Sunday, January 5, 2014

Week 44

Happy New Year!  They had a lot of fireworks at midnight (sponsored by local hotels).  Lots of revelry, just like in the states.  Even five days later, people still greet you cheerfully with Happy New Year!  These are such friendly people, but ...

OK...we are approaching a year over here and the new sights and sounds we've sent you are getting harder to find.  We still have a host of pics to send but I can see our blog posts slowing down from weekly to every other week.  I know, I know.  There will be much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.  We are doing the best we can.
___________________________________________________________________ ain't gettin much betta as I had hoped it would this far into our mission.

Communication is always a problem here. Not just us mzungus (white folks, all of whom are thought to be wealthy) and the local Acholi people but between themselves as well. For example, I met with a branch presidency recently. Their General Conference Priesthood Meeting DVD malfunctioned so they were unable to watch this session of conference a couple of weeks ago. I told them I’d make them another copy and they could watch it in upcoming Sunday Morning Priesthood meetings (the first Sunday of the month.) They thought this was a good idea, rather than calling a special meeting as more brethren would be able to watch the broadcast. I just received a phone call from one of our full-time missionaries who was at the branch chapel with a number of other brethren who had gathered at 2:00 pm to watch the DVD. No one seemed to know about the gathering for the meeting other than the members…not even the branch presidency.

This is just sort of the way it is here. Certainly between Pam and me and the locals.  Believe me, their English is far superior to our Acholi but our English accents are so different it is next to impossible to carry on a conversation on a phone...and when you are in the car trying to listen on the phone over the a/c and road noise, we just have to tell em we'll call them back when we reach a destination. They are very patient with us!


Pam has always loved bugs and such. In high school she entered into a modeling contest and placed a tarantula on her evening gown. She had the MC announce that whatever she was wearing was accented by a live tarantula. The heat of the stage lights caused the spider to begin to crawl up her dress. Needless to say, this did not impress the judges.  She had won the year before and like most Alabama Football haters, it's hard to win the hearts of the pollsters year after year.

"When it rains it pours" they say and when it pours here, traveling is difficult and hazardous. Here we are on our way and this is what we are traveling thru.

Lamtoo Clifton and Ojok Simon.  Simon made the boards and Clifton painted them.  Each is a bean bag toss board and theses were given to the children at Lacor Hospital Christmas eve, eve by our Young Single Adults.
We have a small group of members about 2 hours north of us.  This is a members building they meet in.
This was the whole group on a recent Sunday Pam and I visited.  There are more but not all were in attendance.

You have seen this type picture before.  These are patients waiting to see a doctor at a local hospital.  They can wait up to two days.
And this little cutie-pie, Prudence, is one of our Gulu Branch Members.
Wow...I didn't think I could down load an actual clip.  I've had problem before and now that this one is up and running it doesn't appear worth looking at...sorry  This cultural show is in Kampala.  The MC, before the last song, encouraged the world to dance together...his belief that if we would only dance together we could bring peace to the world.  You saw in an earlier blog post Pam and her brother Dennis doing their thing.
Gardens at Sipi Falls.  Nearly Garden of Eden-like.  Lush, plentiful, flowers, evergreens, breathtaking.

The following is credited to one of my first cousins, once removed...Grace Rockett.

Well...I said usually but I will be pulling for Auburn in the BCS Championship Game just to keep the trophy in the SEC for 8 years in a row and in the state of Alabama 4 years in a row.  Then again...if Auburn gets beat, I'm not going to lose any sleep over I did Thurs nite after the Sugar Bowl...or I should say Friday morning.  Kickoff was 4:30 AM here.

Thought you might enjoy the following short segment on AJ McCarron, Alabama QB and his relationship with one of the Tide's equipment managers.  Very touching.  I know you will be touched.  If it doesn't open for you please cut and paste into your url.


President James E. Faust (1920–2007) of the First Presidency taught that despite diversity of cultures, races, or traditions, unity can be developed:

“I have learned to admire, respect, and love the good people from every race, culture, and nation that I have been privileged to visit. In my experience, no race or class seems superior to any other in spirituality and faithfulness. Those who seem less caring spiritually are those individuals—regardless of race, culture, or nationality—spoken of by the Savior in the parable of the sower who are ‘choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection’ [Luke 8:14]. …
“As we move into more and more countries in the world, we find a rich cultural diversity in the Church. Yet everywhere there can be a ‘unity of the faith’ [Ephesians 4:13]. Each group brings special gifts and talents to the table of the Lord. We can all learn much of value from each other. But each of us should also voluntarily seek to enjoy all of the unifying and saving covenants, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Lorenzo Snow…5th President of the Church
(Born 1814.Died 1901)

”Place a cucumber in a barrel of vinegar and there is but little effect produced upon it in the first hour, nor in the first 12 hours.  Examine it and you will find that the effect produced is merely upon the rind, for it requires a longer time to pickle it.  A person’s being baptized into this church has an effect upon him, but not the effect to pickle him immediately. It does not establish the law of right and of duty in him during the first 12 or 24 hours; he must remain in the church, like the cucumber in the vinegar, until he become saturated with the right spirit.”

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