An African Heart

An African Heart

Thursday, June 28, 2012

To Leah, June 26


Ok i am going to be fairly brief so that i can send you some pictures. But as for my new area, i will have to tell you with time. Make sure you read Dad's email so you can get the basics about everything. In short, i love 3 things already:
1. My area.
2. My companion
3. These amazing mountain people.
4. The flats and conditions.
Ok i know that was more, but still i had to mention because i am in love with this place!!! It is simply incredible. I literally climb mountains every day. I am getting SO toned.

As for snakes, nope. Not in this area. too high in the mountains and the snaked are mostly in Chyulu, which is where Kagame was serving. And yes, still washing by hand! My fingers bleed haha! But not bad, don't worry. I am getting faster at doing wash so all is well. I may still wash my shirts by hand at home because it works so incredibly well.

That is awesome to hear about Ben! Except i have bad news... he is not faster than me. I am so toned from this climbing and walking that i can run and walk for extended periods now! AND, my upper body is getting big because of all the daily workouts i get to do. It is exciting, and i am looking forward to wrestling Benjamin when i get home. He better be ready >:) Tell him i said that too, ok? I'm comin for HIM!

And get Danny to email me!! Please because i need to hear from him! Is he doing well? Is he happy? Does he have anything he could need help with? I love him so much and i want him to be happy too :)

Well Momma, i have  cool story for you.
STORYTIME!!! There was a man named Alex that i met on my first day here in the Kilungu hills. He drinks and smokes, but we sat down with him (while he was drunk) and talked things over. And after we were bearing powerful testimony, he simply handed over the cigarette he had in his pocket without us asking. He met with us the next day, sober, and even came to church, sober. We should ave some few baptisms lined up here. I am pretty excited to work in these hills :)

I am learning to cook too, just fyi. I am going to send home my journal with a 4 gb memory card. It has alot of cool things on it that i think you will find nice. I wrote a song, by the way. 2 actually. well actually 3. One is an arrangement of "Called to Serve" and a song called "Zion's Hill". I wrote it at request of my Kitale zone leader and we sang it as a zone. I have the arrangement still, and when i get home i will organize a group to sing it in sacrament. The second is a little zone song that has a bunch of inside jokes with the other Elders. no big. The third is a song called African Sunrise. I wrote it when i saw the sunrise one morning, and it is cool. I may record it sometime and send it home ok? It is a cool song, and everybody that has heard it says that they love it and that i should get it recorded and everything. Haha, Elder Jensen says it can make millions of dollars and that i need to pursue the course of getting it seriously recorded. Worth a try, right? :)

Well Momma, I love you so much. I had a dream that a was hugging you all, and it was nice. Haha! But time will bring all things. "I am enjoying my mission" is a light term. Every day i wake up with greater determination, only to the grace of my Father. I have to devote all to Him, Mom. How is the family? And how is everybody in the ward there? Is there anybody i need to write a letter to in the ward? I did receive the letter from Linda Bodily, i will write back soon enough. Become friends with her ok? Cuz i am going to be friends with Tanner forever :)

Love you forever Momma. I'll be home for Christmas. But for now, i am here and happy. Stay happy, don't count the days.

Love you for eternity,
Elder Schneider

From Elder Arineitwe

Dear Dad,
Thank you for that love and care, I miss Elder Schneider, I will write to him a letter this week. Thank you for telling me that Mum says hi. There some parts of Kenya that are a little hotter. Well, Yesterday was my birth day, that was soo cool. Heavenly Father has allowed me to see 22 years. My new companion is called Elder Law, He is also from Idaho, from Nampa town. I know there must be a reason why God gives me two companions from the same place in the start of my mission. can you guess Dad? Well that was some thing that am thinking about lately. He is a very good man too. so happy to have him. I have not yet got the package, Elder Schneider told me that he wuold send to me what you sent.
love you dad.

