Monday, July 31, 2017

Missionaries and Members in Tuk-Tuk Town

If you can believe it, LeRon put on his long-johns this morning.  It is COLD here in Nairobi.  I've turned on the little space heater and pulled out my wool sweater.  So glad I brought my flannel pyjamas!  The middle of the day is nice and warm and our mission office stays warm but not too warm all day all year.  It's the perfect weather for us!  Nairobi may be on the equator but its elevation guarantees pleasant weather year round.

For the missionary moms and dads, here are pictures of your missionaries from our visit to audit the Kisumu Branch books and attend Sabbath meetings with the great people there.  Also some pictures of what I call tuk-tuk town -- Kisumu, which is on the northern shore of Lake Victoria.  Tuk-tuks are a very common and economical way for people to get around town.  We rode in tuk-tuks in Thailand but it's against missionary rules for senior missionaries to ride in them here.  But we don't need to because we drive our own trucks.  The young missionaries regularly take tuk-tuks though.


Because we drove to Kisumu rather than flying, we could bring packages to missionaries.  Packages can be a major headache because it's so hard to get them to the far-off places where missionaries are serving.  Elder Ngele (on right) had a package brought by a friend to Nairobi from South Africa.  Would have been far too expensive to mail.  Elder Covarrubias had a smaller package but still welcome.  One thing missionaries need to remember is that they will have to carry the contents of their packages by bus or plane when they are transferred -- unless of course they eat whatever is in the package!

Now Elder Torrie and Elder Fraga have joined Elder Covarrubias and Elder Ngele.

Elder Jack has joined all the missionaries now.  These four wonderful missionaries serve in Kisumu.  They live in the same flat but do missionary work two by two -- Elder Covarrubias with Elder Ngele and Elder Fraga with Elder Jack.

Elder Boaz (center) is now a returned missionary.  He served in our mission -- the great KNM (Kenya Nairobi Mission) -- and now lives in his hometown of Kisumu.

And Sister Were is also a returned missionary, having also served in the KNM,  So nice to see her again.  She is planning to go to school to become a nurse.  We definitely need medical people everywhere in the world.

Elder Fraga and Elder Jack are companions.  Missionaries are assigned companions for a 6-week period and then they may or may not be transferred.  

Group hug time.  And I wanted in the picture anyway!  And these are my wonderful grandsons!

They are enjoying being together and serving the Lord in Kisumu.

In Kisumu, tuk-tuks are everywhere.  I call them tuck-tucks but most Kenyans call them took-tooks.  They are three-wheeled motorcycles, basically, with a canvas covering to keep out the sun or rain.

Potable water is a precious commodity here in Kenya.  You see these yellow water containers everywhere.  Women, men, and children carry the jugs empty and then bring them back full of water.  And you know how heavy water is!  Click on the picture to enlarge.

Tuk-tuks everywhere in Tuk-tuk Town.  We see tuk-tuks in Nairobi but not nearly this many.

People set up their wares beside the road.  I wonder how much they sell in a day.

Anything and everything is for sale.

Motorbikes, cars, trucks, tuk-tuks.  Kisumu is humming with traffic.

Another line-up of tuk-tuks.  So interesting to see them putt along with the other traffic.

A tuk-tuk and a car with obvious trouble.

I enjoyed meeting with these sisters on Sunday in our Relief Society meeting.  The lesson ended 20 minutes early but all were reluctant to leave.  So they said, "Let's sing."  There's no piano or organ so they sing a capella and I was amazed at how they could sing.  They wanted to learn more hymns from the hymnbook so they chose ones they'd never heard.  The sister leading looked over the music and then sang the song to us and then we all sang.  And she got the tune and timing right.  Their singing was louder and more harmonious than congregations in the west that sing with accompaniment.  The only trouble for me is that they always pitch it much lower than I can sing.

I wanted in the picture so here I am.

Then I was off to visit the Primary children.  Children ages 3-11 have classes and singing time especially for their age groups.  They are learning the same songs that children all over the world are learning in their respective Primaries.

Sister Okila (standing in back on left) is the Primary President.  I'm sure her name is not Sister Okila even though her husband is the branch president, President Okila.  Women generally do not take their husband's names.  Usually they take their father's middle name as their surname.  Names are very complicated here in Kenya and very hard for genealogy purposes.

The kids loved getting their pictures taken and not one of them actually wanted to see the picture!

More cute kids in the Kisumu Branch


Love this little boy's smile.

For some reason the boys wanted their pictures taken more than the girls.  That's unusual.

Sister Okila on left, Sister ___ with whom I had a good conversation, unknown, Brother Boaz

Brother Boaz was once one of "my missionaries" in the Kenya Nairobi Mission, but he's now a returned missionary, serving in the branch as Branch Mission Leader.  And today they were about to have two baptisms.  I was lucky to be there for them.

Elder Ngele (on left) and Elder Covarrubias (on right) with two young men to whom they taught the gospel and these men are now ready to be baptized.

We're all outside near the tank that serves s the baptismal font.  Somehow I never got a picture of the actual font.

Everyone is so happy that these young men have chosen to be baptized.

Here's Elder Ngele after the baptism.  So happy to have been an instrument in the hands of God to bring souls to Christ.

Elder Jack and Elder Covarrubias

Happy Elder Fraga

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