An African Heart

An African Heart

Monday, December 9, 2013

Saying "Goodbye" to Kenya

Conrad's flight took off at 12:10 am (2:10pm Idaho).  We are so excited to see him and we know he is excited to come home, but we also know he is a little heartbroken as he says goodbye to a land and people that he has come to love so dearly.    He will be arriving in Idaho Falls at 8:20 pm tomorrow, the 10th.

Getting on the plane in about 5 hours!


Monday, December 2, 2013

The End!!

I have no time, but i also have nothing to say that i can't tell you in one week! I love you all with all my heart and we will talk much when i come. Please keep Kenya in your prayers, and know that I intend to catch up with each of you individually. Love you forever, see you soon :)

With all my love, Elder Schneider

p.s. Please bring no music in the car to pick me up. Please bring me a giant winter coat. Please bring some cookies or almond roca. And at the house, please have Christmas music ready. Love you :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Second to Last

that... is a weird thing to type. and even weirder to think about.

This week went fantastic. Sunday the branch President wanted us to have a missionary sunday, and it went AMAZING!! I gave a talk, taught the adults Gospel essentials class, and also taught Relief Society. The spirit was so strong, especially because we were also fasting as a branch for missionary work to pick up. I have faith that it will. Maybe I will be gone, but it will pick up. if i can just prepare the field for harvesting, then I will be happy when future missionaries here harvest. We had NINE less active members at church on sunday and 5 investigators. We got 3 on baptismal date this week, 15th of December :) Happy birthday Jessie :) Elder Beacom and I are working really well together, so I am super happy about that.

I have no time this week, but I want you all to know that I love you very much. I have a testimony of the necessity of application of Gospel living. Faith without works is dead. Even a drunkard can say that he believes in Jesus Christ, but it is our actions and words and appearance which set us apart from the rest. We are, as Paul said, a "peculiar people". The greatest commandment is to first love God with everything that we are. Next, second only to loving our Almighty and Omnipotent God, is to love our neighbor. Make sure we have love within the family please. We are together eternally. When we learn to love celestially now, Heaven comes much closer. Love you all with all my heart. Please know that I really do have high expectations for our family because I am a witness of the blessings He has given us. they are uncountable, trust me, I will explain more when I see you all in 2 weeks. Go to the temple. Read your scriptures every day. Pray to the Lord and speak to your Father as you would speak to our Dad, Dale. Observe strictly the Sabbath day. And know that I love you forever. See you soon :)

With eternal love for you all, Conrad

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Third to Last..

(Received November 18)

Yeah, it is not registering with me either. In three weeks from today, I will be on a plane back to Idaho.

I have no time, but this week was really nice. Elder Beacom, my companion from South Africa, is AWESOME. He is my first white companion and we get along really well. He is alot like us boys, weird and dorky. But being around him has shown me that I have grown up a bit..... makes me feel kidna weird haha. But we are rockin and gettig TONS of new investigators. Soon we should have quite a few on baptismal date. Like, over 10. The Lord prospers the work when our faith is high and we work hard. I am seeing that that is true.

I am FLIPPIN excited for MoTab. What will be the game plan for that? Where will we stay? How long will we be down in Utah? How was Ben's brithday? Why have Ben and Dan fallen off the face of the Earth, never to email their Kenyan brother ever again?? ;)

We'll talk more family, shoot me some final emails. By the time I write again, I will have 2 weeks left. 14 days. Nashuhudia kwamba kazi hii ni kazi Yake, hata Yesu Kristo. Tukinaimani, na tukitumikia na bidii, Yesu atatupatia matunda. Anatupenda sana, na tunampenda pia, sindio? :) (I testify that this work is His work, even Jesus Christ. If we have faith, and if we serve with hard work, Jesus will give us fruits. He loves us so much, and we love him too, right?)

Love always, still Elder Schneider

It's..uh...STILL THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Clever title, eh?

Well this week wasn't quite as great as last week. I had my last zone conference! Crazy to think about that those are over.

Remember that family that I told you about? His name was James and his wife is Julie. We taught them the Restoration on Sunday and AH! Amazing lesson for sure. Everything went perfect, and they were excited when we finished the lesson. So much so they are asking us to come multiple times per week. This Thursday we are committing them to baptism, so I will let you know how that goes. 5 of them :) This Gospel is TRUE, kabisa.

We also have some good potential investigators as well, so we'll see how all that goes. I don't have much time, that's why I am being short. But as for school, I haven't even thought to ponder about it. I don't know, the whole idea of what's gonna happen there kinda makes me tired to think about. I will try and fit time to ponder on it this week if all the other responsibilities are taken care of. But I am pretty sure I will be coming home for a while. It is true that I would be rushing things if I jumped into it so quickly. Why don't we say that that is my decision for now. Come home. Get things sorted and then get down to business. I mean school... man i'm so flippin hungry right now.

Well I started a branch choir and they aren't half bad! None are severely tone deaf, so we have good things ahead!! I wrote an arrangment for "Redeemer of Israel", and it is pretty simple but cool. I will make a copy of it before I let Sister Anderson, who is my pianist for this, takes it. We are planning to sing at the dedication or opening of the new chapel that was built here :) history in the making.

I wrote an email to the mission and thanked them for their friendship and love and everything while I was an assistant, and many of them wrote back some touching things! I love these Elders and Sisters so much. I feel like I have made a difference. In my mission, I know I have done the will of the Lord so far. His Spirit has confirmed that to me, and that is the best blessing I could ask for. I simply need to push harder for these 4 weeks and the Lord will accept my service, I know it.

Ben, HAPPY FLIPPIN BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll write more in a personal email. :)

Love you all to death. Miss you guys, for real. But time is short :)

Love always, Conrad

From Conrad's Dad....Can't wait to watch Major Payne with you!!!


Inline image 1

IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy mackerel says it all. So, without further ado, "Holy mackerel."

I'M BACK IN BUSINESS BABY!!!!!! WOOOO!!!!!!!! and i am LOVING being out in the field again. It feels absolutely wonderful. I have the Spirit with me all the time, and when I don't I know exactly what I need to do or repent for to get Him back. Being close to President Hicken has been the best thing for my life and mission. I will be eternally grateful for President Hicken. I love him so much.

Every lesson we have taught so far, including Sunday ones where they asked me to speak, I can feel the Spirit working through me. The Spirit has even given me discernment to peoples feelings and thoughts. I'm not even joking. I was teaching something in Elder's Quorum about being an ensign to the nations. The Spirit was with me, as the Lord so graciously grants me when I ask, and i was prompted to mention what they were thinking and feeling. they even affirmed that it was indeed what they were feeling and thinking. It was a very special experience. I know what the Spirit feels like and how He speaks to me now. I will definitely continue to hone my sensitivity to His voice, but I have to thank my God for how good He has been to me. He loves me so much, and obviously you too. He is so good to us. The blessings just never stop coming. I never want to stop serving, and it's going to absolutely break my heart to leave my mission. Among the countless blessings, i am happy that I have just been able to be an instrument in His hands.

We even found a BIG family in just these 4 days since I came! They WANT to learn about why there are so many churches and how we can know the right one!! They, in essence, ASKED for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ!!! That is no coincidence. We are meeting them again next Sunday to discuss the restoration. We will commit them to baptism as well, all 10 or so of them. Speaking as you brother and son, I am honestly overwhelmed and I cry when I ponder on the fact that the Lord will use us to do His work. He doesn't need to! He could do it Himself! but He lets us grow and receive the blessings from His work. That He would allow me to serve Him here in Kenya is overwhelming. I love the Lord so much. He is my friend and Savior.

We are heading off to an appointment now, but thanks a billion for the package, I got it and I have been enjoying it with my companions. that shirt is AWESOME JESSIE!!!!!! People have offered to trade, buy, and steal it already!!! But all three offers were denied. It's special to me :)

And MOTAB!!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE AND LITERALLY A PRAYER ANSWERED!!!!!!!!! I can't wait!!!! i'm bummed that the whole family can't come, but we can still be in Utah together for some time. That idea, of a road trip and small vacation together melts my heart :)

I hope you know I love you all with all my heart and more. I am willingly obedient and I love the Lord and His Gospel. This Church is true. Please let me know how each of you are doing. I want to hear from you as my mission is nearing an end. Love you all :)

Love always,

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Nice Week

Yup. It was a nice week! We prepared for the Mission Leadership Council which was held in Nairobi on Friday. We studied ALOT of material and got an idea of what we would be doing, and then we let the Spirit guide and wow wow wow. Went fantastic. The last time I cried while bearing testimony was like, last year. I have found that back home I thought crying = good testimony. Wrong. The Spirit can make you cry, and there's nothing really wrong with crying, but for me I generally bear testimony and don't cry. But I was pretty dern choked up while I bore testimony on Friday. In answer to my prayers, the Lord has granted me charity for all these missionaries. I know them well and I really do love them. It's going to be very hard to not get to see them anymore, and I can tell you right now that leaving my mission will be harder than when I left home. Ugh... I love serving the Lord and there's still so much I could do if I had more time, but there is a time and a place for everything, and I will simply continue to serve just as faithfully in whatever calling I have when I'm home. For now, I am thoroughly enjoying my time out here :)

We also had a talent show today in Nairobi Stake. Elder Jensen, one of my best buddies (who really was one of my best buddies in the pre-mortal existence because we can finish each other's sentences, almost literally) and I with Elder Gideon put together some musical numbers. First we did a trio of "God loved us so He sent His Son", which we had done a few times before with a missionary choir. Then, we did "How Great Thou Art", Backstreet Boys style, and it turned out beautiful actually. Haha people began to get really excited. Then the finale - a hip hop version of "Battle Hymn of the Republic". People went crazy. They were so excited when we finished! And not cuz we were bad, cuz they liked it! So i can only imagine the musical fusion that will flow when Elder Jensen (Blaine is his first name) and I and Tanner and Benny and Daniel get together and get down with our bad selves. Oh yeah.

