Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 37: Happiness is the ability to . . .

Well what a week! Tuesday the zone leaders, and Elder Moline and I, went to Eldoret which was fun. It was like an hour and a half ride, got there and met the missionaries who serve there and had some fun. We went to the mall (really small) for my first time since I was in Durban, South Africa. Spent the night at Elder Harding's flat- which was sweet because we knew each other from serving close (7hr bus ride away) in my last area- I was in Kyambeke and he was in Kilili.

Wednesday we went to the mall to meet the senior couple serving in Eldoret who were there to pick up pizzas. We had ice cream, and wow. They took us to the chapel - yes an actual chapel - and after the zone leader's meeting was over I was able to interview with President Hicken. I love being with President- powerful guy who always knows what to say. Saw Elder Tauzie as well - one of my favorite missionaries, who is one of the Assistants to the President who is from Malawi, finishing his mission soon. Then headed back to Kitale. That night Elder Moline and I went at 7pm cruising on bikes into town to the store to get some stuff to make dinner, and I can say it was the first time for me actually feeling cold on my mission where I wouldn't have minded a sweatshirt.

While I was gone the district leader, Elder Molosankwe from Botswana, was with my companion doing baptismal interviews.  So Thursday we switched back, and it took foreverrrrr to get back to our area.

Friday good day, Saturday was good as well with quite a few appointments. 

Sunday during Priesthood Executive Committee Meeting, in walks the District President, President Kogo. He is like a Stake President but here it is a district - with President Hicken (mission president) being the stake president. The district covers all of Eldoret and Kitale areas. His two councilors showed up soon after, and we had quite the group of priesthood leaders there. Good service! President Kogo is the man.

Side note- hopefully by the end of the year this area will be a stake - we just need more members, and more active ones.

Then I was asked to conduct the baptismal service for the 3 being baptized. In front of the District Presidency and Branch Presidency and 60 members who stayed - there I was conducting haha. 3 of our investigators were baptized yesterday, which was great. 

Then we were able to go and see a few people who are preparing for baptism this upcoming Sunday. They will be interviewed by the district leader Wednesday, so I will be in Mishiku on exchanges until Thursday. 


How is the new area treating you? It is superrrr nice. There is lots of work to do. 

Still lots of rain? This week we didn't have rain for 2 days straight and I was like hallelujah it's a miracle. But other than those 2, yes..everyday. 

How hot is it there? Hot....haha hot enough to sweat a lot. Maybe 85s-ish?

Is it real humid? Not at all

Will you get to do anything to celebrate the 4th? Hahahahaha that's a good

Now from Mautuma every Monday we have to ride our bikes to Naitiri, grab Elder Moline and Elder Makazi, then continue to Sikhendu to catch a ride to Kitale. Then we eat and head here to the cyber to email for a bit.  

President Hicken says to not expect any missionaries coming in with all the visa problems for at least 6 months. At leaaaaast.

And here I get mail about twice every 6 weeks if I'm lucky. Transfers are next week which should be interesting to see how things shake out. 

"Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them." - Anonymous 

Have a great 4th of July!!
Elder Eveson

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 36: Moving the Lord's Work Along & Finding the Spirit of Elijah

Hey hope you all had a great week.

So just to let you all know, I won't be sending any pictures anytime soon- I plugged in my card reader and my pictures wouldn't show up, I plugged in a flash drive and it took everything off it! I am not about to lose all my pictures! I haven't taken too many in this new area but nonetheless- not risking losing all of them because of the viruses on these computers at the cyber cafe.

Last Monday we were at the grocery store here in Kitale and they had the song 'Count Your Many Blessings' on over the sound system. That was pretty cool.
That evening we again played soccer as a zone and since we didn't have much time before the sun set we decided to play by the zone leaders flat instead of walking to the church. Only thing is there is a little swing set of 2 swings and a light post in the middle of the field. 4 poles total- Hakuna shida (no problem) we were still going to play. 40 minutes later (I know you saw this one coming) I get the ball passed to me upfield, start the sprint, turn and bam. Next thing I knew I was on the ground. I remember hitting the pole really hard then being on the ground. Luckily I just had a giant bump on the side of my head and  didnt have a concussion. I played the rest of the 20 mins halfheartedly. In the morning the bump was way smaller and gone by the end of the day.

