An African Heart

An African Heart

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1/31/12 to Mom

Hey mommy. What's up? Oh cool. Well bye.

JUST KIDDING!!! Tanner is better?!?! YES!!! I have been praying so hard for him!! I am so happy that he is better :) Tell his family hello for me. As for my own health, I am the most cautious elder you will find. Strictly out of thinking of you and the family, and being exactly obedient, I am very cautious. I also rely on the Lord very much when I have done all I can. But as for my health, don't you ever worry. The Lord will keep me safe, even if I do get sick. But I will truly be alright. 
By the way, will you tell Granny Fanny I miss her so much! I long for an italian dinner made by her hands!!  I do really miss her. I love her so much, and I crave a letter from her. I hope I am making her proud (but not prideful) and I want her to know that she set the example first. I'm just following her lead ;)
SD card - sent. It is on it's way and should be there very soon!! It is taped to the inside of some letters for you all. Enjoy those videos of me in the London airport haha! As for other pictures, only send 4 gb cards. Do you want me to send the 8 gb as soon as I get the new sd card you are sending? That could be a good system, send an sd card when I recieve one. Yes?
So I don't stay near Eldoret. I stay in Naitiri, next to Kitale. I actually will be in Eldoret this weekend for district conference but usually I email from Kitale. 
I wanna describe Naitiri tho. Ok very rural. Not the most rural, third only to an area known as Chulu and then the Masai Mara, both of which I could go to! But Naitiri is very very dusty. I wash clothes every night. No scrubbing board, just soap bleach and elbow grease. and water... But the houses we visit are mud huts. And they are evolving finally into making their personal homes with bricks they bake in homemade brick ovens. They have furniture, made at the local carpenter, from whom we had another bed made (a nice one, varnished and all) for the equivalent of 35 American dollars. Ya, cheap momma!! Most do not have electricity. The shops do, and our flat does, but running water and electricity are a no amongst the people. They literally dig wells that are about 50 feet deep at least, with their hands. DEEP wells for water, with their hands. These people are hard workers. They are incredibly humble and friendly. I will be taking many more pictures with them to send you ok? Man, the Lord has blessed me so much I wanna cry. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. The branch (it's a branch, not a ward) is very small. They have a lot to work on, and I feel the Lord has sent me here at this time to construct this branch into a fully functioning worship body. That is my focus, and in an interview with President Broadbent he said he is 100% behind me on that. Your natural organization genes are kicking in and I am using techniques I learned from you! We have plans, and the Lord will sustain me in them if they are right. If not, I will try again until the Lord has granted this branch power to be strong. The branch president is actually named President Sitati, and his father is Elder Sitati of the First quorum of the 70 haha! Really nice man, hilarious. As for washing machines tho, my collar has never been cleaner. I will wash my collar by hand for the rest of my life! It is so much better!! Other than that, my area has a local market. The women are so great and friendly, and the shop people are just nice. all of them. I always feel at home there. Literally at home :)
Is there anything else you wanna know about Natiri? I  would love to tell more :) maybe a few questions at a time tho... alot of questions kinda confuses me sometimes and I forget to answer some haha. 
You know how you said be exactly obedient? Well I am surely trying. Momma I loooove you so much. As I told Dad, we are on the verge of "time flying" and then it will be over too quickly. In an interview with President Broadbent he told me that he loved my psalm. You got that right? And what did you think of it? He also told me the Lord prepared me for this mission. And that he knows that great things must come from me. Man!! That felt great to hear that. Humbly, I will seek to be of greatest health, no matter what position or area I am in. I may go to Tanzania later on though.... I hope so. Rainy season is coming up here. Fruits galore, mud galore as well. President authorized me to get galoshes, and I will haha! 
Momma I love you. I am so happy out here. I can feel that the pain of being away is being lifted even as we patiently pleaded with the Savior that it would be. He loves you so much Mom, even more than me and that is saying something phenomenal. You are always in my prayers. And I have a surprise I am going to send you very soon! Woo!! Love you to death, keep your Spirit happy because our family needs positivity to thrive off of :) read the scriptures, let's all live the higher law together. If the Apostles, normal men doing extraordinary things through righteousness, can live it, why can't we? Well we can, and it begins with a decision. I decided. Your turn mom :)
OK BIG SURPRISE!!!! Elder and Sister Nevin, a couple out here, know Christine Page!! Their daughter, Connie Biggs, is friends with her in Colorado!!! Go visit the Pages for vacation sometime and meet Connie Biggs. I was hanging out with her parents, who are going home tomorrow. Cool huh? Totally a small world within the church. OH!! AND!! My companion, elder motaung, is from south africa. Guess who set him apart? Elder Laron Shumway!!!! And they told Elder Motaung to say hi and they love me if he ran into me. And then he ends up being my companion. WOW. The Lord loves me so much :) I love you momma. Be happy!! I used to trust in me to progress and learn and teach. Then I read in PMG page 42 or something... in chapter 4, and realized, "trust in Jesus Christ. Then there's no second thoughts as to whether or not it can be accomplished :)" I love you momma!!
With looooooove, Conrad (mimi napenda wewe - "I love you")

