Monday, July 29, 2013

Jersey Boys.  Got a fresh Ronoldo jersey- for the low price of 300 shillings.
Elders Turner, Skidmore, Dobard and Daniel.  They got to play soccer,
it got intense!

Daniel and his goat.  Squeeze Please!

Daniel in front of a members house saluting the stars and stripes.

Elder Diodati cut his hair, tried a Mohawk but it didn't look so good.

In front of their prison, I mean apartment.  He said it was actually nice.

Darajani sunset

Daniel found this snake on the side of the road.
Don't worry, he poked it to make sure it was dead.

Daniel frying up some delicious chapatis in his wonderful apartment.
He is wearing the beanie he found in the apartment.

Monkey face.  All the kids wear he got one for the low price of 100 shillings.  Looking fresh as usual!

Githeri- a common food in Kenya.  Members love to give it to them.
Not the best batch he's had so a stray dog passing by got a snack.

Elder Dobard and Dan out in the Bush doing work.

July 29, 2013

so this past week was nice! Darajani is getting better! we had lots of less active people come to church, including one guy who i am pretty sure was drunk and also this midget guy! ha it was good to see them there at church. 
But this past week we were able to have a good lesson with Jack, our white investigator.  It was cool because we got to find out a little bit about him.  So he has lived in Kenya his whole life, but i think comes from British background (his grandfather came to Kenya to help build the big railroad tracks that goes through all of Kenya), he speaks perfect Swahili and kikamba. But we were able to start the Restoration with him.  He really enjoyed it and also talked a lot about how he enjoyed church and how he really enjoys how we carry out our services.  He has already told us that he would like to become a member, even though it takes him an hour to get to church, so we hope that he continues to have that desire and to feel of the spirit! Also met with Cosmas again this week, he is doing super great and has already started living the word of wisdom! he told us he had a problem with tea, but after we talked to him about it, he threw out all his tea and replaced it with drinking chocolate!! ha he is sooo great! hope to have his baptism on the 18 August.
Also this past week i finish the Book of Mormon!! Took me 4 months, but it was awesome to read through it. So much good stuff in there its almost unbelievable, except its not, because its the Book of Mormon, and its true, so yeah its believable!! I challenge all y'all at home to read it, and to pray about it. I really wish i would have read it a lot more before i came on mission, it is truly here to help us come closer to Christ, so READ IT!!!!! 3 Nephi is super awesome!
But Kenya is awesome as usual! This past week there was a lot of campaigning in our area for some position in Parliament here or something like that. People were going crazy!! hahah it was really funny to watch like 30 people hanging on to the side of a car shouting and playing loud kamba music trying to get people to vote for their candidate! haha lots of drunk crazy people running around, so that was interesting for sure!
But mission is great! this will be my last week with elder Dobard!! it has flown by, he goes home this week so i will have a new companion soon! ha elder Dobard was super crazy, but I'm going to miss him a lot. we had a lot of fun!
But i love you all, have a super week!
Elder Daniel Thomas

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lots of Pictures! YEAH!

Elders Goodchild, Thomas, and Gideon in their "sweet" sweaters

Daniel got Poured on in Rongai

Putting on a fresh masai blanket after getting soaked in the rain.

Daniel and Elder Diodati

Animal orphanage

This place was called Carnivore.  It was the nicest food he has eaten there so far-
or maybe he has just been in Kenya too long.

Being Silly!

Gotta LOVE that face!