That day- Tuesday after our district meeting I stayed here in Kitale with Elder Dick for exchanges so instead of wasting Tuesday traveling back to our area, we were able to do worrrrrk which was sweet. Elder Dick used to be in Nairobi (his last companion was Elder Anderson-my companion from Tanzania.) and now is a zone leader here in Kitale with Elder Thomas. 

Wednesday we were also together- and wow we were able to do work. Because of our diligence and obedience together the Lord provided a way for us to have a super productive day even though it didnt go the way we planned. We had 8 lessons that day and had some really good contacts that will hopefully be investigators soon for them. It was great to work with Elder Dick- he is from North Carolina and we always have a good time together.

we went back to our areas- had to go through Mishiku? because both sets of companions were on exchanges so the whole zone was together yet again, had lunch and all went back to our areas. Saw a few members and made use out of the little time we had.

Friday we met with Sister Kabasi, then her son and his friend, had scripture study class that went well then met some investigators and less actives.
Saturday did some more missionary work and met some more people. One of the Branch President's councilors was taught a few years back but never baptized so we went over the baptismal interview questions and she remembers most of the things. We will meet with her then she will be baptized on July 6.  

Sunday we had the baptism of Sister Kabasi- and wow the spirit was there. She will be a super powerful member. I baptized her then after when she was giving her testimony she started from way back. Her husband (the Branch Presidents other councilor) was converted 5 years ago and she went on how she was never going to leave her church and how if there became a problem she was going to divorce him over going to his church and on and on. Years passed and the Lord has prepared her. She was super anxious for the day. It was her 'arriving at the promised land' as she called it. She is maybe 50? Just a wild guess. She is very powerful and has a strong testimony already.

We have been asked to start filling out the My Family history booklet the Church provides so this week I did so and I know as we do that no matter our age we will be filled with the spirit of Elijah.

This week (tomorrow) I will be going to Eldoret since President Hicken will be there Wednesday and I'm up for another interview. Already that time...time flies. The zone leaders have a meeting so it will be them then Elder Moline and I will be interviewed when they are finished.

As for questions--
How is your companion? I'm just trying to help him as best I can. Hasn't been the easiest.

Do you need hiking boots everywhere you go? Yeah- I either wear those or gum boots for when the heavy rains come between 3-5 pm. My clothes get all muddy riding my bike after it rains because the mud flips up.

Are you still in the mountains? Nope, pretty flat here compared to my last area. Nonetheless, we do have a huge hill that we fly coming down on but we have to walk going up.

How do you like your new area? I like it a lot. There is a lot of missionary work and the members are great at helping out. I can't imagine what it would be like with perfect obedience in both companions and unity.

Thought this was pretty cool- Jamaica now has a stake--

Have a dazzling weeek!

Love Elder Eveson

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 35: Baptisms, Hill Sliding & World Cup Time!

Keeping it simple. 

First and foremost, shoutout to all of us Elders and all the beautiful Sister missionaries serving during this time of the World Cup. Maaaaaaan! 

Last Monday after we emailed, we went and played soccer as a zone (8 Elders) which was super fun. Then Tuesday morning before the district meeting Elder Moline and I made 40 slices of french toast for 7 Elders. There was still some left over though.

I got a wicked cold this week with the peak of it being Thursday but I didn't let the Lord's work cease. 

Sunday we had 3 more children of record be baptized- all of whom wanted me to baptize them. So grateful for that privilege. 

Continuing to teach those who we have as investigators and prepare them for baptism. Kabasi- she will be baptized this Sunday and is very anxious for it and very ready.

Nothing really big happened this week- just having a good time out here on mission.

I did almost have a very humbling experience while standing up on the mountain bike flying down this hill from our branch president's house..maybe I'll go a little slower next time. Maybe not :)

This week I will be on exchanges with the zone leaders so I will be working in Kitale a bit which should be fun.

There are currently 81 missionaries here in the KNM, and 42 serving in temporary assignments waiting for their visas to come in to the country and into the mission.


How do you dry clothes after washing them if it rains so much outside? 

We have lines to dry inside our house

Well how do like your new area? 

It is awesome- lots of work to do and lots who are willing to listen and come unto Christ and follow Him and His teachings.

How is your companion? 