1/31/12 To Dad

Anyway, no new bishop? Dangit.... hahah just kidding. I love Bishop Dance so much. That guy is inspired big time. Tell him not to die until i get home ok? I miss him... Man! Being sick is becoming a blessing isn't it?! Maybe you have worms!! Hooray!! Please get better, but keep up the weight loss!! You and I are seriously climbing Long's Peak. I already day dream (when travelling) of getting to the peak, and saying a prayer to the Lord after seeing His marvelous Earth from a new point of view. Oh yeah, oh........ yeah. 
As for my needs, how is the family? Like, as a cohesive collective whole, are they well? I want them to be well, and I need to know. Individually, I feel progression from everybody. But I need to know! As for hand carved toothpicks, this is hilarious. Because around my area everybody does that as a past time ahahahahahahaha they carve toothpicks then sit in the shade and chew on them. hahaha so I'm good in that lil' department, but other needs... wouldn't mind some sunflower seeds ;) Or actually, something you personally carve out of wood. Doesn't have to be grand, but I wanna give it to a kid in the branch or something. Tafadhali? (please)
Dad, I can feel myself changing. It is almost a tangible change that I can feel! As I obey, I just feel natural. When I slip, I course correct asap and get back to the basics. I was inspired with your words the other day - "Your integrity is worth more than anything. Never sacrifice it." And I never, never will. I am becoming a man in the Lord!! Humbly, I will progress, be it God's will. Do you read the scriptures every day? And have you read Jesus the Christ? Wow, intense book. I'm so dang happy, and I can literally feel that we (the family, you, and I) are on the verge of the stage of "time flying". Prep for takeoff... Oh as I was riding a matatu, I felt inspired to speak to my neighbor. He was in the Kenyan Navy and he has stayed at Lackland Airforce base!! Haha!! Crazy huh? We talked in broken Swahili and Bukusu for a bit, and I shared much about the Gospel. He was intently listening. So were the other 3 or 4 guys around :) Man, I hope you are happy, cuz I grow happier by the second!!Especially with Matt. 19:29 in mind. WOOT!! 
Love you to death Dad, keep trekking, and might I suggest - write down goals. M. Russell Ballard stressed that goals equal forward movement. Prayerfully set them, and do it!! Love you forever Daddy.
With loooove, Conrad

