Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Yesterday we had a wonderful experience that I want to write about.  Let me start with a back story of Daniel.  We have known Daniel (standing next to his mother in this photo) for about 4 months now.  He is a security guard at the church.  When we first got to know him, Elder Phelps would always stop to say Hi and have a little conversation with him as we would pull into the church compound.  After a bit of time Elder Phelps invited him to attend church.  

It took some time but then he showed up one day.  We asked Daniel if we could come to his home to teach him more about the Gospel.  Daniel asked if it would be ok if his girlfriend Winny, who lives with him, could join us.  Of course, we said that was fine.  We started teaching him and Winny at the end of November.  We had two good lessons with about the Restoration of the Gospel and the next about the Book of Mormon.  He and Winnie said they would read the Book of Mormon.  The first part of December, Winnie had to move back home (Lira) to get ready to begin school.  She told him she wasn't leaving without the B of M.  We were able to replace Daniel's book:) 

Our next lesson was on the Plan of Salvation.  During this lesson Elder Phelps asked about Daniel's reading and if he had been praying about the things we had been teaching him.  He said he had.  Elder Phelps asked if he could explain how he felt when he prayed.  Daniel was quiet for a moment then said, "After Winny left I was feeling very lonely.   I knelt down at night to pray, and I felt a good feeling in my heart.  It made me know that this Church is the true Church.  This path is the right one to follow."  Of course, this is what we missionaries hope that all of our investigators will say:)  There was a good feeling in the room and at that point Elder Phelps invited Daniel to be baptized.  He said, "Yes, I would like to but it might take some time,"  Elder Phelps agreed and told him that we would keep teaching him the doctrines of the Gospel.  He could take as much time as he needed.

We were gone for a week in December and when we got back we knew that Daniel was going back to his hometown (a village out past Lira) to visit Winny and his family for the holidays.  Rick felt strongly that Daniel should learn about the Law of Chastity before he went back home.  We invited Daniel to our home where I sat quietly as Elder Phelps taught about the Law of Chastity.

I was a little nervous going into the lesson because he and Winny are not married and they had been living together for quite some time before she left back to school.  It is interesting how the Lord prepares people.  As Elder Phelps taught about being morally clean, Daniel nodded his head.  He declared, "I have been thinking about this subject for a while now and I know what you are teaching is right.  I believe this is how God wants us to live."  He continued,  "The problem is that Winny's parents will not pay for her schooling if we are married.  They have told us that we can be married after she is finished with school in two years."

Elder Phelps looked at him and said, "Daniel,  I bet that if you take this pamphlet and share it with Winnie and then go to her parents and explain about being sexually pure and that you want to do what God wants, they will understand?"  Daniel smiled and said, "I will try that."

Well, long story getting longer........

After coming back from the holidays Daniel mentioned that he talked with Winny and that he was hoping things would work out.  He told Rick, "I think we need to be married first, then we both get baptized together."  We had the Branch missionaries finish up teaching the lessons to him.  He kept coming in to our FHE Nights with the Young Adults but wasn't getting to many Sunday meetings.   We encouraged him to be attending every Sunday.  A few weeks ago as he was on duty during the day, he was sitting under the shade of a big tree in the compound.  I hollered hello to him and started walking into the church.  I felt prompted to go speak to him so I made a detour over to where he was sitting.  We exchanged pleasantries and had a little small talk.  He told me that Winny's parents had given him the news that they would allow him to marry Winny before her schooling was over, and they would still pay for her schooling.  I felt that was a miracle right there!  I was late for a meeting in the church so I told him I would see him later.  As I walked into the church I had a strong feeling come over me.  I thought to myself, "We are leaving in two months and we NEED to have Daniel baptized before then.  Married and THEN baptized."

