An African Heart

An African Heart

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

HA! Loved that Harry Potter stuff Ben. I giggled profusely. 

So big news!!! I'm getting a haircut when we finish emailing! YEAH!!!!! OH YEAH!!!!!!! OH MAN!!!!!! HAIRCUT!!!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!?! HAIRCUT!!!!! HAIR - WHAT - CUT - WHAT!!!!!! BOOM, HOOP DER IT IS!!!!!!! OH YEAH!!!!!!!!

 In other news, we learned alot of detail about the coming elections and the safety precautions, the musical number and zone conference went spectacularly well, and i am getting a new companion. But, ya know, unimportant.

Love, Elder Schneider

p.s. Ok let me expound a little bit!

First of all, the elections. We were informed that on the 3rd, a Sunday, after church we will go straight home and will remain indoors for at least 5 days! haha so we will be safe. We also may be housing some other missionaries simply because the apartment is so big and roomy (and clean, i might add. We deep cleaned it today.) But if the danger is high, we will either go to the mission home, another apartment, or possibly evacuate. Haha! But, don't worry. We will be ok, i promise. I still have a lot in my patriarchal blessing to fulfill. 

MARCH 4TH NONE OF YOU WILL RECEIVE AN EMAIL FROM ME BECAUSE I WILL BE STUCK INDOORS. So please do not think i am dead or hurt or something when you dont receive an email. The mission will keep Mom and Dad fully updated with current emails on what is happening. So you shall be informed, but never fear. Have faith that the Lord protects His servants. 

As for zone conference, wow. A missionary couple video taped it the second time we did it. Their camera died the first time. In my opinion the first was better, but both were good. Wow wow! Everybody loved it, and President and Sister B called me for like a day after thanking me for it. I did not do it alone though, Sister Thorne had a HUGE part to play in it. But we also did a surprise one, "Homeward Bound", for all the departing missionaries. People cried during all our numbers. YES! I am excited to make some when i get home. All of you prepare to participate. 

MY new companion is... drum roll.... ELDER GIDEON!!!!!! YEEEEAAAHHHHH!!!!!! Yes, it is the same Elder Gideon from South Africa who is a personal trainer in Capetown! His mother is a big shot with Reebok or some big ole' sports company, and he can get me cool discounts too :) He is a GREAT missionary, and we get along awesome from the time we spent together in Kilungu. I am SO EXCITED!!!! FEAR, BENJAMIN AND DANIEL. I HAVE ONE OF CAPETOWN'S BEST PERSONAL TRAINERS AS MY COMPANION. EVERY DAY IS A WORKOUT DAY!!!!!! Except Sunday.

So please also tell Bishop Landers thank you for me!!!! I totally forgot to have you tell him thank you!!!! A few weeks ago i received a package from him and feasted on delicious goodies and read inspiring notes from the Young Men and some confessions from young women about crushes and stuff. Tafadhali wombia Bishop nimesema asante sana!!!!!!! (please tell Bishop i say thank you very much!)

Well this week was good. We had to postpone some baptisms, but this coming Sunday we are baptizing at least 2. Bryson and Jack, son and nephew (respectively) of Sister Evelyn Jepkemei. She has been a member for a while, but her Catholic husband has kept the 2 boys from being baptized. Now they are 18 and have chosen to be baptized and get out on missions. They are powerful and totally prepared. Sister Melen, a simple and sweet lady of around 40 or so years, maybe 45, is also being baptized most likely this coming sunday. She is so sweet. I have a love for her that can be called compassion. I just want her to be happy and at peace. We also started teaching her oldest son this week, and he will be baptized. Our teaching pool is deep and happy! 

Most of our week consisted of zone conference and what i mentioned above, and also my keyboard teaching classes are going well. 3 of my students are REALLY doing well. I took pictures and everything, but this computer is poop so it ain't working. 

I'm going to take Elder Omara out to dinner or lunch this week, and my home card is working again :D whatever you did, thanks!! We were bored last week too, so we took some funny videos in our apartment and i gave you a video tour. I may send that one soon because i almost have filled it up. I am glad you liked the videos. Yeah.. 4th of July was... peculiar... 

