An African Heart

An African Heart

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

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