Tuesday, January 24, 2017

....and call the sabbath a delight....

                                                                Isaiah 58:13

I wanted to write about our wonderful Sunday!  It certainly was a delight as Isaiah teaches!

We haven't been in the Mbale branch for a couple of weeks now so this was our first Sunday back.  I was so happy as we greeted our wonderful Mbale friends!  The members of our branch come up and greet us EVERY time we see them!  They are so loving and kind!  They are sure to shake our hands and ask, "How has the week been?"  whenever they see us!  I  was asked to substitute leading the music for Sacrament Meeting and it was a joy for me to look into everyone's faces as they sang the hymns!

These members are so faithful!  Some come from long distances, even up to a couple of hours walk one way, to come and participate.  It is such a challenge for many of our members to have the money for transportation.  We try to encourage and teach that their sacrifices will be seen by Heavenly Father and that they will be blessed for their efforts.  It makes me very thankful that I have been blessed with so much in my life!  I was raised by loving parents who taught me the Gospel. The church was one block from my home.  ONE BLOCK!  It is such a blessing to have many churches (and temples for that matter) so close to our homes in Utah:)  We are so blessed!

There was an amazing spirit in our Sacrament Meeting.  I love partaking of the Sacrament.  Since I have been on my mission I have learned more of the importance of that weekly partaking.  I love the fact that we can be cleansed every week if we come with repentant hearts!  When I was younger I used to think, "I wish I could be baptized again and be cleansed from all of my sins!"  Now in my more 'mature' years I recognize that baptism is not needed again to be cleansed from sin, only a repentant heart in preparation of partaking the Sacrament.

Our beloved Francis started out the meeting with an amazing talk on faith.  He did not have a single written word in front of him and he spoke for 15 minutes!!  He expressed himself beautifully about the principle of faith and cited many stories in the scriptures that speak of faith.  Two of those are; The Brother of Jared seeing the finger of the Lord and The woman being healed by touching the Savior's garment.  He cited others but I cannot remember them now.

It was especially meaningful because I know of the immense faith that Francis' family had this past week as his little sister, Jimeema, (who is barely one year old) went in to a surgery that the doctors  said she had a slim chance of surviving.  His family had much faith and his mother had GREAT faith that Jimeema would be OK and was not worried at all.  She simply said, "We have been praying and the Lord would take care of her."  His father said, "All will be well.  Even if she does not make it than she will be with God and he will take care of her.  Francis' siblings have gathered together each night to read scriptures and to pray.  Francis did not share any of this with the congregation but since I knew what his family had experienced this past week, my heart was especially touched!   They are so faithful!  (Jimeema did very well through the surgery and is on her way back to good health!)  

We also heard from Jude, a returned missionary that we love.  He is a fun loving man that likes to joke around and has a ready smile.  He spoke on the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy.  I was  thinking to myself the promises that come from keeping the sabbath day holy.  How the ground will blessed to bring forth fruit in it's season.  Right now we are in the dry season and so many crops are drying up and people are extra hungry.  How blessed would the people be if EVERYONE observed this law?

Lastly,  Alan, one of the first people I met in Mbale spoke of the line of priesthood revelation.  This is one of the first things that we teach investigators in the first discussion.  It is important for them to understand that through the ages God speaks through prophets.  As revelation was taken off the earth  (the great apostasy) than a restoration was needed to have that line of revelation brought back to the earth.  That revelation trickles down through the prophet to the apostles to the area leaders to our stake and ward leaders.  This is important for all to understand.  We had eight investigators at church on Sunday.  I'm glad that this topic was taught to reiterate the first discussion.

One more thought.......did you all just LOVE the topic in Priesthood/RS??  I loved opening the book and seeing the topic "Cultivating an Attitude of Happiness and a Spirit of Optimism" from the teachings of President Gordon B. Hinckley.  I thought to myself, "This.  This is President Hinckley."  He was a man of optimism and happiness.  In many a hard day in raising small children I loved his encouraging words of "things will work out".  As I see so many challenging circumstances for the people here in Uganda I was thankful to share in this lesson of hope and happiness and joy.

There is more to write....our first branch council with our new branch presidency and a trip to visit the group in Sironko but this post is already too long!  Suffice it to say that all went well!

The sabbath is truly a delight for me!

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you TEACH us in your writings, Janell. You are SO RIGHT in all you say. Those people are so very, very blessed to get to have YOU in their midst!! Love, Karen