Monday, December 29, 2014

This will be the last area that Daniel will serve in on his mission
New area... iko wapi??

Bush - is there sunshine in your soul?

Gearin up for Christmas!

New/Old/Last Area

Monday, December 15, 2014

Elder Musasia and Daniel gearing up for Christmas
Kristmasi inakuja mapema!

Daniel- Birthday yangu
This is how Dan does bdays- Pizza Inn!

Pre game hand wash before the baptism

Kuoshanguo kwa mikono yangu

Baptism of Bro Gerrald Mutuku - great day!


Another Baptism!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 8, 2014

Wow its already December... last month of the year!

Not a bad week.

So this week we had our ZTM Zone training meeting), and it went ok  for the most part.  We discussed the things we talked about at MLC, and we mainly focused on 3 topics: 1) How to increase trust between  zone leaders and zone members.   2) How to improve our councils.  3) How to be more diligent as missionaries.  With increasing trust and improving our councils, both topics went over pretty well. Everyone was pretty understanding and gave in good input, and we were able to put ideas together to what we could all do to  improve.  With the part of diligence, that is just something that Elder Harris and I thought would be good to discuss, being something that we feel our zone is struggling with. But it went pretty well.

After ZTM we were able to go on exchanges with the Riruta Elders, so elder Musasia and I went to Riruta to be with Elder Njuguna.  It was a pretty good exchange.  They are doing ok that side, still trying to figure out the area and trying to find out where people stay.  Persecution out there is pretty intense.  We ran into some pretty interesting people who were not happy to see us... it was interesting. 

Also this week we were able to meet with Bro Gerrald.  We thought that he had disappeared, because every time we called him or tried to arrange an appointment, his phone could not be reached. But  this week we got a call from him  and he said that he wanted to meet with us.  So we met and asked him how things were going with him.  He said that he went to Kyambeke for some time to be with his family and that he was attending the services there.  So we talked, and we felt ok to still have him be baptized on the 14th, this next week.  We have been able to review a few of the lessons with him and we feel like he is still doing good. 

This week we got 3 referrals on Sunday! All from one member.  They are all boarding students who are back from school, all of them have met with missionaries before and already have a pretty good understanding of the church. Even the member who gave us the referrals is a RM and lives with all the referrals she gave us.  So we have talked with here and she will be able to teach a few of the lessons to help us out.   So I'm excited about this! It should be good and we hope to have some more baptisms at the end of the month. 

Also this week we were able to have Sis Nifred confirmed! Only took 3 weeks after the baptism to have it done but I'm happy she is now a full member and has the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She is awesome!
Not to much interesting for this week.  but things are going ok. 
love you all!

Elder Thomas

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Elder Musasia- from Upper Hill Ward.... serving in Upper Hill ward.  He is enjoying it.

Washindaji- getting that good counsel from the elder.  Nairobi museum

KFC for Thanksgiving but all is well!

Wow i cant believe that its already december... only one more month of 2014....crazy.

But this past week was not bad, and some pretty interesting stuff going on here...

So let me just get to the juicy info.  On tuesday, elder harris and I were in the office doing some few things, when president Hicken came out of his office. He came up to greet us, as usual, but out of know where he says ''Elder Thomas, you will be training the new elder who will be coming in tomorrow, he is all yours.'' .... I was like ummm whaat!? haha soo crazy! So now I know that I will be finishing my mission training a new missionary.  But even what's more than that.... the new missionary is Elder Musasia.... who was 2 weeks ago Brother Eunicon.... one of our ward missionaries!!! I've already worked with him before and we know each other pretty well.  So for now, we will be in a three some here in Upper Hill, and then at the end of the transfer Pres. Hicken said that both of us will be transferred out and white wash an area.... so that's interesting as well.  But for now we are still in Upper Hill with Elder Harris.  Elder Musasia was originally assigned to the Johannesburg South Africa mission, but because of visa problems, he will be in Kenya for now.  But until he goes we will be together!. So i will probably have one last area to serve in.  

Wednesday we had an early start, taking the Hickens and AP's to the airport, and then to pick up Elder Musasia from the airport coming in from the Ghana MTC. He was happy to be back in Kenya! He is just a really happy and positive guy, so it will be good to be with him.  The rest of the day was just filled with office work that we had to do... so i felt bad for Elder Musasia just because he was just like following us around, not really doing any proselyting.  

Thursday we had our MLC (missionary leadership council), which was pretty nice.  We talked about how to improve our councils as missionaries in our districts and zones, and even how there are soo many councils in the church, and how that effective counseling makes a huge difference in the administrative side of the church.  So that was nice.  Also we had KFC (yes they do have KFC in kenya)..... and it was powerful! not quite turkey.... but close enough!! it was waaaay good. We had to drop of elder musasia in Riruta for the day because of our meeting... but he said that he enjoyed things there, which was good.    

Friday we had to drive some elders around so they could get back to their areas, and we also just did some office work.  It was nice tho because we finished the day with a nice dinner appointment at the Badoo family home! They made us lasagna and chicken!! haha it was powerful! They lived in Atlanta for 3 years, so they know what thanksgiving is, so they invited us over to have a thanksgiving dinner.  it was really cool!

Saturday was our first full day of proselyting during the whole week..  It was ok.  Our plans got like changed 5 different times because of canceled appointments and other things... but it seemed to work out ok.  Right now we are struggling to find consistent investigators... we find someone, then the next week they disappear or some funny funny thing happens to them.  Its frustrating, but its manageable.  So really no investigators to report about, but we are still looking for more!

Sunday was also interesting... ha. We planned to have 2 confirmations for Kevin and Nifred (who were baptized 2 weeks ago and because of stake conference they had to wait to be confirmed.). But we only had one.... for Kevin. Which went really well! We had his father, Livingstone (who is also a convert of just over a year) do the confirmation.  He was really nervous he would not be able to do it right, but he did great!! was really happy for him! Unfortunately with Nifred the bishop in our ward forgot to do in in sacrament meeting.  We called him the night before, and told him twice in PEC meeting that we would have her confirmation the next day.  He said it was fine.  But when it came time to the confirmation in sacrament meeting.... he never announced it.  So afterward we went up to him and asked what was going on.  He said he forgot...... hahaha ummm ok.... anyways we all make mistakes.  We talked to Nifred about it afterwards and she said it was ok.  So next week with her!! She is doing great tho, no concerns about her.  

