Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 12 - KAJJANSI

Jebale Banange,
     Super powerful week my companion and I had.  The Lord has been blessing us with strong numbers and a lot of people to teach.  Just yesterday, we had about 16 investigators attend church and they are scheduled for baptism within the next couple of weeks.  We are loving the people that we are teaching and we are seeing them grow tremendously.  The missionary work in our area is stronger than ever.  
     Elder de Lisle and I are getting a lot of support from the branch because some time in the fall, the new church building will be finished with construction and if we have enough members in the branch, we will be able to create two branches.  Super powerful.  I've been eating a lot of the local food, and as I ate, I could distinctly remember the last time I had a burger.  The food here will take some getting used to, but the experiences need to keep coming.  
     The family that we are teaching has a friend that denied our baptism invitation at first and seemed very disinterested in the church.  Turns out her father is a pastor at a local church.  To our amazement, she came to church and absolutely loved it.  We asked her if she will come again and she gave us a definite yes.  The Lord is softening the hearts of His children and it's such a blessing to witness.  I just love how humble the people are here.  Many of the referrals that we get and the people we find have no problem investigating the church.  And teaching them about the restored gospel is such a blessing.  
      Ok Highlight of the Week:  We were teaching an old lady and two of her grandkids out in the open one day about the Restoration of the gospel.  While we were teaching, a super drunk women started mumbling and treating us poorly saying "ehh... mormons" about 5 times.  We know a little bit of Luganda so we would throw her off guard with the little language we know.  She left and we kept teaching, and then a man joined in on the lesson and sat down, halfway through the lesson, he said he had a question.  Our translator told us that he says that he talked with God and the angel Gabriel and they told him that he is going to be ruler of the world, but they also told him that a man from Namibia will find him and shoot him in the head with an arrow.  He then concluded by asking us if we would join forces with him to defeat the "One Eyed god."  While this was happening, that drunk lady came back and yelled at us saying "Look I have a Bible too!"  This was all happening at once, and we were already late for our next appointment. Craziest lesson so far.  Still unsure about whether to join forces with him or not.
     So many miracles are happening, but they don't come in the ways you expect.  In missionary work, miracles are small but later you see that they are effective.  The scriptures read "By small and simple things, are great things come to pass."  I find this to be so true, and this is where faith takes it's part.  Without faith, people just think miracles are coincidences, but all good things come from God.  As you go about your daily life, reflect on the small miracles that God gives to you, and realize that they are truly miracles.  
     I love you all and have a blessed week and love life in the moment.  I'm continually praying for you and I hope you all find joy in your lives.
Over and Out,
Elder Wilson

