Monday, December 28, 2015

Back to Uganda

Hey everyone!!  Sorry about not emailing last week.  A week ago, we went to a safari national park called Akagera.  Spent the whole day driving around and gazing at magnificent beasts.  We saw zebras, giraffes, water buffalo, elephants(one of them charged at us), and other animals that reminds us of the circle of life.  We had a great time and we were super exhausted at the end of the day.  Gotta love serving the Lord in Africa. 
    Anyways, a lot has been going on.  First of all, Elder Osei-Tutu in our zone got his appendix removed.  The poor soul.  Went through a lot of pain, and had to deal with a lot, but he got the surgery and he's good as new,...... well almost.  He still has to rest all the time, so we work with his companion in their area sometimes.  He's doing good, but we lost the branch vs. missionary soccer match because of it.
     As we all know, Christmas went right by and we had an enjoyable time over here in Rwanda.  The mission president and wife came to visit us to do a zone conference and to have a Christmas party.  It was great because we ate a lot of great food, and it was nice to have company when we are so far away from the rest of the mission. 
   About 2 Sundays ago, Isabelle and Mignonne got baptized!!! Super excited for them.  We found Isabelle just in contacting on the street and she was super interested in the church.  she even wanted her daughter to get baptized so she waited for her to return from school.  They both have powerful testimonies, and what a blessing it is to witness the change in someone's life, because we decided to follow the spirit and do the Lord's work. 
     Well not to much else going on.  But there is one change.  I'm being taken out of Rwanda and going to Uganda again.  I have loved and enjoyed my time with these people and I know that the church is in good hands with the faithful members of the church.  But now I have a new chapter.  I've been called to be an assistant to the mission president so I'm heading back to Kampala.  I'm nervous and excited with this new calling but I know that if I put my trust in the Lord, He will make a difference in my life and in the lives of others.  I love you all, I hope you had a merry Christmas, and have a happy new year!!!

Elder Wilson

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Christmas time, and what a blessing to spend it in warm humid weather.  This week we have been seeing a lot of blessings.  Life is same old same old over here and the work is getting better and better. 
      This next Sunday, Isabelle and Mignonne are planning on being baptized!! super excited for them, they have such a strong testimony and they are ready to make these covenants with their Heavenly Father.  Plus another bonus is that they have made a lot of friends at church.  So it should be a super great Sunday coming up. 
    Also, we have found a super great guy who is really interested in the church.  His name is Arsene and he has a baptism date for the 27th.  We are super excited for him because he's such a powerful investigator.  He loves the church and he told us that at church, he feels the most love.  He continues to read the Book of Mormon, and he even reminds us of his baptism day.  Many more people we are working with and helping to enter the waters of baptism. 
      Even this last week I went on exchanges with the other elders in one of the other branches.  Something that really caught my attention was that we focused on teaching people why we as missionaries do anything.  Why we teach, why we follow the Savior, why read the Book of Mormon.  It really made a difference in the Spirit during our lessons and we definitely enjoyed working in the Lord's Vineyard. 
     Nothing much else to report.  I just truly love the Savior.  My relationship with Him has grown tremendously.  There are many instances and times where I make mistakes that pull me away from Him, but the scriptures teach us, that the arm of the Lord is always extended towards us.  Through His suffering, we can find peace, and with His stripes, we are healed.  The church is true, Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet, and the Book of Mormon is the word of God.   Merry Christmas everyone, and Remember Him. 

