Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 88: Back to Kinondoni, Streetboarding & Basketball

This week was full of lots of things. Time is short because I had to email Pres about some things happening...sometimes being a Zone Leader is no fun when people don't want to do the right thing.

We were still over at Sinza as it took them until Sat to finish things at the Kinondoni flat. Now we are back in and are trying to move into a new flat here in Kinondoni within the next few weeks.

My companion and I are doing great. We have set a goal to do streetboarding every week and also we came up with a way to find more people to teach in PEC- playing basketball Saturday afternoons. We will see how that turns out- after all I did hear that's how the counselor to the Mission Pres- President Balilemwa found out about the Church. Suuuper powerful guy. He saw Elders playing basketball and wanted to join. Now we just need to find the future Balilemwas!

We had a nice Zone Preparation Day today.. and all I'll say is we had a good sized goat (doesn't compare to the pic) brought at 8 am to our place and at 2pm we were feasting and now evening time I am emailing here with a full belly. :)

Happy to hear this from the Church:


Elder Eveson

Much love from the KNM


Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 87: Following Promptings of the Spirit & Small World

We have had a great week, although we were staying in Sinza the whole time (due to them finally trying to fix a problem that has been there for 7 months) which is further from most of the people we are teaching and the time that they are available to meet in the evening, is the time we had to head back over to Sinza. So hopefully by Wednesday we will be staying back in Kinondoni and visit quite a few people. Also reset some baptismal dates, and extend others for the first time. Oh and the weather has been somewhat cloudy here sometimes which has been sooooo nice! A break from the sun.

We had a great District Conference on Saturday and Sunday. We had an Area Authority Elder Kiyungu (not totally sure how to spell it) there presiding from the District Republic of Congo and it was great. There were 2 days full of inspired instruction and topics. Lots of it was about the Sabbath day being a delight, not a burden.


Sunday afternoon we were able to go with Helter and visit his whole family as well as some relatives they stay with. It went well, although the mom came not too long before we had to head out. We had some really good times with everyone and as we were leaving, Helter's mom said she wants us to come more often- then his sister asked when we were coming back. Slowly bringing the family together! Then Helter drove us home and as I was getting in his car I was about to get in the front since my companion sat there on the way there but I felt I should sit in the back with his twin brother Elias who went with us. I sat in the back with his brother and we got to talking. He is a bit more reserved but I found out he loves the NBA so we connected on that and then he had a lot of questions about attending University in the States. A lot! So I was able to help him with the few things I know about that and the process. I told him about BYU because that is where Helter is planning on applying and would e a great option for him. I didn't know why I was prompted to sit in the back but it was revealed to me pretty quick. All it takes is following one small prompting from the spirit! I am sure he will want us to start teaching him soon.

Oh and while driving around their place I saw a guy towing a jet ski!! I was super surprised as I have not seen one since leaving home. I guess they have some you can rent in one of the nice areas of Dar. But it'll have to wait til I come back!

We are looking forward to this Sunday as Helter will receive the Priesthood and Masogo will be confirmed to receive the Priesthood as well.

One thing I forgot to mention about 6 weeks ago now is about Andrew and Kylie. They are a young couple from the States who came to Church one Sunday and longg story short, Andrew is from Hong Kong and knows Bonnie, my Aunt Karma's sister also from Hong Kong. He graduated from BYU which is where he met his wife from Idaho- Kylie- and they flew into Uganda and made a weeks journey to Dar staying with locals and going via road then went to Malawi for the next 2 months for an internship with BYU for Kylie. I will send a picture we took with them. I thought my Aunt Karma might find that cool!

So this is my longest time in an area by far (at the end of the transfer it will be 9 months) and yesterday in an interview with President Hicken I asked him to ask the Lord if I can finish my last 2 transfers here-which would mean a year in the same area, which does not happen very often. So we will see! But I will go and do whatever the Lord wants me to do! Oh and something else- I have never served in a ward/stake on my mission! Only branches which operate like very small wards with maybe 70 people instead of a couple hundred or more. Modern day Pioneers, eh?

And alsooo I was searching through and I came across a short video about the gospel in Africa and I watched it and it turns out the chapel it is filmed at with Elder Bednar was the same one I served at when I was in Durban! It was filmed the Sunday before I got there when I just barelyyy missed him. It is crazy in some of the shots I see people who were preparing for mission when I was there and members who worked with us. Brought back memories!

Check it out here:

And my homecoming talk in Church has been moved to the 25th of October just so everyone knows. But I will still get home the same time. I still am focusing on the work- don't worrry guys! It was just a heads up as I previously said it would be the 18th.

Take care and have a great week!

Love Elder Eveson
Much love from the KNM

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 86: Turning 20 in Tanzania

Well it is nice we already have transfer news as we received it Saturday night. I am still here in Kinondoni! Haha I reallly thought I would be leaving but I am excited for another transfer with Elder Lopeyok. There is still lots of work for me to do here and I am really looking forward to what the Lord has in store for our companionship. At the end of these 6 weeks I will have been here for 6 transfers in one area. Then I will have just 2 transfers remaining and I might just ask President if he can verify with the Lord if I can finish my mission here as that would mean a year in the same area.

We had a great week this past week. We started with exchanges with the Mbezi Elders and I was with Elder Ojjogolo on Tuesday in Kinondoni. We had a great day and I was able to learn a lot from him.

Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday was powerful as we focused on the Full Purpose Missionary handout we received at Mission Leadership Council. Towards the end Elder Wilson made an insightful comment. I wrote it down but it is at our flat at the moment-- it was something along the lines of we need to be like a full service shop in the States where you go to and you can buy anything you need and they also have a post office to and they will sell you a box then ship it and you can buy flowers and cake and a notebook, etc., all at one place, and it is convenient, while being full service. We need to focus on teaching faith, baptism and on more than just things in this life and more than just the 5 principles in the Gospel of Jesus Christ but also family history and about the temple and saving ordinances and what what it means individually for the person. It might sound a bit different here but I tried to get the idea across.

Our baptisms went well on Sunday. Only 2 of them were able to make it to their interviews and the other 3 were busy or didn't pick up their phones this last week but it was definitely challenging with the adversary working so hard to make sure they missed the day. We will re-plan with them and reset the baptism date for later this transfer.

For the 2 who were baptized, Masogo and Helter, it went really well. Helter brought his brother and sister to church and they stayed for the whole of it and the baptism after and seemed to enjoy it. Hopefully we will start teaching them this week.

Masogo had to be baptized 3 times, as the water was too low in the font and so he knelt down (he is taller than me) and the first 2 times his clothes came up and it was a miracle he was able to be immersed in the water that we had, while on his knees. The third time was perfect. And after, both their testimonies were so powerful and we are so grateful for them.

A weird thing was on Sunday the Church attendance was only 45 people including kids and babies which was super unusual as it is usually in the 70s, and there was no holiday or anything. There was 7 members in the whole building at 9:00am. Imagine that.

Ohh and Saturday the 2 decades passed me by as it was my birthday and we were at the church for a while for one of the baptismal interviews and some lessons then we went contacting people at the beach and finished it off with a powerful dinner appointment.

Pictures- My birthday
Me, Masogo, Helter, his sister, his twin, and Elder Lopeyok.

I know I left out a lot of things but that's somewhat of a recap of the last crazy and tiring few days.

Have a great week everyone

Elder Brandon Eveson

Much love from the KNM

Elder Lopeyok and Me on my 20th Birthday
Birthday Guy, Masogo, Helter, Helter's Sister, Helter's twin, and Elder Lopeyok

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 85: Two Decades Down . . . Turning 20 this Week and Celebrating with 5 Baptisms!

First off, shoutout to my twin cousin, Anna Eveson, Happy Birthday! Eish, 2 decades come to a close this Saturday! Our throwback photo from when we turned 7 is below.

Bit of a chronologically mixed up letter but here we go-

It was great to be with President and Sister Hicken and Elder and Sister Ellis this last week. Such a blessing. Zone Conference I feel went really well and I learned a lot. I was grateful to complete the whole Book of Mormon reading the night before the meeting.

My companion and I are doing great and we have 5 people who are lined up to be baptized this Sunday. Helter, Joseph, Masogo, Almelda and Francisca. Helter is one who I want to say a few words about. I am so happy for him. He is the one that came to Church when he was in Primary and hadn't come since until just a few weeks ago. He is 20, and he stays in Masaki which is a very nice area. He has completed high school, knows perfect English, has a great education, is a hard worker, and his family is well set financially with hard working parents. He wants to start going to BYU in January to study- after I told him about the University. He attended Young Single Adults (YSA) on Saturday after we taught him at the Church, and we actually connected him with one of his Aunts he never knew before, who was in the same YSA class with him. It was his first time attending. She is a returned missionary from Uganda (as of a month ago). She is his Aunt and they had never met before. Crazy! But he has been sooo prepared by the Lord and loves Church and has friends there.

Sunday we had branch conference which went greattt, and the district president- Pres Mwaipopo- mentioned during his talk that Elder L. Tom Perry passed away this weekend which surprised me- he has been called to a higher calling in the next life. Click here for a nice article and to learn more about the life, love and leadership of Elder L. Tom Perry.

Saturday we had an Open House which went great, the Branch was well prepared for it; we had many contacts from it that we will follow up on. I've never written our phone number so many times in a 3 hour period on pamphlets.

Friday we went around the whole day and checked all the flats- if only we had our own cars it could have taken an hour. But we got it done.

One thing we have been trying to focus on is to help other Elders and Sisters solve their own problems. Things are so easy when they bring something to us and we tell them what to do- but they tell us something and we ask them what the proposed solution is and if there is anything they need help with from us. There won't always be someone to do everything and make decisions and solve your conflicts for you. It's something I have also learned a lot from doing myself and helping others do.

We are looking forward to exchanges with the Mbezi Elders this week along with the June Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) on Wednesday.

We had a great zone activity today this morning playing games at the couples' place, which was fun with everyone together, and it happened to be on Elder Steed's birthday today. And they fed us burritos which was the first time in forrrever I have had them. Since home actually! And the next time I will have one I can already tell it will be at Chipotle! Anyways- the couples are so nice.

I know I haven't sent pictures in a long time, next week a flood of them are coming your way.

Please don't send mail to Dar, as I most likely will be leaving this place I love so much. Continue to use the Kenya Nairobi address listed here on the blog. We will be told on Monday, and then if I'm leaving I'll move on Tuesday. When President Hicken was leaving after Zone Conference he hugged me and said "Elder, you've been here in Dar a long time" and I was confounded- haha- I didn't have anything to say. We will see what the Lord has planned!

Love you all- and until next week!!
Elder Eveson
Much love from the KNM

Anna & Brandon Eveson - Born 12 hours apart on 6 June 1995