Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 25: Hanging out in the Mango Tree, Bonding with Dinner, Small World & Following Inspiration

Well another week come and gone. The week was great on my side as usual and hope it was the same for all of you.

I hope you all enjoyed general conference - I will hopefully see it in the next few months.  Check it out anytime here:

Few things- So whenever people ask where I am from I say one of 2 things- America, then they ask where, I say Oregon and they have no idea. I say it is close to California then they just think I am from Cali. They have heard of California and New York. The other- I have just started saying I am from Oregon and they just pretend they know where/what I just said. It confuses them but that way they don't have the wrong image of me- for example that I have money. I am in one of the safest places ever though so no worries.

I'm not able to send mail unless we go to Nairobi- which then it goes through pouch to South Africa then to Utah then from there to wherever. We get mail sometimes. Roughly maybe once every 3ish weeks. We got it this week because someone that works for the church came to our area for the day, but other than that the last time I got it was when I was in Nairobi. I also got the mail that went to my previous area before I was transferred that I thought I might not see. Thanks for everyone who has been writing! Super grateful for whenever it comes!

Last week we went to visit a member and he was working in his shamba and said he would be done and come up soon, and told us to hop up in the Mango tree- of course we did. Climbed up and ate mangoes while we waited for him. The lesson ended up going well. I love this mission- where else do you get to do that..

Also that reminds me, going to Machakos this past week we saw 18-20 giraffes and a dozen of those same ones on the way back.

Our zone came together for our zone training meeting which was great- all 6 of us.  After, we ate a goat which was reallyy good. Attached is a picture of me and the goat from the beginning of the process. Some good bonding time.
Alright the cool story I mentioned last week: Background info: So when Elder Anderson and I were getting transferred from Mwanza TZ to Kenya, we got into the airport, got through customs, and headed out to find the APs who were supposed to pick us up at arrivals. They weren't there and we weren't sure what to do. We looked for a phone but who uses a pay phone anymore.. We were about to ask someone to use their phone to call the APs when a man came up to us and introduced himself as a member in the Zimmerman ward in Nairobi. I asked if we could use his phone to call them and we got ahold of them- they were 45 minutes away stuck in Nairobi traffic.

Fast forward 4 weeks into the transfer, my companion and I went to Matwiku (not sure on the spelling) for the day to visit a few members of the Ilima branch. It takes 1 hour 45 mins to walk to- a long uphill walk and down the other side of the mountain into that valley. We dont go there that often because of the distance and the time it takes. We got to the first home of members we were going to visit, sat down and the mama said we were lucky that her husband was home and that we were going to be able to meet with him. I asked my companion if he was less active and he thought so because he had not met him. He came from the shamba and somehow looked familiar. They shared a reallly nice meal with us, and we got to talking. 

He had mentioned he met missionaries in the airport a few weeks ago that were somewhat stranded. My mind went to the January group of missionaries that came to the mission but because of the work permit problems they had to fly back 3 days later to their temporary assignments in South Africa til they are allowed in. Then I thought wait they weren't stranded- as I asked if it was only 2 missionaries or a group. Answered just 2 of them, and bam. It was me and Elder Anderson. It was him whose phone we used. He introduced himself as a member that lives in Nairobi because he is often in Nairobi for work and attends the Zimmerman ward when there, but Ilima is him home ward- one of the 2 branches we cover.

Later found out that he was the the first Kenyan to ever baptize a Kenyan which is his wife- pretty cool I thought.

I have a picture with me and my companion and them- I will try and send it tonight or next week.

This week right before we left our flat (house) I was prompted to snag 2 Book of Mormons- one in English and one in Swahili for an investigator we were going to stop by if we had time. One in each language so she could choose which language she preferred to read in. We went about our day, met with the wife of a member (that we hadn't planned on) who is a non-member, and we taught her the Restoration. She wanted a Swahili copy which I happened to have. Next appointment we meet with this guy for the second time and teach him, he had questions about who Joseph Smith was and his story from the pamphlet we left with him, so we went over that and went perfectly into the Book of Mormon. He preferred an English copy which I happened to have.

We didn't end up meeting with the lady I thought to take the Book of Mormons for, but the prompting allowed me to be prepared for the unforeseen opportunity of giving them out. 

I hired a member whom is preparing to go on mission to do my weeks worth of laundry for me, now I really dont have much to do on preparation days haha. It is really good though because he helps me out and I am helping him out. He is actually doing it right now as I type this.

Side note, a bit random- I have learned how to catch flies, kinda proud of that.

I have got questions that I have told some of you that I would answer in my weekly email- those will come next week and send any more if anyone has any.

Shoutout to my dad for this April Fools day article (yeah sorry I already spoiled it) I really enjoyed- having to do with the Church and NCAA basketball.

One thing I thought was really cool that I recently realized- I have served in 3 areas (Pinetown, Mwanza and Kyambeke), had 3 companions from 3 different countries (Madagascar, Florida, and South Africa), and those 3 areas have been in 3 different countries (South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya). Not sure how many others can say that. 

Hey - was able to hop back on for a few minutes.  Just got back from Family Home Evening.  As far as the pictures go - the man I met at the airport, then again with his wife in their home.

Another is a decent sunset walking home this week.

Then the clearest picture with the most giraffes I could get while in the bus. I guess play some I Spy.

And finally, My Swahili nametag! You only get these if you serve in Tanzania- I came in under the radar and got them ordered when I was in Nairobi for interviews- the week before I was transferred to Kenya. I thought the order might have been cancelled but when I saw them with my mail this week- I was pretty excited.
Elder Eveson

Til next week-
Elder Eveson

Bonding with dinner before feasting on it with my Zone

First Kenyan to baptize a Kenyan, and happens to be the same guy 
that helped me out at the airport a few weeks earlier.  
Love the Small World experiences.

View of Giraffes from the Bus . . . . Play I Spy!
Sunset I enjoyed while walking home

Yesssss!  My Swahili Nametag.  You only get one of these if you are 
serving in Tanzania.  Thankfully my order was not cancelled 
after my transfer.  Pretty cool.

Editor's note:  I asked Brandon where he lives, he said he is in Kyambeke, Kenya.  When I googled it, the only landmark that showed up was "Church of Jesus Christ of LDS".  I mentioned it to him and he replied, "Well, yeah. It's the only thing here."  Thought you'd like to see some maps.  First one is close up aerial of Kyambeke.  The other shows relation to Machakos (where they go for food each month -- 4 hour bus ride each way) and Nairobi (7 hours each way by bus).

LDS Church and area where Brandon lives: Kyambeke

Distance relationship from Kyambeke to Machakos and Nairobi

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