From Elder Kagame, my other adopted son

Am so grateful for that wonderful mail you sent to me am very happy to
have you in my life and i promise i will always be a honest son to
you.Well i was transferred to Nairobi and my area is called Kasarani.
I was so happy to meet my brother in the APs flat it was a wonderful
time for me to meet Conrad again after six months he looks wonderful i
wish you can see him physically as i did indeed he is a grate
missionary. Thanks for being a grate father am sure everything Conrad
is doing here he learn t it from you. I will be happy to receive that
package and another thing i would love you to send me is an iPod full
of church music if possible because church music is one of the things
that makes me feel the spirit i will so grateful if you do that for me
dad. Wow for sure you have a wonderful family i wish one day i meet
each you and have fun together as a family? that will be so nice most
especially for me because it has been a long time since i had fun with
my family.
Anyway dad i wish you all the best and my God pour his blessings upon
you so that you will be able to take good care of us . Love you so
much and send my greetings to every one there .
OHHHH thanks very much for the pictures for sure i love you family
they are all awesome so how old is you daughter and your sons?
Well God be with you till we talk to each other next time
Elder Kagame.

Regarding the horse photo Conrad referred to that I emailed him....

Check out this photo.  I love this horse.  I think he deserves a great pasture in Heaven, probably already has it.  But look at his feet!  He's on the tips of his hooves.  To me, it's a photographic metaphor for struggles and challenges.  We don't give up.  We weigh in to our burdens, put our heads down, dig our toes in and pull.  The Lord will then make our burdens light, but we do all we can.  There will come more challenges, there always does.  But we expect it, and we do the same thing.  Bow our heads in prayer first, then against the challenge before us.  I love that horse.  He does his duty even though there is a tremendous load.  He's noble.  He submits to the master.  He trusts the master.  It's interesting to think the Master has to know what that horse is capable of, and won't load him with more than he can pull, but the horse doesn't argue with the master, he just goes to work.   I just wanted to share this picture with you because I love it.  It inspires me and makes me think of strength, duty, nobility, devotion.  It makes me think of the Savior and the burden he carried.  How he obediently walked right in to his challenge and won.  I love you Conrad.  Keep your head bowed, put your weight against the harness, and go.  The Lord will help.  I love you tons!

June 26


I have been grrrrrreat!!

The new area is amazing! The Kilungu Hills, and the name is extremely fitting. Actually, the name is an underestimation. These are mountains! And we climb them all day. I thought i was sweating in my last area... ha... ha... We climb these mountains to every appointment. This area is by far the most rural area. We literally wake up in a cloud every morning. By evening, the cloud comes back too. And it gets COLD! I LOVE IT!!! Yes, our flat is only 2 small rooms, but we share with the other Elders next door. Yes, we don't have a real toilet, we use a hole. BUT! I never have to worry about clogged toilets, or flushing, or... cold toilet seats... Yes, i still have to shower by bucket and basin, but i think that the shower is being repaired soon... i hope. It is seriously a memorable area, and i love it alot. You would not believe the scenery. and the people are sooo humble and nice. I am learning the language, Kikamba, and i am aiming to actually learn it fluently. I am on my way! Needless to say, it is going to make for a ton of memories :)

My companion is Elder Mkhungo from South Africa. He is a great guy and he is super fun and relaxed. We get along well, and when we teach i can feel that the Holy Ghost is drawing us together to teach. I really love this work and the great blessing i have to serve.

Pictures - they are coming. I am going to send home everything soon, probably when i visit Nairobi sometime soon.

I am happy to hear about Benny and his games. You gotta gimme stats and details - I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT COOL PLAYS HE MAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And tell Jessica he wasn't the one. He sounds like a great man, but he wasn't the one. No worries! Hakuna matata! Give my consolation to Jessica ok? I love her so much. And tell Danny he needs to email me! i want to email him too, but he hasn't replied to any of mine! I wanna talk to him too cuz i FLIPPIN LOVE HIM.

Well Daddio, the picture you sent of the horse didn't pull up, and i don't know why. But can you add it again as an attachment and maybe it'll pull up? Because i want to see it really badly. Even print it off and get it laminated and hang it in our flat.

