Sunday, May 22, 2011

We have extended our mission release date

If you have not already heard, it is official that we have extended the length of our mission from 18 months to 23 months.

Trip to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

On May 12th we flew to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania to pick up a vehicle to bring back for Elder and Sister Rydalch, a new missionary couple who will be serving in Arusha, Tanzania. We took advantage of this opportunity to stay with our good friends President and Sister Burgener. To list all of the things that they do as part of their missionary responsibilities would take a page or more. We are glad that many of their responsibilities interface with us in our office, so we are in contact with them almost every week. And because he serves as a councilor to President Broadbent in the Kenya Nairobi Mission Presidency they come to Nairobi for meetings fairly often. On several of these visits they have stayed with us in our flat. But this was the first and probably the last time that we will ever have a reason to be in Dar. So we extended our stay for a couple days and visited with them before starting our long drive back to Nairobi by way of Arusha. They took us to see all of the missionary flats and all but one of the four church buildings in Dar. And they took us to CoCo Beach which is the site in Tanzania where Elder Russell M. Nelson dedicated the country of Tanzania for the preaching of the gospel. And because it is a port city we had to see the ocean and Friday we spent a day in Zanzibar (which is in the previous post).

This is an early morning shot of the port of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, obviously from our boat as we left for Zanzibar.

As we stood on the very point on Coco Beach, where Elder Nelson dedicated Tanzania, this is the view in one direction and the next image is looking in the opposite direction from the same point.

This is looking the other way on Coco Beach. Since this is their "winter" it was only 85ºF with a humidity to match, however the sea breeze made it very pleasant. I am glad our visit was timed during their cool time though.

This is where we attended Church Sunday the 15th. It is the Kinindoni Building. That Sunday they were realigning the two Kinindoni Branches that have been meeting there. Mbezi Beach Branch was created from part of the Kinindoni 1st Branch. The rest of Kinindoni 1st joined with Kinindoni 2nd. This new branch will no longer meet at this building. They have rented a large home in which to meet for the time being. The handsome young men in the foreground wanted to be in the picture. The one without a tie is Leon, the Burgener's neighbor. He rode with us to church. The other young man is his good friend. Unfortunately after the realignment they are now in different branches. In the background you can see Sister Burgener introducing Sister Nevin to one of the pioneer members of the branch. His conversion story is truly inspirational. He currently serves as a member of the District Council.

This is us with the Burgeners in front of the restaurant where we had lunch in Zanzibar.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


While visiting in Dar Es Salaam with our good friends Elder and Sister Burgener, we took a day trip to the Island Country of Zanzibar. The two hour and a half boat ride over was beautiful and the weather could not have been better. Because we were limited to only a few hours on the island we hired a guide to take us around. That turned out to be a really good move on our part. We knew that we wanted to see the Slave Market Memorial but we were not sure what else to see. After the Slave Memorial he took us to the Zanzibar Museum and then to an incredible beach-side restaurant that had freshly harvested seafood at very reasonable rates. With the time that we had left we walked through the narrow streets of the old town. Old Town reminded us of the streets of Venice. The ride home was a bit rough and the crew came around and gave everyone little plastic bags labeled Sea Sickness Bag. To that we laughed but within a half hour some of us were not laughing anymore. Let us just say that the great fresh sea food lunch that we had enjoyed only an hour earlier, was now trying to return to the Indian Ocean.

This is the scene that greeted us as we docked in Zanzibar.

These boats were docked or beached at a lagoon just in front of our restaurant.

This is a memorial at the site of the last active slave market in Africa.

This Cathedral was built at the site of the former Slave Market. 95% of Zanzibar citizens are Muslim and only 3% are Christian. So this is one of only a couple Christian churches in the entire country. Our guide pointed out that the white tower from a nearby mosque, built so close to the cathedral is symbolic of the good relations between religious groups in Zanzibar. Notice too the juxtaposition of the old cathedral with a new satellite disc.

This is typical of the narrow streets in the Old Town district.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More baptisms!

Sunday April 24th there were six more young people who chose to be baptized. Three were children of records baptisms and three were in our investigator class and were convert baptisms. Three Elders who had not baptized anyone before were given the chance to do the baptisms.
Here are all of them at the beginning of the meeting.

Here they in front of the font.

Ndanu (in the middle) with her grandmother and her little sisters.

Sisters Ndunge and Catherine with their mother and little sister.

