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.