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Psalm of Conrad

Mommy :)
Dangit I miss you too!! I don't care how long I’m out here, that will  never change. I still think about and pray multiple times daily for you and the family. I love you Mom, more than I can put in words by far!!
As for service, nothing huge yet. We walk or take pikis everywhere and I am still in training so our days are a bit short, or rather the appointments are limited because of time and that fact that they are so far apart. But I have a story! I had been praying for investigators last week, and on Thursday when we went out, a guy named Nolden at a shop became very interested. Then a guy named John who is usually drunk found us and we really connected. Then we went back home for a bit, and when we went out we randomly found a guy on an obscure route we don't usually take. His name is Werangai. He wants to learn everything, and even wants us to teach some others he knows. Then we met a Quaker priest named Moses, and we are going to follow up with him soon. The Lord blessed me BIG TIME that Thursday. He really is watching out for me in every way.
TANNER!!!! Oh my gosh!!!! I will pray super dang hard for him!!! We should fast for him as well!! Send me an update of his status in your next weekly email please ok?
Sister Mortensen - that touches my heart. I will write her for sure! It takes a while to get home but I will send one asap ok?
DEBIT CARD WORKS!!  By the way, I have a surprise for you all :) I may send them home or I may bring them in 22 months. Can you believe that I am nearing the 2 month mark? Time is really going to start flying momma :)
Laundry - all me. It’s ok tho, it isn't too bad. Extra garments, nah. I will be good for a while.
As for the emails, ya it's all good. I type fast....ish... :)
Ok cool things now. At one house we went to, I noticed a small white flower, very beautiful and it sparkled in the sunlight. I’ll take a pic sometime when we go again. But guess what? They smelled just like the perfume that you really like. Crazy huh?! It brought you close to my heart and I kept smelling them! haha it made my day. God's tender mercies huh?
Go to Isaiah 62:2, and think of the temple. Cool huh?
Can i get some piano music maybe? I want 3 pieces real bad. Jesu joy of man's desiring. that organ piece called "fanfare", and moonlight sonata, if it is convenient, otherwise, no stress :)
Oh and I encourage you to read alma 26. Focus on verse 16. That is really how I feel. Especially because the elders from a few miles away that stay in our flat had 7 baptisms this Sunday. Elder Munyoro asked me to give a talk on baptism and the holy ghost. The Holy Ghost really spoke thru me and I began to feel it! I spoke from the heart based on preparation and my former dreariness I had felt that day was totally wiped away as the Holy Ghost filled me :)
So since I got here I have obviously been lonely at times. At these times I have drawn close to the Savior. And man, my testimony of Him is blossoming. He is becoming my greatest friend and I love Him! I wrote a psalm about him, here it is:

One was sent into the world,
Aware of duties giv'n Him.
"Agency," said He, "give them,
let them choose fate, be great or grim."

With hope that saved be siblings all,
He knew that some would not return,
But never faltered, never rested,
Every second still He yearned.

For we His brothers, sisters too,
As held the highest in His sight,
Are worth the labor He put forth,
Laboring in greatest might.

Exemplary adn merciful,
Miracles and charity,
Peace and love, the Son of God,
Loved in true sincerity.

Inevit'bly, Gethsemane
Would call Him forth to take our sins,
And whilst He always had a choice,
He suffered, there our souls to win.

O, how indebted, how diseased,
I tremble in my filthy soul,
When thinking of that sweetest Lamb
Whose pain and agony was full!

O Greatest Brother, so thou art,
How can i claim to love thee so,
When then i sin, against the light,
Make undeserved pain to grow!

When in my sorrow, in my fear,
Happiness seems ne'er to be,
I think of what thou truly didst,
And suddenly, my sorrow flees!

That act of love, of selflessness,
Redeemed me from such bitter pain,
I ponder and concludeth this-
"O Savior, thou hast love unfeigned!"

Made whole again, I'm comforted,
amidst the loneliness of Earth,
I think of thee, here by my side,
And know - i have recieved new birth!

Let trials come, I know they will,
And still i know that thou dost care!
For in the 4th watch thou didst come,
Arrive, and help my burdens bear!

My joy exceeds my pain by far!
Like Alma, how i feel renewed!
With new desire kindling
To follow perfect, follow true.

To all who wonder, question still,
a place in heart for doubt they give,
I add these words to Joseph Smith's,
To all of Earth and Heav'n, "He lives!"

What do you think? Feel free to share it with anybody, but don't give me too much credit. The Holy Ghost wrote it thru me. Those are truly the feelings of my heart. Mom I know God is my Father, and He is so near me. Literally He is watching and protecting me. So is the Savior, and they, with the Holy Ghost, are my greatest sources of comfort out here. When I am down, they are there :)
I sleep with the blanket you made me every night. And guess what? Now that the little kids in the branch know I am not going to eat them, they love to play with me! They are so cute and funny. They don't speak English, but I am learning to speak Kiswahili.