After out meeting I walked up to Daniel outside and said, "Daniel, we've got to get you and Winny married and get you baptized before we leave to go home, and we're leaving in April"  He was shocked!  "In April?  You are not coming back?"  Why so soon?"  We answered, "Well, that's how long we have been planning to stay.  We want to see you baptized before we leave.  How can we make that happen?"  He responded, "We are planning to be married in May, but I will have to think about that and arrange."  I asked if he had enough for the dowry.  He answered in the affirmative.  (Actually his parents pay for the dowry in his particular tribe.  Between FOUR and SIX cows, TEN goats plus 500,000 shillings!  That is really A LOT!)  

He said at that point.  "My parents want to hear about the church before I am baptized.  Will you go to my village and teach them so I can get permission from them."  Daniel is 24 and is of age but he wanted to have his parents' blessing.  He said, "I have told them a little about the church but could you go to my village and teach them?"

To us it felt like the right thing to do.  Daniel's family live 12 Kilometers (or so) past Lira on dirt roads, and Lira is three hours away.  We knew that when we went it would be a full day.  

Yesterday was that day.

We left home by 6:30 to pick up Daniel and our Branch Mission Leader, Benard who is a good friend to Daniel and was coming with us.  On the drive Daniel mentioned that his brother was going to be there as well.  Then he got a call from his sister who was upset that she had not been invited so he invited her.  After hanging up the phone he mentioned that "She is a reverend in her church.  She went to school for three years to study theology."  I thought, to myself  "Oh my!  A reverend!  This might turn a different direction than we were hoping." Then said a silent prayer in my heart that things would go well.

After picking up Daniel's brother, Ambrose, in Lira and a quick visit with Winny we started up the dirt road leading to Daniel's home.  We picked up his Reverend sister, Teddy, and after stopping to say hello to yet another sister we finally made it to the village of Daniel's parents; about an hour drive past Lira.  We were greeted warmly by his mother!  (His father is a teacher and was in school so we were not able to meet him.)

We knew that we only had a couple of hours to be there before we had to get back on the road so the family ushered us all into a mud hut to find our seats.  After we exchanged pleasantries and met a few other family members we began teaching.  Reverend Teddy translated to their mother as the three of us taught "The Restoration".  

It took a full two hours from the time we arrived to finish because of the translation.  Toward the end as we each bore testimony of the truthfulness of the restoration and of the Book of Mormon there was a wonderful spirit in the room.  Elder Phelps asked Daniel to tell his mom (and sister) his feelings about the Restored Gospel.  Even though Daniel was speaking a different language I could feel the spirit in his tone.  A visual softening occurred during this meeting.  When asked by Elder Phelps to Daniel's mother ...."If you knew that Jesus Christ has restored His Gospel to the earth and has a prophet and twelve apostles directing it.  How would that make you feel?  Daniel's Mother answered and said, "I would be grateful if they went teaching throughout the world."  I said, "And they do."  The spirit was very strong at this point.

Then Benard bore a powerful testimony of how God's power was restored by the laying on of hands through the apostles Peter, James, and John.  He looked directly at Teddy and said,  "The power of God does not come through someone knowing the scriptures, it does not come from people going to school to learn,  it comes directly from God by the laying on of hands to His Prophets and Apostles."  He then bore a humble testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church on the earth, and that it has been restored on earth, and is the only church with God's priesthood authority.   He then asked Teddy how she would feel if she truly knew that was true.

Teddy had a very humble look on her face and said, "I would have to change because I have not known any better.  I would want to follow Jesus Christ and know His Church."

Wow!  The Spirit was strong!  It was a wonderful experience.  

After the lesson we were served a meal of chicken (a real skinny chicken:) boiled sweet potatoes, and mashed peas.  That was very thoughtful of Colleen (Dan's Mom)  to feed us:)

 Daniel with his extended family.

Daniel has eleven siblings in his family.  Funny story....he told us he had eight siblings but Teddy was quick to correct him and told him there was twelve all together.  He didn't remember because there are so many of them.  The youngest is only four.  The oldest is thirty.   While Daniel's father is a polygamist (his second wife has six children)  Daniel's mother bore all twelve in his immediate family.

