Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crocodile Farm

Daniel and his Nile Crocodile

The tortoise tried to pee on Daniel.  Elder Diodati thought it was funny.  Daniel did not.

Elder Diodati and Daniel at Mamba Village

May 27, 2013

Hi hi hi,
This past week has been up and down, but more up! I've really enjoyed serving with elder Diodati so far, he is such an awesome guy!  we are always having fun and enjoying the work. He is pretty hyper though... haha but we still get work done.
But this past week has been a little discouraging. A lot of our appointments this past week got bounced.. so there were a lot of times of us trying to look for something to do. Seems like our area is in a little ditch right now, but we are praying and hoping that things will start to get better. But Elder Diodati has really helped me not get too down on myself and has helped me to stay more positive, which is exactly what i needed.
But we are starting to get some good new investigators. One of which is Nicholas and Beatrice. Nicholas is a security guard that works outside of the Barclays bank. He saw us walking and stopped us and asked us about our church. He said he was really interested in learning more, so we got to meet with him and his wife. They are super super humble people. They live in pretty dismal circumstances. They live in what is basically a shed used to store bananas, but they turned it into their home. But I've had one of the most spiritual lessons with them. They were super attentive and understood everything really well. The spirit was super strong and it was an awesome lesson. If all goes well, they will be baptised sometime at the end of June.
Even though things are tough now, the work goes on!
But we got to go to the Crocodile farm, Mamba Village, last week. It was super awesome!!! I had so much fun and the crocodiles were huge! Ha i even got to hold one!!!!!! and crazy thing, we got to hold a tortoise, and while i was holding it I was about to put it on my head to take a cool picture haha, but just before i did the thing started peeing everywhere!! I got a little on me hahah it was super gross i just wanted to throw the thing! But moral of the story, don't hold tortoises because they will pee on you.
But all is well. School is out!!! yeah!  and Emmy is looking good!! no more braces haha.
love you all
Elder Daniel Thomas

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Daniel and his new companion from Toronto Canada- Elder Diodati
Daniel says the two of them really stand out in a all black community.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daniel in the bushy/rural part of Rongai.  Got the jungle fever!

A river that runs through Rongai. 

Daniel saying goodbye to Elder Nyambita- a great companion and trainer!

May 20, 2013

So this was a pretty crazy past week.  I got to say goodbye to elder Nyambita as he is off to Busia and hello to Elder Diodati! haha.  So on Wednesday we were expecting that the office elders would come pick up Elder Nyambita at 1:00 in the afternoon.  So we were waiting for them and they never came... ahah.  So we called them at 4:00 and they said they were a little backed up but they would be there soon.  Turned out that they didn't come until 11:30 at night... hahaha. But once they got there they dropped of elder Diodati and me and him became like instant friends! haha we have a ton in common, like sports, games, and just personality. he likes to laugh a lot to which is nice.  He reminds me a lot of Dallin Gherkins and Spencer... haha so he is a crazy guy for sure! But he is a great missionary. He is from Toronto Canada, and also has a little brother out serving a mission. So he is like Me and Ben! But he also knows a ton of swahili and speaks it pretty fluently (he served in Arusha, Tanzania and learned it there) so he has already helped me kabisa (a lot) learn swahili. But i am glad to be serving with him and we are going to work hard and have a lot of fun!
But right now the work here is kind of tough.  A lot of the people we are teaching are just kind of inconsistent and they bounce our appointments a lot.  People are constantly moving around as well which is tough!  But yeah things are tough right now, but Heavenly Father probably wants me to learn something, so i just gotta keep on grinding though.  But we are still teaching Sis Favor, and she is doing really well.  She tells us that we are her best friends and that she can really notice something special and different about us and our church. So we hope that she can get baptized next week.  But right now we are really trying to work with the branch in helping us find people to teach. 
Right now its crazy because me and Elder Diodati are both 2 white guys walking around an all black community... so yeah you can say we draw a lot of attention! haha. but its good because people are always stopping us and asking us about what we do. So we take advantage and teach them the Gospel! But also some people ask us for money and to take them back to the USA and Canada, so that kinda is tough.
But all is well with me. I got all of your letters this week ASANTE SANA!!!!(thank you very much).  They were great and i loved them. My companion saw the one Joe wrote and was like who is Dayo??? hahaha its me but only our family knows that! hah. Sorry to hear about your head mom... glad you are better though! Ha you might be turning into Joe with the head injuries, but i hope not hah.  But i love you all so much!
Elder Daniel Thomas

