Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pioneer Day

Today, July 24, is celebrated in the Church as Pioneer Day.  It's the day that commemorates the pioneers' entry into the Salt Lake Valley after a rigorous march beside wagons or pulling handcarts from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah.  One of the Torrie ancestors, Hans Ulrich Bryner from Switzerland, walked all the way hanging on to the back of a wagon.  He was blind.  His posterity is still strong in the gospel.

Pioneer actually means "one who goes before."  Today I led the Primary children (ages 3-11) in the Langata Branch in singing pioneer songs.  "Pioneer Children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked . . . "  And "you don't have to push a handcart . . . or walk a thousand miles or more to be a pioneer.  You do have to have great courage, faith to conquer fear, and work with might for a cause that's right to be a pioneer!"  Church members here in Kenya are definitely pioneers.  And they know what pushing and pulling handcarts is all about.  Just google "Nairobi handcart images" for pictures of the handcarts we see regularly here.

Kenyans are pioneers in that the Church is very new here.  The Langata Branch meetinghouse is only 22 years old.  It was the first church building in East Africa and the first in Kenya.  So the Church is very young here but many members are strong in living the gospel.

I took these pictures on the way to Rongai Ward to show how hard working Kenyans are.  So many businesses.  Everyone trying to make a buck to feed their families.  So many happy people!

We wondered what "Bedsitters" are.  Maybe babysitters? (Later:  I found out that bedsitters are studio apartments.  Just another name for a room with a bed, fridge, and cooking appliances).

These bunk beds are actually very well built.  We've been told that if you want a quality product, you buy it on the street and not in one of the big box stores.

Nairobi is very Christian.  Lots of Christian churches and signs everywhere.  Many people go to church every Sunday.

Another picture to show how hard working and productive these people are.  One Kenyan told us that "Kenya is the promised land where anyone can do well, especially if they get an education."


  1. Hans Ulrich Bryner was a Torrie ancestor BUT also, his grandparents were Conrad ancestors. And he is the one who introduced the gospel to his Uncle Caspar Wintch and thus to our great-grandmother Anna Caroline Wintch Muhlestein, who was his cousin. So, his story is also important to the Conrad side. Just saying.

  2. Also, I think that a bedsitter is like a one-room apartment, like a studio apartment.