Momma, I love you. Time will fly. Cling to the Savior and be thankful for the support our incredible family provides. Eternity is not far away, and 2 years is not long. Talk to you soon (Mother’s day!) and I love you forever.
Love, Your Son Conraddie :)

Dad, you are the best Father I could ask for. I really and truly use things You taught me EVERY DAY of my mission!! God is shaping me into the man He wants me to be, and I have my basis from you. Thru eternity, you were my first and lasting example :) as for my worthiness, yes. I am staying as worthy as I can possibly be. When the other elders are breaking a rule or two - no. I am doing my absolute best to be exactly obedient to the white handbook and to what you have taught me. Rules are a must, and I would never challenge my Father on Earth or in Heaven by breaking rules. Like Gordon B. Hinckley said - Permissiveness never produced greatness. Likewise, disobedience never produced a Saint. I am able to give Priesthood blessings wherever I need to. I don’t say any of this to brag, but to reassure and praise my God for His mercy to me, His son. I have given 2 healing blessings to Elders out here so far. Both were solemn. 
As you know, I have been strengthening my relation with Father and Jesus Christ. And especially seeking and striving for the leadership of the Holy Ghost. and today, as I gave the second of 2 healing blessings, I literally felt the holy Ghost speaking thru me. I finally recognized Him!!! This, I feel, is god's direct answer to prayer, for I prayed that He would help me recognize and work with the Holy Spirit!  Anyway, I gave the blessing and just cried as I did because I knew Heavenly Father was right next to me, giving me the words. It was incredible. I then went into a room alone and thanked Him, and I have never felt Him so close. Even now, He is watching me. It is so comforting :)
Dad, we will be together soon enough. Can you see how fast the weeks fly by? Let me tell you - fast. DUH!! Look up this talk by Holland "An Ensign to the Nations". And guess what? WE can live like the apostles!! We can live the "Higher law" as taught by Jesus Christ and as mentioned in the white missionary handbook!!
Questions: Read Matthew 22:14 with JST too, What is the wedding garment? And read John 21 whole chapter. Look at verses 17 and 25. Doesn't that sound so real? It is a testimony that a man really wrote those words! One who actually knew Jesus. That is so cool to me!
I also bought some orange marmalade at the store. just cuz it reminded me of you. I don't even like it that much haha!
Well I love you dad. you are my bestest buddy. You are always my dad, for eternity and I love you with all that I am.
Love your Sonny boy, Conrad

Letter to Young Men's President

The Young Men's President in our ward wrote to Conrad and this is Conrad's response.