This is lady below is one of Daniel's relatives.  When she walked into the room and greeted us I heard Benard whisper something about how we should be teaching the Word of Wisdom.  I smiled and thought,  "Is this lady drunk?"  I couldn't tell until later when as we were leaving she tripped and fell on the ground.  Everyone started laughing and Rick was appalled at them laughing at this poor old woman, and helped her up.  As we were driving away Teddy mentioned that this woman WAS indeed drunk and is sadly 'drunk most of the time'.  She kept wanting her picture taken and making us all laugh with her antics. in the deep village.

As we were leaving Rick bought out a loaf of banana bread that I had baked with the intention of giving it to Daniel's mother.  (I am glad he remembered!)  Since I had given her a gift she wanted to present us with one.  She caught one of her chickens and gave it to us!  This was a first for us!  Never been gifted a chicken before!  We were thrilled with her generosity.  We put it in the back of the truck and hoped it would live the four hours it was going to take us to get home!  And all the way wondering what in the world we were going to do with a LIVE chicken.  We talked of whom we could re-gift it to and decided on our groundskeeper Fazira.  Remember her?  The Muslim?  We called her to tell her we had a chicken for her, and she was so excited she screamed for joy and started laughing.  That felt good!!

When we saw Fazida this morning she said, "My kids were SOOOOO happy when I told them you were giving us a chicken!  I am going to keep it for a remembrance!"  We asked her, "You are not going to cook it?"  She said, "No!  I am going to keep it as a remembrance." (of us)  Isn't that sweet?  Maybe she could breed it and make some little chicks to raise.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Another week goes by.....

Our weeks are flying by!  It has been another busy one.  Everyday we leave early and get home late.   We had a lot of great experiences this week out in the village visiting and also teaching lessons.  

On Wednesday we had Michael Ochilla (who was baptized in December) and his family over for dinner.  They live in a village called Kabwangasi.  Michael is married to Daphne and they have six children.  Daphne and all of the children go to the Seventh Day Adventist Church which makes Michael the only member in his family.  They are a good family who love the Lord.  Rachel is the oldest at 23 years and is a nurse in her village.  She said she is interested in learning more about the Gospel so that is a teaching opportunity for us!  Jovia is their second daughter and she is in school so she did not come.  Samuel is 14,  Ruth is 8, Miriam is 5 and John is 2.  We also had two young cousins from the family join us plus Benard Wandera (on the left is our Branch Mission Leader).  I made chicken breasts with fried potatoes and mixed vegetables.   We had ice cream for dessert:)

Michael with his wife Daphne

This week we began teaching Mirembe a little English.  We had no idea what we were doing but we went forward and did our best.  You would think that since we KNOW English we should be able to TEACH English.  It's not quite that simple anyway.....Bernard was there to help in the translating:)

One night we went to teach Jonathon and Rachel.  We were scheduled to meet with them at 6:30 and Elder Phelps had told Jonathon that we would just be there for a short lesson and to NOT prepare food for us.  We stopped at Arabica Cafe before our appointment and ordered some take out to be picked up after our appt.  Well, as it goes.... they DID prepare dinner and I could tell that after we told them that we were not going to stay that it hurt their feelings.  I gave Elder Phelps that look and whispered, "We really should stay."  So we did.  I had been looking forward all day to having some pizza from Arabica but......we saved it for leftovers for the next night:)

It was an enjoyable evening with them.  Poor Rachel has been sick for weeks now.  She got up twice during our lesson to go vomit:(  Elder Phelps said the unthinkable right to her.... "Do you think it's the nine month flu?"  I gave him an elbow to the ribs and said, "You're not supposed to ask that!"  She just laughed and said, "I don't know.  It's too early to tell."  We did not get home until 9:00!  Those late appointments are hard because there is really no down time before bedtime.

