Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I will tell you 2 stories though that are miracles for real.
We went to an area just outside of Naitiri market on Sunday to go visit a family called the Kulobas that we scheduled to visit. They are very strong in a church called Repentance and Holiness. Well, the 2 daughters, who are both in their 20's, were going to their own homes. We asked why, and they said it was just too late. We said ok, and we went to give them the Book of Mormon's we had arranged to give them because they had agreed the previous week to accept them and read them. Well, one especially I have felt strongly (Spiritually) towards is named Elizabeth, probably 27 or so. Well, she refused to take it. I was devastated! I asked why, and she never gave a good reason, and I told her to her face that she was not giving a good reason, and that she was being unreasonable. I was really upset. Tom, the branch missionary with us, powerfully explained that the B.O.M. has direct connection with the Bible. He explained how Lehi is a descendant of Menassah and I was astounded. I was praying in my heart the whole time so hard. She almost took it instinctively, but when she saw I was watching she pulled her hand back! GRR!! Well, her and her sister ended up leaving after they set an appointment to meet and talk again. About one hour later in the dark, she comes running up behind us and says, "When I refused to take it, Elder Schneider looked sad so I will take it..." HA! Ya right sister. I could sense that she was curious. She has a desire to read it, I can feel it. And I think she will. She literally tracked us down just to get a copy. The Spirit of the Lord worked a miracle in her heart, and we can expect more :)
On Saturday night we went to our neighbor's home to read the Book with him. He is 17 years old and his name is Kennedy. Well, he told us a story that morning about how he broke his cousin's phone, and needed money to get a new one, and offered to do some work for us. We said we'd think about it. That night, he told us that he needed 3500 ksh to get the phone by Tuesday or his cousin would bring Kennedy's father and grandfather into it. Kennedy fears them both because apparently they react alot. And in Kenya, beating your children is kinda natural. (Which, if I see it, I stop it.) Well, we couldn't help that much. But we gave him a "What every boy needs to know about becoming a man" talk. We told him to face his father and grandfather, to admit he did it, and to face the consequences. We told him all about how God will support the man who is honest, and trusts in Him. Well, by the end, he agreed to. We asked him to pray, and wow. That is the most sincere and pleading prayer I have heard from a Kenyan, not to mention a human being. Well, we went home and prayed the same. Sunday night, after fasting that investigators will recognize answers to their prayers, he bursts in our flat and goes "God Answered my prayer! I just told my father the truth and my grandfather and they were completely calm!! We went to our cousin's and talked it out and made a plan and I feel free!! I did it, I feel like a man! I'm free!! God helped me to do it!" His father even gave him 1500 ksh to start buying a new phone for the cousin. Well, we hugged him, congratulated him, and sent him home straightaway to thank God for the miracle.
Now... miracles happen in the mission field and at home. Those are just two :) Is God not blessing our area? He is. He has heard our prayers and fasts and the work is progressing :)
Love you forever Momma :)
It was so fun talking to you too. we had a wonderful Sunday evening on the phone. It was as If we have lived in the same house for all my life. Our conversation was for sure a mother to son conversation. You sound like some one I know well mother. On Sunday you asked me of the fun moments we have had so fur. I did not know what to say. Because every moment has been a fun moment. One day the was no water in the flat for a number of days, we almost complained, then a thought came, "consider the early missionaries, the pioneers of missionary work, even the pioneers of the church, they were willing to exchange their lives for the phrase, 'the church is true." We also remembered that almost very thing has been done for us to be on a mission. We have come on mission in the era of 'Preach my Gospel'. That alone caused us to count our blessings. naming them one by one. And at the end our faces were filled with smiles and anew song. We are so happy that you are sending to us a package. thank you for your love. MOM, Tell BEN, that am so great full for the baseball.Miracles are happening. We are receiving constant impressions from the Holy Ghost after prayer and we are committed to act on them. Heavenly Father sends them as good thoughts specifically for what we prayed for. We know that such thoughts that come to us after prayer are not just thoughts but are personal revelation concerning what we should do. We have followed all those we received in the past. And as a result, we have the trust of the branch president, the there is a link between us and the branch, 4 instigators came to church this Sunday and we feel happy about mission. We are doing our very best.