Brother Barnes!!!!
Man!! Itis good to hear from you!! Excuse the grammatical errors please i am typing fast. But thank you for your testimony. Preach on my friend. I am feeling the same way, and that confirmation that the Lord is there for real, and that prayer works is becoming known to me. I have given a few blessings out here and i am finally, thru the grace of Almighty God, recognizing the Spirit and learning to follow. 4 times already, the power was out, and the power of God thru prayer turned the power on. Insane huh? 4 times!! Thank you brother barnes, i love you and hold you in highest respect. I can see you were and are still a real live missionary - what every man hopes to be.
As for my fellow young men - OH YEAH!! You guys better be spiritually ripped by the time i get back. Just because i left doesn't mean i don't think of you. i love you all so much, and i want you to know this- the Savior of the world is more than on object in a book we worship, or a name we say. He was a man, like Brother Barnes. He loved each of you as He suffered for you. He is nearer than you would ever imagine. I plead with you, follow the counsel i gave my brother Benjamin - seek to gain an undying relatuionship with the Savior. He is the only one who can be with you when you are in a foreign African nation, sitting in a mud hut, teaching a toothless man who speaks Bukusu and no english. Ya, He is real. That i know. 
i love you all, thank you President Barnes. Please tell Jacob to write me. preferably not email, a letter. i love him so much, he is my best friend and i want to hear from him too. Love you guys,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ahhh i am so happy to always see emails from you. Has it seemed like a long time for me? Ha, YES!!!! It feels like three months too. But now the time is beginning to fly and i think it will fly by for me and for you.
My companion is Elder Vincent Motaung. He is from South Africa, and he is from the Sutu tribe. He is about two or three or four inches shorter than me, he likes to eat, and he is awesome. We get along so well, and he is training me greatly, especially how to bargain with the piki drivers (we don't have a piki, we hitch a ride). He is very nice, can teach very well, very funny, makes people laugh, has a great personality, and speaks pretty good Kiswahili where i lack. I am being trained well, and he says i am progressing great.
The village is tiny. But there are many people and lots of kids. We can't give anything away so don't worry about sending stuff for them unless i ask specifically for maybe a kid in the branch. But that's so sweet!! Aw!
In our flat we have food. I always find food to eat and i always take my doxicycline. We have electricity, a fridge, running water (we have to purify), we wash by hand, i sleep well at night, and as soon as i can i am going to buy cleaning supplies and clean up the place a little - LEAH STYLE!!! Oh ya, some deep cleaning in p-day. Food tho, it's fine! We eat alot of spaghetti and ugali (maize cakes) and chapati (pita, kinda) and beans. And rice and mince. It's all good mama, staying healthy :)
A typical day: Up at 6:30, workout, get dressed, breakfast, study personal for one hour, companion study one hour, two if we are training, get out and find people to teach or go to appointments (we walk alot and i will be getting pics for you to see of the INCREDIBLE scenery here! It is so beautiful. Huge fields of sunflowers :) and beautiful mountain ranges). We arrive home at around seven cuz we can't be out after dark. Shower, study more, journal (every day), bedtime!! It's nice and the day goes by fast.
You all should always read each other's emails if you want, cuz sometimes i put in community stuff into one person's. Like this!
6 things I have learned so far:
1. You, Conrad, are establishing a foundation whereby you can structure the rest of your life.
2. Obey. Obey, obey, obey. And just see the blessings.
3. Daily direct your thoughts and attention to this sacred Gospel.
4. Constantly direct your thoughts toward the Savior.
5. Love your family. Have charity first for them, then for all.
6. It is not, nor will it ever be, about us. It's always about them.
Music!! So guess what? I played for the mission tour and all the district meetings and stuff, and Sister Beecher is going to give me her whole collection of acquired music when she goes! She loves me and i am also given a responsibility. My branch, the Naitiri branch, doesn't have a keyboard. Nobody played!! But sister Broadbent is getting me one, with the charge that i have to give lessons as part of my weekly schedule!! AWESOME HUH?!?!?! So i am shooting for teaching at least 3 people by the time i leave Naitiri.

When i get back, i want to go to a Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert. Please!!
Here's some spiritual candy now. In my patriarcahal blessing it says something completely related to this time: "...and know you are truly blessed to be part of a family that have the blessings of eternal marriage and family. These are the things that will bring you the greatest happiness throughout all eternity." And is that not true? It is. My patriarchal blessing is fulfilling even as i am righteous :)
I asked Sister Cook before she left what would be the most comforting thing i can tell my mother is. She smiled, and thought, and said, "Tell her you're happy, you're healthy, and you are being safe." So here it goes. truthfully, i am happy, i am healthy, and i am being safe :) I love you mom. Time flies when you're having fun!! Onward, ever onward. Oh and read verse 3 of "How Firm a Foundation". That is God talking to YOU.
Your loving, happy son,

Guess what? I asked President Broadbent what the most conforting thing to hear as a father was and he said, "Tell him you're happy, healthy, and you have the Spirit." I am happy, i am healthy, and i have the Spirit. Truly, and IT FEELS GREAT!!!
Man, i miss you dad. But guess what, you are always with me because i am your son. I even tell people stories about my dad :) 
I told mom, but when i get back - MOTAB CONCERT!! PLEEEEEASE!!
Check out that patriarchal blessing thing too that i sent mom ok?
Here's some spiritual stuff i learned recently.
Go to Hebrews 12:6-7, and 9. Hahaha that is what an earthly father does too! Share with ben and dan :)
Also, as i have been trying to develop charity for all, i have noticed something. Stereotyping is a noxious weed. We all HAVE to eliminate the very concept from our minds or we will never have charity. I am not singling you out, i am telling our whole family cuz it is so hard. I just want us all to progress together. We as missionaries are commanded in the White Handbook to "live the higher law" as taught by Jesus Christ. And i thought, as i listened to Elder Cook of the Seventy (again), The General Authorities live the higher law all the time. So why can't we? We as a family can live the higher law that Jesus Christ taught. The Bretheren and Jesus Christ teach us with the expectation that we will accomplish what they tell us. We can do it!! I know that for a fact, or else we wouldn't be commanded that!  Dad, you have been my role model. You taught me the value of work and of the Gospel and it is invaluable out here. I don't get tired! 
Also, out here there is some crazy cool souveniers. I want to send stuff home to you but it is expensive. should i just carry it home in my suitcase instead? What do you think?
Dad i think about you all the time.  I am totally planning on climbing Long's Peak in two years. We will do it together :)
I love you so much Dad, we are never far as Priesthood holding father and son.
Your loving son,

