Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mombasa Missionaries

I know that all you missionary moms and dads are anxiously awaiting pictures of your missionaries in Mombasa.  Well, here they are.  We had a great time Sunday evening with all the missionaries at Elder & Sister Jensen's flat.  So nice to have senior missionaries to provide a bit of home once in awhile for the junior missionaries.  A home-cooked meal is always appreciated.

Sunday morning we arrived bright and early to the Bamburi Branch meetinghouse.  It's down a little lane that houses small businesses, little homes, and goats tied up across from the gate to the church.

Elder Soita and Elder Fuller are the missionaries assigned to the Bamburi Branch.  Everyone calls Elder Fuller "Elder Foo-lah" because they can't say their "r's", this being a British-English speaking country.

Ha ha.  Elder Fuller is trying to act scary but these kids aren't scared; they just think he's funny.  It's SO hot in these classrooms.  No air conditioning but they badly need it.  The fans just blow the hot air around and make it hard to hear and the fans actually act more like a furnace.

Sunday evening the missionaries gradually congregated at the Jensen's flat (which does have air conditioning).  I haven't seen Elder Estheimer since he entered the mission in June.  Elder Torrie and I were so new then.  We hardly knew what we were doing and we didn't take many pictures during that transfer.  It was President and Sister Hicken's last transfer.  It was the first time Elder Torrie and I processed the incoming missionaries by ourselves and there were 14 of them.  So nice to see Elder Estheimer.  He looked happy and well.

Elder Estheimer and Elder Ochieng eating popcorn and studying their scriptures.

Elder Torrie can never resist playing a piano.  Elder Ochieng and Elder Estheimer joined in the singing.

So fun to sing with Elder Estheimer, Sister Jensen (who has a gorgeous alto voice) and me.  Always nice to sing the hymns of Zion.

Elder Ochieng had many favorites and we sang them all.

Ready for Sister Jensen's good cooking.  There's Elder Mwaja, a missionary from Tanzania.

Elder Fuller, Elder Card (our favorite Elder Card from Cardston, Alberta -- yeah for the Canadians!), and Elder Estheimer.  Of course we love all our missionaries but we have a kinship to the Canadian ones!

Elder Estheimer, Elder Ochieng, Elder Soita helping themselves to home cooking.  I think they're getting tired of ugali!  See a few pictures down for an explanation of ugali.

Bring on the non-ugali food!

Cute smile, Elder Mwaja!

Elder Mwaja and Elder Soita sharing a brotherly hug.

Elder Card and Elder Ochieng sharing a moment.

And another moment!

Kitchen duty calls.  Nice to help clean up after a good meal.

No, Elder Card, Elder Fuller and Elder Estheimer are definitely not pregnant!  They are showing off their "ugali" stomachs.  They generally eat ugali every day.  It's a very cheap, easy to make meal that is very filling.  Basically it's a very thick cream-of-wheat type porridge (only made with maize meal), so thick that you can cut it with a knife.  It's eaten with a meat and/or vegetable sauce that consists of tomatoes, onions, green leafy vegetables such as spinach (which is high in iron and protein), and a bit of boiled beef.  Africans, of course, eat it with their hands. 
Looks like Elder Estheimer's mother has taught him well!

Elder Mwaja has had some serious health challenges and needed an early release.  This was his last evening in the mission and he left for home the next day.  He hopes to come back to finish out his mission.  He and Elder Card were companions.


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