Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

Hope that everybody had a wonderful CHRISTMAS!! I really enjoyed calling home and talking to you all!!
So this week was really a lot of fun. Right after DDM on Tuesday, our entire zone got on a Kangaroo (taxi car thing) and took off to Eldoret to spend Christmas day there.  We went there because here in our zone we don't have couple missionaries... and the closest ones are in Eldoret, about 1 1/2 hours away. But it was awesome! We were able to have a Christmas Eve battle royal.... Kitale Zone vs. Eldoret Zone in a friendly game of soccer.... and lets just say that our zone DOMINATED. Ha but it was a lot of fun. After that we went out to a really nice pizza place (and yes it actually was really nice) and got pizzas. I wanted to get Chinese food as a part of our Thomas family tradition, but Chinese cuisine is not so big in Africa haha.  So that was a lot of fun, and even at the end as we were about to leave, the owner of the Restaurant, who was a Muslim, came up to us and was like hey can you guys sing the Christmas song for us??  so all of us Elders started singing we wish you a merry Christmas in the Restaurant!!  it was pretty funny, but the owner was really nice and then brought us out a free Christmas cake and then asked us if we could say a prayer. It was really cool, and i liked how the guy really respected our religion. Then Christmas day was really cool, we had a awesome Lunch at the Couples home, the Andersons. They made it really nice and the food was awesome. Tasted like American food!! haha. But the highlight was calling home!!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!
As the work goes, we found an awesome investigator this week! His name is Titus and he is about 22 years old. His father has been a member of the church for about 1 yr, but was baptized in Naivasha by himself. So when he came back to Mautuma, his son became really interested in the Church. He has already said that he wants to be baptized and that he enjoys coming to church. And what's even better is that he really participates a lot at church. Not only asking questions, but also answering them!! Some members would ask questions, and then he would answer them, and i was like oh my goodness... that's kind of scary... hahah but he is awesome and i am really looking forward to teaching him and helping him come unto Christ. 
Also this week, we were able to watch the Video "Hastening the Work of Salvation", and had to do a 2 hour presentation at church about it. President Hicken is really  trying to get members more involved with the missionary work here, so all branches thought Kenya watched this video with the missionaries leading the discussion about it.  Me and Elder Griffiths had to improvise a little bit because our branch president had the dvd, and when we got it from him it was all scratched up, and only half of the dvd played.... haha so we just had to roll with it! But it turned out to be pretty successful, and we hope that it will motivate the members to be more proactive in helping with the missionary work.  Because it is our duty and responsibility as members of the church to help others come unto Christ and the Restored Gospel, and missionary work is how we do it!
But i hope that every one has a great new years night/ day!! Don't do anything stupid... like shooting your eye out. Maybe that's not funny because its not Christmas anymore but any who i love you all!! Keep doing what is right and be that light to others!! CTR
Elder Thomas

December 23, 2013

This week was a great week in Mautuma!
So i am still adjusting to things here in Mautuma. Like for one thing the weather. To be honest i don't like it that much... its cold... hahah. Darajani was really hot and sunny so it reminded me of home, but Mautuma is like pretty high altitude and cold and i don't know what else. But other than that i love the area! haha. This area actually reminds me a little bit about Pindale... a little bit. But its cool. The members here are really awesome and love missionaries! We get fed about 2-3 times a day... and i mean FED! People love to stack food for us its pretty nice. and yes mom the Food is safe, good, and i have not got sick yet.  But what is also cool is that the members really really love helping us do missionary work. We have had a ton of referrals and member present lessons here which is really nice and something that didn't really happen in my other areas.  But i am already super excited to work here!
So my new comp is elder Griffiths, from Centerville UT. He has been out for 3 months now so its cool and i really like him a lot. 
We had a lot of awesome lessons this week. One of them was with an investigator named Evance.  He is a 30 or so yr old guy who has a family with 3 kids.  So we went to visit with him and kind of follow up with the Restoration. So he was really interested in the Priesthood, which is awesome because that is something that really sets our church apart from others. he began to tell us how he is really big into his church, and how he wanted to go and have his children be baptized there. So when last Sunday came around, his wife was like hey lets go to church so our kids can be baptised. He turned to her and said, I don't think we should have them baptized.... our church doesn't have authority. I was like YESSSSSSSS! HE UNDERSTANDS!!  it was really awesome and turned out to be a great lesson and super spiritual.  Really glad that we have the authority and power to truly act in the name of God.
But I am so grateful for the Christmas time that we have. I truly know that Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer.  I know that only though him we can receive grace and mercy to be forgiven of our sins, as long as we have faith in him and repent always. I love Christ and hope that we can all have him in our thoughts always, not only just at Christmas time. But what a wonderful time of the year!!!!
I love you all and look forward to calling you all on WEDNESDAY!!!!!!
Elder Thomas