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Email to his Mother

Mommy :)
Man!!! Yes we have internet but we are being chraged by the minute. But it's ok it's cheap. So everything is very cheap out here. But my darn card still isn't working. It needs to be Visa or something i guess. Maybe? It ain't working, that's what i'm saying. I have extended one baptism invitation (accepted), taught many lessons, and another guy (Daniel) just asked to be baptized!!! I wrote a big long letter to you all and i have sent it and it says a bunch in there about the investigators. Basically tho, i have 2 baptisms on february 5 and it's my first week. the Lord has truly blessed me and loves me more than i will ever know!! He is always watching over me.
My apartment:
the nicest in Naitiri. But everybody else lives in mud huts, sooo ya. They are tribes here, but they dress like Americans. We wash all our clothes by hand. We cook our own. We purify our water. I sleep in a mosquito net. i watch geckos crawling around a bunch haha. Overall, the Spirit is in our flat and i love it. It is home to me and my testimony has sky-rocketed from all my studies!!!
I saw Zebras!!!! Out in a pasture, like horses!! Crazy, huh? No other animals yet, i'm not in wild animal territory here (dangit).
I saw a hotel called "Saddam and Sons". just thought i'd share that haha!!
We ride piki piki's everywhere. they are motor bikes. we only ride them long distances. we usually walk and i get diiiiirty and sweeeeeaty. but i have the time of my life.
Little African kids call me "muzungu" (white man) and follow me around everywhere. for most i am the first white man they have ever seen! Your son, a pioneer of Africa!!
my address:

Elder conrad Schneider
Kenya Nairobi Mission
Upper Hill Road
Next to citigroup
P.O. Box 46162-00100
Nairobi Kenya

Needs and likes:
Pictures of my family!!!! Just a few, but of you guys. and a pic of christ. besides that, i wouldn't mind some gum. bubble gum :) and i need you all to know how happy i am. I am having a fantastic time and the time will surely start flying. Mom, i love you so much. You may never know how much i miss you. Oh wait, yes you do!
Can you do me one small favor? At albertson's there are some albertson's cookies in a purple bag. i promised i would send some to tanner. Could you guys send him that for me with my love? that would make me happy :)
I also would like letters. To those i can respond better and with more thought. you must know tho, i love you so much mom. I pray and think about you daily and multiple times even. You are my beacon of hope because i know you are praying with your whole soul for my success. I feel your blessings even now as i write this. You must know that God and Jesus Christ are watching over me closely. I am following your inspired example and i am trying to be exactly obedient. I wrote more in my letter that's coming to you too. I serve these people knowing that the promise in Matthew 19:29 is happening because He has promised it. This is my home for a while. But you know what? It's all the same Earth governed by the same Father and He is focusing on YOU, OUR FAMILY, and ME!!! This chruch and this Gospel are the truth!!! I could NEVER, nor will i ever, deny it. Jeffrey R. Holland has been a focus of mine out here. In a devotional io watched he said: "A mission is not easy because salvation is NOT a cheap experience!! How could we EVER think it would be easy for us if it was NEVER easy for Him?" And i agree. I will take and bear any hardship my Father gives because He is shaping me into a man that will help bring His children to Him. I pray with every piece of my soul and body that He will help me find those people ready to come unto Him. Mom, I am well and happy. My Spirit soars at the very thought of our family. My testimony - unbreakable. And still growing. i'm eternally in your and dad's debt for raising me how you did. you are the ultimate parents (besides my heavenly parents) and for it, i have just another reason to love you :)
You'll be great in school!! Pray and seek the Lord's help (typical missionary answer). But really, his help is real. Prayers get answered like phone calls, sometimes we just need to have faith. I love this work and i will talk to you very soon!! Mother's day is just around the corner :) :)
With every possible particle of Love in my dirty, sweaty, happy body,
Conrad, son of Candy Rapper