I am really pleased to serve the Lord in the calling of an Assistant. But I feel like I can always do more! It's not a very good feeling... which means it may not be from God... but I just feel like I am not doing very much. I will be able to serve my last transfer, next transfer, in the field before coming home. That's in 3 weeks, and I'll keep you updated on where I go and what happens. I love these people and this country. I pray that I can do what He wants me to do and be humble enough to be His instrument. I want to do good because He needs people He can trust. Plus I am happy when I do good. I don't ever want to let my pride keep me from learning from others no matter who it is; keep me from doing what the Spirit tells me to, even if I disagree; making things right, apologizing, or humbling myself to admit that I'm wrong, or anything else. Pride is so dangerous and I am prone to it, so my guard is high against it. I have, with the Lord's help and President Hicken's help, cleaned my thoughts. I have bad thoughts now and then, but when a bad thought comes, I go to the Celestial room of the IF temple and "Abide with me, 'tis eventide" plays in head to invite the Savior's presence and Spirit, and ell evil goes as I focus on clearing my thoughts. I have really seen that the promise in Ether 12:27 is true, that the Lord will, when we humble ourselves and come to Him and do what we must, progressively and line upon line build our weaknesses into strengths. Man family!!! The Gospel is so liberating and comforting and secure. I can't ever leave it no matter what life throws at me. I love the Lord and my Father alot. And of course, love you all too. You guys are so cool. Hope you have a fantastic week, and remember, "I know that wrestling is fun... a nice punch to the face, pile-driver to the face... but you cannot do it! Because it says in the Bible not to wrestle your neighbor..." (Nacho Libre)

With all my love, Conrad

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 2.... gone?!?!?!?!

I should start this email by doing what the Spirit tells me to, and that is to tell my wonderful eternal family how much I love them and appreciate them. You are amazing people and we are a family that is loved and watched over by the Lord and our Father. Angels are continually protecting us as long as we are doing the right things and being safe and healthy. I love you all very much. My patriarchal blessing has a line that says, "I bless you to be forever grateful for the home you were blessed to be born in that you could come into a home and be born under the covenant and know you are truly blessed to be part of a family that have the blessings of eternal marriage and family." And the blessing is 100% fulfilled. I am sure I will see even more as I progress through mortality, but I have felt recently how amazing each of you are and how much you all contributed to me being a worthy Priesthood man. Thank you all with all the sincerity I can put into an email. I pray you will feel the Spirit testify to you that not only do I love you, but our living Lord, Jesus Christ, is watching you now and loves you even more. I know that is how it is.

The tragedy of Westgate was pretty terrible. So uh...... yeah..... the reason you never received an email was cuz President had me come to the office with my comp and get on the office computer and send out a mass email. And in compiling the contacts and everything, I seem to forgotten to put my mom and dad in....? BUT!! I had sent Mom an email only a few hours prior so I figured ya'll would be ok. But all the missionaries were safe. A couple missionary were inside when it started, but amid bullets and grenades of terrorist, escaped unscathed and helped a few other old people out. Amazing, and terrifying at the same time. That's the first miracle, that they escaped fine. The second miracle: President and Sister Hicken had left the mall only minutes prior to the attack!!! They had felt like going early to the mall for shopping that Saturday, not knowing it was a prompting, and the Lord saved them. Third miracle: This one will put you on edge a bit. Elder Gideon and I had planned to go and visit Westgate that very day. It was our p-day and he had never been. However, neither of us felt like going and felt a bit tired and so we simply didn't. Talk about the Lord's complete intervention. He protects his saints and servants. Take care of the Lord's things and He will take care of you.

On a lighter note, I am so happy to be with Elder Gideon again. He is such a great missionary and brother to me. We get along great, and each of us have skills and abilities that makes our duties pretty dang easy and extremely enjoyable. President says I will leave the office at the end of this transfer, which is right at the end of October. And then... my last 6 weeks starts. Ugh......... my head swims with a billion different thoughts and too many emotions when I think about it. But I am doing my best to make the most of my mission still. I still crave to be obedient because I am always happy when I am. Being obedient is so satisfying!! The Spirit will be with you and you know the Lord would be pleased with you. I'm definitely not perfect, but I am trying to do better. Elder Gideon is a great companion. We really feed off of each other's positive encouragement and I feel great when we are companions. We'll be brothers and friends forever, no doubt.

This Sunday, tomorrow, we will be going to Mwanza in TZ. Then this week we are getting ready to start a tour around the mission for MLC, mission leadership councils. President Hicken really has us do alot. It is helping me grow in too many ways. I love it so much. BAH!!!

How is Tanner doing? And when you guys see him next, will you get his personal email and have him email me with it. I only have his mission one which I think will shut down soon. And what about Justin Moscon??? Where the heck did he disappear to?!?!? Oh yeah, been emailing Hailey... she's doing great :)

Not much else to report. Time is dwindling for me, and it is the most bittersweet I have felt in my life thus far. We are working hard here and I am doing my best to stay humble. I love the Lord. Tonight, me and my companion, along with the Office Elders, Elder Cele and Elder DeWitt, are going to read the Old Testament around a campfire. I am almost brought to tears at thinking I will have to leave my mission. Yuck. But keep up daily scripture study. I know it isn't easy, but you will rarely feel uneasy or unrest or stress if you devote time to the Lord every day. Love you all so much. I do miss you, but I know the Plan of Salvation and I know everything will be well no matter what happens. Please stay healthy.

Love always,
Elder Schneider

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Busy Week and Mixed Feelings

As the title implies (as it almost always does) this was... well... a busy week and i had mixed feelings throughout the week!

From last week, we were finalizing transfers, and guess who my new companion is? ELDER GIDEON AGAIN!!!!!!! :D :D :D We are pretty flippin excited for this privilege to be together again. We work really well together and are good buddies. Unfortunately, President Hicken has informed me that the Brethren have asked that no Assistant ever finish their mission in the office, therefore I will be leaving the office after this transfer. That means I have five weeks left as an Assistant. Then I will spend my last six weeks in a proselyting area somewhere. I have mixed feelings because I have grown very close to the Hickens, and also Elder Gideon is awesome and we work well together. To be together for 2 transfers as Assistants would have been awesome. But, I am very excited to get out and go work again. I have my fingers partly crossed for Tanzania so I can solidify my Swahili before I come home. But whatever the Lord desires from me, I will do it. He has been so good to me and done things for me and granted me my desires throughout my whole mission. He has taught me lessons and made known His presence and His love on too many occasions. It took alot to teach me, but I can't deny or doubt that He and His Son live and love us. Jesus Christ is so much more than the world makes Him to be. There shouldn't be a time when He and His standards and expectations are not forefront in our minds and hearts. Personally, I really do love Him because I know He has done TONS for me. Some I see, some I don't see but He still does it all for me. I thank Him for all that He has done and I completely willingly will do all that He asks of me.

Transfers were crazy, cuz they were quite big. But with the Lord's help, I was able to direct them and they went smoothly. As of today (Saturday), everyone is in their new areas and they are happy and continuing in the work. Transfer week is always early mornings and late nights, so we got sleep when we could. Haha, over Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I think I slept less than 10 hours though... a bit crazy :) But all is well now, President Hicken is very pleased, and Elder Gideon and I are rejuvenated. As Elder Gideon has been learning to drive in Nairobi, he is doing well. The driving is so insane that is an acquired skill. It makes me realize what an absolute miracle it was for me to learn. I learned:
1. To drive stick in 2 days
2. To drive it in Nairobi
3. Opposite sides (steering on the right, drive on the left side of the road)
Man...... the fast that we had all together really brought results according to our faith and the will of God. Cuz now i can drive stick just fine. Elder Gideon says I drive like I have been driving stick for a long time. Ha..... and by the way, I want a stick shift when I get home. That will be my goal for a car. Preferable a small truck :) Oh yeah!!!!

I have less than 80 days left, according to one particularly trunky Elder in my group. We have been doing lots of scheduling and coordinating and preparation for President and his conferences and councils up until December. As the senior Assistant it is alot of responsibility, especially since President has now informed me unless he is otherwise informed, I will be leaving the office after this transfer. So I have to teach Elder Gideon EVERYTHING in the next five weeks. Whew.... but the Lord can do it, and Elder Gideon can do it. He is an awesome guy, my brother really. We're very close and I am thankful for it. You ALL should email him if you would, just let him know we all love him. President even had us do some disciplinary stuff with him. It was amazing, and we learned tons from what he had us do. He is so willing to teach us at every opportunity. Again, another mercy from God. I will use them in whatever calling my future may hold.

So this month, we will be going around for Mission Leadership Councils. We will visit Kisumu, Arusha, and Mombasa. We will also go to Mwanza to visit. These will be my last travels as well :) Time is running low! Elder Lawson got home and even sent me a picture. Yech....... well, love you all to death. Hope you're still good. Stay healthy please.

Love always, Elder Schneider

Monday, September 23, 2013

From President Hicken regarding my inquiry about terrorist attacks in Nairobi

Dear Bro. Schneider,
All missionaries serving in Nairobi proper have been on lockdown since the attack occurred on Saturday afternoon. This morning I let the missionaries on the southern part of town, several miles from northern Nairobi where the attack took place, back out to proselyte.

 Elder Schneider is very safe and is normally with me.
We notified all parents and/or priesthood leaders on Saturday night that all missionaries were in their flats and safe. 

Elder Schneider helped make most of those notifications but must have forgotten his own parents. 

Sorry for missing you.

All other missionaries are far from Nairobi and not anywhere near this event. 

With much love and regard for your son
Pres. Hicken 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mission Tour, Transfers, and 2 transfers to go

Well......... thanks to the title of this email, I hope there will be no confusion as to the topics which I will address within this email. If there are....... well.......... awkward.......

From the Thursday that we went to Eldoret, it was a crazy ride. Thursday August 29th, we went to Eldoret in the afternoon. President did some interviews, and the next day Elder Mkhabela of the 70 (area 70 I think, or maybe the 2nd or 3rd Quorum) came to get ready for Eldoret District Conference. Saturday and Sunday was the district conference for the Eldoret district. Unfortunately, I didn't see much growth from early 2012 when I was there with Naitiri. However, while numbers have stayed small, the actual spirituality has gone up according to my feelings. People felt more spiritually mature. Elder Mkhabela gave some nice talks too, interesting ones. Overall it was an interesting little experience. Got to do some service as well, so..... yeah.....

