Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas retreat in Tanzania

Seventy Ron Smith, along with his wife Di and niece Cara Smith, are going to help with a Christmas retreat in Mwanza, Tanzania. Di and Cara leave on Tuesday, December 14, and Ron leaves on Thursday, December 16. They will meet in Nairobi, Kenya, where they will join up with Eric Odida, and proceed to Mwanza, Tanzania there. The retreat is scheduled to begin on December 18. After the retreat, they plan to go to Kisumu, Kenya, for Christmas. Ron will be conducting a wedding in Nakuru prior to their return on December 30.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Frank Frye's Jun-Aug 2010 East Africa Diary -- Ch 2

Sat Jun 19
Last night there was one kamikaze mosquito that managed to get inside my mosquito netting and kept dive bombing my ears.  There could have been more—but they all sound alike.  I went to bed late after having written several letters and working on catching up with the earlier days of this diary.  The pesky mosquito then kept me awake for a couple of hours more.  However, I still woke up quite refreshed and feel great.

We had a very good omelet this morning for breakfast.  Tom came about noon and we went to downtown Kisumu to look for a Swahili dictionary and several other things including a few groceries.  We went down to the lake (Victoria) where we had a tilapia lunch, since the cooks back at the house were not preparing lunch for us.  While there we met Caroline Miruka, a cousin of Paul Makawiti and had a nice visit with her.  She is a Seventh Day Adventist, but attends our services frequently.  She will be coming over to visit us at the guest house Sunday evening, and I may have a chance to have a cottage meeting with her.  She is 27 years old and seems quite intelligent.  Picked up some post cards and stamps for my grandson Zachary. 

Came back to the guest house and worked on translations until close to 9:00 p.m.  Paul continued to work on my laptop on the translation while I went to my room to consider what to present at the church service in the morning, as I've been asked to be the speaker.  At about 10:30 p.m. I came back out to check my Email and found a letter from Tom Nunn and Sherrie Wages which had a forwarded letter from Tom's daughter-in-law, Susana Prange.   The letter had an attachment of the Portuguese translation of one of my tracts that I'd left with Tom when in New York with Brother Sherrie last month.  I took the translation and formatted it into both a tract layout and into a three column comparison and sent it back to her for her inspection and permission to send it on to our men in Brazil for finalization with accents and diacritical marks.  I plan to use it in England in August with Bob Moore's new contact who speaks Portuguese. 

Sun Jun 20
Preached in the Branch that Brother Austin and Sister Jane attend.  Tom Okeyo translated.  I spoke about our belief in a God of miracles and related a number of testimonies within the Restored Church and used appropriate scripture references.  Had lunch with half a dozen other men at Brother Austin's home, fixed by his wife, Jane. 

Later that afternoon, when we finally got home, Caroline (Paul's cousin), came over for a class.  We studied about the three different kinds of churches and about Authority.  Gave her several tracts.

After going to bed, a mouse in my room kept me awake until about 5:00 a.m.  I got up several times and moved my luggage to figure out where he was.

Mon Jun 21
Went to town with Tom to exchange some money, mail post cards to Zachary and buy some groceries.  Paul had spent the night with some family members and a young child died, so he had to stay and hold the funeral service and the burial.  He was not with us all day. 

Worked with Tom the rest of the day.

Tues Jun 22
Brother Austin arrived in the morning and I began teaching him about how to do the translation.  Worked with him most of the day.  Later Tom and Paul arrived and we worked together. 

Today I began working separately on a short Keynote class which could be used to teach the translation process so that I can leave it with the men for review after I'm gone.  We have developed a plan about how to finish the project.  The Book of Mormon will be divided into equal parts and given to teams of translators that I will train—one in Kisumu (western Kenya), one in Tanzania and one in Nairobi (eastern Kenya)—with at least two men on each team.  After each book is finished, it will be printed in English and Swahili, copied and given out to key members who know Swahili very well in addition to being students of the Book of Mormon and the Bible.  These documents will be designed with three columns, English, Swahili and a 3rd for comments and corrections.  These documents will then be returned to the committees for incorporation into the final text.

