Monday, December 6, 2010

Update 12.6.2010

Self Reliance in Kenya – We skipped one day in Kilili while Sister Blake recuperated from her cold but left bright and early for Mitini on Wednesday to help with a Self Reliance Workshop in that branch. Elder and Sister Byrd, Employment Missionaries, conducted the workshop which we appreciated, since that is one of the biggest challenges here as there is so much poverty. A quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley in Cebu Philippines in 1996 was a perfect promise to these saints. He said: “If members even living in poverty and misery...will accept the gospel and live it, pay their tithes and offerings, even though those be meager...they will have rice in their bowls and clothing on their backs and shelter over their heads. I do not see any other solution.” Already we see remarkable changes in the countenances of the saints as they accept and live the gospel.

As usual, our day didn't go as planned and we made another couple of runs to the hospital for a sister who joined the church right after we came to Kenya. She had a bad kidney infection and was expecting a baby in two months, which they determined at the hospital to be twins. We left her with a friend to be treated and then returned to pick her up and take her as close to her home as we could drive. We commented when we left that she was so far away from the hospital if there should be an emergency she would never make it. When we went to church there Sunday we learned that she had lost the twin girls on Friday. The branch organized, and after the 3-hour block of meetings on Fast Sunday, about 50 members walked clear from the church to her home to show support and love to this sister. A short meeting was held with talks of comfort from one of the Elders, Elder and Sister Blake, President Kaseve, and several of her branch friends. They brought bags of maize and beans for the sister and her family and chocolate drink to fix for the group. We had to leave early to climb back up the hill and try to make it to Nairobi before dark, but there was a good spirit there and peace and comfort were felt.

Leadership and Handbook Training – Thursday, at the request of President Broadbent, we held a leadership training on the new General Handbooks of Instruction with the DVD from Salt Lake. There were about 60 people from three of the branches in attendance and it was enjoyed by all. We had previewed it two times and got even more from it the third time. It was powerful, and stressed the importance of councils in all we do in the church, including in families at home. We hope the members were able to understand the English well enough to really benefit from the training. They seemed to. After, we served biscuits (cookies) and soda as they had to walk back up hill to their homes – some as far as 1 ½ to 2 hours. We should never complain!

Ilima Visit – Friday we visited Ilima finally as the rain had stopped and the worst spot in the road had been fixed! We love being high on the hill – especially now everything is green and beautiful. School is out for Christmas holiday so some of the young women were there for music conducting and then keyboard class. This was followed by auxiliary training for YM and YW leaders. Pres. and Sister Simon sent us home with another large sack of huge, beautiful avocados. We're getting spoiled and enjoy eating them on almost everything!

Christmas Decorations – Friday when we returned home we got our little Christmas tree out of the box and decorated it. We also put out our little clay nativity that April's and Brian's family sent us last year that arrived the end of January! We added the advent calendar Scott's family sent last year and we are in as much of the Christmas spirit as we can be with weather in the 70's and 80's and flowers blooming everywhere! We do think of family and friends especially at this time. We love you all and keep you in our prayers. Stay safe and happy.

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