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

Monday, September 22, 2014

The  Machakos group.  Only 6 of us at the sunday service (including me and elder maduna).  But by small and simple things are great things brought to pass!

KICC with Upper Hill Zone

Monday, September 15, 2014

After the Mission Leadership Training.  Elder Maduna and Daniel
Elder Maduna says he and Dan are "pushing some swag" something like that!

Elder Hlashwayo (South Africa), Daniel, and Elder Uma (Ethiopia)
All of them were in the same MTC group.  Dan said it was great to see them again.

September 15, 2014


Ya that's more shang coming right at ya strait from nairobi!! 

So, another good week out here in Nairobi.  

This week, we had to drop quite a few of our investigators, which was pretty sad.  A lot of them just disappeared... we try to contact and call them, but nothing.  Just the way it is.  But on the bright side, we have found a lot of potential investigators this week as we were tracting and street contacting! Only problem we have is that a lot of them live far, and we cant take matatus.... so the only way to meet with them is for them to come to the church.  It stinks because it makes it a lot less likely for them to be able to meet with us, but it also helps us to find out who is actually serious.  So this next week will be interesting to see if we can meet some of these new people.  Even it was way cool on sunday, one of the guys we contacted on the streets came to church and brought his friend!! His name is Aggrey, and his friends name is Issac.  Both are like 6'4'' or 6'5''... big boys!! But we will meet them again this week and see how interested they are.  Both of them loved coming to church and loved the teachings, so that's a good sign.  

This week, we had our MLC (mission leadership training) in Nairobi.  So elder Maduna and I were busy arranging things and picking people up.  But the MLC was really nice.  We discussed some things that could be improved in the mission to help us to be more focused and just better as missionaries.  

Also, one really cool thing this week, on friday president and sister Hicken invited Elder Maduna, me, and the Assistants for an activity with them!! We played this game called Bocce ball (its where you have a little white ball, you throw it in within the boundaries of the field, and then there are two teams with different colored balls and they try to get their balls closer to the white ball, and you get points and i dont know how to describe it but it was a ton of fun!). Then!! They took us out to one of the best chinese food restaurants in Nairobi.... Fang Fang.  Ya it was the first time in my whole mission to have chinese food.... and yes i enjoyed it!! Its hard not to like Curried Beef with prongs and ice cream.... wow! It was really nice being around the Hickens, and seeing them in a different setting.  Ton of fun!

We still have Jackson and Gerrald progressing towards baptism.  We might have to push back Jacksons date just because we can only see him on sundays, but he is a super humble guy and is doing well.  We were not able to see Gerald this week, his phone was off the whole week, so we are a little bit worried about him.  But we hope to see him this week and see what's up.  We also put another great investigator on baptismal date, Nifred (20 yrs, girl, idk why her name is Nifred but its ok). She was introduced to the church by a friend on Facebook, from South Africa.  Then she meet a return missionary and he showed her to the church and introduced her to us.  So she already has a ton of support, even after we met her on Sunday, they were having a YSA activity, and some of the YSA came up to her and invited her in!! So i really think she will continue to do well, especially with all this help from the members.  And thats the way it should be!! Member involvement.  

I also finnished the Book of Mormon again this week.  I think this is my 3rd time on my mission but i dont remember.  But wow, i learned sooo much from it this time.  I have really enjoyed reading it everyday, and have just felt a big sense of peace as i have read.  I think ive already said it before, but the biggest thing i learned was about being converted unto the Lord, and just the whole process of conversion.  That has really stuck out to me and has been something that i have really been focusing on and thinking about.  I'm grateful that our Heavenly Father has given us the Book of Mormon, it really does bring peace and understanding to our lives, being able to see what we need to do to return back to our Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ.  Read it!! 