Monday, May 13, 2013

It means no bus!  Just walk!  This is Daniel's district and they made these t shirts.
Daniel, Elder Nyambita, Gideon, Schneider, and Sisters Hlashwayo, Chilumba

In Kenya they love Obama.  They consider him to be one of their Presidents.
The Branch President's wife made this for Daniel (she thought he would like it).

Daniel, Rodgers, and Joshua.  Rodgers is a member, Joshua is a friend they are teaching.
They love the missionaries and wanted to take this picture.  Rogders is reppin the
Chicago Bulls- showin the NBA some love out in Kenya!

They are going to eat this goat sometime this week!
Daniel is excited because he has never had goat before!  Aghhhhhhh!

Happy Mother's Day Call!

Happy mothers day to the best mom in the world!!!
Hope that everyone had a good week and i really hope that Mom had a wonderful mothers day! it was great to talk to everyone.
This past week has been pretty good. So we received transfer news this week. So i will still be here in Rongai, but i am going to be the district leader. So it will be interesting to see how things go with that. My companion, elder Nyambita, will now be going to Busia, which is on the Ugandan boarder! sad to see him go but he will do well there. So my new companion will be Elder Diodati! he is from Toronto, Canada and has been out on the mission for 16 months. He will also be my first white companion! not quite sure how to take that... hah but it will be fun to be with him. We will also no longer have Sister missionaries in Rongai, but two more elders serving here.
But this past week has been nice. The work is really starting to pick up a lot, which is exciting! this past week we committed 3 of our investigators to baptism! and all of them seem very excited to be baptized. so we just hope that all of them continue on the path that will help them draw closer to Christ!
Cool experience. This week at church, two random guys showed up. we had never seen them before so we went and talked with them. The two guys, John and Nardos, are brothers who have recently moved to Rongai. John is a return missionary from Uganda and is about 26 yrs old. Nardos is 22 and has said that he wants to really serve a mission soon. So it was cool to have these two new members (or so i thought) in the branch. Although, as the day went on, i came to find out that Nardos is not even a member! and he already wants to serve a mission! hahah i was like woah that's crazy! but he really wants to be baptized so he can serve a mission like his brother. So we are going to work with him. But he is not even a member and wants to serve a mission already! hah crazy good stuff.
Also at church this week i was asked to give a talk on "an attitude of gratitude". And this has probably been the first time that i have been excited about giving a talk at church. I was excited because i knew exactly what story i would share about how i came to become grateful... the story of me, Ben, and Dad at Del Taco!!! haha its a historic and unforgettable story in the Thomas family! hah so i talked about that story, and also on how we need to develop greater gratitude for the Plan of Salvation, and especially the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a super spiritual experience for me to be able to share with the branch the importance of our Savior Jesus Christ. I always love talking about the Atonement and how very grateful i am for it, as we all should be for it. A lot of people said i did a really good job and that they loved the story!
Glad i got to call home! great to hear from all of you!
Love you all so much and always be grateful for all the many things that we have (especially Moms)! much love
Elder Thomas