Monday, August 18, 2014

Elliot in Kajjansi - week 2 in Uganda

Hey everyone!
     So I was hoping that I would get used to Africa already, but everyday, there is something new that I have never really seen before.  I'm super grateful for the opportunity to be here and to serve on the other side of the world.  But anyway, my past week has been pretty great.
     This past week, Elder de Lisle and I have been finding so many people to teach and we are getting new investigators like crazy, but when we have time to kill we just quote the office and laugh till we can't remember anymore references.  There's a Sabo, Peter who is so ready to be baptized and his wife Lynette as well.  Lynette has been going to church every sunday, but Peter has been having a hard time trying to get out of work on Sunday.  They are finding so much joy in learning about the gospel and I can't wait for them to be baptized.  
     A Sabo James who lives in Entebbe has been coming to church and he is very interested.  We have been teaching him the lessons and he tells us of the joy he feels when he learns and he wants to keep learning.  We just have to make sure he keeps coming to church so he can get baptized at the end of the month.  
      David is a great investigator of the church who was referred to us by recent converts to the church.  He loves the lessons that we have and he understands most of what we teach him.  A problem we have is that he lives pretty far, so we have to meet him only once a week, twice if we are lucky.  I have high hopes for this crazy awesome guy.  
      Lorent and Willie are two amazing people that we teach that also live far away, but they come to church like it's nobodys business.  Teaching them takes some time because we always have to have some translate for us because all they speak is Luganda.  But no problem whatsoever.  Lorent's wife doesn't like the church but we are hoping to help her to understand that the gospel will help her to find joy in life.  And I'm so glad that Lorent is stepping up and being an example to her.  
     Just recently yesterday, we found a family!  When we were at church, this man showed up out of the blue not knowing anyone or anything about the church.  We talked with him and his name is Bosco and he is interested in the church.  We scheduled to teach him later that day and he brought his sister to the lesson.  We invited them to be baptized and they accepted!  Then Bosco wanted to show us where is mother lives and when we showed up, his wife and kids were there.  And get this... yep, we taught them and they asked us to come teach them again on Tuesday!!  Such a fruitful week it has been.  
      The Kajjansi Branch is incredibly supportive of the missionary work.  In the Branch, there are several young men who are heading out on their missions soon who are actively helping us with lessons and giving us referrals.  We feel incredibly blessed and we find a lot of success with their help.  The Stake is trying super hard to set goals to have 16 convert baptisms within 10 months so that another stake can be made and hopefully in the future, a temple in Uganda!  I feel so incredibly blessed to be apart of this exciting time.  On Saturday, we had a Mormon Helping Hands service project at a primary school near the church building.  It was amazing to see so many people willing to help strengthen others and serve.
       I'm trying to think of some weird things that have happened and I can only think of a few.  Today, we were waiting for a ride and this crazy woman was asking for my companion's coke that he was drinking and it was super funny because after he said "Nada Niabo this is mine" she just pulled it out of his hands.  Lets' just say that my companion is a lady killer.  
     I am growing in ways that I would have never imagined.  For instance, my facial hair is growing faster than I expected..... Alright alright, guys enough with the jokes.  But seriously, I am at a point in my life where I am learning to mature and learn about my purpose on this mission.  My testimony is being strengthened by all of the miracles that I have witnessed and all of the joy that I feel when I teach others.  I know that this is the true gospel.  before I never really knew what that meant until i came on a mission.  I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and I am so blessed to have the opportunity to feed his sheep.  I love that I get to teach people that this everlasting gospel has been restored.  And I love teaching these people because they are so humble and loving of God and Jesus Christ.  
    Have a good week everyone.  Love who you are and find your purpose.  Know that I love you and your Heavenly Father loves you

God Speed
Elder Wilson

Ps. Pictures will come soon.  Computers are sketchy here

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week - 9 UGANDA!!!!

Jebalay Buzungus!
    That's right, that was an African language, so that could mean only one thing... Yes I am in UGANDA!!  Finally, am I right?  Anways I made it here on Aug 6 and I am so excited to serve here on the equator on the other side of the world.  But first I want to talk about my last week in Taylorsville, Utah. 
     Our family got baptized!!  We were so happy to be apart of their conversion into the gospel, and it took a lot of work.  I love them all so much and it was really hard to leave them.  The baptismal service was beautiful and the spirit was so thick, that you could cut it with a butter knife.  I feel so blessed that the Lord put me in their path, because even though I helped them find the gospel, they helped me discover the pure joy of missionary work.  
       I made it to the Entebbe Airport in Uganda on the Tuesday night and I left Salt Lake on Monday morning, so you can imagine all of the blood clots I had.   I had two layovers in Dallas and in London.  It was super crazy because apparently there's this flesh eating bacteria that is taking over the west part of Africa and they pulled like 247 missionaries out of there.  In London, I ran into a bunch of Elders who said they were getting evacuated out of Liberia.  And it turns out that a good chunk of them are getting sent to Salt Lake City Central mission where I waited for my visa.  I thought it was pretty weird considering that they were leaving and I was just jumping in to the action.  But then I landed Tuesday night and met the Mission President and his wife.  Such great people, their spirit makes me want to cry the waters of baptism.  My first assignment is to be in Kajjansi, which is close to Kampala and my companion is Elder De Lisle.  He's white too, so he's keeping me somewhat sane.  But seriously, people told me that there will be a huge culture shock and I was like "Oh please do you know who I am?  I'm the tall white guy, they will LOVE me".......... nope.  People will shout at us and little kids will call us muzungus and it gets really annoying (means white people btw).  But people are so accepting of the gospel here and they are always open to hearing our message.  I love the branch that I am with and they are trying so hard to help us with missionary work because the church here is trying to get enough members to make 2 stakes because right now there is only the 1 Kampala stake.  
     I miss you all so much, keep being amazing in everything you do!!  Don't forget how cool you are.  and how much the Lord loves you!!
Elder Wilson

Week - 8 Traveling to Uganda!

Elliot was unable to write as he was flying to Uganda on August 4th.