Internet Issues and the Chicken Trick

hey famalia,
so today the Internet here is going ape on me, so unfortunately i don't have a lot of time to email, but i will share a few of the awesome events that happened this week! yeah yeah yeah
So the highlight of this week was that we got to meet President Hicken on Thursday!! He is already awesome from what i can tell.  He is a former police chief, so from what i can tell he is one of those guys who does not mess around! but he is really cool, he really stressed a lot about being exactly obedient and also not comparing ourselves to others, just to go out there and do what the Lord requires of us to do.  So i am really excited to see what he does around the mission, and I'm super grateful that he is going to be my mission president for the next 1 and a half years.
Also this week we were able to give Cosmas (our super awesome main investigator) a baptismal date on 18 August!!  he is the best. when we asked him if he wanted to be baptized, he said "well yes, its a must to be baptized!" So we will be working really hard with him to help really prepare him to be baptized. He is truly a person that God has prepared to hear the Gospel. He is super humble and loves the gospel. Its awesome because on Sundays he is always the first person to be at church! ha he is soo dedicated and wants to become closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Also this week, we met a WHITE GUY, Jack, who came to church. He said that he heard about the church a long time ago, but finally found out where the church was so he decided to come. And whats even crazier than that is that he drove 1 HOUR to come to church from his home ( i guess he lives in this place called Kibwezi, which is super far). So when we got to talk to him, he said "yeah the only reason why i drove so far is because I'm serious about this church. I don't joke around, I'm serious about learning more". so that was like wow. but for real this guy is super cool, but also kind of scary because he is so serious haha. But he speaks perfect Swahili and i also think he speaks Kikamba. but good things are happening here!
CRAZY STORY, THE CHICKEN TRICK STILL WORKS!!!!!!!! haha i don't know if you guys remember this, but me and Elder Dobard tried it at one of the members homes and it worked!! Ben and I used to do it at the Robin Lane house.  Its the trick where you grab a chicken, then put its head on the ground, and then draw a strait line in front of its beak.  After that, you just let go of the chicken and it will just stare at the line and not move... hahahhah and we got our chicken to stay their for a solid 15 seconds!! haha super crazy and the little kids loved it! just reminded me of my great Robin Lane childhood ahaha.
But all is well with me. Good to hear that home is still there and that everyone is well. LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Elder D Thomas

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 15, 2013

So this past week was pretty good!
I was able to go on exchanges with the district leader, elder Skidmore (Utah).  He has been on mission for 16 months and has been in Chyulu for the past 6, so he is like a veteran in this area.  So he was able to come into my area, and elder Dobard went to his area in Nthongoni.  So it was pretty crazy to be the on in charge of the area, just because I'm still getting used to it. But it was really good for me because in 3 weeks i will be the one leading this area, so it was a good opportunity for me.  So while i was with him, we got some good opportunities to meet with some of the less active people in Darajani.  This is something that is a big part of the missionary work here, is just going out to find the less active people here, because there are a ton of them. So we got to visit this guy named Paul, who has been less active for the past year. He has a problem coming to church for a lot of reasons, mainly because he is a piki piki driver and works mostly every day.  But he is a cool guy.  But while we were there, all of the little kids from that area saw us and all decided to come over and join us. And man did it get crazy! haha they thought it was amazing that two white guys here! haha they were climbing all over us and taking all of our stuff just going crazy! haha good thing though was that Paul thought that it was funny, but elder Skidmore did not think so... hahah i don't think he was to happy about it! but the kids here are just super crazy and just run around unsupervised.  But none the less we still had a good meeting with Paul. Later in the day we had a super awesome lesson with Cosmas, our main investigator right now (he is the one that i contacted my first day here).  So we got to talk with him about the Plan of Salvation.  He was super into the lesson and had great questions.  Its awesome to see how focused he is during our lessons and how much he takes to heart the teachings we  share with him.  So after the lesson, he started asking us a lot about baptism, something that we haven't even talked about with him yet.  He was interested about how we do it (because in Kenya there are many ways to baptize), so we shared Matthew 3:13-16 and talked about how it is by immersion the way Christ was baptized. So he really liked that. And then he asked when he could become a member!! ha i was soooooo excited to hear him say that!!! it was super awesome, so we hope to have him baptized sometime in early August.  He is truly someone who the Lord has prepared to hear and accept the gospel. I love him soooo much he is so POWERFUL! i just hope and pray that all goes well with him.
But it was also cool this week because we got to spend some time with the couples that are serving here, the Schwabs.  They have been serving in Chyulu for 2 YEARS. And they live the same way as us missionaries do here, so they are super legit people.  But we got to hang out with them at night and got to play UNO with them!! hahah i haven't played that game in forever and it was soo much fun to play with them.  They are awesome couples, and it will be sad to see them go next week.  We probably wont have anymore couple missionaries in this area for a long time which is sad.
P day was awesome today! we had a zone activity were we got to play sports and have CHICKEN ENCHILADAS!!!!!! First time I've had that in 5 months... but we got to play soccer(of course), basketball, and water volley ball.  Soccer was the best though, all of the little kids from around saw us and wanted to play, so they got to join in with us. And man they were freaking good! way better than me.... hahah.
But all is good with me. hope all is well back home! We will get to meet President and Sister Hicken, our new mission president, this week. so I'm excited for that.
But i love you all!!!
Elder Thomas

Monday, July 8, 2013

Daniel's bike

Daniel in Darajani

Daniel and his friend from the branch.  His friend has a Kikamba name so Daniel didn't know how to spell it.

