An African Heart

An African Heart

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

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.

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