We no longer have missionaries in the area, but have started having our AP's or Zone Leaders go to Gulu and Lira once a transfer. They help the branch missionaries with finding people who are interested, and then allow the branch missionaries to teach them over the next few weeks. By the time the missionaries come back in about 6 weeks, there are people prepared for an interview and to be baptized. This has been a boost for the branches. The missionaries are helping to teach the branch missionaries and members how to do missionary work. There are many returned missionaries in the branches who can help as well. We are excited for the work to continue to progress in Gulu. The people are amazing.
Gulu Chapel, construction is finished on the outside and it looks so nice!
For those of you who know the Gulu building, notice the paved road out front!! So wonderful!
On Monday, we had combined sports with all the missionaries around Kampala. We had soccer, basketball, and I brought a few games. We played UNO for a while, but then the sister missionaries decided to go kick around a soccer ball. They thought they would get in on a game with the elders, but ended up having their own game. It was really fun to see all of the new missionaries who are in the Kampala area. We were able to speak with them, and for the most part, they seem to be doing really well here for week #1.
Elder Grant had to leave the game and help an investigator understand how she was completely healed after a priesthood blessing he gave her. She is just outside of the picture. She may not be able to join the church for some time, but she was deeply touched by the entire experience.
This week we have interviews with the missionaries. This is a chance for President Collings to spend time with each missionary one on one. I know he looks forward to this every transfer. So far we have traveled to Masaka for interviews with Masaka Zone, and then went to the mission office for interviews with Kampala North and Central zones, then we traveled to Entebbe and Kajjansi for Kampala South zone. It's been such a nice week spending time with the missionaries.
We had another fun experience. One of our missionaries who served in the Uganda Kampala Mission, Elder Nambale, actually stays in Mbale. When his mission was over, President Collings was the one to release him, and is still his priesthood leader. We love having him so close. He celebrated his 24th birthday this week, and President Collings invited him to the mission home to spend the night. We made him a birthday cake, and really enjoyed seeing him again. We love all of our return missionaries, and are so grateful when we get to see them! So fun!
24 candles make it look like the whole cake is on fire!
This weekend we had stake conference with the Kampala South Stake. This is the first stake conference since they became a stake. It was so neat to see the entire chapel and gym full of people. The stake members traveled to the Kololo Chapel, which is a little out of their stake. There are renovations being done on their stake center so that it will be able to hold more people for conferences like this. We showed up about an hour early, and we were so happy to see so many people already there and seated. This was far for some of them to travel, but most were there early or on time.
The stake president, President Kamya is an amazing man. He really speaks to the needs of the members in his stake, and is such a personable man. They are blessed to have such a caring and loving leader. President Collings and I were able to meet with President Kamya and his wife earlier in the week. We really enjoyed spending the evening with them. They are such a great example to me of disciples of Christ, in everything they do. We loved talking with them and getting to know them better. I love the friendships we have made while serving here.
There was a choir that sang during the conference. There were only about 20 people in it, but they sounded absolutely beautiful. I was so touched by the spirit they brought through their music. We were able to hear testimonies from several of the young adults, and talks from a couple of the sisters in the stake. They asked me to share my testimony, and then President Collings spoke followed by a counselor in the Stake Presidency. President Kamya was the concluding speaker.
My favorite part about attending these meetings is seeing the missionaries scattered throughout the audience. They all look so nice dressed in their white shirts, suits, and Sunday best dresses. They look so excited as their "investigators" come, or as they see people who were recently baptized that made the long journey to conference. I just feel a complete sense of joy when I see each of these missionaries. I'm blessed to be enjoying this journey with them.
Elders Mashego, Bale, Dlamini, Young, Osei-Tutu, Kagson, and Johnson
Sisters Otoo, Abeo, and Mudau
Sister Nganga, Elder Magumura, Elder Mufurati, and a future missionary
Sisters Mahlangu, and Kunene, and Sister Jeanette
Elders Beck, Chandler, Ncube, Sister Ngulu, and Elder Khoriyo
Sisters Ngulu, Muyengwa, and Hedzro with a member.
Elders Ncube, Mufurati, Osei-Tutu, and Quateng
Missionaries were told to squeeze together for this picture, but Elder Kagson was right between the sisters. He's trying to be obedient to mission rules.
Elder Rawlings and Elder Colvin with some investigators.
One last important thought I wanted to share. I have the BEST husband!! Today he decided to make Sunday dinner. I've spent most of our married life making some pretty sorry, or at least boring meals. Look at what this man made today! Bacon wrapped chicken breasts!! Seriously! They were so good! Why am I even cooking at all? He's a master chef! It was AMAZING!!
Have a great week!