SO that was the jist of the week. 

But all is going well.  One cool thing this week was during our lesson after church with sister Nifred.  She said during the week, she got into an argument over something with her boss and it really made her feel bad.  But she said after that situation, she went somewhere quiet and started to read the scriptures.  She said it really helped her to feel better and remember what is really important.  She said that she was reading in 2 Nephi 4 and that chapter really helped her, especially vs 20-21 and 34.  Its all about trusting in the Lord and really putting him first.  If we all did that, all of the things that seem bad to us would not be so bad.  Putting God first, by living his gospel, is the only way we can find lasting peace and happiness.  Its the truth! I have definately seen that on my mission.  My mission has been the happiest time of my life because its been the first time for myself to be consistent in living and applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ to my life.   So if we are lacking peace or happiness in our life, its because we are thinking to much of ourselves, and not enough about the things that are really important, like the thing s of God.

Well that's all for this week.  Ninatumaini sana kwamba sisi sote tutaendelea kuishi injili ya Yesu Kristo na eldelea vizuri. Wiki njema!!!

Elder Thomas

Monday, November 24, 2014

In a recent letter to Daniel's dad, Daniel said "Dad I miss you and the family, but I don't want to leave, I love my mission."

November 24, 2014

namna gani vipi?!

yes yes yes another week has come and gone leaving this month with only one more week.... crazy!

Well, this week was not our best, but we still had some good things that happened.  But most of this week was just trying to find new people.  

At the begining of the week we got to go on exchanges with the Elders from Athi River, so i got to be with Elder Barasa again! He is a super funny guy from Busia Uganda.  And we had a pretty good day together with some good lessons.  We were able to meet with a few new investigators. The first one was Antony.  He was some guy that Elder Harris and I contacted at Uhuru Park.  He had a ton of questions for us, so we told him we would love to meet with him again on Tuesday.  He agreed and gave us his phone number and we went our separate ways. So on Monday night we tried to call his number... but it was a wrong number.  So we thought that he either wrote it wrong or just gave us some funny funny number because he wasnt interested. That was discouraging.... until he showed up at the church at the exact time we planned to meet with him! so we met with him, answered his questions, and gave him a bapt date that he accepted! He is really awesome! only problem is... when we met he gave us another number.... so we thought ok great now we his 'actual' number'. it was a wrong number again......... so i dont know, i hope he shows up again randomly so we can continue to teach him.   but this happens a lot with people. 

Also this week we were able to meet with Gerald again, and he is doing great.  We are planning for the 14 Dec with him. We reviewed the restoration with him, and he basically taught us everything.  He is super powerful! He says that now that he understands how the gospel works, he wants to be able to spend more time with his family. Right now he lives here in Nairobi, while his family stays in Kyambeke (which is like 3 hours away).  So he wants to quite his job here (which is a pretty good paying job), and be able to spend more time with his family, and be able to teach them the gospel there.  POWERFUL!! Thats the way it should be, so im really excited for him.  Family first!!!

Saturday we got to go to Kibera.  It was interesting as always.  We had a member there to help us so it was good because Kibera is soooo big, and confusing.  It goes on for miles and its easy to get lost.  But wow we WALKED.  no joke probably like 14 or 15 miles round trip. But hey, serving a mission makes you stronger... both spiritualy and physically!  but i enjoyed it.  Some drunk guy wanted to fight us because we didnt greet him.... haha. But he was to drunk to do anything haha so it was just more funny than scary. Hooray for the word of wisdom!

Sunday was Nairobi Stake conference! So I was able to see some familiar faces from Rongai branch!! It was waaay cool to see some of the members again from there.  We watched a broadcast that went out to all of the stakes/ districts in all of Africa.  It was cool, Elder Robert C. Gay from the Seventy and Elder Bednar and Pres Uchdorf spoke.  The main message was putting the gospel culture at the center of our lives, by not putting our cultures above the things of God.  Like no Dawri! Which is paying for your bride when you want to marry.... haha people love doing that here.  But its bad! So just some things like that.  

But things are great!I love my mission and Kenya so much! Its such a blessing to be able to be out here to serve the Lord and his people.  This week I read 2 Nephi 4, and it really sank in for me.  Especially vs 16-34.  While reading it I was just thinking about what my mission has meant to me, just being a time where I have struggled a lot and had lots of challenges, but more than that, a time where I was able to learn for myself who God really is.  That he is our Loving Father in Heaven.  That he wants us to succeed and be happy.  As long as we keep ourselves clean and do our best to come unto Him, we will be able to feel of His presence and love and see him more fully involved in our lives.  

Ninawapenda ninyi nyote! Wiki njema na Mungu awe ninyi!!

Elder Thomas

Friday, November 21, 2014

Nifred Vike, Daniel, Kevin Juma and Kevin's dad Livingstone
Daniel baptized Nifred

Nifred and John Musau after the baptism.  John introduced her to the church- Member Misionary Work!

Bro Kevin Juma and his family.  His father Livingstone did the baptism for him.

Saying goodbye to Elder Nyambita.  Also pictured is Elder Kisekka

Baptisms, Transfers and Goodbyes

Powerful week! But super super busy!!

Monday was Elder Nyambitas last day.... so we got to go to his farewell dinner at the mission home.  It was nice.  Just crazy how fast time flies.

We also got transfer news, and I will be staying in Upper Hill and my new comp is Elder Harris! He is from Alpine UT, and has been out for about a year and a half.  So it will be cool to be with him.  And Elder Kisekka also got transfered to another area in Nairobi. 

Tuesday I was still with Elder Kisekka and we had a good day.  Mostly just contacted the whole day.  But it was cool we really made things fun.  We were contacting at Uhuru Park (which is a pretty famous public park), and elder Kisekka saw some white people sitting down on a bench and said hey lets go contact them! I was like ummm errrrr what?? I've never done that before! He persisted though... so we did hahaha! I was like how do I talk to these people?? It was kind of awkward..... but interesting.  They were from Germany, so ya they were Lutheran.  And they were not interested. It was an interesting experience..... but hey Africans are soo much better because they are willing to listen and learn! I'm grateful im in Kenya!