Sunday, December 22, 2013

3rd Transfer - Mautuma

Famalia yangu,
Well this was a very interesting and unexpected week for a lot of
reasons.... haha ya!
So this week we got transfer news. I had just finished training so i thought
there was a pretty good chance that i could get transferred. But to be
honest i really wanted to stay and be in Chyulu longer. But that was
not the case. So actually right now I am in Western Kenya... in
MAUTUMA. Its another really bushy far out there area close to Kitale.
It was crazy because i really wanted to stay in Chyulu, but the Lord
needs me else where now. So i only got one day to say goodbyes to
people in Darajani, so i was able to see the people who i really
loved. It was sad to say goodbye, and i really hope one day to go back
to Chyulu.
So on Wednesday it was my birthday! haha so the Couple missionaries,
the gotchers, made me a cake!! and it had 6 candles on it.... not sure
why 6 but its ok! it was really nice and we also had the rest of the
zone there and we are all like super goood friends so it was really
cool.  The Chyulu zone was like the best zone i have been with on my
mission... we all loved each other and had a lot of fun together. It
was really sad to all go our separate ways.

So after that i took a 5 hour bus ride from Chyulu to Nairobi. Then we
got to stay a day in Nairobi, and then took a 7 hour bus ride to
Kitale, and then a 2 hour ride to Mautuma! Ya so Mautuma is awesome.
Its very green, jungle-tastic, and rainy.  Its another really bushy
place but its cool.  The branch is awesome, they really love the
missionaries. But a funny thing that happened at church. so in the
middle of the church is like a little court yard thing. so we were
waiting for the sunday schoool class to end in the sacrament meeting
room, when we see this little kid come waltzin out of the room. he
takes one step out of the room, pulls down his trousers and  starts
peeing all over the courtyard. It was very interesting for sure. i was
kind of in shock at first... but then again i have seen that so much
here now it wasn't really that big of a deal. It was super funny though
and the kid just walked back into the church like nothing happened
hahh.  but the kid had no shame.

Another cool thing about Mautuma is that they speak a lot of Swahili,
so that is really nice so i will be able to learn it faster now! But i
am really excited to be in Mautuma now and it seems like a sweet area.
But yeah hope that all is well back home and that things are good!! I
had a good birthday and its crazy that i am 20 now... wow! haha but
love you all.

Elder Thomas

Monday, December 9, 2013

Daniel found Santa's little helper!

90 year old woman wearing her CTR ring.

Daniel killed and ate this chicken.  He said it was pretty good.

