Sunday, May 30, 2010

Update 5.30.2010

Call from the Mission President – Late Monday evening we received a call from President Taylor telling us he was seriously considering placing Elders in Kilungu Hills. The question was where to place them that was safe and central for the large Hills Area. We had already been doing some investigation but didn't know it would be so soon! He asked: could we check out possibilities and be in touch with him the next day?

Right Place at the Right Time – One possibility for Elders' housing was near Kikoko hospital by our Precious Blood flat. We were a little early for teaching in Kyambeke and decided to stop at the hospital to investigate. As we were visiting with our friend, Sister Mary Agatha (hospital administrator), she mentioned that she had “one of our people” in the hospital that she was concerned about. The lady had been in labor since Sunday (this was Tuesday) and wasn't doing well. They had an ambulance standing by and were deciding whether to declare an emergency and send her 50 miles to Machakos hospital. We went in to see the lady who was all alone, and visibly distressed. At first we didn't recognize her but realized she was Mary, a special friend and helper with English teaching. Her husband had been to see her early in the morning but didn't stay as the custom is for only women to be involved with the birth of babies. Elder Blake asked if she would like a blessing and she said she would. He gave her a beautiful blessing before the midwife and doctor came to make a decision what to do. After examining her again, the doctor came out to report that things had changed for the better and they would go ahead with the delivery. Two hours later Sister Mary Agatha called to report a healthy baby boy! // After classes on Wednesday, we took Mary's husband and the RS president to the hospital to take the new mother and baby home. When alone, Mary told Sister Blake that after Elder Blake had given her the blessing she was completely at peace and knew everything would be okay. What beautiful faith.

Elders Across Canyon – Wednesday Pres. Taylor decided that Elders would be placed in Kalongo Market Place (Matua Area) on Friday! Hopefully a new branch will be approved for the Matua area, where so many are joining the church but have to hike so far through a deep canyon to get to church in Mitini.

Longing for Baptism – Wednesday, Brother Boneface, one of the teachers in the Zero English Experience class, reported that some of the older people in his class who simply are not progressing well, had asked him that day what would happen to them if they died before they learned enough English to be baptized? We told him that Heavenly Father knew the desires of their hearts and things would be made right for them. We just love these wonderful people.

Happy Birthday – Thursday was Elder Blake's birthday and we celebrated by preparing things for the English training next week in Chyulu, then went out for birthday lunch. We ordered “mushroom burgers,” which were interesting: They were bean patties shaped like a burger, with a couple of mushrooms inserted; at least there was a bun! (He did get a home-made lemon meringue pie.)

Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall” - Friday was spent at the doctor instead of teaching at Ilima. Sister Blake's chest cold got much worse and Elder Blake got attacked by a host of new itchy bumps. They wonder if he is developing an allergic reaction to the malaria medication the Church provides for us; so they changed his medication to one that often causes hallucinations; maybe we'll let him write the blog for awhile... it could be entertaining! We were advised not to go anywhere until we checked back on Monday, so we've been home for three straight days. We felt bad not to help the new Elders move in at Kalongo; and Sister Elaine Dalton, YW General President, has been in town and we missed seeing and hearing her speak. We did watch two sessions of conference together on DVD and had the first real Sunday dinner since we've been here since we travel 6-7 hours each Sunday. We're glad we like each other as that's a lot of “togetherness.” We're too busy to be sick!

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