These are the three girls that were in our investigator class with their families

Monday, May 9, 2011

The New Eldoret District in Formed April 24, 2011

The formation of the New Eldoret District of Kenya Nairobi Mission was a long awaited event! It is composed of eight branches in the northern most part of the Mission. Four branches in Eldoret and Four from Kitale were combined to make the new District on Sunday April 24, 2011. It was a treat and such a spiritual experience to be a part of history in the making. The Kenya saints in that region had been waiting for this day for quite some time. There were approximately 570 people who attended the day-long activities. The District Conference was held on the second floor of a very nice hotel, because none of their chapels were large enough to house such a large gathering. Each member of the new District Presidency as well as their wives spoke. Most of them told there conversion story. These are some of the true pioneers of the Church in Africa!
After the Conference, everyone walked a couple blocks to the nearby Sosiani Chapel for a reception of sorts, in which all 570 of them were fed a meal before they headed home.

Karen was a greeter at the conference and I took a lot of pictures. Hera she poses with some of the children. Many of these children had not been to a large building with more than one floor. They were captivated to look down over the balcony to the swimming pool below with see the blue water. They were asking why it was blue.

This image gives you a feel for how many people were in attendance. As you can see, awnings were installed to provide shade.

This is President Steven H. Broadbent the Kenya Nairobi Mission President with his wife at the keyboard in the background. He is formally announcing the new District Leaders to be sustained.

At the podium is the newly sustained District President Dominic Kogo. And seated to his left are the other members of the new District Presidency and District Clerk and Executive Secretary. With some of the Senior Missionary Couples seated behind them.

At the reception everyone found shade on this beautiful sunny day, while waiting to be fed.

Couples Conference to the Maasi Mara on Mom's Birthday

On the 19-22 of April we held our Semi-Annual Senior Couple's Conference at the Maasi Mara. Karen's birthday is the 19th. What a way to spend your birthday! There were nine couples in attendance. A special treat for us was that Elder and Sister Harms were visiting from South Africa doing some Public Affairs training in Nairobi. And it worked out so that they were able to join us. The Harms are dear friends from Arizona. He was our Stake President when we lived in Apache Junction. They are on their second mission here in Africa. Their first mission was to Cape Town South Africa, as Public Affairs directors. After only being home for 3 months they agreed to come back and serve in the Area Office in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the Public Affairs Office there.

On one of the few times that we were allowed out of our vehicles during our game drive, we posed for this picture in front of a river full of hippos with our friends the Harms.

We came across this lone hippo grazing quite a distance from the river. Usually they do not leave the water during daylight hours. You can see he had a couple puncture wounds on his neck. Our guide guessed that he was out of the water to give them time to heal. Notice the little bird attached to the side of his belly.

What a stoic pose. Just a few minutes after this image was taken, this Cheetah stretched herself and started stalking an Impala she had noticed about 200 meters away. The Impala saw her in time to escape and to live another day.

This was the most exciting spotting of the safari for us because this is the first Leopard we have ever seen since being in Africa. They are one of the most allusive of all of the big cats because they are most active at night and very early in the morning. This image was taken about 6:30 AM on our second day. We went on to see two more Leopards that morning! I have almost 100 pictures just of these three guys.

This is our group just after we had eaten our lunch overlooking the savannah of the Mara. This was only the second time when we were allowed out of the vehicles.

Departures, Arrivals and Get-a-ways

March ended with another goodbye to some more friends-Elder and Sister McBride completed their mission in Mombasa and left us to return home to their family in Utah. We will miss them.
Three weeks later Elder and Sister Fox escorted several saints to the Johannesburg Temple for the first time. Then a few days later they said goodbye to these African saints and headed on to Arkansas to be with their own family as they ended their mission.
The saints in Mombasa did not have to wait very long for another senior missionary couple. Elder and Sister Scott arrived the same week as the Foxes left. We went with President and Sister Broadbent and the Scotts to get them settled in Mombasa and attend the Mombasa Zone Conference. On the long drive home from Mombasa we stayed at the Kiliguni Lodge which is located inside the Tsavo West National Game Park.

At Tsavo West we observed the fairly rare sight of an Ostrich coming in to share the watering hole with a male and female Giraffe. As you can see, the Giraffes have to get in a very awkward position to drink. It is in this position that they are the most vulnerable to lion attacks. Just out of the camera's view was another Giraffe standing watch for lions.

Mount Kilimanjaro is very allusive. It is usually completely covered by clouds. Although this happened at sunset the clouds parted for just a few minutes to exposed the mountain. This image was made from the Kiliguni Lodge.

These are the Mombasa Zone Elders. On the right are the new couple-the Scotts. They are holding a hard bound Book of Mormon in a pledge to the Mission President that they will read it again before their next transfer. During this reading they will make any reference to Jesus Christ or any quote or statement about Him. Since we profess that the B of M is a second witness of Jesus Christ it is important to know of what we promise.

This was the social held at the Mission Home to say goodbye to the foxes and give the Scotts a warm welcome. Foxes are seated on the couch between us and President and Sister Broadbent. The Scotts are the second couple from the right in the back.

Farewell get-together for the McBrides (seated in the center) on March 21st.