Friday, March 31, 2017

Mombasa Members Happy at Church

The Bamburi Branch in Mombasa has about 70 people crammed into a small building on a hot day.  But they're happy to be at church and happy to belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We take so much for granted in the West, such as going to church in beautiful buildings with plumbing that works and air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter and lots of teaching manuals, and crayons and scissors in the library.  The members here do cheerfully with so little.  A good example to us all.  It is not things that make us happy.

Note to our sister and brother-in-law, Colleen and Craig Smith -- be sure to tell Dave Prete about the Mombasa returned missionary who knew him in Malawi.  See photos below.  Dave Prete talked to us so enthusiastically about missions in Africa a couple of years before we put in our mission papers.  At the time, the thought came to me, yes we'll probably go to Africa, though that was definitely not our first choice!!  Then what a surprise when we were actually called to Africa!   By the way, Kenyans don't really consider this Africa; they consider it simply Kenya.  Africa is a huge continent with 54 countries.

Another thing we take for granted in the west is the relative peace we enjoy.  No barbed wire or guards or fences or walls surrounding our churches and our homes.  Sad that here in Kenya there has to be guards and fences and walls.

Elder Torrie chatting with a member of the branch presidency.

Before church, we met for a short choir practice.  Sister Jensen is helping the new choir and today will be their first performance.  Elder Torrie and I joined in too.  The members here know few hymns since no one plays the piano so they only sing a capella the few that they know.  One of the purposes of having the choir is to learn the hymns.
Colorful dresses and lovely smiles.  These people love to sing.

Basses and tenors needed a bit of help so Elder Torrie stepped in.  One of the young men had a deep bass voice and sang beautifully.

The chapel is long and narrow and breezes blow through the grating at both ends but it doesn't help to make you feel cooler.  Everyone, not just the mzungus (white foreigners) who were there, was sweating to beat the band.

Lovely people!

Interesting that everyone wants their picture taken but no one asks to see it.  Don't these young men look nice in their white shirts?

This lovely woman taught a very good Relief Society lesson from a talk by our prophet and president, President Monson.  Lots of questions and discussions.  Her dress is cute too.  It was sewn by a tailor in Mombasa.

More cute young men.

Fathers love their daughters as much here in Africa as they do in the West.  We have much more in common with Africans than we think.  We are all children of the same God and we are all brothers and sisters.

LeRon got talking with this returned missionary and found out that he went on his mission to Malawi and that he knows Dave Prete from Cardston who is a friend of our brother-in-law, Craig Smith.  So Craig & Colleen, be sure to tell Dave Prete and his wife that we met George Masika and that once-Elder Masika remembers them well.  It's a small world.

George Masika, LeRon, and Mombasa District President Msafiri.  LeRon always calls him "Msafari" which makes everyone laugh since Safaricom is the internet provider.

After church we were back in a hot little classroom for the regular choir practice.  Our choir number went okay for a first time but there's definitely room for improvement.  The problem is that they need a choir director as well as an accompanist.  Oh well.  They need singers too.

So fun to learn the hymns of Zion.

The young women love to get their picture taken but this time she asked to see the picture.  I took three pictures before she was satisfied.  Women!  We are so particular about our looks, aren't we?

Another lovely lady.  I wonder if the towel was used to wipe the sweat off her kids' faces.

This young single mother of 5 children is going to take piano lessons from Sister Jensen.  She's excited to learn even though she knows she has to practice 1/2 hour per day.  That's quite a commitment with five young children to care for.  But it would be great if someone could learn to play to accompany the singing in sacrament meeting.  Music really adds to the spirit of the meeting.

Today, March 31, while I was waiting for LeRon to finish his work in the office, I worked more on this blog.  Many times we are still in the office by 5 or 6 p.m. but usually on Fridays we are headed home by 4 p.m. Today LeRon had tons of work to do so we were still at the office when a man from Mombasa walked in.  His name is Aloo and he had a wonderful spirit about him.  He needed to speak with the Mission President who happens to be out of town.  But we were able to connect him with the president.  He is one of the first members in Mombasa and has been a member for almost 20 years.  He has been to many temples, including 7 in Utah.  He loves to attend the temple and does so wherever he is.  He had such a good spirit about him that I wasn't surprised that he's a temple-going man.  It was a good experience to talk with him.  He has a strong testimony of Jesus Christ and of the blessings of worshiping in the temple.  He belongs to the Bamburi Branch in Mombasa and was the first branch president.

1 comment:

  1. Such beautiful people.

    What is that symbol on the Jensens nametags?