We had wonderful training from Elder and Sister Wittwer, who always are so fun with the missionaries. We also were trained by President Collings, the Assistants, and the Sister Training Leaders. We did role plays, and had great interaction. Of course we took them to a yummy buffet after the meeting. I think the mission is in good hands with this group of leaders.
We are excited to announce an historic milestone in this mission. President Collings called a new counselor in the mission presidency, President Richard Okello. He is the first Ugandan to serve in the mission presidency in Uganda. We are thrilled to have him. He has such a great knowledge of the work, and will be such an asset to the missionaries. We are truly blessed to be able to work with President Okello.
I love this picture of him holding my grandson!
Already this transfer we have seen many wonderful tender mercies taking place. As our newest missionaries are being trained, they are seeing that the Lord is intimately involved in the work. They are doing everything they can, and then they see that he steps in and helps them accomplish the work that needs to be done. It's truly a blessing.
As a mission, we have decided to read the Book of Mormon in 3 months again. We saw so many blessings last year as we did this, and really felt like it would bring unity to the mission, and help us all draw closer to Heavenly Father.
One story that really stood out to me this last week was the story where Nephi was asked to build a ship. This would have been so intimidating to know where to begin. You think of all the questions he would have had, HOW? Why? I have never built a ship before... etc. Instead he just asks where he can find ore to make the tools to build the ship. He never questions if he can accomplish it, but instead goes to work in faith, trusting that the Lord will help him accomplish the task. Then you see that Laman and Lemuel laugh at Nephi, thinking he is crazy. They murmur and complain, and say it's too hard. They have given up before they have even started. I have been thinking about that in everyday life. The story of Nephi is a great story, and of course, we know he had the faith to do it, but what if we are asked to do things that we think are impossible? What if we have obstacles put in our path that we don't expect, and maybe are frustrated with? Do we pray and ask for direction? Or do we get frustrated with people, or situations and complain that we have been treated unfairly? I think we need to remember we are writing our own story, just like Nephi did. We have a choice of what we do or say or think in every situation we encounter. Sometimes it's hard to separate the temporal challenges from the spiritual ones, but that's why we are here.
President Collings and I have learned over the years that if we follow the promptings of the Spirit, and act in faith, in every aspect of our lives, we really do see his hand in all we do. We have had to fall back on this precept quite a bit since we have been here in Uganda. We see a direction that this mission needs to go, and we wonder, how is the Lord going to help us with this? We are stretched a bit as we try to work through it, but as we are obedient and work in faithfulness, He does help us to accomplish it. My mantra for my mission is the scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." I challenge you to look at your individual situations, and acknowledge the Lord's hand in everything. Then decide if it changes the way you react to the situation. It certainly brings peace during trials.
This week we have been doing interviews with all the missionaries. We had several zones come to the mission office. It works out well because they are also able to pick up supplies, mail, and anything else they may need. They are able to have a one on one interview with President Collings, and I get time to talk with them and get to know them better. Later in the week we went to Jinja and met with the two zones there. It has been a very nice couple of weeks. We still need to go to Ethiopia and Rwanda, but that's coming up soon.
Interviews are always followed by zone conferences. We are about half way through them, and as always, they have been amazing. I love hearing these zone leaders and sister training leaders teach. I love watching them gain confidence, and trust in the Lord. They say mission years is like dog years. They may only be here for 18 months or two years, but the growth they see is more like 14 years. Haha. It's truly a wonderful blessing to take a front seat and watch them progress in life.
These last few weeks have just flown by. It's been a whirlwind of activity. I need to repent, take a few more pictures, and be more diligent in my writing. Life is good here in the Uganda Kampala Mission. We are amazed with the wonderful blessings we are seeing in the lives of our missionaries and the people of these three great Nations. This is the best place in the world for us to be right now.