Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week 27

Jessica and Brooks just had their fifth baby (all invitro) on Friday.
Benson Brooks and mom are doing well.  They sent pictures 
but we couldn't download them.  We'll try
again next week. We are so
grateful for SKYPE which
allows us to talk and
see our family with-
out missing a beat.
Back in Kampala this week transfering missionaries from one area to another.  Taking one home with us to Gulu and bringing one Gulu missionary home for good after having served his 2 years mission in Ghana.  He knows Pam's cousin's son who recently left from Ghana as well for home.  Said they were best friends...the Church makes the world a very small place.  Ours is the first Gulu missionary to return home from his mission.  Have another coming home this month...Sept.  These young men will begin to add strength to our struggling branches.
We went to Mbale again on Sunday for a regional missionary zone conference...Gulu, Lira and Mbale missionaries, mission president.  Elder Kevin S. Hamilton of the 2nd Quoum of the Seventy and second counselor in the Area Presidency in Johannesburg is touring the mission.  We left Mbale on Wed, 11 Sep, to Kampala and had dinner with him and all the other senior missionary couples in the area.  A great honor to be with him and his wife.  We also enjoy getting together with all the other senior couples.  It's a good reprieve from the never-ending assignments, training and activities with our dear "babes" in Gulu. 
(Elder Hamilton received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Brigham Young University in 1979. In 1982 he received a master’s degree in finance from the University of Washington. In 1987 he was named CEO of Prime Matrix Wireless and later president and CEO of Encore Wireless, Amerivon, and Truconnect, all mobile telecommunications carriers.  58 years old.  The brethren give all this up when they are called as General Authorities.  Being a GA is full time.  He lives in Johannesburg, our Area Office, and serves in the Area Presidency)
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described the “tender mercies of the Lord”:
“I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them.
“… The Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindness, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly the Lord suits ‘his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men’ (D&C 46:15).
“… One of the ways whereby the Savior comes to each of us is through His abundant and tender mercies. For instance, as you and I face challenges and tests in our lives, the gift of faith and an appropriate sense of personal confidence that reaches beyond our own capacity are two examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. Repentance and forgiveness of sins and peace of conscience are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. And the persistence and the fortitude that enable us to press forward with cheerfulness through physical limitations and spiritual difficulties are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2005, 105; or Ensign, May 2005, 99–100).

(Elder Bednar was born on June 15, 1952, in Oakland, California. He served as a full-time missionary in Southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. He also received a doctoral degree in organizational behavior from Purdue University.  After completing his education, Elder Bednar was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and at the University of Arkansas. He then served as the president of Brigham Young University–Idaho (formerly Ricks College) from 1997-2004.)
How to make passion fruit juice:

Whole passion fruit.  about the size of a lemon

Two whole pieces of fruit cut in half.  It is filled with juice and seeds...doesn't look too appetizing at this point.
Doesn't look too appetizing here either but sugar is poured on it, then it is mashed through a strainer and yummy juice is captured in bowl beneath.  It is then diluted with water. Very good when chilled.  a little on the acidic side.  A favorite drink in Uganda.  The seeds are also edible.

Little Nellie - about 3 years old - in her family hut.  Our Gulu Branch Relief Society President's daughter.

Off to the market to sell his irish potatoes and ???.  Can't recall what these are but they came from his garden.  Look like onions from here but these are way to big to be Ugandan onions...I think.  Normally onions look very malnourished, very small.  No fertilizer?
 No exaggeration...largest beetle I've ever seen.
Beetle playing opossum on me.  Probably a delicacy among the locals and thinks I'm about to take him home and boil him up in cooking oil and mix him in some rice and beans for a little crunch in my dinner.
Outside home of our Bardege Branch Relief Society President.  It's quite warm outside but this lady sound asleep under a couple of blankets.  We see all sorts of folks in and around town.  There is a lady who I've seen twice now who walks up and down the streets completely naked, holleering something in the Acholi language.  People pay her no attention.  Unfortunately, the second time I saw her I was in a restaurant downtown facing the window.  She walked up and down in front of me 4 times.  I thought each time would be the last.  I don't face the window anymore when I go in there.

On this week's trip to Mbale there was a fellow standing in the middle of the road with no clothing on.  He was inching closer to the car.  I was able to avoid him.  One of the elders in the car said he looked like the fellow who was in the street the week before when we all went to Chobe Lodge on the Nile for their preparation day (P-day).  The guy inched closer and closer to my car.  I could not avoid him entirely.  I'm doing 40-50 mph and he hits the side of the car.  He spun around a few times but never hit the ground.  It is my opinion some of these people actually want to get injured so they can claim/ seek damages.  The same can be said about some of the crackpots in America. 
This large mortar and pestal is used to grind corn, beans, whatever.  Typical stool a local sits on while mashing/grinding.  In the background are the jerry can. (Lots of ways to spell this.)  Used to carry and store water from local bore holes (water holes).  They drink, cook, bathe from it.  Some fill the can with gasoline to haul home to refill their bodas (motor cycles).  One can't survive here without jerry cans.  No neighborhoods in the Gulu area have running water.  A rare number have electricity...may one in 200-300. They share bore holes...those that are fortunate to have one nearby.  In another part of Africa, can't recall the country, the Church has built the largest irrigation system on the continent...probably the world.  It runs for miles and miles and feeds  ten of thousands of farms and people. 

Catholic cathedral in Gulu.  VERY nice looking.  Nicest looking building of any building I've seen in Gulu.  As you recall, Gulu was torn apart by a 20+ year civil war.  It has a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the country.
Amazing shot...this is a fellow working a downed tree on the side of the road. Cutting lumber planks with a chain saw.  Does a fantastic job of cutting a straight board.
Looks like he's coming after me but he's only posing for the picture.  A better shot of his work on the ground behind him.  Very long planks and well cut.  Most lumber here is sold in 12 foot lengths.

Our condolences to all the Texas A&M Fans on the blog...not.  Roll Tide Roll.

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