Saturday, November 30, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
It may not have been the Hilton spread our Brooks clan will be enjoying on Pensacola Beach, but we had turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, squash casserole, beans with bacon, onion and almonds, caramel carrots, homemade rolls, fruit salad, pumpkin and apple pie, banana pudding, chocolate cake, and later many aching bellies.
Warning,…some scenes below may be too graphic for small children and even for some weak stomached adults.
The missionaries involved in the dressing of our feast…showing no mercy.
If this link will not open for you please cut and paste into your URL. We're sure you will enjoy it.
http://www.staged.com/video?v=NtK. We hope you enjoy this short but inspiring musical that brings to mind the many blessings we should be thankful for this season!
This video was sent to me by an old fraternity brother at the University of Alabama, Keith Echols. Keith lives in Vestavia, AL...just outside Birmingham. I'm thinking I haven't seen Keith since I graduated from Bama in 1972 but we have a mutual friend with whom Keith stays in regular contact...Doug Foster who lives in Salt Lake City. Doug joined the LDS Church a few years after I did.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good night. (11:45 pm here)
Brooks and Pam
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Gaining acceptance in Gulu!
We've mentioned in previous blog posts about some of the radio persecution the Church has been receiving in Gulu. One of those on the radio was a local Anglican Reverand...retired. "By chance" Pam ran into him at local Indian-owned grocery market early last week. They had a friendly conversation; asked what we were doing, exchanging phone numbers, etc. Later I walk in the store and Pam introduces us all the while noticing the Reverend’s surprise realizing from my name tag, that I am one of the Elders and we are members of the Church he has been talking down on the radio. Nonetheless, a cordial conversation had already ensued.
It’s November, the rainy season which was supposed to have been heaviest in August has far past. The temps are supposed to warm up but it is cool and rainy. Bumped into a sister coming to our Friday night Movie Nite in the Bardege Chapel this week...she was all bundled up and shivering telling me, "I'm freezing". I, of course, felt it was an absolutely perfect night. It's all a matter of perspective...as is much of life in general. Has rained almost every day this month so far. Very bad for our locals who depend on their gardens and farms to survive on. The crops are rotting in the field. Even the bricks can’t be constructed because the mud bricks are too wet to fire.
Northern Uganda is a place where the old adage, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.” seems to apply… literally.
Pam…always studying…taking advantage of every opportunity. She loves the scriptures and immerses herself in them. We are waiting on one of her seminary students at Pope John Paul II school to join us. I think this day she was at “prayers” and we never found her. Pam just takes whatever might be wasted time and simply continues to the study the gospel. The cloth flower she is wearing...she made this and taught many of the sisters in the two Church branches how to do the same.
Eating lunch at a nearby restaurant by myself recently, doing a little work, just finishing up and I hear this giant”ROOOLLL Tide”. I hop up, thinking it is some sort of pep rally or tale gate party.... low and behold, here is a table full of Bama fans giving me a roll tide cheer and rolling their arms thru the air in the process.
Then I saw this group sitting right next to the Tide table....all Auburn fans and not terribly friendly either... Both groups from the state of Alabama on a church mission building homes, I think it was for homeless children. Even the Gospel can bring the worst enemies together. ONE MORE WEEK 'TIL THIS MATCH-UP AND I AM FEELING VERY NERVOUS.
Ps to the Woods. I'm at the Sankofa tonite working on the blog. Same place as the restaurant mentioned above. They've got the pizza down pat now...only takes 10 minutes to get one out of the wood burning oven. (To all others, when we first arrived in Gulu, we had pizza with the Woods (outbound missionary couple) at the Sankofa. Elder Woods called in the order and we waited about an hour before we left the apt for the restaurant....then we waited another half hour or so for the pizza after we arrived.)
Son-in-law, Jerry and my two special boys living in Utah. Knowing the path we should travel makes life much easier..."Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old..." Uh oh...I just noticed Noah with a Texas Longhorn, "Hook Em Horns" symbol. I've got more training to do.
President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982) of the First Presidency of our Church...
