I had the best experience this weekend with a group of people I had never thought to have been friends with. There is this local restaurant in Mukono that is owned by a man who is Muslim. He is always a friendly guy and very nice. This Saturday his boss was here from Pakistan… we saw them and me and Elder Foster’s first instinct was to avoid them, but they invited us over and we expected to get made fun of, (the usual). But all they wanted to do was buy us dinner and talk about how similar our religions are! Especially for the Christian faith as well as the LDS church; they don’t allow alcohol at all; you have to abstain from sex until you are married. And one thing that struck me is that you are deemed “innocent” until you are the age of 8. Just like our age of baptism. In Pakistan there are no bars/ clubs. It is very strict and to the point with its laws. During this whole conversation food was constantly coming to our table they explained to me that there are 2 types of Islam Sunni, which is the main branch, and Shi’a which is mostly in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. It really put things into perspective for me that these people are not all bad people. It’s just like how we all know that one crazy guy down the street who is Christian. It’s just him, not the religion.
This week Elder Foster and me went to visit a mother who got baptized this week. Her son was sick with malaria and was not looking to hot. She did not have the $ for a hospital and she asked us to give him a blessing. This was the first time in my life I have found how this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints really does have the power of God in its church. The next day, this child who was sick, coughing, and had a temperature so high it burned your hand when you touch his forehead, and not even enough energy to sit up, was running the next day.
In other news I found a Cadbury egg! Those things are the Bomb! I even took a picture of it! Basically anything from America is bliss. This week flew by we had some baptisms this week and traveled all over this country for meetings and just exploring (fancy word for getting lost). Also we have a stalker we call Cape Chester. He follows us all over town but never says a word. So to get home we run really fast through the slums and we lose him. But this morning he was outside our compound so it obviously did not work…
Hope all is well love you all!
So these cakes were for a fireside our district put on, the theme was smile!! Well we do service for the bakery where the cakes are made and so we got them for a cheap price! But later that day when we came back to the factory we realized the cakes we buy they put alcohol on them… they say its a preservative but it smelled like germ-X so we definitely fed a group of 45-60 people rubbing alcohol, but nothing like so juice to wash it down! The fireside went great and we got our point out that its good to smile and make others smile!
This week was good! I always say that but I’m not lying!
You know the feeling when you have a lot to say but nothing is coming to your mind? Well that’s me today so I am going to explain a bit about my mission from the common questions that I get
All water in Uganda has typhoid in it and so to drink water here you have to 1. boil 2. filter 3. buy bottled water from UAE (United Arab Emirates). All missionary flats have a water filtration system and a 5,000 Liter water tank attached to the flat. No homes/flats have carpet in them because of the dust that comes off the dirt road. Only main roads are paved
We have one white South African missionary. We have 50/50 African and American missionaries and we have 95 missionaries in UG; 8 in Ethiopia; and 16 in Rwanda. All of us walk except for 24 of us. Those 24 (1 companionship per truck so 12) deliver supplies and act as rescue cars in case of emergency.
It has been raining big this week and its been so so sooo muddy. Blessing from that is we had a guy run into the church to get away from the rain, and he ended up recognizing the LDS church from a different part of the country! And he was so happy to find the church again! He had recently been kicked out of his old church because he was not paying tithing when he lost his job; it’s interesting how the lord works!
Just makes me think when bad things happen what that lord is trying to set up for us in the future! I know that everything has a purpose in this life including setbacks and roadblocks, hope you all do well! Love you all have a safe week!
This week was a blur of blessings. After we had given those 4 investigators to Elder Driggs and Elder Hawk, we just went into this week with faith. And the Lord blessed us!!!!! The area we are in had a truck last month and we are struggling to walk so far out to get to people. Sometimes it takes 2 hours just to visit one person. But somehow by grace, and logically it does not make sense, we have had better numbers (number of lessons taught investigators etc.) this week than Elder Foster EVER did when he was in the truck… this success was from God. Not us in the slightest, we have been very busy with walking, but the members have helped us with referring us to new investigators and what not.
So we went to this local place called Ssezibwa falls. It’s a huge waterfall where people go to do the old traditional dances and worship. As we were walking we found some worshipers who put $ in jars at the falls, but as soon as they left we saw some kids run and go steal the $ from the jars, so the kids get fed and the people think its just some spirit that takes the money. It’s like when you watch National Geographic and you see some animal trick another animal or something.
Nothing else too big this week, just super busy, and yes to all you people who keep asking if I get food here… I’m actually gaining weight. I am 65KG now. We eat pork and cow like 2 times a week and beans and rice are cheap! Africa is not starving it just has no flavor… like no joke all I use is this beef flavoring called royko and some salt… but it’s food none the less!!
Love you all be safe, know that God loves you and he can give you success in any situation if you are obedient!
So I’m still in Mukono, like I said, but I am in an area that normally has a truck to drive because the people live far out and all over the place. Mukono is big. Well now they took the truck away, but we still have investigators that live far away. Like far as in farther than I walked in Kololo. We walk like 2X as much. I have gained a testimony of why cars were invented… the Lord is blessing us though.
For Easter our district all dressed up in our suits and took a “Family photo.” It was fun and honestly I did not even notice that it was a holiday or missing home. I know I’m still new to this mission thing, but the weeks fly by.
