Sunday, April 30, 2017

Welcome Home

Just a quick note about our mission report.  We arrived home on a Wednesday night and the next few days were filled with playing with grandkids,  running errands and preparing for family to come for the weekend.  Since Elder Phelps left most of his clothes in Mbale we had to go shopping to get some new ones:)  I left most of my clothes as well but I had plenty left at home waiting for me!  We stopped to get our sim cards changed in our phones, I got my hair done and we went grocery shopping, etc.....  It seemed there was a lot to do.

On Saturday evening my parents and all of my brothers and sisters came to visit us which made me super happy!  I don't think I have ever had all of my brothers and sister in my home at one time.  We were missing Scott's Kathy and Mare's Boyd who both had activities that they could not leave home for:(  We enjoyed a nice dinner surrounding our table just talking and visiting.  We then moved to the family room and talked of our mission.  It was a nice evening.

Kathy (Baker) had postponed the annual YA Easter egg hunt so that we could be involved with it.  It happened to be that very same night that my family came to visit so it was just a little hectic.  It was great seeing all of the adult cousins having a good time finding eggs in the dark!  Dalton won the prize egg yet again!!

The next morning was church.  What a joyful feeling walking in to see Bishop Bartley ready to greet us on the stand!  He is a giant of a man in many ways and it felt wonderful to be wrapped up in a big bear hug.  Also, Presidents May and McBride were there to greet as well:)

As the first strains of the organ began to play I suddenly got emotional.  What a wonderful feeling hearing those beautiful organ pipes!  I didn't realize how much I missed that.  In Uganda, we just had a small keyboard and sometimes we just sung a cappella.  The opening song put me into another tizzy.  We sung the hymn "We Are Sowing".  The words spoke of our Uganda experience.  I have never noticed them so much before.

We are sowing, daily sowing countless seeds of good and ill,
Scattered on the level lowland, cast upon the windy hill;
Seeds that sink in rich, brown furrows, Soft with heaven's gracious rain;
Seeds that rest upon the surface of the dry unyielding rain.

I thought of all the many Ugandan people that are so dependent on the seeds of the earth and 'heaven's gracious rain' to live by.  Also, I thought of Jonathon and Rachel, our dear friends, who did not seem to accept the truths that we were teaching.  (or did not want to act on the teachings, anyway)  A few times I had to remind Elder Phelps that whatever we did in Uganda....we were always planting seeds of truth, no matter if our message was accepted at the time or not.  I hope that in time, the seeds that we planted in Jonathon and Rachel's hearts ....and others' too, will grow and flourish and that someday they will receive all of the blessings the gospel has to offer!

Seeds that fall a mid the stillness of the lonely mountain glen;
Seeds cast pit on crowded places, trodden under foot of men;
Seeds by idle hearts forgotten, Flung at random on the air;
Seeds by faithful souls remembered, sown in tears and love and prayer.

After singing the second verse, I was a mess!  All I could think about was our dear friends in Mbale and now seeing our dear friends in the Deseret Peak Ward.  Oh my!  What a way to begin the meeting!  Luckily, I was able to get my feelings back under control.

Our time of speaking went very fast.  I based my talk upon our missionary purpose...Inviting others to come unto Christ based on the principles of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, The Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end.  I had prepared an example of each of these principles based on some of the people that we had encountered on our mission.  I only got through two.....Faith (Massigua) and Repentance (Solomon) when I saw I was already out of time.  I threw in another quick one about The Holy Ghost (Tricia) when I finally ended with my testimony and sat down.

Elder Phelps spoke of our wonderful mission and how it has blessed our lives.  He encouraged others to serve in whatever capacity they could whether here (at President Killans request) or abroad (at President Collings request, sort of:)   There is a great need for people to serve in the Lord's Kingdom wherever they are called.  We must accept callings even if it seems difficult.  If we have the resources and health the need for couple missionaries is great....all over the world.

Skylar and Sarah were asked to sing a musical number in between our talks and they sung, "Lead Kindly Light".  It was really beautiful with wonderful harmony mixes with beautiful piano accompaniment.

After Sacrament Meeting we began our luncheon at our pavilion.  Kathy and my girls put together a wonderful luncheon!  I didn't have to do a thing!  That was so appreciated because my head was spinning with all that needed to be done the few days prior and getting used to the time change....and with family coming.  It was sort of overwhelming!

I love Kathy so much!  Not only is she my sister but she is my dear friend!!  She was my faithful letter writer each week!  I always could count on her for a detailed letter about the going ons at home while we were in Uganda.   What a balm these letters were to me each week with her encouraging words!

We had two waves for the luncheon.  Those that came just after sacrament Meeting because of the long distance needed to travel that day, and those that stayed for the full block of meetings.

What a joy it was to visit with friends and family that came out to support Rick and I on this special day!  

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