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!
But all is well and I’m safe, love you all!
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!
Love you all and with kind regards!
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)
Love you all!
So no photo’s today, not sure why but the computer dose not like my camera
This week was hard as nobs…. we had 8 lessons total out of the whole week, and an investigator we were going to baptize had her grandma die so she went to the village,
Fun stuff this week is that people with black magic really exist. It was really scary when we ran into it. I won’t talk about it on email, but if when I’m back home I’ll tell the story if any of you are interested.
One part about this week that I have learned is charity comes in many ways. This way is that two of my fellow missionaries are going home next month, and I’m only 4 months out on mission, soooo the constant roasting of the “new guy” is starting to get to me these last 4 weeks. One thing that really works is just ironing their shirt or cooking some eggs for them and when I do that bit of charity, then things tend to slow down!
Anyone remember Kony 2012? Well some missionaries met a guy who is 23 that had a run in with him. This guy John (not his real name) and his 4 brothers were walking in Jinja (just a 1 drive east of Mukono) when 4 black vans came off a side street and stopped right in front of them. The doors of the vans slid open and 5 teenagers from each van came and started grabbing kids from off the street. John had seen this before and took off into the jungle and hid in a ditch. After the chaos John did not see his 4 brothers or most of the kids that were previously on the street ever again.
After hearing that story the elders told him about the plan of salvation (how we can live with our families forever). After that news he looked a bit calmer and thanked them. John never joined the church, or ever attended the church. But I know that he as some more peace in his heart that he will see his brothers again.
Kony is still in the east boarders of Congo in hiding.
Not much else for this week. This whitewash has been difficult so we are still trucking a long. The bishop and his counselors are very funny men and I’m sure they will be the key to our success in these next few weeks.
Love you all! Hope all is well!
So this week I killed a green mamba, dug in the fields and saw some miracles happen. Service here it is mostly digging and for P-day we almost got arrested so that’s all good!
Well we dig in the fields every Tuesday and Thursday, and this Thursday we were in the forest clearing some grass, as we were clearing a Ugandan came up to me and asked, “Have you American’s ever seen grass before?” I told him it was my first time.
As we were digging Elder Intuzula from South Africa hit a tree, a small snake came out, the native yelled “Green! Green!” and ran off. As he was running, I smashed it with the hoe I was using! It was quite fun!
Now today we went hiking to this cliff you see in the picture (I’m in the far far right), as we were up there we had this guy yell at us that there was dynamite up there (there was none) but we had our name tags on so we had to be nice. The guy said we were trespassing and if we did not pay him 50,000 UGS each we would all go to jail. We told him we were going to call America, so we made a fake phone call to America and told him our boss was coming to talk to him. The guy looked scared and told us we could go as long as we don’t come back!
With missionary work here it is slow and steady. We do lots of contacting and we are still getting to know the members. The mission rules say we need another male church member to go with us to teach any women that are single. And one day we had no members available to go teach this woman we had contacted and then another one of our investigators later that evening. After being on the phone for 1 hour calling everyone in our phone to try and get a male to come teach with us we decided to say a prayer. In the prayer I asked for help and that there will be a male present that is responsible. After walking to the appointment we said another prayer. Right as we closed our prayer, a member came around the corner and asked if we were teaching a lesson! He had a break from work and had 1 hour off!! After we taught that lesson he had to go back to work. Then as we went to the next appointment, the girl we were going to teach had her older brother home from school that day!
March 6, 2017
New area! President was right about a hard area, Mukono is the first place people in Uganda got baptized. We met the first person actually! She is 65 and was baptized 1992 and still gives the missionaries referrals to this day! Super cool but on the flip side there is a lot of anti LDS here as well, they know what is coming when two Muzungu (white people) show up with name tags. I have been yelled a few times but that’s all good. My new companion, Elder Driggs, and I have decided to walk out into the bush everyday to teach people! So yes more walking… also it’s a whitewash, which means we are both new to the area and know nothing about anything, it’s just us in Uganda! But Mukono is not bad and I enjoy it!
To describe Mukono its a lot like eagle river actually, it has one main road with lots of middle class houses outside of main street. But that’s where the similarity ends!
About 2miles out of town you are in the jungle. The rule is stay on the dirt road and watch out for snakes (especially green Mambas) for they are very common! Avocado and Jackfruit trees are abundant! We eat it all the time, I saw the Grey Crowned Crane when I was in a lesson this week! It’s the country’s national bird! Could not get a picture though because I was teaching.
Sad thing is because of the anti LDS we are well know to be a cult and there are regular newspaper artistic about us… but off the beaten path we are still able to get 10 new investigators this week and 6 of them made it to church!
Loving my new area! Love the members, we started with nothing investigators wise but we are starting to get the gears rolling! For this morning we made French toast because my last name is French! Next week we will make English muffins because Driggs is English (we think he will have to ask his parents today) all is well and fine! I love you all!
When trials come it means something good is about to happen, I have noticed that every time we teach an investigator, when we invite them to baptism, or the spirit is the strongest, something happens to distract the investigator… like a phone going off, a baby crying, heck we even had a chicken run through the house once.
But the fact of the matter is Satan is just as real as God and all Satan wants is unhappiness he knows the gospel is the happiest people can be, so when the spirit is there or when we ask them to be baptized he strikes. He can strike on us at anytime the lord is trying to bless us, weather that be at work or home just know that god it watching out, and eventually the bad things/ distractions will stop then the good happens.
One last picture from Kololo!