Wednesday was pretty crazy.... lots of driving around picking up elders from the airport and bus stages going back and forth all day! But at about 5 elder Harris came in so we picked him up from the bus stage, and after that drove the rest of the night around Nairobi helping transport missionaries around.  

Thursday.... a lot of the same.  Except a lot of the missionaries getting transfered around had to stay an extra day for some different things, so we were just trying to keep track of all of them.  One cool thing tho! We had to split to do some different things and teach a lesson, So elder Harris went with some other elders and I got to teach with Elder Tshongoyi!! We were in the MTC together and are really good friends.  Ha we hadn't seen each other in a year so it was cool to be back together.  We were able to teach Silas again.  He came to church last week but had a TON of questions about some things that he saw.  He is pretty accustom to Pentecostal churches... so lots of getting up and shouting hallelujah and other stuff like that.  So we taught him about how the church works, and how the gospel works.  How we should be reverent and how that leads the spirit to be with us and allows us to be better able to receive promptings from it.  He was very understanding and said that it made sense.  Of course it does, its the truth! But a nice lesson.  He is doing good, but he will be traveling soon upcountry.  

Saturday was ok, mostly just contacted the whole day but we did have a few good lessons.  

Sunday.... POWERFUL!! We had the baptisms for Nifred Vike and Kevin Juma!! It was soo nice and it went smoothly.  I baptized Nifred, and Kevin was baptized by his father Livingstone (who i love kabisa he is a superstar!). Both were smiling the whole time and were just super happy! It was really cool to see both of them progress and prepare for this day.  Now we just have to continue to work with the ward to help strengthen them and keep them active in the church and work towards continual conversion.  Powerful baptisms and im super happy for both of them!!! YA!

Also after the baptisms we were able to meet with Gerrald, one of our investigators.  He is super converted.  He has been taught everything and has a really good understanding of how the Gospel works.  He wanted to wait for his wife and kids to be taught, so they could all be baptized together, but he came to us and told us some concerns that they had, and told us that he would like to go ahead and be baptized and set the example for them.  He even said that eventually, he would like to move back to Kyambeke with his family so he could be closer to them and really help them to learn the gospel and accept it.  He is super powerful! So we are planning for the 14 Dec with him.  

Busy busy week though.  I've really been enjoying my Book of Mormon reading this week, from 1 Nephi.  Nephi is my hero! He really understood what was up.  But two scriptures that I read that meant a lot to me was firstly 1 Nephi15:24, when Nephi was answering Laman and Lemuels question about the rod of iron.  He told them about how it was the word of God, but i love how he goes on to explain more about it saying ''and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish, neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them''.  The part I think is most important is the need to ''hold fast unto it''.  There is a difference between holding fast and touching.  If we want that divine help and strength, we need to put for effort to really hold on and grasp the rod.  if we just touch the gospel from time to time, we will eventually fall away and become lost in the things of the world.  So its for us to increase our commitment to following Christ and His gospel in order to receive his divine grace and support.  
The other scripture, that really relates well to this is 1 Nephi 16:16, talking about the Liahona.  ''And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.'' If we want to find ourselves in the ''more fertile parts'' of the world or of our lives, we need to give heed to the guidance of the ''ball'', or the teachings of the Savior, found in the scriptures and in the words of modern day Prophets and Apostles.  It is the only way that we can successfully navigate our way through mortality and get back to Heavenly Fathers presence.  I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon and its teachings!!!

Time is flying to say the least.... but im loving my mission and Kenya!!! LOVE YOU ALL!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Daniel's sister Emmy made a church bag for a Personal Progress Project.  She sent it to Daniel and asked that he give it to one of the little girls there.  This is Immaculate Mutisia (Emma) 8 yrs old who received it.


November 10, 2014

Well... another week is gone in the books. Crazy!  But this week was pretty good, really up and down but not bad!

This past week we were put in a three-some, Elder Nyambita, myself, and an elder named Elder Kisekka.  So we got the opportunity to work with him the whole week. He is a really cool guy and i knew him before from Kitale zone. But he has been out for almost 23 months... ha so he is almost finished.  But he is from Uganda, a convert to the church and a former muslim. It was cool to be working with him this past week.  

On Tuesday we had our Zone Training Meeting.  So we had the whole zone with us and we were able to discuss a few different topics like finding more people to teach and doing better with working with ward/branch leaders.  So elder Nyambita and i went over these topics with the zone and It went well for the most part.  We mostly just discussed having the faith to find and also having faith in the members and leaders and working with them more effectively.  So we hope it helped the zone in one way or another!

Wednesday and Thursday we mostly just drove people around and did office work... so nothing really that interesting.  BUT! We had an awesome lesson with a new investigator, Silas.  He is super powerful! We contacted him a few weeks back, and we have met with him a few times since then, mostly just answering his questions. And he has a ton! But on Thursday we were able to teach him about the Restoration, and it was POWERFUL!! He had lots of great questions.  At the end of the lesson we asked him about his thoughts about what we had shared with him.  He said that everything we taught him was very new to him and different, but that it all made sense to him.  So we committed him to pray about it and we also extended him a bapt date and he accepted! So hopefully as he receives and answer to his prayers  and continues to keep commitments and progress he should be ready by December.  And he also came to church on sunday! We asked him how he liked it and he said ''yeah i enjoyed the two classes a lot (priesthood/gospel principles) they were very interactive and nice.  But the sacrament meeting.... i'm not to sure about.'' We were a little confused and asked why.  He said he didn't see people standing up and praising the Lord, and the hymns were very quiet to him... he was expecting people to get up and get all fired up ready to praise and say Hallelujah! hahahahaha! So we explained to him how important the sacrament is and how it should be reverent, so then he understood.  People are very into the Pentecostal stuff here ha. So we hope to meet him again this week.  

Friday was not bad.  We got to  go on exchanges with the assistants, so i got to be with Elder Maduna again, my old comp!! it was a lot of fun to be with him.  We had some good lessons and it went well.  We then had a dinner appointment with on of the families from the ward, the Badoo's.  They are super awesome! They are from Ghana, but Bro Badoo works in kenya with IBM.  They have also lived in Atlanta while working for IBM, so they are pretty interesting people.  They really love missionaries soo much.  Bro Badoo says the reason why he likes missionaries coming to visit him and his family so much is because he wants his kids so see what missionaries are like, so they can serve one day as well.  he also said that he likes to feed missionaries because he wants his kids to get fed when they go out. That reminded me of you mom~!!!! haha i remember you said the same thing, so that was cool.  They made us fried rice, mashed potatoes, chicken wings, and then brownies and ice cream...... wow!! it was very nice.  