Also, on a random note, on tuesday we had to help transport the Rongai sister missionaries around at night.  First, it was cool to be in Rongai again.  But here is was i wanted to tell about.  To get to their flat, you have to go down some dirt roads, which are pretty littered with bars and pubs.  So as we were driving it was dark, so i wasnt able to see everythihng.  So as i was driving, all the sudden elder Maduna yells "Ahhhhh!! drunk guy!!!" and before i knew it this super, super drunk guy SLAMS into the car and then stumbles away.... hahahahahah!! The sisters were screaming and elder Maduna and I were laughing hahahah!! And then i thought to myself... ya, the Word of Wisdom makes a lot of sense.  

Well i love you all!! have a great week!!!
Mpaka wakati mwingine.... kwahereni..

Elder Thomas mwenyewe

Monday, September 8, 2014

Upper Hill District:  Elders Perhson & Nyambita, Maduna & Daniel, Bradford & Barasa, Obika & Qodashe,
Sisters Shikuku & Adong

Bringing Back Rongai!  Brother Oska was the 1st Counselor and helped them a ton.  Elder Nyambita was Daniel's trainer and is now an assistant.  This was at the Upper Hill chapel.

Ward missionaries of Upper Hill that help a lot.  Coulston, Eunicorn, (he has his mission call to Jo-burg) and Nelson Mandele

September 8, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

1 September 2014

Well... on to September! August flew by soo fast!

But this past week was pretty cool.

Oh ya forgot to tell you who my new comp is ..... its Elder Maduna... again!! hahah we were with each other in Kitale just for one transfer, now we are back together in Nairobi!! hahah its pretty cool and i am happy to be with him again.  

Well, being in the office is a little bit different because you dont get as much time for proselyting.  We have 2 days of the week where we go to the office to do some office work, like working with referrals that we get through the church referral system. We have to call and contact the people, and if they live in a place where the church is not there yet, we send them some church materials like pamplets and the Book of Mormon.  We also drive missionaries around, for exchanges (because we are not allowed to use matatus right now), taking people to the dentist and doctor, and just doing some other things for the assistants and President Hicken.  So this week, we only had one full day of proselyting... the rest we had to do office work and then try to proselyte haha.  But its ok.  

One cool thing about serving in Upper Hill is that the church and the office are in the same compound, so sometimes Presiden Hicken gets to teach with us.  Its kind of intimidating having him there, just because i don't want to say something stupid or something haha but its really great having him teach with us.  He is a great teacher, and teaches the doctrine simply and clearly.  The spirit is always super present when we teach with him.  I really love president Hicken!

Even it was cool on Thursday, President Hicken did a leadership training for us and the assistants. He showed us a movie called "The Caine Mutiny" (its an older movie).  Its not a movie produced by the church, but he had us watch it in a gospel related way, and paused at certain parts to point out gospel related leadership attributes and things.  In summary, the movie is about this minesweeper ship during WWII  that has a really bad reputation and lazy crew.  I goes on to show how the ship has some different leaders, and how these leaders play a huge part on how the the ship and crew act and do things.  President Hicken was really pointing out one of the leaders, who he likened to be a consecrated missionary.  How he never complained, did exactly what he was told to do, and was always positive and set the example for the rest of the crew.  One of the big things i learned is that if you want something to change or things to happen, make the difference and set the tone of things. This is applicable for all of us.  That there will always be people who complain about things and have a poor attitude.  But if you want things to get any better, be positive and go out and do something about it.  So it was a great training, and i really appreciate how pres Hicken is really trying to help us to become better leaders, and just better men.  

The work is not bad.  We have a few people with a baptismal date.  We are really working hard with this guy named Gerrald.  We are planning to have a bapt date on September 14 for him.  He is progressing really well and is a very intelligent guy.  But man can he talk!! haha if your not careful with him, he can get going and there is no way for him to stop talking! hah but a wonderful guy.  Also another guy named Jackson, who was a referral from a member. He is doing great and we are planning for him to be baptized on the 28 of this months, but we will see.  Also, we are working with a lot of recent converts in this area.  

One thing that has been pretty cool since I've been here is that i have been able to see a lot of people from my first branch I served in, Rongai.  Its way cool to see some of the members again!!  One of which, Bro Ondiego (who is now the Branch pres there), works in the office so i see him almost daily.  Even this week we drove the sister missionaries from Rongai to the dentist, and afterwards had to drive them back, so i got to see Rongai again.  It brought back sooo many memories!!! haha its was way cool.  