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

YES! Email from Conrad this morning! To Dad

The BEECHER'S!! I love them so much. i always give him a big hug, and he says it's from you :) Man dad, i have to tell you, this is hard. no lies, this is very difficult. but i have the Spirit of God with me at all times and steadily i am learning to recognize and follow Him. it feels so incredible and i am seeing the fruits of the Spirit. 
Dad i's so happy. this is hard, and at times discouraging. But i think of how you are right behind me. I know you all miss me, i can feel it!! but i can seriously, seriously feel your prayers. the whole family's!! It is so encouraging to have Father and the Holy ghost testify to me that my family is safe and behind me every step of the way (which is alot of steps, might i add). Is there anything i can do for the family? I want to help Spiritually.
Here is some wisdom for you. "I don't wanna get paid to lose. I WHANNA WHIN!!!" and i'm going to!!! Dad i have you and every specific member of our family in my prayers and i am shooting as many blessings over your way as i can. Tell me some blessings you guys have recognized :)
No temple here :( so you guys better go for me ok? That's proxy work, right? Eh? No? ya ok it doesn't work like that. 
Funny story. Alot of people appreciate it if you try and speak Kiswahili to them (it's called Kiswahili, not Swahili by the way). So we're on a bus and i start talking to a guy in Kiswahili saying "Sisi ni missionaries tuna toka katika kanisa la Jesu Christo la watakatifu wa sifu za mwishu" which is we are missionaries from the...etc... and as i'm saying it this old guy pops out of nowhere and angrily goes "We understand English!!!!" i recoiled like Nacho when he sees the dead guy wake up cuz it was a scary old man. hahahahah and i was like "oh.... right uh ok.... " and then shared the message. The Lord is blessing me to be able to learn Kiswahili rapidly!! It is phenomenal. At this rate, i will be fluent in a month man. not even a joke either. 
Basically - I'm happy, i'm healthy, i'm trying to be like Jesus. I love God my Loving Father, i love Jesus Christ my watchful Brother and Savior, and i love the Holy Ghost, my companion. i also love my companion that is a human... ha. you are in my prayers and in my heart and in my testimony. Love you to life (eternal, that is. )
Your Humbly Proud Son forever,

Monday, January 9, 2012

No email :(

Conrad said he would email us on his P-Day (Monday).  For us that means late Sunday night or early Monday morning between midnight and 6 a.m.   But we didn't get anything from him.  His internet might have been down.  Following is an email we got from Neal Beecher on the 6th.

Dear Dale,

We have been without internet.  Some lines were vandalized in our area and they have been working but takes time.  We are in Eldoret so were able to get on here.  

Naitiri is about an hour from our place.  Half of it is dirt road.  Good right now as it is the dry season.  We got stuck once in rainy season and had to get the branch president to get a tractor for us to pull us out.  So it can be quite the road at times.  They have to get a ride on what is called a matatu which is like a van or they have at times even taken a motor cycle when it is the only thing available.  It would be Naitiri Corner that you saw.  It is a wonderful area to do missionary work and the branch president is the son of Elder Sitati of the First Quorum of Seventy.  Elder Sitati was just here for Christmas and was fun to see him and his family.  He [Conrad] is replacing an Elder that is from Plain City, Utah and he did not want to leave he has been so excited with the work.
I did get to meet your son at the bus station in Kitale to bring his and the other elders luggage to the elders apartment next to ours.  
We had to then come to Eldoret to do Patriarchal Blessings so we hope he got his luggage to Naitiri OK as we often take them there but were unable to do it this time.  He said his parents found out he was going to Naitiri almost before he did.  :)  Was fun to meet him and we look forward to seeing him more.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Arrived in Kenya!

