Friday, March 24, 2017

Off to "The Hills"

The Kilungu Hills District Clerk asked Elder Torrie to come and give training to all the branch clerks.  We've never been to Kilungu Hills so we asked Elder Ellis and Elder Hales to go with us.  So glad Elder Hales was driving.  Up narrow little dirt roads and down narrower, washboardy, rocky roads, with drop-offs on both sides at times.  The "hills" were definitely hilly.  It reminded us of Peru in the area around Macchu Picchu.  Gorgeous countryside.

The Kilungu Hills District (of the church) is in the Kilungu district of Kenya.  It includes 5 branches:  Kalongo, Kyambeke, Mitini, Ilima, and Kilili.  All of the branch presidents and clerks met us at the Kyambeke meetinghouse.  A 125-km drive took 3 1/2 hours going and 2 1/2 hours coming back since we went on a less scenic route.  So glad we took the scenic route going.  It was something else!

We met up with some more missionaries in Kilungu Hills so you missionary moms and dads need to watch for pictures of your sons.  Be sure to click through the pictures to enlarge.

It had rained a bit in the night (thankfully, as it's been so very dry) so the road was muddy.

Oh-oh.  A bus is coming.  Where do we go?  The road is narrow with soft mud on the sides.  The bus is bigger; I think we'd better pull over.

It's a cloudy, misty morning.  If you click on the picture, you can see the terraces up the side of the steep hill.

Here's a close-up of the terracing -- through a dirty window, I grant you, and clipping along at 30 km/hour over bumpy roads.

You can see how dry it is here.  Love these terraces!

And I love the red soil.  Here's a view of the terraces right from the road.  It doesn't look like anything is growing here.

I wish a camera could do the scenery justice.

I took so many pictures, trying to get a picture to show what it really looks like.  So gorgeous!
People here walk a LOT -- up hill and down.  No wonder they aren't over-weight.

The road switch-backed up and down hills for more than an hour.  If I were one to get car-sick, I would have.  Thankfully, I've only felt car-sick one time in my life and that was in California near Placerville.  We were driving with a friend, Bruce Wadsworth, and he was driving crazy fast on switch backs and I was in the back seat and I nearly lost it.

Green and red.  So lovely.

People live out their lives here and probably don't appreciate the beauty they're surrounded with.  They're too busy putting food on the table.

We've arrived at the Kyambeke (pronounced Cham-beck-y) meetinghouse.  It's very well maintained and was clean and cool.  Cement floors.  Big chapel.  Lots of classrooms.  Here's Elder Hales and Elder Ellis with someone from Kilungu Hills District.  He was happy to greet us.

While I eat and sleep and read and while Elder Torrie does the training, Elder Ellis and Elder Hales are off to see what the Kyambeke Elders are up to.

Gate and bridge leading from the meetinghouse.  Elder Ellis and Elder Hales will be hot and tired when they get back from several hours of hiking up and down hills in the heat.
LeRon had a great training time with the District president and clerk and with the branch presidents and clerks.  A great turn-out and they all learned a lot.  Training is an on-going process.  These men are trying their best to follow church procedures especially as it pertains to church finances.

The chapel was large and bright and clean.

I loved the posters on the walls.

It would be nice if everyone had a strong family but families are struggling here just as they are struggling in the west.  They all need the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they need to keep their covenants and follow Jesus Christ.  Whole nations will then be stronger.

After the training at Kyambeke, some of the branch presidents walked over the steep hill to the Mitini Branch.  We drove, thankfully.  The missionaries and others were waiting for us in front of the Mitini Branch building.
Elder Wood from the US and Elder Akpu from Nigeria stay in this area and do missionary work here.

Smiling Elder Wood and smiling Elder Akpu.  They both looked great!

Elder Ellis, Elder Hales, Elder Akpu, and Elder Wood are off to find something cold to drink.  People here don't drink a lot of water but they definitely drink a lot of pop.  You Americans call it soda but we Canadians call it pop.  It's never been my favorite drink.  Pop is cheaper than water here but give me water any day.

This is the village where the Elders are going for pop.  It's called Mitini.  Looks like just a wide spot in the road.

We found the Mitini church compound very interesting.  Clean.  And they didn't even know we were coming.  Very impressive.  Behind LeRon, over his right shoulder, is the blue baptismal font.  We baptize the way Jesus was baptized -- by immersion.  Jesus went down into the water and came back up and that is the way baptisms are performed in our church too.

The Primary room was also impressive and again, very clean.  Love those colored chairs.

LeRon's entertaining the Kalongo and Mitini branch leaders.

I wanted in a picture so here are LeRon and me with Elder Wood, Elder Akpu, Elder Ellis, Elder Hales.

Now we're all looking at the camera.

LeRon and Colleen with lovely hills in the back and a pole growing out of our shoulders.

Four handsome hardworking missionaries.  Don't they look nice in their white shirts and ties?

Most work is done by hand -- by hoes and shovels such as the one this boy is carrying.

Another look at the terraces.
Road work done by hand.  Look at the picks these men are using.  
The flag men at both ends of the construction were actually flag women.  They carried flags -- green for go and red for stop.


  1. Fantastic to see all these pictures!! Fun to see all the Elders and the locals!

  2. I just read dad's journal about this trip and now to see pictures is just amazing. Love it, I wish I could be there to see it. Maybe we'll make it there yet.

  3. We loved serving in the Hills. Those are great folks!!!

  4. So fun to scroll through all your pictures & comments- brought back a flood of memories and made me very nostalgic. Thank you for taking the time to do this blog- I know how tired you must be at the end of each day!
    Kathy Hicken

  5. Sister Torrie,
    Thank you so Much. I am Elder Wood's Father and it was so nice to see all the pictures that you posted of his area. What a beautiful place. He sends pictures but not like the ones you send. Thanks for your hard work. He looks like he might survive over there.