Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 58: Time to Organize & Enjoy the Africa Southeast Conference

This will be brief- on our pday there a few more fun things to do here in Dar compared to my last area where all we had time to do is email. So emailing time is a bit shorter depending on what we do that day.

Elder Ita and I are doing great. Wednesday we had a nice district meeting training a bit. The only thing about this week was my companion was pretty weak and we werent able to go out and teach- just taught English class twice this week then taught one of our great investigators. Not sure what the cause of him not feeling well was but he was just a little weaker than normal. We were able to clean our flat and reorganize it a lotttt this week which it really needed. Cleanliness is next to Godliness!

Then we had district conference this weekend and watched the broadcast like everyone at home but it was for the Africa Southeast area. It was really nice. I really enjoyed every minute. Elder Gay spoke, then a Sister in the RS presidency, then Elder Bednar, and then President Uchtdorf closed it out. It was sweeeeet and it was direct revelation just for this area. There is a big difference between the tribal culture and the gospel culture.

This week my companion and I have a Mission Leadership Conference so the Zone Leader from Arusha is coming and also Elder Anderson from Mwanza so it is about to be a sweeeeeeettttt. The meeting will be Wednesday with President and Sister Hicken and the APs. Then the Sisters (super sweet to serve around Sisters for the first time in my mission) are having baptisms on Saturday so we might end up going to their area for those.

As for me though--- I am loooooving it here. Reminds me so much of Hawaii. It is usually around 95 degrees ( but with the humidity it adds about 15 degrees to what it feels. I have not felt cold since I left Kenya (even at 6am)- except when we crank up the air conditioning in our bedroom when we sleep. I am about to be taaan quick though. And my companion is suuuuuuuuuuuppper sweet. I just love it here. :)

Til next week from paradise

Mzee Eveson

Much love from the KNM

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 57: Back in Tanzania

Monday evening I almost signed my weekly email to everyone 'Til next time from Dar es Salaam' then walking out of the cyber about 3 hours before we got transfer news I mentioned to Elder Tebbs that I should have sent my pictures for the Christmas slideshow to the APs while I was on the computer. He replied don't worry next Monday is the deadline, and I came back with: "I'm not sure how the internet at the cyber will be in Dar es Salaam."

That was quite the call from President Hicken Monday night asking if I would be a Zone Leader in Dar es Salaam, and arriving here Friday up to now I am really excited and grateful to have the privilege to be here. I thought I would be really sad leaving that area and place but when I heard Tanzania, it was all excitement. I am excited to get to know the language really well and will pray for the gift of tongues and for the gift of interpretation. The Swahili they speak here is sooooooo much different and more pure than Kenyan Swahili.

Elder Moline is now a zone leader in Kitale- whitewashing it with his trainer.

Tuesday we went back to Mautuma- some members dropped by to say bye to me then I had an hour to pack which was crazy. Went to Kitale and spent the night then Wednesday morning took the 9 hour bus ride to Nairobi. Saw a lot of Elders because it was transfers which was fun. Elder Beacom (my companion in the hills) was the highlight. Also met Elder Williams from Raymond, Alberta.

Thursday just kinda sat around the mission office and flew out Friday afternoon. Got here (saw one of the Mt. Kilimanjaro peaks from the plane) and met the Micklesons (one of the senior couples here-- the other is the Smiths) and met both my companions. Yeah the Dar es Salaam zone is so bad and disobedient they need 3 ZLs over 8 other missionaries. Kidding- the real story is my companion is Elder Ita'aehau from Arizona (yes he is Tongan and yes, another from AZ) and Elder Kisesi is supposed to go to Kenya but his passport got stolen so he has to go through Uganda first then to Kenya. He will probably fly out sometime this week to Uganda.

Friday night got some niiiice chips mayai which is everywhere at night here in TZ

Saturday we had a funeral pretty much all day for the 1st Counselor of the Branch who passed away on Thursday, then Sunday after Church (yes which is all in Swahili), all of the branches went to the house and it was like a funeral service part 2. Looking forward to teaching some lessons this week- up to right now I have not taught a lesson since we were in Kipkarren on 8 November. Transfers in the Kenya Nairobi Mission!

Elder Ita'aehau, Elder Kisesi and I are doing great together her in Kinindoni, Dar es Salaam. It seems as if we have been together for a transfer as a 3-sum already. I just fit right in. It has been a few good days.
And my trainer, Elder Anderson, is coming over from Mwanza next week for Mission Leadership Council which will be suuuper sweet to be together again.

An Elder in a States Mission said this in his weekly email home—

"Our mission will be off of Facebook for a while because our whole Mission’s numbers are garbage. Last October we had 44 baptisms as a Mission, compared to 11 this October. Pretty lousy. Oh well, things will improve."

Elders- maybe you should send your iPads this side hahaha


How many missionaries are serving in Dar es Salaam? 11 at the moment

Are you on bikes or walking? We have a Ford f150. But usually we walk and take Daladalas everywhere

Do they have a McDonalds? Nope but they do have a KFC in one of the malls and then a Subway a 6 minute walk from us! I went from the middle of nowhereeeeee to a huge city, a big change.