Saturday was up and down. All of our appointments got bounced... so that was very disappointing.  But, we had one of the Ward missionaries with us, Bro Coulston, so we were able to go on splits with him.  So i went with him and elder Nyambita and Kisekka went out together.  So Coulston and I just went out tracting and contacting... and it was pretty nice.  It was just really cool being with a member who was so willing to go out and go tracting with the missionaries.  So it was really enjoyable!

Sunday was really nice! We had the opportunity to go back out to Machakos to go help out with the group there.  Since the last time we were there, they have had one baptism! The members fellowshiped this guy named Frank(24 yrs or so), they taught him all the lessons, and he was then baptized at the Athi River ward.  So this week as we did the sacrament, he was able to pass the sacrament.  it was really cool.  I presided over the meeting (hahahaha) and Elder Nyambita, Kiseka, and I all gave talks.  There were 7 people total.  But by small and simple things are great things brought to pass! 

Also, because both Nifred and Kevin are only avaliable on Sundays, they were interviewed yesterday for baptism... and both of them passed! So this next Sunday we will be having their baptisms.  So i'm super excited for them!! They are powerful! We really hope that all goes well for them this next sunday!!! 

But this was also Elder Nyambita's last week on mission... tomorrow he goes back home to Mwanza, TZ.  Its crazy... he was my first companion and now he is finishing! It was good to be with him twice.  

Transfer news are tonight, so we will see who my new companion is.  

But This week i began to re-read the Book of Mormon again. I want to finish it again before i go home, and i'm excited to have the chance to read it again! We had a lesson this week with a recent convert who is preparing to serve a mission and we read Alma ch 26.  I would recommend all of you to read it.  Its Ammon reflecting on his missionary service. Some of the Powerful verses are vs. 3,15 about being instruments in the hands of the Lord, and 37 how the Lord is mindful of all people.  I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon and It's teachings about the Savior and the things that will bless us the most.  I know its true.  

Love you allllll!!! Wiki njema na endelea vizuri! 

Elder Thomas

Saturday, November 8, 2014

It's November!

This past week was ok... not our best.  But still enjoyable!! I feel like every week here is enjoyable though.

So this past week, we did not get a whole lot of time to proselyte.  We were really busy doing other office work things... sometimes its a pain, but hey, no pain no game.  Something like that... haha but its all good.  

On Tuesday, we met a really cool guy names Silas.  He is a young guy, about 23 yrs old.  We contacted him a few weeks back while tracting, and we contacted him again and he was very excited to meet with us.  He had a ton of questions about the church and what we believe. We talked to him a little bit about the restoration and some other basic things about the church.  He was really astonished about the great apostasy.   He was very concerned about it, but then as we continued to talk he said it made sense because today there are soo many churches.  Even as we taught about the Book of Mormon, he was very interested in what its says and teaches.  So we hope to meet him again this week, and see if he is really serious. 

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Westlands elders, so i was with Elder Njuguna.  He is a visa waiter, suppose to go to Cape Town, SA.  But he is originally from Eldoret. He is a really funny guy, and man...the whole time he was talking talking... haha. He has a lot to say! But he is a great elder and a good guy.  Unfortunately, with him we did not get a whole lot of time to proselyte. In the morning, we had to wake up at 4:00 to take President Hicken and the assistants to the airport, and we then had to pick them up in the evening.  And wow... traffic was super bad! In and hour and a half, we moved 2 kilometers... it was a joke!! Cars were jammed everywhere ha! But the extra time we had, we just contacted.  It was an ok exchange, just that we didn't have a lot of time to proselyte.  

Friday, we had to help out with one of the zone conferences for the elders in Nakuru, Naivasha, Kilungu zone, and Chyulu zone.  They all came to Nairobi because it is like a central meeting place.  So we had to set up tables, get the food organized, and just do some few other things.  Then we drove more elders to the doctors office... we are like ambulance drivers for the mission haah but its ok.  

Saturday, we went to westlands to do a baptismal interview... for someone who did not show up... that was unfortunate.  Then we drove more elders to the doctors office.  BUT! we finished the day on a great note.... we got invied by the Hickens for dinner and bocce ball.  It was a ton of fun! 

Great fast Sunday.  We were able to meet with both Nifred and Kevin after church.... and both of them are still doing great.  We are planning for both of them to be baptized on the 16th of this month.  YA! Both are reading the Book of Mormon and are really progressing well.  Im really exicted for the two of them.  

The work is going along ok, besides Nifred and Kevin we dont have any other progressing investigators at the moment.  With Javenah, he seems to have disappeared.  We call him but his phone is always switched off.  With Gerrald, he still wants to be baptized with his wife... only problem is that she never comes to church and is not even meeting with the missionaries in Kyambeke.  So, we will still try to work with these people, and hopeful start to find new people who are interested.  

But all is well.  I love my mission.  I especially enjoy learning new things each and every day.  I'm grateful that the Lord has blessed me with this time to serve him, and also the increased understanding that I have about the gospel, and those things which are most important. Our Heavenly Father loves all of us, and wants us to be happy here on earth.  Happiness is a choice, even when things are tough, if we chose to be happy, we will be happy.  And consistent gospel living is the only way to true happiness! Its the truth!  

Love you all!!

Elder Thomas

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nairobi Zone Conference

October 27, 2014

Habari zenu,

Well the time is flying by as usual.. another week gone.

This week was ok, not our best week tho.

Tuesday, doctors office all day.  i feel like an ambulance driver sometimes ha.  Lots of people getting sick around the mission. Not sure why.  But oh well.

