Monday, August 26, 2013

The little helpers of Mormon Helping Hands!
These kids are awesome!

Working hard at Mormon Helping Hands day.
Cutting down thorn bushes to make a fence....  Kenyan style fencing!

Just an example of what I have to deal with on a day to day basis.
These kids were staring at me for a solid 10 minutes.


4 Baptisms in Darajani!!!

Cosmas ready for baptism and lookin good!

William!  He is going to be such a great future missionary, he know his stuff.

The Big 3 on 25 August 2013!

A big Day for Dan

I want to start off by saying HAPPY 18th BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL LITTLE SISTER HAILEY!!! ha i know its late but that's ok, its the thought that counts. hope it was a wonderful day! ha you can legally buy cigarettes now!!! yeah isn't that great!! haha jk.
But this past week was awesome!! we had a lot going on in our area.  So this past week we were really focusing on William and Cosmas, our 2 investigators to be baptized.  So we met with them a lot, just about everyday, and helped really prepare them for their baptisms.  And they were both sooo ready for baptism! Both of them have awesome testimonies, and its been cool to see them progress in the gospel and become happier by living it.  On Sunday they were both able to be baptized and it was great!! They both asked me to baptize them so that was pretty cool as well.  Cosmas was able to be baptized in Darajani 1, and William in Darajani 2, so we had to have 2 separate baptismal services, but it was good.  There were also 2 little 8 year old girls who were to be baptized as well. So we thought that their fathers or someone from the branch would baptize them, but when we got to church we found out that neither of their fathers were there. And when we asked their moms who would baptize them they said that they wanted me to... ha so i was like i think it would be good if their fathers did it, but when i said that they got all defensive and said no, you will do it! haha so yeah i also got to baptize 2 little girls, both of them being named Immaculate weird enough ha.  But the baptisms were soooo awesome! Cosmas was soo happy the entire day and was happy that he was able to be baptized. he said that its a day that he cannot forget! it was a awesome day to say the least! Happy for all of them, they will all be awesome members!
Also this week we got to go on exchanges, so i got to go to Mtito Andei again with elder dewitt. it was pretty good.  they have a super tough area though! ha so we just street contacted people the entire day, just trying to find investigators.
Cool thing! so me and elder dimingu were with one of the members of the branch and she was showing us where she stays.  So we were, to say the least out in the middle of the bush, walking along a dry river bed. Then all of the sudden she started to get really excited and started shouting "look elders look!" so i was like what the heck.... but when i looked to where she was pointing i saw a BUNCH of MONKEYS!!! ahahahh like 20 of them just running around the river bed!! ha it was really cool. but i guess a lot of people here see monkeys on a regular basis, so when i told people about it they didn't think much of it... hhaha but it was legit!!
But this past week has been great. we will now have to start trying to look for new investigators and continue to visit the many less actives here. but things are good and the work is good!! grateful for mission!!
Love you all,
 elder thomas

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rumors about the church in Kenya