Just before supper time, I was looking inside my small projector case for one of my flannel-graph classes, when I found the mouse that had been keeping me awake for three nights!  Somehow he had gotten zipped in.  He had chewed up one of the plastic bags that contained the flannel-graph pieces for one of the classes, a small nibble on my good leather bound Doctrine and Covenants, and had chewed a little bit near one corner of the case, but thankfully nothing serious.  We took the case outside and I carefully opened it with Tom helping, in an attempt to capture it or stomp on it.  Tom said that they are quick and that we would not catch it.  He was right—it deftly jumped out and zipped away.  I'm sure that we looked pretty silly out on the back patio jumping around and banging slippers everywhere, but all to no avail.  About an hour later, I saw a mouse enter the kitchen from the living room side during supper.  Probably the same critter.  He must know the house pretty well and would have had to go around it to the other side to get in that open door.  So unfortunately he's back.  My door will remain shut, but he can most likely squeeze under it.  We have put poison out.  I should have carried the case across the road before opening it.  You know what they say about hind sight.

During supper, Sandra Osiro, Tom's business partner came to see me.  She is the same one that had come earlier in the week that Tom asked me to teach a class to.  I was rather surprised that she would come to see me again after the previous visit.  I greeted her and she said that she wanted to visit with me when we finished supper.  After supper, she asked me to teach her a class about the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church, because she was thinking about investigating it as she had been questioning the Roman Catholic church, and apparently the earlier class had pushed her over the edge.  I told her that we could visit briefly about the SDA, but that I would much prefer to teach her about the "Fullness of the Gospel".  She agreed.

Since I had just found all the parts to the Come Unto Christ Missionary Flannel-graph (when I found the mouse), I went in my bedroom and got them and we began the class.  I explained to her, that since I probably would not see her again on this trip, I would like to give her a brief overview of the six classes without reading a lot of scriptures.  She said that she would like that even though it might take longer than a normal class.  Tom, Paul and Austin sat in and watched the class, parts of which some of them had never seen.  Amazingly, and for the first time, I went over all of the classes in one extended class and Tom said that he was amazed at how smoothly it all integrated together.  When we finished I gave her four tracts to study and we took her home, because it was late (11:00 p.m.).  She was very pleased and promised to study.  I told her that she needed to get with Tom to study the complete classes properly with their corresponding scripture verses.  Her response was very positive.

Wed Jun 23
Had a very poor day.  Had sinus drainage all day with no relief.  Felt feverish.  Hot day also.  Laid down for about 1 1/2 hours in late afternoon to rest.  That helped.  Paul and Austin continued to work.  I went to bed about 1:00 a.m., but they stayed up until 2:00 a.m. working on the translation.

Thu Jun 24
Took some Ocillococcinium, a remedy that I'd brought from a health food store in Missouri. I took it and had immediate results from the cold this morning.  Had a much better day.

Tom was out most of today in other activities.  After all, he has his own business and has to make a living while I'm over here.  Paul & Austin worked all day.  They are learning how to work together quite well.  I worked on marking my copy of the LDS Book of Mormon.

Found out today that Eric wants Joab to go with Paul & me to Nairobi and then on to Tanzania to get maximum training.  Joab is living in Eric's home in Nairobi and rooms with Patrick Akello.  Eric wants Joab to be able to train Patrick after I leave.  We will have only two weekends in Nairobi to train the men there, but if Joab learns it well in Tanzania and later in Kisumu, then he will be able to fill in the gaps with Patrick and even others.

Fri Jun 25
We traveled from Kisumu to Nairobi.  During the night I monitored the elevation with my small altimeter as we drove back across the highlands and down into the Rift Valley and back up to Nairobi.  From Kisumu which was about 3600 ft, we climbed up to 6000 ft, then down into the Rift Valley at about 4000 ft and from there up to over 8000 ft and back down to Nairobi at about 7000 to 7500 ft depending on where you are in the city.

Sat Jun 26
Arrived at the bus station in Nairobi at 4:00 a.m. and waited until 6:00 as arranged when Eric picked us up to take us to his house.  It was just dawning when we arrived and Eric showed us our beds where we crashed and I slept for about 5 hours, because we got no sleep on the bus or at the bus station. 

When I woke up, they provided a small breakfast and I began teaching Ben, Patrick and several others (who had arrived a little earlier) about the translation process that we would be doing.  Taught several classes and then worked on the translation with the men for most of the rest of the day.

While sharing a video about the "Miracle at Entebbe" and the struggle for Modern day Israel's survival, I suddenly realized that I was near where that took place.  Idi Amin of Uganda had ruled at that time on the other side of Lake Victoria.  The video detailed how several of the rescue planes had circled over Lake Victoria while the advance plane landed with look-alike cars from Idi Amin's entourage to make the first strike.  Later Eric told me that Kenya had cooperated with Israel in the rescue of the hostages from Air France flight #139.  It was fascinating to be so close to where that historical and miraculous rescue took place nearly 34 years ago on July 4, 1976.