Wednesday, early start.  We had to wake up at 5:00am to take the Assistants and President and Sister Hicken to the airport.  Later in the day we were able to go one exchanges with the elders in Athi River, so i was with Elder Barasa. He is from Uganda and is a convert to the church.  He is a super fun guy who is always talking and wanting to do something.  We didn't have much planned for the day, so we moslty contacted and talked with people.  We really ran into a lot of people who were not interested at all.  So as we went to this group of guys who were walking, and elder Barasa took a new approach to them and said  ''hey guys wait wait we have a special offer for you!'' They turned around and were all the sudden  very interested in what we had to say.  Elder Barasa then went on and said'' so our offer to you is how to get to Heaven, here is a book that will tell you more (plan of salvation)''.  They seemed a little less interested, but they still took the pamphlets.   it was pretty funny.  Then around 8:30pm we went back to the airport to pick up President and Sister Hicken and the Assistants. a long day.

Thursday, we got to go to Kibera, which is the biggest slum in Africa.  And i can definitely testify to that.... its super big! Its part of our area, and we have not really had time to go there.  We had some appointments set up... but all of them fell through.  So we just contacted and tracted the whole time.  We were also in a four-some..  Me, elder Barasa, and 2 other elders who we had to take to the doctor earlier in the week, Elder Makazi (Mombasa) and elder Bakubamutwe (Uganda). I  guess it could also be considered a five some if you count the member we had with us.  So we split and tried to find people to teach.  It was not bad.  But being there in Kibera showed me how blessed we are back home... and that we really have nothing to complain about.  

Friday, Zone Conference for Nairobi! It was really nice. The topics were how to use time more wisely and about repentance.  It was really spiritually uplifting.  

Saturday.... .  So we got invited to a wedding for this member named Alex (he works around the mission office), and he asked us to bring some pamphlets and talk with people. We thought it would be a good idea, that afterwards we talk with people and see if anyone is really interested.  SO! It was planned to start at 11:00am, so we got there early to set up.  But obviously, we were still working with African time... so what does that mean?? It started 3 hours late..... .  ahh it was frustrating. Interesting wedding tho.  

Sunday was good. First week with the 2 new wards, and president has assigned us to be in Upper Hill, so the sisters will cover South B ward. But a nice service. after church, we had a great lesson with sister Nifred. She is one of our investigators who is really progressing well. She is about 30 years old or so, and was a referral that we received a while back. Since then she has been coming to church just about every week. This past week, when we met with her we taught her about the Word of Wisdom. Before this lesson, we gave her the pamphlet and told her to read it. Before the lesson, I had a pretty strong feeling that she probably drank coffee and tea, so i was worried about that. So as we discussed about the Word of Wisdom, we discussed about the substances we should not use or take, like coffee and tea. We asked her if she uses any of these things and she said yes she does. But before we could go on anymore she went on to say'' When i read this pamphlet, i saw it said not drinking tea. I was really concerned about that because i love tea and take it everyday. But then I just got a feeling that it was probably best if i give up drinking tea. So i did and i haven't drunken tea in the past two weeks. Yeah i've really been tempted to drink it, but i haven since.'' Wow! I was really blown away and really happy for her. It really took a lot of faith for her to give up tea, and its amazing how quickly she did it without anyone telling her. Even with her she is doing a great job of reading the Book of Mormon, and she shared some scriptures that she read that really meant a lot to her from 2 Nephi 4. She is really doing well. We also have Brother Kevin who is doing great, he should be ready for the 16th as well.  

But the work is going on well.  Still trying to find new investigators and trying to help those we already have.  But things are going on well.

Love you all!!

Elder Thomas

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In Nairobi at lunch with some of the Elders

Sister Gathaya's home, she is a really great member

October 20, 2014

HAPPY B-DAY BENNY!!  the big man is getting bigger.... 22 years of greatness.... something like that hahah.  But hope you have a great day! 

Sooo... this past week was not the best, but it was still ok.

Tuesday and Wednesday were taken up by driving all over Nairobi.... taking some missionaries to the doctor and different places. The only bright side of driving so much is that i'm getting better at it...

Thursday we had a really nice day planed out.  Lots of appointments and people to meet with.  Unfortunately.... almost all of our appointments got bounced. We were able to find one new investigator, David.  He tried to find the church last week but got lost, but this week he got our number and called us and we scheduled an appointment.  He is a nice guy, doesn't speak a lick of English though  so Elder Nyambita did most of the talking.  I could understand just about everything said... but not quite able to give much input in swahili.  But its ok, he came to church though to see conference! It was in English so i don't know if he understood anything.... he stayed for both sessions though so maybe he felt the spirit.  Ok, i should say he DID feel the spirit.  Its hard not to feel the spirit watching conference! 

Also this week we were not able to meet with any of our investigators with a baptismal date.  Almost all of them had some weird miss-happening or something going on preventing them to meet with us or come to church.  I was really unfortunate.  We will have to move some of their bapt dates back... we hope to have some baptisms for Kevin, Jackson, and Nifred the second or third week of November if all goes well and if we are able to help them get back on track. But its no rush... cant rush conversion.  We also have an investigator named Gerrald.  He is a powerful guy.  He has a great understanding of the gospel and is really progressing well.  He is definitely ready of baptism... but the only problem is he wants to be baptized with his family. Don't get me wrong that is FANTASTIC, but the problem is his family lives in a place called Kyambeke, and there are missionaries there.... but his family lives an hour and a half away walking (there are no matatus or buses that side) from the church.  So its difficult for them to come.... and the missionaries there are not able to meet with them unless they come to the church.  So it could take a long time for them to be ready for baptism.  But Gerrald is set being baptized with them... so it might take a LONG time.... possible until next year... but we talked to him  about it and that was his decision.  So we will still be working with him.  

Saturday was really nice! We were able to do some baptismal interviews in Westlands for the Elders there... which went very well.  Then we got to watch some of the conference.  Unfortunately, we missed the Saturday morning session because of the interviews, but the afternoon session was POWERFUL! I especially liked Elder Oaks, Anderson, and Callisters talks.  Then the Hickens invited us to go to dinner with them, to Spur.... its super super nice.  I got RIBS.... im pretty sure this is the only place in kenya you can get ribs... haha it was sooo nice.

