An African Heart

An African Heart

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shame on you!!! Not sending me an email... ;) I love you Jessie, and I have to tell you an awesome story.
Sunday we went back to the flat after the baptism. My companion and I had planned to go back out, but we were so fatigued because the African sun and Sunday will do that to you. Amidst the rest, I was about to watch some dvd's as part of my training (which is 8 weeks over now) and I kept ignoring that nagging thought to go back out. Then I turned on the dvd. First thing I see: "Time is a precious resource. The Lord has given you a portion of His vineyard." And I’m like, "That tears it!" I told my companion to get dressed, we were going out. I vowed I would not waste the Lord's time and I won't!! So we get out, five minutes later we get to a guy who is sitting out in his yard. Patrick (not from Spongebob), and we automatically began teaching the restoration. I kept noticing a gravesite in his yard. So I decided, as counseled by our zone leader, first thought you get teach that. Deciding that we should be teaching something else, I just stopped my companion and asked about the grave. He was kinda startled and told us it was his wife's. From there, we told him where his wife is, that she is happy, that he can be with her for eternity, and more of the Plan of Salvation. He is a new investigator, and I am praying my heart out for that guy. The Lord works in mysterious ways Jessie :) I love you sooooo much and look forward to your happy, giddy emails!! :)
With eternal love and happiness, and more love,

Monday, February 27, 2012

Storytime!! Ok so the other Elders in my flat were... let's say not following the rules. That is a huge challenge for me, when the other Elders, who are supposed to live highly, live in the world. Ya, these challenges happen even on mission. They are even harder on mission too. So I went in the bedroom alone and sat on the ground and started to wash my clothes by hand. Before that I had cleaned the house, asked them to stop multiple times, been slightly ridiculed and mocked, and it was hard!! Discouraged I washed my clothes, and my comp asked if I was ok. I bluntly said no, because they were all breaking the rules big time. He left the room quietly. I then knelt and pleaded with God that he would do something, anything to cure this problem. I felt like Alma the elder praying for Alma the Younger. And guess what? 20 minutes later they came in, apologized, broke the CD of bad music so it would never be played again, and the Spirit came back strongly. That, my dear brother, is prayer in action. The Lord is there, it's so obvious. No matter how you feel He is there. And comfort is one prayer away (with some waiting). Ask in faith Benjamin, and it will be granted to you :)
Story 2: riding in a matatu, and I saw the African equivalents to you, me, and Gehrig. Older brother with glasses, laughing with younger brother next to him, and a funny looking third kid who they laughed with. hahahahahahaha oh ya... made me a little sad, and a lot laughy!!! Another tender mercy of the Lord :)