I love you dad. You never cease to be my best friend and support. Life is good here and time is flying! This is a precious gift to serve here. Just look at these pictures and imagine - I get to tread these beautiful hills daily and see all this amazing stuff. I get to serve the Lord and get blessings sent to these people and back to you all. Ahhh... Everything about this all is a blessing. Wanna hear a funny story? Ok!

STORYTIME!!!! I was using the hole in a shop, and as i was [thus engaged,] (*modification to original text by editor),  i saw a flash of white and something fell into the hole. I waited about 3 seconds and heard a *splat*, confirming that something had, indeed, fallen into the hole. Well, turned out to be my white handbook. Well no big deal right? WRONG! It had my mission ATM card, my Kenyan alien I.D. card, and about 1000 shilling. HAHAHAHA!!! Funny the kind of little trials we are allowed to suffer in life. Well, i wasn't worried. Everything can be replaced with time and all will be well :) Funny huh? When it fell and after it splatted, i just froze for like 10 seconds, ruminating on what had just occured. In my head, "...... yeah...... darnit.... that was important stuff...." We all got a good laugh out of it :)

Love you forever Dad. Life is great. Your son is working hard, and i am trying to do what i am supposed to do. Eh... It's not easy, but this will all be worth it. I know it with all my heart. We may have a few good baptisms lined up as well. Love you forever! With this training, i will be WAY ready for Long's Peak. It'll be a walk in the park, literally. Just wait for the pics :)

With eternal love from your first son,
Elder Schneider

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

FIRST TRANSFER! Wednesday June 20th

This keyboard is broken and i wrote a HUGE message and it deleted it. So... I can try again haha.
As for the pictures, here is what we're gonna do. It is soemthing an Elder in my district does, and i am going to start it when i receive the next SD card in the package in Nairobi. So the SD card now, i will send it home in the journal that i am sending home for ytou all to read so that you can see the cool stories that i didn't tell. When i get the new SD card, i will probably take like... 5 or so pics a week, right? And a few videos? Well, weekly i will upload them to an email and send a few at a time every week. Sound good? And then i will also send the SD card home when it is full or when you give me another to use. That way you can get weekly pics.
I AM GOING TO KILUNGU!!!!!! Eastern Province, and VERY RURAL!!!!! We're talking most rural place in the mission man. No towns in the area or in the zone. So no supermarkets! We walk, there's not even many piki piki's. There are alot of mangos, and even wild animals there apparently! But not dangerous. My new companion is Elder Mkhungo from South Africa. Everyone has good things to say about him so i am hopeful. Either way, i will form my own opinion of him when i get there. But Kilungu... it is outside of Nairobi and it is rural. And i am excited :)
But as for leaving Naitiri, i just felt normal when i left. I felt like it was time to leave, and i wasn't exactly sad. But i was thinking, and i just want to know that i made a difference in these people's lives, and that i did something to build the Kingdom of God here. After the death of Spencer W. Kimball, Gordon B. Hinckley was relating something he said to him once. President Hinckley said, "I once tried to slow him down a little. He stopped me and said quietly, 'Gordon, my life is like my shoes - to be worn out in service.'" Dad, I want to be like President Kimball. I want to be so dedicated in body and Spirit, and especially will-power, that i serve and serve and serve until i literally can't, or there's no more to do. I want to become somebody who is 100% devoted to the Lord's work. I can't think of anything in life that would ever give me the satisfaction that serving the Lord does. Seriously, on reflection, my mind is totally devoted. But my body and will-power are weak! I have promised myself that in Kilungu, i am going to do EVERYTHING for others before I help myself. I will stay clean and hygienic, but i must serve harder if my Spirit is going to rest at the end of my mission, with the knowledge that i spent the Lord's sacred time well. When i do that, i will come home happily.
Dad, i want my life to be like my shoes - to be worn out in service. I have to Dad. My heart is so full of love for you and that family right now, and i have to tell you that i intend to serve the Lord forever. I simply can't find any other way to be happy like i know serving the Lord will make me. I know very few things Dad. I mean "know" as in, nothing in Earth nor Hell can shake me from it. But i know these things (and some others).
1. Wickedness never was happiness.
2. There is a God. He reigns supreme and He created everything.
3. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Every time i read, no matter where i read or what i read, i find consolation and counsel. No Earthly book has ever come close to what i have read in that Book.
4. I know that family bonds are the strongest we make in this life.
5. I know the Church is true. Life without this church is a droning, aimless waste of sacred time in mortality.
6. I know that obedience is the only way to happiness and peace.
Those are some things i know for sure. I don't know much Dad, but i know those. I testify boldly in the name of Jesus Christ Himself that those are truths that will never pass away. There are much bigger things at work in this Universe than our jobs, school, money, possessions, etc. And i intend to be a part of the Eternal work forever. But i gotta start now. I love you so much Dad, and i want to make the Lord proud. I am so thankful that you are my dad, and i couldn't ask for more.  I love you forever, and please share those 6 truths with the family. Ben and Dan and Mom and Jess need to know that i know those things with every energy i can muster, and that i would labor a million years before i would deny any of those things. Those are truths i will die knowing. i love you Dad.

