Monday, May 26, 2014
TRANSFERRED! Heading to Kitale, Kenya with Faith in the Lord & Gratitude for Experiences in Kyambeke
Hey everyone- so quite the news tonight. Got a call and it turns out I am being transferred. I will be with an Elder from Tanzania in Kitale- which is in western Kenya. I will most likely leave here Wednesday to Nairobi then to Kitale (Naitiri area is where I will be serving) on bus on Thursday. It is about a 9 hour bus ride from Nairobi to my new area. 7 hours to Eldoret then 2 more hours to Kitale. For zone conferences we will go 2 hours on bus to Eldoret where there are other missionaries. I have heard there is a senior couple there in Kitale which will be sweet.
Also Elder Moline is headed to Kitale as well- so we most likely will see each other often which is just like when we served in Durban.
Busy day of packing ahead tomorrow!
My address will stay the same- the mission office in Nairobi- and they will get it to me.
I am grateful for my time here and the work I have been able to do in the short 3 months. Reactivating less actives has been great to see just while I have been here. My companion Elder Beacom has been awesome and has taught me a lot. I will miss the area and the people here. I didn't think I would leave before my companion but it is what the Lord wants!
I have heard that the internet is very iffy there so hopefully we will be able to connect on a regular basis. I am grateful for the time I have had to do lots of emailing in this area and connect with everyone in real time and go back and forth- espically Sunday night/Monday morning your time. Not sure if that will happen again in any area.
As far as this zone goes- Kilili is being reopened.
My companion will stay here and get a new companion.
There is quite a bit of whitewashing (2 Elders leave an area and 2 different Elders replace) this transfer in Kenya.
There are new missionaries coming in though which is good!
Something crazy- my companion mentioned now he will have 6 companions in 2 areas, which made me think.. now I will have had 4 companions in 4 areas which is veryyyy unusual- then add on in 3 different countries. Wow. This has been the greatest expierence and I am enjoying it so much.
Love you all!
7 1/2 months done; another transfer complete.
Since traveling to Nairobi was moved to Wednesday, we didn't have any plans for Tuesday, just had in mind some people we could go visit. After our morning studies we walk outside and our Branch President who lives next door to us hired a few people to build a little kitchen onto his house (not really what you are imaging in your head). We changed and helped with that for a while. Carried bricks, mixed cement and split rocks which was sweet. Then we were able to visit a less active Ma and also after with a few of her kids who were recently baptized. Then ended the day with our mission prep class and had maas (what they call it in S.A.) for dinner with ugali on the side..haha I havent had maas since Durban where I learned the more sugar you put the better.
Wednesday we traveled to Nairobi which was sweet. I had heard from Elder Moline (from my MTC group- who is still serving in Nairobi) that they just opened a Subway a few weeks ago there in town. My companion and I headed there- and woooooow that was ammmmazing. Wow. It felt like home was just a few streets away haha. I considered it my birthday lunch.. somewhat expensive but way good and way worth it.
As we were walking I saw the headlines at a newspaper stand- 4000 people layed off at Mombasa hotels because there are noooo tourists whatsoever around because of the things happening.. Since Westgate Mall (still under reconstruction) was attacked in September, the tourism has dropped. Now with the bombs- no chance of anyone coming here for a while. Safari and tourist businesses, hotels, everything is being affected.
Walked to the mission office and hungout with other Elders and prepared for zone conference. That night the Elders from Mombasa and Chyulu came in (along with all the Elders serving in Nairobi and surrounding areas). Since Elder Cook's trip was shortened they had to come to Nairobi for zone conference instead of having their own. Quite a few people.
Thursday it was decided that Mombasa will be closed for missionary work for the time being due to the things happening there.
Then we had zone conference which was sweet. President and Sister Hicken (mission pres and wife) along with Elder Cook (of the quorum of the 70) and Sister Cook all did training. One suuuper cool thing is before it all started Elder Cook shook everyones hand and when I got up to greet him, he read my nametag 'Elder Eveson' and he remembered we had met me before. He asked if it was in the MTC in Johannesburg and I reminded him it was in Durban in December. I added that it was when he wrote on the whiteboard in permanent marker when he was training us on 'Members and Missionaries'. He and his wife remembered clearly and we all laughed. We had a connection throughout the whole thing-calling on me and different things, it was sweet. Some of the things he and his wife went over were the same as in Durban and I had those notes in the same notebook and could reference them. Overall- super powerful meeting! Had some good food too which is always nice.
