Tuesday, March 13, 2012

January 2012 Brought One of the Single Most Rewarding and Spiritually Fulfilling Events of Our Mission

After nearly eight months of preparation a group of 23 members of the Kilili Branch embarked on a trip of a lifetime to the Johannesburg Temple, South Africa. Sunday-New Years day, immediately after church they crammed into two very small Matatu (taxi minivans) to head for their hotel rooms in Nairobi to await an very early morning pickup to be at the Kenyatta Airport at 5:00 AM the next morning. The Matatu ride to Nairobi was 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours (depending on traffic). We and Elder and Sister Hall transported their luggage in our trucks. We all met at the Mission office in Nairobi to meet with the Kenya Nairobi Mission President and his wife -President and Sister Broadbent. We were joined by two young families, totaling 8 more, from the Kisumu Branch who were also going to the temple with us. This made a total group of 31 people (18 of whom were children, 5 couples and 3 adult sisters).
Think about the excitement and anxiety they must have felt as they arrived in Nairobi. For the first time in most of their lives they were going to experience the some following: Airport with planes taking off and landing, not so polite custom officers, 4+ hour plane ride, packaged airline meals, in-flight movies with their own earphones, being out of their native country, brightly decorated Christmas trees, escalators, elevators, moving walkways, 6 lane freeways, staying in a room with electricity, sinks with running water, sit-down toilets, showers, bath tubs, automatic doors, 3 meals a day, refrigerators, microwaves, washers and dryers, vending machines, computers that had their names and the names of their family members in them, as well as seeing the Johannesburg Temple.

17 people were crammed into this tiny minivan designed to carry 7, for the first leg of the trip to Nairobi.

Muindi and Muendo family on the plane.

They still had Christmas decoration up at the Johannesburg Airport when we arrived.

Both the kids and the adults loved the moving walkways in the airport.

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