Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Update 12/7/2009

Another week has come and gone. If they all go this fast we'll be home before we know it! Last Tuesday we went to our farthest distant branch, Kilili. I taught English to beginners the first hour while Elder Blake taught two members how to teach English and then they practiced (as student teachers) on the beginning English learners while I taught keyboard class. We enjoy it and especially working with the people, but progress is slow. They are so appreciative which helps make the drive seem worth it.

Wednesday Elder Blake assisted President Taylor in leadership training in Nairobi for branch and district presidencies. It was quite a sight to walk into a room full of 20-25 nice looking black priesthood leaders. It's something we never would have expected to see in our lifetime, especially prior to 1978.

Thursday we had the young sister missionaries over for dinner and to watch "Finding Faith in Christ" as one sister hadn't seen it and they may show it to investigators. They are both beautiful black African girls - both converts to the church and the only members in their families. One of them had lost her mother just before her mission. (Almost all the young missionaries here are from other parts of Africa.) They helped with the dishes after dinner and then helped decorate our little Christmas tree that was left here by prior missionaries. Neither of them had ever had a Christmas tree. It was a fun night.

Friday we went to our branch highest on the mountains, Ilima. It had been raining quite hard but the president said he thought we could still make it. We almost proved him wrong as we came the closest to getting stuck we ever had! The hill was steep, the mud was deep, and the road was so narrow that there was no room for error! We couldn't go around without going off the road! Elder Blake just plunged ahead, and I had a prayer in my heart that if we were going to do His work we couldn't do it without His help. We considered our making it to be divine intervention. The classes went well on the over all. It's just difficult teaching so many beginners keyboarding. They are mostly young men getting close to mission age. They take learning to seriously that they don't smile and they look like it is all work. I try to joke with them and get them to lighten up and they aren't sure how to take me. I think it will be okay when we get used to each other. The Assistants to the President went up there on Saturday and interviewed investigators for baptism. Ten will be baptized next Saturday in their brand new font. It will be a pleasure to join them.

Sunday we attended branch conference in Kyambeke. We rode with President and Sister Taylor in their SUV. (Even the back seat was a lot smoother ride than in our truck!) We enjoyed our visit going and coming and learned so much from them. They have been here about 2 1/2 years and just relax and love the people. We are thankful for their leadership. One of the keyboard students played for singing in sacrament meeting and then she and her three sisters sang a beautiful musical number acappella.

In Young Women they had about 25 girls from 12-17. I gave them the cards with testimonies from the young women in our home ward. They were excited to get them and will write their testimonies to return to Utah. We'll take their picture when we go to that branch again and send a copy with the testimonies.

On the way home on Friday we stopped by a large floral greenhouse that we pass as we travel all the time. There is high security there but they allowed us to go in and gave us a VIP tour. They gave me a bouquet of 20 of the most beautiful salmon colored roses I have ever seen.

Better run. We are packing to leave in the morning and will stay tomorrow night at the Precious Blood girls' school for the first time and see how that works. We had to buy a mosquito netting for over the bed. I don't know how we'll hook it up. With my claustrophobia it could be quite an experience!

We love you all and keep you in our prayers. Stay safe!

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