We saw this on the road and had a good laugh!
Someone forgot the spell check!

Our exciting news this week was our first Mbale Branch wedding.  Ben Tushabe married his girlfriend Alima (Harry) on Saturday.  We had to travel to Jinja because our Mbale building is not registered with the government to be a place of marriage.  The Mission is working on getting our building approved.  It will be a blessing when it is finally approved.  Many more people would have loved to go but could not afford the transport to Jinja.

We definitely ran on African time.  We were there to pick up the bride and her maids right at 7:30 as planned but they weren't ready.  By 9:30 (yes, two hours later) we picked them up and started our 2 1/2 hour journey to Jinja.  The wedding started at 1:00 and was really nice.  President Etiang did a nice job of conducting and gave some really nice counsel from "The Proclamation" to the bride and groom.

                                Sarah, Jimeema, Harry, and Francis

Pretty Bridesmaids.....Sarah and Francis

                  The bride and groom with the matron and best man.

                                     Exchanging rings after the ceremony.

President Isaac Etiang enjoying lunch.
Lunch was delicious with rice, matoke, peanut sauce, beef, potatoes, greens, peas and chapatis.

                                        The wedding party
                               Namable, Ellie, Ben, Harry, Jimeema, Sarah, and Francis

This was interesting....before the cake cutting the bride and groom changed into traditional African clothing.  I loved Ben's mother's gomezi.  It was so beautiful on her.

An end to another great week in the mission field!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My Kind of P-Day

We had a great P-day yesterday.  We had it on Tuesday rather than Monday because on Monday we had meetings scheduled in Busia.  We met with Brother Makau, from Kenya, who came to teach some members of the Branch about the PEF program and how it is used.  Many have tried to access the PEF funds but have had trouble doing so.  This was a very educational meeting for us as well as all those in attendance.  The Perpetual Education Fund is an inspired program and can really be a help to those living in poverty trying to better their lives.

Anyway....back to P-Day.....

We started out the day with our exercise.  We usually walk (Elder Phelps jogs) a loop around our neighborhood. (senior quarters)  Our neighborhood is very nice and even though we walk mostly on dirt roads we pass by any people on our route.  We see many of the same people each day and always give them a "good morning" and a "how are you?"  I feel very safe in our neighborhood!  This week school has started back up for the children.  They have been on break now for two months so it is fun to see all of the children in their different uniforms (depending on their school) walking to school.  Many even hop on the back of a Boda....but most of them walk:)

After our exercise we had a "plan out the week" discussion and synced our calendars for the week.  We've got a great one planned!

After our planning session we both took some time studying in the scriptures.  President Etiang has challenged the Branch to read the Book of Mormon in three months so after just getting to Abinidi teaching King Noah and the wicked priests I turned pack to page one and started over!  

Before showering for the day I knew I wanted to make some banana bread for the week. 
(Four loaves:)  These loaves come in handy when we are out visiting people.  I love to give away something sweet when I can.  While I was baking we had some laundry being done so it was a "get your laundry clean day" as well.

After getting ready for the day we had the dreaded task of grocery shopping.  This is something I don't love.  The grocery stores are so dirty and full of people.  Everything I touch has a fine layer of dust on it.  But we were able to get it done quickly and then we headed over to the Mbale Central Market to get our fruits and vegetables.  I like to get in and out of there as quickly as possible so we split up each with our assigned food to buy.  Potatoes, mangos, papaya, cucumbers, carrots, manjaya, apples, onions and tomatoes.  We had already picked up some pineapples from a street vendor:)

After dropping off our goods we drove over to Mt. Elgon Hotel.  While Rick played in the pool I got a massage and then joined him afterwards.  The water was cold but it felt good to be in a swimming suit enjoying the pool!