Well, all's good in the neighborhood! I love the Lord, the Church is true. I haven't a single doubt in my heart or mind that this is the truth. I intend to faithfully serve the Lord in ANY calling i receive for the rest of mortality. I will never stray or budge on my standards. I even resigned a few weeks ago to give myself strict dating standards as an RM. No being in a parked car alone, NEVER in a house alone, save seriously passionate kissing until marriage, etc. (when i say alone, i mean me and a woman). I fully intend to keep these standards. I told myself, "Conrad, don't say something like this to yourself if you're gonna go home and break it." So i resolved in my soul, it is final. 

Love you all so much. You are my best friends and i love you with an undying love! I will be safe, i will have the Spirit! You do the same, and all shall be well in Zion! ;)

Love, Conrad

Usijali jamaa yangu! (You don't worry, my family!)

Since i have no time, as you all know, let me be brief, bold, bodacious, and butterfly. Wait no, not butterfly. But the first three, yes.

Safety: I have not seen anything with guns or bombs for a long time. In fact, me personally, i have never been around an area where there was any craziness going on. I have been blessed. As for what happened after nominations, there was just some people being beat up and some homes being burned and tires burned in the streets. It was far from our home though, and nobody died. Since then, all has been very peaceful! We still aren't going to Kibera. When election time comes, around March, things will get tense. My guess is this: for at least one week, President Broadbent will have me and my companion stay indoors. During, before by a bit, and after elections he will just have us stay around home. I highly doubt we will be out working when that time comes. So "be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with [me], whithersoever [I go]." I forgot the reference to that... Joshua 1:9? Any other questions about my security? You can ask so i can put your minds at rest about them. And don't worry guys, i won't lie just to make you not worry. I will answer honestly. 

Zone conference is this Wednesday, and i got one of the senior couples to video tape our number. It is beautiful, and will be a real treat for everyone. When i get home, you can bet your bottom dollar imma be makin dem musical numbuhs fa sho hizzy fizzang posho lil piddy!!!!!! AND, this transfer is one week short because of the MTC time shortened, so transfer news is this Saturday. I may be getting a new companion. Do you realize something? This new guy may be my 3rd to last companion. Unless you count my eternal companion, which makes him my 4th to last. 

Durr....... well now we are going to go and teach some guys that are being baptized in 2 Sundays. Life is good, and i am regular (colonary speaking). Also, when i get home, first chance i get to go camping i am growing out my beard. OH YEAH! I can grow a nice goatee in like, 4 days or so. I think when i go camping i will grow a Gandalf beard... then go to the temple... no that's evil... but oh yeah, i selected some events that will happen upon arriving back in the USA:

1. Enter the car and listen to Elton John on the way home.
2. Upon arriving home, hug Katie and Koko (unless she's decomposing)
3. Kiss my piano.
- forgot one, go in my room and offer a prayer of thanks.
4. Remove my suit coat and pants and shirt and beat Benjamin and Daniel into the carpet.
5. Eat some delicious Mexican food that Mom makes :)
6. Get into comfy clothes, get about 10 or 15 blankets, and watch as many movies as time will allow while eating popcorn and all manner of horribly unhealthy foods.
7. Next day, TEMPLE. No budging on this one. 
8. Go to Great Harvest and get some steamy delicious bread.
9. Visit Grandma and Uncle Matt (unless they come to the temple with us)
10. Hang out with Tanner and Justin at our house.
11. Use our toilet. And shower.

So... i love you all! Those are some return home items. BUT! We got ten months to go my dear eternal family! Endure to the End, for it comes quickly!!!! :)

Love forever, Conrad

Monday, February 4, 2013


As the title so boldly and Cyborgishly ( Ben and Dan should get that) implies, this is the first family email. I will also write brief emails to each of you, but ya'll gotsta hear the stuff that's happening. Pamoja! (together)

This week went well. A little bit tough, but well. President Broadbent has forbid us to go down to Kibera at all now. We haven't seen any violence since the days of nominations a few weeks ago, and there is likely not to be much up until elections time, according to the natives of Kibera. It is a little tough, because a large portion of our working area was Kibera, and now we are not going there. But as far as people doing crazy stuff to Westerners, we purposefully make friends with EVERYBODY, and greet everybody with a warm smile, because when everybody is our friend, nobody is our enemy! This can have a universal application, even for you guys at home (especially Ben and Dan in school). We are being safe, we are home by a reasonable time. We feel the Lord's protection and guidance. Most of our appointments are at the church building, so all is well. We are smart and have no desire to be men according to the world's standard. Men according to the world's standard get injured and have to "spend their life breathing through a colostomy bag" (Major Payne). Play it smart, not "manly". Even Elder Omara, a black belt, who is dangerously skilled in martial arts (especially using nun chucks, seriously), responded thus when i asked him what he would do if somebody approached him with a knife and he had no weapon: "What do i do? I turn around and run as fast as i can! You can't block a knife with your arm! Better to live to fight another day than take a stupid risk." Words of wisdom, applicable in many situations.

