Week 15: Buckets of Rain & Goodbye Kololo

Note: This week Carter mentions the Primary Counselor from Salt Lake. “Primary” refers to a Sunday School program for children ages 18mo-12 years. Each ward (congregation) has an adult leadership team called a Presidency, made up of a President, 2 counselors, and a secretary to oversee staffing all the teachers and leaders necessary to run the programs and church lessons for the Primary organization. Each Stake (group of wards) has a Stake Primary Presidency and the General Primary Presidency leads all the Stakes from the General Church leadership Salt Lake City. This week Carter had the 1st Counselor in the General Primary Presidency from Salt Lake came to visit Kampala. He doesn’t mention her name, but Jean B. Bingham, is currently the 1st counselor. 🙂

-Nicole 

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Dinner at Renna’s house

I am getting transferred to Mukono!! My companion will be Elder Driggs from Utah! We also have one elder from Ghana and one elder from Zimbabwe in the flat next to us they are both going home in 6 weeks and I’m the youngest on mission by about a year so things will be interesting! Mukono is mid way between Kampala and Jinja without traffic. It is a 10 minute drive, but with traffic it is like 1 1/2 hours. Now that seams ridiculous, but when there is no traffic there is also no speed limit, so most of the time it’s like the video game GTA where your main focus is to dodge people crossing the road and the random goat cart! This happens until there is a car crash or when a traffic cop shows up then everyone slows down!

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Looking out from Renna’s house

Getting transferred is hard. I will really miss 2 people that I have baptized and the two members that helped me teach them.

No real funny stories this week honestly. We saw a goat get destroyed by a taxi but that’s about it,

This Sunday the 1st counselor of the Primary Presidency from Salt Lake came to visit church. Kinda cool that someone so high up in the church came to visit, but honestly when she came up and talked to me for a bit, the whole conversation we had all I could think was how weird Americans talk. And that we are all super white… I think it was a good conversation but I honestly can’t recall it ha-ha.

The rains here are insane it rains once a day for about 15 minutes, but it’s like not really rain. More like that huge bucket at the water park that slowly fills up. Then all at once it dumps out! It’s like that in the form of clouds. They get bigger and darker and darker, some thunder and whatnot, and then BAM!! 15 tons of water hits you then all the clouds go away and the sun is back out! Africa is quite fun! The thunder shakes the flat sometimes and it has set off a few car alarms!

I have only been out on mission for some short time but I truly love the members in my first area, and I would love to come back here some time in my mission. The 5-mile walk was totally worth it every day! My first pair of shoes are destroyed but I have 2 more to go though so I’m not worried! Hope all of you have a safe week! Love you all!

Elder Haines and me before we get transferred

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Week 14, last week in Kololo

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We met with the mission president and he told me that next week I’m going to the hardest area in the mission so I can learn leadership. Don’t know what that means, but I know for sure I’m getting a new companion! If you don’t understand why I’m excited just ask my mom!

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Amazing sunsets are here in Uganda. I tried to take a picture of one of them for you guys.

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This one is me playing soccer (Carter is next to the guy in the yellow with the ball).

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This one is a place in my area where the slum grew over the train tracks!

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I’m on the back of a bike boda!

Funny story, so most Africans think I’m from Europe. They never guess America anymore. One guy asked me, where are you from? And I told him, “You guess.” He responded, “Is Uguess in Europe?”

I died laughing.

One more week of getting trained then I’m a real missionary I feel like I have already grown so much! The time really flies. I never believed people who said that until now! The people here are beautiful and just full of joy even if they have nothing.

So since that I play soccer I am now in with the African missionaries and they are so much fun! They are all still 100% better players than me, but it’s just a party with those guys. It’s never about going home and getting married or getting a new car because most have nothing back home including a family to support them sometimes. So they live life to the fullest! I learn a lot from them. Way more than my American colleagues. For example the opening song for Lion King is sung in the languages of Swahili and Khoisan (the click language). Just kidding, what I really learn is to just have fun. It’s a once and a lifetime thing to serve a mission in Africa. It’s ok to miss your family and all, but we have an eternity to talk with them, so just use 2 years out of an eternity to serve God.

Elder Moncur.

Week 13 trials and faith

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Note from Nicole: 
Some of you have asked for Carter’s email again: Carter.Moncur@myldsmail.net 
 
Also here is a funny story: I got woken up at midnight last night by a phone call from an international number wanting to facetime with me. I missed the call and then saw that there were 3 other missed calls from the same number and there was a weird text on my phone too. I looked up the country code and saw it was from Uganda and tried to call back, but couldn’t get through. Honeslty, I wasn’t panicked but thoughts of my son being held hostage somewhere ran through my head for just a second and I knew I really wouldn’t sleep until I figured it out. 
 
