Monday, November 25, 2013

Baptisms, Village meeting, and Miracles

So not much time this week to write because the power has been really bad because of the rain and stuff! but this week was soooo fast it was ridiculousness. 
First off me and elder Tebbs got invited to a village meeting... hahahha it was pretty interesting. At first we went to the branch presidents home to go on splits with some of the priests in the branch.... but non of them showed up. So while we were there were a lot of old people there and it was kind of weird.... but then they called us over to sit down and join them, so we were like ha ok sure.  Turned out they were having a village meeting and they wanted us to be apart of it! ha we didn't really do much because it was all in Kikamba so me and elder tebbs were just sitting their, but we did enjoy some tasty goat meat! ha they cooked everything in a huge pot, and they told us to eat as much as we could, and to also drink the juice from the stew.... lets just say it tasted very interesting.... but non the less we ate!!!!
So the big thing this week was the baptism of two of our investigators, James Mutisia and Carol Juma (a little 11 yr old girl we have been teaching for a while). It was so awesome and spiritual.  James was super happy the entire day and was super grateful for all we did to help him, so it was such a nice baptismal service it was awesome!! Although we had a close call when it came to filling up the baptismal font.  So we have to fill it up with a hose from outside because the facet inside doesn't work, so we had to start doing it like 5 hours before the service to make sure the font was filled enough.  But after some time i noticed that the water turned off... so i was like ohh no the water tanks are empty! and they just about were.... so we had to rush around and turn off all the water pipes and stuff to try to conserve enough water to get the water in the font. So i just said a quick prayer asking to get enough water to fill the font. So after a lot of running around we finally got the water flowing and the baptismal font filled! It was pretty crazy, but i know that God helped us to have the baptisms. But it was a great day full of simple miracles that will have huge effects in eternity! Especially for James, because he really wants to go to South Africa to be sealed with his family in the temple as soon as they can, so that's the goal for them now!! So it was a great day!!
Also got to go on exchanges this week to Nthongoni again to be with elder Turner, so that as fun. Lots of big crazy bugs in their area and flat hahaha it was cool though. Also got to plow a shamba (garden) with oxen, so that was fun to.
But love you all have a great week!! Enjoy seeing Ben!!
Elder Thomas

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Impala on the side of the road looking to get road kill

Bush, buck in the distance

Daniel's home.....beautiful Kenya

Tsavo National park.  African elephants


November 18, 2013

Just another great week out in Darajani! but a little frustrating as well.
So from Monday to Wednesday I was on exchanges in Nthongoni with Elder Diodati! It was a lot of fun and we mostly did service the entire time.  We helped a family fetch water on our bikes which was actually pretty fun, and we also helped another family basically a cut up tree to their home so that they could make charcoal to sell.  Both families had big trials and problems that they were going through, so it was great to help them.  Especially the family that we moved wood for.  The father is really really sick and in Nairobi, the mother is caring for 4 kids under 6 yrs old, one of which is a new born and another has a mental disability and needs lots of care.  It was a really dismal scene for the family, and i felt really bad that we couldn't help out more.  But we were able to share from the scriptures with them and we really did our best to help them out and lift their spirits.  Just got me thinking about how blessed we are back home. Of course many of us will and do have huge difficulties and challenges that really try our faith, but at least we don't have to go through them in complete poverty living in a 10x10 house with 7 people living in it.  So although we might have difficulties, always know that we are blessed beyond comprehension. 
Well on a more positive note we are planning to have 2 baptisms this week!! YEAH! It will be James and also another little 10 yr old girl we have been teaching named Carol Juma, so it will be very exciting for sure. 
Unfortunately, we did get bounced a lot and were running around all over the place trying to meet with people, but its ok because that's how the work goes! But one funny thing this week was that we had the primary program in Darajani 1 branch! it was awesome the primary kids did the whole thing by memory and without any help from the leaders!! haha but after the presentation, the branch president came up to give some final remarks about the presentation. I love him kabisa, but he is known sometimes to say some things that are pretty interesting... haha. So the entire presentation was done in English (i was happy i could understand for a change), but after he said "Its wonderful to hear the children speak English..... Speaking English is pure Mormon."...... hahahah i was like what????? not really sure how that is true or if it makes sense but i couldn't help but laugh a little bit ahahahahahh!
But things are great! love you all have a super week!!!
Elder Thomas, Daniel.... in case you forgot.
ps- its crazy that this is Ben's last week of mission...... what!?

Monday, November 11, 2013

9 months out!

