Monday, June 24, 2013

Elder Gauti (Zimbabwe), Daniel, Elder Kakaire (Uganda)
Elders from Daniel's district

Baptism of Beatrice and Nicholas

Daniel and Simba!  Simba kept biting his arm, so yeah Daniel has been bitten by a lion.  haha

This lion might have been hungry but it didn't phase Dan.
Just cat him CAT DADDY


Just want to start out by giving a shout out to the best mom in the world.... HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY MOM I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!! and yeah its your 30th bday right??? hahah but hope you have a great day!!
But this has been a crazy week! A lot of good things happening which I'm really excited about.  But the first cool thing was Zone Conference this week.  This was my first and last zone conference with President and Sister Broadbent.  It was such an awesome experience.  The theme of the conference was putting on the armor of God, from Ephesians ch 6.  Super awesome and spiritual, president Broadbent is sooo great and i am really going to miss him sooooo much.  Also during the conference, my district got to sing a musical number "God be With you till we Meet Again", and lucky for me i got voted to give a solo during the song.... hahha yeah that was pretty interesting.  But the song was awesome and we even got Pres and Sister Broadbent to tear up! So yeah that means we did a freaking good job! haha. It was also cool because i got Pizza for the first time in 4 months, so that was great.  Also got to meet Elder Ita'eauhu who is also from Mesa. He is brand new on the mission.
Another crazy thing about this week is that we got transfer news.... and i will now be serving in CHYULU! It is in the Ukambani region of Kenya, and it is basically right in-between Nairobi and Mombasa.  My specific area is called Darajani, and i will be serving with Elder Dobard, from California.  This the most bushy of areas in the entire mission, so it will be exciting to see what it is like there.  And i guess that sometimes you get to see Elephants while you are out proselyting... haha.  I will also have to forget most of my Swahili and have to learn KIKAMBA! This region is mostly dominated by the Kamba tribe, so most people speak their mother tongue which is Kikamba. So it will be interesting for sure but i am very excited!
Also big news this week for us was this week our investigators, Nicholas and Beatrice were able to be baptized! It was probably one of the best experiences for me so far on mission.  It was cool to see the total transformation of this family over the 6 weeks that we were able to teach them.  They went through soo many trials and challenges to get to this point, but it was awesome to see that they had finally made it! It was cool to see them be able to be baptized together as a family. They were soo excited they were smiling and laughing the entire time. They said that it was such an awesome experience for them.  Beatrice asked me to baptize her, and Elder Diodati got to baptize Nicholas.  They are the best and most prepared people that i have ever met!! I am going to miss them soo much, but i know that i will be able to see them one day. 
Its sad that i will be leaving Rongai now. I have truly come to love this place and have truly loved the people.  It is sad to say goodbye, but i know that the Lord needs me in Chyulu!
Hope all is well back home and love you all so much!!
Elder Thomas

New Area - Chyulu

This week we received transfer news, and i will be leaving Rongai and be off to Chyulu.  It is going to be a really weird transition because Rongai has become my home, so just to pack up my stuff and leave just seems really weird.  And its hard to leave all of the people that i have come to love, but i know that the Lord needs me else where at this time. 
So my new area is one of those famous areas throughout the entire mission.  Missionaries are always talking about this place.  It is considered to be one of the most bushy and physically demanding areas within the mission.  It is basically out in the middle of nowhere.  But i guess that there are quite a few members that live out there and my area consists of 2 branches, so that sounds pretty good.  Most people who live in this area are from the Kamba tribe (there are 42 different tribes here in Kenya), so i will be trying to learn the Kikamba language now! haha it will be pretty interesting for sure.  Although i know that this next area will be a big challenge for me, i am excited to serve in Chyulu and ready for the challenge! And i know that the Lord wants me here for a reason, so i know that he will help me along the way. 
But i hope all is well back home. I heard bout Joes home run and that is so awesome!!! I don't think that I ever hit a home run in little league, so that's great that Joe already has. I bet he was sooo excited.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Mambo Vipe?
So this past week was interesting, both good and bad.  But this week was a little challenging and trying as far as the work goes.  It was just a tough week because probably about 15 of our appointments this week got bounced... so that was really frustrating. And what makes it worse is that people will not even inform us that they are not available, so that's always frustrating.  But we cant do much about that so we just have to stay on our grind and just keep going. 
But a really great thing about this week is that we found out that Nicholas and Beatrice can be baptized!!!!!!! Super excited for that.  We were worried about their marriage, because many people in Kenya don't get married through the government, but have customary or tribal marriages. So we were concerned if they had a marriage that was recognized by the church. But after talking to the Branch President, he said that all is good with them!! So they are planned to be baptized this Sunday which is AWESOME KABISA! They are no joke the best and most prepared people ever. For Serious.
Crazy experience this week.  We were coming back from one of our appointments in a matatu when it started pouring. Like the biggest rain that i have ever seen.  So as soon as we got out we ran to the Tusky's supermarket to take cover with about 50 other people.  So we sat in there for a while, hoping that the rain would die down (because we had to get to another appointment at a members home, who lived 15 mins away).  So we sat there for about 20 mins, but the rain never went down.  It started to get late so i told my companion that we gotta weather the storm and get to the appointment. So he agreed. We got some Tusky's plastic bags, put our stuff in there, and started booking it through the rain. And oh my goodness it was a bad idea! The rain was coming down sooooo hard it hurt my face. It felt like it was raining rocks. haahah and the streets were flooded so we had no idea where we were stepping. There was garbage and debris floating all over the place. There were latrines overflowing, so it got a little stinky you could say! haha and all of the people who were hiding inside were watching us in disbelief.  One guy shouted at us and said "You crazy mzungu's, don't you know its raining?!" haha it was funny but we finally got to our destination! but we were drenched kabisa.  Luckily the other elders apartment was close by, so we got to change into a mama's lava-lava skirt thing and a Masai blanket... yeah you bet we looked dang good! haha but it was a pretty crazy experience. 
Also we went to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage which was awesome. And i got to pet a Lion Cub!!! it was sweet. it bit me too, so yeah you can say that i have been bit by a lion before!! hhahaah
But also Happy Father's day to the best dad ever!!! LOVE YOU DAD
but much love
Elder Thomas