Spent the night at Eric and Pam's home.  We had a worship service just before going to bed and instead of a BoM study, they asked me to share some testimonies which I did.

Sun Jun 27
Up at 7:00 a.m. so that we could leave the house by 8:00 to be at the meeting place before 9:00.  Eric had asked me to teach the class using the laptop & projector.  He had asked me to teach the class on the Eight Pillars of Evidence about the Book of Mormon.  It had to be greatly shortened because of the need for an interpreter.  We met in a restaurant that was closed on Sundays and rearranged the tables and chairs.

He had also asked me to preach after the class, which I did and had good liberty.  Eric said that there were about 50 adults plus children.  There were several new people and non-members present.  One of them sent Eric a text message after we left saying that she really enjoyed the sermon.  I spoke about a God of miracles and tied in the Restoration and the BoM using Isaiah 29, John 10:16, etc.  Shared several testimonies including Patti's vision of Christ when she was a teenager, and of a healing in Oaxaca.  Ended with Moroni chapter 10:4 and then the last 3 verses of the same chapter. 

After church I shot a few group photos of the members outside of the building and then we took Pam and two others back to the house.  After that Eric took Paul and me to a supermarket to get a few groceries for lunch. 

That evening Eric took me from his house at 8:00 p.m. to go to the bus station where we met Paul and Joab and we left on a bus for Tanzania.  When we travel on buses, I've been alternately loaning Paul and Joab my iPod and the headphones that my son David had loaned me for this trip, so that they can listen to testimonies and sermons.  The moon was full and Eric had told me that we would be traveling through the Serengeti wildlife area of Kenya.  As we rode west and then southward in the darkened bus I could see the beautiful trees that are characteristic of the Serengeti—the ones that go up so far and then spread out and form kind of a flat canopy of branches and leaves.  I believe that some of them are Acacia trees.  On my left I could see a range of low lying hills or mountains that the road seemed to be following.  There was a lot of vegetation, but I couldn't tell what kind it was.  In the daylight I've seen eucalyptus trees that apparently the British brought here from Australia several centuries ago.  I've seen cactus and agave type plants that are very similar to what grows in Oaxaca, that perhaps were brought from Mexico.  I've been monitoring the altitude since leaving Nairobi and we climbed out of the city to 8000 feet and then have gone up to close to 10,000 feet and are back down now to about 9000 feet.  The air outside is quite chilly, in fact if I didn't have my jacket on in the bus I would be down right cold.  The window seat would be uncomfortable tonight.  Thank goodness the bus is not full and I can carry my laptop case in the seat next to the window and can sit in an aisle seat.

Part of the road has been good, but we just turned off onto a really bad bumpy road.  Makes for hard typing.  I've had little time to work on my journal in the day time since I'm either teaching a class on the laptop or the men are using it to do the work together on the translation.  Don't think I'll be able to write much more tonight.

Mon Jun 28
We arrived at the Tanzania border at about 5:30 a.m.  We had to get out of the bus and walk to the Kenyan office where I had to fill out a card and get an exit stamp put in my passport.  Of course Paul didn't need to do anything because he is from Tanzania and the countries of East Africa have travel agreements for their citizens.  The office was not open yet.  There was a stiff breeze and the temperature must have been 50° F. or below.  If I hadn't had the jacket on ... well it was really cold.  When the office did open and I got a form, it was difficult to write because my hands were shaking so much.  That made me thankful that it was not a permanent nervous condition!  Then we had to walk further and cross into Tanzania so that I could get a visa stamped in my passport for that country.  It cost $100.00 USD.  They assured me that it would be good for one full year.  (Wow—think of all that will save us!)  I began to walk back to the bus to get on it, but it was already moving to the border check point.  After getting on it, we waited for the other passengers to finish up their paperwork and finally left the border at about 7:00 a.m.  The altitude at the border registered at about 6300 feet.

We continued on in the bus in Tanzania through more of the Serengeti.   Did see some wildebeest off in the distance once.  Arrived in Mwanza at a little after 11:00 a.m.  It was about a 14 hour trip through the night.  Part of the time, I had to hold my laptop/projector case on my lap because the bus filled up after the border.  When it finally became light, I was able to shoot a number of photos out of the dirty window, but think that I did get some interesting shots.  We arrived at Paul's home and I finally got to lay down for a short rest.  Paul and Joab had slept quite a bit on the bus, but I don't think that I slept more than five minutes a couple of times, so I was pretty tired.

