Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Miaka yangu miwili ya bora
for the last time.... Mautuma


President Edward, this guy has things moving out here in Mautuama, Love him!

Prime Githeri.  I will miss it, kabisa!

Last Letter!

Dear Family,
Well, obviously as probably all of you know, this will be my last letter written to all of you as a missionary.  Its really weird to think about. Lots of mixed feelings. I can't even describe it.  My mission has really been the happiest time of my life.  I have grown so much and I know its because i have had this opportunity to live the gospel so fully.  It will be wonderful to come back home and see all of you, but it will be bitter sweet. 
I have loved my time serving around the people here in Kenya.  People here have sooo much more faith than people back home, and are much more willing and eager to act upon the things of God.  It will be really weird not being in Kenya anymore. 
So with this week...
Lots of lessons with Recent converts.  They are doing good tho. 
We have a really cool new investigator, Joseph. He is really just one of those guys who for sure has been prepared by the Lord! He loves what we teach and really loves the Book of Mormon! He is way powerful.  Only one problem.... he has a polygamy issue that we got to work out. Polygamy is legal and very common here.  So that might take some time but he is powerful!
Sunday, gave my farewell Testimony in Mautuma Branch (Saturday I go to Nairobi for final interview). It was nice though.  All the members came up afterwards and were all sad that I was going.  But after Church, we had a cool experience.  The first councilor in the branch, Bro Kabas, his mom died this week.  So after the service, ALL of the members went over to his home to be with him and his family.  We just comforted him and his family and sang some hymns and it was a really cool experience. I thought it was way cool that all the member mobilized themselves together and did something like this.  It was way powerful.
But a good week, not to much more else to say.
But i know with all my heart that this is God's Church. I'm grateful for Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and because of him all of us can change for the better. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith was God's chosen prophet to restore the fullness of the Gospel, and Thomas S. Monson is God's chosen prophet for us today.  I know God loves us and wants us to return back to his presence. 
  Thanks for all you love and support.  Especially you mom! I know that you have been worrying about me a lot, but don't worry, I have been in the Lords hands.  I will still be Daniel when i get back home, but i wont be the same.  I still goof around and do funny things, but now i really know what matters and whats important.
Well.... this is it.  LOVE YOU ALL!! see you soon.
for the last time.....
Elder Daniel Elijah Thomas

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mautuma Sunset

Out finding

2 Weeks to Go

Another fantastic week. but before i say to much else..... HAPPY BDAY JOE!!!!!! 13 years big boy!! hahahah love you joe!!!

We mostly visited Recent Converts, but we were also able to receive a few good referrals from some members. The members are really trying their best out here, inviting anyone they can to meet with us. Its cool to see members so involved and eager to do the work, its awesome.

One really cool thing this week was we had one less active member, Christopher, come to church. When he walked in the door, it was soo great to see him! Even when i was here last year, we were struggling to help him come to church. But i hope now he is taking a step in the right direction. He has a lot of problems that are keeping him back, but it was a step in the right direction for him coming to church. Its way cool to see less actives come back to church. I was so happy for him!

it was cool to see one of our investigators come to church that we had really been working hard with, Linet. She is someone that elder Musasia and I contacted. We have been trying to teach her whole family, but she seems to be the only serious on, so we are focusing on her. But i think she had a good experience at church, she seemed to enjoy it and members were friendly to her. So we hope that she can start to progress now.
Weirdest thing ever. maybe not the weirdest thing but a weird thing. Cool tho.  SO! We were teaching a recent convert family the Restoration.  We were just at the part of Jesus Christ's Earthly Ministry, when all the sudden this random guy walks in the door... as soon as he walked in i got that strong wiff of that local brew..... and i was like oh no.... this guy is gunna make some noise and ruin the lesson! BUT to my surprise... we received quite the opposite! So, he just walked in and sat quietly as we continued on with the lesson.  We then moved on to the the Great Apostasy and asked the family what they remembered about it. They didn't remember much.  So, as we were just about to explain more about it, all the sudden the drunk guy speaks up and says ''Elders, Elders, may I?'' I was like umm may you what?? But he started to speak.... and WOW..... this guy was teaching the DOCTRINE!! Like he was teaching this recent convert family true doctrine about the Great Apostasy perfectly... and he was hammered! We then went on to the Restoration through the Prophet Joseph Smith... we asked the family again what they remembered about it... not much.  As we are about to explain, the drunk guy comes to the rescue and again teaches the doctrine perfectly!! He was even Quoting Elder uchtdorf!  He was quoting scripture!! Ya he tried to go and use one from the Doctrine and Covenants that was completely off topic but non the less he was going for it!! This guy was on top of his game.  My comp and I were in shock of what just happened... we tried to talk to him after the lesson to find out more about him, but we didnt get much out of him... he was still super drunk haha.  BUT! Afterwards, we passed by the 1st Councilors house, Bro Kabas, and we asked him if he knew this guy.  When we described him, Bro Kabas just started laughing... we were like umm what?? He said ''ohh thats just Ahmed!  He is my neighbor. He is also Muslim and loves alcohol.  But i always give him my scriptures and the Liahona to read.. he likes the church and is always reading about it.  But he is muslim and is always drunk... but maybe one day with him.'' It was crazy.  But way sweet hahaha thanks Ahmed for helping us teach! The best non member present lesson I've ever had. 
No water this week but its all good. Bucket showers are nice and the squatter out side is pleasant hahahaaha. We got that bor hole/well outside that treats us well. 