Ayyye! Really busy past week with a lot going on in Darajani!  Elder Dimingu and I have been working kabisa!
So this week we got the opportunity to go out with one our of branch presidents,Pres Siomon, so he could show us where some of the less active people stay. And it was awesome! It was just awesome to see President Siomon being soo involved in helping us missionaries. So we were able to work with him all of Tuesday which was awesome.  He helped us to find about 7 less active families homes, so we will try to work with these families this next week and see what happens with that.  But we still got a long ways to with the less actives here in Darajani, there are about 200 less active people in our area, which is more than double the size of the active members.... haha yeah. But one thing that really hurts the church here is all of the rumors!!!! oh my goodness people here say the dumbest things ever and people actually believe them! So here are some examples of rumors that people say about our church here:
   -we are the church of more money
   -we are the devil worshiper church
   -in our church, there is a huge pit that we throw new people into
   -to join the church, you have to sacrifice your first born
   -there are snakes in our baptismal font that bite you
   -if you go on a mission, it means that you have been eaten by members of the church
Oh my goodness if i only knew the people who started these rumors i would go Rocky Balboa on them sooo fast! its super annoying that people actually believe all these lies. But hey, there must be opposition in all things right??
But in other news things are still going well. We have been working a lot with Cosmas and William, our 2 investigators who will be baptized this Sunday! So excited for that!! They are both super powerful guys that have awesome spirits. It was cool because when we met with Cosmas this week, he told us of one of his friends tried to get him to stop coming to church and told him all sorts of rumors.  Cosmas said he told his friend that he had been to church and had seen what it was like and that he knew that it was a good and true church of God. He also told us that he doesn't have time for people telling him stuff like that... and i was like YEAH THAT'S RIGHT!!! haha he is awesome! Also we had another great lesson with Jack, our white investigator. He brought one of his friends this week which was great. ha he told us about how much he treasures the Book of Mormon we gave him.  He told us that before he touches it, he washes his hand and then wraps it up in nice cloth so it doesn't get damaged, and he doesn't let anyone else touch it because he does not want anything bad to happen to it...  he is awesome! Another funny thing is that when Jack's friend saw me next to Jack, he thought that I was Jack's grandson................. hahahahahaha oh my goodness i look nothing like him!!!!! ha he just thought that because we were both white.... but yeah people think that all white people look the same here hahah.
 this week I got to see Elder Diodati again! He is now serving in one of the areas here in my district, so it was awesome to see him again. Ha we got to talk for a long time about Rongai and just other good stuff.  Also this week i got a new bike! I was so happy because my old bike didn't have working brakes on it... so i just had to use my foot to stop it. But yeah I'm happy to have a brand new awesome Chinese made bike! Now i can travel in style and safety!
Other than that things are going good.  Had a great time at the Mormon Helping Hand on Saturday! we got to put up a "fence" at a local primary school, which was fun.  But things are good for me, mission is great!! LOVE YOU ALL!
Elder Thomas

Monday, August 12, 2013

Daniel's new companion - Elder Dimingu from Zimbabwe

Making some delicious no bake cookies because they don't have an oven.  None the less they were awesome!

Raindrops keep falling on my head!  It finally rained here in this barren desert.
Daniel was happy!

Here they are loading some chickens on top of a bus that was going all the
way to Nairobi, 4 hours away.  One of the chickens didn't have a head.
Yeah for Kenya!

New Companion - Elder Dimingu

So this past week was good, a lot happened so it was pretty crazy.
So for the first half of the week i was still with the Zone Leaders in Mtito Andei, which was good.  They are in a tough area with a lot of persecution against the church. The most common thing that people usually say is that we are either the devil worshiper church, or the church of "more money".... not sure how either of those got about but both are very very ridiculous!  I'm used to the devil worshiper one (just because that one is all around Kenya) but the "more money" one is pretty signature to here in Chyulu. People say that because the Kiswahili translation of the Book of Mormon is called "Kitabu cha Mormoni". So people hear that and they think oh, its the church of more money, they get Mormoni and more money confused... so people go around saying that we are the church of more money, so if you want money come to that church.... so ridiculous!! ahhh its annoying that people say this stuff and actually believe it. So with them, we mostly just did contacting, just letting people know what our church actually is. We also went knocking on peoples doors!!!! hahaha a first for me!! We mostly just contact people in the streets just (just because that's were most people can be found), but in Mtito, there are compounds and houses were you can knock on doors (unlike Darajani). But it was cool to do that.
But also this week i got my new companion, Elder Dimingu! and he is actually not from South Africa, but from Harare, Zimbabwe. He is a super super humble guy. He is a little quiet, but a hard worker which is great! He has been on mission for 18 months, so he will be a big help.  Also one thing about elder Dimingu is that he is VERY short and stocky... VERY. hahah.
But good things are happening here in Darajani! President Hicken and also the District president here want Chyulu to become a stake. So they are really pushing getting the Less active priesthood holders back to church. But this Sunday, it was awesome to see the branches pull together and offer us missionaries help to find these less actives. We got about 25 names of less active members to visit!!  and the branches were great because they offered to set up days were they could come with us and visit those members, which is super awesome!! Its been great working with the branch presidencies and having their support with helping us with the work.  members make a huge difference!!!
But the work is getting better here. We are getting a lot of referrals from members. Only problem is that most of these investigators that we have are really good, but they are constantly moving around Kenya, mostly for school. But its ok because maybe all we need to do is just plant that seed for now. But we had a super awesome lesson with one of our new investigators, Dorkus. She is the sister of one of the members and is really nice. She had a lot of questions  about the plan of salvation, which was soooo awesome!!  i love teaching about the plan of salvation!!   so we helped her to better understand where we go after we die, she was a little confused on what happens after death. But I'm so grateful for the plan of salvation, it truly gives our lives purpose and direction. its true!!!!!
We are still trying to prepare Cosmas for baptism, but might have to push it back a week, he was gone at a funeral this entire past week so we couldn't meet with him. 
Also in other random news i got to go to my first Kenyan funeral this week... and lets just say that it was very interesting.  We wanted to meet with one of the members, and once we got to here house we found that she wasn't there. So we called her and she said that she wasn't there, but was at a funeral close by, and said that we were invited. So we were like what the heck... but anyways we went. And it was weird because it felt more like a party than a funeral... people were dressed in colorful cloths, people were singing and dancing, and it just seemed like a social event. it was pretty weird. But one thing is that if you go to a funeral here in Kenya, you HAVE TO BE FED!! ha so i got sooo much food! ha githeri, rice, and mutombo (intestine...) ha so it was a pretty weird thing. everybody was looking at me as usual haha.
But things are good here in Kenya. i love you all!!!!
Mzee Thomas