When I woke up after a couple hours of rest, Paul was gone but Joab was here.  He fixed me a small basin of water that I could use to bathe with and took it outside to the one hole outhouse near the entrance to the house, but then couldn't find a towel.  So I had to wait until Paul returned several hours later before I could get cleaned up and shaved.  Soon Paul's family members began to arrive.  We visited and then began a class that Paul suggested, but then his sister and two other girls started bringing some food in for us.  We stopped for supper and then started the class over again for all to see.  At Paul's request, the class was about the Body of Christ—the Church of Jesus Christ.  The class went well in the very dim light of his home. 

Everyone has gone home now and it is about 11:00 p.m.  Tomorrow we plan to start training men here in this area about the translation of the Book of Mormon into Swahili.  The government of Tanzania intentionally chose to reject the English language of the former British colonists and for about a generation now has only taught Swahili in the schools.  Consequently few people speak English.  Paul and I shared the one bed in his home which has a nice mosquito net over it.

Tue Jun 29
Paul and I did some studying together early in the morning, and then he had to go downtown to exchange some Dollars into Tanzania Shillings so that we could buy some food.  (He got an exchange rate of 1410 TSh / USD.)  I stayed at the house with Joab.  The house consists of two rooms, each about 9 x 10 feet—a living room and a bedroom.  The living room has two small couches one matching chair, a large coffee table and a television set in the corner.  We do have electricity which keeps us running for working on the translation materials.  Paul is a tailor by profession, but has taken time off to spend full time working with me and the others that need training.  Later I met others of his family and discovered that the whole family consists of tailors.

Gershom Jeremiah ODaks came at about 3:00 p.m. at Paul's invitation to receive some training.  Gershom is a teacher in Tanzania.  He teaches English & Math, for the Third Grade level.  He is a member of the church, but not a priesthood member.  Paul says that he has been helping on the Book of Mormon SDA manuscript.  We had three classes and a lot of discussion—one on the translation of the Book of Mormon, another on Bible translations (versions) and the third and longest one was the DVD on the Eight Pillars of Evidence of the Book of Mormon.  Paul wanted me to show it to him on the laptop.  Paul had to translate for it, so I had to stop it after every sentence.  It was long, and we paused at about 7:30 p.m. because it was taking so long for the translation (into Luo), but Gershom did not want to stop.  He wanted to see all of it.  We finally finished at 10:00 p.m.  Both Gershom and Paul's brother-in-law Nicolas Ojijo (who is an SDA) were very attentive.  Gershom later said that he liked the archaeology part best.

Worked late after Paul went to bed.  I finally got to bed at about 2:00 a.m.

Wed Jun 30
This morning I worked on the dictionary for the Book of Mormon.  Before leaving Kenya for Tanzania, I had written back to the States asking several people for an electronic copy of a Book of Mormon dictionary thinking that it would expedite the selection of proper nouns for translation, but none had arrived yet, so I am marking them in one of my Books of Mormon.  Later, Joab read them off to me as I typed them into the database which I had designed for this purpose.  A database is best suited for this kind of task because of its versatility.  When finished, it could be exported from the data base and reformatted and printed for distribution among the translators.

I had also written to Sharon Warner asking for some specifics about the number of translations of the Book of Mormon that had been published without verses and just when the verses were finally added to the LDS Book of Mormon and our edition also.  Sharon passed the request on to Pamela Price who found the information and got it to me in time for me to finish up the training class before my twelve days in Tanzania ended. 

Later in the day, we went down town to look for a good Bible.  We still haven't found one.  They are more expensive in Tanzania than in Kenya.  I finally found a small booklet to jot down expenses in at a book store.  We then came home and I continued to work on the words and Hebraisms for the Book of Mormon dictionary, while the others worked on the translation with this laptop.  Later I worked on my LDS Book of Mormon in remarking it with our chapter and verse numbers.  There is no real table to work at here, so it makes this kind of work rather difficult. 

When the day ends, the light is very dim inside the house.  There is one three foot fluorescent tube that is about an inch in diameter that goes through a hole in the wall between the living room and the bedroom that serves as the only light in the house, so it is difficult to do anything else except work on the laptop after the sun goes down.  The three men stopped working on it during supper.  After supper, I taught another class about the Apostasy and a little about the Restoration.  After the class, Paul and I stayed up and talked for about another hour and we finally got to bed just before 1:00 a.m. 