OK on to the interesting stuff. Elder Renlund arrived on Sunday evening but we didn't get to hang with him. Elder Renlund last spoke in the October 2009 General Conference, a VERY good talk and interesting too, called "Preserving the Heart's Mighty Change". So my companion and I, with some of our trusty zone leaders, went early to clean the chapel. It was spotless and good-looking when Elder Renlund came!! We had a fantastic zone conference, and Elder Renlund shared some great counsel in a leadership meeting before the main meeting. I will summarize the counsel he gave after a summary of events.
After the conference, we ate some delicious food, and I got to talk a long time with a senior couple called the Moons while eating. It was really nice, and that guy has seen alot of miracles in his life. Miracles really do happen according to the great plan of God. After eating, we took off to the airport. At the airport, we still weren't exactly comfortable with Elder Renlund. In that I mean that we hadn't gotten to know him much yet, so we didn't openly just go and talk to him. But as my companion and I were sitting aside from President Hicken and his wife, and Elder Renlund and his wife, we were both thinking, "Man, it would be cool to ask him some questions." Elder Renlund comes out of the bathroom, and as he's about to walk back to his seat, he turns abruptly and sits down with us and says, "Ok Elders, do you have any questions for me?" WOOO!!! So immediately, I fired off a question and asked him what the apostles are like. I've never met one so I was super curious, plus it's the first thing that came to mind haha. He then proceeded to give me and my comp a rundown of each apostle, one by one. What they're like, how they act, all these things. Elder Renlund has spent alot of time with the apostles in his time as a GA and in his profession at times. It was SO cool. Unfortunately we only got to Russell M. Nelson before they called for boarding.
When we got to Nairobi, we went home for the night. Elder Mulondo and I, that same night, did all our wash (with a new washer that the mission got us cuz our other one was dying. A REAL WASHING MACHINE!!!! :D :D :D) and packed for Mombasa, since the next day we would not go back home before traveling to our next destination.
Tuesday morning, another leadership meeting, this time that really pricked my heart but also taught me one of the most impressing lessons I have experienced. My leadership has changed because of it. It was all about Leadership in the Church, and how it differs so much from other leadership positions. And it really does, a TON. But we'll talk about that. The zone conference was wonderful, had a sandwich bar for lunch, and the Assistants got to meet with Elder Renlund for 30 minutes or so. He let us know that President Hicken just praised us when he talked about us, and expressed to Elder Renlund how much we help them. That was touching. Our relationship with President is really strong. We do love him and sustain him 100%. Then at 3:30 we take off to the airport to get to Mombasa. We had about 2 hours in the airport before we left. Guess who I sat next to? Yup. Elder Renlund. I asked him, "Don't you ever get tired from traveling all the time?" Cuz I was personally fatigued already from traveling straight from last Thursday and going going going. He explained that he feels tired while traveling, but when it comes time to be in the conference or any spiritual meeting, all the fatigue leaves and his focus and energy are there. It reminded me of King Benjamin in Mosiah 2:30, supported by the Lord. A miracle in itself! Cuz if I, a 20 year old, healthy young man, needed energy, after only a few days of travel, what about a 60 year old Elder who travels on a weekly basis? Cool. So we talked in the airport for a long time, and somehow settled on the topic of revelation vs. tradition. Rituals and traditions can block revelation when they become routine. No doubt this is a big reason why the Lord commanded us to refrain from vain repetitions, because how can the Holy Ghost give you certain things to pray for if every prayers goes the same way and the same things (or sometimes same words) are mentioned? It was a super enlightening chat and I am thankful for it.
When we arrived in Mombasa, a branch president who owned a matatu picked us up and drove us to the hotel (Pres and Renlunds) and the ZL's flat (my comp and I). While in the matatu, Elder Renlund shared with us about the dedicatory prayer for Central African Republic (CAR). Elder Holland dedicated it, and holy cows. Amazing. When an apostle dedicates a country for God's work, it is no joke. The Heavens listen and the prayer is fulfilled. CAR just recently got a new stake too, by the way. At home, I never appreciated what a HUGE deal it is to get a stake, since there are many. But here, where there are sometimes one per country (Uganda, Kenya, zero in Tanzania, CAR, etc.), it is a BIG milestone to form another stake. Kenya will get another eventually, after I'm gone.
The next morning, we met in Mombasa a bit late because of traffic, but had a fabulous zone conference. The leadership meeting was a great one again, and he focused on the very topic which we had discussed in the airport - revelation vs. ritual. In fact, midway through the meeting, he turned to me and said, "Elder Schneider, you may be able to teach this better than I can, so why don't you take over and discuss this principle with everyone." Sheesh! Talk about flattering me!! So I taught with Elder Renlund the principle that he had enlightened me about the evening before. Whew.... I taught with a 70 :) :)
That afternoon we got back to Nairobi, and stayed the night. I was tired. :P
Thursday morning we flew to Dar es Salaam, or as Dad calls it, Der Al Shezam. It was pretty hot... Mombasa and Dar are HUMID. We had another good conference, and Elder Renlund and Sister Renlund were both ill by the end actually. Haha, don't know why, but they were. So they went back to the hotel, I got a picture with them and everything, and said my goodbyes, and Elder Renlund expressed his great thanks to us for the work we are doing, and also reminded me that he still owes me the last half of the apostles where we left off from Eldoret airport :) He also asked Elder Mulondo and I alone to conduct the last leadership meeting!! So we did, with the ZL's, DL'z, and STL's (Sister Training Leaders). Went AWESOME.
These were the 3 main principles from all the leadership meetings which we taught:
1. Leadership in the Church. We can not lead as other things in life. In the Church, we lead like Christ. We do as Joseph Smith taught, we "teach correct principles and let them govern themselves." We exercise love, we don't seek to condemn. We have patience and hope for the best, we don't jump to conclusions. We seek to lovingly guide God's children to repentance, not to push them to inactivity. In short, where a stern hand and no mercy would suffice in most worldly and business leaderships, in the Church we lead like no others. We do not rule, we serve. Jesus taught so much about how the leader or the chiefest is to be the servant. It's something i need to work on for sure, and i have been applying it since he taught us these things and WOW. Charity skyrockets and the Holy Ghost brings consolation even when things don't go how you think they should. It is leadership that relies on the Lord, instead of trusting in your own strength and wisdom to accomplish things.
2. Christlike ways to give correction. Giving correction is not confronting somebody in a apathetic way and telling them point blank that what they did was wrong and needs to be corrected. Elder Renlund was once in Malawi with a newly called Branch President. He went to visit some members with him, and while at the first, a Priesthood blessing of healing was asked for. Elder Renlund asked the branch president to anoint, and then he would seal. This is what happened: the branch president opened the oil, held it about 3 feet above the member's head, splashed a drop on his head, and said out loud, 'I anoint you with oil so you will be healed, AMEN!' Needless to say, Elder Renlund was a little shock. But what did he do? He went ahead and sealed the anointing. I was amazed when he told us that he did that!! I was thinking, how does that work?? But Elder Renlund explained that the Lord can not sit on his throne and say, 'Because my child does not know how to anoint and has not done it correctly, I will hold back my blessings from those affected by it!!' And that is true, God would never say that. Elder Renlund, after that first blessing, walked with the branch president to the next appointment and read with the branch president from the white handbook about giving blessings, and the branch president saw for himself how to do it correctly, and corrected it form that point on! Christlike correction is lasting and humble.
3. Ritual vs. Revelation, which i addressed earlier.

All I can say is that 4 days with a 70 of the Lord was amazing. One thing Elder Renlund did every conference was deliver a message from the 1st Presidency to us in the KNM. He first taught us what the duty of a 70 is and what office he held. He didn't do this to build himself up, but instead to help us see the significance of the messages he was about to share. He shared from Exodus 24:1, 9-10; Numbers 11:4-6, 10-17; Luke 10 chapter heading; and D&C 107:21-25, 33-34. Then he delivered this 3 part message:
1. Thank you from the 1st Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 on behalf on the Lord and His Church.
2. You are called to this specific mission by the Lord Himself. And if you don't know it for sure, you have the right and the obligation to find out.
3. President and Sister Hicken are called of God to lead this mission, and were chosen unanimously by the 15 prophets, seers, and revelators to come to this exact mission.

Whew............. It was priceless to me to learn these things. I am doing my best to apply these things as Elder Renlund taught us, and as President Hicken has taught us. Elder Renlund told us on more than one occasion, "I know no finer President and wife than the Hickens." Now that is saying something considering he is the Africa Southeast Area President, and there's over 10 mission presidents currently, and he has seen over 20 come and go in his time there. And he expressed the great significance of the call the Lord has given Elder Mulondo and I to "train" and welcome the Hickens into this part of the Lord's vineyard. I don't really know how to express that I am thankful for the charge the Lord has trusted me with, but I am thankful beyond words for what the Lord has done for me, all the chances he has given me, and for all the opportunities he has given me. You are one of my infinite blessings and I love you all with all my heart :) don't count the days until I'm home, it's going too fast for me :(

Love you forever and ever!!!!
Elder Schneider

Saturday, September 7, 2013


You all thought this would be the group email, huh?!?! Well it AIN'T!!! I have no time right now as we need to go to Stake Conference saturday sessions so I will write hwne i have time, but it may not be until after Monday, or on Monday. But to give you a sneak peak, I just spent the week with a member of the 1st quorum of the 70, Elder Dale G. Renlund, and we had a grand ole' time. I learned more than I had hoped. I am thankful to God for that amazing opportunity. Love you all times infinity. Talk to you soon.

Love always, Conrad
So i don't think i ever told you all, but last Friday when we had to go to Dar with President for a district conference, with the problems at the airport from the fire that happened there on Wednesday we were delayed a bit...

