Mormon Helping Hands is world wide. It's where member's of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints carry out a community service drive. During this time the Church members partner with local communities, other faith, corporate organizations and the media to conduct projects ranging from clean-up exercises, planting of trees, donation of blood, working at health centers, digging trenches, unblocking drainages, visiting children's homes and other less advantaged members of the society. The communities always have needs requiring service. This year we cleaned the Kongowea Market. An open market where large trucks bring in produce from fruit to vegetables and dump them on the open ground. It is something you have never in your life seen. It is filthy but it seems that they appreciate it. The market supplies all the tools, shovels, rakes (if that's what you call them) and wheel barrels. The pictures here show the Elder's gearing up for the project and the sister's who work even harder and in skirts.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
We have found that the people here have some peculiar ways about them. Susan Bingham asked me what were some of the things I've noticed so here goes: A lot of the people go barefoot and even run along the roads. The Muslins here wear black and we all know that black is hotter but the women here wear long black dresses or coverups and black head shawls and some who are married wear like a mask over their face and all you can see is there eyes. I realize this is their custom. The people here are very colorful in their dress. Most of the women wear skirts or dresses and if they have pants on and go to the market they will wrap around themselves some cloth so it looks like a dress. You don't have to go far to see the little lizards around. All along the Bamburi Branch walls of the church they are crawling all over. Gives me the Willies! It is not uncommon for a man or young child along the road to be peeing. When we were coming back from Changamwe we went across the bridge and the tide was out and there was this gentlemen nude as a Jay bird just bathing. Yes, I had to turn my head. The smells here are sometimes over powering. Not only the smells from the bay but the body odor here is unreal. We find ourselves with the humidity and all we may bathe 2 times aday. Water is precious to them so we understand. There are so many high rise buildings going up. It will offer the people somewhere to live. Most of the people here live so poor and yet seem so happy. Most live in mud huts built with sticks and then mud. The rooms are so dark and it's hard to see in them. You know I see so many of the women carrying wood on top of their heads to take to their place to use to cook their meals. I'm amazed that they can carry so much. One thing that amazes us also is the men lounge around while the women do the shopping and cooking and carrying for their little ones. There has been something we have had to get use to and that is they have no concept of time here. If a meeting starts at 10:00 you can be sure that it will be atleast 1 hour or more before it starts. But although these things are different than what we are accustomed to we are adjusting and love the members so much. Their warmth and their affection for us has been over whelming. Thank you all for helping us make this the best mission ever. Elder Palmer says whats wrong with men lounging around while women work! We have had so many experiences here on our mission. We know that the lord is directing us in the things we are to do. It is exciting to say things that we normally wouldn't be able to say or to have thoughts put into our minds. We have been teaching more and more things to the leaders and members of the branches. Our father in heaven has provided answers to the things we are to say and do to teach them the correct principles of the gospel. They have a very good understanding of the scriptures and have strong testimonies but they need to understand gospel principles better. We are teaching a Temple/family history class in each branch. These are very spiritual classes. Going to the temple here is a once in a life time experience for most and requires great sacrifice of time and money. We are so lucky to have the temple so close. The church will help in assistance but require that they sacrifice all that they can do. Sacrifice brings great blessings and makes us strong. We tell them they need to have faith that our Father in Heaven will bless them so they can accomplish these things. If they sacrifice greatly our Father in Heaven has promised them that he will open the widows of heaven and pore out a blessing that they will not have room enough to receive it. We know this is true, we testify it is true and we have seen this in our life's many times. Last Sat. we had the Mormon's Helping Hands Activity. This is where the 3 branches come together and meet in a designated spot and go and do a service project. At this time the church members partner with local communities, other faiths, corporate organizations and the media to conduct projects ranging from clean-up exercises, planting trees , donation of blood, working at health centers, digging trenches, unblocking drainages, visiting children's homes and other area's of help that's needed. We met all together and cleaned the Congawa Market place. It is an open market where big trucks dump loads of veg and fruits on the ground. It is a very dirty place and we had use of their wheel barrows, rakes and shovels. It was a great success and we had over 100 people in attendance. These projects take place in over eighty locations of Kenya. We love and miss you all but know that we are doing our Heavenly Father's will. Love Elder & Sister Palmer, mom & dad, grandma and grandpa and friend.
This is the group of missionaries at our flat on DDM. We fed them a pancake, hash brown, egg and sausage breakfast that day and wow can they eat.
This is Elder Motaung who has been serving here in Changamwe and has finished his mission. He is a wonderful missionary and will be missed a lot. As you see he has a great sense of humor and we have sure enjoyed him. His name has been hard for Sister Palmer. She says it's the vowels that sound different in this language that makes it hard.
These are our newest Elder's. Elder Gwebo is from South Africa and is a big guy. He is serving in Bamburi Branch.
Elder Mwamguzi is from Uganda. and serving in Changamwe. They are outstanding Elders. Elder Gwebo is brand new and has sure been home sick but is adjusting well.
This is our missionary family that have served in this area since we have arrived. We have come to love each one of them.
These 2 sister's are the strongest sisters in the Mombasa Branch I have ever known. The one on the left is Sister Sharon and is Young Single Adult leader and chorister in Sacrament. Sister Eva is the Relief Society President. These sisters go beyond their calling in everything they do. These sisters are the ones that will be at the Mombasa Branch cleaning every Sat. We have become good friends with them. Sister Sharon is a returned missionary and not married. We joke around with her about finding her a husband. Sister Eva is married and has children and her husband is a Muslin but backs her in her calling in whatever she needs to do
This is Mombasa's first sister missionary under President Mwambere. She is excited to go to Ghana West, and leaves in Nov.
