Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Week 19: Official East African Resident, It's a Small, Small World & Christmas in a Box!
Quite a week.
Our Mission President has planned 3 individual times to come to Mwanza to interview us 4 Elders here but each of those times the flight was canceled or something happened. We have to do interviews with him every so often and the end of this transfer is Mar 2nd and had to be done by then. He was going to come this past Sunday- again that didn't work out.
Friday night we got a call from the Assistants to the President and said since he couldn't come to us- we're going to him. Saturday morning we printed out itineraries and Sunday morning after sacrament meeting headed to the airport.
Had a 5 hour layover at the Kilimanjaro airport and while I was writing a letter and my companion was reading 'Believing Christ', two Caucasian girls traveling together in their young 20's came up and introduced themselves as members of the Church.
They were there volunteering at an orphanage outside of Arusha for a month and a half to finish up a requirement for school at BYU-Hawaii before graduating. On their long flight over from the States they had mentioned to each other how cool it would be to see missionaries while they were here- and they met us the last day of their trip, an hour before their plane took off. Turns out one was from Georgia, and the other said she was from Portland, Oregon. I was kinda like wait whattt....
I said I was too, she asked which part, replied Beaverton, and then she mentioned she went to Westview High School - rival to Sunset HS which I attended. She is in the Bethany ward and lives like 10 minutes from me in Portland. Small world huh? We were able to give them some Swahili Church materials we had and they were thrilled.
Got to talking to an elder couple while waiting for the plane who were from Reno, Nevada- they have been on Safari for a few weeks and they loved talking on and on about it. I was thinking- I hope that's me one day sitting in this airport having done that.
A younger couple started talking to my companion and I, and asking questions about our Church and Missionary Service. We were able to answer them and it turns out they were from Concord (San Francisco) California- and I have family in Lafayette and Sausalito, CA, which are all near each other. Small world huh?
I love talking English and being able to know and understand and participate in the conversations. Swahili is slowly coming along.
Got into Nairobi Sunday night, and Monday morning we went to the Mission office and us 4 Elders had interviews with our Mission President, which went great. He is an awesome and powerful man.
It was really nice going to Nairobi- I was able to get everything that was sent to Durban. Thank you to everyone who sent things- I got more mail (from a while ago) and the other Christmas things that were sent there. Thank you sooo much to everyone and their generosity. Christmas in a box.
It was great to be back in Nairobi and at the mission office even if I was only there 2 months ago. I was able to use the washer machine at the Assistants to the President's apartment- what a luxury. I was also was able to take things from my suitcase that is there and put things in there that I didn't need here in Mwanza, which was very nice to do.
That was my Monday, then this morning at 6:00 am we headed for the airport, and am now emailing from Mwanza, Tanzania. Busy few days- and added a few more stamps to the passport. Oh- and now that my Kenyan visa and work permit are endorsed, I am an 'East African' resident. Now that's pretty cool to say. The Tanzanian work permit is coming along and I shouldn't have any problems- I have been really blessed.
After this transfer we will have 69 missionaries total with all the ones that are leaving and even more (last count was 36) that will be serving in temporary assignments while waiting to come to the Kenya Nairobi Mission. I was the most recent missionary to be allowed in.
Crazy thing is- as a mission we're doing the same amount of work as when there were around 120-140 missionaries here. The Lord is Hastening His work.
Last thing- turns out zone conference is next transfer- not this transfer. We will be traveling to Dar es Salaam for that.
So that's why I didn't email yesterday- sometimes things just happen. All is well here. Making these the best two years.
Kenya Nairobi Mission