Monday, September 19, 2016

Welcoming our new missionaries

We had three new missionaries come to the Uganda Kampala Mission this week. One sister from Johannesburg, one elder from Ghana, and one elder from the United States. They all came in from different MTC's, which made for an interesting day of training.

Our first missionary arrived at the airport at 2:30 in the afternoon. We drove to the airport with Godfrey, the Assistants, and the Goodwins. It worked out nice because we were able to have lunch with everyone, and then the Goodwins took her back to Kampala to the sister's apartment.

Our next flight wasn't scheduled to come in until 10:30 PM, so we had a few hours to work. President and the Assistants went to the elders apartment in Entebbe, they split up, taught a couple of lessons, visited members and talked with them about helping with missionary work, and then they did street contacting. In the time they were together, they had 7 people who committed to come to church, and start lessons with the missionaries. One of them had a family of 5. So they were pretty excited.

We snapped this picture of them a day later after they came in for the night.
I got to spend that time with the sister missionaries in Entebbe. I had a neat opportunity to talk with a family who are refugees from the DRC. They live in a very humble situation. We talked about the importance of families, and helped them work towards a baptismal date. The sisters bore testimony that the family is central to God's plan. They have 3 beautiful daughters. They want to get married, but they can't afford the bride price to her family, or the licensing fees. We tried to help them work out a time that they can call her parents and see if they will just wave the bride price, because they have been together for 12 years. We are praying that their hearts will be softened.

As we were preparing to leave, the mom asked us to wait because she had something for us. She brought us a bag of fresh fish. There were about 6 baby catfish, and one other one that I would call a trout if I was in Utah, Haha...  It was very humbling, they have so little, but are so generous.

The sisters were so excited. They took them back to their apartment and put them in the freezer. One of the sisters told me she loves fish so much, but when she eats it she breaks out in a rash on her arms, and even on her neck and face. But she said, "I will just eat it anyway and suffer the consequences." I told her she isn't allowed to eat ANY fish while she is on her mission.  YIKES!!

After spending some time with these missionaries in Entebbe, we went back to the airport to pick up our next elder who came from the United States. He is SO HAPPY to be in Uganda. We are very happy to have him here. It's hard to see what it's like here at almost midnight, riding home from the airport, but he was taking in all of the sights, and kept saying he couldn't believe he was finally here.

We arrived at the mission home around 12:30, and received a message that my parents had received their mission call, and that they are coming to the Uganda Kampala Mission!! We have been hoping they would be able to come, but didn't know for sure. We had to call them and talk with them about their mission call, it is such exciting news. They will come in April.

We finally got to bed at about 2:00 AM, and then got up at 5:00 AM to take the trip back to the airport to pick up the last of our new missionaries. He flew in from Ghana, along with a missionary who was returning home to Uganda from his mission. He came back to the mission home to be released and then we had training for all 3 of our new missionaries. They were trained by the office staff, and myself and President Collings, followed by lunch. By about 2:00 PM they were all on their way to their new area to meet their new companions.  We have some great missionaries coming to this mission!! We are so happy about each one of them!!

On Saturday we got to travel to the airport again and pick up our new office couple, the Bratsmans. They will be here training with the Goodwins for a couple of weeks before the Goodwins get to go home. We are so thankful that there is an overlap, and they will be able to spend time together, there's a lot to learn.

They came back to the mission home for the night, and then went with us to church. President was able to confirm Alex, which was very special for us. Kassan will have to wait until next week because he had to work, but he is very excited to be confirmed as well.

We have been praying that we can find people to teach, and on Sunday after sacrament meeting, President Collings had Frank approach him.  Frank lives in Kampala now, but had quite a story. He was in Dubai, and his passport was stolen. Somehow he ended up being put in jail because of it, and was there for 4 months. While in jail, there was a man who is a member of the church who was also in jail. He ended up teaching Frank about the gospel, and when he was released to come back to Kampala, this man told Frank to find the church. Well, he looked it up online, and found the address and time that the meeting started. He sat through sacrament meeting, and then afterwards walked right up to President Collings and asked him what he needed to do to learn more about the church. He said he felt something there that he wants in his life. President scheduled to meet with him on Monday with the Kololo Elders. We really feel like Heavenly Father is blessing us to find these people, even though we are so busy. It's such a blessing.   I think the Bratsmans really enjoyed their first week at church in Uganda. Sister Bratsman said it was nicer than she thought it would be. We love it here.

Elder Darko, Frank, President Collings, Elder Musona

We had dinner with all of the senior couples that evening, and had a wonderful conversation. It was fun for everyone to get to know each other. That night they took them to their own apartment to get settled in.

Immediately after the senior couples left our home, the phone started to ring. I want to preface this story by saying that we have really seen the people of Masaka embrace the gospel, and have seen excitement from all of the members with sharing the gospel and really feel that Heavenly Father is pouring out his blessings on this area. But we also know that Satan does not want to see this work progress, and likes to try and throw a wrench in things every now and then. Sunday night President Collings got a phone call that two of our Elders had been arrested for trespassing, and were being taken to jail for the night. We absolutely will do whatever we can to keep our elders safe, and were immediately on the phone trying to work out this situation. We were able to talk with the elders, and they said that they were okay. They were very humble, and tried to explain to the police what missionaries do. They pulled out their ministerial certificates and showed it to them. They were released on bond, with a promise that they would return the next morning to speak with the officers and work out the situation. The person who called in the complaint found out that they were being released and called a high ranking officer in Kampala, and complained that the police were accepting bribes, and that was why they let out the missionaries. The police said they had to bring them back, and that they had to spend the night in jail. I know many prayers were said by myself and others as the missionaries were then placed behind bars, for the night. President Collings was getting ready to jump in the car and drive to Masaka to spend the night at the jail himself. We are so thankful for the people we have here that help watch over our missionaries.  They  were able to contact some friends of the church, who are HIGHER ranking officers, and by about 9:45 PM, the missionaries were home in their apartments.  They went back to the police station at 8:00 this morning, and again showed a lot of humility.  When the complainant saw how they acted, he dropped all charges, and said he didn't have any problems with them or the church.  When our missionaries are exactly obedient, they see miracles. We felt like this was a miracle!

Today President went to the church to teach Frank, and then we had planned to spend the morning with our missionaries for some fun p-day activities. Well, the Heaven's opened!! The lesson went very well, but then it rained and rained. I think this is the rainiest day since we arrived in Kampala. Those that had planned to play basketball did not let it dampen their spirits, they played anyway. I brought some games to play with the sisters, and after an hour or so, we had a pretty large group of elders and sisters playing games. It is still raining, but has been a very fun day.

1 comment:

  1. I love your descriptions, thoughts, and feelings. Thanks for sharing your mission experience!