Sunday, May 28, 2017

Fun Safari Video from a Senior Missionary

Elder & Sister Pehrson, fellow senior missionaries, have posted a video of several safaris they've been on.  They said I could also post it on my blog.  So here it is.  Elder Torrie and I are in a few of the pictures as we were with the Pehrsons on the trip to the Masai Mara.  Underlining below is mine because I think that is so apropos!

Here's Elder Pehrson:
"We have temporarily moved to Nairobi. We’ve traveled back to Eldoret looking for a new flat but it has proven problematic.  In the meantime we’ve been able to go on safari several times. Since we have a four-wheel drive truck of our own it has been easy to go.

"Four-wheeling in Kenya is different than in Utah.  In Utah you drive 200 miles to Moab and then jeep around old mining roads for 20 more miles.  In Kenya you go jeeping 200 miles to get there and then drive 20 miles around the park watching for a Kodak moment.

"Have you ever seen a hippo out the window at Sunday School? We have. Have you ever watched 9 lions eat a wildebeest? We have."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mwanza Part IV: Sunday with Great Members and Wonderful Missionaries

I enjoyed the Sunday meetings even though they were all in Swahili.  We even sang the hymns with them.  Swahili is like most foreign languages -- except for English and French -- in that you pronounce every letter.  All of the letters are always pronounced in the same way so you always know how to say the word.  I really like learning languages but I just haven't had time to study Swahili at all like I thought I would.

We enjoyed getting to know the people.  What good, lovely people.  Black people really are very beautiful.  And don't miss the picture of the fish head soup that we ate for breakfast that morning! 

The Mwanza chapel was very lovely with a coffered ceiling painted white.  It was light and fresh and clean.

A happy new member.  Doesn't she look so nice in white?

The young girls were happy to get their pictures taken even though they're not smiling.

Elder Mahanzu and Elder Munyariri

Hard to get faces to show in pictures.

The missionaries off to proselyte.

Sister Colemere with two Relief Society sisters.  The one on the right is the branch president's wife.

The branch president's wife and daughter.  They will soon be flying to Johannesburg, South Africa so they can be sealed as a family in the temple there.  It will be great when the temple in Nairobi is built in the coming years.  In the meantime, members are encouraged to attend the closest temple which is in South Africa, a 4 1/2 hour flight from Nairobi.  

I couldn't resist taking a picture of Sister Itongwa's hair.  Anytime hair is a different color, you know it is fake hair or some kind of fiber woven in to their real hair.  They must spend a lot of time at the hair dressers.

After LeRon worked with the branch clerk, he played the piano while some of the children sang.  President Itongwa's daughter knew almost every Primary song.

They had great fun singing together.
Then it was back to the Colemeres for Sunday dinner and the missionaries were invited too.  They are fine young men.

Can't resist showing you what they gave us at breakfast this morning.  We had our normal eggs and toast and fruit and then they also brought a covered pot.  This is what was in it!!!

When LeRon lifted the lid, I thought that I couldn't possibly eat it.  But they had prepared it just for us so we tried it.  And it was absolutely delicious!!!  Apparently the fish head has the tastiest meat.  We pulled some off to eat and it wasn't fishy at all, just tender and nice.  They say that if fish is fresh, it doesn't taste fishy.  And they were right.  We loved it!!

Mwanza Part III: A Relaxing Saturday

LeRon and I took Saturday off to relax at our hotel, the Mahina Paradise Hotel which was close to the chapel and close to where the Colemeres stay.  We really needed the rest since the last few months have been go go go with hardly a day off.  We are supposed to take one day in a week as a Preparation Day during which we can rest, clean house, do laundry but lately we haven't had the time to do it.  So it was great to rest.  We had thought of driving to the Serengeti but it would have been a 3-hour drive both ways and we decided to forego.  I'm glad we did.  We needed the rest.