Sunday, more general conference!! I love conference so much.  I feel bad because back home, to be honest, i could really care less for it. But now that i really understand how much of a blessing it is to hear the words of the prophet and the apostles, ohhh man its a treat! What they speak is really what the Lord wants us to hear. D&C 1:37-38.  I think that Elder Scotts talk was my favorite... about the 4 Tools that lead us to a happier and more prepared life.  All 4 were small and simple things, daily prayer, scripture study, weekly FHE, and going to the temple often.  But like it says in Alma 37:6-7 ''by small and simple things are great things brought to pass''.  I have learned that to be very true on my mission.  The small things make all the difference in who we are.  After watching conference, we went to Sister Gathaya's home.  She is a really really strong member of the church who's husband died a few years back, and now she is taking care of her little 6 yr old boy, and provides by making food on the street.  So she was really happy to have us over and we enjoyed being with her. We also had one of our Ward missionaries with us, Emmanuel, who will also be serving in this mission in 2 months!!! so its cool to be with him. 

But things are going well.  I love my mission and love being here in Kenya!!! Have a good week and know that i love you all!

Elder Thomas

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bishop Alumonde and his family

Elder Nyambita makes some waaay good food.  Some nice sossi with cabbage ugali.  It was one of the best things I've eaten in awhile.

October 13, 2014

Another week down in the books. As usual it was nice!

Tuesday was pretty rough... couldn't find anyone to meet with and we got bounced a lot.  But we were blessed with a few good lessons and we also got time to go visit Bishop Alumonde at his home.  We were able to discuss a few things about the work, and we also got to know him better and hear his pretty cool conversion story.  He is a really funny guy, and in a way, he reminds me of an African version of Bop.  So that was nice.  

Wednesday and Thursday were similar, a few good appointments but a lot of bounced appointments.  

One cool thing on Thursday tho is that Pres Hicken called us and the assistants into his office and we got to watch the Priesthood session of conference with him!! It was sooo nice, its the only part of conference I've seen so far.  But i love watching conference now, all of the talks are very inspired and the spirit is always felt really strong.  I really liked Elder Christensen talk about testimony/conversion, and also President Uchtdorfs talk about ''Lord, is it I?''  Both of them really meant a lot to me.  Grateful that God still reveals his word to us today, it is such a wonderful blessing.  (D&C 1:37-38).

Friday the whole day was taken by taking some missionaries to the doctor.... so nothing interesting there.  

Had some great lessons on Saturday.   Met with one of our progressing investigators, Juvenah.  He told us about how he has a concern about being baptized, because he was afraid about leaving his church that he attends at his rural home.  So we talked to him a lot about the need to pray and find out for himself, and especially for him to read the Book of Mormon and see for himself it is true.  So he said if he receives and answer that the church is true, then he will be baptized and even bring his family from Meru so they can join the church as well.  So we are really trying to help him to receive an answer for himself.  But he is a great guy and is doing well.  

Also, on saturday, we went to Westlands to do bapt interviews for the Elders there.  So we showed up at 4:15pm, 15 mins before scheduled time for the interview.  Unfortunately we forgot that were in Africa... dealing with african time. So what does that mean? We waited for an hour and a half, then had to leave because of the cerfew time, and as soon as we were leaving the church.... the guy showed up.  we had to reschedule for next week..  Its a normal thing tho.  

Sunday was interesting.  We show up to church and find out the ward is splitting.... haha i had no idea.  So there will be an Upper Hill ward, and now a South B ward.  Both will still meet at the same building until Dec. when the South B ward moves into the building there.  So that was pretty interesting.  The South East Africa area presidency is trying to create more smaller spaced out ward/branches so people don't have to sacrifice as much money for transport and time to get to church, so that's the main reason why they split the ward. So we will be working with both wards for now.  

After church we were able to split and meet with two of our progressing investigators, Kevin and Nifred.  Both are progressing really well, and we hope for them to be baptized in Nov.  Unfortunately with Jackson, he had an emergency with one of his kids, so he had to go upcountry to help out with him.  So we will have to move his bapt to next month, so we can finish the lessons.  But he is still doing good.  

Sunday concluded with a dinner appointment at Bishops home, he invited us and the sisters to come over to visit with him and his family.  They made us some super super super nice food!! Fried rice, veggie stew, and nice nice nice chicken!! I ate soooo much hahaha pounded that food down! But i really think one of my favorite things as a missionary is visiting members.  There is always a special spirit felt at members homes, and especially here in kenya, members love missionaries sooo much.  Probably because most members are converts.  

2 funny things: we met some crazy drunk guy.  he told us his name is simba and that he comes from Cuba.... to prove he is from Cuba, he ''tried'' to speak to us in Spanish.  he didn't, but he did say the word for Church in spanish is ''churchisa''... I'm not spanish major, but i don't think that's right.  Better luck next time Simba, you aint gunna fool me!! haha.

Then, Bishop said some super shang this week... while visiting him, someone knocked on the door, and he said ''come in'.  they didnt come in, so he was frustrated and said  ''ahhh nani anaknock knock''.....  (who is knocking... he didnt know the word for knock in swahili hahahahahahhaaha). it was funny to me and my comp.  

But I love the work!! I'm grateful to be serving the Lord here in Kenya.  One thing I was thinking about this week was how reading the scriptures daily provides protection and hope for us.  As we read the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, we fortify ourselves and become spiritually stronger in the Gospel.  And as we read, we also learn of what God needs us to do here on earth, in order to return to his presence, and we find hope that we can overcome difficulties and trials through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I'm grateful for the scriptures our Heavenly Father has blessed us with.  Its upon us to take advantage of them and gain all we can from them.  

But love you all!!! kwa hereni!! Mpaka wakati mwingine....

Elder Thomas

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sister Macheti, she is a less active member but is starting to come back to church.  She loves the missionaries.
Bro Emmanuel and Elder Nyambita with Daniel

When you only get 7 hours of sleep in 2 days... this is what happens.  Sipendi Transfers!

this is what i love most about Nairobi.. shang.  let me explain this advert. 
So its a promotional thing for an alcohol company.  So what it is suppose to say in english is ''The game needs you'', or if they wanted it to be in swahili it would be ''mchezo inakuhitaji''. 
BUT! due to the fact this is nairobi... Shang is needed.  So what do they write.... ''game inakuneed''.  two english words (game and need), and then they added swahili verb/prounoun markers (inaku).  

ninalove place hii

Lots of Driving


Transfer week. The worst week of the transfer.... haha.