Elder Cook noted how we are seeking out pioneers today- and millions will follow. Our efforts are unmeasurable- even if we just are planting a seed with someone. Also said how he knows 82,000 missionaries who would love to switch places with us here. KNM!! Haha.
Friday we went to the mission office, went to lunch with a senior couple, walked around Nairobi a bit and caught a bus back to our area. On the ride from Nairobi to the place where you turn off from Mombasa Highway to go to Kyambeke I saw 3 giraffes right next to the road all eating off the same tree.
A minute later: zebras, zebras and more zebras. It was crazy. I saw a group of them 80-100 yards from the road and I was kinda shocked and amazed that there they were.. just out in the wild. Went further and saw so many more, closer too. Eventually there were a few close enough to the road to get a decent picture- maybe 20 yards from the road. All in all I lost track a bit but the count of zebras was somewhere around 90-110.
A bit later I saw a group (maybe 30-40) of animals out kinda far near the horizon- maybe 100 yards- it was either a group of Wildebeest or just cattle.
Then saw maybe 8 gazelles (not sure what kind) which was sweet- a few had those super long straight horns- not sure how else to describe them.
Saturday it was back to teaching people and the normal things. After a few lessons, before we went home, we stopped by the market and since it was 'Market Day' which is every Sat- my companion and I ended up buying similar shirts they had. Companionship unity!
Sunday went to Ilima for church- with everything that happened during the week (including staying up way late and getting up early in Nairobi) My companion and I were superrr tired the whole day.
Having Sunday school lessons in KiKamba doesnt help the focus or staying awake haha. Church was good though! Then we came back, made fried rice and met a less active who let us share and invited us back later in the week. Some others weren't home so we walked around for a while and then ended up sharing with a nice investigator for a while and answered questions about Jesus' mortal ministry and the Bible- focusing on him and what he wanted to know.
Questions for this week-
Questions for this week-
How often do you (have to) use your slingshot? Haha it looks like the slingshot in the picture I sent last week was spotted. I have just been practicing so far- dead accurate though. Sometime I might take a bird out or something. The people have them here to keep the monkeys out of their shambas. I haven't seen many monkeys (besides the 2 that ran 5 feet in front of me 2 weeks ago), but if you live a bit higher up where they are they can be a problem.
The white baby goat I was holding in one of the pictures I sent recently- no that wasn't for a meal or anything- just because.. why not.
How long does it take, from "kill" to "dinner is served"? Depends on the animal and how we cook it.
Elder Ellingson still in Cape Town? Yup- been serving the Lord in my companions home ward/area for 6 months as of this week.
How is your companion? How are the people you are teaching coming along? He is good, and the people we are teaching are good, just people not coming to church is the thing.
Are you back to full health? YeaaahHave you lost any weight? Eh, if I were to guess I would say I've about been staying the same recently.
Side note- I have got most of my mail but it seems some is slowly going by boat instead of air mail. Maybe under the stamp you put on just write small --via airmail-- on it.
We will receive transfer news tonight and I will try to get back on and let you guys know what is happening. I have now been in the area for 3 months, and my companion has been here 4 1/2 months.
Pictures: A few of the many zebras we saw driving past, and my companion and I at zone conference- the only time I wear a suit.
Will try to send a few more.
"There are three kinds of minds:
Simple Minds- Discuss People
Ordinary Minds- Discuss Events
Great Minds- Discuss Ideas"
Have a great week everyone!
Special shoutout to Dad and Traci for the big Wedding week coming up! Congrats!!
Love, Elder Eveson
Later . . . about the pix:
My companion and I with our shirts we bought. I figured I couldnt reveal it all at once. And shoutout to Grandma Lynn for mailing me the Church news! My companion holding a Swahili Book of Mormon.Me splitting rocks- if you look close this was taken as the rock was shattering. And yes I am in flipflops.
|Splitting Rocks to help build a kitchen|
for the Branch President
|My Companion and I at Zone Conference|
|Zebras, Zebras and more Zebras! |
Unexpected Safari was pretty cool!
|Matching shirts because . . . why not?!|
Shout out to Grandma Lynn for sending the Church News!
