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.