But things are great.  Time is going by too fast... and my time as a missionary is running out.  But I've loved every moment of my mission, its been the best time of my life.  Crazy how fast it goes. 
Elder Thomas

Monday, January 12, 2015

3 Weeks left

Habari Zenu!?
Another week down.... crazy how fast time is going!
So this week.... really not a whole lot to talk about.
Most of this week was spent visiting Recent Converts within the branch and teaching after baptism lessons. It's pretty easy and simple to do but very important! We also have a few new investigators that we are trying to work with, so things are going well for the most part.
Saturday, while elder Musasisa, myself, and a branch missionary were out proselyting, one of the local drunkards followed us around.... for 30 minutes.... it was pretty annoying.  He kept making noise and was just super annoying.  He was speaking english, then swahili, then mother tongue...  this guy was all over the place.  It was interesting.  He wanted to fight my companion and the branch missionary hahah.  Moral of the story: alcohol is bad.  Hooray for Word of Wisdom!
But really, there is not a whole lot more to share about this week.... sorry.
Lakini! I read from Mosiah 2 this week.... powerful! King Benjamin has some powerful teachings for sure.  I especially love what he teaches in verses 20-24.  Verses 20-21 basically teach how for us, if we labored all our days and did all we could to serve God, giving him everything we have, it would never be close to enough.  BUT! Verses 22-24 teach that all the Lord requires from us is to keep his commandments. And even more, if we do keep the commandments, the Lord will ''immediately'' bless us.  I know this to be very true! But i just love how simple it is, if we keep God's commandments, the blessings will come and good things will happen.  Simple as that.  But if we disregard or disobey, we lose those promised blessings from the Lord. The Lord loves us and wants to give us all we need to be successful here on earth, but he asks that we do our part as well. 
Well.... time is really running.  Crazy to think this is my last month as a missionary.... Its been the greatest blessing for me though.  I love my mission and Kenya|!!!
Love you all and have a great week!!!! kaeni tamu!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy 2015! Kenya style!

Karibu 2015 - this is how we say bye to 2014.  Steel wool + matches + rope = best homemade fireworks ever.  We only got burned kidugo.

Mautuma- Normal paths we go down daily

Sun Sun Sun Karibu Mautuma..... powerful

Dedication of the new chapel in Misikhu, really a nice building

Happy New Year!

Dear Family and Friends,
Happy New Year!! I really cant believe that 2015 is already here... crazy.
Pretty good week tho, very busy!
Sorry not a whole lot to write about this week, but here is the main stuff!
This week we have been meeting with a TON of recent converts.  Right now in Mautuma, there have been 37 baptisms in the past 4 months... its crazy.  So we are working with the other elders, Osimbo and Tebbs, to teach the after baptism lessons and make sure these people remain active and nourished by the good word of God!  One cool recent convert that is here is named Francis.  Right before I left Kitale and got transferred to Upper Hill, I went to Mautuma on exchanges (so this was like 5 months ago).  While there, we taught Francis for the first time and had a great lesson with him, I just remember that he was super powerful and just really one who had been prepared by the Lord.  Now that I'm back in Mautuma, I've come to see that he has been baptized and confirmed and is a great member of the Branch.  I was surprised that he remembered me so well, he was really excited to see me.  He is a way cool guy. 
Another way cool person is this lady named Paris Kabas(wife to first counselor of branch). When i was here a year ago, Elder Griffiths and I tried to teach her, but she was not interested at all... she did not even like to see us... haha.  But over time, her heart was softened and she was eventually baptized (even when i was in Kitale, I was able to do her bapt interview which was cool).  Now we are finishing up her after bapt lessons, and she is also now the relief society president of the branch! She has only been a member for 6 months, but she is powerful!  There are lots of great members here in Mautuma. 
Wednesday we enjoyed New Years eve by lighting up steel wool and lighting it on fire and swinging it around.  I saw it done once in Nairobi and was amazed when i saw it, and elder Musasia also said it was really cool.  So we did, and it was!! Haha sparks were everywhere hahh it was way cool and fairly safe.  fun fun yaaaa for 2015! pics attached!
We also got fed a ton this week... people here love missionaries!
Mosquitoes destroyed me this week. Yeah.

But that's it for this week! Love you all have a good week!

Elder Thomas