We arrived at the airport just before 9 AM on Friday. Feeling fresh, crisp morning, ready to get to Dar es Salaam and get down to business. So we waited outside in a large mass of people who were also waiting to go. We discovered quickly that all these people were going to different places, but were all standing in the same place... and not moving... so we got an attendant to help us out with what was going on. She took our itinerary and returned 30 minutes later and said that they would call our flight soon. Awesome, we were thinking. So we stood outside... 10 AM..... 11 AM.... 12 PM..... and 12:30 hits and they call our flight!! :D so we stood in a line to go inside the very first security check! At 1:00PM we got through the security check, and then went to stand in line to get our boarding pass and check some luggage. Luckily, we got right up to the counter. The woman checks in one of the new Elders, Elder Steed. Boarding pass acquired, leaving in 2 hours (because of some delays). Then the next person in our group walks up to the counter and the attendant says, "Oh sorry, that was the last seat on this flight, since we had to take people from an earlier flight and put them on your." Alright, we thought, so when's the next flight? "I can give you boarding passes for... 10:30 tonight." ............. so we waited! And as we waited, I discovered that i had a horrible cold developing! In the airport! Yay! Hours passed... In the course of those hours, we met the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, i got a video of him passing and waving to me and him shaking Elder Mulondo's hand!!! We also had tons of gospel conversations with tons of different people, and met people from all over the world. One guy, my same age, from Zimbabwe, i noticed was reading the Bible. So i went over and sat by him and asked what he was reading and i ended up sharing the Restoration message with him, and he wants a BOM and wants to come to Church. We are still communicating. Bottom line is, we got on our plane at 11 PM. As we ate a small snack, i had some cold pills that are segmented for day and night. Well i figured that i could take the night ones, i just was worried i might be a little drowsy. I asked Sister Hicken if they make you drowsy, and she and President assured me they don't. Well I quickly found out that was not true. The plane took off from the airport at 12:30AM, and landed at about 1:30AM. As we went through customs and such, I was so drowsy it would have appeared i was drunk. I struggled to stay conscious and fairly normal as the customs guy questioned what i was doing in Tanzania. He must have just thought i had a few beers on the plane cuz he let me through. We arrived finally at the missionary flat where we were staying at 3:00AM, and i crashed. Needless to say, that was one for the journals.

But all was well, and i recovered fine, until an emergency made us to return to Dar yesterday. All went well at the airports, the emergency was taken care of because of the courage of missionaries and the Spirit guiding President Hicken, and we were able to get on our return flight the same day. While on the evening plane, President and Elder Mulondo had been issued seats right next to each other. For reasons that the Lord knew, i was given a seat 3 rows back next to strangers. A woman from Canada sat down next to me. Her name was Larissa, she was an environmental scientist living in Tanzania. She also happened to be an atheist. We talked alot about Tanzania and Kenya, about Swahili, about her job, and even about mine. As we talked about our beliefs, I did my best to share with her what I believed to be true. We talked about the Big Bang Theory (the actual theory, not the tv show), evolution, life after death, etc. I shared lots of Church doctrine with her and she really liked it alot. I was feeling pretty satisfied! Towards the end, I had a feeling that i better tell Larissa that I don't only BELIEVE that God lives and is there, but that i KNOW it for a fact. It felt like the only thing missing and this gospel conversation would be perfect. I hesitated, for fear that she would be offended. And that simple act of hesitation has hurt me since last night. It is our duty as Saints to testify boldly to the world of what we KNOW to be true. The gospel teachings and principles are not guesses, suggestions, or maybes. They are eternal truths. Thomas S. Monson, in his 2004 Priesthood session talk said, "A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well." From that experience, I did learn a great lesson. First of all, it reaffirmed that God puts us places to learn lessons in ways we didn't expect. The other thing i learned is that we testify of what we know because it is true. We do what is right because it is TRULY what is right. By right, I mean that it was right pre-mortally, it is right now, and will be right forever. And if something is right in the eyes of God, we must never do that which is otherwise. We'll make mistakes, but Jesus Christ lovingly hugs us, tells us, "Get back on your feet and try harder. We're counting on you." We are forgiven and we become stronger. My goals from this are that I cannot compromise. The time is too late for that. We do what is right despite logic and reasoning and justification. It is my personal goal to be a man that can look my Priesthood leaders or my parents in the face and tell them I have done my best to do right. President Monson also said this:
"Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval."
"Someone has said that courage is not the absence of fear but the mastery of it. At times, courage is needed to rise from failure, to strive again."
And then this scripture basically sums it all up: “Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.” -D&C 107:99.

I'm not being too hard on myself (maybe a little), but i know that the things i have shared are true, and i know that God put me there to test me and teach me, both of which happened. I know God lives and i love Him. I know Jesus Christ lives and loves me. My greatest desire right now is to be humble and become one with Them. I love you all as always, and i wanted to share these feelings because they are important and real to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love always, Conrad

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insert Title Here

Elder Gideon says "Hi." He's chilling with us in the office right now!! And he misses you too!

So uhhhhhh..... this week was nice.... we had our Nairobi Zone Conference, and President has been working like a.......... person who works really hard. Interviews, branch and district business, mission branches, dumb concerns from crazy people - SO MUCH for mission presidents, ESPECIALLY in 3rd world countries where the Church is still in embryonic stages. But he has Priesthood keys to direct the work with direct revelation from the Lord, and my companion and I are seeing this revelation in action. President Hicken is an amazing Priesthood man and leader and I am learning ALOT from him. I love him alot and can't wait to keep learning more. One of his favorite quotes ever is this:

"Obedience is powerful spiritual medicine. It comes close to being a cure-all." -Boyd K. Packer

Good quote, very true too. This week I have been trying to work more on loving people and not ever speaking negatively about them. I had a great companionship inventory with Elder Mulondo. He helped me to realize that I cannot say that I love my brother while I'm speaking anything negative of them (in a casual setting, but when we're in with President it's obviously different, evaluating missionaries and stuff). And he's absolutely right. I have really failed to speak good things of my past companions. I have always known that if you look for the good in somebody you'll find it, and if you look for the bad in somebody you'll find it, but i have failed to talk about the good and focus on that. Instead I had been focusing on their natural human weaknesses that are simply a part of mortality! We all have them, and they're all different. When we see somebody else with attributes that we can see need to be fixed, and focus on that, we fail to see ourselves clearly. Thankfully Elder Mulondo helped me correct this. Now it is much cheerier and I feel good and happy, and I am even developing greater love for my past companions because I am seeing them how the Savior would! I love Elder Mulondo and I am thankful for him alot. Please email him too and just let him know that we all love him and that he's awesome :) his email is

Ok confession time. When I read Elder Bodily's email, I felt a mix of depression, jealousy, happiness, and longing. While i love my time here and really enjoy everything i'm learning, I miss the field so much :( There are things i have even learned now that i just wish i could go apply now. I did work hard out in the field for sure, but at the same time i wish i could have worked harder. On reflection I know i did my best, but something about being out and blessing people's lives and being active and about every day feels so good! But I am so happy that the Lord is granting success to Elder Bodily. He is a great man and my best friend and i love him alot. I have alot i can learn from him i'm sure. Sounds like he and that Elder Nygren know where it's at. They sound pretty DANK, yo!!!!!!

Oh yeah! I asked Elder Mulondo what he might want in the next package whenever it comes, and he said these:
- an LDS card game called "Search, Ponder, and Play"
- an Idaho shirt (and i would LOVE an Idaho shirt as well, preferably potato themed)
- he didn't mention this one, but he's an AMAZING soccer player, he was given a 4 year full ride to Makerere University in Uganda to play soccer for them, and he turned it down to come on mission. So if there's some cool soccer thing that a soccer player could use, that would be nice too :)

So besides dat, we are here in the office for a while. Next week we take off to Western Kenya for the last zone conference. whew! Then transfers come, and i'll be down to 3 transfers. 18 weeks. *deep breath* :)

Loooooooooove you all kabisa!!!!!!!!!
Elder Schneider

Hey wonderful family :)

So I haven't really had time to read your emails all the way or respond to them because it's been a very busy day here in the office. I was surprised when I looked up at the clock and it was 6 already! So I didn't email today, but I wanted to atleast include some things that need to be said.

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS JESSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!
woooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everyone and their dogs knew that you would succeed, and I personally love you and am proud to call you my sister. I know the rest of the fam feels the exact same way :) YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!

Second, I just want the family to know that I sustain and support President Hicken in every way possible. He is a man called of God and I am 100% loyal to him. Just because it was tough a bit to adjust to his style and sustain every decision he makes, I have quickly come to see how inspired he is. I have also learned the lesson that we do NOT criticize the Lord's anointed. God called him, so who am I to disagree with a decision he makes? As his assistant I will give my counsel and opinion, then when he makes the decision, I will support it as if I made it myself because he has the keys from the Lord, given to him under the hand of Jeffrey R. Holland last month. So I just wanted it to be very very clear that I sustain and support President Hicken in every way. Besides that, he is coming to be a very good friend of mine. I love him and his wife and they are great people who have given ALOT to the Lord. They really dropped everything and came to serve here in Kenya. Great people and i love them :)

Third, I love you guys ALOT! Not finding faults in my past companions as Elder Mulondo has helped me to do has opened my eyes. I am seeing all the good my past companions did for me. They were wonderful and I thank the Lord for them and their help to me. Without any one of them I wouldn't have an attribute that I now have. I have a testimony of speaking good of people. I'm not trying to brag, but since the day Elder Mulondo and I talked about it, I haven't talked bad of my companion once. I mention that because it is possible for all of us IF we exercise serious will power and reliance on the Lord through prayer and scripture study. I don't mean any of this in a prideful way, because there are a billion things i can work on, and in the world i'm just another person. But i know that God loves me as His son, and that the Lord loves me as His own brother. I know it is way more important to help others than help myself, and i hope i can do that better. I love you guys sooooo much and I am always happy to be in your family. Let's stay positive :)

We're taking off to Eldoret tomorrow and we'l be back on Thursday, so i will try to email then. Love you all times infinity and beyond. You guys bring me the greatest happiness I feel :)

Love always, Conrad

Hungry, Happy, and...... uh...... Mundivagant

haHA! How many of you ACTUALLY know what mundivagant means??? Yeah i didn't either. In fact, i'm a dirty cheater. I got on and looked up synonyms for "traveling". So yeah, mundivagant means that you are traveling a lot.