This week was a bit rough compared to my other companions, still getting used to him. Trying to help him in a few areas.

Do you eat at members' houses much? 

Sometimes. When we show up they might have something for us or give us fruit from the shamba. The members we visit we have on a weekly schedule like we see these members this day, these members this day etc then add investigators into the schedule.

Are there pianos in church buildings? 

They have keyboards but nobody really knows how to play them so we just sing with nothing besides our voices. The people here really love to sing.

Can't send pictures- this computer has a virus and I'm not about to lose all my pictures. I have quite a bit to send when I am able.

Shoutout to Jonathan leaving this week for his mission!! And Hunter getting his mission call to Mexico! Exciting times.

Enjoy the weeeeeeeek and all you guys on Summer Break- enjoyyyyy!

Love, Elder Eveson

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 34: Mud Biking, Teaching, Preaching & Celebrating My Birthday

Well what a week. Thanks for all the Happy birthday emails and cards!  Crazy I am 19 now. Made me think back to a year ago- last day of school and my birthday then graduation to kick off the best summer.  Now look where I am. Time flies.

The new area is crazy in regards to work. We are pretty efficient and there are lots of people to teach. I will just go through the week quick then answer all 685 questions I have been asked.

So since we have to travel over an hour to get to our area from Kitale, we come here on Monday, email, hangout with the whole zone (8 Elders), sleepover then Tuesday mornings we have a veryyy nice breakfast from the senior couple here. Then we have our district meeting (only one district in the zone) then shop for the week then head back to our area.  So Monday night we made a niiice dinner together then Tuesday had a niiiice breakfast with the senior couple. Including pancakes and syrup. Had our district meeting and eventually got back to our area.

Wednesday we saw some members then a few investigators- one of which her husband has been a member for 5 years and his patience in waiting for the Lord to prepare her to receive the gospel and change to the True Church has really payed off. I'll just refer to her as Kabasi. And we are actually teaching their son as well along with his best friend. The Ma has a baptism date for June 22 and the son and his friend July 6th.

Thursday had some appointments; did missionary work.

Friday- ahh man my birthday. Made myself french toast and opened the birthday cards and packages I received (thanks for those again). I'm not sure if I ate more Twizzlers or read more verses from the scriptures in personal study. Went to see Kabasi again and this time taught her about the word of wisdom. It's more like us asking what she knows and understands about it then her teaching us the lesson. When I committed her to live the word of wisdom she said "yes- in fact I have already started practicing. I used to love tea but since I read the pamphlet I have thrown it out stopped drinking it". She is super anxious for her baptism coming up.

Then taught her son then had pork with Ugali (Amanda Englund's favorite) for lunch with the branch president then had scripture study class at the church, then met a investigator - her and her daughter are
really knowledgeable. The Ma had her baby this week so she can't come to church for a while but the daughter is going to be baptized on June 29 if all goes well. Then it rained really hard for over an hour and we rode home down a huge hill in the mud- it was flying everywhere from my bike so I came home covered in it.

Made myself a nice burger (yeah I can cook) and chilled. Probably not the same as if I were home but it was still alright!

Saturday went with a member to his family friend's house and taught them the restoration then the son came to church Sunday! They also gave us fresh honey- and man that stuff is amaaaazing. Saw a few more people and taught a few more lessons and helped a few more people come closer to Christ.

Sunday- Church was poppin. Had to add chairs in Sacrament meeting. 76 people there. 8 investigators there and 9 other nonmembers that want us to visit them. After we had the 4 children of record baptisms 2 of which I had the privilege of baptizing. After church, my companion and I split and each went with a member at taught 5 lessons total then went to a members house for dinner. They invited us over when they found out my birthday was Friday. Slaughtered a chicken for us and had chapattis with rice and beans and some fresh milk from the cow. Shared Ephesians 6:1-4 with them as the spiritual thought.

This week I have been studying a bit about Humility and Pride and there is a lot to learn. Just trying to become more like Jesus Christ- little by little.

As for the questions-----

Have you seen elephants yet? Nopes

So, what is your place like? Flat compared to my previous area but really spread out. It rains EVERY afternoon which turns into mud so sometimes I wear rubber gumboots.

How do you like your companion? He is really quiet (I always have music going) and he finishes mission in like 5-6 months so he is looking forward to that, which doesn't help.