I emailed his mission president to see if he was in contact with Carter, and he called me right back, within 10 minutes. Turns out the phone number was his and he had just finished playing soccer with Carter and the other missionaries and his phone had pocket dialed me during the game! Carter had used his phone at Christmas to facetime with us and my number was still stored in there. 
 
President Collings said Carter is doing awesome and is a great missionary! We talked for all of 2 minutes, and I just missed Carter being with him, but it was good to hear he really is as good as his letters sound!
-Nicole 

Got my first hair cut this week! (see pictures at the bottom) And its crazy rain now days. It gets wicked hot then pouring rain! It’s crazy here; the drain system is not too good so once the rain comes, the pathways in the slums turn into a river of sewage and trash! We went to a super market for prep day and I bought a Uganda Cranes jersey there! It’s literally a maze of clothes and shoes!

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When it rains, it’s the best way to contact! People will just invite you in regardless of who you are if it is raining, so when it rains we walk outside and just wait to get invited into someone’s house so we can teach them!

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The 5 mile walk is killing us… we do not have enough time in the day to stop for lunch, so we only eat on the walk or in the morning and at home. To teach people more effectively we split up with a member from the church to help us reach all of our investigators! So this week I went on a split with Julius (the banana guy from a few weeks ago) while my companion went to visit some other people. I went to visit a family (it was a family of 5) that we had baptized at the beginning of the new year. We shared a scripture from the book of Ether in the book of Mormon. The prophet at that time was explaining that miracles and blessings do not happen until “the trial of your faith.” So for example, Peter did not walk on water until after he had stepped out of the boat.

After I had told this story, the father started to tear up and told us that was exactly what he needed to hear. The father informed me that the landlord of their house wanted more $ than he was able to pay. So while the dad will be looking for a house here in Khisugu he will be sending his family far far away into the east of Uganda where there is no church there. But after hearing the message from the prophet Ether he was not worried anymore and is excited to see what blessing come out of this hardship.

No funny or crazy stories this week (in my opinion). It was super busy trying to teach everyone in our teaching pool. Just know that Satan is real, and God allowed Satan to put us through hardships so that we will be even more grateful when we return to our Heavenly Father (2 Nephi 2).

I love you all and I know that blessings are coming your way if you follow God thru your trials!

Elder Moncur

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Haircut before and after!!

What week am I on?

Whatever week I’m on…. (Week 12)

So the computer I’m on has no outlet to upload my pictures for this week

Mission first! I got proposed to this week… the young woman is 40 years old, has 3 kids, and I baptized her last week. She said she had a vision where there was a white man standing next to her and when she asked what his name was he said, “My name is Elder Moncur. I’m your husband remember?” So that was a super awkward lesson that day. My companion just started laughing uncontrollably while I tried to explain to her 1st that I’m a missionary and 2nd that she can be old enough to be my mom and 3rd her oldest kid is 6 years younger than me!

Other than that it’s been quite normal in Uganda these days. We have a downpour of rain every day around 3-5 pm so its nice and cold everyday (65 degrees Fahrenheit). People wear Northface down jackets! It’s honestly a great way to find new people in the rain because you know people will be in their homes.

We were digging a ditch this week for service and 2 feet under the ground we found a flip-flop and an old spoon! It’s like a scavenger hunt! Also we had this preacher from another church show up in our church service and wanted to bible bash us! That was quite the experience

My spiritual moment this week was with fasting. Fasting is the best way God can answer your prayers. I was down on myself because all of the people we were teaching either bounced us, or did not come to church this Sunday. Kinda a bummer. So I fasted for help. And today just before I started emailing, this lady from France saw my nametag and asked why a white man with a French last name was in Uganda. I briefly explained I was a missionary. And she said she had just had a conversation about religion with a friend on the phone and she had some questions about the Bible. We had an hour conversation on this taxi ride and it truly was an answer to my fast.

I love you all and I pray for your safety.

Elder Moncur

Week 11: Jolly Ranchers Save the Day

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On our adventure when we got lost

Mission president gave me and the 3 others in my flat a mission to have 30 investigators in the teaching pool. we normally have like 15-10, it is rough, but we are sitting pretty at 25 right now. The biggest challenge is that people fall though the cracks or we don’t have enough time either with distance/ how hard it is to remember that many people… planning for each day is very spastic, but we are having crazy successes with it honestly. Most of the families we teach don’t speak English (so much for a English speaking mission…) so we speak broken Lugandan with a translator if we are lucky.

