Monday, July 26, 2010

Update 7.26.2010

Meeting Along the Road – We taught in Kyambeke on Tuesday. The Elders didn't go this time as they thought there wouldn't be many people to teach because it was market day. Our surprise was that there were people there for five classes at the same time – investigators, large temple class, two English levels, and keyboard! We were able to shift around and get by, but we'll have to do some adjusting for another time. We drove up the hill to Ilima to talk to them about the four-branch YM/YW activity planned for Aug. 7th. We still needed to talk to two more branch presidents about the YM/YW activity and happened to run into them along the dirt roadway! We stopped and sat on rocks and had our meeting right there. It was fun. Maybe we should conduct more meetings outside in a less structured atmosphere!

We shopped at the Nunguni Market Day on our way home and bought Elder Blake a couple of pairs of casual pants. There are some new things and food for sale, but much of what is for sale is like a king-sized garage sale, mostly laying on the ground on a tarp or blanket. We picked up the missionaries there and took them home.

Training – Wednesday Mitini classes went well and Sister Blake did a Relief Society training with the presidency. As they were talking about the change in name for the week-day Relief Society, the sisters had a confused look on their faces. They didn't know there were any other R.S. meetings except on Sunday. They are very anxious to do things right but there is much to learn!

Trip to Mombasa – After classes we headed for Mombasa which is a large seaport city (as was Tacoma). We stayed in the empty, couple-missionary apartment in Chyulu along the way, as it is an 8 hour drive. Elder and Sister Byrd were also staying there doing employment training. We played games and enjoyed our evening with them. We love the other missionary couples and learn so much from them.

Thursday we visited a branch in Mtito Andei where Byrds were teaching employment skills; and then drove to Mombasa where we met Elder and Sister McBride. With peanut butter sandwiches in hand we drove to the ferry and crossed over to where there was a beautiful beach on the Indian Ocean. It was just like the travel posters with warm, aqua colored water and soft white sand. We took off our shoes and waded out enough to get wet up to our knees. If we weren't on a mission we would have taken a book and sat under a coconut palm tree by the beach for the afternoon. What a beautiful place. The only drawback was the “sharks” as they are called – young men on the beach who won't take “no” for an answer to give them money or buy something from them that is inflated up to 5X for Mzungus. We then met with the young missionaries so Elder McBride could interview an investigator for baptism who has family roots based in polygamy.

While we were in Mombasa we visited their English class and got some new ideas. Many of the students are not members of the Church but they all love being there. McBrides were also preparing for a pioneer celebration party on the 24th so we helped with that. Usually senior missionaries only help and advise local leaders, but Elder McBride was called to be branch president because of tribal contentions that were tearing the Branch apart.

While there they also took us out to a wood shop where native artists do their carvings. Artists sit on the ground with hand tools, and each one has a specialty, such as elephant carver, giraffe carver, etc. It was a fun day and we were able to purchase some nice African animal carvings to remember our Kenya mission experience. McBrides were so hospitable as we ate, visited and played games in the evenings. Saturday we helped finish party preparations and attended the first part, where we had been invited to share pioneer stories. We enjoy seeing what the other missionaries do, but we love where we serve and what we are doing. We haven't seen anyone we would like to trade with.

Have a good week. You are in our prayers.

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