Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The LDS Nairobi Kenya Service Center

Two Sister Missionaries (who have been visiting us almost every day in the office) and some friends in the ward .
View of the Guard Station at the gate to the comlex.
Second floor of the Service Center as viewed from the parking lot.
Front view of the LDS Nairobi Kenya Service Center
View of the front of the Service Center - our office is the first door on the right.

This is the LDS Nairobi Kenya Service Center. It is a two story building that houses the Kenya Nairobi Mission offices (where we serve each day), the LDS Distribution Center, the Perpetual Education Center office, the Offices of the South East Africa Area support staff, all on the bottom floor; and on the top floor the Church Education Center-Seminary and Institute Classrooms, the Church Employment Center, Nairobi Kenya Stake Offices and Chapel.

Our Apartment

View out of our front window.
The view out of our back bedroom window is a neighbor who has a good sized bustani (garden).
Our dining room
Our living room
One of the two bedrooms (this one is our's).

We are quite comfortable in our small apartment on the 3rd floor of a 5 story building. It is a gated community with 2 armed guards on duty 24/7 located just a mile down the road from the President of Kenya. And only a block from the Ethiopian Embassy. There are 2 people who sweep the parking lot every day that it is not raining. 5 other Senior Missionary couples live in the same building with us. We have home evening every monday night with them. And we all go out to eat at a different restaurant each Saturday night. They are all great people to be around and have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. We feel so blessed!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Our two weeks at the Missionary Training Center

In front of the Missionary Training Center in Provo

Our Fellow District Members pointing to where they will be serving

Our home (for the evenings) during the 2 weeks during our training.
The traditional pose in front of "The Map"

Provo Temple

On March 1, 2010 we entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT. There were about 2000 young missionaries and a little over 50 senior missionary couples there. Some senior missionaries only stayed for a week of training, while those of us that needed to learn additional skills-like computer programs, humanitarian programs, Perpetual Education Funding, etc stayed for a second week. Because of this, there was an overlapping, so that we were able to meet even more couples than the 50 that we started with. I guess because everyone knew that we would not be together long, coupled with the fact that we were all enlisted in the same wonderful cause, guards were let down and friendships formed quickly. This loving nurturing fellowship made the long days and rather stressful curriculum enjoyable. Just like in the mission field we were divided up into districts of 4 companionships each. Each district was assigned a young returned missionary who served as our instructor. These young men and women possessed great poise and amazing teaching skills, even though they were working with people who were old enough to be their grandparents who possessed several years more church experience. In our district we had couples going to Madagasgar, Hong Cong, Cape Town South Africa, and us going to Kenya. The Senior Missionary Residence Hall was being remodeled while we were there so they had us housed at a nearby Super8 Motel. Each day shuttled us to the MTC - about a mile away for our meals and training. It was equally as amazing that they could feed so many of us such good food with almost no waiting, three meals a day!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Utah family gathering

VanUitert nephews and nieces
Merri, Mike, Ava and Earl
Pat and Dean VanUitert
Karen visits with her sister Sue
Bob and Joan Walker

More of Utah gathering

Scot and Karen VanUitert
Connie's family surprises us by showing up
Lisa, Ashlee and us
Leonard, Laura and family

Pre-mission gathering in Utah

We were set apart as missionaries on Wednesday evening February 24 about 8:00PM. We left for Utah Thursday morning about 10:30AM. As we were leaving town we stopped in to visit Aunt Hazel (Grandma Walker's older sister) in Surprise, AZ. After fixing a flat tire outside of Kingman, we stopped in Mesquite, NV for the night. Then on to Utah Friday. Pat and Dean organized an open house on Saturday at their home. We were touched that all of Mom's siblings traveled down/up to see us off. In addition Lisa, Ashlee and some of Lisa's friends form Idaho were there; Connie and Daniel surprised us with their youngest 5 kids; most of the VanUitert nieces and nephews were there as well; Leonard, Laura and 5 members of their family came too; and a good friend from Mesa (now living in utah) was there. Including us there was a total of 49 people. We were only sorry that we did not have time to visit with each one longer. It was a very nice feeling of family support.