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