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


So today marks my 6 MONTH MARK....... SOOOOOOOO CRAZY!!!
Ha but this past week was pretty good.  Lots of interesting stuff!
So the big thing this week was that it was Elder Dobards last week of mission. So most of the week was spent by Elder Dobard packing his things and bragging about going home and how excited he was.... so yeah lets just say it was a little frustrating for me! haha but it was really sad to see him go. We were really good friends and had a lot of fun together. So as a going away "party" the night before he left. we had a little bon fire and burned a lot of stuff that he didn't need anymore. like some old ties. shirts, and other old missionary stuff  and also made some no bake cookies and fried up some brownies! (we don't have an oven)haha. but it was pretty fun.
We also got transfer news this week... and i will still be here in Darajani, which is great! My new companion will be Elder Dimingu, from South Africa and he will be district leader.  So I'm excited to meet him and get back to work in Darajani!
So because elder Dobard already left, i have been with the Zone leaders Elder Dewitt and Elder Simcock for the past few days here in Mtito Andei.  Its been really nice working with them.  They are in a really tough area with not much work and a lot of problems in the branch. But its been great to be with them and work. They are super positive and hard working, which is been really helpful to me. 
But recently i have started to read the New Testament, and it is awesome!!! I love it soo much.  I love reading about the life of our Savior.  SO much good insight and teachings! I especially like how it talks about having faith and looking towards the kingdom of God.  It has really helped me a lot on mission, given me  a lot of comfort and guidance.  So grateful for the scriptures! make sure to read the scriptures every day!!
But sorry i don't really have much else to report this week, Cosmas is still doing well and we hope he can be baptized on the18th. 
But i love you all!
Elder Thomas (Daniel)
Giraffe Center

Daniel and Joseph are like twins separated by 8 years.  They look alike and act alike.  Joe has really missed Daniel.  Last week while attending our Riggs Reunion, Joe commented that one of my cousin's son reminded him of Daniel.  He said it with tears in his eyes.  I wrote to Dan and told him of the experience this was his reply:

Just tell joe that i REALLY love him a lot and i miss being with him and playing catch, going to barros, playing games with him, our hand shake, and making jokes together. Joe is sooo awesome i love that little guy! i miss you all but especially my main man, my go to hobbit, JOE !!!!
this one is for joe:
normal hi five, backward hi five, down knuckle bump, up knuckle bump, normal knuckle bump, explode, then come together for a formal handshake.  and a BIG SQUEEZE!! cheese please!!! hahhhahahh