Elder Wilson

Jimmy got his call to Johannesburg South Africa Mission
Pedal boda selfie

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Choose to be happy

What a blessed time to be in Rwanda for the work of the Lord.  We've been seeing a lot of success and our numbers have been going up.  The branch is super excited to get involved in helping the Kigali 2 branch to grow.  And being a missionary here is great, but lately, I've caught a nasty cold, which has been quite the stumbling block for me, but the work moves on.  The church is very new so a lot of people get interested.  There's a lot to be done here in Rwanda and I'm prepared to do whatever the Lord would have me do. 
      On Sunday, we had a baptism for Miracle, and it was just super great.  She was supposed to be baptized last Sunday with her other two siblings, but she had a school conference she had to go to.  Everyone was very supportive and we just love seeing how this branch is growing.  The goal for this recent convert family is to get them in the temple sealed next year.  Their faith is so strong and it's families like theirs that helps the church to be strong in this part of the world. 
     On another note, we got a referral from one of the members of a woman who really wants to get baptized and she loves the church so much.  We met with her to schedule out her baptism and she talked about how she was getting a lot of negative responses from her family and work mates.  With tears in her eyes, she would tell us how she would stand up for her faith.  She told us that she knew that the church was true and it's testimonies like these that open my eyes to the bigger picture, of how real the gospel is, and how there will always have to be persecution because it is true.  The Book of Mormon talks about how there is opposition in all things.  If everyone flocked to the truth and there was no opposition to the truth, there would be no point in this probationary state that we are in.  There has to be opposition, with out it, we can't be like our Heavenly Father. 
     Something that I've been trying to do more of on mission and in life is to just be happy, to enjoy life, and just to be more positive in every single thing.  Probably my favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon reads in 2 Nephi 5:27 "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness."  Such a small scripture but it has so much depth and meaning behind it.  Happiness is a choice.  And when we live after that manner, good happens in all aspects.  No one said that life would be easy, but when we choose to be happy, we live after the manner of godliness.  I love the scriptures and I love the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  It's not only change the lives of others but it has changed my life exceedingly.  I know who I am, and I know my eternal goals.  And when we focus our whole lives in achieving these eternal goals, that's when we can easily live after the manner of happiness.  I love you all, the church is true, and remember who you are and what you stand for.

Elder Wilson

Miracle's Baptism
Chef Boyardee up in here
New friend Carlos

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Second Home

What a great week!  A lot of things happened that is making the work go smoother.  We've had some improvements in our teaching pool and overall we are just enjoying the work and the rain.  I'm starting to get more and more adjusted to the culture every day, and I'm developing this great love for the people.  The branch that I'm in is super great.  They are excited about missionary work and they all love the gospel so much.  Elder Beck and I are working hard to help the branch to grow and have a firm foundation to build on. 
      There's this one family that we are working on right now.  We've been teaching Isabelle who has been taught by us for some time. She's ready for baptism and her daughter, Mignonne, is home from school and she even wants to be taught as well.  It's actually a great story.  When Mignonne was younger, she wanted to be baptized in one of the churches close by, but Isabelle said she felt prompted that she should make Mignonne wait until she was 18 to be baptized into a proper church.  So just before she turned 18 and came back from school, Isabelle ran into us, we taught her, and she feels like this is the church she's been looking for her and for her daughter.  Super powerful stuff.
    This past week, the mission flew me in to Uganda for a mission leaders council.  It was really great to see my friends back in Uganda and to just be in the country that I'm used to.  We had a powerful meeting that really helped all of us to work diligently to hit our goals for the rest of the year.  We talked a lot about how we can help the families that we are teaching to come to church and what we can do to strengthen the branches where we are serving.  Great meeting, a lot of the spirit, and new goals that we are setting. 
     This past Sunday, Peace and Heritier were baptized!!  Super great stuff.  It was a powerful baptism service.  The one that was supposed to baptize them apparently wasn't prepared to do it, so I had to step and and do it myself.  It's like I say, if you want something done, you gotta do it yourself sometimes.  Just joking, but it was super great.  The family was super happy, but one of the siblings, Miracle, was also supposed to be baptized but she had a special conference so she's getting baptized this Sunday.  Super exciting.  I love this work, because it changes peoples lives, it brings them closer to God, and it makes the world a better place.  There's nothing I'd rather be doing than this, and I thank my Heavenly Father for sending me here, where I have found my second home.  I love you all and don't wait to make a change in your life that will bring you happiness.

Elder Wilson

Ye Elders
My apartment