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Still lost and on the wrong side of the fence

This week we accidentally fell asleep on a taxi and they kicked us off in the middle of nowhere, so we explored the heart of Kampala for a day! It was a blast until we walked into a restricted area by mistake. We walked to the guard on the other side of the fence; he said we should not be on the side we were on, and that we should go to jail. So instead of arguing we just kissed up to this guy hard! I said ” ah you see, we saw that you looked hungry on that side of the fence so we brought you this candy from America! For us we are missionaries, and we also want to share a message with you and your family!” So after a few Jolly Ranchers and giving the guard a Book of Mormon, he let us out of the gate we were on the wrong side of. And now we are teaching a family of 5!

Moral of the story; fall asleep on a taxi= new investigators.

Not much else this week! We got a new mission schedule! Now each mission president gets to decide the mission schedule! So if you know other missionaries email them and ask what changed! For me it stayed the same mostly!

Love you all! Have a safe week!

On the Left is a carving that a member made for me of my favorite animal. On the right are one kind of bananas you can buy they taste like candy! There are 3 type of bananas in Uganda.

Week 10…A Race and the Soccer Bros.

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The two African missionaries got transferred to far away, but they are my soccer bros! The one to my right was my first zone leader Elder Majawa, from Malawi and the one to my left is Elder Ndamoni from South Africa!

I met 2 members of the 70 this week. They came here for the splitting of the stake. We now have 3 stakes in Uganda! The country needs one more stake for it to be eligible for a temple! Hopefully that will become real by the time I am done with my mission!

So we found these bike taxies, it’s literally a bike with a seat on the back, so me and the 3 other guys in my flat hired them because we are tired of walking. As we are riding along we tell the other bike drivers to race. They say no, of course. Then I said to my driver more as a joke,  “I’ll pay you double if you get there first…” I have never seen a guy pedal so hard in my life! We were flying! This guy could be on the Tour de France! I had to hold on for dear life as we got onto the highway with all the other cars and whatnot. Lesson from that, never offer $ or they will do it without question. I was honest though and paid him 1,000 UGS instead of the usual 500 (which is less than 25 cents)

For my spiritual moment I’m going to talk about a sister. She is an investigator for the other 2 missionaries in my flat. They have been teaching here for a few weeks and all was fine and dandy until they introduced the Word of Wisdom, which states you can’t drink tea. It was inspired revelation from the latter day prophet, Joseph Smith. And she took it hard. Told them never to see her again and that we are not true missionaries of God. A few days later we went on exchanges so I went with one of the elders in my flat who was not my companion. We went to stop by this sister’s house. She welcomed us in and told us that they day she kicked us out she felt inspired to read Psalms 5:12 which says; if you are righteous in God and his teachings you will be blessed. After that she has been attending church and meeting with my fellow flat mates again! So sometimes it’s not even us missionaries that explain doctrine and rules to people. 9/10 times it’s the Lord and we are just sitting there dumbfounded that they had a change of heart!

Sorry for no pics this week ill try and fix it! (He fixed it) the dry season is almost over and the rains are coming back!! Which is good because you can get sick from the dust sometimes. Anyway love you all hope you have a fantastic week!!

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The yellow things is a guy on a bike going up a huge hill they are jerry cans.

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The pile of trash is Kamwokya, the biggest and most well known slum in all of Uganda. That water is the sewage that the kids swim in on hot days…

Week 9… The Beast

Mom note: January 17 marks 2 months out 🙂

 

week-9-pic-3-juliusThis is me and Julius (he is a member) he sells those bananas from last email. He travels 5 hours for those bananas, one way!

Transfer news! Every six weeks missionaries from all over the mission get switched around, and for me and the 3 others in my flat…. nothing changed so tune in 6 weeks later for more details on that!!

We need more missionaries in our area, 4 is not enough… we had 24 investigators between the 4 at church on Sunday! So now we are walking around 12 miles a day! To pass time when we are walking we learn the language, and kick rocks at chickens!

Our new flat mates 2 floors below us have a dog. Her name is Shadow, but I call her The Beast from the movie, Sandlot! It’s basically the same thing! We have to run from her because she apparently hates guys in ties… In the morning we do a special ops climb down our balcony so she does not hear the front door open. And at night we get to the foot of the stairs that go all the way up to our flat on the 3rd floor, we get as close as we can. Then sprint up the stairs and unlock the door and get in as the other 3 guys fend her off with a chair we keep outside! It’s all good fun though, I’m sure!

One of our converts got in a bad car crash this last week and almost died, but his point of view on it was powerful! “I’m glad I got in that car crash and barely able to walk because when I’m fully recovered or resurrected I’ll appreciate God for my body even more!” Guys if we all have that mentality in any trial we would be so much happier as a whole! It was defiantly humbling for me

That’s all for this week hope you all are safe and having a super swell time!

Love you all

Elder Moncur.

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This shirt is from the country of Rwanda

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Carter and Elder Bemis model African wear from Tanzanian and the Congo (Congo left, Tanzanian right) Both of these shirts cost 25 USD