Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 22: Crazy Terrain Paradise & Donkeys

Well - since these last 2 weeks haven't really worked out for communicating - here's an email.

So while in Mwanza TZ, President Hicken (Mission President) called and told my former companion Elder Anderson (from Orlando) he was being transferred to the office (as an office Elder, not an assistant to the President) and I was headed to serve in Kenya. Mwanza will only have 2 Elders instead of 4 because many areas are being closed due to not recieving missionaries. The other Elders there will takeover the area that we were working in- including the 14 people we had on baptism date for March 29th- next Saturday. Not sure how that will end up. 

The last night there though we had dinner (including Donkey meat) brought to us from the Branch President and his wife which was actually really good and nice of them. Anyways - turns out it is Kilungu Hills for me. 

I flew to Nairobi, spent the night with the Assistants to President and the office Elders, then came here to my new area. It is amazing here. We are over 2 Branches (small congregations that meet together), and each have an average of about 100 at Sacrament Meeting every Sunday. Lots of members to see, and we are trying to increase the teaching pool of investigators.

These are The Hills. Crazy terrain - had to pick up a pair of hiking boots while in Nairobi a few days ago. All walking- no chance of using a bike. Sometimes it reminds me of hiking in the Columbia Gorge back home. Beaaautiful.

People have their houses then their shamba- or farm type thing- that they work in constantly that is dug into the side of the hill. Donkeys carry water from the river (we are one of the few with running water) up to their house. I actually rode a donkey last week- something not many people can say they have done on their missions. Enjoying my mission as much as possible.

Here we haven't had power for a while but all is well - it should come back soon.

I'm not sure how I keep getting so blessed with my areas, as well as companions.

My companion- since everyone loves to hear about them - he's awesome. Elder Beacom is from East London which is outside Eastern Cape in South Africa. He lives 10 minute walk from the beach and he surfed every day except Sunday before he came on mission. His only sibling, his brother, is serving in Ghana and left 2 months behind him so they will get back around the same time. We have been able to bond well and he likes cooking for me - how could I say no to that?
The small world story I mentioned - Last week I was on email and was emailing Elder Ellingson (really good friend from Raymond, Alberta that I met at the Missionary Training Center in S. Africa) and asked where he was serving. Last I heard he was in Queenstown- but I told my new companion about him and he wanted to know where he was serving. He replied that he is now serving in East London 3rd Ward, I asked my companion where his home ward was before he came- East London 3rd ward. Whaaat! Turns out Elder Ellingson knows Elder Beacom's family pretty well and has been over to his house for dinner already.
Elder Ellingson is doing well - It'll be a great day when I see him.

This week - went to Nairobi on Wednesday for Zone Conference which was great. It takes 5 hours by bus - not bad at all. Saw 3 more giraffes on the way along with some groups of Springbok. 

In Nairobi I got to see Elder Anderson again and the rest of the Elders that are serving in the Nairobi area- including Elder Moline (from Alberta), Elder Harvey (from Utah) and Elder Bakubamutwe (from Uganda) from my MTC group. 

Our Mission President mentioned there are 45 Elders and Sisters serving in temporary missions until they get their visas- just like what I did. In fact- I am the most recent Elder to come into this mission- I came in the middle of December which is unusual because they usually have a group come every transfer- every 6 weeks. Zone Conference on Thursday was powerful and a good time all around. Friday we came back and saw 11 more giraffes on the way. I am glad I bought those boots- rained here while we were in in Nairobi and everything has been mud here since. It does get colder at night here than when I was in Tanzania which is really nice.

So I have got quite a few questions and I'll answer them on here for everyone...

We stock up on food once a month in Machakos about 3.5-4 hours away by bus. Here they have all the necessities though so all is well. We were also able to get things when we went to Nairobi a few days ago which was nice.

The internet situation here - we use the Branch President's laptop every Monday. He can get internet anywhere so all we have to do is buy credit for his modem thing. When we don't have power, we use it for a bit, then it dies and we have to take it to a guy in town to charge it with a generator. 

There is not much to do on our Preparation Days and the other Elders live a 2 hour walk away, so we get more time to email- which has been niiiice.

It isn't possible to send mail from here where I am, but it is to receive it because someone brings it from the Nairobi office on their pikipiki (motorcycle). I do have more time to respond to emails now which is suuuper nice, so I won't have to write as many letters. The Dear Elders ( have come through- from the Englunds, Patti Peters and Gerrid Vandermolen.  Thank you for everyone's letters!

From my last area in Mwanza to Nairobi we flew, then I had a driver that the Church hired to take me, and another Elder from Nairobi, to my current area, and him to his. When we go to Nairobi and back like we did this past week, we just take a bus which takes a little over 5 hours each way.

The most useful things in packages- ties, Fiji Old Spice deodorant sticks, instant oatmeal packets, raisins, and hot chocolate packets. Those are the things I can't get here (along with candy). Those are the things that would be most useful. I have received a few Pringle's cans and not one has been opened by Customs. Bubble mailers and packages work as well and come through just fine - but are opened and subject to not having all items in them delivered.

The picture - just clowning around on our way to an appointment with my proselyting hat. Hopefully next week I can send more pictures!

Well, that's all for this week.

For me - I'm just trying to make the best of every situation and every day doing the work of the Lord and having fun doing it - even if it may mean taking a bucket shower every now and then or riding donkeys.
Hope all is well and you all have a great week.

Love, Elder Eveson
Much love from the KNM as well- Kenya Nairobi Mission

Just clowning around in my Proselyting hat & Making it the BEST Two Years!

I really liked this.  So true.

With the Famous Bismark Rocks in Mwanza, Tanzania on Lake Victoria

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