I love you Mom. thank you for the prayers. we pray for you , Dad, Ben Jessie and Dan . Tell them I greeted them. Have a great week. talk to you next week. l will send letters on Tuesday. they may delay because l will send them by the church's free system. It is expensive for me to send letters using the money am given. All is well we are smiling and laughing.
Dad, We are smiling even in this very minute, Am doing so great. miracles are happening in our area, We have won the trust of the branch president, Elder Schneider introduced the ward mission plan in this area which is literally linking us to members. This week we had 4 investigators at sacrament meeting. that came as a result of a proposal from my trainer. He suggested that we should split our area into parts and visit a part each day for the whole week. When we tried it out, it worked. all the investigators that came to church this Sunday came from a different part of our area. We are constantly receiving impressions on that which we should do. And when an impression comes, we seek to act upon it immediately. Thank you for the package. thank you for all. It was a special moment to talk to you. Am going to send to you a letter with mother on Tuesday. Love you. Have a great day Greet all at home.
We were able to talk to Conrad and his companion on May 20th! We talked for several hours. It was great. We also talked with Elder Arineitwe. He's such a sweet kid. They sound happy and so excited about their missionary efforts.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Well, Conrad wanted to call on Mother's Day, but their power and phone lines were down, so we didn't get a call. He's going to call this coming Sunday instead. We are so excited to talk to him, none more so than his mother. I hope the power lines are up and running. I did speak with him a little yesterday to arrange the call for Sunday. He sounds very happy and sounds like he has really found his stride. He said I was right about the culture shock "thing". But he's adapted and is blossoming as a missionary.
Last thing Dad, keep your phone on you throughout the week .Apparently we are allowed to call home sometime during this week to make sure everything works! Maybe, I will pass it by our zone leader first, but be wary. I won't be able to talk for long, but just to make sure everything works. I love you Dad, you may or may not hear from me before Sunday. Ooooooo..... the suspense....
p.s. hope your nose heals. Don't end up like Michael Jackson.
STORYTIME!!!!! So for the past..... since I have been on a mission, I have been praying for our area to get better. And for a long time, it has hurt. But Elder Arineitwe and I have tried new things, worked HARDER, and prayed and fasted. Now, it is not us at all. The Lord requires us to work hard if we want a happy area with people to teach and success and progression. Well, we did fast and pray mightily and beg the Lord to help us and guide us to those whom He has prepared. Guess what? He led us to the District Officer (D.O.). Which is the equivalent to like, a step above mayor. He is over a very wide range of areas, and has a TON of influence. Well, guess who our only investigator at church was? Mr. Peter Majiwah, D.O. HE IS PROGRESSING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND, he has begun to connect us with local leaders, saying that it is important that they know what we are teaching. OH YEAH MAN!!!!! Now that they are softened enough to listen, we just need to teach with power and clarity and the Holy Ghost will work His stuff :) this is landmark for our area. Also, the Branch President has noticed our efforts. He was very pleased with the branch mission plan I made and he, of his own accord, pulled me aside on Sunday and asked if we would accompany him every Friday to visit a few families in the Branch. YES!!!!!! the Branch is becoming solid, they are rising to their sense of commitment. The area is increasing. We got EIGHT new investigators this week :) I can't describe the miracles being worked before our very eyes, but they are happening. I will tell you more when we talk. But know this, the Lord hears prayers. I prayed that I could "make a difference and help my brothers and sisters in Naitiri to know how happy they can be." And now it is coming to pass. *happy sigh* The Lord is there. The work is progressing, especially in Naitiri :) When I leave, the work will be in full motion. I don't say this to build up me, because I don't feel like I did anything really significant anyway. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the king of Creation!!!!! :D
Sunday, May 6, 2012
So the SD card I thought was lost, finally showed up about 8 weeks after Conrad mailed it. We were so excited. 8 GB of pictures and video of Conrad!! No. nothing. Something is wrong with the card. I thought it was because it is an SDHC card and my computer is not equipped with an SDHC reader. So I bought an SDHC card reader. Still doesn't work. It appears the card is ruined. We are so sad to have lost all those photos and videos of the first 4 months of Conrad's mission. We hope we can find a way to get pictures from him, but I would rather he just keeps them and we'll look at them when he comes home, rather than lose anymore. Bummer. Just want to see a picture of him so bad.