Monday, May 19, 2014
Bit of a crazy week.
Due to the political issues in Nairobi, Elder Carl B. Cook (of the quorum of the 70) had his flight cancelled for Saturday to come from South Africa to Kenya. He was going to be at our zone conference to instruct us, and tour the mission a bit. Zone Conference/Mission Tour in Nairobi was supposed to be tomorrow (Tuesday) but since he is not in Nairobi yet, it has been postponed.
Transfers are next week though- we will know the news (if any) next Monday night.
This week was a bit crazy starting with the earthquake last Monday which I can't seem to find any information on the internet about.
Tuesday we did service in the shamba in the morning (digging/weeding) then had our mission preparation class. Then headed to a few other lessons.
Wednesday we ended the day at a member's house, we showed up and she was making rope. She showed us how to do it and it was really cool. She took the leaves from an aloe vera plant, pulled it through the middle of 2 blades and all that was left was really thin strings and then she had the rope she had started, she wove it in and kept going. It was really cool to see then she let us do some. She gave us squash out of her garden while we waited for her to finish.
The lesson was super good too, we talked with her and her son about enduring to the end and I wasn't sure what I was going to say about it since it was too dark to share verses in the scriptures, but the spirit gave it to me right at the moment I needed it. I related enduring to the end to working in the shamba. If you have a set goal of an area to accomplish digging before the day is over but half way through you go inside for lunch and then end up taking a nap, how is that going to get finished?
Yeah you started, but will you complete it? It certainly won't do
itself. How are you going to feel at the end of the day when you
haven't reached your goal? It seemed quick and easy to do as you
started, but in the end you haven't reached or accomplished it.
You might be able to see how I related it, but to be short in writing- One
of our main goals is (or should be) to inherit the Kingdom of God and
have eternal life after this life. Our daily decisions have eternal
consequences, every minute either takes us closer or further from the
goal. We can focus on it and work hard, or take breaks and
occasionally try working at it. We only have so much time here on
earth to perform our labors, to be tested, and work out our own
salvation before the sun sets on life- so to speak. A bit tricky to
write it out, but what I do know is that the spirit definitely taught
the lesson through my voice- it wasn't me. I was learning as I was
speaking. As we remain worthy of the constant companionship of the
spirit, it can reveal, testify of, and bring things to our
rememberance at the very moment we need them.
Thursday we ended up having 6 lessons in 5 1/2 hours. That was really
cool because people were home and willing to meet with us. Even as we
passed by a place a father called us over and we got to talking and he
told us he is a member, and has been since 1999. I had never seen him
before but now it's cool we can meet with him and his family.
Friday we taught some lessons- the last one was to a teacher who is
'Born Again' and had done evangelist work for a few years himself. It
was all in english and he knows gospel things quite well and even
things about our church. He asked if we do any secret things in our
church- if we did why would I have just invited him to attend to see
for himself and it even says 'Visitors Welcome' on the sign. Anyways
we were able to resolve some rumors he had heard and even talk about
some deep stuff he knew. After, I wondered if that is what it would be
to be a missionary serving in the States . . . haha.
Saturday we attended the funeral for the man we were teaching the
gospel to before he passed. He was 62 years old, he said when his back
was better he would walk to our church and there was no doubt he would
be baptized because he knew the teachings and the Book of Mormon are
both true. We have prepared him to recieve the gospel in the spirit
world though which is a great feeling.
Sunday we went to church in Kyambeke- and my companion and I both wore
our long sleeve shirts. Haha we were looking nicee. It was the first
time he has ever worn his on mission. It was the first time I wore
mine since going to lunch with the senior couple when I served in
Tanzania for a few hours, and before that I had not worn it since
Durban. So I'll just say the pictures I will try to send through will
be some of very few of me in a long sleeve shirt while I am here on
mission. I love the looks of a long sleeve shirt, but it is just too
After church we were able to have a few lessons and even taught a
referral- a friend of one of the ones preparing to go on mission. The
referral is 15 years old and knows a bit about the gospel from school
and church- even he was telling us about Jospeh Smith. He has attended
the church since Sept when he does not have school- since here they
often have to attend 7 days a week.