After some time in the pool I played on a nice chair a read a couple chapters in "Kisses From Kate".  I received this book from by brother in law Hal just before coming to Uganda.  It is a story of an eighteen year old girl who comes to Uganda for a few weeks on a humanitarian trip and then decides after she graduates to come back and LIVE here to help with the school.  She ends up eventually adopting thirteen children and becoming a young single mother to them.  She felt like it was a calling from God and has made a difference in many lives in the Jinja area.

I don't have much time for casual reading so thus I am only about halfway through the book.  Most of that was on my sick day a few weeks ago:)  Reading is something I miss while being a missionary so I was thankful to get a few pages in yesterday!

Around 5:00 we decided to order some dinner and they set up a nice table in the shade next to the pool.  We had a wonderful dinner watching the sun go down.

Rick had the szechwan chicken and I had chicken and vegetable skewers!

We talked of going home to pop some popcorn and download a movie to watch but as I started to figure out how to do that (we have never downloaded a movie before) a knock came on our door and it was Francis coming to tell us about the good lesson he and Geoffrey had just taught.  It was about 8:00 and I knew Francis hadn't eaten so I heated up some leftover spaghetti for him for dinner and Rick drove him to the railroad tracks so he could be a little closer to home.  Francis lives very far and he had walked much throughout the day.  He still had at least thirty minutes from that point.

As they were getting ready to go we had another knock on our door.  (hardly anyone comes to visit us and we had two knocks in one night!)  This time it was Mirembe and Judith.  They were in the neighborhood and decided to stop by.  Judith tried to send her children to school on Monday but they were sent home because the fees were not paid in full.  She was trying to meet with a doctor that she has done some work for and owes her money.  She was hoping to get paid.  That was why she was in our neighborhood.  It didn't work because he wasn't there.  As we got to talking about her plight I  let her know up front that Elder Phelps and I would not be able to help her.  It is just not allowed.  She is a single mother and it is very difficult for her.  Despite her hardship she recognizes that if she pays her tithing and has faith that God will take care of her.  

We had a nice visit and I shared some banana bread with them to take home....(see it comes in handy)    When Elder Phelps returned we took them back to their residence and by the time we got back it was time for bed!  So, no movie but all in all we got a lot accomplished and had a wonderful P-Day!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Ups and Downs of Missionary Life (part 2)

This is the second part of our rollercoaster week!  I documented the ups on the previous post.  It is a lot easier to read than this one!  The following is the down part of our week.  These are the tough moments of a missionary's life.

So Thursday we had planned to spend some time out in the Budaka District visiting members that are a ways out.  Our first stop was the orphanage/school.  We were planning to show Dan and the children a short message about being Children of God.  As we pulled up we could see lots of people in the School compound.  We knew right away that it was a burial service.

Dan came out and told us that a three year old had passed away the night before.  Pete/Junior had HIV as well as Sickle Cell.  His parents are both living and both have HIV.  We were invited into the compound and we of course, knew from experience that we would be there for some time.  All of the women were sitting on the ground either on mats or banana leaves separate from the men who were sitting on benches.  We are such a spectacle at these events (or anywhere we go for that matter)  people stare at us and it gets kind of uncomfortable at times.  I just try to be polite and smile and wave at them.  Usually if there are not too many people I will greet them with a handshake and introduce myself.  This was not that time because there were so many people.  We figured there were about 250 in attendance.

Again,  the dead are not embalmed here so they must be buried within a day or so of the death.  Generally it is the following day.  

Francis told us that we should go view the body.  We walked into the small room and saw the little boy laying on the ground wrapped in sheets.  Only his face was visible.  My heart constricted when I saw him.  He was such a little boy....about the size of my beloved grandchildren.  I was overcome with emotion and stepped out of the room only to have a thousand eyes staring at me as I wept tears of sorrow for this young life lost.  HIV in a small child who did nothing to deserve the disease!  It was the poor choices of others who caused this little boy to have such an awful disease.  It was hard for me to think about.  I felt sorrow for his mother who would obviously have the same disease.   What must her feelings be?   What a trial to lose a young child!