Super, super busy this past week. And it wasn't even like with normal missionary work (like teaching, contacting, visiting members etc), It was driving and taking people all over Nairobi.  

Tuesday I was still with elder Maduna and also with Elder Uma (from ethiopia), we drove 2 sister missionaries (from Kenya, one of which lives in Darajani branch) to the bus stage for them to go home.  Only problem was the bus stages were right in the middle of town... so the traffic was super bad.  At one point we pulled over and like 4 drunk guys came up to the van and started going crazy.  I had no idea what was going on.... but it was pretty funny.  They wanted me to move the car for some reason not sure why. I just laughed tho.  Then we had to drive to Kasarani to pick up some sisters who where getting transferred.  We had some extra time because we had to wait for them to pack up all their things, so we went to this place called Thika Road Mall.  Probably the nicest place i have ever been to in Kenya.  It had pizza there, so we ate pizza.

Wednesday was super rough.  We woke up at 4:00am to pick up a new elder at the airport.  His flight was suppose to land at 5:40, so we arrived at 5:30 just to be on the safe side.  So we waited... and waited.... and waited. Then over the intercom, they said that the flight from Accra (he was at the Ghana MTC), had some technical difficulties so it would be delayed.  So we kept waiting... 8:00 pulls around... nothing... So we ask customer service what the heck is going on.  They say that people from that flight are still coming out.  We keep waiting.... 30 mins pass by and we ask again.  She calls someone and says that all of the passengers from that plane have already passed customs.... so we wait a little bit longer, and nothing.  Turns out the Elder was never on the plane.... the Ghana MTC sent us his itinerary for the wrong day.  So that was really,really unfortunate.  The rest of the day was then packed with picking people up from Eastlands, picking people from the bus stages, and then finally finishing at 11:00pm driving from Westlands to Rongai.  Long day to say the least.  

Thursday, woke up at 4:30. first full day with Elder Nyambita. more driving.

Friday, more driving.  Dropping off Elder Ndaba at the bus stage, then we realize at our apartment that he forgot his ticket in the car, so we have to drive all the way back to the bus stage.  Then the rest of the day was spent at the doctors office, we had to drive a few sick missionaries there.  

Saturday. Finally get to proselyte! Unfortunately, we planned to go to part of our area called Kibera, but the members who were suppose to show us the place canceled on us at the last minute.   But we made the most of the day and ended up with a few appointments.  

Sunday was POWERFUL! One of the best Sundays I've had in upper hill.  Nice service, and all four of our progressing investigators with a bapt date came!   Javenah, Nifred, Jackson, and Kevin.  We were able to split and meet with all of them after church and teach them.  All of them are doing really well.  Jackson will hopefully be baptized soon.  I was able to teach Javenah, and we read 2 Nephi 31 with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He then asked a lot of questions about baptism.  He had a concern about if he was baptized into the church, he wasn't sure if he could leave his church that his family attends back in Meru.  So we talked about how he needed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and the church, and if he finds out it is true, make his decision from there. He is a super sincere guy and I love him a ton, i just hope he really does his part to know the truth.    But he is still doing well and enjoys coming to church.  We then finished the day by visiting a less active family, the Macheti's.  They have been members for a long time, but for some reason or another, they have just gone less active.  But the mom came to church, so we wanted to follow up with her. She was super excited to have us over.  We also had the ward mission leader, Emmanuel (who just got his mission call to this mission!) come with us and he helped a lot.  She fed us food and we broke our fast there, Rice, beans, and potatoes.  

Crazy week, but it went by fast.  I have recently started reading Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage.  Its awesome.  I like the different perspectives it gives and the way it explains more about who the Savior really is and more about his role in our lives.  Its definitely expanded my knowledge about the Savior, and also my English vocabulary.  But one of my favorite scriptures about the Savior is found in D&C 76:22-24.  

I love you all!! Remember to CTR always, and be an example to those around you!! Also hope you all enjoyed conference! haven't seen it yet.... but looking forward to it in a few weeks!!!

Elder Thomas

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mzee Livingstone Mwenyewe and Pamela! They are recent converts, and they love us so much haha.  Even on sunday after our lesson with them, right after the prayer Livingstone gets up, all fired up and says ''I love my missionary teachers!'' and then gave us both a hug.... haha ya!

This is how we do personal study

Daniel on top of the KICC, tallest building in Kenya

Daniel in front of the statue of Jomo Kenyatta, 1st president of Kenya

Last week of September

Sooo another fast week!! and the last week of the transfer.

Yesterday we got transfer news.... and I will be staying in Upper Hill.  But Elder Maduna is leaving, and is the new assistant.  And my new companion..... or maybe not so new.... is Elder Nyambita!!! My trainer! Ha he and elder Maduna just switched places, so i will be only with elder Nyambita one transfer because next month he goes home.  So it will be exciting to be with him again!!! 

But this past week was not bad.

Tuesday, we went on exchanges with the Elders in Athi River, so i was able to be with Elder Bradford, from Spanish Fork UT.  It was a really nice exchange, we got a lot of work done there and it was a lot of fun.  Even, some drunk guy (who unfortunatly is a less active member) came up to me and gave me a nuggie.... haha it was funny but also weird at the same time.  

Thursday, we had to wake up early, 5:00am to drive president Hicken and the assistants to the airport.  Then we sat in traffic for 2 hours.  Then the rest of the day was spent taking some of the sisters in our zone around to the doctors, and then picking President up at night.  

Friday we got to go on exchanges with the assistants, so i went with Elder Pehrson in Riruta.  Nice exchange, and we met some powerful people !! One of which is named Peter.  Here is his story. He is a fairly well off guy, not struggling too much.  But one day, he was walking around and he noticed some garbage on the side of the road.  In the garbage, was a Book without a cover.  He said he felt like he should take it and start reading it.  He said that the book talked a lot about Jesus Christ and his gospel and that what it taught was very clear.  Although he did not know that name of the book, or from which church it came from.   Eventually he found out it was the Book of Mormon.  A few weeks later, a friend of his, who is a member, invited him to the church open house.  Since then he has come to church every week and has a bapt date.  POWERFUL!! the Lord prepares people in many ways.  