As for questions- What is different about the branch compared to home?
Hmm not too much that I can think of- lots of singing though! I am
getting to know the hymns quite well though- and some members have
most of them memorized. You tell them a Hymn number and they will tell
you the title and sing all the verses from heart. Anyways- like on
Sunday during church: Opening song, Sacrament hymn, Choir sang (which
my companion and I joined last minute- because why not) Intermediate
song, and Closing song. Then also in the following 2 classes.
How close do you get to the African animals? Depends. Going from our
area to Machakos or Nairobi (uses the same road) it depends how close
they are to the road. They have been right next to the road, so only a
few feet away, but we were in the bus. I havent been to the Nairobi
zoo or the Nairobi National Park which sound amazing and I hear you
can get quite close. If I ever serve in the city, it's on the to-do
Since it is on my mind- I just have to mention, I'm really sorry you
guys are deprived of pineapple Novida. Easily the best soda in
existence. Just finished one off since it is Monday (our day to email
and prepare for the week) and we just kinda sit around until 6pm.
There are some soda flavors I wish they had home- like the previously
mentioned, along with Fanta blackcurrant, Fanta pineapple & Mirinda
Mango. All are towards the top of the list.
Macadamia nuts are in full swing and people love to give us them
straight from the shamba. Tough to crack open (best way is shooting
them at the cement wall with a slingshot or using sugar cane as a
bat..just imagine) but all in all they are pretty good.
I know this is a super long email since I have had quite a bit of time
since my companion got the laptop from the other branch president so
we are able to email at the same time (imagine that) and we have had
power all day which has been sweeet so they can stay charged. Although
the internet has been slow so I have only been able to respond to a
few emails. (I will be surprised if anyone reads to this point haha).
Anyways we'll see when I get on a bit later if I can send some
pictures. I know you guys love pictures.
Well, who knows when we will go to Nairobi, or if we will stay here
all week, but either way things will work out for the better- and
there is always a reason for everything!
A quote I found yesterday from President Joseph F. Smith-
"People die in bed. So does ambition."
Get up and do something with your day! Be ambitious; be productive.
Love Elder Eveson
About the pic with 3 members below . . . Before the first of the 3 funerals in 3 weeks. The middle one helps us a lot and is taking the Mission Prep class, working on his Mission papers, and is hopefully heading out in August. The other 2 are still schooling and hopefully leaving to serve the Lord next year.
|Just a kidd!|
|Dueling with Cattle|
|Me and My Bro's :)|
|Long sleeves quickly turned into 3/4 rolled up sleeves.|
Nice look, but tooooooooo hottttttt.
|Sunday Selfie with My|
Monday, May 12, 2014
Well happy late Mother's Day to all of you who qualify for that! Big day yesterday as I was blessed with the privilege and opportunity to call home to the family. One thing that was a bit weird was people calling me Brandon- when I haven't been called that since home. Doesn't seem like my first name sometimes because the lack of use.
As for the events of the week- Wednesday we were supposed to head to a funeral for a member of the Mitini branch, so we walked an hour and a half there only to find out it was postponed til Saturday. There was a family meeting, and on the spot I was asked to share some verses, so the last couple verses in 2 Nephi 31 it was- pertaining to eternal life. We weren't able to make it back because of our funeral on Saturday within the Kyambeke branch.
Thursday- background info on this little story- on Tuesday I fried an egg and put some peanut butter on before I flipped it and it turned out quite good.. so Thursday my companion and I made scrambled eggs with fried smokeys on bread for lunch. Added peanut butter to the eggs- what could taste better? Turned out we couldn't taste it too much. We headed to an appointment that was quite far and my stomach wasn't feeling too well. After 2 lessons- out of the 7 that we planned to have- we had to come back to the flat. I'm not sure if I can pinpoint it to the eggs but something made me super sick causing me to release everything in my stomach -- in a short time -- out both ends. (I am imagining the picture painted in your head right now). Friday we weren't able to go out, as I recovered.