Can you go to soccer games? Depends

Do you live in the city? Kind of- more like a suburb. Still getting to know places.

Did you fly for the transfer? Yup! An hour flight

How close is Kilimanjaro? About a 30 minute plane ride or 12 hour bus ride

Do you have an actual address to mail to? Same one that everyone has used the past year! Send it to the mission office in Nairobi and they will get it to me.

What's your favorite thing about your Mission? Seeing people come unto Christ and being able to be a part of, and see their lives change for the better. Seeing the joy and happiness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings into people’s lives in such a blessed area of the world.

I'll see if I can get some pictures up, but til next week from TZ!!

Mzee Eveson

Much love from the KNM

Painting the Flats with Elder Tebbs
Leaving My Prints at the Palace
Arm hair stuck together from the paint
All skills learned at home come in handy on a mission!
Cake we made for the Flakes - ding dong ditched them with it
Heading to the Flakes for dinner -- all dressed up -- just because
Biking Selfie #1
That's how we roll!
Rush Hour Traffic
Enjoying the journey!
Bike Selfie #2
Tracting with Elder Tebbs
Zone Leaders in Dar es Salaam
Typical Egges & Veggie Breakfast
Typical Ugali Meal
Missionaries in Dar es Salaam, TZ
New companions in Dar

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 56: Meet Vincent, the Kingdom Builder, Blessing Baby Eveson + Transfer News!

Transfer news is tonight..not sure what is going to happen. I have been in this area 6 months now and I hope I stay. I could finish the last year of my mission here. I told some of the members that transfers are Monday and a few started crying. Then it didn't help that I took my journal to church to have people sign just in case I will be leaving. After people would say nice things about me and be feeling down that I'm leaving, I would just say I'll be back here at church on Sunday to make everyone feel good. I really do love this area, and I love how these members and investigators have all become friends and family.

We had exchanges with the zone leaders and I was with Elder Elliott in Kitale and it went really well.  We met one of their recent converts Walter, and turns out his sister-in-law is the one who just won the last Boston Marathon.  Unfortunately she wasn't there.  Kenya produces some great runners though.

Our Saturday journey to Kipkarren to meet Vincent was great.  He truly is a kingdom builder in his own area.  We went with President Mabwa on bikes.  It took around 2 hours each way - definitely worth it.  We left our place at 8am and returned at 7:30pm.  Turns out he stays past Kipkarren a ways then about a kilometer from the tarmac road. (Riding bikes on tarmac for the first time in forever was really weird).  We met him there and he took us to meet all his buddies from his football team and we were able to answer a lot of questions and teach, then we went to a school and met the principal and a teacher who had some great questions about, and questions from, the Bible we were able to answer, then we went and met his family and taught them all.  Great people.  Vincent is a great guy and wants to keep learning more.  We left him with lots of pamphlets to read himself and give out and then Sunday when we talked to him in the evening he said he went 7 kilometers that day giving out many pamphlets and teaching people what he knows.  He says everyone complains the church is so far but he has hopes that soon the church can go there.  There are so many people who want to learn more there and so many people who have been prepared by the Lord.

Since the area Vincent stays in is quite far and it is a bit expensive for him to come to church on a pikipiki every Sunday (500Ksh) and we aren't allowed to take pikipikis, I think we might start teaching him over the phone and visit when we can - maybe once every few weeks.  Not sure.  But I do know we are the first missionaries to set foot anywhere close to there and the first white people ever to step foot in the village.

Sunday I had the privilege to bless Baby Eveson Akula Ommala, which was pretty awesome.  Then we had the primary program and Wow! it was fantastic.  All the kids had their parts memorized and didn't need help from their teachers.  It was really a good presentation - a little different than home though.

The baptism went very well for Sister Doris on Sunday.  As she stepped into the water she was completely overcome by the spirit and she started tearing up and the spirit was very strong there.  After, she bore an amazing testimony and even quoted a verse from 2nd Nephi from memory, then added a testimony that she really knows the Book of Mormon is true.  The spirit was very strong the whole time.  A great expereince for her and everyone there. 

Tell us again about how you receive packages. There's the Pringle can and have any other kinds of boxes gotten through? If we put pictures of Mary all over the box will you get it? Pringles boxes are just so teeny tiny. And tell us your most desired things also. Give us all the details and be clear about it!

Wellllllll quite the question. Yeah I can get boxes- they just cost me to receive depending on the size and weight. Pringles cans are usually free. And yeah pictures of Mary and Jesus all over! And they have to be sent first class priority or whatever it is so it comes by air within like 3 weeks or it will take a ship and probably get lost like some birthday packages in June I still havent received. And most desired--- ties and old spice fiji. And I'm not joking when I say no candy. Although Jello instant pudding and jello is good along with lemonade packets!

When are all the youth/kids coming home from school? This week schools close

Are you guys getting more missionaries in your area with all of the work to be done? If we could get more missionaries into the mission...