But things are going well.  Im enjoying things and loving my mission.  Im especially grateful for the things i am learning.  


Elder Thomas
Daniel and the Flakes.  They said he is a great missionary!

Possessing an abundance of domestic skills

Leaving Kitale and Elder Dick

The Ndung'u family.  Brother Ndung'u was one of Dan's favorites.  Also his son was with Dan in the MTC.

Sister Helen and Owen.  Daniel loves that lil guy, he is the only kid that Daniel knew of that spoke English in Kitale.

Transfer from Kitale to NAIROBI

Soooooooooo... this week..... was very interesting. Let me tell you why.

SO! I'll just get right to it.  Monday we received transfer news. And to be honest, i thought that maybe elder Dick would leave and i would stay. Plus i really like Kitale so it would be ok to stay again.  NOT SO! At this time.... right here.... right now.... at this very place i am sending this email... is not in Kitale.  Now I am serving south of the equator again.... and im back....  in NAIROBI!!! It will be the first time for me to serve in a WARD, called Upper Hill Ward. I will also be serving as an office elder, helping out the assistants and President Hicken with some few things. So now im right in the middle of Nairobi.

It was really tough to say goodbye to Kitale.  I really love all of the people there that i got to know and work with.  On tuesday i was able to say a few goodbyes.  It was really weird thinkin that i would not be seeing these people any more.  These past 6 months here have really flown and i already miss being in Kitale and Sikhendu.  There is a time and season for everything i guess.  But Kitale will always have a special place in my heart!!  

Wednesday, I took a 9 hour bus ride from Kitale to Nairobi with two other elders in my zone, Elder Makazi and Elder Molosankwe.  It was an ok ride.  There was an OLD mama on the bus, strait out of the bush.  Halfway thru the ride she go up and started walking towards the front of the bus. I was sitting at the front and saw here, and was curious as to what she was doing but soon understood. It didnt take long to realize that she came up there to throw up in the waste basket.  The driver took one look at her, paused, and then kept driving.  He didnt even stop for her i felt pretty bad.  But anyways we arrived in Nairobi at about 6 at night, then went back to the assistants flat.  Then they called me and told me that i would need to drive some elders to there areas. Havent driven in a year and a half and have never driven on the left side of the road, but hey ill be honest i didnt do half a bad job.  Ya when i first started driving i was on the wrong side of the road, but after about 5 minutes of it i got the hang of it hahaha.  

So this week we have been driving around Nairobi a lot, taking people to the airport, taking people to the doctors office, dropping people off in their areas, going to do interviews, and just a bunch of other stuff.  Not a whole lot of time for just doing missionary work, which is weird to me.  Im used to just teaching and visiting people all day, now im stuck in a car going from place to place.  It will take some time to get used to but its ok.  

We have a few people progressing towards baptism here, and we teach all of them at the church because we are not allowed to use matatus or buses here.  Still trying to figure out the area but im excited to be here.  

Also it was weird being in a ward.... everything was done orderly, the songs were sung  correctly, i didnt have to give a talk, teach, or prepare or bless the sacrament.  So it was different to say the least haha.  

But all is well with me. Just trying to get a hold on living life in a city haha.

I read a great talk this week from Elder Bednar called "Converted unto the Lord". Has to be one of my new favorite talks.  It talks about the difference between testimony and conversion, and how having a testimony is good, but not enough.  We have to convert ourselves to Jesus Christ and his gospel. If we have a testimony, when things get difficult and tough, we will probably fall.  But if we are converted unto the Lord, we will have the strength and capacity to overcome.  Even he quoted a great scripture that i LOVE! Alma 23:6-8, talking of the people the sons of Mosiah taught, and how they were "converted unto the lord, and never did fall away".  Even this is something that i have seen a lot of in the Book of Mormon, becoming converted.  Its a challenge for all of us, but it comes line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.  The small things of the gospel will make the greatest impact on us, if we apply them.  


Elder Thomas