In other news, I'm starving right now and a little bit... uh. Getting a new mission president is a toughie. But i think new mission president or not, being an Assistant has lessons to teach. One big one, for example, is humility and sustaining your leaders. As an Assistant, President Hicken told us, we are similar to a counsellor. We give counsel, we advise, and when he makes a decision (whether in line with our counsel or not) we go with it and support it as if it is our own. HOLY PIG DOG STINKIN TWINKIE ROASTING PILLOW FIGHTING HASH SLINGING MASH FLINGING TRASH SINGING RASH BRINGING SASH DINGING GOOBERS BATMAN!!!!!!! EASIER SAID THAN DONE!!!!!!!!!!!

(a few deep breaths later)

Sustaining a decision that you do not agree with is an acquired skill. And i am learning it. It is something quite amazing about the Church, and when it is not there, nothing could get done because a decision could rarely be made unanimously. So yes, that is what my life basically consists of right now. But i love and sustain President and Sister Hicken with all my heart, I love and sustain my companion, and most of all i love the Lord and i'm so thankful that He understands me. I need to do my scripture study for today too, thanks for reminding me.

So we got back from Der Al Shazam and Arusha and we are leaving tomorrow to take off to Eastern Kenya. Pretty excited for that! From the sound of things, we will be flying to all the places in the mission instead of driving from now on because President Hicken doesn't like driving. COOL! I'm ok with that for sure. Although airports are a pain, driving 8+ hours is a bigger pain. But this time we are driving so keep us in your prayers please!!

Dar es Salaam was nice and humid, as always. But it was actually not that bad... it's "winter" there, meaning it is below 80 degrees. The conference was nice and short, we role played, and President interviewed TONS of people. He is spending a long time so he can get to know people. President also took us to a fancy shmancy restaurant on the Dar coast. It was SO cool. It was night so the shore pics aren't good. And when you look at the pictures and see something hanging out of my companion's mouth, that is a fish head. He ordered an entire fish. They brought the whole thing and he devoured it. Yup, Africa for sure. Arusha was also nice, but polar opposite weather wise. COLD!!!!! I actually used 2 blankets for the first time in 19 months. And it was about that time that i realized, ".........I'm gonna die when i go home." So it was nice knowing you, but as soon as i step off the plane, i'm dead. In Arusha we got a lift to Church from some smoking, raggae listening guy we flagged down. HA! Don't worry, there were 6 of us and 1 of him, so when he tried to rob us we beat him to a pulp and took his clothes. hahaha joking, he was super nice. When we got off the truck, i even invited him to church next Sunday :) in Swahili :D "Wiki jayo, umekaribishwa kanisani!"

So now that we're back in Nairobi, we're just in the office. Ugh...... do i miss teaching the Gospel? 1000000% Do i miss tracting and contacting? I used to dislike contacting alot so i never thought i would, but i do. And from the sound of it, President Hicken may keep me here in the office up until i finish my mission. But don't think that i am murmuring. I love whatever calling the Lord allows me to have. I am SO thankful to be here in the office. I am seeing what it will be like to come home and have to adjust. I am also learning so many skills that will come in extremely handy in professional life and people skills that i am thankful for. AND, President Hicken is always willing to pass on wisdom and advice and it is wonderful. I am very thankful for the chance to serve. I love my mission with all my heart, and i pray sincerely that I can do all that the Lord would have me do. Love you all times infinity and beyond! You are the cat's pajamas!!!!!!

With love forever, Elder Schneider 2, the Sequel

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kenyan Hiway Darwinism

Sea Biscuit, Ocean Cookie, Lake Doughnut...

Synonyms for the same heroic horse......

Alrighty then. I told you all in your individual emails that i would be telling you more about what's happening. Well, I shall now attempt to do so! Unless i get distracted or duty calls or "duty calls", if you know what i mean.

President Broadbent left on Sunday evening. We wanted to take him to the airport, but he had the Olsens take him instead and made us stay. It was a very tearful goodbye, but President and Sister Broadbent have served faithfully in one of the most demanding callings in the Church that i have EVER seen. Mission president is no joke, no joke at all.

That was Sunday night, and then Monday morning hit, and we picked up President Hicken bright and early from the mission home. We are his chauffeurs for the next week or so, and boy howdy, they are SCARED of my driving. I've gotten a little "better" at driving since being in Nairobi. I told Dad the truth, that we practice Darwinism on the Kenyan roads. And I'm the top of the food chain, buddy! BOOM! AIN'T GOT NOTHIN' ON ME!!! NO SIR!!!!!!! YOU WANNA CUT ME OFF??? I'LL CUT OFF YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR ANIMALS, YOUR MOTHER, AND EVERYONE YOU'VE EVER KNOWN AND LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (war cry) WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So yeah they were scared as I showed them how to drive. But they have to get used to so much that driving is at the bottom right now. We have spent the past few days getting all used to the office and the new stuff. Ugh.... it's a bit strenuous and stressful, but we're getting there :) and we can TOTALLY see the Lord's help in all this :) He is amazing :)

So this month is going to be insanity. Next week we are taking off to Dar Es Salaam again, staying there for about 3 days. And you KNOW I'm gonna eat some Chips mayai kuku nusu baby! (it's like, french fries, with eggs cracked over them, plus half a chicken. How many calories, one may ask? IT'S OFF THE CHARTS!!!!!!) From Dar we fly to Arusha, the former capital of TZ. We will spend 2 or 3 days there and then get back to Nairobi. Then 3 days after we get back we drive to Chyulu, stay 2 days, drive to Mombasa, stay 3 days and come back. That week, we are in Nairobi (phew!) and the weekend we have a branch conference in Kilili. Then 2 days later we drive to Eldoret and stay there for a good 4 days or so, then we come home. By that time it will be the 1st of August or something. Basically from next week, ain't never a down moment. So if you don't get a long email for a month or so, just know that i love you all alot, (insert British accent) i'm just busier than a tea shop in ruddy ole' London, wot wot! (cease accent)

In other news, today is the best day of the whole year (almost) - the 4th of July. And actually, on a serious note, i want to say how thankful I am for America. There is simply no place on Earth that i would want to live more than America. It is indeed the land of opportunity. If you disagree, you've never been to a foreign country. If you have you've never been to a 3rd world country. 3rd world or not though, America is a blessed place. I can honestly testify that God has blessed and protected and prospered that land. It is a special place and a hallowed place. The restoration of the Lord's Gospel AND the Master's second coming have been/will be there (respectively), and that's because the Father has seen to it that America would be a place of freedom and opportunity! I love America with all my heart. I am completely loyal to Her constitution and Her Declaration of Independence. I support and uphold the laws. I support and sustain the President, whoever he may be, just as the 12th article of faith states that we do. I LOVE our country and always will :) celebrate hard for me, i'll catch the American spirit next year with you. But i'll be darned if i don't listen to the National Anthem and America the Beautiful and say the Pledge of Allegiance tonight! AMERICA!!!!!!!!! LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and tonight President Hicken is taking us to Spurr's to buy us unlimited BBQ ribs. OH DANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With a never-ending spring of love flowing from my aortic valve,

Goodbye President Broadbent

New Mission President

PRESIDENT HICKEN IS HERE! WE ARE TAKING PRESIDENT BROADBENT HOME TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but i'm not really that nervous. In fact, i feel kinda just... normal. Blessings from a loving Father in Heaven for sure. Here we go, Schneiders... next big mission adventure, about to take off. I'll send pictures next time i have the chance. Love you all times infinity :)
Elder Schneider


Truth - a knowledge of things as they were, as they are, and as they will be.

Yes, say, what is truth? 'Tis the brightest prize to which mortals or Gods can aspire. Go search in the depths where it glittering lies, or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies: 'Tis an aim for the noblest desire.

I just had a solemn and wonderful study on the law of chastity, and it led me to study truth. A knowledge of truth (which in itself is a knowledge of eternal reality) will lead us to study the word of God DAILY, pray many times each day, have faith in Jesus Christ, and repent often. Truth is a safeguard when we understand and apply it! A knowledge of truth helps me to know that my thoughts, actions, and desires have been, are, and will be focused on eternal rewards, not temporal or lustful or worldly rewards.

Then say, what is truth? 'Tis the last and the first, for the limits of time to step over. Though the heavens depart and the earth's fountains burst, TRUTH, the sum of existence, will weather the worst, Eternal, unchanged, evermore.

Love you all eternally. Keep the eternal perspective and the truth of eternities will distill upon you.

With love, Conrad

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

On a Lighter Note

Considering i left on such a sad note, i thought i could share some other things that are happening or did happen on a lighter note :)

This week we're going to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania! It's gonna be AWESOME!!!!!!!! Elder Mulondo often tells me about how awesome Dar is, so i am really excited to go. Plus, it will give me more chances to work on my Swahili. No English speaking down there, only Swahili. Heh..... heh..... better stay with my companion ;) lakini, naweza kuongea Kiswahili vizuri. Naendelea kujifunza na mwenzangu ananifundisha. (but, i am able to speak Swahili well. I'm continuing to learn and my companion is teaching me.) It's a pretty cool language, and it feels super cool to learn it. By the way, does George of the Jungle take place in Uganda or the Congo?

Wanna hear a funny story? (assuming you said "yes" unanimously) OK!

We were asked to laminate some things. So we get out the laminator, fire it up, run thru a sheet, and it comes out all messed up. This happened twice before we realized there's an issue. Well, we cooled it down, and when we inspected, noticed a big piece of melted plastic stuck inside. So we began to work to get out. After about an hour, we started to get weary. The Elder who was helping me had to leave, so i was on my own. Discouraged after another half hour, i went to one of the best places for revelations - the toilet! So i sat and the thought came - "Have you prayed yet?" 'Well, no...' i battled with my conscience, 'but do i really need to pray about something so small as fixing a laminator?' "Why not?" came the sensible reply from my conscience. So i left my "revelation seat" and went and sat in front of the laminator. I bowed my head and said a prayer that i could get the plastic. When i finished, i had a fleeting thought to try from a different way, and boom. Got it out in under 3 minutes :) Now tell me... does God hear EVERY prayer? My testimony is yes. Yes He does. Even about laminators :)

The office is getting easier. The hardest thing is that we never get to teach people unless the Upperhill elders need help. I MISS TEACHING PEOPLE SO BAD!!!!!!!!!! :( It is not fun at all to be away from that. We got to teach a guy cuz the office elders needed help, and when i was teaching, i just felt the wonderful familiar feeling of the Spirit working in me, whispering things to my heart and mind, the confidence of the Spirit filling me, and my attitude and temper controlled and directed. AH! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!! Sometimes i have trouble listening to the Spirit, but when i teach, i have no doubt as to which direction to take. The Spirit takes full reign. By the way, when you are dealing with somebody who dislikes the Church or is trying to confound you take this approach: be humble as can be, listen very closely, respect their opinions and feelings, look for truth in what they say or think, show LOVE even if they are offensive, and simply tell the truth about our Church and doctrine and bear testimony. The Churches around us half part of the truth, remember that. They have some truth, and there are wonderful churches and great people. But this Church has everything!

