjoy it.  We won’t get the DVD’s for two weeks, and then the Branches will show it to their members.  Speaking of the branches, there is sure a lot of drama, especially Kilili.  Oh my goodness they are in each other’s business and marriages.  I guess they are not different than our wards and stakes back home.  But they do tattle on each other, like we have any control.  We love them and hate to see them have trouble. 
Three couples leave the end of October/November and three more couples are coming to replace them.  One couple is from Logan, the Moon’s.   Our replacements will not over-lap in fact we don’t know if anyone has been called yet.  Our branches will be fine, they are strong and the branch presidents seem to be doing well.  I need to go make some cookies and get them in the freezer for lunches.  An Elders mom sent him a package of brownie mix so I need to make that up and take it to him on Tuesday as they don’t have an oven (but they do have bed-bugs).    

 this cute bum shot is Sister Olsen getting a great view of the Elephants
 Baobaba trees look spooky and grow to be very big.

 This is an large ant/termite hill.  Bruce lets you see how big it really is.
 Bruce takes a turn assisting the carver with a bedpost
 Large boats in the port at Mombasa
 A man selling fried potatoes/chips on the corner and they were hot and so good.
 People getting off the ferry. I didn't get a picture of all the vehicles that came off later.
Ladies taking our traditional dip in the Indian Ocean.  It is so warm.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

September 25-30, 2012

September 25th 
We have been on a roll since Casey and Alyson came in on Thursday evening.  It is so great to have a little bit of home here in Kenya.   We have worn them out and made Casey a believer of the terrible and scary traffic.  Friday we went to Ilima and they were a part of the priesthood and family lessons.  Alyson and I did a quick walk over to visit Sister Anastasia Bernard and her two children before Keyboard class began.  Saturday was another view of Kenya. We went to JoGo Market where they have 4 large buildings each three floors high, filled with small shops.  Each shop is constructing/making different items; purses, book bags, soccer balls, all types of adult and children’s clothes, blankets, curtains, and more.  It is poorly wired, no circulation, dim lighting, much garbage, and it is smelly.  Outside there are even more shops where people sell their goods and also food they prepared.  I call it a “Hot Mess” and I don’t know why but I love to go there.  It‘s just so African.  Bruce just keeps telling me “we are never coming here again” but I just keep finding friends that want to go.  
Next we went to Steven’s Nazarene Children’s Home/Orphanage.  We were able to share this experience with the Broadbent’s and their kids Jeff and Aly, visiting from Ogden.  They gave a presentation on personal hygiene and we all helped the kids make a bright love chain, which decorated the school room.   They loved their peanut butter jam sandwiches with juice and we just enjoyed being with them.  We delivered some school supplies and blankets sent from Plain City.  
Saturday evening Casey and Alyson joined with the missionary couples for dinner.  Sunday was church at Kyambeke and Monday we headed for Kilili for family visits.  On the way our truck rolled over 100,000 Kilometers.  We have done a lot of driving in the past 15 months.   Monday night was family night held at the Olsen’s.  Tuesday our guests headed for the Masai Mara for three day for a Safari.  We hope they have a great time.  When they get back we have more adventures planned.  While they are gone we will have the pleasure of family visits at Mitini and Kyambeke. 
September 27th
While Casey and Alyson were on their Safari, we went to Mitini for a family visit at the home of Leonard and Christine.  They are new converts and very committed to the gospel.  She will have a new baby in October and they walk so far to church.  It may seem repetitive but it is up and down steep hills and takes them 1-2 hours one way.  Over 60 people came to the small compound and each bore a sweet testimony.  We hope that a new branch will be formed soon as there are so many people that are interested in the church and the distance is so far.   Thursday we found the same distance problem when we visited Joseph and his wife.  They have 5 children and two are very young, just too far to travel.  Joseph takes one family member each week with him to church on his motorbike.  So his wife can only attend once a month.  There is enough priesthood to start a group but President Broadbent will have to make that call.    The church really is growing the problem is “centers of strength” have to be considered.  They need to be close enough to a church enabling them to be strengthened, continue learning and keep their baptism covenants.
September 30th
Casey and Alyson returned on Thursday evening and had wonderful reports of their Safari.  We were so happy to hear about their adventures but pleased that they returned safely.  Friday they went with us to Ilima where we visited President Simon’s home.  Sister Lucy made scuma wieki and ugali for the kids to try.  We also had chapattis and cooked beans.  After a fun visit we took a baby gift to Stella Mwende who lives on the hill above the Ilima chapel.  Saturday was a fun day spent in Nairobi.  We went to Kuzuri beads, the elephant orphanage, a craft shop, and the Junction Mall.  The traffic was really bad but the company was great.  That evening we went to eat with the couples and listened to their funny stories.   Sunday we went to branch conference at Mitini and there were hints of a new branch in the future with over 60 members representing the Matua, Kikoko, and Kilonga areas.  The future holds so much growth.  Casey and Alyson said their good bye to the wonderful Hills.   Monday is the last day we will have our visitors so we will go souvenir shopping tomorrow. 

Contributions sent from many in Utah   THANK YOU!

Steven's Orphange
At Steven's Orphange, we danced, loved, and decorated.  Then they had a feast of PBJ sandwiches juice and bananas.

Elder Schneider even brought up the keyboard

Notice all the colorful headwraps
Big group over 60 came
Just enjoying the moment
 Sister Stella Mwendi and her five daughters.  We took her some baby supplies.
Joseph and his family (2 daughter at school) are members of Kyambeke Branch. He is the 2nd counselor  

Humble home in Kilili.
 Branch Conference at Mitini with Casey and Alyson
 Headed for the plane. It was hard to see them go.