Frank Frye's Jun-Aug 2010 East Africa Diary -- Ch 1

Introduction
A number of people have asked me to share the diary from my eleven week stay in East Africa with the Saints in a similar manner as Brother Randy Vick has done.  I've agreed to do so with the understanding that Randy and I are two very different people and the purpose of my trip was very different than the ones that Randy has written about.  It should also be kept in mind that this was my diary and is not intended to even use complete sentences at times.  At times, brevity was very important.

We have both had some wonderful experiences with the people of Africa, but my diary may be a bit more hum drum than his because my task was to focus mostly on just one thing—the preparation of the Swahili text of the Book of Mormon for publication.  As you will discover while reading about my stay in Kenya and in Tanzania, it was not as simple as we had first thought. 

While in East Africa, I was privileged to share in teaching and preaching ministry on many occasions and had many wonderful experiences with both members of the Church and those who came seeking more truth.  I hope that you are edified from what has been written.  It certainly was a valuable and memorable experience for me and I made many new friends among the Saints there, as well as others outside of the fellowship of the Church.  I found the Saints there to be just as dedicated to the "cause of Zion" (the Church), the Lord and the spreading of the Gospel as the best of the Saints in America.  They share a vibrant faith in the Lord and the Restored Gospel.  Their enthusiasm to build up the Church in all the world is strong.  Many of them practice family worship in their homes daily.

I pray that the sacrifices that were made to cover the cost of this trip as well as the sacrifices and efforts that were made by the Saints in Africa will be rewarded by a rich harvest of souls who will have opportunity to read the Book of Mormon and the other materials referred to in their own tongue when this project reaches its completion.          
Frank Evan Frye

Sun Jun 6
Our daughter Sariah and my wife Patti took me to the airport in Kansas City where I arrived in plenty of time.  We were delayed in our departure, but I had sufficient layover time in Detroit that there was no problem.  The flight to Detroit lasted only a couple of hours.  Actually we were delayed in our departure from Detroit because they couldn't get one of the doors to close and had to replace it.  Better to do that on the ground than have it fall off in the air.  We left Detroit and flew for seven hours to Amsterdam.  It was night during most of the flight, but I couldn't see anything anyway because my seat was in the middle row of four seats.  There were three seats on the outside rows.  Probably because of the recent volcanic eruption, we flew south quite a bit on this trip and could not see Greenland which is covered with ice and is a break from staring at the empty ocean.  By the time we came to the British Isles it was getting light.  We were arriving earlier than Missouri time because we were flying toward the sun and gaining hours.  I did get a glimpse of Ireland and England as we flew over them by getting out of my seat and looking out of the windows in other parts of the airplane.  We were free to walk around much of the time.  They were very green contrasted with what we would see later flying over the great Sahara Desert.

We arrived a little late in Amsterdam because of our delay, but I still had about three hours for a layover.  We had gained six hours during the flight.  I had no money except US Dollars, so I was at the mercy of the shop keepers in the airport.  I was very thirsty by that time and looked for water.  A small bottle of water was €1.55 (Euros).  One shop keeper, not wanting Dollars, tried to charge me $5.00 USD for 8 ounces of water.  I guess that's not highway robbery, but it was airport robbery.  Finally I found another shop that sold me a small water for $3.00 USD.  I savored it carefully.  The plane for Nairobi was a couple of hours late in boarding us.  KLM seats are very narrow, so the next seven and one half hours were quite uncomfortable.  Sleep was almost out of the question.  We flew south, south east over Europe.  We flew over French air space and then over part of Italy and near the western coast of Greece.  Then over the Mediterranean Sea.  After that, we flew over the sands of the Sahara Desert.  It was still light enough during the first part of the flight to see the yellowish brown sand dunes 39,000 feet below.  We flew through the night gaining more hours as we went eastward and arrived in Nairobi early in the morning. 