Well, love you all forever. You are my greatest joy. I can't even imagine what it will be like to have my own family with my eternal companion. I hope they are as awesome as the family i have now. I love you all so much.

Love forever,

Keeping Eternal Perspective

Howdy family,

So I'm feeling upset right now. We just got word that an Elder here on mission, actually a previous AP who did SO much to change the standards of the mission in a very good way, his mother just passed away. He is a good friend of mine and i love him alot. He only has about 2 months left on his mission, and this happens. Please PLEASE keep him and his family in your prayers. His name is Elder Pocock and he's actually from Idaho.

Thinking about this, and having it happen to somebody who is close to me, I realized how much we need to have a testimony of the Plan of Salvation. The greatest consolation will always come from the Lord and His Gospel. Sometimes we don't really grasp the truth and the reality of things like the Plan of Salvation. But i want to testify that it is real. When i die, i will go to the Spirit world. Elder Pocock's mother, though prematurely, is currently living in the Spirit World and is awaiting the further steps of eternity, having finished her mortal test. When mom and dad pass away, they will pass into that life. We will not see them again in mortality, but we are sealed in the Holy Temples of God by the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood of God, which is eternal. No earthly or evil force can separate us from each other, and no holy force would. I hope you all see that we must build our defences and KEEP them high. We need to do away with anything that may cause our bonds of sealing to be nullified. We need to increase our physical health to do our part to prolong our mortal life. It can happen in the blink of an eye. I talked to Elder Pocock on the phone last night, joking and laughing. I text messaged him this morning joking and having fun. Now, the mood is pretty different. This could be any of us, and we need to know what needs to be done.

I won't say that i don't mean to sound solemn and serious, because it is something solemn and serious. Please keep him in our prayers as we reflect on how blessed we are to be healthy and strong and alive still. I love you all with all my heart and know that God has blessed me beyond what i deserve for sure. I had a picture of you all on my desk here, the family one we took, and an Elder from Nigeria who is also a great friend of mine and also an orphan, picks up the picture and looks at it. He is usually very jokey and lighthearted and happy, like all the time. When he looked at the picture, he was still smiling, but he asked, "Are you proud of this family?" I thought it was a jokey question and laughed and said yeah that i am. He didn't laugh, and looks at it again for a while, and then he puts it down and looks at me and says, "I hope you get on your knees and thank the Lord for this beautiful family. It is a blessing." Again, not sensing his tone, i chuckled a bit, but then i realized, 'He is totally serious, and the look on his face was a look that said that he would give anything to have a beautiful eternal family that i have, and to feel the love of a mother and father and siblings, and to belong somewhere.'

Bottom line is, we have been blessed to have our beautiful family all still in mortality. But death is a part of the plan. Even the prophet's wife just passed away!I love you all so much and just want you to know that i know the Plan of Salvation was established before the world was, and Jesus Christ, because He knows and loves us, volunteered to come here and suffer the most difficult mortal sojourn that has ever been experienced so that we can feel comfort and forgiveness and peace. The Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is the only true and whole Church of Jesus Christ on the whole Earth. I know God loves us and cares for our welfare, and notices the struggles and difficulties we go through, and is eager to help us in His higher and better ways. Maybe not how we expect, but it's how He knows it will help us best return to Him.

Love you all forever,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

To Mom

Hey Momma :)

Missionary petunias, huh? That's a nice thing of Sister Richardson to do. I have thought about her alot. That's cool that she would do that for all of us. But oh my goodness i had no idea that all those were out serving!!!!!! And out of all of them, i may be the first one home, huh? When does Makel Michael come home? Is she going to beat me home or will i be first?

Yeah well your Mom radar sure is working. Not that we were in alot of danger, but driving on Mombasa highway is never a safe thing for sure. We had a very very safe journey though! It's just that the things that go from the coast to Kenya or Uganda inland have to come through Mombasa, and therefore have to use Mombasa highway. So there are TONS of big semi's. Somebody told us the daily statistic of trucks passing on the Mombasa highway road daily, to and from Mombasa: 65,000 trucks DAILY!!! AH!!! That's SO MANY!!! So we were passing alot alot. But really we were protected and safe and for that we thank the Lord. I will share more about Mombasa in my big family email.

Kirsten is going to be a great missionary. She's a good woman. Poor Ty... his first missionary! Man, when i think about when i first left, i had no idea how much a i had to learn and was going to learn. It's mind-boggling and humbling in retrospect. But it can suffice to say now that i will be eternally thankful for my mission and all that i have learned out here. I am still changing and definitely not perfect, but i am trying to improve.

Man... well, those Idaho summer days aren't too far for me. I am really thinking about school still... I'm afraid i may have pushed for an answer too quickly. I don't want to ask the Lord again if He already gave me an answer, but i feel like now i understand some things i didn't before. For example, i have now seen and felt what it's like to live the life of a non-active missionary, being in the office, and it sure is different. I have gotten so used to busy, active life, that sit-down life, or life without a perfectly scheduled day is a little bit tough. I'm wondering how it will be to go home and do even less, except work and stuff.... So i have things to think about.

I love you too so much Momma. I know your prayers protected us on the road this week. You are a blessing to my life and I know God put us together in mortality because we can help each other. I think you help me lots more though. I love you and respect you as my mother and I am so thankful for how you have helped me in the past and in the present. You are the BEST!!!! :)

Love forever, Conrad

Mombasa Raha! (Happy Mombasa)

WOOOOOOOOOO doggie. Let me begin the email by telling you that i can't wait to sleep in my own bed now that i'm back in Nairobi. I can't even imagine how it'll feel in six months... :)

Well, here's the rundown. Wednesday we went to an area called Chyulu. Chyulu is one of the very rural areas. Many famous national parks are located in Chyulu, and the wild animals were definitely there. Just on the drive there we saw camels, zebras, monkeys, and cows. Camels always look like they're smiling, by the way :) Chyulu is a cool place and we stayed there for the night. The next morning we went to Mombasa.

Mombasa... the humidity is unlike anything i've ever felt. The heat was pretty bad, but not the worst i've felt in Kenya. But the humidity - wow. I don't know if i have ever constantly sweated for a longer period before. It was like, my body was sweating and i didn't even feel that hot! SWEAT!!!!!!!!! Good ole' Mombasa. The zone conference went even better than the first ZC in Eldoret. It was spiritual and powerful, and sad just like the last one. The only time i almost cried was when President was hugging everybody goodbye one by one. I can't imagine how it will be during the last one in Nairobi here :( i'm sad thinking about it. The Lord really helped us in our training though, it went well. After zone conference, my companion and i and some other elders we trust went with us and we crossed the famous Mombasa ferry and went to the beach and WOW it was SO COOL!!!!!!! The beach felt great and it was beautiful. Do you know how terribly tempting it was to jump in that clear blue warm ocean water? The Indian Ocean has alot of sharks apparently. But sharks put aside we didn't get in. I put my hand in though :) Can't wait to go swimming again, that's for sure. I got some cool things, but i ain't gonna tell you what :) HA! :D

The next day, Saturday, we went on exchanges. I went with two elders named Elder Lyons and Elder Dimingu. We went and met a man named Maxwell, and we had planned to teach him about the BOM. Well as we started he revealed that he had been having a week filled with trials and problems. We explained that that is what happens as one moves towards the path to eternal life. I felt prompted to share with him about tithing when he mentioned some financial issues. Well turns out he had been talking with a friend earlier in the week about paying tithing and decided that if he paid tithing he probably could have some of the things in life that he needs. He didn't know how or if it was right and was basically distressed about everything wrong that was happening in his life. Well, after we taught him about tithing he said that he knows now that we are sent from God, because otherwise we never could have known about that. He says he knows that we are messengers from God to tell him what he needs to do, and he knows it will be hard still, but he must do it. He even said that he was thinking that the bad things that happened the previous week were because he was exploring this new religion. But, he told us, when he saw us he felt a warm and good feeling inside him. The Spirit works wonders for us, huh? :) After that lesson, his youngest child was sick also. We offered to give him a blessing of healing. They accepted. The child was crying constantly from the start of the lesson, but when we laid hands on him, the crying stopped. When the blessing ended, he was sound asleep :) AH! Church is true :)

So after all the other lessons, we took the ferry home again. I noticed, as we were walking in the giant crowd to the ferry, a blind man walking next to me. I'm thinking, "This guy is going to try to walk down on the ferry, across the ferry, up the hill on the next side, and then to his destination alone?" I felt bad, but didn't really know what to do, so i just felt a feeling to tap his shoulder. I did, and the man reached down and grabbed my hand and said something in hard Swahili, but i could pick out that he was going to a part of Mombasa called Bamburi. So Elder Lyons and Elder Dimingu started talking to him, and i led the man down the stairs and walkway until we got on the ferry. People were looking and i felt a wee bit awkward, but once on the ferry amid the people, it started to move and i looked at the blind man next to me. I had a realization at that moment that he was literally my brother, just as Benjamin and Daniel are. He was crippled and had a rough life, knew no English, and in mortality i had never met him. But finally i had met another of my brothers from the pre-mortal existence and found a way to connect with him. He told Elder Dimingu and Lyons (who speak Swahili) that he wants to sing a song for me for helping. He sang something in Arabic, it was a Muslim song of blessing haha! When the ferry stopped, i led him up the hill-side, avoiding rocks and stuff and into a matatu that was going to Bamburi, and left him from there. I'll probably meet him again in the Spirit world. And i doubt that he will receive the Gospel in mortality, but i hope that when he gets to the Spirit world, he will see how the missionaries helped him and he will accept the Gospel there.