Saturday at 10 am we left for the funeral- walked and got there at 11:20. Had some good food- they slaughtered a cow for it and needless to say there was too much meat for me to eat. That says something. Anyways- I didn't actually know the lady who passed because she was studying and working in Nairobi but the rest of her family lives here and we know them quite well. All in all it went over well. Some people traveled from Nairobi for it, so we got mail and a ride back to Kyambeke- and by that time it was too late to teach anyone.
Then Sunday we attended church in Ilima- which to get to we climb the hill behind our house, cross the valley, and go to the top of the hill on the other side. Then right after church we were supposed to have an appointment, but they weren't there. Went back to our flat, had a companionship study then went back. The mama was there so we waited for their son for a long time and after he came it was 10 minutes til I was supposed to Skype home. Ate veryyy fast, shared and ran down the super steep hill they live on back to our flat.
Couldn't get the laptop for an hour then after I did, messed with skype/google hangouts for a looong time. Eventually ended up just calling since neither worked but it was still sweet! Although I wasnt able to give you guys a video tour of the flat- my companion and I are going to do a 'MTV Cribs- Missionary Edition' sometime soon and maybe the video will have to wait til home or maybe I'll be able to put it up online- we'll see when the time comes.
One thing I meant to tell you guys though- Elder Moline, Elder Ellingson, Elder Beacom and Elder Anderson all say hi to you guys!
Today I was able to be on email for just a bit in the morning til the laptop died then did just about nothing til power came back around 5pm and was able to write this out.
One cool thing though- today at like 8:30 am we had an earthquake! I was sitting in my chair still on the computer and my companion was sweeping the flat (I know... haha imagine that) and the whole house shook!
Next Monday we are traveling to Nairobi for Zone Conference which is on Tuesday with Elder Cook (of the Quorum of the 70) who is in the area presidency for the Africa Southeast Area. He was at the zone conference I attended in Durban as well so it will be cool to see him again. I will most likely email on Monday somewhere in Nairobi just for a little.
Then the following Monday we will get transfer news- if my companion or I will be transferred or not.
Shoutout to the Sunset girls lacrosse team for taking the Metro title once again. Also- it sounds like RIP to the Blazers and the season.
Pictures- The rabbit we had right before it was entered into the Celestial Kingdom and became dinner. It was taken right outside our flat- just a sliver of the crazy view we have here.
Have a great week everyone! And family- I'll talk to you guys in 7 months on Christmas, 5 months later for Mother's day, then 5 months later I'll be home!
Love Elder Eveson
|Dinner :) And check out|
Monday, May 5, 2014
BLAZERS!!! Lets just say it has been a great time on the computer today and seeing that the Blazers made it past the first round with a Damian Lillard game winning, series winning 3 pointer, in Portland, on home court. It has put me in the best mood. Although I can't watch it because the flash player isn't downloading, I can only imagine. Heck yeaaaaah. Thought I would relay this picture of Damian to everyone, I enjoyed it. I will try to send more pictures later tonight.
As far as the work goes- So Tuesday we had a bit of extra time so we went up to a building that is on top of a hill all by itself right behind the market- pretty big. The gate was open so we went in and found a worker taking care of the place since the owner is in Nairobi. Turns out the worker is a less active member so we were able to share with him and hopefully will be able to meet him at his place next week.
Wednesday we had our zone training meeting for the transfer- the Mitini/Kalongo Elders came down to Kyambeke and we had it here this time. Focused a bit on becoming a consecrated missionary. After, bought a rabbit, took some nice pictures, and long story short, had it for dinner. Pretty good. Then played a little soccer with just a few members at the church for about an hour.The other Elders stayed the night then Thursday we all headed to Machakos at 7am. They don't usually stay the whole day here or spend the night but this time it is just how it all worked out and was most convenient. When we got back in the afternoon we were able to contact people with a member and ended up getting a few referrals from him.