From Elder Arineitwe, June 19

Dear, Dad
 To be honest I have seen the hand of the  Lord in my life so strong,  The hand of the Almighty is moving so clear that all eyes around can see without doubt. We were helping a less active member to realise who is. Ben that is, We went to his House and he seemed to view the Gospel as on the side of the take it for granted part of it. we helped him know who he is and allowed time for the Holy Ghost to perform a work in him. Ben is A changed man as I speak, We did not tell him about what he should do because to be honest Ben knows what he should do, We inspired him to rise to his full portentail. We just treated him like what He should become and right now as we speak, Ben is doing his very best to become what he should become. After a month and a half of missing church. Ben made it this Sunday and promised  that He has just began. We think that happened after we told him by the power of the Holy Ghost that he is part of the work. More miracles have happened, we were blessed with an opportunity to talk to MR Peter. after a reasonable conversation , he was so interested in knowing how his ancestors that have passed on can receive the ordinances of salvation. We told him that it will begin with him. This morning He called. we hope to meet with him a gain. We are shifting our focus to around members homes. That way, investigators have a full support. We worked in a members garden last week, we are going to complete the work on the next time we serve him. My trainer however is being transferred, tomorrow He will be on his way to a new area, that is kind of sad because He was of great support. Iam praying that my next companion will be committed like him.

Monday, June 18, 2012

From Elder Arinetiwe (Habibu) Conrad's Comp and my adopted son.

Dad, Am so happy at the glance of your reply that is cool that  the weather there is changing. there is a place in my district that has the same weather conditions. I do not mean that it snows there but it keeps switching thought the month. We are working hard [kabisa] kiswahili word meaning very much. YAH... the package finally got here, we were told. by some of Elder in the office that we have a package there we both were so happy. We are hoping to find it at the zone leader's flat. We are preparing for a baptism this week. the candidate is called Elizabeth. she is progressing well. this week we had the best spiritual experience ever, Last Saturday we went to see a less active member called Ben and his mother, we did not give them a call because all there phones were off. And My companion was the only person who knew the way to where Ben stays. He even was not quite sure. Off we went. I carefully followed in his foot steps with a question on the back of my mind, ." What if he does not remember, will we ever find Ben's house?" Then I choose to walk by faith not by sight. We when passed a small river with rocks on both ends that would allow us to cross uninterrupted. Finally after finding our way through a very tinny path, Ben's mother showed up. "welcome" she said. We talked for a while, doctrine was shared, testimonies were born, then at the end of the meeting Ben said. " you have inspired me." I thought that it was a great achievement for him to say that. Ben is also preparing to serve a mission but he had missed church for a while. He claims that he is so busy, we promised him to help with the garden work. He was happy. I think he felt we do care. then He also promised to come to church this Sunday. Time for returning home was near, We got out of their house and when we got to Mukuyini market, the weather changed, the clouds of rain filled the sky, the My companion suggested, " I feel like we should not go home now, well I do not know why but that is how I feel. I first thought, " why would he feel this way.?" then later I said to my self, " maybe it is the Spirit of the Lord causing him to feel such a way. I simply followed his feeling without knowing what lies a head. Soon clouds gathered and a heavy rain poured. We were afraid because it was raining and the road was soon to be so unfair. As the rain stopped a man came with his car and offered us a free ride home. What joy that filled my heart that I was able to recognize that my trainer's feeling was of the Holy Ghost and because  we both responded, Heavenly Father sent a car to take us home in that time when the road was bad.          

