Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Call to the Uganda Kampala Mission


Our journey began about a year ago while Rick was serving in the Stake Presidency as Second Counselor to President Stephen Collings.  Last October President Collings told Rick and his first counselor, President Lawrence, that he had received a call to serve as a Mission President starting in July 2016.   This was big news to them because they had considered that they would continue to serve in that capacity for at least another year or so.  This call would necessitate a change the following February during our Stake Conference.  

As Rick and I were preparing our minds for this change we reflected on our personal goal of serving a mission once his service in the stake was completed.  This news had us rethinking of the timing of serving a mission.

In December we got the exciting news that the Collingses would be assigned to preside over the Uganda Kampala Mission.  He let Rick know that the mission was in need of couple missionaries.  After hearing that, Rick and I started to seriously talk about the possibility of serving in Africa with them.  I have felt for many years that I would  like to serve in an African mission one day.  This feeling came to me many years ago after watching General Conference.  It was on a Saturday and I kept the TV on after the closing prayer (which I never do) and immediately a special religion report on the Humanitarian Missionary efforts in Ghana came on.  I was glued to the TV.! There was one aspect of the show that had missionaries teaching music to the African Saints and the thought came to me,  "That is something that I would like to do."  Thus the seed was planted and has been in the back of my mind for many years.

As the first of the 2016 year got close Rick and I started thinking about what kind of Mission goal we were going to make for our New Year's Resolutions.  We decided that we would start saving whatever income we could to go in a mission fund for us.  We also decided that we would have our recommendation in by the end of 2016, and plan for a 2017 mission to serve for a year.  

Just a few weeks after the Stake Presidency's release in February President Collings invited us to attend a dinner with couples who had served missions in the Uganda Kampala Mission.  We told him we would go and as we attended this dinner we met many wonderful people who gave 1 to 2 years of their lives to serve the people in Uganda.  They all had positive things to say about their missions and how they loved the Ugandan Saints.  They talked to us of life in Uganda, what their living quarters were like, and how senior missionaries get a lot of "PERKS" on a mission.  Internet service to talk with family, nice residences (at least nicer than the young missionaries), the food, the currency, the sicknesses.  We came out of that get together with a greater understanding of what it would be like serving a mission there.  My main thought through this whole process was....These people are EASILY twenty years older than me.  If they can do it I certainly can! 
Call it the competitive side of me but there you have it!!

Anyhow,  the missionaries mentioned that if we were seriously thinking of serving that we should get started on paperwork right away because of the time it takes to accomplish everything to be ready to serve. (about 5-6 months)  After talking about the idea some more we decided that since Rick is still working full time that he could take a leave of absence from his job for six months and be gone over the winter when it is much slower in his business.  This became our plan of action.  We started the paperwork and within just a couple of months we had our call in our hands!  

Our mission picture

Our call was hand delivered to us on a Tuesday night, just a couple of weeks after our papers were submitted, by Russell Harrington who works in the mission department and is our nephew by marriage AND our neighbor.  Because we wanted to open it at a time when all of our family could be with us we waited until Friday night for the unveiling.

We met at Olive garden with a bunch of close and extended family to open our call.  We were happy to find out that we were being called to the Uganda Kampala Mission as we were hoping:)

Here is a map of the  South part of Africa.  Uganda is right by that big lake (Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world) just to the left of the middle of the map.

Our mission boundaries take in five countries.  Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti. There are missionaries in the three former countries.  The latter two do not have any at this time.  There is too much civil unrest in S. Sudan and missionaries had to be taken out for their safety although there are many people there who want to be members of the church.  Djibouti is an American military area from what I understand so there are no missionaries there.

Our dear friends... Steve and Tracy Collings
We are excited to serve with them!


  1. That was so fun to read! I'm looking forward to your African adventures!!

  2. I loved reading all about this, Janell. Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to put all this in print! (Your beautiful Sweet SPIRIT really comes through in your writings!) Love, Karen