Friday morning first thing we went and did shamba work- dug for a few hours for the part member family then we were able to teach them after. On the way home we ran into a recent convert fetching water so we took that for her to her house then we were able to teach her. Things just work out. Did some weekly planning then headed up to a family- the parents are less active, 2 of the kids are planning on going on mission in the next 2 years after schooling. We met and shared with them about establishing a Christ-centered home. One of the fathers' friends was there- he was supposed to travel to Nairobi that morning but had something to do so he was waiting til the next morning and he shared with us that he knew God had it planned so he would stay, and be at their house to meet us that night. Looking forward to meeting with him in a few weeks hopefully. After, while we waited for food after, my companion and I played the game 'cups', man they were freaked out my companion and I got it right every time. I'll have to teach you guys the game when I'm home but it was great, they had some superstitions of why we always guessed it right but they never did. A few like: is it because we study the gospel for a few hours a day so we have the spirit to tell us which cup it is, or because we pray a lot every day, hahah it was just funny.
Saturday was funeral day. It was for the 40 year old who died in the fire. We were supposed to leave from the church at 10, so we got there and waited around and didn't leave until 11:45. The branch choir and members (around 45 people total) hopped into a open air truck type thing (I will try and send a picture of it later) and went. My companion and I just stood on the back the whole way and held on. It was about a 40 minute drive- all uphill on dirt road. We got there and it hadn't started or anything. Eventually it did, and my companion and I along with some of the other members carried the casket and had a part in it. It was a good service, then he was buried there on site. There were SO many people there. After it was all over we hopped back onto the truck and headed back to Kyambeke. It was a clear day and we were able to see Mt. Kilimanjaro, complete with the snow on the top and everything which was super cool. We were looking into Tanzania.Got back around 6:30 so it was too late to go to the appointment we had because of how far it was.
Then yesterday- Sunday- we were able to go to church and watch the Sunday afternoon session of general conference. I liked Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge's take on the Restoration through Joseph Smith and how he presented it. It is either true or it is not, and if you pray about it, God will let you know. Simple as thaaatttttt.
Then as we were leaving church we were told by a member that his cousin had passed away Friday- we were teaching the guy and had last met with him Easter Sunday. He wasn't ever able to make it to church because of the distance it is from his place to walk and his very bad and painful back. He was a great investigator and I am glad I had the opportunity to share the gospel with him to prepare him to receive it in the spirit world in the next life. I know he is in a better place. We were invited to go be at their family meeting so changed our plans, taught a lesson then headed there. It was mostly in KiKamba, did a repeat after me type gospel song so I guess I sang in Kamba this week which is cool. My companion and I were able to share some words and have them translated from the member. His wife said some super nice words about us how we used to sit with him and share and pray for him. Also said how we are white, all the family is black but we are all sons and daughters of one God and how we will all meet together one day in the next life, and how the gospel all brings us together as one.
As far as this week goes- Wednesday looks like we will be at a funeral for a member of the Mitini branch that passed away who stays near where the other Elders stay in Kalongo- a 2 hour walk from Kyambeke. Then Saturday a funeral for a member's daughter who was studying in Nairobi is near Mitini and also we are supposed to be at the other funeral of our investigator who passed away, and they are separated by a 1.5 hour walk. A bit of a tough situation but we'll figure it out. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Although it is a sad time with a few people passing on to the next life, all because of different reasons, there is light and hope knowing the plan of salvation that has been made possible through Jesus Christ. Only because of the gift of the Atonement can we return to live with God.
Question for the week-
What is your diet looking like these days? Haha we bought 90 eggs in Machakos for the month and lots of little smokeys and some meat as well. It's decent. Haa.
All in all, Elder Beacom and I are doing great.
As far as Skyping home next Sunday for Mothers Day goes- not positive on that yet but I will try to sort it out today.
A bit random but I enjoy when people send me pictures on email, just an fyi to everyone. It's cool to see everyone and the things you all are doing.
One other thing- I have got mail with 3 global stamps on it- just fyi it only takes one global, or 3 of the regular ones you would use to mail a letter within the USA. And I have received a few birthday cards I will wait to open- thanks for them and I cant believe it is that time of year. And only 6 weeks left for those in high school 'til summer? I'm telling you- time flies!
Which reminds me- I passed my 200th day on mission this week- doesn't seem close to half that.
Well that's it for this week.
They say that your family is blessed when you go on a mission- look what has happened ... First time in 14 years the Blazers made it to the second round of the NBA Championship Playoffs. You are all welcome. Enjoy. Rip City baby, Go Blazers!
|Hanging on and making it the BEST Two Years.|