We were able to stay for the rest of the service which included talks (in Luganda) from the local minister and others and some hymns sung by the congregation.  Elder Phelps was given two minutes to share some thoughts.  He spoke of how little children are innocent and are not accountable for sin.  And how little Petie went straight back to that God who gave him life.  He mentioned that Petie has a great work to do on the other side in teaching others.  Thankfully Francis was able to translate for him so that the congregation could understand his words.

After a few more talks we walked to the back of the property where Petie was laid to rest.  The people were singing "Nearer My God to Thee" in Luganda.  We were able to hum along:)  Afterwards, all of the Christians were invited to stay and eat.  Sam, a man that we have taught and are friends with invited us to his home (pretty much next door) to eat.  He served us fresh mango and rice with a soda to drink.  It was an unexpected turn in our day to witness yet another burial.

Another downer.....

Friday afternoon we had a teaching appt scheduled at the church.  I greeted a girl who I will call "Z" who is nineteen, sitting at the back of the chapel looking very despondent.  I asked how she was and she said, "Somehow not so good."  I talked with her briefly than made a stop to the bathroom.  As I walked back out I felt impressed to go sit with her and find the root of her sadness.

As I talked with her she opened up about how she and her three younger siblings are in the care of her aunt.  Her mother left two years ago and they haven't heard from her since.   "Z" tries to help take care of them by selling, buying and then reselling small vegetables.  She does not make very much.  

I asked about her father and she said he left eight years ago.  She explained that he was a drunkard  that went around with a lot of women.    When I questioned her further about her mother she said, ""She left and it's all my fault."  I knew right where this conversation was going.  I could feel it.  She said, "My father was not a good man....he did things....."  I directly asked, "Did your father sexually abuse you?"  With tears in her eyes she slowly nodded.  I told her, "This is NOT your fault.  Your father was an evil man to do that to a young girl.   What were you about eleven or twelve?"  Again she nodded.  I reiterated to her that it was not her fault and that her father was completely responsible for what he did.    I pulled out my scriptures and read to her Alma 7:11.  I told her that the Savior does not want her to carry around that burden.  He suffered for the PAINS and the sicknesses of His people.  I told her that she can give that to the Savior because He understands how she feels and she does not have to shoulder that anymore.  I encouraged her to talk with the Branch President and he could help here resolve issues that she is struggling with.  

I thought about her most of the night.  I was angry with a man that calls himself a father and does that to an innocent child.  "Z" is a beautiful woman and she has been deeply scarred because of him.  I can't stand the thought of innocent children being abused.  I know it happens everyday all around the world.  Usually, I feel quite distant from child slavery, child abuse, and hungry and homeless children.   I like to live in my safe bubble and not have to think about the evils of the world.  But still they are there.  And they are prevalent.  
Someday these monsters who take advantage of children will reap their reward.  

And lastly......

Elder Phelps and I scheduled a meeting with some perspective missionaries to help them fill out their mission papers.  Some of them had told us they were having some struggles getting that done.  While I was helping Mercy with hers, Elder Phelps was helping another young man in a separate room.  One of our sweet friends, Mirembe, walked in with all of her paperwork.  I asked her to wait a few minutes right by us at the table while I finished up with Mercy.  Seeing that Mercy had a few pages left I asked Mirembe to start filling in the simple information i.e.; name, birthdate, where she lives, etc.......

After a few minutes I noticed that she barely had her name filled out.  I got up for something and as I was coming back I noticed Mercy writing on a paper and Mirembe copying the words.  I asked what she was doing and Mercy said,  "She does not know how to write.  I was helping her to know how to write the word Mbale."   Just as a back story.....we have spent much time with Mirembe.  She does not speak English but she always gives me a hug and asks "How are you?"  I have tried to speak to her in the past but she just smiles and does not know how to answer.  

