Sunday, February 23, 2014


Cosmas and Daniel- he knew Cosmas from Rongai and ran into him at the district conference

Mount Elgon

Swaggin Suit that he bargained for.  The members say he looks official and smart!

Elder Bricknell of the area 70 came to speak at district conference

With President and Sister Hinken

Eldoret District conference with Elder Bricknell, Pres & Sis Hincken and the couples missionaries

Eldoret District Missionaries- Daniel's companion is on his right

February 17, 2014

Awesome week out in Mautuma! One of the Best weeks of my mission!!!

Start of the week i went out on exchanges to Misikhu again to do some baptismal interviews for some of their investigators. It was really cool to do the interviews, i love doing them because its awesome to see people who have changed their ways to come closer to the Savior and take that step of faith by being baptized. Always a spiritual experience.  Only thing i didn't like about the exchange was their flat.. Didn't have power and barely had water the entire time and rats were going crazy in their flat!  we found a dead one we we first walked in, and i thought it was dead so i poked it with a stick but then it went crazy and started running around. but we caught it. Fun times! and don't worry Mom my flat is better than that.  But a cool exchange and really nice to do the interviews!
Once back to Mautuma me and Elder Griffiths really worked this week! We were able to get 26 lessons with a member present, which is really really awesome.  President Hicken really wants members to do a lot more in the work and help us more, and the members here have really stepped it up. They have been very willing and happy to help us.  It was also really cool because on Saturday we were able to go on splits with 2 guys in the Branch.  I went with Daniel Mbagwa, 35 yr old guy who used to be really less active but has been coming a lot recently.  So it was really nice to go with him and he was a great help. We had planned to go visit some of our investigators, but once it came time to visit them, they all bounced us. I was like oh snap what are we gunna do now? But then Daniel was like Hey i got a bunch of friends interested in the Church can we go visit them??..... YES! It was awesome! I just followed him around as he introduced me to some of his friends who were interested in learning more.  So we had some great lessons with them and now have a lot more people to teach. Especially got a really cool investigator now named Josiah, who came to church and even accepted a baptismal date! So a lot of great things are going on now in Mautuma, all because the members are really stepping up here to help us. We have 8 people with baptismal dates and we are really excited about that!
Another interesting lesson with Titus this week... CHASTITY! ya that lesson is always interesting haha.  But it was really cool and he said that it was a good commandment because people are to dirty these days... ya you tell them Titus! ha so that was pretty cool, still trying to help him overcome drinking tea and coffee, but he is really reducing and has really made some good strides forward, so we hope he continues to progress and do good. 
Also this week we got a new branch presidency called... and now we have Brother Edward as president! or i guess now i should call him President Opiayo.  But ill have to send a picture of him sometime ha he is probably one of the greatest members i have met so far on my mission. Super dedicated and really humble trying to learn as much as he can about the church, and has one of the strongest testimonies i have seen. He is always asking us questions about things in the church and how things are suppose to be run.   Really awesome guy, also one of the biggest and goofiest guys haha.  But it was pretty interesting Sunday with a new branch presidency!
But really this week was one of the best weeks so far!! Really worked hard and received a ton of help from the members! I'm enjoying serving the Lord and things are looking good in Mautuma!! Love you all have a great week and hope valentines day was good!!
Elder Thomas