Mon Jun 7
De-boarding the plane, waiting in line to get a visa at the airport and going through customs took about an hour and a half.  I did not know that we had to pay $25.00 USD in cash for the visa.  Fortunately I still had a little cash out and could pay it.  As I went through the gate leaving customs, the first person that I recognized was Randy Vick and Eric was at his side.  Randy saw me and yelled to get my attention, but he was not hard to identify because he was rather tall and was standing in a crowd of Africans.  They took me outside to a car where they placed my luggage.  Then we went back inside where we waited several hours more for the men coming from Liberia who were flying in that morning.  When they finally arrived, they did not have the money to pay for their visas and were detained in some office.  They were able to call Eric on his cell phone.  Eric was on his way to the airport when he stopped to put diesel in his car, but they put gasoline in it by mistake.  When he realized what had happened, they had to drain the tank which took quite some time.  Because of that, he was about an hour and a half late getting to the airport.  As a result of that, we missed the bus ride that we had planned to go to Kisumu.  However, Raymond James from Cameroon had been able to obtain a visa to Kenya at the last minute and flew in later that morning.  We had already given up on his obtaining a visa and were planning on going to the retreat without him as we had not heard otherwise from him.  He called Eric when he arrived at the airport while Eric was still trying to get the gasoline out of his car.  Eric later realized that if he had not had the unfortunate accident with the diesel, we would have gone off and left Raymond stranded at the airport in Nairobi.  We all realized that God had intervened by allowing the accident at the service station so that Raymond could travel with us and not miss any of the conference.  When Eric finally arrived at the airport, he had to jump through a bunch of diplomatic hoops just to get the men from Liberia out of their detention at the airport.  It was late in the day when we finally got to the home where Randy and I were going to stay with Brother Auggrey Anditi and his good wife Sylvia.  Randy hooked up his computer and called home using his Skype account.  Then he let me make a phone call home.   David answered.  I just told him that all was well and that I had arrived in Kenya.  Our host family fed us supper after which we visited for a while and finally Randy and I went to bed.  We shared a double bed with a mosquito net over it.  Neither of us slept well, but it was much better than the airplane seat.

On the last leg of the trip into Nairobi, there were about six seats in the middle of the plane and the usual two or three on each side.  I had been awarded one of the middle seats in the center seats.  A very large Kenyan lady was seated to my right.  After we took off, she went to sleep and spilled over into about 1/3 of my seat.  That gave me the dubious privilege of sitting at about 20 degrees to my left for most of the trip.  As we were arriving I tried to speak with her, but she did not understand much English.  I gave her a tract and smiled and said that it was about Jesus.  She smiled back.  As we deplaned, she had to wait for a wheel chair because of problems with her legs.

Tue Jun 8
In the morning our host family served us breakfast and later Eric arrived and took us to his home where I saw his wife Pamela and some others who were to travel with us that day.  We waited for several hours while Eric was calling around to find a van that would take us to Kisumu for a reasonable price.  We finally left and wound our way through the streets of Nairobi to get out of town.  During the five hour trip I took out my iPod and the headphones and passed them around sharing recordings that I had made of different testimonies over the years and that I've used on our tours in Mexico.  I was able to share five testimonies with four different men during the trip.  We drove down into the great rift valley as we drove across Kenya toward Lake Victoria.  Then we drove up the other side of the rift valley.  I'm guessing that it is about a thousand feet deep and maybe twenty to thirty miles wide.  A couple of the men saw a zebra during the drive, but all that I saw were a few antelope at a great distance.  They said that the zebra was right next to the road.  By this time it had been three days since I'd had a good night's sleep, so my attention may have drifted. 

During the last half of the trip to Kisumu, we drove through vast plantations of tea plants that were trimmed like the bushes in an English park.  They went on for miles and miles.  The plants were trimmed about two to three feet tall and as flat and perfect as a putting green.  There were walk ways every so often where the workers could get around to harvest and care for the plants.  In several places we saw huge housing compounds where I presume the workers lived, and also large buildings where the harvested leaves were either stored or processed.  By that time in the afternoon, it was almost too dark to get any photos of the area, but I managed to get a couple.  Hope to get some photos on another trip on that road.  The area where the tea was growing was at a high elevation, probably between 6000 and 8000 feet, because it was quite chilly through that area.

Wed Jun 9
Pan African Elders Conference began.
Randy Vick's report gives the details of these days.  Brother Eric Odida asked me to teach classes on nearly each day and on some days more than one.  There were men who attended from Kenya, Nigeria, Liberia, Tanzania, the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.  We stayed at a camp ground to the east of Kisumu.  The accommodations were very adequate for the needs of the conference.  Brother Randy taught the men a class on stewardship that had been approved by the Seventy and the Bishopric.  That same class was taught several other times during the time that I was there on this trip and copies of it were left with the men in Africa for them to use in the future.  I gave each of the men at the Conference about a dozen new tracts that I had written while in Mexico and several DVDs about the Book of Mormon.  These had been prepared for this purpose by Brother Harry Williams and were donated by MMSG (Mexican Ministries Support Group).

