For our final full transfer, President Collings called 4 Assistants to the President. There were some things that he wanted to accomplish that would make the transition to a new Mission President smoother, and he felt the best way to accomplish these things was to have a little more help. These missionaries have already done amazing work! They were also really sweet. They knew it was President Collings birthday, and decided to surprise him with homemade brownies! Wow! (Actually, I think Betty Crocker in a package from one of the moms helped.) They were amazing!
Elder Hall, Kramer, Ankrah, and Masters
Some more fun news. We have had a family in Rwanda who has been trying to go to the temple for the past three years. Things just kept coming up as they were preparing. While they were preparing as a family, the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo Temple was dedicated and the ordinances were translated into their local language of Kenyarwandan. They were the first Rwandan's to be able to go through the temple and receive the ordinances in Kenyarwandan. This is a picture of the entire family, including parents, children, spouses of children, and even two grandchildren. What a great blessing! We are so happy for them!
There is a woman in the Kololo Ward in Kampala who is just about the most dedicated missionary I have ever seen, Sister Mafabi. She is constantly telling her friends, neighbors, and acquaintances about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She invites them to her home to be taught by the missionaries, and leads by example. Last week she and her husband invited President Collings and myself to their home for an amazing dinner.
We also met several of her good friends who are learning about the church, or who have joined the church because of her friendship. One of these women is the mother to one of our full time missionaries, Elder Aojan. It was such a great evening. We were able to enjoy friendships, and share the message of Jesus Christ with many that joined us. When Sister Mafabi invited us to come a few weeks ago, we decided to give her a special gift. We took a white t-shirt that had the Ugandan flag and Uganda Kampala Mission silk screened on it, then we had all of the missionaries who knew her, write their name, or write a small note to her. We presented the t-shirt to her at the dinner. I think she really loved it. We love these people.
We have started our final round of zone conferences. Our first one was combined with Jinja and East Zones. President Collings asked that the Zone Leaders plan the conference, and train on whatever they feel the zone could use. These two zones decided to have a combined training meeting and played Mission Jeopardy. There were no teams, and no points, instead they asked questions out Preach My Gospel and the Scriptures, and we had an open discussion about each of the questions, or participated in role plays. They took time to share testimonies, and then they presented a musical number. It was so beautiful. It was they hymn, God Be With You Till We Meet Again. One verse was done with just the piano and violin, one was sung in French by our missionaries from Congo, and two of the verses were sung with all the missionaries in harmony. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. I didn't really think about the fact that this would be the last time I see most of these missionaries. It really hit me hard. This is going to be a difficult transfer.
On Sunday President Collings was busy interviewing missionaries. I made Sunday dinner for them, and was so grateful that they helped me clean up! Each time I am with Elder Asante, he insists on taking selfies with us. We invited many of the other missionaries to join us as well. It was a very nice evening.
Recently we have been receiving new missionaries that come mid-transfer. It's really great to have them come! These three missionaries came from the Ghana MTC. They have been learning English, and needed to stay at the MTC 3 weeks longer than our other missionaries. They boarded a flight from Ghana at about 9:00 pm, and flew through the night, with a stop in Kenya on the way. They arrived early the next morning. One of these missionaries is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and two are from Tonga. We have been receiving large numbers from both of these areas of the world. They are very strong, hard working missionaries. We are blessed to have them.
Last but not least, today was moving day, kind of... Our personal items that are here in the mission home are shipped back to the United States. We send them a little bit early so that hopefully they will be waiting for us when we get home. At this point, all of our personal belonging in Uganda will fit into two suitcases. Having the movers here made this feel very real.
It was a pretty good week!