Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Jinja Stake Conference

What a wonderful weekend this has been. We were blessed to be able to spend time in Jinja for Stake Conference. It's hard to believe six months have already gone by. I remember the last stake conference we had there, and it doesn't seem like that long ago. What a great experience we had. There are definitely strong Latter Day Saints living in the Jinja Stake.

We arrived on Saturday. They had a priesthood meeting for the men, and at the same time, they had an auxiliary meeting for the women. President Collings spoke in the priesthood session, and I spoke in the auxiliary meeting. In our meeting we heard from the Stake Young Women's President, the Stake Primary President, the Stake Relief Society President (they called her the stake mom), me (they called me the mission mom), and a member of the Stake Presidency. It was really wonderful. We were told to speak on anything that we wanted to. It was interesting that most of us spoke about building Zion, and strengthening families. It's so neat how the Spirit works. We were all thinking along the same lines, which must be what the ladies needed to hear. I felt the Spirit so strongly in that meeting.

The next meeting was the Adult Session, which was held Saturday afternoon. I was just sitting on the stand, relaxing, enjoying the meeting. Then they stood up and said that myself and President Collings would be next to speak. I didn't realize I was supposed to speak, so I felt a little wave of panic, haha. But then felt fine. President Collings leaned over to me and said I could just bare my testimony. I ended up feeling fine, I'm getting used to speaking in front of branches and wards, and I guess I'll get used to speaking in front of stakes before this mission ends.  Anyway, the meeting was nice. There was a lot of communication on how husbands and wives can build stronger relationships with each other, and how they can be a better husband or wife. It was a great meeting.

Sunday morning was the General Session. Again, they set up about 900 chairs, and it really looked like they were full. I didn't get a count of how many people were actually there, but there were a lot.

The wards were bringing in people by the bus load. Again, myself and President Collings spoke, along with other stake members, and the Stake Presidency. Wow, what an amazing meeting! I love to see the strength of this relatively new stake. They have so many great members, and such strong leadership. We really felt edified as we attended all of the meetings.

I loved seeing how everyone dressed up so nicely. The women dressed in their traditional gomez 's, with such bright, beautiful colors. The men in their best suits. They dressed so nice for this special occasion. They were all so kind to us, and really helped us to feel right at home.  It's truly a blessing to be around the Latter Day Saints in the Jinja Stake.

We stayed one more night, and spent preparation day on Monday with our missionaries. We thought it would be fun to play sports. Usually that includes basketball, and soccer. When we went to the church, we saw that a man was trying to take down the tent from stake conference. Remember, this tent holds over 900 people, and one man had the work of taking the entire thing down. Our missionaries stepped in, and in less than an hour, they were able to help him take everything down, and fold it all up. Many hands make light work, and I think they all enjoyed doing a little service project. Finally, they were able to split up and play basketball and soccer. I got to hang out with the sister missionaries. I taught them a few games that I know, and they taught me some that they know. We really enjoyed ourselves!

This weekend was also a "Mormon Helping Hands" weekend for a couple of the wards in Uganda. Both Ntinda and Kajjansi wards spent time doing separate  service projects. Our missionaries serving in those wards were able to help out as well. It's so fun to see all the good that members of the church can do when they work together.
Ntinda Ward

Bishop Moses and Sussie

Kajjansi Ward

Monday was also President Collings' birthday. Wow, did he feel loved!! He had so many people contact him on the phone, or by way of email, or Facebook. He had missionaries sing to him in the morning at sports, and again in the evening, he had a group come by the house with a fun candy card that they had made, and they sang as well.

I think he felt very humbled by the outpouring of love he felt from our family, friends, and friends in the Gospel. It truly was an amazing day for him. I guess turning 50 isn't THAT bad. Haha. He says he feels 36. Hanging out with all these young missionaries helps him feel younger I guess.

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