Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 15: Bike Crash & Priesthood Blessing Miracle

Another week down.

Few cool things- took a coconut down from our tree in the yard this week, cracked it open- drank the juice and ate the coconut. Although I'm not a fan of coconut, it was going to be one of those things I would have regretted if I didn't do it. 

I was reading through an issue of the Liahona magazine this week, reading a General Conference talk, I turned the page, and there was a picture of Jeff Calderwood- taken when he was Elder Calderwood serving in Salt Lake. What are the chances. I had to go to Tanzania to find out he was published in it- when he is in my ward back in Portland.

Had the opportunity to play the game 'chicken' with a pikipiki (a motorcycle) this week while on my bike. They use motorcycles here as personal taxis since they are faster than cars on the dirt and bumpy roads, and can go pretty much anywhere. 

I was on the bike staying to the right side of the road- way off the main track that they drive since they all use pretty much the same line. He came around the corner toward me- I assumed he had the right of way and I wasn't anywhere near the line that they drive. He went to go around me and as soon as I knew it we just kind of slowed down and then our front tires met and the pikipiki won. 

It was kind of one those awkward encounters with a stranger where you don't know if you should pass on the left or right while walking and just kinda awkwardly juke them before someone decides a way. Here, there wasn't a way decided. I hit the ground as we both came to a stop. The driver said 'stay left' in Swahili- so I guess I'll use the pikipiki line they all drive next time. 

Got up and rode off like it never happened. So there's my typical 'missionary bike riding crash story'. Not too sure how many other people have played chicken with a motorcycle coming at them.

Before we switched areas, my companion and I were teaching a very humble older lady whom always sat and didn't talk much but seemed to understand the things we were sharing with her. When we asked her if she would be able to come to church- she said she was unable to walk due to her bad feet and weak knees on the varying terrain and is quite sick. The walk from the mountain (more like a big rock formation) where she lives in her humble home isn't the easiest- especially for someone in that situation. She wanted us to pray for her- which is what we had been thinking as well. 

The next time we visited her- we explained to her about priesthood blessings and how they work according to faith. The Priesthood is the power and authority to act in the Lord's name. 

We read from the Bible- James 5:14-15:

          14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
          15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up..."

We gladly gave her a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directed and invited her to Church once again. That Sunday she didn't make it, and we had plans to go and visit her during the week. A few days later, we switched areas with the other companionship and were unable to visit her. We were unable to show them where she stays, so they were unable to visit her the following week. 

It is a bit hard to describe where people live, as nobody here has addresses- only some companies have PO Boxes. Our house doesn't have an address, the Church building doesn't have an address, and so on. 

But as we entered Church the following Sunday- there she was with her granddaughter- she arrived before us. We almost didn't recognize her because it truly was a miracle. It was a miracle to see her stand and walk. She enjoyed it and her granddaughter loved Primary. Same thing this past Sunday- there before us again. Priesthood blessings are real, and Christ does miracles to this day through his ordained servants.
Have a great week.

Love, Elder Eveson

ps - About the packages from Durban . . . they are finally being shipped from Durban.  However, due to the weight, they haven't decided how or when I will get them from the Mission Home.  They may break things up and send them in the courier pouch, or they may take it to Dar Es Saalam for our next zone conference in about a month.  Or they may wait until sometime when I am back in Kenya.  So know they are on the way and will eventually arrive.  Thank you again for sending them!  I really appreciate it and your thoughtfulness.

About the Pringles can trick, we found out the Pringles can is pretty spendy to ship to Kenya, even at a very light weight.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Week 14: The Smallest Miracles Make All the Difference


Today I got all the mail that was sent to Durban- thank you to everyone who wrote and all the support from the ward family during the Christmas season. I also got the test Dear Elders that the Englunds have sent me- one last week and one in the pouch mail package from the Nairobi office today- so feel free to use that method if you want. The steps to do that are listed below my profile picture on the right or below my blog. The letters arrive in 1 week instead of 2+ weeks like regular mail.  And it's free.

This week the senior couple in Arusha brought us the bikes that were at the Elders house in Arusha (Next to Kilimanjaro- the place we stayed when we went there for Christmas) since nobody is currently there so that has been pretty fun. Most everything after you get off the main road is just dirt roads and paths. Mixing some mountain biking fun stuff in with missionary work. They also took us out to a nice Chinese restaurant right on the edge of Lake Victoria.

My zone leader went to Nairobi for 3 days this week so we were in a companionship of 3 which slowed down the work a bit but we were glad to get back on track when he came back. One of the things my zone leader came back with- our area has split- and because of a few things happening/or the lack of it, we had to swap areas. Elder Anderson (my companion) and I had some nicely progressing investigators in our area, the missionary productivity has been lacking a bit on their side and now we have to start from scratch. Feels a bit like week 1 when I got here- find find find.

