Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Blessings in Uganda and Rwanda

When we were at Jinja Stake Conference, we spoke with a group of saints and promised them that we would come to their ward very soon. We ended up going 3 weeks later to the Njeru ward, and spending some time with the members, and our missionaries there. They are working hard, and it was such a nice meeting. That Sunday ended up being very busy. It is a two hour drive to Njeru. We enjoyed sacrament meeting, then stopped at the Mukono chapel for some business with the missionaries there.  We drove back to Kampala where President Collings and the AP's and Zone Leaders met with the Stake President of the North Stake, and then the South Stake. He came back to the mission home where he had Skype interviews with 5 people in the outer branches, for recommends, priesthood advancements, and new callings in the branch. Following the interviews, he had a conference call with all the branch presidents in the outer branches, and finished the night with a conference call with all the mission leadership. I was amazed that he was able to fit it all into one day, but the Lord consecrates our efforts as we do his will.

In the mean time, a new Branch Presidency was called in the Meganagna Branch in Ethiopia. President Collings had done interviews last week while we were there, but the actual changes were made on this Sunday. We are so excited for the new branch presidency, and really believe they will do a wonderful job.

On Tuesday it was time to bring in our newest missionaries and their trainers for some follow up training. It was a great meeting, with a wonderful spirit. We are amazed at the missionaries being sent to the Uganda Kampala Mission. These young men have such a fire. They are strong, and are dedicated to missionary work. We are so grateful for the feeling that is here among our missionaries.

Now we begin a couple of weeks of zone conferences. On Wednesday we had the Kampala Central Zone and the Kampala South Zone come to the mission home for a combined zone conference. As we continue on in this transfer of miracles, the missionaries are truly seeing the blessings of "offering their whole souls" to the Lord. As they are putting forth their best efforts, the Lord is helping them to reach their goals, and it's really building their testimonies that they are not in this work alone.

Kampala Central

Kampala South

You can't have 32 missionaries in front of a camera without a few "fun" shots.

Thursday it was zone conference for Masaka Zone. There was a wonderful spirit, and the trainings were great. Masaka drove two hours to get to the mission home. We appreciate them sacrificing their time to be here. We decided after zone conference to take them all out to KFC. I didn't hear any complaints from the group!

President Collings is the priesthood leader of all the mission branches, and we had a young man who has been called on a mission to Ghana. He came to Kampala from Busia which is 4 hours away. President Collings set him apart as a missionary, and then he spent the night at the mission home. He left very early the next morning for the airport. He will be trained at the Ghana MTC. He will be such a great missionary!! We love this new elder!

On Friday, we were off to the airport ourselves. We have been trying to get this missionary to Ethiopia for about a month now. He was supposed to be there when this transfer started. We had a little trouble with the paperwork, and finally this week everything fell into place. He was able to travel with us to the airport, and take his flight to Ethiopia. We are so excited for him. He will do great things in Ethiopia.

Speaking of Ethiopia, I have another wonderful story shared by one of our missionaries. There was a man who was at some sort of business meeting which took place right across the street from one of our church buildings. The man looked over at the church and saw a light coming from it. He pointed to the building and asked one of the men near him, "What church is that?" The man didn't know, but said he thought it was a Protestant church. Then he asked the man if he saw the light coming from it. The man didn't see any light, but this man was insistent that there was definitely a light coming from the church. He decided to go find out for himself, and as he walked over, he met the missionaries. He is now being taught the Gospel.  So fun!

After making sure our missionary  was in the right place, and able to catch his plane, we took off to Rwanda. My parents, Elder and Sister Wright,  arrived in the mission field on April 11th. A few days later we traveled with them to Rwanda where they replaced the senior couple. When we left them there, they were brand new, and were being trained by the Gilletts, our previous senior couple. Well, this is our first time back to Rwanda since then. We have communicated over the phone, FaceTime, conference calls, and even WebEx, but had not been back to see them in over two months. All I can say is, Africa is looking very good on them!

They invited us out to dinner the first night, and we invited them out to dinner the second night. It was fun celebrating Father's Day with my father, and my wonderful husband, the father of my children. I don't remember the last time I was with my own dad for Father's Day.

On Saturday we had a sister's conference with the Rwanda sister missionaries. It has been such a great way to lift them and build their faith in this work. One of the biggest struggles here in Rwanda is the language. Most people don't speak English, although it is the official language of Rwanda, it has only been that way for 5 years so most people don't speak it. As they are being faithful and obedient, they are still finding success. They are finding that the people who are being baptized are truly prepared, and will be able to help others later on.

Wow, Rwanda is amazing! There are two of the three branches that are bursting at the seams. President Collings is looking into dividing the two branches and leasing buildings that are even closer to the members. I can't imagine more branches in Kigali, but it is a real possibility in the very near future.

We spent Sunday in the Kigali 3rd branch. Every chair in the chapel was filled.  President and Sister Opar, (he is the district president) spoke, and then myself and President Collings spoke.  I spent the rest of the time in the primary. I have been in primary for at least 20 years, and really love to see how the primaries are doing in our branches. Mostly, I'm not disappointed. Sunday was no exception. The children do not know a lot of English, but they are being taught in English, and then it is translated for them. They sing the songs so well! I love it!!

Kigali 3rd Branch

After church, there were 5 baptisms. There were two in another branch, for a total of 7 baptisms in the 3 branches.

There was also  a fireside for the members age 18-30. Elder Makasi, an  Area Authority was there with Freddie Babeeyo, they are both over institute for this area. President Collings was interviewing missionaries, and getting other work done, but we were told there were 80-90 in attendance. How amazing is that!! It's so exciting to see the members come together in love and unity.

We met with the District Presidency and branch presidents at the end of the day to discuss what is happening in this corner of the Lord's vineyard. There is such a good feeling in the meetings. The people are so prepared, and we are truly seeing a firm foundation being built in Kigali.

Monday we enjoyed preparation day with the missionaries. We played soccer, which was interesting. The elders were so nice to the sisters, and helped us feel good about our awesome soccer skills, which are nonexistent. Well, except for one sister who scored a goal. We really had a great time. We enjoyed caramel popcorn and soda for snacks after the sports. It was very nice.

Our final day was Zone Conference. It was a wonderful way to end our time with the missionaries and saints in Rwanda. There is always a nice feeling in zone conferences, and this was no different.

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