Saturday, April 8, 2017

Back in the Saddle

Wednesday morning we left our office job into the capable hands of the Wittwers and made our way back to Mbale.  We were able to get our things packed up from our apartment in Ntinda, run a few errands and then get on the road.  It felt so good driving into Mbale.  We both have really missed this place.  We loved walking into our home.  Our Mbale home has been such a wonderful place to live for the last five months.  Even though it was very dusty and needed a good cleaning we both felt happy to be “home”.

On the way home we stopped at a road side stand and got some much needed veggies and fruits to fill our fridge with.  These ladies were anxious to make a sale:)  I mean look at those Mangos!!  Three for 1,000 UGX.  That's less than $.30 folks!  We also got a great deal on pineapple, tomatoes, onions and green peppers.  I love how inexpensive the fresh food is.

Thursday before leaving for the day I threw ingredients for a crock pot lasagna into the pot and off we went to meet with Benard. We spent the day visiting.  First we stopped at President Etiangs home to drop off the General Conference DVD’s and we ended up talking with him for about an hour about how the branch is going.  It is going well and he is a great leader!

After that we were hoping to visit with an investigator that Benard has been working with but she was not home.  We visited with Harriet, Manjerie, and Stella (twice).  After the first visit with Stella she mentioned that Trinity had been sick.  Elder Phelps left the consecrated oil in the car so we went to get it.  Stella had invited us to come back in an hour for lunch.  That was really sweet of her.  She made us beef and posho with a tomato sauce.  We had just had a sandwich in the car and I could barely eat any more.  While Benard and Elder Phelps finished their meals I left quite a bit on my plate.  I just couldn’t eat it.  I hope that wasn’t offensive to her.

While we were visiting with each of the sisters we invited them to bring their families to our home for dinner.  Brian and Stella will come next Friday and Manjerie and Harriet brought their kids over last night.  I will tell more of that in a bit. 

After leaving Stella’s we came to the church.  Elder Phelps met with Joshua (BFG) to see how things are progressing towards his baptism.  He knows the church is true but needs to make a commitment to live the laws of the gospel before he can be baptized.  While Elder Phelps was visiting with Joshua I had a piano lesson with Esther Rose.  She is coming along slowly.  A few months ago she asked if before we leave for the States if we would be able to get through the whole piano primmer.  I told her that I thought we could.  Well, that was before we had to move to Kampala.  Now we have just a short time to get as far as we can.  I feel bad that we won’t be able to finish.  In the meantime I will be able to meet with her once, maybe twice before we leave.  Our evenings are full for the next nine days!

On the way back that evening we ran into Ben Tushabe.  We invited him (and Francis) over to help eat our lasagna.  He gladly accepted and said he was very hungry.  Of course, when we pulled in we invited Geofrey to join us.  We all sat around enjoying food and companionship.  It was a good way to end our first full day back in Mbale.

                                                    Dinner with Ben, Geofrey, and Francis.

Yesterday we left the house late.  We needed to take President and Brother Wakolaki out to visit John Bote’ who lives about 45 minutes from town and they had things to do that morning.  We were going that direction anyway because Francis has been teaching Lekabia Mpande and Nankoma Jackson’s wives (Florence and Harriet) and they have had all of the lessons.  Mpande and Jackson are a father and son that are members of the church.  They have to travel quite a distance to the church but Jackson has a boda and he takes his dad to church each week.  Two months ago we met with Florence and Harriet and left them a message along with a picture of the Savior to put in their home.  We encouraged Jackson to take turns taking his wife and step mother to church so they could learn more.  

Well, while we have been away in Kampala, our great missionary Francis has been riding his bike clear out to their home to teach the ladies the lessons.  Last week Francis called and told us that they had been taught all of the lessons and have attended church two times and are ready to be interviewed for baptism.  I tell you, that Francis is something else!  He's a missionary through and through!  Thus the need for us to travel out to their village home.  They needed a baptismal interview by Elder Phelps.  They will be baptized on Easter Sunday.  Another surprise was Mpande's ten year old son was also ready to be interviewed.  Three baptisms on Easter Sunday!  How marvelous!  

While they were being interviewed (Francis helped with translating because they speak very little English) I sat on the porch with Jackson and filled out their paperwork.  I also showed a couple of videos to the family.  When we had pulled into their compound it started raining.  It was nice sitting on the porch looking out over their garden with the rain pouring downJ

Earlier in the day I bought some mandaz and samosas from Aaron (our neighborhood salesman).  We gave them out throughout the day but saved some for Mpande and Jackson's children. Florence is on the right.

Of course, everything in Uganda takes longer than it should and we were late getting back to prepare dinner for Harriet and Manjeri’s families.  Francis stayed behind to help me cook while Elder Phelps went to pick everyone up.  I made sloppy joes, pasta salad, steamed cauliflower and chopped pineapple.  As the family walked into our home I noticed they were all well dressed.  Harriet was beautiful in a bright orange dress.  Manjeri's dress was like WOW pink!  She was even wearing bright pink lipstick!  They really came dressed for a party!  We had a nice visit with their families.  There were a total of thirteen of us including the children.  As we sat around the table we each took a turn to tell something we loved about our mothers.  I think it was hard for Manjeri’s children to express what they felt but Harriet’s daughter Susan gave a nice tribute to her mother. 

After dinner we were able to gather around and watch a video about the resurrection and bear testimony of the Savior’s atonement and how the resurrection is a gift for all.  I think it will be a night remembered for a long time!

Back row:  Benard me and Francis and Suzan
Front row: Charles, Harriet, Angela, Manjeri, and baby Joshua
Children on the floor: Philan, Jeremiah, and Yvonne

1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful that you got to go back and visit with people again these last few days before leaving for real--and wonderful finding out that so much work was continuing to get done while you were gone!! You've been a great example to them and taught them well!