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Family Home Evening night at the church with Nicholas, Beatrice
and baby Victorina
They got to watch the Restoration video.

Chubby baby.  Coolest baby in KENYA!  Victorina

This lil guy was running around the apartment and got on Elder Diodati's head

June 10, 2013

hey all,
This past week was pretty good but nothing super interesting. But a few cool things this week. 
The first good thing is that our 2 good investigators, Nicholas and Beatrice, are progressing really well! They keep all of the commitments and just want to be baptized already!  when we go to teach them they always ask if they can teach us the lesson, just to see what they know and remember about the pamphlets we gave them.  Man i love them sooooo much! they are probably my favorite people I've taught so far on mission.  I just hope all goes well with them because they are really really struggling financially, like you wouldn't believe, and they are still living in horrible conditions.  They weren't able to go to church yesterday because their little baby, Victorina, got sick because of the latrine smell that gets into their home. its really bad. But i really hope that things will start to get better for them! 
Also this week we helped one of our investigators, Moureen, move some furniture from her apartment to her new apartment.  And oh my goodness haha it was pretty crazy... it kind of reminded me of like some red neck trailer park moving crew!  but i guess for African standards its pretty normal! haha.  So me, elder Diodati, and the AP's Elder Schneider and Molundo (Uganda) helped her to move.  So we thought that we would be able to help her move her stuff pretty quickly, but we were soooo wrong! She just asked us to move one of her cabinets, so we though it would be easy, but man, the 2 cabinets that she had weighed like 250 pounds each! and they were  super awkward to carry so that made it hard too.  So the first cabinet we just decided to carry to her new home, which was like a 5 min walk away.  And holy cow that thing was sooo heavy! And it was tough too because we were walking on super uneven roads with crazy children and chickens running around.  And all of the people were looking at us like what the heck are these 3 mzungus doing with a cabinet?? haha it was funny and we got a ton of people watching us.  So we finally got the first on there, but the second cabinet was way to heavy to carry! So we decided to call a piki-piki (motorbike) to come pick it up... hahahah.  Piki-piki's can carry anything!  so we loaded it on the back of it and helped walk the thing to her new home. It was super ghetto and trashy looking but we got the job done! Missionaries can do anything! haha
We have also had a ton of recent encounters with drunk people lately. I don't know what it is but all of the sudden it seems like everybody is getting drunk! Both weekends and weekdays.  I guess people love their Tuskers lager here.... haha. Drunk people are pretty funny but also super annoying.  One guy came up to us and asked us where we were from. My companion said Canada, so the guy was like "oh. so Arnold Swartzniger is the president of Canada right?" (and yes he said it exactly like that).... hahaahhaa me and Elder Diodati just started busting up laughing.  Haha kenya is crazy!
But all is well with me. I love the mission. And i love KENYA!!!
Ndakhukhera! (Luya for I love you!)
Elder Thomas

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Rothschild Giraffe, Lin.  They are one of the most rare giraffes in the world.

Yeah you could say the ladies love Daniel, the giraffe ladies!  Woof Woof, go Daniel!

WARTHOGS!  Daniel says they are little stinkers like Emmy & Joe, haha!

At the Giraffe Centre with Pumba the warthog

We love giraffes and they love us.

Close up with the giraffes

June 3, 2013

So i don't have much time today so I'll just cut to the chase! The giraffe center was awesome! At first it was dumb because we got there and all of the giraffes were gone. So that sucked. But as we were walking back home, we saw this place called Giraffe Manor, which looked cool, so we went up to the gate to check it out. And from the gate we could see all the giraffes! So we asked the security guard if we could come in and he said he wasn't sure because we would need to ask the manager, and right at that moment the manager came up!! ha so my comp basically sweet talked him in Swahili and he let us in! and to usually get into this place you have to pay hundreds of dollars, so it was awesome we got in for freee!! Giraffes are awesome!!
And this past week was ok.  We have two POWERFUL POWERFUL investigators, Nicholas and Beatrice. they have truly been prepared to accept the gospel.  We went to go teach them a lesson, but when we got there Nicholas asked us if we could try something different. So we asked what. He asked if HE could try and teach us the lesson we were going to teach him! (we gave him a pamphlet on the lesson the week before and asked him to read it).  And oh my goodness he blew our minds! He taught us the lesson perfectly and knew EVERYTHING about the lesson and doctrines!!! He and Beatrice are da best!! ha i love them so much. Only problem with them is that they are living in real crappy conditions right now, like literally. and their land lord lady is a real... I cant say. lets just say horrible person. she locked their little 6 month old baby in their shack/home and would not let her out.... so yeah that's crazy. But we hope and pray all goes well with them!
But hope all is well back home! LOVE YA'LL
Elder D Thomas