Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 26: Planting Seeds & Strength in Numbers

Well another week in paradise!

Did some shamba (farm) work this week- cultivated, dug, and then planted maize and beans with a family in the ward. Took 3 hours, felt good to get a workout other than jumping rope. It is about the only service that is useful to anyone here so we'll end up doing it quite a bit I bet. That's what the photo is from.

Headed to Nairobi this week which was fun. Always good to see my old companion and all the others there in Nairobi. Found more connections with Lethbridge and Raymond Alberta- really it is a small world. Went there because my companion had a zone leaders meeting with President Hicken- the mission president. While they were in it I was in the mission office and was able to listen to the audio of a lot of conference which was nice.

The zone leaders from Chyulu weren't able to get a bus back to their area so the assistants to the president (APs) took them back in their car and we went also, they dropped us off on the way in Sulton Hammod (not sure on the spelling) then we took a short bus ride home. In the car though it was cool we saw Wildebeests, more Giraffes- 2 of them were on the side of the road..suuuuuper close to us, Gazelles, and a Hyena- although that one was dead on the side of the road. Pretty cool stuff.

Yesterday after Church in Ilima we went with 6 members of Kyambeke to a guy about my age whom we had never met before but had been told was sick. We were kinda stoked on how many people were headed there with us. Member present lesson to the max. It took an hour to get to his house and when we show up there are a lot of people. It turns out the boarding schools have closed for a couple of weeks and all those students are back from wherever they school at. After Church in Kyambeke they all headed up to his house. The guy is really sick and his joints arent too well. After some talking with everyone we had a lesson, which a member and good friend that went with us did a great job with, then my companion and I added to it as the spirit prompted us to. Ended up being 30 of us there total- super cool experience.

Another transfer (6 weeks) in the books. We get the transfer news tonight- I highly doubt anything will happen with me and my companion but 2 of the other 4 Elders in the zone there is a possibility for them to move areas- although anything can happen and it is all up to the Lord. Having been here 6 weeks in the area already- wow time has flown.

As far as questions go, copied right from the emails--
Hey can you tell us about the people you are serving? Pretty general question but they are super nice and welcoming- both nonmembers and members. Lots of them feed us either fruit from their shamba they grow or ugali, rice, meat, chapatis, hot chocolate things like that to name a few.

What do they do for a living? They farm. Most of their days are spent in the shamba either planting, cultivating, harvesting, things like that. They farm just enough to feed their family til next harvest season- here they can plant twice in a year. One problem is they cant irrigate their shambas so they have to rely on rain whenever it comes. And as far as drinking water- it is rain water or water they go and fetch from the river then carry back to their flat (house).

What about your living conditions? We live in a house here in Kyambeke. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find on Google Earth as it is right next to the branch presidents and only a few minute walk downhill to the market and the Kyambeke chapel.
Are you used to sleeping in a net?  Do you have mattresses? How do you sleep?
Yeah the mosquito net was easy to get used to- Ill try and get you guys a picture next week. It just drapes over the bed, not like a sleeping bag. Yeah we have beds, mattresses all that good stuff. I come home exhausted and sleep like a rock. Haven't had any problems falling asleep.

What are you eating? Foood. Breakfast- we brought back cereal from when we went to Nairobi, eggs, little smokeys, things like that. Lunch is noodles a lot of the time (quick and easy before we head out) then it varies for dinner since we have a bit of time to cook. Here we have to be in by 8pm, which is earlier than almost all the missions across the world.

How do you proselyte? Are you knocking on doors? The answer- What doors? More like curtains.. just kidding.. kinda. There aren't really that many homes close together so we waaaaaalllllkkk. But the other week we saw some houses across the valley we had not been to so we headed over and have taught them a few times now. Whenever we go to someones home they are almost always there- usually cooking or in the shamba just close to their house. As of right now, Mission President has told my companion and I to focus on the members then the less actives. Also, the investigators we have to keep teaching but not to find new ones because there are a lot of members in the records but about half show up to Church. There is going to be a district here soon, which is exciting.

How is the work going in your area?  Are people receptive / interested?  The work is good- lots of it. People are really receptive and open. We stay really busy since everyone is so spread out going from place to place. We have an hour a day allotted to study Swahili (10-11am) and because of our schedules we have only been able to do that once in 6 weeks since I have been here. And as far as Swahili goes- I can understand a lot of it and I know words but speaking it is where I'm stuck at, at the moment. Also I know a few greetings in KiKamba- the tribal language here in the area that is used allll the time. Most people know KiKamba first, Swahili second, then- if they do learn English, it is last. A lot more people know english here though than in Tanzania.

What do you hear from Elder Ellingson? 
He is doing super well- we email every week, he is enjoying his mission, as I am.

Have more Missionaries been allowed into Kenya?
Yeah so tomorrow we are getting 6 from the Missionary Training Center- the first ones to come direct since the group before me- in September. The last 2 weeks we have received half a dozen here and there. Things are looking up. Slowly but surely. President has been working a lottt with immigration and the fruits of that labor are showing.

What are your favorite foods to eat there?  Do you get to eat meat?
Chapatis, and yeah.

Hey how's the work coming?  Any good investigators?
It's coming along. The only problem we have is getting people to come to Church. Some reason we can't figure out is preventing everyone from coming. That is why we can't invite and give baptismal dates yet. Also clearing up things for investigators- like one thought the Church is all in English so she never went to it because she doesn't understand much English- whereas it is actually mostly Swahili and KiKamba.

Do you get a lot of fruits and veggies? Yeah- even like yesterday a member brought us 4 huuuuge avocados to church for us...   Avocado season is up and mango season has ended.
Well I will try and send some more pictures in a bit or later tonight. They just take a while to load along with lots of emailing credit.

Have a great week though- enjoy that sunshine for those of you in Portland that I have heard about.. I see that thing every day all day.

Until next week
Elder Eveson

Working in the Shamba

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