Well..... things have been quite interesting over here. Lots of things changing and things happening.
If you didn't know, i got transferred back to Mautuma. I was here exactly this time last year.. so its kinda crazy. Its way cool being back here. I have already seen a ton of people that i knew from before, and all of them were very shocked to see me. I really like being here because I'm also able to see people from Kitale and Sikhendu branches(my old areas). So I'm super excited to be here! Its really dry right now, so its super dusty, but its really nice.
For Elder Musasia and I, we are splitting the area with the elders already here, Elder Osimbo (Kisumu) and Elder Tebbs (Queen Creek, also my old comp in Darajani). So what we did this last week was we mostly just went on splits with them. Right now in their area they have 37 recent converts and like 15 other investigators... so the work is BOOMING! its pretty crazy. So they are going to show us where all these new converts and people stay, and after another week or so Elder Musasia and I will be able to know the area well enough. we are super super busy! Its really cool tho. I haven't really got to know any of the new people, but its way cool to be seeing some of the people i knew from here before again.
Christmas was pretty nice. We were able to spend it in Kitale with the rest of the zone and also with the couple missionaries, the Flakes. Nothing like Christmas back home, but still pretty good. Its not about the material things tho.
Sunday we went to the dedication of the new chapel in Misikhu! I was here last year while they were just starting to build it... and now i was there to see it be dedicated one year later!! Pretty sweet. President Hicken came up to do the dedication and it was really nice. I was able to see quite a few familiar faces from some of the different branches. Its a really pretty building. Biggest building around for sure tho!
Sorry not to much else to share this week... sorry its not that interesting. Just getting used to the area, and loving it.
But this past week I finished the book of 2 Nephi. It was powerful as usual! But something I really liked came from 2 Nephi 31. This is a really nice chapter outlining the Gospel of Jesus Christ very simply. But I especially liked vs. 13 where it talks about us following Christ, and it says we need to ''follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent.'' This is something that i have been thinking about lately. That a lot of people all over the world say 'I believe in God', but when you see who they are and how they act, it is very contrary. More importantly than believing in Christ and knowing about him, is living for Him. That's how we show Him that we REALLY believe in him and accept his Atonement in our lives. It's very difficult to do, but every small thing we do to take a step in the right direction towards living for Christ helps. His Atonement is real, all we have to do is to come unto him by keeping the commandments and live righteously.
Well that's all for this week. 2014 has really been one of the best years of my life. Sad to see it go... but its all gooooood! Love you all!!! It was good to talk to you mom~!!!!!!!!!
Soooo.... this was quite an eventful week... lots of things going on!
This past week we have really been working with a few of our new investigators, Joan (17),her brother Jarred (14), and Naomi (17). They were referrals from a member. Referrals are a missionaries best friend! They are in Nairobi for the Holiday season on break from their boarding schools. Almost all kids here go to boarding schools.. its weird. Back home im pretty sure thats frowned upon to put your kids in boarding school... here its the best education. Anyhow, both are really progressing well. Had some powerful lessons on the Book of Mormon and some of the commandments. Both are very understanding and wanting to learn more. Even both of them this week will be attending the stake FSY (for the strength of youth) activity. Its basically EFY. But im happy for them, it will be a good time for them to meet other members their age. We are planning for their baptisms on 28 this month.
Wednesday was pretty exhausting... haha. Woke up at 4:00am to pick up some new incoming missionaries (all are kenyans) who are serving in this mission. Even one of them was Bro Emmanuel (now Elder Emmanuel) who was the ward mission leader in Upper Hill Ward. Ha it was cool to see him as a missionary now! After that we went strait to help the sister missionaries move flats from Upper Hill to South B. It was cool tho because we had the whole district with us so we had a lot of help. It did take us the whole day tho... i was dying! The sisters did make us food tho so that was nice, green grams and rice. Powerful. Then they also bought me a birthday cake!! It was actually corn bread but who cares! same thing haha it was nice tho. I enjoy doing serving now, back home... not so much haah. but mission changes you!!
Thursday was very interesting. We were on exchanges with the Athi River elders for Bapt interviews, so Elder Bradford came to be with me and Elder Musasia. Midway through the day we were told that elder Musasia had to go with the assistants for a new missionary lunch with the mission president, so he left us. But there was another missionary, elder Wambete (who came from Nakuru for interview with the mish pres) who was with us for the day. Ha it was waaay cool. We all had a blast together and had some great lessons. But most importantly.... Bro Gerrald passed the bapt interview!! He was super excited and i also was told he teared up in the interview. POWERFUL!! So after all our lessons, we were told to go into town to go buy some bus tickets for the new missionaries going to their new areas. Seemed simple enough right??? hapana. wow.... traffic jam... woooow. I'm not sure if its because of the holiday season or what, but traffic in Nairobi has been the worst i have ever seen it. From the office to the bus stage is about 4 kms, if that. IF THAT. Dont worry tho, it took us only 4 and a half hours to get there.... no joke.... hahaha woooow. Sittin sitting not moving an inch... i was about to lose it. Cars were jammed for as long as the eye could see. We finally got to the bus stage at 8:45 pm. and wow.... Nairobi at night is something else.... its like a zoo. People are everywhere going every which direction. It was pretty intense. We took advantage of the time tho, and because it was my birthday, we got some PIZZA!! Ohh man it was nice. Happy birthday me.... haha. I dont feel like I am 21. Wild day tho.
Friday the Pres Hicken invited us and the assistants to play bocce ball and go out to eat. It was really nice.
Saturday we mostly just contacted, and did some more service. We got to wash the baptismal clothes from our last baptism that never got washed... ya they were a lil stinky. Haha but me and elder Musasia dominated those clothes! and yes we did it all by hand. Fun fun.
Sunday was really powerful. The baptism for Gerrald was perfect. Elder Maduna (my old comp) got to do the baptism. But Bro Gerrald is one of the most spiritually prepared people i have met on my mission. He has his own testimony already. I am just grateful that i was privileged enough to take part in the teaching process. Even pres Hicken came to the baptism (he helped us teach Gerrald when he had time). Also! Nifred, one of our RC's, also gave a fantastic talk at the baptism!! She has only been a member for a few weeks, but she did a great job, using scriptures from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I was really happy for her. Great Sunday.
quite the week.... but a lot of fun tho!!
Read two scriptures this week that really meant a lot to me. Both of them really got me thinking about what my mission, and what it has meant to me so far. Mosiah 5:2-5 and Alma 32:28. Both talk about change, and giving place for the gospel in our lives. I absolutely love my mission and especially the things the Lord has shown unto me since i have been here.
But this will be my last week in Upper Hill... crazy. Pres Hicken said elder Musasia and I will be transferred out next week. So sunday night we will find out where we are going. It will be my last area... weird.
BUT HEY! Benny boy and Becca i hope you have a great wedding!!! Im excited for both of you!!!
Lakini nawapendeni!! Endelea vizuri na kumbuka vitu vya muhimu kwanza. Wiki njema!
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.
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!!!