Saturday, September 2, 2017

Missionaries are the BEST!!

LeRon and I never fail to be uplifted when we spend evenings at the Mission Home with young missionaries and President and Sister Msane.  These evenings are definitely the highlight of our mission.  We never fail to feel the Spirit as we visit and sing together -- and of course eat!  There were many missionaries there on Thursday and Friday nights.  Some had come in from Kilungu Hills for interviews with the President and others were there for the MLC (Mission Leader Council) which is held monthly.  We are sad to think that we only have two MLC's left.  Time has flown by.  We will miss these occasions but we know that missionaries are called and then they are released and someone else takes their place.  That is the genius of the missionary program -- people volunteer their time and talents and are assigned where the Lord wants them to be and then they are released.  Everyone's talents and abilities are used to forward the work of the Lord.

I'm putting a lot of photos in this post so all you missionary moms and dads can see your sons and daughters.  It's too bad that I don't have pictures of all the missionaries but not all come into Nairobi and I only go on occasion to other places in the mission.

Elder Le Cheminant receives the package his family sent -- Canadian memorabilia.  Yeah for Canada!

Hmn . . . I think Elder Le Cheminant is thinking.

Yes, it's cold here in Nairobi.  Who would guess it would feel so cold on the equator?  Right now Elder Musonda is serving in the Chyulu area where it is HOT.  Quite a contrast with Nairobi.

Elder Rasmussen (left) is always smiling!  He is serving in hot hot Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania and Elder Wambua (right) is serving in hot hot hot Mombasa.  These are the two hottest places in the mission.  Elder Wambua is from the Chyulu area of Kenya.

Elder Musonda (red scarf) is from Zambia and Elder Mahanzu is from Zimbabwe.

Sister Ngwaru (left) and Sister Shanya.  Sister Shanya came into the mission the same time as Elder Torrie and me.  Since Sisters serve for 18 months, she will be going home the same time as us.  Both these sisters are from Zimbabwe.

Elder Le Cheminant and Elder Estheimer chillin'.

Elder Rasmussen and Elder Wambua play fighting.  I missed the picture when they almost fell over.

Elder Le Cheminant, Elder Rasmussen, Elder Wambua.

Elder Noel helping in the kitchen.  The people here can't pronounce his name so they call him Elder Noelle (as in The First Noel).  So now he even calls himself that.  But I insist on calling him by his proper name (No' el with the accent on the first syllable).  I am pretty careful about names because my first name -- Colleen -- has been mispronounced so many times that I could scream.  It is pronounced with a long "o", not "caw-leen" which many people call me.  Really my parents should have spelled my name "Coleen" and then there would be no issue.  But my mother liked the look of it with two "l"s.  And I grant you, it does look better but if you follow the rules of English then it should be pronounced the way most people do -- caw-leen.  Oh well, maybe my mother didn't know the rules of English when she named me.  The only time I didn't mind being called Cawleen was when I was in Ireland.  Somehow it sounds nice with that soft Irish accent.

Ah . . . at last I got Elder Noel to smile!!

New missionary Elder Mukengela from the DR Congo, Elder Odhiambo from Kenya, Elder Mwanziu also from Kenya, and Sister Ngwaru from Zimbabwe.

Elder Wambua and Elder Soita.  Elder Soita is going home next transfer and we will miss him.  He is a very dedicated missionary who just wants to do his best.  He is from the Kitale area of Kenya.

Elder Chenani, also from Kenya, likes me to take his picture!!  Doesn't he have a beautiful smile?

Elder McIntyre is finally back in Kenya after having been in Tanzania from the beginning of his mission.  He was in Nairobi to get his fingerprints done so he can get his Alien Card but wouldn't you know it, Immigration computers were down so he couldn't do it.  That's technology for you!

Look closely at Elder Wilson's right shoulder.  His shirt was white and clean when he left home this morning but after riding on a dirty matatu for several hours and then running through the pouring rain, his shirt (and actually all the shirts of the missionaries who were with him) was really dirty.  We were shocked!  Actually, if you look at the front of Elder McIntyre's shirt in the previous picture, it looks pretty dirty too.

Elder Estheimer and Elder Pavik chowing down.  We will also miss Elder Pavik who is going home next transfer.

Elder Jameson and Elder Egbert.

Hard to take good photos of people eating!

Here's a slightly better picture -- Elder Jameson, Elder Egbert, Elder Wilson (yeah for Canada!)

Elder Mahanzu and Elder Latta.  Elder Latta is brand new and is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Another Canadian!!

Elder Mahanzu and Elder Latta and I think that's Elder Kyomya to Elder Mahanzu's left.

Kind of a blurry picture . . . Elder Latta, Elder Limu, Elder Hales.  Elder Hales is going home next transfer and we will definitely miss him.  We worked with him in the mission office for almost a year.  Love his laugh!  Elder Limu and Elder Charles Christensen (not in photo) stayed at our place on their first night in mission so we've always kept track of them.

Good missionaries doing dishes.  Good job!  Elder Jameson, Elder Latta, Elder Hales.  In the past year that Elder Hales has been an Assistant to the President, he has helped with dishes every time.  That's a lot of dish doing in a year.

