Written History – There is very little recorded history of individuals in Kenya. Most history is oral and passed from generation to generation. In temple classes we have worked on pedigree charts, family group sheets, and now life stories with a promise that we will type and return anything they write! We are trying to add pictures as well. We've asked members to include how they learned about the Church and to share their testimonies. We are also doing oral history interviews with three of the grandparent generation who are definitely the “pioneers” in the church (although the longest baptized is just over one year now). Some of their younger children who have had schooling serve as interpreters. At first they were uncomfortable – lots of one-word responses to our searching questions – but they are gradually warming to the ideas of sharing their life experiences. When they see their words typed, along with a picture that should get them excited!
Welcome Gifts – A few weeks ago one of the branch presidents asked us if we liked chicken. We assured him that we did and he said the next time we came he'd have one for us. We weren't sure if it would be alive and crowing – a “do-it-yourself” project for us – or just what. When we left after classes he presented it to us very fresh, killed, cleaned (still warm – no refrigerators), and ready to go. They also included a huge avocado to go with it. People are so good to us. We're going to miss them all!
Initiation of New Elder - With the transfer of Elder Atkins, Elder Trickett from Roy (just a mile or so from our home) was assigned to our area . We hadn't known him before, as we haven't lived there long ourselves; plus he lives in another stake. The senior companion, Elder Hayes, assured him that he wouldn't need a rain coat as this was the dry season. Promptly upon arrival it began to rain like the bottom had fallen out! We had planned to pick up the Elders and take them to Nunguni for “dinner.” It was pouring rain as they left their apartment, so Elder Hayes gave his new companion his raincoat, since he'd told him not to bring one. Then, on the way down the hill, he slipped and fell “splat” in the red mud – all 6' 7” of him! Now they were soaking wet and covered with mud. We helped him dry off a little before dinner as we also needed to make a hospital visit on our way. These two Elders really stand out as one is 6' 7” and the other about 6' 2” and both blond and blue-eyed. It is a privilege to serve with them.
They have been working on the roads (hand-shovel crews) using the soft red dirt which becomes like pudding when wet. We got stuck right behind a stuck matatu so everyone had to get out and assist the crowd who had gathered to help get the vehicles back on the road. In the confusion, a woman helped herself to our tow rope and started down the road (away from the scene). Sister Blake had gotten out of the truck (in the mud) just in time to retrieve the tow rope before it got “lost.” The day was a fitting welcome to the adventures of Kilungu Hills!
Blog Days are Numbered – We have been working on our calendar and trying to fit in everything that needs to be done in these two remaining months of our mission. We will be excited to see family and friends but we certainly will miss our wonderful friends here, and the experiences we are having We know that our lives will never be the same... (but we just don't know how yet??)
Our love to you all. Stay safe and happy.