Dear, Mother, Am Elder Arineitwe. Elder Schneider is my trainer. To me, my mother is always my best friend. I come from a Moslem family and my mother has always been there for my brothers and I even when Dad seemed not to care, Because of her, I have great respect for all women in the world and I know their patience is great. Well mission is one of the moments I thank God for especially having Elder Schneider as my companion.I can see the light of Christ in His eyes, that communicates to me the type of mother that you are. thank you for teaching him what he is teaching me. Love you Mum.
Dear Elder Arineitwe,
It was so wonderful to get your e-mail last week. It was so sweet and it made me very happy. You sound like a very kind and humble young man. I am so glad Conrad gets to have you for his companion. He tells me that you two are like brothers. Together, you two will do many good things for the people there. I am so amazed at your strength to accept the gospel even without support from your family. I am sure it must have been very difficult for you. I am sure they love you dearly and only want the best for you. In time, they will be able to see how much happiness the gospel brings to you. Stay strong and remember to stay close to your Father in Heaven. You are His son and He loves you. He will bless you and support you throughout your life. I hope you find much happiness this week as you serve the people in Naitiri. Conrad tells me what good people they are. I am glad you get share this time with them.
Please know that you are doing what our Father in Heaven would want you to do at this time in your life. It is an important work that you and all the elders of the world are doing. We will pray for you each day. Be safe and be obedient and you will be happy. We are gathering some things to send to you and Conrad. Is there anything special you would like? Let me know and I will try to send it.
Have a good week, love Mom.
Dear Mum, it is good to receive your reply. thank you helping us to
feel loved and cared about. I come from a very humble background and my mother in Uganda does not hear from me every week because she has no email adress. I try by best to reach her. Well am so happy that we can talk thuogh email. I feel the mother's love. thank you for observing that I seem a humble, kind young man. That is what am woking on actually. We, Elder Schnieder and I are working hard to serve the people aruond us, it is true, the people round are really lovely and welcoming. Concernig my conversion story it was not easy, But like the pioneers, as soon as I emblased the truth, I could not let go, I was willing to die to say that the church and the book of Mormon is true, the time that I knew for my self it was true was the time I needed it most. Moslems in my area threatened me, my parents were worried of losing me. One day I told my father, ' norhting in mylife has ever felt soreal like this'. Ok, he replied as he said. ' I have never seen you so serious like this, to a point of saying you can die for this?' . Mum, I will write to you a full account of my coversion story that you shall read with Dad. A few days ago we were traviling across Naitiri market and we met a boy called Godfrey, After explaining all that we do, we asked. 'Can you show us where you stay?' sure he replied as we walked and talked to him on the road, We later found uot that he stays with his uncle, Micheal, ' this Gosple can bless families, I have seen that blessing inmy own family.' Elder Shcneider said as we taught, Godfrey, Micheal,his wife, and thier son Robbin. We
both felt the spirit, we thanked God for the blessing of that
wonderfull family. I noticed that my trainer has a unique respose to
the promtings of the Holy Ghost. Especailly how we were led the the Michael family by Asking Godfrey wre he stays. we are teaching them the plan of salvation on our next visit. My trainer is also teaching me how to gain socail skills including hoe to be so polite to the people we serve. this has been the best part of my training because I know that It will make a great change in us, We are doing our very best to obey, all Heavenly fafather commands. He helps me to remember all that we program for the day and that is so nice. We get a lot of good expliences, we use his camera to take picture since I do not have one yet. Am so happy that he can let me use his camera. thank you Mum love you.
Apr 30 (6 days ago)
Hello Elder Arineitwe!!
How are you? I loved to hear a little about you! You are a hero in my eyes!! You have great courage and remind me of Captain Moroni. You and Conrad must make a very powerful companionship. If the two of you stay 100 percent obedient, the Lord will continue to be on your right hand and on your left, and he will go before you and be behind you to protect you.