Are you close to Elder Moline (distance wise)? 7ish kilometers- we see each other every Monday and Tuesday. In fact he is sitting beside me emailing. He is training a new missionary which is sweet.

How close are you to the older couple? They live here in Kitale next to the zone leaders. They are retired military and are serving their second mission (first couple mission was in Richmond, VA).

Are you staying healthy? Wonder who this question was from

Do you still have to commute to a market far away?  They have necessities at a local market

Is your focus there to reactivate members, or is it to find new opportunities? Teaching and converting

Is this a walking area also? We have a mountain mike which I use then my companion uses a 'iron horse' we borrow from a member- a one speed bike everyone here uses. I have had a few Go Pro worthy moments on the bike, along with a few close calls.

Adjusting to the rain? Hahaha it has been nice to have cool evenings after the rain but the blazing sun is missed.

What do they grow there? Maize and lots of stuff you grow on a farm

How was your birthday? It was as good as your last one was

How is your tan? Haha actually in this area I have already seen it start to fade which is a bit unfortunate since it is sunny in the morning, clouds up, thunderstorms then is cloudy the rest of the evening.

Oh and fyi Kiswahili and Swahili are the same thing.. Kiswahili is how you say 'Swahili' in the language of Swahili.

One thing I received written in a birthday card was mentioning how I have had 6 years of experiences in 6 months.. so true! And I have been so grateful for every one! Even the ones I am waiting to share til I get home..haaaaaa

Now in this area I am on the same side of the equator as you guys for the first time in over 7 months. Crazy.

Shoutout to the relatives who met Alex Morgan on Saturday- I hope you said hi to her for me. I know she is awaiting my arrival in Portland in a little over a year. Haaaa

I will try to send pictures in a bit from a different computer or I  will send them next week.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Eveson

Much love from the KNM

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 33: Journey from Kyambeke to Nairobi to Eldoret to Kitale to Mautuma - Finally at my New Home Sweet Home

So this is how far I got before the power went out and we left. It just came back on and I was able to send this at a different place before we go.

Wow what a week. The work was light but the week was long.  Tuesday I washed clothes for a while, packed a bit then later met the Branch President of Ilima at his house, shared about service, and they fed us chapatti and meat then we went right to mission prep class at Kyambeke Branch President's house and I shared about mission then they fed the same thing. Waaay full of good food. 

Wednesday we didn't know when the driver was coming so I packed in the morning and had a chill afternoon. Hung out with some members and in the market. Eventually the driver came at 10:45 pm with Elder Beacom's new companion and took me and Elder Semnonza (was serving in Mitini) to Nairobi. Too bad it was dark or we were about to see a lot of animals. No traffic- we flew to the AP's flat in Nairobi. Arrived at 12:45 am, slept at 3 am.

Thursday- Woke up at 5:15 and went to the airport with the APs to pickup Elders from the Ghana MTC- one who is serving here and 6 that are visa waiters for other countries. Hopped on the bus at 8:30 am and headed to Kitale. Went with a other Elder and 3 sisters who got off in Eldoret. 

Really flat drive- lots of farming. No crazy animals this time. The ride took 8 1/2 hours. Hung out with the zone leaders here in Kitale in the evening.

Friday the senior couple took me and my companion to our area- Mautuma. Quite far from Kitale actually. It is really flat compared to my previous area. We are working on getting 2 working bikes.

Saturday- met with a few people, visited the branch president, did some missionary work.

Sunday we had church then me and my companion met with a few people. There are 4 children whose parents are members and have recently turned 8 years old- also known as children of record.  Branch president said 2 of them wanted me to baptize them this Sunday (I don't even know who) so (if it works out) I guess there is my Birthday present. 

I will answer questions in the next email, and send pictures.

Sorry for those who I have yet to respond to!! The emailing situation is way different than my last area, but I will get back to you guys next week.

Love you all!

Love Elder Eveson

Link to Map of Mautuma -- south of Kitale (about 2 hours) and northwest of Eldoret.  It rains a lot here -- about 8 hours a day currently.  It is the Agricultural mecca of Kenya.  Lots of Tea Plantations and other crops.

Link to Article of LDS Charity Services improving the lives of children at the Mautuma Primary School -- by providing them with clean water and latrines.