Sunday and today we drove back, back into the relative cold :) I like Nairobi alot, it feels alot like home now haha. But overall, a pretty darn exciting weekend. Lots to write in the the journal about. I love my mission. It will take adjusting to be in the office, but even so i love doing what i do and i will just do my best to serve the Lord with the little time i have left. I love you all and hope to hear from you :)

Love forever and ever, Conrad

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Holy cows. We jus got back from Eldoret like, an hour and a half ago. President have me drive halfway and man, it was pretty fun and stuff. But i am so tired that i'm gonna.... yawn.......

So summer sounds amazing! I'm missing that a little bit. And i'm glad my chicken is doing well. Nacho Cheese sure is a trooper!

So we went to Eldoret, in Western Kenya close to Naitiri where my first area was. The zone conference went really well, and we gave a training about some new key indicators that President Broadbent wants to introduce in this mission. It went really awesome. President Broadbent gave a training on putting on the whole armor of God. It was pretty great too. It was a really sad conference and the feeling there was kinda weird cuz it will be President's last in Eldoret. But overall, it went well.

On the way back, President wanted me to drive half the way. So we stopped at the Great Rift Valley and that was great. The pictures don't exactly capture it, but it's pretty amazing. To describe it in the biggest understatement ever, it was very big. I'll upload pics another day.

We are leaving for Mombasa on Wednesday, and i will drive half way there. But on the drive back, it's all me cuz the Broadbents are flying back. So uh... pray for me... alot... OH! But i'm gonna pick up some really cool souveniers there in Mombasa for ya'll. There's a great place to get handmade stuff super cheap. CONNECTIONS BABY!!!!!!!! So presents are coming. But they're coming with me in December :)

Well, i love you all. thank you for your individual emails. I love hearing from each of you. You are each my best friend and i love you each so much. "Each" is a very strange word... I feel like i'm trying to say "peach" but failing. So let me fix those sentences: I love hearing from peach of you. You are peach my best friend and i love peach of you so much. That's better :)

Love forever into eternity and beyond,
Conrad :)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Called to be Assistant to the President

Flight to Tanzania, Mwanza Branch

Oh. Oh yeah. Oh yeah homies.

So we barely survived transfers. Actually, they went incredibly smooth, and that is a blessing from the Lord to us. And then on Friday morning we flew (in an airplane) down to Mwanza. It was super duper awesome, and pretty hot.

I got to teach my first lesson in completely Swahili. It was a flippin nightmare. Just kidding, i could communicate well enough to get my point across. Elder Madubanya was teaching with me and he knows Swahili really well. It was really cool, and when i testified in Swahili it felt the exact same as testifying in English! So it was pretty awesome.

We also had a Mwanza branch conference. The very first Elders quorum president was ordained in that meeting! It is history in the making! That little branch was started about one year ago, almost exactly, and as with all branches of the Church, is growing at a nice steady pace. Not fast, but definitely growing.

We flew this time right around Mt. Kilimanjaro, kinda at a distance, so it wasn't too visible, but i got some beautiful pictures of it and also another mountain in Arusha. Also, we flew over the Serengeti, the Maasai Mara, and Lake Victoria! I got beautiful pictures of Lake Victoria. MAN!!!! Cool stuff.

So as for me, i love you all times infinity! Elder Mulondo, my companion, is amazing. We get along even better than me and Elder Gideon. We have very much in common and have been having the same impressions like mad. So we are really getting the mission prepared for some new stuff and especially for the new mission president.

Any questions for me? What was in Tanzania? Things i saw? Why i haven't uploaded those pictures? Cuz i forgot my cable at home. Next time i'm in the office i will though :)

Hey! Stick shift is becoming steadily easier. I can shift second nature now and just drive almost like normal. What a blessing from the Lord :)
Well, love you all. Talk to you very soon!!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Busy Week

We are FINISHED with the transfers!!! We coordinated the transferring of like, 40 or 50 missionaries, plus the 7 newbies. Boy howdy... i can drive stick now. I still stall sometimes, but not often. Stick shift is nutso man. But the Lord seriously helped me with driving, and with the smoothness of the transfers. AWESOME. Tomorrow we're flying to Tanzania. Specifically, a place called Mwanza. Should be pretty great. Then next week is Eldoret zone conference. Week after, Mombasa. Weekend of Mombasa we are staying for a branch conference, then we have Nairobi zone conference, then the 8th of June we're going to Chyulu district conference, then the 12th or 13th of June we fly to Dar Es Salaam for another zone conference. The week of the 16th to the 22nd, we have nothing, but the week following is when we send off President Broadbent and welcome President Hickin. Wooooooo doggie................

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Assistant to the President

We spoke to Conrad today when he called home for Mother's Day. He is doing very well.  It was good to hear his voice.  The next time we hear his voice he will be home, which he told us is around December 10th.   He also told us he has been called to be an AP (Assistant to the President).  He is excited about it but a little overwhelmed.  One of the first things he had to do was learn to drive a stick shift.  He was worried about driving stick shift and driving on "the wrong side of the road."  He will be doing a lot of driving as he helps take missionaries to new areas at transfers, and driving with President Broadbent all over the mission.  He will be going to Tanzania for the first time in a week or so for a conference.  He's going to get to see the whole mission.  He's in good health and dedicated to being obedient.  We do love him so.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'M A-CALLIN HOME!!!!!!!!!....... For the last time!!! (Zurg)

HOLY macaroni.......

Why would i make reference to consecrated italian food items? Well, because this Sunday will be the last time you talk to me... over the phone. The next time, in seven months, will be face to face. Golly...

So we're back down in Kibera now! And what a blessing! We have been to some members' homes, and that's about it. Don't worry, Kibera is just as stinky and muddy as it was before elections. Actually, there are a few new shacks i noticed... wooden, not tin! I would take a picture but.. they might take my camera and eat my companion. HA! Not. But they would take my camera. And punch me.

So this weekend, i will be calling Mom's phone on Saturday. It will be around noon or so in America (which country i love with all my heart). So Mom, be ready. If i can't get through, or i get no answer, imma call Daddio. And if i receive no answer there, imma call Ben!! and if none there, Danny!!! And lastly, jessie, cuz she's really busy with school. She's such a hard worker!!! So yeah, be ready!

Man guys... sorry about Chi Chi. [Chi Chi was Daniel's favorite chicken]  Daniel informed me of the tragedy. But don't worry too much. Chi Chi died before the age of accountability, and therefore has received a place with her Heavenly Father in glory and peace unfathomable. Go through Moroni 7 for more comfort. 7 or 8, one of the two.

So... ****** emailed me... :D

I wanted to also share something with you all that has really helped me, especially with the issue of keeping a clean mind and heart. One day i was thinking about my life and what i want in the future, and i concluded on some things such as an eternal companion and family, a stable and happy home life, education, etc. And later that day, when a bad thought came to mind, i shook it off and into my mind came this phrase - "That's not part of the plan!" Wow.... since that day, when a bad thought comes, i tell myself, "That's not part of the plan!" and i am able to look forward to the future that lies ahead with hope and chastity! I would highly recommend that we all (especially the kids) decide what your future holds. A wife? A nice job? A good education? Spiritual growth? And then, when a bad thought grips, whether of anger or immorality, tell yourself, "That's not part of the plan!", for to engage in such a sin or indulgence would disrupt my eternal plan. It is working for me, and the future is bright for real :)

Also, do you realize the awesomeness and majesty of the Priesthood power inside us? Danny, you will receive it soon too. This power is the same, very same, power which created Adam and Eve. It created the First Parents, and that power lies within us! We don't have anything to fear. God holds highly those who hold the Priesthood (and those, i have to add, who share the Priesthood or will share the Priesthood, Mom and Jessie). I am honored to be His servant and child whom He trust enough to bear His power and grace.

Also, transfer news is this Saturday too, so i'll let you know what happens. I think i will be going... :( i love this place and my companion, but good things don't always last forever out here.

Alright homies and homettes, talk to you soon, literally. Keep the faith and always know that i love you. I hope you see the blessings of the Lord in each of your lives. I sure do.

Love you forever, Conrad

April 29th

Ok. Zero time. Going to speak like telegram STOP Just kidding STOP haha STOP

Ok so here's the biggest news items.

1. Elder Gideon and I had a zone wide fast last week, the purpose being: to be led to those who are the elect, ready to receive the message of the Restoration, and also for them to be led to us. Well, AMAZING what faith, fast, and prayers can do. We have investigators popping up almost daily. We challenged two of them to baptism on the first meeting, and they both accepted!!!! The Lord accepted our fast so much, and is answering it by trusting us with many of His children to teach. I'll give you more details later :)

2. After prayer and fasting, and a month of waiting for an answer, i have concluded that when i return from my mission, i am going to not go to school for about 6 months. I will get settled, work and save, date (booyah), do YSA stuff, and build up Zion in my own area. The main motive is that i need money and time to settle. So that's my choice. What be your say?

3. I love you all to death and beyond, and, oh yeah, ******   [redacted by Conrad's Dad for privacy of the individual who emailed him] EMAILED ME!!!! BOOYAH AGAIN!!!!!!

 Tell Granny Franny thanks for the email, oh and what the heck?!?!?!

SAN DIEGO?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Where did that come from!??!???! I didn't know you were going there?!??!?!?! Thanks for my package, love it, so thankful for all of that.

So short on time, but i love you all, thanks for your emails. They mean alot and i look forward to them :) I love you all with all my heart. Be diligent in your daily necessities: scripture study DAILY, prayer morning and night at least, and keep the Sabbath Day as holy as possible. I love Jesus Christ, and will be eternally thankful that He saved me. I really do love Him :)

Well, got somebody to go see. A man named Mkama. The work progresses :)

With eternal, sealed love, Elder Conrad Schneider

Middle of April

What the snot? The middle of April?