June 12th

Funny enough, this week i was studying in my room and i was trying to think hard. And i decided, i need to gain a witness of the truth in the same manner which i counsel investigators to: Read, ponder, and pray. So as i was reading, i felt like i should go read JSH. As i did, i just felt strongly that all this stuff couldn't last so long or go so far if it was fake. Joseph Smith MUST have seen Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And that is amazing! And i also sat and wrote in my journal about all the stuff the Church and this Gospel has done for my life. And wow man! I encourage you to try it. Maybe for FHE. I was astounded. Like for example, it drew our family together; gave me direction for the future; gave me purpose; gave me a reason to live and grow and be better; gave me a reason to love everybody; and the list goes on and on and on! It was powerful, and at the end, i concluded - this Church is undeniably true. NOW, i know. And i am contented to say that i know because the Holy Ghost has proved it to my heart and mind. Ahh... happy sigh... now i know.
By the way, Elder Arineitwe's birthday is on June 25. I don't know if you guys wanna send him a lil' tiny package, or a card or something? Just a lil' treat.
By the way, this past week, my chest was hurting really bad when i swallowed and breathed deep. Well, a few phone calls and check-ups from the new couple missionaries later, and BOOM! I had trachial bronchitis!! I was on (am on) antibiotics. And man... we didn't even go work wednesday, thursday, or friday because i couldn't eat or walk without getting dizzy. It sucked man... But on the bright side, elder Arineitwe and I had some GREAT quality time while i was dying. Now the pain is basically gone, and "it's all good!"

Friday, June 8, 2012

From Conrad to Ben


This'll give you a laugh. Well, there's this lil weedy guy that works at the petrol pump in Naitiri named Edward. He is a self-proclaimed pastor (which is the occupation of about 1/3 of the people here, literally not an exaggeration). So one day, we ride up on a piki piki that had to get gas before we left to an area and Edward goes, "Praise King Jesus!" So we were like, just looking at him. He says it again.  and again. and again. And finally his smile kinda fades, and quietly he goes, "Brothers, when i say 'Praise King Jesus', you are supposed to say, 'Amen!'. ok?" hahaha well, we said ok sure! Well last Thursday or so, we pull up again, and we're like, "Hey Edward!" and he smiles all big and goes, "Praise King Jesus!"
Us: "Amen."
"PRAISE King Jesus!"
"Yeah, amen."
"PRAISE KING JESUS!!!!!!" Basically, he got progressively louder and more psychotic until he was saying "PRAISE KING JESUS!!" like that "makes you feel good" guy from Dad's mission. Ask him about it.
So after Edward got done convulsing i was laughing my guts out at his craziness, and we drove off and it pretty much cheered me up nicely :)

Moral of the story? Well, if a crazy weedy guy who works at a gas station starts yellin' PRAISE KING JESUS, say Amen and run away.

Love you forever Benny. How is the summer going? And are you and Dan and Dad gonna build a parking garage for Momma? Or a greenhouse or a shed? I remember something like that...
Love you Benjamin. You are my hero. We are going to have a ripe ole' time wrestling when i get home :)
Love, Conrad

Ben and Elder Arineitwe Email

Dear brother, We are doing good, we work really hard every day to help
others receive the restored Gospel. thank you for the reply to the
Email. Well AII is good here , its a rainy season and we are using
boots to handle the mad. Am so happy that you felt the spirit from a
distance. Well for me Like martial arts, While young I watched too
many art movies, Well that was when I was not yet a member but I think
that is what I grew up liking. Concerning wrestling. It will come as
you practice. Mission is good and you will be a good missionary some
day too. we will keep in  you in our prayers. We love you. On this
P.DAY we are having a zone activity. and I always love working out for
an extra   hour on the P days.

