Thursday we went to Jinja for interviews, which was a treat. While President Collings gave the interviews, the zone leaders did training. At one point, for an object lesson, they had a three legged race. The missionary who was doing the training said the first team to run to him would win. At the signal they ran, and the winning team couldn't decide which side of this missionary to run to, they split and plowed right through this poor missionary. I'm pretty sure there is another object lesson there, but I didn't say anything. Haha. That day I found 3 people who were interested in the Gospel. These people approached me and asked about why I'm here in Jinja, and asked about the church. Each of them want to be taught the gospel, and gave me their contact information.
We had a meeting that evening with the directors of welfare and self reliance for the church out of South Africa and Kenya, they had been teaching in the Jinja Stake, and we enjoyed so much talking with them and understanding more about the needs of the people here in our mission. They are really helping people here to understand that they can lift themselves out of poverty through hard work, planning, and putting the Lord first. During our meeting, our waitress, Jackie, asked us if we could please have missionaries contact her. She has seen us in Jinja several times at this restaurant, and we have had a few conversations with her. Each time she has expressed interest in the church. We are sending her some sister missionaries this week! It's amazing how prepared the country of Uganda is for the gospel.
We went to Iganga on Friday. It was very interesting inside of the Bugembe chapel where we were doing the interviews. There were several men doing some maintenance on the building. The chapel is concrete with tile floors inside and at the outside entryway. The cement is painted white. There was a man with a bucket of soapy water, and he was hand washing the outside walls of the chapel, and then took a hose and rinsed it off. It really makes a difference. There is red dirt here in Uganda, and everything turns the deep orange/red color. Washing down the white walls really made the building pop! While they were outside working, as we walked into the building there was a huge puddle of water right in the front foyer/ hallway. I'm not sure how it got there, but we kept having to walk around it to go in and out of the building, and even going down the hall. Nobody seemed too worried about it, so I figured they would come in and mop it later in the day. While we were meeting in the chapel, there were stacks of chairs about 6 or 8 high all around the room. One of the workers brought a young boy, probably six or seven years old into the chapel and set a bucket of soapy water next to him and gave him a rag. It was his job to wipe down the legs of all the chairs in all the stacks around the room. He was so sweet, at one point I handed out biscuits (cookies) to my elders. He walked over to me and just smiled really big. Of course I gave him some too. A few minutes later he came over and pointed to my bucket of biscuits, and of course I gave him more. After we were done with the training and interviews, we moved into a classroom and I had pizzas for the missionaries. We were sitting in this classroom eating while the man outside was washing the walls of the church. When he took the hose and sprayed down the outside wall, all of the sudden, we had water start gushing out of the ceiling tiles, and down the walls of the room we were in. We had to quickly move the pizza out of the way because it was under a waterfall. We yelled for him to stop spraying, and he came inside and saw all of the water which was now on the floor. I'm starting to think that the puddle in the foyer got there the same way... There are a few Americans in this zone. We just laughed and said, I can't imagine this ever happening in Utah! As we were preparing to leave, we were standing outside the church, but in a covered entryway. There were still workers all around the church doing maintenance. All of a sudden there was a BANG, and a man who had been working on the roof of the building came crashing down to the ground, ladder and all. He had put the ladder, which was hand made of logs, on a ramp that was made of (slick) tile. When he got to the top of the ladder, the bottom of it slipped on the tile and he and the ladder all came crashing down to the ground. He immediately stood up and waved to everyone, and said he was okay. I'm pretty sure it scared him to death, I know it scared me!!
Saturday President Collings had a coordinating council with the stake presidents in Ugand and Elder Makasi from South Africa. Then we had elders from the Gulu zone come to the mission home for interviews. I know it was a long drive for them to get to the mission home, but I think they appreciated the home cooked meal we made for them and the ice cream for dessert. It was a five hour drive to the mission home, and a five hour drive back to their area, and two hours in the mission home eating, interviewing, and training. A long day, but it enabled President Collings to make it to all of the meetings that were necessary.
On Sunday we had a guest come and join us at church. His name is Junior, and he is from one of the other churches that we have befriended. President Collings has been invited to come speak to their congregation, so he decided to come to our church and see how we worship. It was a nice time. He stayed for all three hours of church, and was really touched by the spirit that was there. One of our investigators was supposed to get baptized that day, but his sister died, and he was with his family. So sad. There was also an LDS woman visiting from Napal. The ward members were so happy to have her visit, they all wanted pictures taken with her at the end of the meeting.
That night we had the Assistants to the president come to the home for a meeting with President Collings. We decided to make them a big breakfast for Sunday dinner, with eggs, bacon, and pancakes. A little bit different, but theydidn't complain. In fact one said he couldn't remember the last time he had a nice breakfast.
I have been reading ten pages a day of the Book of Mormon. I have absolutely loved it, and look forward each day to reading it. I have been trying to focus on the blessings I am receiving by reading it, and have really noticed a difference. Obviously being a missionary, we focus on living the gospel every day, but add daily study of the Book of Mormon, and it has been wonderful. My entire attitude about this mission has changed. It was never bad, but it has gotten so much better, and just changed my perspective about a lot of things. I credit the Book of Mormon studies for all of this. What a blessing to have it and to read from it every day.