One trial I had this week was a missionary that is not particularity fond of me (and I’m not fond of him either) would just make cruel and bantering comments all the time. Then when me and Elder Foster had huge success with teaching, he asked me and my comp to give him some investigators; to take the burden off our shoulders ( we were fine as it is he just wants a baptism). After he said that, on Sunday, he started setting up appointments with my and Foster’s investigators! I was livid… but when I went to pray to ask for help I got the thought in my head, “give him some investigators.”
That answer was the hardest answer to follow in my life, we gave them 4 people to teach who are to be baptized soon, but its not my work it is the Lord’s work. It is something I will struggle with. If any of you know me, I am very competitive so if anything can be a competition I will want to win. Even if it’s not a race, I’ll make it a race. So it was truly humbling and spiritual to let someone else have success over me.
Also I went to the most expensive place in Uganda this Monday: an all you can eat buffet of real American food. It even had Cheese!!!! And it only cost $10!!! It was so nice. I ate at 9:00 this morning and I’m still full at 4pm, but it’s a place for businesspeople so its funny seeing guys in suits with a bagel and a laptop and then some missionaries with plates of food 4cm high.
Also some young single adults and 4 of us missionaries are doing things thing we called “operation smile.” Basically every Sunday/activity you try your best to make everyone smile no matter what!
Guys another 6 weeks have passed and I’m on to my 4th transfer Day! I’m moving to a new area! but the twist is it’s just across the hall to another flat in the same compound…. new area though! ill be on the opposite side of Mukono with elder foster who will be my companion! he was my zone leader last transfer but he got released, Elder Driggs will also be staying in Mukono but with a different companion.
This week was a struggle but watching general conference this weekend was a huge blessing. it has answers problems for right now, and has answered some life/ soul-searching questions that have bugged me for some time! I repeat my last challenge to watch as much as you can and you will find those questions you have never been able to answer. answered perfectly
This last 6 weeks I have learned to just let the little things go, this area was dead when Elder Driggs and me got here. and despite our differences we managed to build up a few people ready for baptism next month. unfortunately I will not be apart of the final result of these baptisms and it kind of hurt me that I don’t get to see the end. but president Uchtdorf’s talk on stand where you are placed helped me understand that no matter if a missionary sent to baptize teach be a leader or just do the grunt work and dig all day. I’m a missionary so do the missionary work! I want to apply this and stand tall (5’10″btw) where I am placed. no one knew but me and Elder Driggs that these people are getting baptized soon. no one is trying to make me have 0 baptisms. the Lord wants me to be in a new area for a reason so I’m going to make sure I accomplish that.
This girl has a huge crush on Elder Driggs and she used to like my hair a lot. so I shaved it… but she is still infatuated with my companion and this picture with us and her daughter (we think its her daughter but not entirely sure) and it literally describes every time we pass her house to teach her next door neighbor Steven Wenwyama
This instrument is called a dunga it is horribly out of tune and I have no clue what I’m doing but it made a cool picture!
I’m safe and well and happy! Conference made my week this week and I know it will make yours if you have not watched it yet! Please watch just a part of it, look up the topic headings if you don’t have time for all of it!
I have not had the opportunity to watch general conference yet but if you have that is wonderful. If you have no clue what I am talking about look it up, (https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng) it is our church leaders that speak to us every 6th months and it is very helpful if you have any soul searching questions you need answered. I know if you watch all of it with that question in mind, you will find it in this broadcast!
I have already heard about the new temple for Kenya!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness I am so happy for that! That will mean most poor families that only make 20$ a month (about 70,000 Uganda shillings) can save $ to get to Kenya to be sealed in the temple. Before they had to go to Jo-burg, SA. Which costs 200-300 USD… they can never afford that. Now they have the chance!!
I went golfing this week for p day, yes golfing… it was my first time golfing and I suck but that’s ok because it’s Uganda and we were the only people on the green that day.
This week was our best week so far missionary work wise! We are teaching a Muslim and it is so cool to see someone realize that god loves him or her! Truly remarkable my companion is somehow hard on me these days but its not missionary work related so I just let it go, still not easy but I hope I learn from it how to respond with kindness instead of what I used to do by arguing and what not.
About pictures this week: I’m trying to find a external SD card reader but I’m the bush most days where its hard to find water some days, so just hold on. In the Book of Mormon, Either 12:16 says “by the trial of your faith wonders appear.” so maybe I’ll find a SD reader under a tree or something ha-ha
Hope all is well I love you all and pray for your safety
This week we hiked a mountain and fed some monkeys bananas! Also, we had this week long thing where we were allowed to stay out one extra hour late!
We met with this alcoholic a few days back and this man seemed pretty rugged and not interested in the church at all. After explaining to him about the church and how it can help heal any problem he agreed to just walk into the church. When we walked into the chapel this sweet spirit came over us, and it even intensified as he walked into the chapel (where we have the sacrament). This man was so filled with the spirit that when we tried to move on he asked us if we could wait a bit.
The monkeys were super cool! We had to hike far in the pouring rain to find them. It’s a place where the locals pray, and it’s literally the jungle; snakes and monkeys and birds are everywhere! If there were no people in Uganda you could have found Tarzan here
So with staying out an extra hour late every day I was exhausted this week, but we had huge success! One guy could not pronounce my name correct so I gave him my name tag to read it, but once I gave it to him he thought it was a gift and started to walk away! Not much else this week just lots of work, trying to build the area up and dealing with people’s bosses that make them work 14 hour shifts on the weekends so they cant come to church….
All is well I’m safe! Ill try and get pictures soon but don’t count on them for a few weeks (my apologies) (he got pictures anyway)