Saturday, mostly just tracted, but we went with 2 of the ward missionaries, so it was fun.  Then latter in the day President Hicken invited us and the assistants to play Bocce ball with them, then they took us out to eat at one of the nicest restaurants in Nairobi.... ya, they had ribs!!! So ya you could say i really enjoyed that!!

Sunday was nice, we were able to teach a lot of our investigators.  Juvenal is still doing great, along with Jackson, Kevin, and Gerrald, all of which (if all goes as planned) will be baptized in October.  

But thats all for this week!! days are flying... but i love each and everyday and especially being so close to the spirit, and helping the Lord out in His work. Remember, no effort is lost, every small act of love and kindness we render to those around us can become great. Love you all!!

Elder Thomas

September 22, 2014

Well another week in the books... time is going by soo fast its crazy!
But this week was pretty good, with some interesting things going on. 
On Tuesday, Elder Maduna and I got to go on exchanges with the Elders in Westlands, so i got to be with Elder Griffiths again! It was a lot of fun, it brought back memories of being together in Mautuma! For the most part thought, most of our appointments got bounced, so we spent a lot of time contacting.  I'm still trying to figure out the area, so i thought it would be a good idea to go tracting in this area called Nairobi West. I thought it would be a good idea.  Only problem is... every house has gates in front of it.. so we couldn't do anything. We tried talking to people on the street, which was ok.  Found a lot of Muslims though.... they weren't so interested..... haha. Except one guy! He was a muslim, and knew about the Book of Mormon and was interested to get one.  Not sure if things will go very far with that but we will see!
Then! Wednesday was quite the day.  It started at 4:00 AM for me and elder Griffiths... haha.  We had to drive President Hicken and the assistants to the airport so they could fly to Eldoret for a meeting.  So we woke up super early to drive them there.  Then around 8:00, we had to drive to Westlands to pick up Elder Maduna and Njuguna and the sister missionaries, then to Riruta to pick up the Elders there.  At 10:00 we exchanged back to our normal companionship and had our ZTM (zone trainig meeting), so Elder Maduna and I lead some of the trainings that we learned about at MLC last week.  It turned out really well.  Everybody was engaged and participated, and it went really well.  After that we got permission from President to got to KICC(which is the tallest building in Kenya), for a zone activity.  It was way fun! It was cool to be together as a zone and get to better know each other.  We have a super nice zone in Upper Hill!! Then we had to drive everyone back to their areas, which took us up to 6:00, so we went strait to the airport to pick up President Hicken.  It usually takes one hour or so to get to the airport because of traffic, and his flight was to land at 8:15PM, so we thought for sure we gave ourselves ample time to get there.  But oh boy where we wrong.... hahaah.  Biggest traffic jam i have ever seen in my entire life.  No joke... wow.  We were stuck for 2 and a half hours.  And the roads where chaotic!! haha there were buses and matatus driving up on the sidewalk and off the road, people were making their own lanes and Elder Maduna and i were just like what in the world is going on here?? Eventually we got to the airport and picked them up and drove them home.  Wednesday was quite the day for us tho... hahahahahaha!
Sunday, we had a pretty cool experience.  President Hicken has assigned elder Maduna and I to go and help out with a group (small meeting of members, not quite a branch) in a town called Machakos, which is about a hour and a half southeast of nairobi.  So we left early in the morning with a member, Thomas Kusue, from Nairobi (who is also the group leader) to Machakos.  On the way we saw a zebra that got hit by a truck.... it was interesting.  So at the group meeting, there were only 6 people present (including elder maduna and I).  3 members, one of which was a RM, and one investigator.  So because we were there, we were able to help with the sacrament and preside over the meeting.  So elder Maduna presided, while i gave an opening prayer, passed the sacrament, and gave a talk (don't worry i had a 10 second notice).  But it was really cool to be there.  The spirit was really strong, and it was cool to see members gathering together like that.  They are really laying the foundation for the church in that area.  All of them were very grateful that we came to help.  Even the RM came up to us after and said she was grateful that we could come and admisister the sacrament to them (they can only have the sacrament when we come). Cool to see saints like this who really are converted, doing their best to stay on the path and endure to the end.  Going out there was a pretty cool experience. 
This week we really stuggled to meet with our investigators and recent converts.  We got bounced a lot.  But we are still working with 4 of our progressing investigators, Juvenal, Nifred, Jackson, and Gerald.  Gerald can basically be baptized when ever, he is super ready, just waiting for his wife to be taught (she stays in a place called Kyambake, luckly misionaries are there).  We weren't able to see Jackson this week because we were in Machakos on sunday, but he is still doing well.  Might have to move his bapt date back to some time in October.  We had a great lesson with Nifred on Sunday about the Plan of Salvation, she had lots of questions but we answered them.  Even with Juvenal, we taught him half of the plan of Salvation.  He was very interested in the understanding and knowledge we have in the church about the fall of Adam and Eve.  He asked especially about why God would put the Tree and the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden, he said he never understood why it was there.  So we explained to him how Adam and Eve needed to eat the fruit to be able to understand good from evil, and to also recieve mortal bodies and to be able to have children.  We read 2 Nephi 2:22-25 with him to explain it.  After reading and explaining it, he was pretty amazed and happy that we were able to help him understand that.  He told us it was the most productive meeting we have ever had with him.... I was happy to hear that.  Even on Sunday he came to church for the first time and loved it.  Even Sunday afternoon, Elder Maduna and I were in Uhuru Park (super big park in Nairobi) contacting people, when we randomly saw Juvenal.  After church, he went to the park to work (he owns a weight scale, so he puts it on the ground and people come up and use it and pay him 10 shillings a go).  So as we were talking he was soo excited to see us that he wanted to go and buy sodas for us.  We declined because we knew it was sunday, so we didnt want him to buy anything.  He persisted and really wanted to buy us sodas.  So we took advantage of the situation to teach him about Keeping the Sabbath Day holy.... after we talked about it he said 'oh, so maybe i shouldnt work on sunday?' hahah excactly!!! He is a great guy tho and will hopefully be baptized next month. 
Also this week, i was able to read Alma 24.  I would really encourage all of you to read it this week.  Its just a great example of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's keeping their covenants with God, and also a good example of how truly converted people are.  LOVE IT!!!
But i love you all!! have a great weeeeeeeek!
Elder Thomas