January 3rd

Hi mom!
I am here in Kenya. The Mission president's wife said we can't really email right now, only tell you that we are safe. So here it goes: I AM SAFE. Wow that was easy. i love you so much mom and everybody!! I am having the time of my life and i have a bucketload to tell you. I will be emailing you next monday and i will upload pics and everything then. love you billions, talk to you soon :)
Your Happier then EVER Son,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Here's where Conrad is - the red spot is approximately where Naitiri is.

From Neal Beecher. Conrad will be in their area!!

Dear Dale,

We just found out Elder Schneider is coming to Naitiri which is one of our branches.  He should be coming in a day or so and we have heard good things about him already.  We just had all the elders here tonight for ice cream and cookies which we do on most Tuesday nights.  So we will look forward to meeting him.  We are excited he is going to be in our district.

Love, The Beechers

Letter from Neal Beecher. He and his wife are serving in Kenya.

(Neal Beecher is a former employee of LDS Family Services and a friend of mine.)

We can understand the questions you have for your son coming here.  We can promise he will love his mission, and it will be a life-changing experience for him as he learns to love the people here.  President and Sister Broadbent are fantastic to work with, and he will love them.  They do so much to work with the missionaries to help them.  President Broadbent is one of the most loving men I've ever met. Broadbents work with the elders through the couple mission secretaries to have apartments that have running water and toilets in them. This mission couple oversees the apartments to keep them in good working condition.  That mission secretary is also in charge of the health of the missionaries.  All missionaries in our mission take a daily dose of anti-malarial meds.  That is very important.  We try never to miss taking our drugs.

We have malarial mosquitoes here, so each missionary is to have a net to sleep under.  Those nets are provided by the mission.  President and Sister Broadbent also encourage all missionaries to keep a food supply in their apartments and to manage their finances well.    Our mission covers Kenya and Tanzania, so we have a wide diversity of types of climate throughout.  Nairobi is a modern city (terrible traffic), but highrise buildings.  We live in one of the most distant areas of the mission on the Uganda border where almost everyone in our area lives in a mud house with mud floor and no electricity.  We have 2 elders who live in our compound right next door to us.  The mission requires that all the areas have apartments in good condition.  Obviously some missionaries keep their apartments better than others do.  

We have no Caucasian young sisters in the mission.  Most of the missionaries here are African, which is a wonderful blessings because it will provide your son with exposure to tremendous diversity.  We love our eight missionary young men here, two are American and 6 are African (we only work with elders in our area).  We've had them for four days during the holidays because of the service projects and other Christmas holidays.  It is a blessing to serve in this mission.  I predict your son will come home changed in so many ways.  He will have such a greater appreciation for the blessings he has.  The people here are so very poor and sacrifice so much to follow the teachings of the gospel.

It is great to talk with you.  Please feel free to ask us anything.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Conrad will be leaving in a few hours aboard a plane to Kenya.  He was going to call us from the airport since he couldn't call on Christmas, but Leah got an email from his mission president, saying that Conrad was sitting in his office and he would not be calling from the airport.  Needless to say, we were incredibly disappointed.  I don't know what happened, but Conrad must have mentioned it to the President and the President said no.  We didn't think it would be a problem but we don't want Conrad to break any rules or not follow the direction of his President.  So...we will wait until he can call.  Hopefully he can call on Mother's Day.  And hopefully he will have access to a computer and can continue to at least send us email.  We're spoiled.  It wasn't that long ago that missionaries could only send letters to their family.  So we're trying to just be thankful for what communication we do have with him.  I'll be posting his address as soon as we know it, if it changes.

To his youngest brother, Daniel

Danny boy !!!!! I will email you longer tomorrow because i don't have very much time but i love you!! I wish SOOOOOOOOOOOO bad i was there playing with you guys!!! Man... no snow here., it is hot hot hot and it's christmas tomorrow!! I really hope you are having lots of fun :) I will email you more tomorrow and i love you so much. and don't worry, i'll be able to email more in the mission field too. I love you and i already have some souvenirs!! Love you Daniel :)
> Love love love,
> Elder Conrad Schneider