The Mahina Paradise Hotel was truly a little spot of paradise.  Not fancy like the other hotel that we ate at yesterday but very lovely with nice buildings and green foliage.  We were so glad we stayed here.  John, the owner was an absolutely amazing man.  He has a PhD in Agriculture and worked for the United Nations and the World Food Bank.  He has traveled to Toronto several times and was very familiar with Canada.  He served on an advisory commission for a development agency.  And people think black people aren't as smart as white people.  NOT TRUE.  This man was amazing.  He was actually from Burundi but when he retired, he wanted to build a resort but Burundi wasn't stable, so they moved to his wife's home country of Tanzania.  They have built a lovely hotel with a conference center and a delicious restaurant.  A very very nice place and highly recommended.  He has talked about the gospel a lot with the Colemeres and I hope that one day he will accept the true church of Jesus Christ.  What an absolutely delightful man!  LeRon had a great time talking agriculture with him.

Margreth is a member of our church who works at the Mahina Paradise Hotel.  She is a returned missionary too.  When she took the job, she asked to always have Sundays off so she could go to church and John, her boss, agreed.  Margreth taught a beautiful lesson in Relief Society on Sunday.

A lovely view from the balcony.

I am ever the bird watcher and noticed this little bird which is not flashy but still interesting.  It reminds me of a king bird back home.  I'll have to find out what it is.

At the Paradise Hotel there were all kinds of gazebos and other places to relax and enjoy the cool breeze.  The man kneeling down is cutting the grass by hand.

We stopped on the street to buy a painting.  The price was definitely right.  About #10.  I have lots of paintings but none from Tanzania.  Now I do.

Colemere's took us to dinner at an outdoor restaurant right on Lake Victoria.

Interesting to watch the fishermen.
Notice the rocks on the hills too.

The fish here were delicious.  And I am not a big fan of fish.  They say if the fish is fresh, it doesn't have a fishy taste and I believe they are right.

The water was soothing to watch.

And then the gorgeous sunset!!!!

If you look closely at the very middle of the picture, you can see a rainbow.

Beautiful Lake Victoria, named after Queen Victoria of England.

The Colemeres and the Torries at the restaurant.  A fun evening of good food and good visiting while looking at a beautiful view.  And we shared the gospel with our waiter too.

Mwanza Part II: At the Market

We went with the Colemeres to do their Saturday night shopping at the local market.  So fun!  We have been to similar markets in many countries including Viet Nam, Thailand, and Cambodia, which this Tanzanian market totally reminded us of.  We loved it!!!  We were the only mzungus there and attracted a lot of attention.  Colemeres and the young missionaries always buy their produce here.  Of course they wash it with bleach water.  I won't comment on every picture.

Sister Colemere brought photos she had taken and gave them to the different vendors.  They were so very pleased to receive the pictures.

The vendors wanted their pictures taken with us too even though I told them I wouldn't be back to give them copies since we live in Nairobi.  They didn't care.  They just like their photos taken.

You can buy anything here in the market.

Weighing the potatoes

I love the brooms they make out of whatever is available.

Did you notice the cute little girl sitting on the step?

Most of the stalls were under cover but many of them were just out close to the street.  We talked with some of the vendors about the gospel and gave them pamphlets in Swahili.

Love this market!!!

Sister Colemere was amazing.  She knew a lot of Swahili and got by with a few phrases and a lot of hand signals.

We bought two of these and planned for each couple to share one but we ended up forgetting to eat them so I'm sure they got thrown out.  We were a little worried about eating them anyway.

Love this street scene.

Sister Colemere bought a pineapple and the lady is cutting off the top for some reason.  Pineapples here are delicious.
We finished up the day by stopping by to the church.  Elder Mahanzu and Elder Munyariri were doing "street boarding."  I've heard of it but never experienced it till now.  They set up a table and a board with church literature and then they stop people who are walking by and talk to them about the gospel.  Everyone who walked by actually stopped and talked with the missionaries.  It was amazing.  People here love to talk about Jesus Christ.

The missionaries handed out pamphlets, which everyone was happy to take.  I don't know how many will actually read it but they always take it happily.  So nice!

The evening ended with a full rainbow even though it only sprinkled a bit.  It was lovely.