Your email you sent made me cry. I am truly proud of you and Conrad, my sons! I want you to know I want to meet you someday and give you a big hug!! You are welcome to come to my house wherever I am, forever.
It snowed here a few days ago. We thought we were getting into summer, but it snowed. It has all melted now, and all the trees are blossoming. It's beautiful here. But now, my allergies are getting bad. I sneeze a lot!
I hope Conrad sends us some pictures soon.
Well my friend, I should go. I need to write Conrad too. Take care of each other. We love you!
Habibu Arineitwe Mbabazi email@example.com
May 1 (6 days ago)
Dad, good evening? we are always, so happy to know that you care, thank you for the email. My heart burns with joy to know that we are a family. My father in Uganda is a good moslem man but for some reason l grew up more crose to mother. He seemed to not care, especailly when he married the second wife. Well, he now thinks it was a good dicision for me to become a christian because it makes me completly obey him. Am happy to know that there is some one there that is willing to call me son and help me feel loved. thank you Dad. the work is progressing. In one of the last Sundays I noticed that my brother was wearing a nice shirt, I looked on the budge on the left and asked him, 'where did you get that shirt'.?. It is the shirt father used for his mission in California. That is an achievement, I replied to him as I took a minute to think. ' we are in the line of men who have done thier very best to serve.' Your serving a mission is seting an example to all of us. we disire, to serve with all full selves in the Lord like you did. We recenly taught a man called Mr Gideon, One day we walked on the street and across was mr Gideon, his steps wre not regular, 'He walks as if some thing is wrong, let us go and find out' Elder Schneider prosed as we crosed to the other side of the road. 'Good evening' we greeted. we later found uot that he had an accident, his wife has reft him home laeving bihind 3 children for him to look after. it was as if we were the people he was looking for, and when we asked him where he was going he explained that he was just walking. We taught him about God's plan of happiness. After the lesson we so a smile on his face, we are praying for him, we hope that he will know that Jesus Christ can hael all his wuonds like we tald him. It was a miracle to meet him, we rae looking forward to help him receive all the teachings aof the Savior. He is on the baptismal date for may 27. Do you have any impressions you feel we should include in the message of our next vist?. We love you Dad and we are praying for you to stay healthy and srong, It is nice to know that it snowed, one day I hope to see it snow, He has told me it is woderfull. Hear, it is a rainy season. we love it. thank you. have a blessed time.
Apr 24 (13 days ago)
Hello Elder Arineitwe! How are you? Conrad has told us how great you are and that you are his brother. That makes you my son. But I'm your brother too. We are happy that Conrad has such a fine companion. We are thankful you are a dedicated elder. From what Conrad has told us, you are a very brave and dedicated son of our Heavenly Father. I think you have very great courage. We pray for you and Conrad every day and have faith that your efforts will be successful. We pray for your protection and happiness. Feel free to email me and tell me how you are doing. I would love to hear about your experiences as well. You and Conrad take care of each other. We love you. God bless you!
Habibu Arineitwe Mbabazi firstname.lastname@example.org
Apr 25 (12 days ago)
Dear, Father, Calling you my father makes me feel that I know you very well. I think we have met before, perhaps is the life before this life. Am doing very good especially with Elder Schneider as my companion. He is a hero in my eyes. He is a great trainer and I treasure every single word that he says. That alone communicates to me the kind of father you are I have allot of respect for you and because of rising such a hero, I can trust you with my life and know that Am completely safe. we recently were sharing the talk that you sent to him and we intend to enjoy every single bit of it. I come from a Moslem background, the lord directed me to the missionaries in a way that is so unique. From Childhood I was taught Arabic crammed prayers that I did not even know what they meant. I always asked my self If there is a batter way of how I can talk to God, and at a point in my life after the lesson of the missionaries, I felt that Heaven can be accessed. That is the point my eyes so the light that I will defend with my life. I wrote to each of that loving family a letter and hope that the letters will reach you. I will write to you a full count of my conversion story in the next letter. thank for teaching Elder Schneider what he is teaching me today. thank you for calling me your son. Love you Dad.