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

This is a drawing by Daniel's companion- Elder Nyambita

May 6, 2013

Habari yako famalia!
This past week has been pretty good. Today we had an awesome p day! we got to go to Buru Buru for a Nariobi zone missionary sports day!!! haha it was nice to be able to play sports and exercise for a change. first time I've played sports in 3 months... haha.  But it was great and i got to meet a lot of the elders serving here in Nairobi.  We played basketball, ultimate Frisbee, and of course soccer! haha none of the elders are really that good at soccer... some of them looked like they played like girls or something. A lot of the elders here don't seem to be to coordinated with their hands... haha! But when we played soccer, man the African elders are crazy good!! ha so it was a lot of fun today. Unfortunately one of the church windows got broken by a kicked soccer ball, so that was unfortunate. but hey boys will be boys! haha just kidding.  But finally i was able to dunk a basketball! haha i did it twice in a row. I guess it took me coming on a mission for that to finally happen.
But the work is going well here. No baptisms, but we are hoping to have 2-4 at the end of the month, so we are really working towards that.  We met two cool guys this week. One is a referral from the branch president, Joshua.  We met him at the presidents house, and he was really interested in learning more.  We showed him the book of Mormon and read some scriptures from it and he was like "wow. this book is so beautiful. i have to read it!" he kept saying how beautiful it was haha it was pretty funny, but also really nice. so we hope to start meeting with him. Also meet this guy martin. he is a referral from the Upper Hill Elders.  He was really excited to meet with us. he told us that he used to be religious, but stopped going to church for a while, but said that he was looking for a new church to join. So that was great news to us! i think that we found him at the right time to hear the gospel.  hah but he is awesome and seems to enjoy church.  God is really preparing people to hear the gospel which is awesome!!
Also funny thing. Some huge guy, probably 300 lbs stopped us the other day and started talking to us.  He asked me if i was American, i said yes, and he got all excited and said that he used to be a truck driver in the north west states.  He kept saying how amazing it was to see an American! haha he kept shaking my hand and said how much of a pleasure it was to meet me! he also said something pretty funny to me that made me laugh, he said "hey you know what, i really think that you look like Tom Cruise. Do a lot of people tell you that?" hahahahhahah no that was the first time anyone has ever said that to me! ha but i guess that's a good compliment right?
But all is well with me. I am sooo excited to call home this week! it will be great to hear all of your voices! love you all
Elder Thomas (Daniel)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Daniel has a keyboard at his apartment so he is trying to practice
so he can play for the branch.
(Yeah Mom for "forcing" him to take lessons, I hoped it would pay off one day!)

April 29, 2013

Habari yako!
So an ok week this week.  A few cool things and experiences though.  So we have recently been teaching this woman. She was a referral we got from one of the members a few weeks ago. But she is such an awesome lady and has such a great desire to learn more! She is super humble, and might be one of the poorest people I've meet so far.  But she is awesome and has 2 kids under the age of 10.  So we have had a few discussions so far, and she is super interested and impressed with our church.  She has had some real negative experiences with other Christian churches. She doesn't like how other churches have paid ministers, how you have to pay your minister to pray for you, and how many other churches have a sort of "social classes" based on your income.  So she loves how our church is more focused on the Gospel, and not the Money! hahah. But she is also been having struggles lately.  She is a convert to Christianity, she was formerly a Muslim, and comes from a family of 33 CHILDREN!! (1 husband, 4 wives, 32 daughters, 1 son). So her family has not been really accepting of her.  But we were able to talk with her  and help her kind of figure out her situation, and she also allowed us to give her a priesthood blessing, which was a super cool experience.  She loves meeting with us and even calls us her best friends! haha. she has also shown a big desire to be baptized, so we hope that happens soon. The only concern that she had about our church, wasn't even about the church, but was about me.  So we asked her what the problem was.  She told us that some of her friends had told her some things about white people that kind of made here a little uneasy to meet with us.  She said that a lot of her friends said that white people come to Africa to come and take little black children away and EAT THEM! So she asked me do you do that??? And i was like NO NO NO NOOOO! hahahahah i told her that that is most definitely not true! WE come to share the gospel, not eat children! hahah it was a funny experience. but a lot of people here do have some weird ideas and beliefs about mzungu's (white guys).  But she is a great lady and we love her a lot.
This week i also was asked to teach the Gospel Principles class for the branch.  I was asked to talk about the final judgment! haha. I felt like the lesson went really well.  I really emphasized that this life time is for us to prepare to be judged in heaven. So we need to choose the right and be righteous here on earth so that we can receive the highest degree of heaven!!! so everyone remember that. haha. 
But glad to hear that Mexico was fun!! the pictures looked great!  haha hope everyone is doing well back home. love you all
Elder Thomas
The Buogas Family.  Daniel says they are so legit!  They love to laugh and do crazy things.
Pictured is also Sisters Hlashwayo and Chilumba