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014

This past week flew by super fast! One of the fastest weeks of my mission so far, but now it seems like every week goes by way fast. 
Had an interesting lesson this week with our investigator Titus.  We taught him the Word of Wisdom!!! So i knew that it would turn out to be an interesting lesson. So he obviously had some concerns about it, especially with coffee and tea. Those are really the two biggest things that i have seen people struggle with taking here. Its just about common for everyone to take either coffee or tea every day. But luckily we had one of our members, Evans, who is the same age with him, help us with the teaching. He was able to relate to him about how he was also struggling with these things before he was baptized.  But once he got that confirmation that the church was true, he knew that the word of wisdom was a direct commandment from God. It was great because that really helped Titus see  that others in the church have overcome the same problems that he is facing. Also it was nice because Evans was able to relate to him in a way that me and my comp could not do, both being members our whole lives hah.  But we really hope that Titus will be able to overcome his addictions and that he can continue to prepare for his bapt in March!
The main event this week was Eldoret District conference! So on Friday we went with all the missionaries from our zone to Eldoret. And to say the least it was an awesome spiritual conference!! President Hicken was there as well as Elder Bricknell from the area 70.  Both gave really strong and spiritual talks during the conference.  The 2 main points that were really talked about were Eldoret district becoming a stake and focusing more on the family.  President Hicken really emphasized members becoming more involved in the work, saying that we as missionaries are only really there to assist them in the work, while it should really be the members doing the finding and a lot of the teaching. I really enjoyed it! But its true, we as missionaries come and go, but the members are the ones who remain. So if Eldoret district wants to become a stake the members have to really step it up in the missionary work.  Then Elder Bricknell talked about how we should really do our best to work with our families in assisting each other in following the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He was a really powerful speaker and really inspiring.  Also got to have my first interview with pres Hicken in 7 months! It was really nice talking to him and he is a great leader and mission president. i love him! Also, at the conference after the Saturday session, it was pretty crazy but i saw one of the members from my first area in Rongai! Cosmas was the former 2nd counselor in the branch but had moved back to his home in Kitale, so he was in the district! It was really cool seeing him, he was one of the first people i ever visited on my mission and he was a really awesome member who helped me a lot when i started. He was super excited to see me and came up and gave me a hug hahah! He said i looked a lot different, that i was really skinny when he first met me but now i am big!! YEAH! hah. But its awesome to see old members and friends!
But for my year mark we went out to a real legit PIZZA place! Oh my goodness it was so nice! Only problem was i haven't had that much cheese in a long time so i was a little sick afterwards.... hahah but it was way worth it!! Also me and Elder Griffiths got some way awesome suit coats for the snaggin deal of 500 shillings for 2 suit coats!! haha 6 dollars for suit coats yeahhh we know how to bargain! Lets just say that baby blue looks good on me.... hahahh!!
But not much else to report this week. The work is moving along well and I'm really enjoying serving the Lord in his vineyard of Kenya. Love you all!!!!!!
Elder Thomas

Monday, February 3, 2014

1 year mark this Week!

Famalia na marafiki,
Things are starting to pick up a little bit more out here in mautuma!
This week was pretty good as far as the work goes. We have really been pushing to get members involved as much as possible in the work, and have seen so many blessings come from it.  Members are awesome when it comes to teaching, especially in Kenya for a few reasons. One is obviously language.  I'm still really working on my Kiswahili, but only know a little bit, just enough to get by on the streets.  But members really help with teaching and clarifying in both kiswahili and luya.  Its also great to have members be able to bear testimony and really help people see that our teachings are relevant for all people.  Especially this week, we had a lesson with one of our new investigators, Donald, and he brought Brother Songa from the branch to help teach with us.  We were teaching about baptism, because we wanted to extend a baptismal commitment to him.  But the lesson was not really going as well as we wanted it to, Donald was really big into his church and did not see how our church was right for him or how it would help him at all.  So towards the end of the lesson we asked Brother Songa how being baptized in the church has blessed his life, and he was able to share his conversion story with us.  He used to be a high priest in his former church, AIC (african inland church), which is a really big status in that church.  But he shared that as he learned from the missionaries and especially read the Book Of Mormon, He came to see that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latte Day Saints was God's true church.  So he knew that leaving his church was the right thing to do, and to be baptized as a member of our church was what God wanted and needed him to do, and even though many trials and difficulties followed him after that, he has never regretted his decision.  It was powerful and totally brought the spirit in!! Even though Donald did not accept the baptismal date on that day, i knew that he felt the spirit and that it really touched him.  It also showed me how members are so essential in the work!! SO HELP THE MISSIONARIES!!
Also this week we were able to start up our Scripture study class in the branch! Every Friday at 2 pm everyone is very welcome to come!!!  but it was a really good start to the class.  We invited all members to come and to bring any friends that they had that might be interested.  We thought that this would be a great way to find new investigators and also help the branch read the Book of Mormon more and gain a testimony of its truthfulness as well. So me and my comp teach the class and read over a chapter or 2 from the Book of Mormon and discuss what is happening and being taught. And We had a pretty good attendance of 8 members and one new investigator!! So it seems to be starting off well and we hope that it will continue to be successful as we continue on.  Also had a good priesthood activity this week, where we had 4 investigators in attendance!! So that was really exciting to see investigators coming out to these activities and enjoying them while also learning more about the restored gospel.  Even a lot of our investigators really participate in church.... especially Priesthood meeting haha.  It was funny because our investigator Titus, helped clear up a question in priesthood class... about temples... something we have not even taught him about yet.  But ya it was pretty awesome, he is an awesome guy and is really progressing well!!
Interesting things happened in church Sunday! On the spiritual note, we had 9 investigators come to church which was sooo awesome!! I was really happy about that because the past few weeks have been really tough with investigators coming to church, having a really low turn out. But this week was awesome and it was such a great blessing a feeling seeing all of them come to church to be there to feel of the spirit and participating in the classes.  So that was the spiritual awesomeness. In other interesting news, we had a little 3 year old girl pee in the middle of the church courtyard in between classes.... ya i was in disbelief. At first i thought she was just squatting doing wall sits or something, but upon closer inspection nope.... nope she was peeing. Just on the ground no big.  Also me and my companion taught young women's class..... we were in our Gospel principles class with a few of our investigators, when all the sudden ALL of the young women in the branch come into our room and just stack up in there.  I really wasn't to happy about it because the teacher didn't prepare a lesson so she just told them to come into our class.   Also we had a member in testimony meeting share more of a story about how he saw some kid get beat up by the police, wasn't sure where the gospel connection tied into the story but he did get very animated and even came part way into the congregation while bearing his testimony/ telling the story.  I was trying not to laugh but it w3as pretty funny hahahah.  But hey another interesting and spiritual Sunday in MAUTUMA!!
But i come up on my year mark Friday, pretty crazy.  Its been one of the best years of my life, and i have learned so much that i never would have learned if i had not come on a mission.  Going on a mission is one of the greatest blessings that i have received in my life. And i really look forward to this next year to see what's in store!!!!!
But i love you all!! Have a great week and look to become better everyday!
Elder Thomas
Also i got to go to mount Elgon National park this week! It was awesome!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