Uh... so my companion and I were fritzing out a little bit. No, not Fritz Schmutz, fritzing as in freaking out cuz it's already April and i have 8 months left and he has 11. But how is Fritz Schmutz, anyway? Love that guy. somebody let him know that the Keens he bought me held up fantastic while i was in the bush for a whole year, and now that i am in the city, the Ecco's are doing amazing. They still look tip top shape after 5 months. I gave the Keens to a man in the Kilungu Hills who needed some decent shoes. They are still serving well :)

Ok i'm confused... Does anybody disagree with me naming the chick "Nacho Cheese"? Cuz uh... nobody even said anything. I mean, i call him Cheese and i hear that nobody liked it, then i name him Nacho Cheese  and i can just picture everybody hearing that and going, "Oh thank Heavens. Cheese was a horrible name but Nacho Cheese is so cute and fitting. Whew, good thing Connor's got his head on straight!" So uh... feedback on that? And on the nickname of Sunny? Ya'll can call him Sunny but remember the one stipulation (his on-record name).

This week was pretty fun. Our toilet had a leak and so we were exacting some measures to stop the leakage from spreading. Our caretaker couldn't fix it for like 4 days. It was a struggle. But now that it was fixed (on Saturday) we cleaned it up today. All is well in the bathroom, yea, the bathroom prospereth. We actually cleaned the house today and it's shiny. And i did all my wash today. My fingers are rubbed raw haha. I look like a 7 year old with bandaids on like 3 of my fingers. They usually don't rub raw anymore, but i did alot of wash so maybe that's why. Also this week i went on exchanges with an Elder Thomas from America. He is only about 2 months old on mission, so i got to have lots of chats with him. He is doing ok, had to adjust, but he has a great trainer and is surrounded by very good people (something i didn't exactly have) and is really doing better. You can bet i had flashbacks during that exchange of my first transfers. Flippin strange how time flies and suddenly you may be going to your last area at the end of this transfer! Oh yeah, did i tell you that this guy named Paul Peterson, who lives in St. George, came back to Kenya for a few days and brought me delicious American candy?!?!?! Reeses, Snickers, etc. MMMMM!!!!!! He had been attending Langata branch while working for the past few years, and only recently went home when Elder Gideon got here. He came back for a few days and because he's awesome, brought us candies :)

This coming week, it looks pretty normal. We finally get to watch General Conference this weekend!!! I hear it was awesome. I know you guys had fun in your pajamas at home. Grr..... enjoy that and thank the Lord for it. You probably ate fancy foods like Doritos and Bean Dip and Goldfish. And popcorn. Well hopefully a little healthier than that. Did you eat cheese? Golly i miss cheese... OH MY GOODNESS! WHEN I COME HOME I'M GONNA EAT SO MUCH HOME FOODS THAT I'M GONNA GET SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok. I'm losing my head a little bit. But you'll know why when i get home and explain in great detail about some of the things here...

Want a story? Cuz i would love to tell you all one:
Near the end of March, we were running low on money cuz we spent alot stocking up goodies and junk food for the lock-in during election time in early March. So we were riding in a matatu and i was on the second row of seats. My companion was behind me because he was sitting with another missionary we were housing temporarily due to a little situation. There was a space next to me and a woman gets in at one of the stops. She gets in, eyeballs me weird, and i can see she's looking at my name tag so naturally i start to talk to her. I explain my tag and my name and what we do, and she flat out says where she stays and that we need to come visit her. So we gave her something to read, and that week in March when we were a little bit strapped for cash we stop in her restaurant (they call them hotels here, they are like little dinky restaurants). Well we were flippin hungry, and we go in. Immediately she brings us a fresh made cup of thick juice. Free! Then she starts feeding us some stuff! In some later visits, she and her husband (Moureen and Wycliffe) have the Book of Mormon, and her husband has actually met missionaries before. But now, he admits, he is more mature and has serious questions and interests in what we're doing. Crazy how the Lord provides for us. Another woman later in the week literally bought us a chicken, simply because she loved us and how we talked to her and treated her. Don't worry, she's like, in her 40's or 50's. Her name is Jane, and we are also visiting her! The Lord fed us and took care of us :) :)

Time for me to go. Preparation day is almost over and we gots work to do! (Major Payne): Preaching is mah business ladies, and bus - ness - is - guuuuud!

Love you all forever and ever and ever :)

Nacho Cheese

[Just an explanatory note:  We purchased 6 chicks and each of us got to name our chick.  Conrad decided to name his "cheese".  I think some said they didn't like the name, so this is his response to that, and then the rest of his email.  -Conrad's Dad.]

Well what's the problem, are ya all lactose intolerant?!?! HUH?!?!?! Considering you all (according to what Mom told me) dislike the kingly name i gave to mah chick, i decided to change it to something more fitting - "NACHO CHEESE"!!!!!!! Ya know WHY?!?!? CUZ, he's NOT-YO CHEESE, he's MMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY CHEESE!!!!!!!! So you may now refer to him as Nacho Cheese!!!!!!!!!

........ But i am merciful. His/her NICKNAME can be Sunny. BUT, on one condition. ANYTIME you introduce him/her to anybody, you must mention that Sunny's REAL name is Nacho Cheese. Deal? Deal.

I have so much time today... and i didn't get an email from Jessie, Danny, or Benny, so i don't have much to talk about. How about school? I really don't know what to do. I haven't given it as much thought as it deserves, that's for sure. But even so, I just don't know. I am going to give it careful and prayerful deliberation this week. Hopefully it is in the Lord's plan to let me know His will concerning the matter by this week. He may not care when i do it, but He might. So we'll see. If you could all keep it in your prayers and stuff, i would also appreciate it. This really is a big decision to make for me, so help me a wee bit lads and laddies!

Last week, we had some really great discussions! We met a man who had come in contact with missionaries like, 5 years ago, and that never went anywhere. But NOW, things are going well. He is interested, we were able to go in and answer ALL his questions, plus more. He and his wife are interested and reading the BOM. We are praying that it move forward.

We also had one of the coolest sacrament meetings i have had in a long while. For some reason, the Spirit there was very strong. I learned much from the testimonies borne and i was edified and uplifted by them. Spencer W. Kimball talked about sacrament meetings once, and spoke of how the main purpose for sacrament meeting is personal worship of the Lord Jesus Christ. That means that even if the speakers are bad or strange or something, we can still have a spiritually active and uplifting sacrament meeting! I have been keeping that in mind, and it helps alot. Especially where the Church is young and growing.

Also this week, we helped and uplifted a lot of people. I have been LOVING the work now. To be honest, earlier in the mission it was so darn tough, whether because of disobedient or bad companions, physical exertions, or simply because i was too stressed out! Now, though, I feel good. I have a constant desire to get out and preach and teach and uplift and share with people. It is never too late to improve and become better. This Gospel has saved our lives. Sometimes we lose sight of that! But not only did the Gospel and Church and Lord give us our luxuries, but He simply gave us all. Everything is a blessing, because i have seen and been with people who have LITERALLY nothing. No luxuries, no home, no health, no wealth, no stability, nothing. It is horribly sad, but that's why our work as missionaries is easily and duly motivated - because people need it! Somebody's gotta invite people, and I'm happy to do it, even with all my weaknesses and stuff.

This coming week we have baptisms on Sunday!!!! :D 2 very prepared and awesome ladies named Melen and Catherine. 14th is their day! We have more following them soon. This week we are also going to go on exchanges with some Elders in Rongai, which is in our zone. And we are going to do a joint street contacting session on Saturday for the Rongai branch open house that is going down. Should be pretty awesome. We just get to be social and talky as missionaries on the street for like 2 or 3 hours. The sun is pretty hot (haha, in case you didn't know) so that is a lil hindrance. But we stay pretty hydrated. I drink liters every day. And i urinate once! Except at home i urinate more cuz it's decently cool.

One week from today is my 16 month mark! OH MY GOODNESS!!!! Do you realize i have only 8 months left?! this time last year i was training Elder Arineitwe. Man, don't know what he's doing now. I have no way to contact him except to write a letter and get it to his branch in Uganda. We'll see about that. But also, i'll be calling home in like, a month! FOR DUH LAST TIME!!!!!!! Wow. School is really stressing me out, the thought of it all and stuff. Gosh! (Napolean Dynamite)

I hope you can see how BORED I am. Sorry i forgot to send pics, i will next week (hopefully if i remember). I wish something super cool had happened to tell you about, but i have learned to be careful wishing for those things, cuz those end up being stressful or scary in the moment, then cool later. But one cool thing is that when an appointment gets cancelled, something miraculously gets opened up or provided for us. We work on the Lord's time in such a way that we do what He needs done, and He helps it happen. Even if like, we go over time in a great lesson and are late for the next, we'll find out that for some reason the person we were going to see would also be late or not there, so it works out perfect. No coincidences out here.

Well i love every last one of ya! You are my best friends and i miss you guys. Really i do. Just your associations and friendships and senses of humor and your lifestyles and everything! Blah... We're going to family home evening at Sister Jepkemei's home tonight. That will be fun :) I love and miss you all and i love the work in which i am engaged. This Church is true and all things in it are the truth. Never doubt the Lord or the surety of deliverance and help that comes from Him through prayer. Pray often and sincerely and speak to your Father. Count your blessings, get to the temple. Make your brother stop telling you what to do ;)

I guess to close this email, i can include some words of wisdom that have really helped me alot:

"Ok class, i'm on a hangover. Who knows what that means?"
"It means you're drunk!"
"Wrong! It means i was drunk YESTERDAY." -Jack Black, School of Rock

"GET THAT CORN OUTTA MAH FACE!" -Jack Black, Nacho Libre

"(walking in a dark tunnel) Ah man, we're gonna die in here!"
"Hey now, come on! That's what they said at the Alamo!" -Twitchy and the Wolf, Hoodwinked

Now i hope you guys get this one. If not, cuz you may not, go watch it:

"I never get anything shiny..."
"Yeah... but you know what else is shiny?"
"RIGHT!!!!!" -Our Family Icon

Love you all to infinity and beyond. The counsel from Woody to Buzz, "YOU ARE A TOY!", does not apply to you all. You are human beings and i love you! Have a fantastic week, and please smile and look for opportunities to help people every day. The Lord places them there. The most powerful sermons are preached through our actions! You are powerful people and i respect and love each one of you.

Love you forever, Conrad