Also Dad, please express my deep love for the family again. I need you all to know that when life gets hard, don't worry, cuz every challenge at home in America is a complete blessing and opportunity. Here, they just don't have. And I mean that, they don't have! Life is different here. I am becoming used to life here, and soon I feel I can find my niche in missionary work with the tough conditions. I love you all, I am trying. The Lord is real. His Son is there. I promise that They, with the Holy Ghost, are totally real. This life is so important! Help others, please! When we serve us, we waste the invaluable time to progress. I love you all so much!!!!
I am so glad that you guys get to email Elder Arineitwe. Seriously, there are times when I act like his father. He is so innocent in the ways of the world, in everything man. Sometimes I am his father and it is really new and cool for me. He is awesome, and totally a powerful missionary. He has such a strong sensitivity to the Spirit that it amazes me, and he doesn't even realize it. As for us being two lions, it's him man. I feel very often that I just don't measure up to this kid I’m supposed to train. I am honored to be with him, and I am learning more than him I think!
Ben has always astounded me. I saw it from day one man. Being around him so much, he has made me seriously realize that living the Gospel should never be conditional. And that it should be sincere. Tell Benjamin that I am more proud of him than even before. And I was already flippin proud of him!! I can't wait to return home, and share with him everything I can. I want to not only train him for his mission, but also I want to learn from him. He is so insightful! He has an amazing future. As for me I don't know what mine holds except that I am going to obey the Lord and serve Him. As for Benjamin (and it sounds like Daniel too!), he is going to be a tool for great works.
Well Daddio, I have to say it is a blessing to have a big ward at home. There are so many amazing blessings and opportunities in a ward like Crestwood that just aren't available here. Progression happens, but short line upon short line. I just want you to know that I am so thankful for our wonderful ward at home and I love it. I can't wait to serve there in whatever calling I receive!
Also, check out Mom's email for a crazy cool story haha! All I can say is "Welcome to Kenya!"
Daddio I love you. Our family is so blessed and has so many opportunities and blessings it makes me sick sometimes. That we, and even I, should receive these things when I am so imperfect and unworthy of them makes me upset sometimes. The world is not fair, and it's true. Celestial life is fair, and equal, and that, with my understanding of the Plan of Salvation is the only thing that keeps me thinkin that everything will turn out ok. But man, seeing these Africans makes me hurt. Here's a sick story.
STORYTIME!!!! Ok well this is not a happy story. I was getting my haircut in a town called Webuye. I finished, and as Elder Hodges (our Zone leader who I was with) was getting his cut, I looked out this little barred window from the shack we were in. There was a big trash pile there. A man walked up in a shabby shirt and baggy pants, very dirty. He began sifting thru the garbage and eating it. As I watched, I realized I had become indifferent to the fact at what was happening before my eyes. I re-evaluated, and remembered how the Savior was "moved with compassion" in Matthew. I realized that that man was literally eating garbage to live. If it was me, I would be miserable. I can’t even imagine if it was me. But that man was my brother before. I have clothes, money, food, homes, a job, a future, a school, education, religion, security, and the most incredible, stable, and loving supportive family on Earth. Why then, has God chosen me to receive these things? And as I think now, I need to rise to a new sense of commitment. There needs to be a continuing change in my actions, that I can provide the greatest amount of blessings while I am out serving.
And as for my family, I hope this will help us all do the same. The world is harsh outside the walls of our temple-like home. In fact, the world is merciless. It is bombarded by the angels of the devil and they feel no mercy. Keep your hopes high, but keep your guard higher. Dad, I love you so much. The world is tough out here, but with the Lord I can do it. In fact, without the Lord I wouldn't even try, because I couldn't. I love you so much, and I pray that the Lord will see my imperfections and help fix me into somebody He wants me to be. I don't care what calling I have, even if it is nursery teacher - I will magnify it because I know that that is where the Lord needs me to make the greatest difference. "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save He shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which He commandeth them." And I testify that it is true.
Love you bajillions :)