Life Stays Interesting. - We had a fun lesson in Matua Wednesday afternoon but when we got back down the hill to our truck we had a totally flat tire. It was hot and late afternoon but Elder Blake rallied the group and had a tire changing lesson (with the help of many children!) I was amazed at his patience. With spare tire in place we picked up the Elders and took them to Nunguni for “dinner.” (The stew was made from the cow tongue – very little meat.) While we ate the flat tire was checked out down the street. They didn't find a problem and said that someone let the air out. Also,Wednesday at Mitini President Kaseve was not feeling well. A matatu trip to Nairobi found that he had acute appendicitis. The next day we took his wife in to be with him and our spare tire went flat during rush hour in the middle of Nairobi. Not good! It took us two hours to find the medical center we needed. There are no addresses in Nairobi, few street signs, and no maps of the city accurate enough to locate a certain area. No one knew where it was. People running shops, gas stations, etc. seldom know where a neighboring business (or hospital) is, even if it is just across the roadway or two shops away from their own. All's well that ends well. We arrived late, but safe.
Sewing Machine Shopping Trip – We have been looking for a treadle sewing maching for the newest branch that doesn't have one. (This gift is from you family who contributed at Christmas time.) We were told where to get the best deal but didn't know how to get there without someone who was familiar with the area. While visiting President Kaseve in the hospital we saw President Onesmus who said he could help us. When he heard the address he said no mzungu should ever be in that part of town! [We told him we had accidentally been in a lot of places no mzungu should ever be (!) so he agreed to help us find it.] What an experience. We now know why not to go there! Even where we've traveled in Nairobi we have never seen traffic jams like we experienced all afternoon and into evening. It was only through blessings of heaven we made it home without incident and with a new Singer treadle machine. We now need to buy the table and treadle. We don't think we will try returning to that area even if we pay more! We are excited to present the machine though. The sisters have been saving a little of their own money and not spending all their church relief society funds to pay a little, so that they feel ownership. They are excitedly talking and planning what they will do when it comes.
Bitter-Sweet Time – We have our release date and travel arrangements and will be returning home from our mission March 12th. We knew this time would come and are excited to see home and family but we will miss these wonderful people and the experiences we have had here. It still doesn't seem real. We are working hard right up to the end and will be in the Hills most of the remaining two weeks. (We'll have to pack fast!) Today was our last Sunday at the Mitini Branch and we told them how much we loved them, and that we look forward to seeing them again at a “grand reunion” in heaven; where we hoped it would be like Alma and the sons of Mosiah when they met after being away from each other for so long: “...therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord:...” (Alma 17). We promised we would try hard to stay true and asked that they do the same so we could meet again and have these same wonderful feelings.
Have a good week and know we are thinking of you with love.