Ah! Do you know what? The Lord is blessing us. Life is getting easier for you guys and for me, I can tell :)
But business first - in the next package, on which there is no rush:
- new cheap watch. This one may die soon, there are places to buy here, so hold out on the watch and lemme check. it's a maybe.
- your love!! :)
I don't need much momma. I have really learned to count my blessings. I want to connect with these people, and as such I am going to live a little more humble. But could you send me via email some stovetop recipes? Very simple ones? Preferably some with oats or flour, and maybe even some dessert ones so I can cook for my companion :)
Cesar recieved his endowments?!?!? That is so incredibly wonderful!!!!! Give him a HUGE hug straight from me and tell him I love him so much!!! Please tell his family hello, especially Memo, and tell Caesar I look forward to a temple trip with him when I return home. Never take that temple for granted. Besides my family, the temple is the one thing I truly miss. Where the Spirit of God is unhindered and peace abounds! Agh... I miss it :( but I am ok :)
Wow Makel!! Tell her that's super awesome!! Oh, and as for when she returns... well.... you know we may get back around the same time... and uh.... maybe... I'll take her to dinner. Tell her that hahahaha!!!! Tell her I'll be super tan and maybe have a cool accent too ;) hahahaha!!! But really I am so happy for her. It is tough to say that somebody will be a great missionary. I have learned that you can almost never tell until you get in the field. But I have faith in her, and I will keep her in my prayers. Only advice - know Preach My Gospel. The sooner you master that inspired scripture, the better!
Two things: 1. The rainy season is coming in about 2 weeks or so. I am buying galoshes here for it (at about 2 dollars or so haha). The raincoat and such are awesome. Things here are sooooo cheap!!!
2. The allotment is 13,500 kenya shillings. Guess how much that is? $158!!! Ya!! One of the cheapest missions cuz there's nothing here!!! I may get a bicycle soon but that's up to President.
I have learned something – sincerity is difficult. To be real about something and desire it is something that every person upon the face of the earth needs the Lord's help with. I am really striving to shift my desires towards that of a selfless saint, and slowly it is working. I am not worrying about food or myself, but devoting my time to the investigators. I am really starting to love them so much!! The Lord answers prayers, of that I bear testimony.
STORYTIME!!! We have a recent convert, named Pius Kituyi. He was recently falsely charged and arrested and taken to a town called Bungoma. Ya we didn't know til a week after because nobody knew. But upon his safe return home he told us everything. And guess what? Because of his faith and the Lord's tender and sweet protection, a big huge guy in prison took him in and protected him from the other prisoners for no apparent reason, AND while Brother Pius was in prison, he preached the gospel to the prisoners!! Is that not real conversion?!?! I am not worried about baptism, I want conversion!!! And I saw it in the woman I baptized on Sunday, Karin. She has changed so much and I am so happy for her :)
As for our relationship mom, we will maintain it. I don't care what happens, I don't care if the whole world tries to tear us apart or threatens me with my life, I will never take you for granted. I will never treat you less than I should. Granted, I am imperfect, but when I am truly converted, I feel that I can honestly say that I will try never to wrong you in the slightest. I love you Momma!!!! I appreciate everything you do, and the Lord is blessing you soooo much!!!! I am a happy, healthy missionary!! I am safe, and I am growing!! The Bukusu people are hospitable, trustworthy, and the kindest on Earth. I love my mission, and I love these people :) Watch out for Benny for me please, but I don't fear. He will be just fine, no matter what happens! Tell Ben I said "Wakka wakka doo doo, yeah!" And he will laugh :)
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, and I love you!!!! Oh, and next week, I will be emailing on Friday instead of Wednesday. So look for my emails then ok? Little change of plans, and the week after it'll be back to normal. Ok gotta run Momma, love you more than ever and more every day!!!!! :)
Your Sonny Boy,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Man I am kinda scared for the package coming... I won't get sick will I? Cuz I am very unused to the taste of American things now. But it's ok!! As for sudoku, I love your thoughtfulness, BUT I have mountains to focus on and much to learn. Maybe on Christmas I will do it. When I came out I promised to "devote all your time and energy to serving the Lord", as the white handbook says. Mom, you're inspired counsel is just what I needed. And I don't know if you and Dad planned it, but you said coinciding counsel. I do need to be myself! Somebody out here needs regular old Conrad. And I want you to know I am going to apply your counsel, because it is from Father in Heaven. As for listening to whatever you say, I wanna explain. It is because I have realized the true outpouring of inspiration that comes from you and Dad. I am not trying to be hard on myself, I just know with a surety (not faith, knowledge) that if I follow exactly what you say I will be happier and more successful. I am not restricting myself; I am becoming free and full :) Trust me momma, I WANT to obey!! I want to be perfect in obedience to you, dad, and my Father. I know perfection won't be achieved necessarily, but I can try. And I will not be focusing on me. I am really going to try to have major faith and just quit focusing on me. It will be hard, and take time, but the Lord can help me. Momma, will you give me counsel? I want counsel on feeling the Spirit. Recognizing and following Him as well. 
I cleaned our flat on p-day and man, felt at home!! The value of hard house-work is not valued by all. I realized also that the Savior "descended below them all". And as it thought about how sometimes I get mad or angry because others don't try so hard, I have NO right to be angry. Because they are children of God, and am I perfect? Not even close. So am I "greater than He?" No. He humbly submitted below all persecution, then so should I. My standards will never break, but I can be better :) I forgot to tell Dad, but I figure you all share letters so I will tell you (please all share emails ok?) Dad talked about "arriving" in his pride counsel to me. And it made me think about something. If always tell myself "I can be better!" then I never have the "Arrival Effect". I named it :) To avoid the arrival effect, always tell yourself "I can be better!" is the conclusion I made for myself. Is that appropriate? So far it has worked well :)
I'm counting my blessing out here. I am learning to cook! I am being self-sufficient. And most of all, I am changing. I will follow your counsel with exactness though, and I will be Conrad out here. I fear I may have strayed from it for a time, and it's time to return back to the basics. Mom I hold you as the highest in my sight. I love you more than words justify. I am happy :) Oh, and I saw wild monkeys!! And today we worked on a shumba (farm) and... ouch. I'll take pictures of my hands. I'm gonna send the 8 GB SD card soon ok? It's not full, but you guys will enjoy it :) I am short on time tho momma, I love you so much. Is everything ok at home? And is there anything I can do for you? 
Lastly Mom, please know that I really do love you so incredibly much. My love for you each grows exponentially every night. I don't fear for you guys anymore because I know you love the Gospel. I love you Mom, and behind that statement is an eternity of love and charity for you. I am always your son, and always striving to be worthy for such a prestigious calling :)
your Son, Conraddie!!