One thing I wanted to share from when I traveled from Nairobi here to Mwanza, Tanzania. I stayed in the flat (house/apartment) with the assistants to the president (APs). One of them is from Cape Town and I had quite a bit of their currency- Rand- left over so we exchanged a bit since he wants it for when he goes home. He gave me Kenyan Shilling (different from Tanzanian Shilling) and I gave him Rand. Ended up with 2000 KSh (Kenyan Shilling). The night before I came to Mwanza- I had to repack my bags since only one is allowed on the airplane. The assistant to the Pres called a zone leader in Tanzania and confirmed the allowed weight was 30KG. Packed to 30.0KG on the dot. I got to security the next morning at the airport in Nairobi to fly to Mwanza, and waiting in line I noticed it said 23KG was the allotted weight on my itinerary. I showed the AP's and they said they would pray for me and advised me to be really nice to them. I prayed as well.The lady who checked me in said I would have to pay 7KGs over- so I headed to the office to pay. 1950KSh was the charge. I was like no problem here is my card. The power was out (which happens every now and then) and she couldn't swipe my card. My flight was already boarding. I thought- I don't even have any US cash, all I have is Rand from South Africa, and there's no way she'll take that. The thought of missing my flight crossed my mind. I looked in my wallet and there was the 2000KSh I had exchanged the night before, to pay my 1950KSh fee for my bag. I had no idea the night before that's what the money would be used for- and it was the perfect amount. It was all the Lord's plan. I was escorted through security once again, and to my plane in perfect time. Amazing how the Lord works and answers prayers.

Have a great week everyone!

-Elder Eveson

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 13: Ask and Ye Shall Receive


Been a great week, had 89 contacts and we are just trying to talk with everyone we see- through my companions Swahili. He is very good at it and has no problem, but as for me, slowly but steadily learning.

As far as the picture goes- The Kilimanjaro international airport from when we went to Arusha for Christmas. I will try and send a photo a week from now on so you get a glimpse of the things happening on my side.

As for that story I was going to share:

Happened when I was in Durban, and I'll just recount it from my journal. Background info on it- the apartment we lived in had a full bathroom for each companionship. The other companionship had the dominant shower, whenever both showers went, they got the hot water, or if they went first, they got it. Ended up with a few bucket showers during my stay.

"Monday 2/Dec/2013 

Quite a few things to report on. To start off the day- I woke up at 6:19 so I could shower and have hot water before everyone got up to be looking good for zone conference. When I got out of bed I said a short skimpy prayer so I could hurry to the shower half awake. Started the hot faucet in the sink so the air lock would let out then turned on the hot- nothing. 'Another bucket shower?!' I thought to myself. I returned to my bed in a sincere prayer to start the day as I should have the first time. Concluding it- it included praying for a nice hot shower- I turned off the hot water since none was coming out then back on. Hot water at full blast. Great shower to start the day.

Ask and ye shall receive. Quite the faith building experience at half past 6 in the morning to start the day."

This verse in the Book of Mormon I wanted to share: Moroni 7:26

"...And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you."

I now have a testimony of this verse and know if we ask in faith, knowing we will be answered in our prayers- it will be given to us. All we have to do is ask. I know this Church is the true Church here on this earth- the same one Christ established when he was here.

Have a great week

-Elder Eveson

PS: Got this in an email and wanted to forward it on. Thank you to this blog reader who sent this- if any of you use this way, it is free (although maybe a tiny bit less private) and will get to me within about a week, compared to the usual 2 weeks from the States to the mission office, then a week for it to get to me here in Mwanza. And you don't have to find paper and a pen and hand-write one!

Your family and friends can also write to you FREE via  Here are the steps:

Go to 

Near top right in "Select Mission" box, choose "Kenya Nairobi -- FREE"

Click "Write a Letter"

Enter sender's return address, the missionary's name, then type your letter

Click "Send Letter" when finished
The letters are printed out once a week and physically mailed through the Church's pouch system.  You will receive an actual printed letter, but there is no cost (the site does accept donations).  The sender will also receive an email copy of their letter to you.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 12: The Strike & Learning Piano

Another week down. Hope you all had a Happy New Year!

Last Monday when we went to town to email and get food and everything, everything was closed. We thought maybe it was in preparation for New Years and the things that might happen. All the businesses were closed. We couldn't figure it out- but the Post Office was open so we knew it wasn't a government thing. We asked the lady working and she said everyone is on strike for a month. 

We were barely able to find an internet shop to email at last week and the little shops where we get our food at were closed. We had no idea what we were going to do. We were told it was going to last a month. Later that night we found out it was because the government wants all the businesses to buy scanners (which would be very expensive for them) and cash registers to be more organized and be able to document and keep track of what they sell. 

The other Elders that are staying with us called a lady they are teaching that night who owns a little shop and on Tuesday we bought all the basic things that would last for a month (which is how long we were told the strike would last). Thursday morning things were back to normal. What a joke. And all the food we got for 'a month' barely lasted us to this Monday. Haha so there's this week's activity.

We keep the keyboard the branch uses every Sunday at church and take it home for the week and I had some time and sat down and thought myself this would be useful for me to know- and taught myself the most basic right hand part of one of the hymns. Haven't played the piano in forever but thoughts of piano lessons when I was younger came to me. I picked it right up so hopefully I will be able to learn more as I have time.

Anyways- I have received a few questions about the Pringles shipping trick- Use that method I explained last week only. (can be found at the end of last week's blog:

If you send a box they will open it up at customs in Kenya and evaluate and charge me absurd amounts and take whatever the would like. Using a Pringles can you will be able to get anything to me without them opening it- just tape it good. Mail is totally fine, and don't worry about packages that were sent to Durban.

Thank you for all your support and thoughtfulness. My address is on my blog if you wish to write me.

It has been a bit weird seeing friends and family email me about going to the mountain to ski and snowboard- I do miss it. Since I got here I dont remember a day below 75- and that was nice and cool that day. It has been around 80-85ish typically, yesterday was 95. Enjoy the winter!

The experience I was going to share will have to wait til next week but hope you all have a great week.

-Elder Eveson