Mercy told me at this point that Mirembe never had the chance to go to school.  Her mother passed away giving birth to her and her twin.  The twin did not make it either.  Mirembe was raised by her father and for some reason he did not send her to school.  Mercy said,  "She has not even read the Book of Mormon."  My mind was we have a 22 year old woman who does not speak English, cannot read or write, and has not read the Book of Mormon. and wants to serve a mission.    How could she possibly serve?  Missionaries teach from the Book of Mormon.  How can she answer questions let alone find a reference for an investigator?  How can she know the ins and outs of Preach My Gospel without knowing how to read?

I kindly asked Mercy to tell her that we will finish her paperwork another time.  I asked her to let Mirembe know that because she can not read or write that we would have to talk to President Collings to see if she would even be able to serve a mission.  Mirembe put her head down as I was trying to think of something to say to help her feel better.  Pretty soon I saw huge tears falling from her cheeks.  Tears welled up in my eyes as well.  I got very close to her and said,  "Don't give up hope!  We will talk to President Collings and see what he says.  Even if you are not allowed to serve a mission there are so many things that you CAN do!  You can serve as a Branch Missionary and teach people right here in Mbale.  You can receive other callings and serve here in the branch."  I realized as I spoke that my vain attempts at making her feel better were NOT working.  

She got up from the table and went into the bathroom.  I was heartsick!  I felt like I had just crushed her life's dream.   Mirembe is a very faithful member of the church.  She is the only member in her family.  The fact that she has never even read the B of M and still has a strong testimony of the Gospel tells what kind of faith she has.  She has wanted to serve a mission for a long time.  This came as a complete surprise to her.  After about five minutes,  I went to check on her.  I stepped into the bathroom and could hear her sobbing in the stall.  I knocked on the door softly calling her name and she timidly opened the door.  I wrapped my arms around her and we cried together.  I told her not to lose hope and that Heavenly Father loves her and will take care of her.  I told her that Elder Phelps will talk with President Collings and we will see what his counsel is.  After a few minutes I left her to herself and went back out.

This was hard.  Really.  I hate the fact that good people have such limitations.  We and our children have had the great blessing of attending school and learning.  There was never any worry about coming up with funds to provide an education for our children.  There are many illiterate people here in Uganda.  Most of this new generation is being educated but still there are some that cannot afford to go to school.  Usually students are well over eighteen before they even finish high school because they have missed previous years because of lack of funds.  

Many children are sent away to boarding school which is a completely different subject that I abhor.    Just today, Sarah Butali had a young child with her in church.  The child was not yet three but Sarah was taking her from her mother to start her schooling.  
The child is only TWO and leaving her mother.  It breaks my heart!  
It is true that education will help children to have a better life than their parents but to send them away to a boarding school is not right!  (In my humble opinion)

Schooling began again last week after a two month break.  So many people are struggling to come up with the funds to pay for school fees.  We have had three different people approach us this week to see if we could help pay for their children's school fees.  It is hard to tell them no but we have to.  It is against mission rules to give money to people.  We will sometimes help people to have food if they have none but we have been directly counseled to not give money.  Sometimes we are not the best at this but we have been trying lately to be better and to heed the counsel of our leaders.  

I thought about Mirembe the whole evening.  Worried about her.  
Sometimes life is just hard!!

(Update: Elder Phelps talked with President Collings just this morning and he suggested that she take a couple of years to learn to read and speak English and to prepare herself in that way.  We spoke with her today after church and she is willing to work very hard to do this.  She has tried before unsuccessfully but she REALLY wants to be a missionary so Elder Phelps and I will try to find a way to help her learn:)  We are looking for people who could help in this process.  

I think that's all to report!  With missionary life there are lots of rollercoaster emotional ups and downs.  I know that Heavenly Father will take care of each of his children and that eventually things will work out.  
We must have faith in that!