Saturday, March 15, 2014

Week 54

                                              DRUGS, DRUGS AND MORE DRUGS. In Uganda one can walk into a pharmacy and get just about any drug available...sleeping aids, valium, any kind of name, you want it, just ask for it.  That was the case until yesterday, however.  I have caught a pretty nasty cold/'flu with a little fever, headache.  Aspirin has always been my wonder drug working better than ibuprofen or the other new fangled pain/fever reducers.  So I walk into a new clinic yeterday, very reputable name and ask for some aspirin.  "Do you have a prescription?",  I'm asked.  "No, in America you just pick aspirin up off the shelve and pay for it."  The pharamacist was very reluctant to give me any so I says, "OK, keep your aspirin and I'll take the Ibuprophen".  He says, "OK, I'll give you 10 aspirin but only take one a day."  Go figure!

We were in Kampala recently for a farewell for 2 couples heading home.  Elder and Sister Jonson and the Barton's.  Elder Jonson has served as our mission “doctor” for 18 months, tried to extend a few months but his replacement had already been called to serve.  The Barton’s are heading home via Egypt and Israel.  Pam and I were fortunate to visit Israel a number of years ago.  If you want the best perspective on the life of the Savior, this is a trip you really should do if you have the means…Jim.  Do your part to keep the world economy afloat while at the same time increasing your carbon footprint while burning jet fuel to fly half way around the world.  It’s a win-win.  Of course, if you don't believe  in man-made global warming, it takes half the fun out of the trip.

Patrick Kumakech, new branch president of Gulu Branch.  Recently returned from his 2 year mission to Ghana.
This fellow just turned 96 years old.  Lives on the egg farm where we purchase fresh eggs.  Well educated. Speaks great English.  Former military trainer. Can quote Isaiah. One tooth with  major gum problems but a very happy, delightful man.  As mentioned previously average life span in UG is 45 years.
 A picture of him in his 60's.
On a recent trip to Gulu from Uganda...nearly a whiteout on the dusty, gravel road under construction. Our air filter and a/c cabin filter require changing more often than normal.  I have taken these out and simply banged them on the ground or vacuumed them with a shop vac to get a little more mileage out of them. Have also taken to service station where they use compressed air to blow out the filters.
You remember Nighty who recently got a job as a cook at at local school for 80 cents a day.  We were visiting her and while she was telling us the good news, her cute daughter Nellie, fell asleep standing on her feet but leaning over on a wooden table.

 Need to move some furniture but have no truck?  No problem.  Hire a boda.  Just make sure it is balanced.

This is a very nice restaurant on the highway nearly halfway between Gulu and Kampala.  We stop here coming and going to order a takeout.  Usually some samosas...hamburger meat fried up in a crispy dough shell.  Sometimes a rolex...nickname for a scrambled egg, rolled up in a chipatia bread like dough...flattened out so one can roll up an egg in it, hence the name rolleggs or rolex....  A host of menu items.
President Spencer W. Kimball offered the following counsel for when we witness suffering:

“If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.
“Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
“If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith.
“If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil—all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls.
“Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and godhood” (Faith Precedes the Miracle [1973], 97).

Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that everything we experience teaches us valuable lessons: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven” (cited in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 98).


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