This is President Makazi and wife from Bamburi Branch. He was so proud of his home and his family. Their home is made of sticks and mud and have dirt floors, but as he was so proud to say he built it himself. His wife is Sister Agnes and is around 40 yrs old. We find a lot of them could be our children. What ya think about that! They have 7 children. They have a small area to plant corn, squash and what ever else.
This last picture is a tree that grow fruit and when it's ready they pick it. We asked them if there was any monkeys there and he said no. We also asked about snakes and he said yes. We asked them if they were bad snakes and he said that all snakes are bad. We asked if there were cobra snakes there and he said yes. Go figure neither Elder Palmer or myself would live there, although the area is very beautiful
Just thought I'd show off alittle and show you how big the avocado's are here in comparison to a apple. There are some even bigger but they don't seem to have as good as flavor as the little smaller ones. It's amazing how many fruits and veg. there is available here.
This is a wood carving market in Changamwe, there must be a 100 or more carvers in this one area. They carve things out of hard wood and ebony wood. They hand paint and carve the items. We will be bringing home some of these items . These are just a few we took pictures of but let your mind explore about anything there is that can be carved. Put your orders in now.
This is the Sunrise Educational Child Center where a member from the Mombasa Branch has started up. This orphanage is struggling for existence. It houses little ones with no parents and some with one parent. It needs windows and doors in it because so many steal from him while attending church on sunday. Brother Keifer and his wife run this and are wonderful people. Most of these children sleep and eat their meals there. They lay on mats at night to sleep. They are being taught English and love to have people come visit them.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
If any one of you haven't emailed us we are going to fly over your house in a helicopter and drop bombs on you!!!!! We so love hearing from you all and to know what is going on in your life .We have now been in two wrecks here.The traffic here is insane! We know however that the lord has blessed us. We wasn't hurt in either one.We pray every day that the holy ghost will give us direction on what the things we should do on our mission. He hears and answers are prayers. Thoughts are put in our mind and words are put in our mouth. It is incredible it is hard to describe the feelings. I know that I have had direction before but never so constant. Sunday we went to the Mombasa Branch the mission president had instructed me to talk to a young man who was on the road to Apostasy. He is also a return missionary of about two years. During the sacrament I said a silent prayer that I would know what to say to him .I also asked forgiveness of my sins I know that the lord answered my humble prayer. I said things that were not of me . At the Mombasa branch there are a couple of dogs just out side the windows . They constantly bark. It is hard to hear. I also had to give a lesson that day . I also prayed that the dogs would stop barking. They barked a couple more times,so I prayed again I never heard them bark the rest of the day! Thru our father in heaven all things are possible. I know this to be true, I know that the gospel is true, I know that the church has all the necessary things that we can return to live with our father in heaven . I know that other religions do good things but only the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has all the saving ordinances that we need. I know these things to be true I know with every fiber of my being. I know these things by the same power that answered my prayers. IT IS TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!! Your friend, father and grandpa Elder Palmer This is Sister Palmer, Elder Palmer said it was my turn. Well he pretty much said it all. I do want to say to all of you, maybe you think we preach a little too much but this is what we do and who we are. We find being upfront with those we teach gives them a abetter understanding of things instead of beating around the bush. You know, we sure miss seeing everyone and being together. Just talking or playing a game of cards. Rachel wrote to us about a card game she talked about at girls camp that made me realize that in everything you do as long as you put Christ first that it will all be worth while. Just remember that we are children of our Father in Heaven and he knows each one of us and he loves us so much. He wants us to someday return to him and thou this mission is hard and continues to be hard but as long as we focus on getting closer to the Savior he will provide the way. We have visited orphanages and have seen how so many young people are struggling to survive, whether it be because of poverty, aids or orphaned at birth but there are such wonderful people who have taken them under their wings and provided a way for them. This is what Christ is doing for us. Providing a plan for us to follow to return again to live with him. Elder Palmer and myself will be teaching a temple and family history class to the 3 different Branches here. He will teach the temple course and I will teach of family history. You have to remember the people here do not keep records very well and it will be a struggle to just get their 4 generation sheet completed to go through the temple. But through prayer I know that the lord will provide a way. What we are up against is we know of a family who is raising a child, no relative but the mom died a few days after giving birth and some of the branch people took the baby in their home and raising her as their own. The dad is in prison and the other children are farmed out to others. So some may take upon them these families last name creating alot of confusion for doing their genealogy. We have one Branch President whose father died and he was raised by a parents brother and he assumed his last name. Have I got my work cut out for me, you bet but bring on the challenge because I have the lord on my side. We will have to let you know how it goes. We want so badly to learn Swahili and continue to learn new words each day. It's a challenge when most of them speak it and little English. This too is done with alot of study and help from our Savior. I would love to be able to say my testimony in Swahili when I get home but hey don't hold your breath. I said I would like too. Well I've talked alot and I just wanted everyone to know I love you and we love getting emails so please write us. May the lord continue to bless you all. Love mom, grandma, great grandma, friend and sister, Sister Palmer
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
At DDM at the flat these guys was wondering how much weight they have lost or gained. We got out the scales and each one weighed themselves. They tried to get Elder Palmer and Sister Palmer to get on but no luck. Some have gained but most have lost weight due to the diet here and they walk so far every day.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
This is Gro Khamisi 9 yrs old
Maria Jyru who were the first baptisms we have attended since arriving here in Mombasa
They are both from the Bamburi Branchand were baptized by Elder Marble
This is each one's family member's. It was a great day not only for the children but their families were so happy for them as well as ourselves.