“A young man came to me not long ago and said, ‘I made an agreement with a man that requires me to make certain payments each year. I am in arrears [behind in fulfilling financial obligations], and I can’t make those payments, for if I do, it is going to cause me to lose my home. What shall I do?’
“I looked at him and said, ‘Keep your agreement.’
“‘Even if it costs me my home?’
“I said, ‘I am not talking about your home. I am talking about your agreement; and I think your wife would rather have a husband who would keep his word … and have to rent a home than to have a home with a husband who will not keep his covenants."
Fourth Nephi of the Book of Mormon covers the nearly 200 years of unity and harmony following Jesus Christ’s visit to the Americas. The people “were all converted unto the Lord” (4 Nephi 1:2), resulting in a society that people of all ages have dreamed of. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles observed that following Christ’s visit, “His majestic teachings and ennobling spirit led to the happiest of all times, a time in which ‘there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift’ [4 Nephi 1:2–3]. That blessed circumstance was achieved on another occasion of which we know—the city of Enoch, where ‘they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them’ [Moses 7:18]” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 40; or
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The Big Event
The kids also wanted to rent a PA system to play music, 70,000….scratched!
Ran into these Alabama Football Fan Rednecks in Kampala recently. My kind of people! Not really...this is an Auburn fan! Not really, haven't seen this guy anywhere over here.
but he looks like he'd make a great Bama fan...he and his sweetheart behind him.
On our way to Kampala two weeks ago...a scene we drive upon too often. This one looked bad.
Front and rear view. Our previous mission president owns a number of Peterbuilt Truck dealerships in the west. Knows his trucks. He says these local trucks flip so frequently because, for same strange reason, the trailer or tanker is built high off the center of gravity, making them top heavy and very unstable. They hit one of our highway shoulders and go right over. Sometimes don't see one of these on a trip. Sometimes see 2 or 3 badly wrecked vehicles. The two lane asphalt can become one lane very quickly here as the asphalt on the sides of the road has crumbled or washed away in the rains. A truck may try to avoid an oncoming vehicle or a large pothole and catch the edge of the road.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
An update on the air conditioner duct. The duct tape covered over by the package tape held in place by thumb tacks gave way after a couple of weeks. So we reinforced the duct tape covered by the wrapping tape which is held in place by tacks with 3 small thin pieces of plywood screwed through all of the above into the original plywood that the duct was being fed through to begin with. I think this will get us through the hot season...winter time back in the states.
President Thomas S. Monson explained the value of anonymous service:
“The names of the benefactors were well known. Captains of commerce, giants of industry, professors of learning—all were there. I felt gratitude for their charitable benevolence. Then my eyes rested on a brass placard which was different—it contained no name. One word, and one word only, was inscribed: ‘Anonymous.’ I smiled and wondered who the unnamed contributor could have been. Surely he or she experienced a quiet joy unknown to any other. …
“A year ago last winter , a modern jetliner faltered after takeoff and plunged into the icy Potomac River. Acts of bravery and feats of heroism were in evidence that day, the most dramatic of which was one witnessed by the pilot of a rescue helicopter. The rescue rope was lowered to a struggling survivor. Rather than grasping the lifeline to safety, the man tied the line to another, who was then lifted to safety. The rope was lowered again, and yet another was saved. Five were rescued from the icy waters. Among them was not found the anonymous hero. Unknown by name, ‘he left the vivid air signed with his honor’ (Stephen Spender, ‘I think continually of those—’ in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, ed. James Dalton Morrison [New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers], p. 291.) …
“May this truth [service] guide our lives. May we look upward as we press forward in the service of our God and our fellowmen. And may we incline an ear toward Galilee, that we might hear perhaps an echo of the Savior’s teachings: ‘Do not your alms before men, to be seen of them’ (Matthew 6:1). ‘Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth’ (Matthew 6:3). And of our good deeds: ‘See thou tell no man’ (Matthew 8:4). Our hearts will then be lighter, our lives brighter, and our souls richer.
“Loving service anonymously given may be unknown to man—but the gift and the giver are known to God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1983, 73–74, 76; or