On 5/1/12, Benjamin Schneider <> wrote:
> Hello Habibu!
> How are you doing? I heard all about how you became a member the church and
> I also read the E-mail you sent to, Our father. I nearly cried when i heard
> both. I felt the spirit through that E-mail to my Dad, and I also felt your
> strong Testimony. I felt your testimony from thousands of miles away. Your
> letting your light shine to people on the other side of the world.  Way to
> go, brother.Thank you very much for your compliments to me and my family.
> It means a lot. Also, what kind of things do you like to do? What do you
> like to do on P-days? I heard that you taught Conrad some fighting stuff.
> If you don't mind, I'd love to learn. I need to know so that I'll be
> prepared when he comes back from his mission to wrestle me.
> Well, I'm gonna go now. See ya later! Have a good day, and may the spirit
> be with you!
>                - Ben

"Yes mother." (Happy now?)

Yes, Dad is a dork. A big one! But we couldn't have him any other way. That's just big ole' daddio :) By the way, are you going to go on the weight-loss crusade with him? I would love you to climb Long's Peak with us when we get home too. I wawnt Dad to take this weight loss thing seriously. It's important to me :)

that is AWESOME about Ben's game!!!! I am amazed that he is pitching. Wow. To think, he used to be horrible, but now he's a pitcher. I am so proud of him :) haha! i got that Katniss joke, it made me chuckle!! 20+ years of marriage with the wierdest family on Earth has really taken it's toll, huh?

As for off-roading in the Grand Am.... who you been talking to? Ben didn't say anything did he?

I am so happy to hear about the good news with our relatives!! Especially Matt, i was praying for him. i am glad that he is really searching for a job. He is such a good man. Give him my deepest love ok?
And as for Franny, i am glad she is happy!! Tell her that her little missionary is having a jolly old time. Tell her, "Jeepers! This is all just swell! But some people are off their rockers!" :) And what did Aunt Laurie say? How much better is she doing? Is she still in the hospital?

As for Bishop Dance, call him Sheldon for me, then punch him. then demand that he sends me a letter. I WANT ONE FROM SHELDON!!!!!

i worked with an African jembe this week. You know those funky looking hoes you see in old books about Africans ploughing a farm or something? Well, it's called a jembe, and i used one, African style this week.

We met an old mama in a wheel chair in an area called Mitua. She has no use of her legs, and she is fairly crippled physically. Mentally, she's all there. Our hearts went out to this old woman, who's only source of real help is her husband, who is in the hospital. Well, we decided to weed her "shumba" (farm). It was not too big... but it wasn't small. I have never sweated more than that :P And guess what, we even got some members from the branch involved! Well, by the time we finished, i only had 8 blisters! Which is better than the first time i used a jembe in the early stages of mission. That time i had 11. This time, only 8. AND, my hands will have less next time. I was really feeling part of Kenya at that point. Weeding a shumba, with a traditional jembe, in the hot African sun. Wow.
As for everything else, transfers are in 2 weeks. I most likely will not stay in Naitiri. But Elder Arineitwe has it all under control. I trust him, and he is awesome :) I am glad you are happy mama :) The world is bright! Six months... I was reminiscing about coming home while washing my clothes today. Ech... time is flying. I love you forever, and nothing can stop our reuniting! :)
With eternal love,
Conraddie :)

From Elder Arineitwe June 5th

We recently went to one of the investigators house, and they had invited there pastors over with out our knewledege. When we entered there house we first thought the three men were visitors. All was well at first, then later in at a time, we asked the members of the huose wether they red the Book of Mormon. Then the head of the house Mr Kulobe, said " By the way ,which Gospel are you preaching, is it?. I think this book will not help me , What do you think pastor." then we new that the three men in the house were pastors. All of them were waiting for what we are going to say. Then they asked us endless questions that were all answered. To be honest, I do not know clearly how we were able to answer all there queations. At the end of the meeting we waved at them as we went to another a pointment. Then, it was a Sabbath day. We had a thuoght full exprience of feeling good adout mission as we knew that we are Gathering Isreal.

I can exchange me life for a phrase, " the church is true. Yes I know with all my heart that this is the truth. We are pressing on.