Nothing too new, however I did finally get a chance to get out this P-Day (preparation day). So instead of cleaning our flat, we decided that we would go out and experience a little more of Arusha. We got a ride to the locally snake park!
Let me tell ya, there are some crazy snakes here in Africa! One Of the snakes was 15 ft long! Don’t worry, i wont send pictures of those. Besides snakes there were some fairly large tortoises and some Nile crocodiles. Lets just say I am glad that I don’t run into any of these animals while I am out tracking or teaching.
Then when leaving the park, a Masai offered to let me ride his camel for 2000 Tanzanian shillings (equal to 1 USD). So obviously i took him up on that offer and rode my first camel. Either i am pretty fat though or this camel was really lazy because the Masai had to hit it several times before it would get off the ground. Animal cruelty doesn’t exists here. especially with the Masai. If you aren’t squeamish you should see what they do with cows. I won’t put it in my email though because I know it might be a little hard for animal lovers to handle (Jillian…). Anyways, it was good to finally get out and do something different.
On a more spiritual note, This Sunday we met a really awesome man. His name is Godwin and he is a Safari guide. We had never met him but he came to church so of course we had to talk to him. He told us that while he was on a Safari, a man started sharing things about our church with him. he liked it so much that they talked for 5 hours. He now Skypes this person, who lives in Utah, every day about our church. The man told him he has to come to our church and find the people in white shirts and ties with a name tag (AKA Me and elder Ombaka). He told us his whole story about how he hasn’t been to church for 5 years after the church his was raised in threatened him that he wouldn’t get buried by their church and that God would not accept him if he wasn’t in attendance each week. he didn’t like being scared into going to church so he stopped going altogether. But now he really likes our church and says there is just something “different” about it that he likes. We Gave him a copy of the book of Mormon in English, (yes, he speaks English tooo!!!!) although he has read most of it via his phone.
Another thing I started this week is reading, “The Other Side of Heaven”. For anyone who ever wondered what it feels like to be a missionary, this book is great. It is about an Elder who serves in Tonga back in the 50’s. Everything in the book actually happened. It is written by the Elder himself so you can see what the things we sometimes think as elders are. I haven’t had all the crazy experiences he has had, and I doubt most Elders do, but I though it was a good way to show what it is like to be a missionary. And if you have already seen the movie, I would still read the book because it is way better.
My advice this week is too think about what your intention is before doing something, or the reason you are really doing the thing that you are doing. I have found that a lot of times I will do things without thinking about why I do it. It’s your intentions that will make you gain from the activity. for example, I ran a lot in high school. I noticed the kids who ran to get in shape usually lost weight, but they were never the fastest. The kids who ran to make friends usually made friends but usually didn’t get in much better shape. Finally the kids who ran to become the best they could, usually got faster and were often the best runners. It is the why in what we do that determines what we get out of our daily activities. So think about the things you do and see if what you are doing will make you better.
Here’s the camel picture. I also couldn’t resist putting this snake picture in, and some of the primary kids from our branch.