Monday, November 15, 2010

Update 11.15.2010

Wet Week! - This is the rainy season and it is living up to its name! We had heard this year was expected to be dry but at least for now we are getting the needed moisture for crops to grow. The problem is that it also makes some travel hazardous and even prohibits it. Wednesday we met with Mitini Branch which isn't as far off the paved road. It was rainy and cool but there was good attendance including three wonderful new investigators (Josphat, Barnabas, and Catherine) Sister Blake was asked to teach them at the last minute. She's a little rusty because this has now been delegated to the full time Elders but they were not back from Nairobi. Elder Blake loves teaching the 5-8 new convert “village elders” each week. They just thirst for knowledge and are enjoying marking their own scriptures. (As soon as they bring their scriptures to class – the Branch has issued each one his own set of scriptures – They are “gifted” by the teacher with their own personal scripture making pencil!) The class in Matua was canceled as the rain made travel there -- even by foot for us -- impossible. We stayed in Kikoko to see what Thursday's weather would bring and were delighted as morning dawned bright and clear – not even misty!

Hospital Run – Before teaching in Kyambeke we were asked to take Margaret, a good friend and recent convert, to the hospital. She had fallen on the slick trail and they feared she'd broken her wrist. No x-ray facilities are available in the Hills so we took her and her husband down the mountain to a matatu stop before going to Kyambeke to teach. On the way we stopped and walked up the trail to visit a non-member family and another sister, Victoria, who had recently lost her husband (where, at the invitation of the presiding Catholic priest, Elder Blake spoke extemporaneously at the funeral a few weeks ago). It was a fun visit and we took pictures before inviting her to ride down to English class with us.

The classes were a little smaller and we didn't know why until on the way back we saw huge crowd of people and about 40 donkeys crowding the road. We didn't know what was happening, and this large crowd was a little intimidating as we could hardly drive through the mass of people. We learned that the government was issuing free fertilizer to families and they were there waiting (for hours!) to pick up their ration. We found another group just as large farther up the road in Kikoko as we passed through on our way to Sultan Humud to pick up the couple who were waiting for us after having a new cast put on the broken arm.

As we returned the biggest dilemma was that many (dozens) of the people waiting for fertilizer (we had seen them and visited with them on our way back to the hospital) were friends from the different branches and they all would like us to take them and their heavy fertilizer (50 kilogram sacks – approximately 100# each) to their homes. We felt tremendous concern, because there was no way we could help some without others getting their feelings hurt. There was also no way we could get through village without being seen, as there is only one road! We stopped and had a prayer for help and guidance and felt impressed that we would do more harm than good to show favorites by helping some. As we drove back through the village (the crowd still numbering in the hundreds), we considered it a miracle as we recognized only one of the many members (far off) we had seen earlier! We were so grateful that we did not have to choose to help some, and not others.

Temple Trip – More preparations are being made for the temple trip and we are only waiting for visas which we hope will arrive this week, as our excursion of 19 people will depart from the airport early AM next Monday (11/22). It is exciting to see the anticipation and joy on the faces of those who are going. They are reading and studying to be spiritually ready; but some express trepidation at the thoughts of flying in an airplane.

Change of Plans – Friday brought even more rain and the roads were impassable. In talking with the branch president, he agreed that before we drive up to Ilima again they will need to fix the road where it has washed out on both sides! Last time we visited there, even in dry weather, the road was getting precarious. They assured us they will repair the deep wash-out holes this Thursday. We're not sure how they will do it but we'll see how it goes. We also had to cancel plans to attend a party at the home of the Ilima Relief Society President on Saturday – just too wet!

Primary Program – Sunday we attended church in Kilili for their primary program. This is the second program of the four branches we have attended and it is always fun to see the children and hear them sing and speak. The tunes and rhythm of most of the songs were not quite as they are written, but they were sung with enthusiasm and enjoyed by all. A special twist to the program was to see the children conducting the music. Their mothers have attended conducting classes and the children were leading 3 /4 and 4/4 time as taught by their mothers and enjoying the experience. It was fun.

Have a good week and know we are thinking of you!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this amazing missionary experience.