Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We Have A Home!

First visitor in our yard in Dar!
After five fun filled weeks of traveling from Washington, to California, to Arizona to Utah to Nairobi to Dar Es Salaam,  packing and unpacking suitcases, visiting family and friends with joyful reunions and tearful goodbyes, we are finally unpacked and moved into our home! We moved in this afternoon. There are many mosquitoes here and some of them carry malaria...that is why we take our malaria medicine every day. Our home has a fenced perimeter and 24 hour guard. That is what they do here and it creates more jobs. We truly love it here and feel very safe ... the people are kind and gracious.  The children we see are well cared for and clean.  The mothers usually carry the younger children and babies on their back in a large serape type cloth. The children are beautiful! Big brown eyes...truly engaging.
Our most authentic Kenyan food so far was back in Puyallup with a the marvelous Odhiambo family where we ate yummy vegetables (potatoes, peppers, carrots, peas) cooked in curry sauce. Their mainstay dish is Ugali, a type of corn mush that they eat with everything. It takes on the flavor of the main dish and is a good filler.We look forward to our first authentic Tanzanian meal.  We know that beans, pillau (rice with many spices), bananas and chapati (flat bread) are a staple. They also have many fresh fruits and vegetables here.  Bananas, pineapple, papaya, oranges, watermelon, cukes, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, avocados are plentiful and very good.
We don't know the name of our not so little visitor, but will you know when we do. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Here in Tanzania

We are using our computer for the first time in Tanzania.  We are very pleased with the beautiful home the Nolls have found for us and are very fortunate to have such a nice place. It has all tile floors, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, a screened in porch and is freshly painted.  Plenty of room for visitors! We should be able to move in a few days.  Elder and Sister Noll have taken good care of us with good food and a place to sleep.  They just turned on the generator because we haven't had electricity since 8 am this morning...it is now 3:30 pm.  It's been pretty hot and the air conditioners and ceiling fans are now on. Feels great!! We live in a compound with the Nolls and 15 other homes. We look forward to getting to know our neighbors.  I  know there are two very cute little boys next door...Emmanuel and Denny.

Church was great!! We attended the Chang'ombe branch.  There were about 150 attending sacrament meeting.  They asked us to bear our testimonies and we did while John, a wonderful and valuable employee of the church here, translated for us. Many members speak some English but we need to learn the language if we are going to be effective and understood. We will be starting Swahili lessons in the next couple of weeks and the church provides tutors for anyone who needs it as it is not taught at the MTC. There are 4 branches in Dar...this is a HUGE city...and only the District in the entire country. There are two other branches far out from the city...one north in Arusha and one east on Lake Victoria, Mwanza.

We have so much to learn, and are so excited to learn it.  Just to give you an idea of the missionary work that is going on here, the 4 Elders we visited with today (our district) said that in all 4 branches (our zone) there were 47 investigators today.  These people are so loving- so humble and so ready to hear the Gospel message.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First days in Nairobi

We and all our luggage arrived safely in Nairobi late Tuesday night.  We were met at the airport and stayed the first night with President Steven and Sister Julie Broadbent. It was great to finally meet them in person.  They are as wonderful as they sounded on the phone. Wednesday night we were introduced to all the fantastic and dedicated senior couples working in Nairobi.  Five couples live in some condos close together called "the nest". They organized a fun get-to-know-you dinner for us. We will meet the rest of the couples from the entire mission when we all meet together at the Nakuru National Park and Lodge for the Couples Conference Sept 2nd and 3rd.

We traveled to Kilunga Hills today (Thursday) with Elder and Sister Hall whose assignment it is to serve the 4 branches in this beautiful area that looks a lot like Machu Picchu. The road to the "Hills" is a steep, narrow, and bumpy dirt road. On the way up we saw wild impalas, ostrich, monkeys, storks and people herding all sorts of goats, cattle, donkeys and camels.

The traffic is heavy in the city with many large trucks, literally thousands of pedestrians, and mini buses called matatus (vans crammed full of people hanging out the doors) dodging and weaving through traffic nearly colliding with autos and pedestrians.We survived as do all the couples everyday as they wend their way to "work".   We are still getting used to the time difference and are told it will take a month before we are totally acclimated.  Tomorrow we meet with the area CES director as we will be coordinating with him on getting PEF started in Tanzania.  Saturday we fly down to Dar Es Salaam and discover what we will be experiencing for the next year and a half!
Elder and Sister Worthen with Sister and President

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Our MTC District, Watsons, Curtis', Raymonds and Worthens
We are having an incredible experience at the MTC! All is going great, we truly are loving our time here.  We had a wonderful Devotional tonight with Cecil Samuelson speaking.  I have to say the highlight of the night was all of us Seniors and 2000+ missionaries singing "Called to Serve". There are several other couples here going to Africa, but we are the only ones going to Kenya right now.  There are many extraordinary couples here. We will spend the remainder of this week and next Mon through Wed at the MTC here in Provo then go to SLC for PEF training at the church office building Thursday and Friday.
We have been asked to give our farewell talks this Sunday in Bruce's old ward (the current Bishop was an Aaronic Priesthood youth when Bruce returned from his mission.) Grandma Worthen went to church with us last Sunday and stayed for all three hours and is excited to have Bruce speak in church next Sunday. At 93 she is still sharp as a tack and still working in her garden. It is good to spend the weekends with her and also with Bob and Pat (Bruce's sister and brother-in-law).  We will get to see much of his family next weekend when there will be a celebration for their 50th wedding anniversary.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Our first day at the MTC.
Loved it.
Met many great couples!
Our room is close to the main building.
Finally unpacked.
They kept us busy.
Looking forward to tomorrow!
We now know why missionaries gain wait at the MTC.
(Unlimited buffet of everything you'd ever want to eat, every meal, every day)

Bruce pointing to our mission destination, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania


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