Daniel frying up some chapatis in the Ondiego's home!
They wanted him to help cook dinner.

Dinner of champions:  homemade chips'myaye, an orange Fanta and jelley beans- yum!

Daniel finally gets to watch conference

Decent week this week.
But to start thanks soooooo much for the package, it was awesome! I loved all the goodies and the shirt was nice. it was good to have some quality US food for a change, although i kind of got a little sick because i ate to much sweets! haha. But Elder Gideon also says thanks for the goodies, because i gave some out at our district meeting this week! haah everyone loved the sweets.
But a few cool things happened this week.  While me and elder Nyambita were waiting at the matatu bus stage for a ride to get to Langata, this guy came up to us.  He started talking to us like he knew us, so we were like umm who is this guy? but we came to find out that his name is Ted. He is a BIG loving guy who apparently used to meet with the missionaries but then stopped for some reason. he told us that he would like to meet with us again, so we got his number and will try to meet with him soon. I also started talking to him about sports, and he said he loves ARSENAL! haha and he said he also works at this shop that sells soccer jerseys, so he said that he could give me a discount on a jersey! so that was cool.  I also had a cool experience in the matatu the same day. We were sitting in the back of the matatu (which is super cramped) and then this guy squeezed in between us. haha we were packed super tight! but i took advantage of this and began talking to him. His name is Paul and he lives close to Rongai. He seemed really interested in the church and me (because I'm American) and started to ask me lots of questions. So we talked for a while, and i got to find out that Paul is not like most Kenyans. First, he doesn't like to speak Swahili, he likes English more!! haha so i was like me too! Second, he loves to swim, which is something that many Kenyans do not like. many of them are afraid of water and will not get close to open water or rivers. So that was kind of cool, and we will meet with him this week.
But this week we also got to watch conference!!!!! hahah i was sooo excited to finally see it. it was soo goood.  I enjoyed every minute of it and took so many notes haha. I especially liked the examples and stories of Africa! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH! haha. I also liked the reference to the Mesa Temple, I got all excited when i heard that, but nobody else seemed to care hahaah.  But my favorite talk was by D Todd Christofferson, where he talked about Redemption through Jesus Christ. It really hit me the hardest. And i also liked his story referring to "Le Miserables"! hahah i couldn't help thinking about when we as a family went to see that movie! haha but i loved the reference he made to "Forget not, Never Forget". I think that that will be my new personal motto! But it really showed me that we always need to be mindful of the Atonement and how it is applicable and should be a main focus of our lives. But all of the talks were good. 
Also this week i got the opportunity to get a ride on a piki-piki! haha piki-pikis are basically super crazy dirt bikes that people can get rides on. So one night we needed to be home before it got to late and we were like 1 hour walk away from our home, so we called a piki-piki driver to pick us up. it was super crazy! hahah he was going super fast through ally ways and dirt roads but it was soo much fun! haha crazy stuff
But all is going well with me.
I hope everyone is doing fine, and I'm super sad about Daisy. she was the best dog ever. But no worries, we will see her again in heaven! and she wont be fat there, she will be skinny again! haha. but love you all and remember "FORGET NOT, NEVER FORGET!!!"