So this week i don't have much time to write so ill just give some of the small details of the week!!
We are still working hard with our main investigator, James. He is doing really well, but still struggling with smoking a little bit, so we will move his baptismal date back a few weeks, which is ok.  There is no need to rush into baptizing him because we just want to make sure that he is truly converted and ready to be baptized. Unfortunately, some missionaries just rush into baptizing people, which is not always good because most people need time to become fully converted.  Even it took the prophet Brigham Young a full year until he was fully converted!! So we are just taking it one step at a time with him. But he has already reduced his smoking from 2-3 smokes a day to the past 3 days none at all!!! the Lord is truly helping him, but it is also according to his faith as well. But he is soo awesome and i love him kabisa!!
This week we also kind of got pushed around with a lot of our appointments... people have been busy lately with the rainy season coming so most people are busy preparing their shambas (fields) for the rain. So we will also be helping a lot of people this week with service, helping to cultivate and plow the fields hahah so it will be interesting for sure.
Also another weird thing as of late, i don't know what it is but i seem to be seeing more and more naked kids walking around.... and its not like they don't have clothes... they are just naked..... i don't know but it sure is interesting. The kids here have no shame!!! GO KENYA!
Also this week i reached my 9 month mark.... WOW. I can say it has been the fasted most jam packed 9 months of my life! its sooo crazy.
Today i got to go to the Tsavo National Park. It was sooo awesome!! We went with the senior missionaries and they drove us around the park, and i finally got to see Elephants, ostriches, and hippos!! it was cool seeing the animals in their natural habitats.  They are wayyyy bigger than you would expect them to be... especially the elephants. They just move all over the place breaking trees left and right!! hah but its cool. I LOVE GODS CREATIONS ESPECIALLY IN KENYA.!! But yeah it was super fun.  
But i know that we can all be missionaries. One thing that i have seen is that members are SOOO important in missionary work.  Full time missionaries can only do so much... and we are mostly foreigners to most people we meet. So members are sooo key to the work! every member a missionary!! D&C 18:10-16 read it and you will know.
But i love you all. Remember to do what is right and God will provide the rest!! 

Elder Thomas

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rainy season in Chyulu

The senior couple missionary's dog.  They finally got rid of it.


Chyulu  Zone.  Don't get mad at the short ties... it's a Chyulu Zone tradition.

This random lady jumped in the picture they weren't sure who she was.


9 months Serving

Mnaendalea je?
Just another great week in Darajani!
This week was really weird as far as transfer goes. So this transfer, we had 10 missionaries going home, and 14 were suppose to come in, so there was suppose to be an increase of missionaries. Unfortunately, Kenya is having some issues with visas, so 12 of the incoming missionaries did not get visas to come into the country... so they were reassigned to other missions.  So within the entire mission, only a few missionaries got transferred.... and they had to close some areas because of this. We are really praying that the government will resolve its visa problems and allow the new missionaries into the country so that they can continue with the work. But for now its just a weird thing going on but hopefully it will be resolved soon so the work can continue to progress. But me and Elder Tebbs will be together again and i will finish out training with him.
But as far as the work goes we did have a few great lessons though! A few weeks ago we contacted this lady who said she was interested in learning more and that she had a few questions for us. She also mentioned she was attending a Bible study institute to become a pastor.... yeah. So this week on Thursday we got invited to visit with her and her teacher at the Darajani Bible Institution ha.  When we got there we started talking to them for a little bit, but once we introduced what church we were from the Head Teacher/ Pastor started to bomb us with questions! so i was like ayye take it easy! So i basically just gave him a summary of the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.  But for sure when i bore my testimony about the Book of Mormon i knew that he felt the spirit! It was awesome! he just got real quiet and started thinking. Then he continued to ask more questions, for all of which we had an answer ha. He was definitely trying to get us to mess up or something, but we were not confounded! Not really quite sure if anything will come from us meeting with him, but i know for a fact that he felt the spirit, and i know we did our part in giving him that chance to hear the message of the Restored Gospel. So we will see.
Also this week we had a very interesting lesson with James Mutisia. He is still doing good and progressing so we were able to continue on this week with teaching the commandments.  So the first one that we started  with him was the Word of Wisdom. And to be honest, i thought that this lesson was going to be a breeze, because both me and elder Tebbs thought that he really had no problem with the Word of Wisdom.  When we got there though this was not the case. All was going well with the lesson,  and we told him of the things that we have been commanded not to take. So when we asked him do you take any of these substances, he told us that he did.... i was like what!? I was really taken back.  So we asked and he said that he smokes and takes tea.  I really never expected it. Every time we met him, i never once smelled it on him or ever saw him like irritated or anything, so it was a total surprise.  I was just like oh snap what do i say! But before i could even say anything, he went into talking about how much he wanted to stop. He told us that his father has been smoking his entire life  and is know having some serious health problems because of it.  He said that he didn't want to end up like his father with all these problems. He also told us that one day he was going to buy some cigarettes, feeling like he really shouldn't get them, when he said that he heard a voice in his head say "you can stop this". YEAH FOR THE SPIRIT! But he really has a strong desire to quit, not only for the sake of his health, but also because he really wants to be baptized!! YEAH! So it was a total testimony builder to me, really seeing how Heavenly Father is working within people helping to change their lives for the better. We will continue to work with James to help him with this concern, but things are looking great with him.
But this was a really good week! Got a ton done. Training is getting along well. I also got a new bike this week! its awesome it goes sooo fast hahah i haul up hills now.  But yeah things are good. I'm really coming to love my mission and the days are flying by now! But i love you all have a great week!
Elder Thomas