Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Update 7.12.2010

Thanksgiving Dinner With the Elders​- The Elders in Kalongo invited us to “Thanksgiving” dinner last Tuesday night. It was a wonderful evening but the closest thing to Thanksgiving was the turkey in the stew! One of the members who has a few turkeys walked 4 kilometers to their flat carrying a big tom turkey under his arm which he promptly killed and prepared as a gift for them. They shared that gift with us in the form of a nice dinner of rice with turkey stew on top. They also served “pumpkin” which is what they call squash here. We made popcorn on our gas burner to contribute for the evening and watched The Other Side of Heaven about Elder Groberg's mission. (The elders said they enjoyed watching, as they previously had thought their mission was the most primitive in the world! Of course, the movie took place at least 45 years ago.) What a fun evening. We love the young missionaries. They are working so hard – especially since they walk many miles each day.

Missionary Training - We held a three-branch missionary training with six young men and one young woman from the branches we serve, who are preparing for missions. Since we have been here our good friends, Claire and Michael, have left to serve in South Africa and Uganda. Two more have their calls to the same mission fields; two others are expecting calls any day now; and six more are preparing their mission applications to receive calls in up-coming months! There is an explosion of African missionaries going throughout the continent and elsewhere. It's exciting to be a part of it.

Chyulu English Training – We were asked by President Taylor to train English teachers in each of ten branches in the Chyulu District (four hours south of Nairobi). The missionaries are trying hard to work with the people there, but lack of English is really a problem. It is also hard in meetings as they are to be conducted in English and many, especially the old people, do not understand what is being said. Elder Blake has been preparing and shopping for supplies for some time and we finally presented the training this week, first to the two district leaders and then to facilitators from nine of the ten branches. They were so receptive to the “hands on” learning centers and new ways of presenting things. It was fun being part of it.

President Andrew of the District Presidency spoke to encourage the leaders and told the following story which has implications to almost any learning. He said, “A mother goose took her goslings, parading in a line, out for a flying lesson. They worked hard and had good success. They could finally fly! How exciting!! They then got back in their line and walked back home.” How does that apply to new learning in each of our lives?

Little by Little/Small Successes – Sunday we took Elder and Sister Byrd (new missionaries from Blanding, UT – Dad, you knew and taught them in the MTC a couple of months ago.) up to the high-on-the-hill branch, Ilima to meet the people and prepare for an employment class as that is their calling. It was fun seeing things through their eyes as we saw giraffes, camels, ox carts, etc. It was a good day as Sister Byrd and Sister Blake visited primary (about 80+ children with only three leaders). The members are trying so hard to follow the program of the Church. The children gave their talks in English and then the leaders helped the younger children understand in Kikamba. They sing the primary songs with all the energy of heart – not always the right melody – but with enthusiasm!

We next visited Relief Society where the first counselor conducted for her first time in English. She's been attending the English class. She was so proud. It was fun to see.

We love the work here. It's an adjusting time as many of the young single adults who have been helping in our teaching are moving on which is exciting to see, but a change. We also are adjusting to doing more leadership training instead of working with investigators because of the new Elders placed up in the Area last month. All these things are good and show progress, but we are making adjustments as well. We are being blessed and guided as to what we should do. Sometimes we don't even recognize it until later. We hope we can stay open and receptive to inspiration.

We love you. Have a good week and stay safe and happy.

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