Elder Kyomya making faces and Elder Mwanziu

Ah . . . this is what Elder Kyomya actually looks like.  Elder Mwanziu looks the same.

Elder Rasmussen and Elder Wilson haven't seen each other for many a day.

I told Elder Pavik I would bring my hair clippers and cut his hair.  Wow.  It's getting long and curly!


Somebody grabbed my camera to take a picture of me in the kitchen with Sister Msane but I don't think he knew how to zoom in!


Here we are again.  Too bad it's not closer up.  Oh well.  You get a look at the kitchen anyway.

Elder Soita and Elder Wambua.  It's really hard for my camera to adjust between black and white!

Elder Pavik looks like a giant and I look like a dwarf and LeRon looks normal!!  We will miss Elder Pavik when he goes home in just over three weeks.


Glad someone is thinking to take a picture with me in it:  Elder Torrie, Elder Rasmussen, me (Sister Torrie), Elder Cotts, Elder Estheimer.


I brought a few piles of mail to distribute to the missionaries too.

Elder Estheimer is entertaining Elder Cotts and me.

And now tall Elder Pavik has joined us.  We really have to look UP to him!  The world is different up there.

Now Elder Lotulelei (sitting third from right) has joined us.  Love his smile!

So fun to be with all these missionaries!

Here we are with Elder Noel.  He reminds us so much of our cousin's son, Ira.  We love Elder Noel for himself as well as for the fact that he resembles Ira in so many ways.


Hmn. . . something seems interesting to Elder Torrie and Elder Noel!

Now we're gathering for prayer.  I made Peggy Torrie's barbecue chicken recipe for supper.  My cooking definitely needs prayers -- especially here in Kenya where the ingredients are so different.  These are some of our sweet sisters:  Sister Shanya, Sister Kiio, Sister Okila, and Sister Ngwaru.

Elders waiting for supper:  Elder Mwashi, Elder Kiio, Elder Mwanziu, Elder Ellis, Elder Le Cheminant, Elder Cotts.

Elder Cotts, Elder Mahanzu, Elder Egbert

Elder Estheimer, Elder Hales, Elder Noel, Elder Odhiambo, Elder Musonda

Elder Hales, Elder Noel, Elder Odhiambo, Elder Musonda, and Elder Pavik trying to look short!

Elder Torrie, Elder Rasmussen, Elder Wambua

Poor Elder Lotulelei had to wait to say the blessing on the food until I had taken pictures of everyone.  Good thing President Msane is laughing at me too.

After supper (or rather dinner) I had a surprise for President Msane.  I had put candles on a pan of brownies and he wondered whose birthday it was.  Since his birthday is this coming Sunday he didn't have a clue it was for him.  I gathered all the missionaries into the kitchen and we sang Happy Birthday to him.  It was a great surprise and the missionaries loved it.

The center candle played "Happy Birthday."  Kind of fun.

It was fun to surprise President Msane and afterward, all the missionaries went in the hall and formed a bridge with their hands.  I was supposed to take a picture of President Msane going through the tunnel but he went so fast that I couldn't even click the camera!

President and Sister Msane are a lot of fun as well as being very good people.  It's a privilege to work with them on this mission.

Goodnight Elder Lotulelei and funny Elder Agesa!

The missionaries gobbled down the two pans of brownies.  It's a great recipe and it even works here in Kenya.  Elder Soita front and center.

Elder Hales pretending he's not so tall.

Elder Odhiambo and Elder Ellis

Elder Le Cheminant, what ya thinkin'?

Fun to be together!

Elder Hales, Elder Estheimer (back to us), Elder Rasmussen, Elder Pavik, Elder Cotts

Elder Soita and Elder Hales both came on mission at the same time although Elder Soita trained at the Ghana MTC and Elder Hales (along with Elder Pavik) at the Provo MTC (Missionary Training Center).  Missionaries are trained for 3 weeks before jumping into the fire out in the mission field!

Elder Mahanzu, Elder Agesa

Elder Cotts

Elder Kiio (left) and Sister Kiio (center) are brother and sister.  They're here with Elder Mahanzu (in back) and Sister Okila (on right).

Elder Kiio, Elder Mahanzu, Sister Okila, Sister Kiio

Doesn't Elder Estheimer look cute in Sister Msane's apron?  He says he can't do dishes without an apron and I totally agree!

Elder Rasmussen and Elder Pavik doing dishes.  We had an electrician come and put a light above the kitchen sink and it's much better to do dishes at night now.  We can actually get them clean.

After the clean-up we had our usual sing-along which never fails to thrill us.  Elder Hales, Elder Mahanzu, Elder Soita, Elder Chenani.

Elder Ellis, Elder Egbert, Elder Hales

Elder Mwanziu, Elder Wambua, Elder Mwashi, Elder Noel, Elder Odhiambo

President Msane has joined in the singing with Sister Ngwaru and Sister Shanya.

Elder Mwanziu, Elder Wambua, Elder Mwashi

Elder Estheimer, Elder Le Cheminant

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