We are doing service at a Catholic-sponsored hospital known as St. Mary's. No, we are not shooting people up and feeding tablets to patients. We are working in a pharmacy, bottling and packaging medicines. It's great! I made 2 good friends there - Simon and Terry. They came to my keyboarding class last Saturday and we invited them to church. Haven't come yet, but the Lord has His good time :)

So Mom asked for some input on her upcoming talk on "Spiritual Reservoirs". So i thought maybe i would send something to you all! A spiritual reservoir is a funny term, because as far as building up and storing spirituality, it is a misnomer. If you are not building your spirituality, it is decreasing. It is more like a bucket with a hole. As much as you put something into it, it will fill and increase. When you stop, it leaks and diminishes. That water in the bucket can also be chilled and turned to slush, which would make the water leak out more slowly! How do we chill it to slush? "Hope is the anchor of our souls", said James E. Faust.  Hope is actively believing that we are going to receive something more and better. When somebody comes and throws a spiritual rock in our spiritual reservoir bucket, it may toss some water out, but if we slushify that water in our bucket, less goes out, and therefore we build from where we are, not having to backslide. Doubt, anger, and lack of patience cuts a bigger hole. Doubt especially. Do you realize that if the Devil can get us to doubt something or someone, especially the power our God and Savior has, then not only will we not see results because faith won't work, but we begin to turn to alternative means, primarily our own endeavors. When we try to do things on our own, we fail. A STORY! Sister Jepkemei, a sister in Langata branch, has a Catholic husband who is way too argumentative and critical of the church, even with no valid reasons. We were talking with Sister Jepkemei about this (not beyond our stewardship, as this fully belongs to the bishop), and after going through everything, something came to my mind which i told her: "Sister Jepkemei, here's the big problem. For too long we have been relying on our own means and brainpower and ideas to solve this problem. I think it is time to rely on Jesus Christ rather than ourselves."  We resolved to fast together with her children, whom the husband has forbid to be baptized as long as they are underage. Jesus Christ gave simple and profound counsel when the Apostles failed to cast out Legion - "Howbeit this kind goeth out not but by prayer and fasting." I do testify of the power of fasting and prayer. Fasting is serious tool! Deny yourself of wordly things to increase spirituality. We may not get immediately what we fast for, but we will become humble and sensitive enough to know HOW to ask Heavenly Father for something, therefore aligning with 3rd Nephi 18:20 and Moroni 10:4 about "How to get our prayers answered" :) So in increasing our reservoirs, the best counsel i could think to offer would be consistency, effective study, FAITH, and an understanding of the Plan of Salvation. Trials WILL and SHOULD come. If they don't, are we growing? How can we increase our muscular strength if we never increase the weight? So how can Heavenly Father get us nice and spiritually built if He never allows the weight to increase? I know that this life is preparatory. Trials can come. I don't challenge God, but I trust Him and know He will never forsake us or our family. He lives!! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

So... sorry i got carried away. But there's some food for thought! We have some baptisms coming up this week. And the next week. and the next week! 3 weeks in a row! Wonderfully prepared people. Langata branch is growing. As for the area, all is well here. Elder Omara rocks, we're having fun! And Jessie, i will not miss your graduation if it is the week of December 15th. Chances are i will be home before that, considering it will be so close to Christmas. It all depends on where the new transfer begins. I may be able to see you walk! And trip! And knock over the podium! And land it on the President of BYU-I! And then everybody will start punching each other because of the mass pandemonium which you commenced and people will be bleeding and DYING and VOMITING and AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Ok hopefully not that.

Anyways, love you all. Miss your humor. Don't be afraid to send a picture from 3 Amigos, like Dad did. Thank you Dad, i laughed out loud. And people in here looked at me funny. And Daniel, at the request of Jessie, i am going to BEAT you when i get home. So prepare yourself kid. You are my eternal family and i love you :) Don't worry, be happy!

With eternal love, Elder Schneider, the II