Is it helpful to have the natives serving in the mission to help bridge the gaps between the people and the culture? Yup

How are the bikes? Good, we put those things through daily workouts. I have gotten really good at riding no hands on the bumpy uneven dirt roads though! Then on Saturday when we went on the nice tarmac road I went no hands the whole way downhill just making peoples heads turn.

Is it summer or winter over there? Hahahaha do you mean rainy or dry season? There is only summer here alll year round.

Is that couch a representation of the furniture there? NO. Hahaha reallllly far from it.
What is the gun control in Kenya? No ideaaa

Well til next week-
Mzee Eveson

Editor's Note:  Received this email from the Flakes (whom I am very grateful to for taking such wonderful care of Brandon over the past 6 months) later today.

Transfer News: "Elder Eveson [will] be a Zone Leader in Dar es Salaam. . . . You can be very proud of your son.  He's a great missionary and one of our favorites!" Elder Elliott, whom he is pictured with below, is becoming a District Leader in Busia.

Elder Elliott and Elder Eveson . . .
leaving Kitale, Kenya with GREAT Memories

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 55: New Opportunities, Commitments & Lots of Pix!

Hope all is well back home with everyone. Today on email it hasn't really phased me that Utah lost because of the successful hunting week ya'll had! And I hope everyone's Halloween was good- I'll send you a picture of ours soon.

Well it has gone from rainy and muddy to hot and sunny. Next week is transfers.

Zone conference in Eldoret was fantastic. I looked at the program and first thing that came to mind was Wow, this is inspired. I really enjoyed all of it. I learned a lot.

Elder Moline and I were on exchanges and we were able to do some very good work together and also have some fun. Since we are with Elder Odundo and Elder Moline often when we travel to Kitale, us 4 have become really close friends. On the exchange though, we were ripping down a path and I stopped to wait for Elder Moline for a second and I greeted some kid who was just coming from school, said something to Elder Moline then I turned and all I see is this kid booking it down the path. Then a scream/cry is coming from her. She was really we followed, she threw her bags and flip flops and ran even faster. Got to the bottom of the path where it meets the dirt road and her family was there and the kid was scared because we are both whites. It was pretty crazy.

Friday we received a referral from Elder Thomas from the system, and contacted him in the evening. Talked to him Saturday, and Sunday morning while we were getting ready for Church, he had arrived there over an hour and a half early on a motorcycle. He even bore his testimony in Church on Sunday. His name is Vincent, he is 27, a very nice guy, and we will be going to visit him on Saturday with the Branch Mission Leader and Branch President. He found out about the Church by chatting with a Sister Missionary in the States on Facebook. He says he will be there when we come and he has talked to all his friends he plays football with every week and they all want to meet us. He lives about a 2 hour bike ride away from the church in a place called Kipkarren.   

In a lesson with an investigator at a recent convert's house it was going real well. He was asking some good questions (the second time we have met with him) and he has read most of the Teachings of the Prophets books by the church. He knows quite a lot and speaks really good English. The spirit was really strong there, and as I am just about to commit the investigator to a baptismal date, my companion grabs a full size chicken that is making noises and chucks it in the air across the room towards the door and it is making all kinds of noise trying to fly and it took the spirit right away. Then it went right back to where it was under the couch. I was so mad at him. Anyways, our investigator still committed to be baptized after that!

Sunday after Church we had Seminary Graduation (3 graduated) and the Flakes did a great job- even making a bulletin/program thing for it...haven't seen one of those since home. Then they made cakes for refreshments and Wowwww! I was home.

We will be having a Baptism on Sunday for Doris- she is 26 years, from a part member family. Besides her, all of our investigators we are teaching have had to have their baptism dates pushed back to next transfer (Dec 21) because right now are exams in schools and most people we are teaching are still in school. So when schools close within the next 2 weeks we will be even more busy than we are now. I hope I stay to see many people baptized next transfer. We are teaching many and in this area there are so many people prepared by the Lord for us to teach.

Take care everyone, not that long til Christmas!
Mzee Eveson
Balancing the Pizzas with Elder Tebbs

Playing American Football . . . in Suits!

This Calf is only about 10 hours old

Vincent (new Investigator that showed up early) and his pikipiki
driver -- both bore their testimonies in Church on Sunday

Serious Mountain Biking - top half of trail

Chilling while reading a talk -- rare occasion to wear a sweatshirt.
Loving these sweet couches I picked out for our Palace.

Flashback Photo to Last Christmas in South Africa
-- I've changed a bit

Yummy Grubbin'

Our "Halloween" Candy

Mt. Elgon view from our area

Seminary Graduation with Cake & Ice Cream
-- Nicely Done thanks to the Flakes

Yes, I ate cake for breakfast too!

Organization Board -- helps so much!
Numbers correlate to Lesson numbers

Bike Selfie  :)

Francis's Baptism a while back with Elder Kisseka

Elder Brandon Keith Eveson!

Elder Moline and Me

Striking a pose

Elder Tebbs and Me

Elders Warwood & Ochieng, Elders Ndaba &
Elliott, Elder Tebbs & Me, Elders Moline & Odundo

Zone Conference in Eldoret (missing Pres. and Sister Hicken)

Tired on the Way Home