Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Three Baptisms

It was a great weekend!  After Tricia's baptism on Saturday she was confirmed by Benard on Sunday during Sacrament Meeting.  She looks so happy!  She just had her hair plaited (she waited until after the baptism) and was just beautiful!  Radiant!  That's what the Gospel of Jesus Christ does to people.  It teaches us how to live and be happy!

After our block we got ready for three more baptisms!  There were MANY people who attend after the block to attend.  There was much joyous singing and testimonies shared:)  During the service we could here thunder and knew a storm was coming.  Well, it hit just as we went outside to witness the baptisms.  Luckily, the font is under the eaves of the church.  I snuck in right next to the font but everyone else either watched from the window inside or peeked around the corner to the font:)

Richard was the first to be baptized.  He had asked Francis to be the baptizer and the big joke between Richard and Sharifah was that because Francis is such a small person that he would have a hard time getting Richard out of the water.   Well, it just so happened that Francis DID have a hard time bringing him back out.  Richard grabbed the side of the font and helped to pull himself up:)

Sharifah was next and Rick was able to baptized her.  She was scared of going under the water and not being able to come back out but Elder Phelps reassured her and everything went well.

I just love this couple!  We met them through our gate guard Geoffrey (who was baptized in November).  Richard comes to collect our trash on Fridays and Geoffrey one day started talking to Richard about the church.  He let us know that Richard was interested in learning more and the rest is history!  

We began teaching the first few lessons on the porch of our home.  Mostly Francis and Geoffrey did the teaching because Sharifah speaks very little English and what she does understand is made even more difficult by our Mzungu accents.  So like I said Francis and Geoffrey did most to the teaching and we just bore our testimony toward the end of the lessons.

For the last three or four lessons we were invited into their humble little home.  It is located in Mooni, just up the road from our place at the base of Wanale Hill.  Their home is a concrete building that houses three different families.  Richard and Sharifah's place is about 9 feet by 13 feet.  There is a sheet hanging in the middle to section off their sleeping place from those who might be coming to visit.   Shari'ah does her cooking outside on a small charcoal burner.  Whenever we visited their place they always borrowed chairs from heir neighbors to accommodate us.  I will be honest and tell you that it was very difficult to sit through the lessons in their home.  Only because the heat was TERRIBLE!  It seems the lessons would drag on in a language that I couldn't understand and even some of the time I could feel myself nodding off.  Don't judge!  This is reality folks!  Put me in an environment like that in the late afternoon and it is 'supa' hard to stay awake!  Anyhow, their home is humble but they have a lot of love with each other and their two children, Tony and Ketra.  

The third baptism was of Michael.  Remember Faith's friend?  Well, Rick interviewed him on Saturday and was so pleased with Michaels readiness.  He loves the Book of Mormon and reads it a lot.  He says when he feels a temptation coming on he will read the B of M and gain strength.  Michael has had troubles with alcohol in the past and Faith has been such a wonderful influence on him.  According to Faith he has changed so much since she first met him.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ  does that.  It changes us for the better!  So happy that Michael was baptized.  He is a good man and will be a good member of the church!

                                     Our group with President Etiang on the left.

After the baptism and running home to pick up a few things we started off on the road to Kampala.  It was late in the day to be starting but that's what we had to work with.  We had Andrew Ochom join us.  Andrew is one of our prospective missionaries.  He needed to come back to Kampala to finish up his dental work.  I felt so bad for him on our trip.  I had packed a couple of pb&j sandwiches along with some carrots and cucumbers to eat on the road.  After about the first hour Andrew got car sick.  Poor thing!  With all of the speed bumps and potholes and stopping and going his stomach couldn't handle it.  He threw up about four times in the five hours on the road.  He would just roll his window down and vomit out the window.  Rick tried to pull over but that didn't work so well.  Anyway, needless to say we were all happy to roll into our new apartment where we could unwind after a long day.

Andrew ended up staying with us for two nights and left just this afternoon back to Kampala.  He is very close to having all of his papers ready to submit.  Isn't that great!!  Next week Mercy and Francis will be traveling back with us from Mbale to Kampala to get some of their needed immunizations and dr visits taken care of.  It feels good to be helping some of our prospective missionaries to be getting ready to turn their papers in.  We are most excited for Francis, of course.  I know that sounds biased but he is an awesome missionary and is VERY ready to serve a full time mission!

                                   Here is Andrew enjoying Rick's homemade popcorn!

So.... our apartment is doable.  I'm not in love with it because well, frankly nothing can compare to my "home" in Mbale!  It's on the third floor of a complex.  We have the Ntinda Elders and Sisters living on the first and second levels as well as The Towers, a missionary couple.  Elder Tower is a retired judge from CA and his helping mentor some here in the Judiciary Courts.  They have been here for 6?? months and are headed home in just a couple of weeks.

One thing I do love in our new place is THE BED!  It is very comfy.  There is even a small AC unit in the bedroom which we have been enjoying the last couple of nights.

When we first walked into the apartment there was brown standing water on the kitchen floor.  After cleaning up the mess (Rick is so good:)  he discovered that it was coming from the water heater and seeping underneath the cupboards.  Luckily, we were able to have someone come and take care of the problem today.  Life in Africa is always an adventure!!

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