December 9, 2013

Another really fast week! a lot happened and it was a great week.
So this week we mostly met with and visited less active members, we got to see about 16 different less active families. we have recently seen a pretty good increase of attendance with less active members in our branches, so we are happy that the spirit is working within the members here! We also did a lot of service, mostly working in the shambas doing some weeding and plowing.  It was kind of funny because some people passed by and were in disbelief... seeing 2 white men out in the fields working! ha so many people were staring. But it was good doing the service, the people we served were very grateful and happy for us helping them.  Really got me thinking of Mosiah 2:17.
Two pretty cool experiences we had this week in two of our lessons, both about going to the temple.  So on Sunday we went to go visit one of the really old, strong members of the branch, Brother Jeremiah.  He was baptized in 2004 with his wife,he and his wife are both in their 90's, and they only speak kikamba and a little swahili ha. Also  They both walk to church every week and have super strong testimonies about the Church and gospel.  So we were visiting with them for a while and then it got about time for us to leave. Before we left, i asked him if he needed us to help him with anything, like working in the shamba or just with anything else (we had a member there with us to translate.). I thought he was going to want us to help in his shamba, but instead he said " I want you missionaries to continue to visit me and my wife, so that you can help us to one day go to the temple and be sealed." At first i didn't even know what to say, i was just  super taken back. I had never thought that he had even ever thought about going to the temple. But to be honest i teared up a little ha it was just way to awesome that he had that desire to go to be sealed to his wife! I really don't know if he will really be able to go to the temple with his wife because of his old age, but i know that he really does have that true desire to go. But its ok because God judges us based on the intents and desires of our heart. So if he doesn't get the chance in this life, i know he will in the life to come! It was really spiritual experience, and i look forward to continue to visit him.
So right after that visit with Jeremiah, we went to go see James and teach him the after baptism lessons, funny enough we were able to teach him about Temples and eternal marriages.  So we taught and discussed about temples, and he was really interested  and in-tuned to what we were saying. After the lesson we asked him if he had any questions or any anything to say. He didn't have any questions, but he talked a lot about how he cant wait for the day for him and his family to go to South Africa to be sealed in the temple there.  He says that's one of his biggest goals right now. He also talked about how grateful he was that we were able to help him come unto the truth and to lead him to the path where by his family can be together forever. It was such a powerful and awesome lesson! Got me to think how truly blessed we are to be in the true church with the fullness of Christ gospel. What a blessing it is to be able to go to the temple to be sealed as families for all time and eternity.  I am super grateful for temples and the things that we can do and perform there.  I really hope one day soon, a temple will come here to Kenya so that the wonderful members here can enjoy this blessing more often. 
Also this week we had district conference, which was nice. Hopefully Chyulu will become the next stake in Kenya! (which would be the 2nd stake in Kenya). there are enough members, but still needs to be more active Melchizedek priesthood holders. So we will work on that. 
Also this week i got to kill my first chicken! ya it was pretty interesting, and it tasted pretty good.  We just got together as a zone and had like a bbq kind of thing. it was nice! But killing a chicken is pretty weird... and they do run around after you kill them.
But things are good! we have transfer news tonight so we will see what happens... i think i might stay tho. but we will see. I love you all and have a super week!
Elder Thomas
James Mutisya and family

Ninalima Shamba!  Plowing the fields like a true Kamba.

This kids was crusin for a brusin

Mombasa beach where they got to play soccer


December 2, 2013

wow this week went by super fast. But here is what's good!
this week we got to go to Mombasa for zone conference! it was really nice, and a nice change to be in a city. It was weird seeing so many people walking around hahah nothing like Darajani. But anywho it was nice.  We were able to talk more about the "Work of Salvation" video that we will be watching with all of the branches thought the mission soon.  President Hicken is really pushing for members to become more involved and active in missionary work. So on 29 Dec all missionaries will be leading out a discussion on how members can become more involved in the work.  So we hope that members start to help us out more with this!! But the conference was nice and really spiritual. Also we got to go to the beach and play soccer!!! It was a lot of fun, we dominated some random locals. 
So after the baptisms we were kind of at square one because other than James and Carol we had zero progressing investigators.... a few other investigators but no one really who was too interested. But the Lord loves us here in Darajani and has blessed us with a new awesome investigator! Her name is Agnes and she was recently married to one of the strong members in the branch.  Its crazy becuase she is not even a Mkamba (the main tribe here), but is actually a Kisii (from Western Kenya)! So its nice because she hasnt heard any rumors or anything bad about the church, so she is really interested.  She has come the past two weeks and has asked a lot about baptism, so that is good to see.  It was funny because I asked her how she liked church yesterday, and she said 'it was good this time'. So i was like what do you mean this time?? And she said, 'oh well today there was actually English being spoken instead of Kikamba, so  actually understood some of it'....... hahahahhah i was like join  the club! but yeah things are lookin good with here, we hope to teach her again this week.
Also this week a little miracle happened on Sunday! So the entire day i had a flat tire on my wonderful Chinese made one speed bike, so i wasnt able to get it fixed because it was sunday. So i was just doing my best to get around on it, and it got me through most of the day. Finally it got time to head back home for the day, and at the time it was POURING rain. So we were probably still 25 mins away on bike from home when my bike went in self destruct mode. ha just kidding but my tire did rip in half haha so i was like what am i going to do now. So i went under a tree to try to fix it (while it is still pouring), when all the sudden the first councelor in one of our branches pulls up on his piki piki (motorbike). He asked if we needed help and i was like yes please!! ha so he was able to carry me and my bike back to our flat! it was super great because i would have had to basically carry my bike for 20 mins in the pouring rain, but instead we got back super quick! It was a real blessing and miracle though!!
Also this week i ran over a Black Momba on my bike... it was pretty scary haah i thought it was going to bite me!
But things are good! I love you all! 
Elder Thomas