January 27, 2014

Jan 27 at 5:20 AM
So sorry i don't have a lot of time to write, power has gone out 4
times today and its not so reliable at the moment so ya!
This week was really awesome, we got a lot of help from branch members
with doing the work. Almost all of our lessons had a member present
and it was awesome.  That is one thing that pres Hicken  really is
pushing for is getting more member present lessons, so we are doing
our best to follow his counsel.  We also got to go on splits with
some of the priesthood holders in the branch, so i got to go with a
prospective missionary, Evans. He has been a member for 6 months and
already wants to get out on his mission! I told him that you have to
be a member for a least one year before you go out and he was like
oh... hahah he was all sad and stuff after that ha but he is awesome!
It was kind of funny though, because while i was with him we went out
tracking, and we pulled up to this super old mamas house. She knew
zero English, so i just had Evans translate for me. So he started
talking to her for a while just getting to know her. So after a
minute or so of talking he turns to me, dead strait face, and says
"hey guys what? this is my moms sister...." i was like "umm your
aunt?" he was like "yeah i guess so..." ohhh my goodness he didn't even
know his own aunt and she didn't know him!!!  hahah it was funny and
weird and cool at the same time i guess. She also had a Brittney
Spears poster in her house so that was cool, really spiced up the
atmosphere of the home! But it was cool going on splits with Evans and
we really got a lot done.
Also this week we got to do service for a less active member, and got
to cultivate and dig in her shamba.  It was cool because got to talk
to her son who is also less active for while while we worked with him.
It was cool to work for them because they had been going through some
serious problems for a while, like the mom fractured her leg and
doesn't have sufficient money to get it properly fixed, so they were
really grateful for us coming to visit them and help them out. It was
a really cool experience.
Also established 2 bapt dates with Titus and Caroline this week! It
was cool because i got to do both of them with Evans, so he got to see
how to give a bapt date question. So I'm excited for that! We will cont
to work with them and help them prepare for a day in March.  But they
are really awesome and the Lord has blessed us with these awesome
people to teach.
But I'm glad that Joe is a deacon now!!! Ya pass that sacrament Joe!!!
Ha but really that's awesome Joe, another priesthood holder in the
family and a future missionary in the making!

Love you all have a great week!!!!

Elder Thomas