Thu-Sat Jun 10-12
Pan African Elders Conference

Sun Jun 13 
After the Conference ended, Brother Tom Okeyo took me to the village of Lisana where Eric Odida's grandmother lives.  There I preached for their Branch in the open air under a tree, and later blessed a baby boy (Emanuel).  I was impressed that a number of the people had handwritten copies of hymns in small notebooks from which they sang.  They were our Latter Day Saints hymns.  Paul Makawiti (from Tanzania) accompanied us.  He will be helping with Swahili project.  Ate lunch in the home of Joshua Okaylu (teacher).  He has seven sons and seven daughters.  Met Michael Onyiego (priest).  Gave out several tracts about the testimony of the light that came down from heaven in 1875 during a baptismal service at night where J.J. Cornish was performing the baptism in Canada.  I had mentioned that in my sermon.  Paul asked me to speak with a friend of his by phone and I promised to send her some written materials about the Restoration (Restoration in Prophecy & History)  Two adult men were invited by Tom and I gave them some reading materials.  Gave out two tracts about the "Wines of the Bible" there also. 

Then Tom brought me to the home of Brother Austin and Jane Odicoh where I was to spend the night.  I'm afraid that I was a rather bad guest at that point, because I was so totally exhausted that I just kind of passed out on their couch for several hours in spite of the fact that several guests came to greet me.  Austin's wife, Jane is a wonderful hostess and has taken very good care of me.  She is a very well educated person and has studied and taught a great deal of important information about nutrition in her area of Kenya.  Jane and Austin were not members of the Restoration when they were married.  Jane was a member of different church than Austin's when they were married and eventually joined his church.  When he found the Restoration, she was reluctant to make another change, but after much prayer and study, she joined with her husband in the greater light.  Both she and her husband have won my respect as dedicated and faithful members of the Lord's Church.  Brother Austin will be helping with the translation of the Book of Mormon into Swahili.

Mon Jun 14
Finally, got some rest last night.  Used some Melatonin drops that I had purchased for the trip and they helped me fall asleep promptly and I slept for ten hours and awoke very refreshed.  They had a basin of hot water for me in the bathing room where I bathed "jicarazo" style.  A j√≠caro [hee-kah-row] is the Spanish name for a gourd that can be used to either carry water in or if cut in half, as a kind of a natural cup with which to bathe or drink.  Then we had breakfast and soon Tom Okeyo arrived to take me to the Kisumu guest house where they keep visitors.  We went back to the village of Lisana and picked up Paul Makawiti and then traveled around the south side of Lake Victoria to the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) institute, which had contracted to translate the Book of Mormon into Swahili many years ago, in hopes that we would be able to obtain the first half of the book in digital form.

Just prior to coming to Africa I was given a CD that only had the last half of the BoM on it, but not the first half.  No one seemed to be able to locate those documents in electronic form.  The SDA director was not there and the only person we could talk to, was new and knew nothing about the project.  We finally convinced the new man to look for the files on the computer because the director was out of town and would not be returning until next Monday.  After a lot of searching, he found copies of the missing files and I was able to install them on my laptop—thank goodness!  The new person began to ask us questions about the Book of Mormon and we had a good discussion with him, so I left him with several tracts to read.

We drove from the SDA institute back around Lake Victoria and to Kisumu where Tom stopped to purchase a couple of items and then we looked for a place to eat.  It was already too late to exchange any money as the exchange houses all close at 4:30 p.m. sharp.  We had missed lunch because of the trip to the SDA institute, so supper was welcome.  From there we went to the guest house arriving after dark. 

My room is comfortable with a double bed and a mosquito net over it.  The bathroom consists of three parts: an entry (dressing) room that has a small sink, a "water closet" (for the toilet) and a shower room.  The shower room has a cement floor and two faucets—one each for cold and hot water.  If you want hot water, you must switch on the water heater about an hour before you want to bathe.  It works quite efficiently—if you remember to turn on the water heater in time.

Tue Jun 15
I began explaining the translation process to Tom and Paul after breakfast.  It is a rather complicated sounding method at first, but we began to learn how to work together and to see what our strengths and weaknesses were.  Both Tom and Paul know Swahili fairly well.  Tom is from Kenya and Paul is from Tanzania.  Paul has done more studying on this manuscript than Tom, but Tom knows English better and can type.  Paul's English is limited to some extent and he can only hunt and peck on the keyboard.  Both have a fairly decent understanding of the Book of Mormon, but neither understood the importance of preserving the language of scripture. 

