Sunday, April 20, 2014

Week 59

Some of you will have seen this 3 min video has had top utube billing this week.  If you haven't, take time to watch.  Cut and paste into your URL if necessary.

Had some more lab work done at Gulu’s finest hospital this week...a private institution, frankly a little pricey but the reception area is as clean and nice as any hospital in the states.  Pam asked where the restroom was.  After going in, she decided she could wait.  It was the traditional hole in the ground with no toilet paper and no hand washing facility or soap.  I told her I noticed that also this morning. BUT outside the door on the counter was a large box of individually wrapped “sanitary wipes”…with a sign saying “Please take ”.  How nice I thought…at least they are trying to reduce the spread of disease in the hospital.  So we both took a few.  I open one of mine and it was a condom!  Wonderful!   No toilet paper, no soap, no sink to wash your hands but all the free condoms you'd like.  

This is not terribly interesting news but very significant to our young single adults…18-30 years.  As our mission is winding down and the likelihood increasing that we won’t be replaced as a senior couple, we continue to work hard so local leaders and organizations become as self-reliant as possible.  The most satisfying thing is watching how Institute (college age religion course) is a real success.  Even with school in session and many students away, we had 20 kids there last night.  And one of our return missionaries, Onen Vincent, a return missionary, is our newly called instructor.  He does a great job, leads good discussions, asks leading questions, waits on responses, begins and ends the class on time.  I’m just so proud of these group of kids and Vincent.  Its so rewarding hearing them sharing verses from the scriptures and teaching one another.  They truly are the light on the hill for Uganda.  

This self-reliant issue, which I have mentioned in past blog posts is so critical to the growth of the Church here.  Our people cannot rely on mzungus, white people, in this case white .  missionaries to move the Church forward.  I had a branch president call me the other day.  He needed some money to assist a sister from his branch’s welfare funds….we call them Fast Offering funds, (which we explained a few weeks ago.   If there are no local needs the funds are sent to SLC where they are used world-wide…every penny…no overhead salaries, admin expenses, etc.)  I told him I would not get him the money as he has 2 counselors, one of which is gainfully employed.  He could either borrow the money from his counselor and then reimburse him from their bank account or wait until they could meet together to co-sign the church check to get money from their bank account.   It's just easier for them to ask us to take care of it, but they need to learn to do these little matters for themselves.  All worked out as it should…relying on each other and not us missionaries.

For further doctrinal basis on living the law of the fast see Isaiah 68:6-11.  Some acquaintances make light of the Church’s practice of a monthly fast, but note how long God’s children have been practicing this commandment.  Focus not only on the purpose of the fast but on the promised blessings from the Lord to those who live this law.  That's the way it is with every commandment.  The blessings always outweigh whatever the sacrifice.  I add my witness to Isaiah’s testimony and millions more who fast monthly in our day that God does fulfill the promises he makes to those who to keep His commandments, or in my case, "try" to keep them. 

Each senior couple is issued two phones.  They are very basic phones - no voicemail or other features - and they look exactly alike.  Pam has a piece of yellow paper taped on the back of hers to help us differentiate.  A few days ago I dropped her off at the Gulu Branch chapel for her keyboard lessons.  She mentioned she didn’t have her phone with her so please pick her up at 3:30 at a given time.  When I went to pick her up, I took her phone with me and dropped it in the phone pouch of her purse, letting her know she had received a number of calls during that time.  She used the phone later that day in the evening.

The next morning she tells me she knows I gave her her phone but she can't find it.  She is worried because she has been calling her number through my phone but each time she gets a "busy" response .  Where did she leave it? Who could be using her phone?  I took the phone from her hand and showed her it was HER phone, not mine, she had been calling from!  If it is this bad at age 64, life is going to be pretty tough for each other and our poor children who may have to deal with us.

                                                              More of our members.

 More members...Susie Apiyo.  Recent convert and desiring to serve a mission.

William the Great Okeny...what a wonderful guy.  Made our nursery toy boxes. Submitting his missionary application.
 Atto Beatrice....a YW leader Bardege Branch
 Katherine...just joined the Church.  Planning on a mission in one year.  She has been a model here in Gulu but told me recently she is no longer modeling as all they want her to wear are clothes not deemed modest.  She told them "I am a Mormon now and will no longer be modeling such clothing."
 Obal Steve.  Works in the radio broadcasting field.

 Seems like every 5th store sells telephones.  The problem is that while everyone has a phone, they have no money to buy airtime and no power to re-charge the phone so most of the time we can't communicate with them.  When they get enough money, they go to little shops to get the phones recharged.  Very few actually have chargers.
 A fancy-smancy "stove" with 3 burners.  We've never met anyone here who has a real indoor stove,  not even the landlord in our "upscale" compound. 
 Very cool hand turned wooden stools.  Women sit on these as they pound grain or maize.
 Folks in Gulu waiting in line to use the ATM, which is slow process.  I'm guessing 30 minutes or more for the last fellow in line.
Traffic in Kampala.  Double click to see the bodas on the wrong side of the road.  They are on the wrong side, the right side of the road...remember we drive English style here, slipping between cars, taxis, bicycles and people. Stopping, going, crashing.

 Above and below...a most interesting fruit.  This bunch is several days old.  When newer, they are beautiful and look like a bouquet of large rose buds.  Simbwa, who accompanied us to the refugee camp, said they grow in swampy forests.  Below is the inside of the fruit after you peel back the outer layers.
The fruit was sour, kind of like a lemon - just not as juicy.  You can also eat the seeds, which taste and look just like PEPPER!  very, very interesting delicacy.  Maybe this is where the idea of lemon pepper seasoning came from.


  • Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about how the Sabbath is a special time for families to be together and reviewed 10 other activities of the many that are worthy of the Sabbath day: “This is the time we are to attend our regular meetings together, study the life and teachings of the Savior and of the prophets. ‘Other appropriate Sunday activities include (1) writing personal and family journals, (2) holding family councils, (3) establishing and maintaining family organizations for the immediate and extended family, (4) personal interviews between parents and children, (5) writing to relatives and missionaries, (6) genealogy, (7) visiting relatives and those who are ill or lonely, (8) missionary work, (9) reading stories to children, and (10) singing Church hymns.’ [“Suggestions for Individual and Family Sabbath-Day Activities,” Ensign, Mar. 1980, 76]” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2003, 44; or Ensign, May 2003, 42).

  • Elder Mark E. Petersen (1900–1984) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that our observance of the Sabbath day reflects our appreciation of the Atonement of Jesus Christ:
    “We can readily see that observance of the Sabbath is an indication of the depth of our conversion.
    “Our observance or nonobservance of the Sabbath is an unerring measure of our attitude toward the Lord personally and toward his suffering in Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead. It is a sign of whether we are Christians in very deed, or whether our conversion is so shallow that commemoration of his atoning sacrifice means little or nothing to us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 72; or Ensign, May 1975, 49).

1 comment:

  1. Dear Moores,

    We have really enjoyed your blog as we prepare for ou nex MLS African mission. We would love to speak with you about Uganda if you have a
    Moment. The Osborns.