Tuesday, July 16, 2013

News From Africa

We are alive and well. We are receiving direction from the spiritof what we should do all the time. We are not getting lost as before but we are venturing out and seeing more things. The members really want us to come and visit their homes so we may start doing that with the missionaries. We are going to start teaching a temple class & family history class once a month to the 3 different branches. Family history will be hard because there is not much recorded records around here. Lots take on different names and some raise others babies. We know that the Mombasa President and his wife took a little girl and have been raising her as their own since the mother passed away. The aunt took the other girls and are raising them. Different society here. Marriage license are not required here and so that's another problem we have inquired . We hope to get at least their 4 generation sheet accomplished to be able to get to the temple. So if any have suggestions on family history please write us. Just keep in mind things are primitive here and most have no access to computers here. We may have to send the information to Nairobi and have them print it off. It's going to take almost a yr in getting ready to have these people ready to go. The nearest temple is in So. Africa which involves getting busses and lodging and meals and a lot of other things. It isn't as convenient as we have it back home to attend the temple. Here it is a once in life time thing to be able to do. We feel we have been given inspiration to do this. We have a couple of young men in the branches that have put in their papers to go on a mission. We really feel that the more return missionaries that we can get here will bring great strength to the branches because they know the basic doctrines that they can bring back to the people. We have some return missionaries and find that this is so. It is a different role for women here in the church. All talks, classes and prayers are given by men except in RS & Primary. They are wanting to have more to have callings. We feel this is something that we need to work with the branches on. But old traditions are hard to change. People view daughters here as wealth because their future husband has to pay the father to get to marry their daughter. One man here understands. His future son in law asked him how much he had to pay to marry his daughter and he replied in the correct manner which was he wanted him to be a good husband to his daughter and to treat his daughter with kindness and to provide and respect her. He said if he would do these things that this was payment enough. The people of the village thought he was crazy in turning down an opportunity to gain wealth. This man understood true wealth. Friday we had a chance to go to the Catholic orphanage. Here every Friday they provide Atmat pourage. This is a product developed at BYU to help orphan children who have been affected by the aids epidemic here to give them proper nutrition. They also give them medications at this time. But this product helps them regain their weight and give them proper nutrition so the medications will work. They provide a cupful of this for them to drink each Friday and send them home to where ever that may be with a months supply of atmat. It tastes kind of like cream of wheat. It was good tasting. Most children are able to partake but some have a hard time getting this down due to being so under nourished. Some are orphans, some part families. The church ships this atmat by containers to these different locations. Are job was with Elder and Sister Harris was to go there and document that they are receiving this atmat. Elder & Sister Harris take pictures and send back to SLC. Sometimes the wrong people get ahold of this and sell it on the open market. This is a great service given by the LDS church and administered to the children by the catholic church. These children need this so bad. We met a Catholic nun who was over the orphanage called Sister Veronica. From there we went and was shown the atmat and how they prepared it. A nurse was there in charge and was showing us how the pourage was made by another lady called Angelina. We will have pictures in our blog all about this. They brought in about 15 children and fed them the atmat and had them sing some songs. It was a humbling experience. The children just loved to see us white people. They love to be photographed. We will be going back to this place with the Elder's in the future. Next Wed. we are going to go with the elder's and visit a pre school for orphaned and homeless children. I believe this is also going to be a great experience. We also visited Acompa Handcrafts. It was a big area with a lot of different carvers. They carve about anything and their work is amazing. One sister we took with us from Chamgamwa sister Martha works there. There are hundreds of people carving out various animals and people of Africa. We will be bringing some of these back with us. If you get a chance to visit us here in Kenya I'm sure you will want to visit this place and you will want to bring big suitcases with you to take back souvieners. We will also take you on a safari but you can't take a gun just a camera. You will see lots of animals. This place is rich in history also. Elder and Sister Harris were on a safari and an elephant chased them down a dirt road. Luckily they were faster than the elephant. We have 8 Elder's here and they are great young men and really enjoy working with them. Some treat us as parents kinda. Some of the closest bonds we've made have been with the African Elders. We have 5 US elders now and 3 African elders. The next transfer date is in August and this is both a good and bad time for us because we have to say good bye to some but we get to say hello to some. Those who have been transferred from here still email us. They are doing well. We love these boys. The last one who got transferred out almost cryied when he left and so did we. We are meeting our new mission President & wife this Thursday. It will be good to get to know them. A busy wk ahead of us. We will continue to send pics and information on our blog so be sure and ck it out. Forward this email to anyone you might think we have missed. We think of you and pray for all of you daily. Love Elder & Sister Palmer, Mom & Dad and friend

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