Friday, January 6, 2017

I Felt Compelled to Come

The work is rolling forward here in Mbale!  It is interesting how people are being led to the church....literally!  In the past few weeks we have met people who feel drawn to come to the church.  One young man, named Emma (Emmanuel) walked onto the church grounds and just sat on the grass waiting for someone to come and talk to him about the church.  No one was there. (Which is funny because it seems like there is always at least three people there during the day.  The young members come and go continuously.)  Emma's back story is that his father is Muslim and Emma told him that he wanted to find out about different churches.   He saw our church with the name Jesus Christ and he wanted to know more and he said as he passed by one day and then he "found" himself sitting on the church grounds.

While no one talked to him that day he came back the very next day and pulled a chair out onto the porch and again, waited.  This time Pius, one of our returned missionaries, saw him and sat down and started talking and teaching.   They scheduled another meeting and Emma was taught the second lesson by Pius and yet another returned missionary, Ben.  Emma has been reading the Book of Mormon and is excited to learn more.

The next story happened just yesterday.  Our third teaching appointment was scheduled at the church with Emma at midday (which in Ugandan, is noon).   As we walked into the church Jonney (one of my piano students) and another young man came right up to me.  Jonney said, "This man wants to learn the piano.    I immediately thought the young man was Emma, since I had only met him once briefly and could not remember what he looked like.   As Elder Phelps walked up he started talking to this young man.  As they were talking I understood that this was not Emma but another man who's name is Wilburford.   He just decided to walk into the church that morning not ever having been there.  Jonney leaned over to me and proudly whispered, "I taught him about the Restoration!"  (Jonney is 17.)  Elder Phelps invited Wilburford to come to church this Sunday and he will be taught some more about the church by the Branch missionaries!

My last story is of the Nathaniel family.  Jonathon and Rachel are newlyweds.  They were married just one month ago.  Rachel's two teenage sisters are staying with them for a few weeks until they return to the village next week.  Jonathon and Rachel are from Western Uganda and are new to Mbale.   They came to our Branch for the first time on Christmas Day.  They had never been to an LDS meeting.  They just wanted to find a church to start attending and it just so happened to be our humble Branch!  On Christmas Day we introduced ourselves to them and set up a time to teach them.  Since then we have been to their home twice to teach them.  At our last appointment on Sunday she prepared a nice dinner for us!  That was very kind of her.  Especially since there were FIVE of us visiting that afternoon.   I wanted to reciprocate that kind gesture.

Last night they came to our house and we made pizzas and had a good time talking and laughing around the table.  None of them had ever had pizza before and I think it was a little different for them:)  I made some steamed veggies and had some pineapple and mangos to go along with the meal.  We also had Benard and Francis with us.  Our conversation was not so much gospel related, we just had a nice time building our friendship:)  We were talking about the differences in the people and language that we see on an every day basis.  We laughed at the many funny things that both Ugandans AND Americans say and do!  We had planned on teaching them about The Plan of Salvation but it got too late so we just served the leftover ice cream and hot fudge that Sister Collings and I made for New Year's Eve.  I was glad to have that extra on hand.  As Elder Phelps was taking them home Jonathon said, "We will be remembering this night for a long time in the future!  Isn't that sweet?  I'm so glad they had a good time and that we have found yet more friends here in Mbale.

It's amazing to me how so many are being led to the church.  Remember Daniel who was baptized last month?  He just passed by the church one day and felt compelled to come in.  We have heard that phrase a few times.... "I felt compelled to come in."  The Lord's work is moving along here in Mbale and many people are being prepared to receive the Gospel.  It is a joy to be a part of this Marvelous Work and Wonder!

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to me that the Lord (by way of the Holy Ghost) touches peoples' hearts--even way over there in Uganda--the same as hearts are touched around here! I'm glad that you are serving a mission over there and helping me to think more about the people all over the world. Thanks! (Love, karen)