One of the fundamental problems is that the people who hired the SDA to do the translation work on the Book of Mormon did not understand the need to use some basic protocols on vocabulary, names of people and places.  The man who the SDA had hired for the translation work was given information many years ago about how it was to be done, but after working on the project for a while, he disappeared with the money and left the SDA institute holding the bag.  They knew nothing of Hebraisms and did not have a good method of translating (in English and Swahili in parallel columns verse by verse).  As a result, they couldn't even keep their own work in order.

The SDA institute is apparently not a real translation production outfit and just did what they thought might work, and since no one was here to monitor what was going on, a lot of time and effort has gone into a manuscript that may have very little use for our publication purposes.  We will however, be able to use it to show that we paid to have a completely different translation made in case the LDS church or anyone else challenges us for the work that we have done for a new translation.

We worked until about 11:00 p.m. with a short break before lunch and another one before supper (something that they call "tea").

Wed Jun 16
Today while we were working on the translation, Tom blurted out "Now I see!  I don't know how the Seventh Day Adventists were able to keep track of anything that they did!  Without the method we're using [multiple columns], they got all kinds of things mixed up!  No wonder their work was so shoddy!"  He realized what had happened and began to understand the process and saw the importance of doing the work in a more orderly fashion than what the SDA institute had done. 

A good part of the time during these first couple of days was spent in adjusting the English text into parallel columns with the Swahili text from the SDA institute (which was poorly put together) and in many places there were no verse numbers as well as gaps of text from one or two verses missing to a number of pages missing!  These guys did a very unprofessional job, and it is just now becoming apparent.  There is however a legal contract for the job, and it may still provide us with some leverage.

To simplify the process and for security purposes, each book of the Book of Mormon is being placed in its own separate document.  That way there is less chance of losing any significant portion of the book if any document is either lost or a computer crashes.  All documents are to be backed up each day also on some memory sticks which will be provided for that purpose.

Thu Jun 17
Worked from about 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. with the customary lunch and supper breaks.  The learning curve has been high for the two men, but we are beginning to work faster. 

Sandra Osiro, a business partner of Tom's came to visit in the evening and Tom asked me to teach her a short class.  I had never done this before, but I started with her for some reason on a class about "The Inquisition" which is one of my very graphic classes about the Apostasy.  She was very attentive, and after the class was over, she told me that she had been a Catholic since infancy.  When I heard that, I felt that I had possibly made a mistake because that class is very strong evidence of the historical problems with the Roman Catholic church.  But she seemed to be very interested.  We'll have to wait to see what happened with her after she has time to digest the class.

Each time that I turn on the laptop here at the guest house, or even wake it up from its sleeping mode, it checks for an Internet connection.  There are several in the neighborhood, but I've not been able to connect with any of them.  This time one connected and I could at least check my Email account.  I'm afraid to turn it off now because I may lose the connection.  (The connection only lasted several days.  When it was lost, I was never able to reconnect again.  After that, we had to go to an Internet cafe some place down town to check for Email.)

Fri Jun 18
Three days ago we saw a large rat run into the house from the patio, so the day before yesterday we went down town and bought two rat traps for him.  I placed them out with bait, but in the morning the bait was gone—no rat.  We reset them with different bait with the same results the next morning.  Last night I did not sleep well because I was awakened by a tiny mouse twice in the night.  It was nibbling on some plastic bags that I left on the headboard of the bed.  I turned on my small flashlight and finally saw the little critter.  Of course it was outside of my mosquito netting, so I had to get out of that in order to rearrange things.  That interrupted my sleep and I did not feel as good today as yesterday.  Today I figured out that these tiny mice can eat the bait from the large rat traps without setting the things off.  So it looks like I'll have to buy some poison for them because the critter I saw was too small even for a mouse trap.  I don't want them gnawing into my suitcases.  I have always kept them zipped up at night and nearly all other times.  I only open them when I need to get something out. 

Tom finally obtained the printed manuscript of the first 400 pages of the Swahili Book of Mormon that was done by the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) institute and brought it to us around noon.  Somehow rain water had leaked in around it and the bottom cardboard cover and about an inch of the pages were damp and severely mildewed.  Paul Makawiti has reviewed much of the manuscript and has made some corrections on it between the lines in pencil.  The manuscript is about five inches thick and is very fragile.  [We finally got it dried out and it is in much better shape now.]

Today we passed the 100th verse of the first chapter of First Nephi.