After a good morning working with the Kilili Branch we picked up President Kaseve and Brother Francis from Wote where they were completing government forms to prepare for the Francis' family's trip to the temple. They showed us a shortcut through the back roads and valleys to Kalongo where the missionaries live. We piled eight of us into our truck and headed for the new Matua area for a large family meeting. The family all gathered outside in the shade where a very special meeting ensued, where expressions of love and support were given by the branch presidency, elders quorum president, missionaries, and Elder Blake. Counsel was given to help withstand opposition and stay true to the course. Sister Blake gathered the children around and told them the story of Christ's visit to the Nephites and His love of the children and sang the new primary song with them as she talked of the importance of taking the children to primary where they could learn more about Jesus.
We think these special new members could feel the Spirit there and hope they can be strong in the gospel while they wait for a new branch in their area.
Ups and Downs – During our early walk we heard the Precious Blood girls beginning their morning devotional. We slipped in quietly to join them for a few minutes. Sister Mary Joyce asked Elder Blake to greet the girls and told them that we were missionaries and that we were doing good things in the area. We really appreciate the association we have with these dedicated nuns and the mutual respect that we feel. Next Wednesday we are going to show the nuns the Finding Faith in Christ DVD. (Thanks Dad Blake and Ruth for the DVD.)
Besides teaching our classes we made one scheduled trip to take an investigator to the hospital. After Mitini classes we were taking the Chuvi brothers to meet with their branch president as, unbeknown to them, we had brought their mission calls with us from Nairobi. As we started down the hill we saw a large group of about 25 people hurrying up the hill. Several were holding the edges of a blanket like a stretcher with a body inside. They were carrying an unconscious man to the hospital about 4 miles from there! The Chuvi brothers got out and we loaded the man and two relatives into the truck for a trip back to the hospital!
On our return we found the brothers and took them to the high-on-the-hill branch, Ilima for the exciting moment of receiving the long awaited letters from Salt Lake. We walked with them down the hill to their home where they opened their letters and will be serving in Uganda and Cape Town South Africa. What an exciting time for them and for their family (and for us!)
Missionary Ministering – Thursday we didn't have classes but had felt impressed to stay in the hills and make some visits. We visited with two families. One was the Relief Society president in Kyambeke who had just returned from the hospital in Nairobi. We found her sitting alone in a dark room of her house (no electricity) listening to her battery radio. Elder Blake was able to give her a blessing of comfort, which she received with gratitude. We had a wonderful visit which would have been worth the whole trip. He husband died 2 years ago as they were preparing to go to the temple (she went alone); and her son is serving a mission in Uganda.
As we were starting down the hill toward home we received a call for an emergency hospital run to a larger hospital in Machakos with the investigator we had taken to the Kikoko Hospital the day before. We rushed to the hospital and picked up the patient, his son, and President Kaseve. Another priesthood blessing for peace, and we were on our way 45 minutes over bumpy back roads. After the patient and family were settled, we started for home and were met in Nairobi by long traffic jams, where it took us about an hour to get to our flat in the dark. What a rewarding work we are involved in. We feel deeply the blessings that come from service. These same feelings have come to us at other times but they seem to be magnified when we are able to spend more time up in the Hills with the people.
The patient in Machakos hospital died the next day. He was one of our English-learning investigators , not yet baptized because he couldn't understand enough English to pass the interview. We'll participate in the funeral next week; and likely serve as the hearse to take the casket from Machakos to his home, where he will be buried in the shamba near the house. Kenyans in the Hills guard the graves of their loved-ones with much reverence.
Have a good and safe week. We love you.