On Sunday we drove with Elder and Sister Goodwin, two and a half hours South of Kampala to the Masaka Branch where we attended fast and testimony meeting.
The Branch members were so happy to see us, and it was such a neat experience. I have felt far away from home these past few days, but when we sat down in the LDS church house, it felt like coming home. They had a baby blessing and two confirmations. Then they blessed and passed the sacrament. The branch president stood and bore his testimony and then asked if I would come and bare my testimony. The other ordinances that had taken place took a long time, and so there wasn't time for others, but President Collings was able to end with his testimony. There was a little boy there walking around in the room, he was probably two or three. He came and stood next to me, just staring at me. I smiled at him, and then he reached out and touched my leg with his finger, and then ran away. He touched the Muzunga!! (Their name for white people, I don't think it's a very flattering name) He was cute!!
Because the members weren't able to share their testimonies, the Branch President said if they would like, they could have a testimony meeting in their individual classes. After Sacrament meeting we went to Gospel Principles class where we learned about keeping the sabbath day holy. The sister who taught the class recently returned from a mission. She had been called to Manchester England, but because of VISA problems ended up serving in Zambia. The class was full, and there were many very good questions from the members of the class. When they asked a question that she couldn't answer, she turned to us... Little bit stressful for my first Sunday in Africa, but I taught primary for at least 20 years! I can answer basic gospel questions! It was a great class, and she did an amazing job!!
Next I went to Relief Society, and they did take the advice of the branch president and had a testimony meeting. The sisters bore powerful testimonies of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, The Atonement, etc. As the class was nearing an end, the Relief Society president asked me to stand and bare my testimony. I kind of thought I had already done that and was off the hook, but I stood again and bore my testimony. After I was finished one of the sisters asked if she could ask me a question. I said of course I didn't mind. She said, "You look very young, are you the youngest mission president's wife in the world?" The answer is no, absolutely not. Then she asked if I was the youngest mission president's wife in all of Africa. I still doubt it, but was very flattered. I spoke about my children and grandchildren, and they were all surprised that I am a grandma. After the meeting we took a picture of all the Relief Society sisters together. Then they all came up trying to get selfies with me. It was actually pretty embarrassing. But they were all so sweet. They shake your hand, and don't let go. We would hold hands for several minutes. They would hug me and were constantly saying, "You are welcome". Such a kind greeting.
President Colling was put right to work signing temple recommends and interviewing men for priesthood advancement. I didn't see much of him throughout the block of meetings. He presides at the branch, so he sat on the stand during sacrament meeting. When the meetings were over, they had a baptism scheduled. There were four people who were getting baptized. They asked Sister Goodwin to give a talk on Baptism, and I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. (Primary days were kicking in again.) There were two ladies and two men getting baptized. They were so excited. The font is in the back of the building. It is filled with a hose which is attached to a water tank on a tower next to the building. Each of them were baptized, and then got changed and went inside the church, and then each of them bore testimony of how they felt, and why they decided to be baptized. It was an amazing day!
As we were leaving I was stopped by two brothers who both have finished college and have degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering. They asked if I had any contacts either here or in the United States where they may be able to find a job. They were great young men, and I told them I would put it out there that they are looking for work. If any of you want an Engineer, Civil or Mechanical, I've got your guy! Let me know.
On our way home from Masaka, we had to stop on the Equator. It's a first for us, but I think it will be the first of many times we cross it. We travel every six weeks for the next three years.