Dear Daddy,
When I receive counsel from you I can hear your voice, and I feel the love so much that it almost always brings me to tears. I will forget myself. Mom gave very similar counsel actually haha. I am going to be Conrad, improve where needed, and be myself. I want to be the best missionary I can be Dad. Sometimes, often in fact, I wonder what I am doing wrong. Why am I not more successful? Why can I not change how I want? But man... I think I just need to wait. I am on the Lord's time right? And as for these people, when I pray for the energy it will come right? I am trying Dad. I'm trying so hard. But whoever said that a mission in burning, dusty Africa would be easy was selling something. This is the hardest and most strenuous, and often Spiritually and physically painful, thing I have ever done. I will never give up. Dad I love you with every fiber of my being. More than that. When I say I will be completely submissive to you and Mom, I mean that for real. I am making obedience a lifestyle now. The task ahead is mixing exact obedience and my personality. But Dad... I am going to be a new man. But I am really going to leap in faith and let the Lord shape me as I strive to serve these people. Will it really work Dad? Tell me it will please. I am treasuring that warm embrace right now. This is so hard. I love you Dad. I dream about you because I miss you so much. But the Lord is wonderful. Jesus Christ is becoming more and more of my best friend and personal Savior every day. I will never stray from this Gospel. I love my Father. I love Jesus Christ, and because He "descended below them all", I have no right to be angry with anybody, companion or Elders or anybody. For I am not "greater than He". I love Him dad. I love the Holy Ghost so much. 
Ok I have to tell you, Sunday we were walking and tracting because all our appointments fell thru. We had no luck so I suggested we pray. We did, and five minutes later met a man named Khetia Simiyu. He pleaded for our help, and we will be teaching him. And after I had said some parting words about the true importance of this gospel, he looked at me and said, "You will come to my home and I will slaughter a chicken for you. We will eat together." hahahaha!! I love these people. They are literally the nicest people on the Earth. 
But Dad, I love you. I am short on time today, but know that I love you more than ever. Every day, as I tear my thoughts away from family and towards the work, my love exponentially multiplies for you all. I crave your counsel, and in the next email, will you tell me about the influences of the Spirit?  "Come on Steven! You are quick and fast like a Gazelle!!"
With eternal love, 

Monday, February 6, 2012


Here is a link to watch some videos Conrad took while waiting in the airport in London and while in the MTC in South Africa.  It's very entertaining!  Enjoy!   Copy and paste the following into your browser.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Foggy day in Johannesburg.

President and Sister Christensen at South Africa Missionary Training Center.

The tie has been passed on from Elder to Elder and has been all over the world.

Goodbye to President Christensen.  Leaving Johannesburg for Kenya.