Market day in Kambu

Lions at the animal orphanage in Nairobi

July 8, 2013

Hey all,
So this past week in Darajani has been pretty good.  I'm starting to get a lot more used to the area and also to the Chinese bikes we ride!! haha but its all good.
We are really working hard to strengthen the members in the branch. Unfortunately in the 2 branches that we cover, there is around 150 less active members. So we are going to try to see if we can find out where these people live and see whats up with them. But its kind of difficult to find where people because everything is so spaced out here and its almost impossible to get directions from anyone here.  They will tell us to go down the road and turn left at the big boabob (fruit) tree, or to go down the little pathway next to the dip in the road... hahah so we have to go with members mostly everywhere we go in order to find people.  But its a work in progress and we are doing are best to find these people.  We also have 3 investigators which is 3 more than we had before i got here! so I'm excited to work with these people. 
But whats really nice here is that the members (especially the kids) love the missionaries! hah the kids get all excited when they see us and like to run around us and make a lot of noise.  They especially like my watch and bike.  When I'm not looking they will take off with my bike and i will have to chase them down, or they will all grab my arm and try to rip my watch off!! haha its crazy but the kids are super kind and awesome.
Something funny that happens here a lot is that the old people, especially the mama's, like to "test me". So when most old people see me, they think that they can mess with me by greeting me in Kikamba, thinking that i wont know what to say. And for some weird reason they think that it is funny.  But little do they know is that i know how to greet people in Kikamba!!!!! so they will say to me "watcha" (a greeting for children) and ill say "ahhh" (the proper response). So this frustrates them, so they try a more difficult greeting "watine data" (greeting for older people) and ill say "nesa" (meaning good).... when i say this most people around them start to laugh and say "mzungu speaks Kikamba hahahahaaha". But these old mama's cant trip me up i know my Kikamba to well!!! hahah. and another cool thing about the greeting "watcha" is that when you say it to a younger kid, they HAVE TO  respond.  So when the little annoying kids who hang around are house start to act up and start messing with us i just say "watcha" and they have to respond, or else they get beaten... so that usually gets them to be quiet!!!! hahah its good.
But all is well here, i love Darajani and KENYA!!!!! Love you all
Elder Thomas Daniel

Monday, July 1, 2013


So i am definitely no longer in Nairobi! It was really hard to say goodbye to all the friends that i had made in Rongai, but i guess the Lord needs me here in Darajani now!
On Thursday, me and 2 other elders, Elder Simcock and Jamieson, got on a bus that heads from Nairobi to Mombasa. Only Elder Jamieson would be going to Mombasa, but me and Simcock would get off half way in Chyulu.  So we got up early and left around 8. So the bus was super nice!! we got free snacks and soda which was awesome! But once we got 1 hour out of Nairobi, our bus broke down...... hahahhahahahah. At first we thought that they would just be able to fix it in like 20 mins, but it turned out that the bus was totally broke down and that they had to call a new one to pick us up and take us. so we had to wait just about 4 hours for the new bus to come, but it finally got there and we were off on the road again.! About 4 hours later i finally arrived in my new area!! We got off the bus and Elder Dobard (my new companion from California) and the couple missionaries, the Schwabs, were their ready to meet us. 
One cool thing about my new area is that we have IRON HORSE BIKES!!!!!!!! hahah they are just the typical bikes that most people have here in Kenya, buts its great that we have bikes because our area is HUGE. We also have 2 branches in our area, Darajani 1 and Darajani 2. Both are great branches with super humble people. We even have our own church building here which is super super nice. It is no joke a major landmark here in Darajani.  Everybody here knows where the church is so we don't even have to give people directions to find it. 
So i guess that you can consider Darajani to be a mix between a town and a village.  there is a main town area called Kambu where we stay, and then there is Darajani where all the members live.  And nobody lives close to each other!! we have to ride our bikes all over the place to find people, which is a little frustrating, but not that big of a deal. Also, most people here have their own shambas where they work in, and they either produce corn, peas, carrots, or watermelons.  So we usually find people outside working in their shambas.
But Darajani seems to be like a very good place. Lots of good humble people here who are very interested in the Gospel.
One very interesting thing here in Darajani is that English is the 3rd language for most people. Most people speak Kikamba, which is the mother tongue for mostly everyone here, then people sometimes speak Swahili, and then when people see us missionaries they will use English! haha but the church meetings are done mostly in all Kikamba, which is a little frustrating for me, but is good for the people here to have the gospel in their own language. so that will take some getting used to.
But hope all is well back home. Love you all!!!!
Elder Thomas