Throughout the past week we have had the privilege of meeting with Branch Presidents and other members of the church in Uganda.
On our first Sunday in Masaka, we met the branch president. He has been responsible for this branch for about 7 years.
President Collings met this man who is a pioneer in the gospel here in Uganda. He has been a member of the church here for 20 years.
While here there was a man who is interested in joining the church. He has been a pastor of another church for many years, and was convinced that this is the true church. He spent 3 years breaking ties with his other congregation so that he could be baptized. He and his wife and children are planning to be baptized. He said that there are several members of his old congregation who he has taught what he knows about the church. They are interested in being baptized as well. We will see what happens. If they take lessons from the missionaries and start attending church, it would be a really neat experience for everyone.
We traveled to Gulu and met with the branch presidents of the Gulu and Bardege branches. Both had a lot of work for President Collings to do. He interviewed 16 people between the two branches and was able to make some changes in the branch presidencies and elders quorum presidencies, along with renewing temple recommends and interviewing for priesthood advancements.
Next we drove to Lira and met with the branch presidents of the Lira and Adyel branches. One of the branch presidents invited us all (AP's, the other branch president, and us) to his home for dinner. We had our first home cooked authentic Ugandan meal. It was wonderful! Rice, beans, vegetable, Irish (which is what they call potatoes), and chicken. His family was so welcoming and kind to us. The children were so respectful. It was truly a wonderful evening.
Mbale has a branch president as well as Busia, which is an hour and a half outside of Mbale. We met both of the branch presidents for dinner as well as their children. Both branch presidents had a list of things for President Collings. We all sat down to dinner. President Collings sandwiched between the men, and I got to sit with the sisters and children. The children were ages 7, 6 and 2. The seven year old girl is just a few weeks away from her birthday, and baptism. She was dressed up so nice, and was excited to tell me about her upcoming baptism.
When we got to our last stop in Jinja, it was a little bit different because Jinja has been made a stake. The Stake President met with us, and he was so welcoming. He is a new stake president, but was a District President over the area before it was made a stake. He told us about his family, and his excitement for the growth of the church in Jinja.