Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 27: 6 Months Down, Signing, Small World (again) & Avo Season!

Another week, I hope you all had a great Easter Sunday along with a great week. It really is important to remember the meaning of Easter and what it means for us rather than the candy that may be tied in with the day.
Seems as if I hit my 6 month mark from leaving Oregon for my mission last week- time fliiiiies.
Well I'm back in Tanzania- I was transferred on Tuesday to Arusha. I'm about to learn Swahili fast, being indulged like this.

Just kidding. There wasn't any transfer news for my companion or myself, but both Elders in Kilili were transferred so there are no Elders there currently for this transfer. Now there are only 4 of us in the whole zone.. just like when I was in Mwanza. Kilungu and Mwanza zones are the 2 smallest ones in the mission.
Yesterday at Church we were able to watch both Saturday sessions of General Conference which was super nice. Pretty blunt on morality topics towards the rising generation- which is the best way to put things.

It was nice seeing conference close to after it happened- as we didn't have to wait for it to be translated into Swahili like they do in Tanzania. In Nairobi they loaded it onto a flash drive and sent it out here.
Since all the boarding schools don't start til the 5th of May there are still lots of youth in the area with not much to do except work in the shamba and hangout with friends so we are organizing a soccer game for this Saturday which should be fun and an opportunity to meet people.
Speaking of youth being out of school- one of their families we taught twice before their kid came back. The family told me they have a deaf son and said he knows sign language, but the family does not so they have to gesture to communicate with him. Now that he is back, my companion and I were walking on the road and met a group of people and it turned out one of them was him. I was able to sign with him just a bit. With my 3 years of sign language class in high school it seems I have forgotten a lot of it. Maybe it was just me somewhat similar to being 'star struck' and not knowing what to say. Anyways,we had a short convo and hopefully we will be able to meet with all of the family this week and I will be able to translate the lesson for him that we are teaching- even if it is a lot of finger-spelling because I don't know many gospel related signs, and the differences between Kenyan sign language and American sign language..
This past Friday we met a guy in the market who introduced himself as a member in Athi River (close to Nairobi) and was visiting his girlfriend's family for Easter weekend. Great family- they have us over just about every Monday night for Family Home Evening. After some conversing, I found out he served a mission 2008-2010. I asked where and he said Durban. I asked his areas and he mentioned that his first area was Pinetown/New Germany which is where I served while I was there! That was cool talking about the area and having a flashback looking through my journal that night for members' names. Then talked to him again at church, and found out that he and his companion found a guy named Michael, made a return appointment with him, went to his house and started teaching him and his family. Eventually he was transferred, and later in his mission after following up with other missionaries he found out they accepted to be baptized. The best part- it turns out, while I was there, Michael was married for all time and eternity to his wife in the Johannesburg Temple. That was cool to share with him.
In other news- some may be surprised to know that I ate Avocados this week- now that mango season is finished, avocado season is here with too many huge avocados.
Two questions I received to answer for today- How many people there don't speak English or Swahili? Very few that we have met don't speak Swahili, and if they do only speak the tribal language of KiKamba they are older. Adults that don't know us like to greet us using 2 Kamba greetings- both of which we know the Kamba reply to, so they are all shocked when we hit them back with the reply then ask them the other greeting.

How many not African people are there? Here in the Hills: a grand total count of 0. In Nairobi you can see them here and there, in Machakos I've seen one. People are sometimes surprised/shocked to see me and my companion when we are out and about since we are both white.
In answer to a few questions I have got in mail and Dear Elders, here are the responses (with a few repeats from emails prior) ...  sleeping in a net is fine, it might be weird going home and not sleeping in one; my companion's name is Elder Beacom, he is from East London South Africa right by the beach- one of the most southern parts of the continent; I am the junior comp as of now; I never have problems sleeping because of how much we walk and all the hills; haven't had any problems with dry skin/sunburns at all and I haven't had to wear sunscreen at all which is really nice.
6 months of the best 2 years is already finished- a bit crazy to think about. I'll be home in no time.
Have a greaaaaaaat week wherever you may be and whatever may be going on.

Love Elder Eveson

Check out the Size of these Avocados!

Elder Mutie and his girlfriend. Elder Mutie served his Mission in Durban. Small world!

Stick of Sugar Cane from outside our flat

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