Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week 63

Pam:  Charity Never Faileth

In General Conference, one of  President Monson's talks was entitled "Love - The Essence of the Gospel".  We know this is true, but frequently fail to apply this to its fullest extent: "we cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey."  We decided if we work at applying just this one principle more effectively every day, both with others and between ourselves, no matter what else transpires, our mission will be a success. To hear or read this inspiring talk, copy and paste the following  

 This is a picture of our dear friend Stephen Lowaka.  He joined the church too late to go on a mission, but he is always serving others.  He is the 2nd student in Gulu to earn a personal keyboard through his diligent practicing as well as playing hymns in church.  He will also need to teach someone else how to play.  That should not be hard for him as he has been an excellent student.  I (Pam) have 7 keyboard students, way more than I would like, but there currently is no member in the Bardege Branch that can play so I added two more young single adult women, in hopes they will take their practice seriously.  There is a long list of individuals wanting to learn, but I can only devote so much time to this, and as with developing most talents, when the students realize how much effort it takes, many quickly drop out.  Steve, however, wants to be an accomplished pianist.
You have seen this one before early on but worth looking at again.  Arch-Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church here in Gulu.  Without a doubt, the loveliest building in the area.
These are patients or family members waiting in line to pay their hospital bill at one of the local hospitals.  They are provided a bench to sit on...still some must stand and wait.
I know this was in last week's blog...The Bardege Branch Young Women held a Modesty Modeling contest.  These are the 5 winners plus their leaders.  A wonderful event.  They were taught a very important truth...that dressing modestly, not drawing attention to one's body leads to clean thoughts and stayng pure and chaste for we know that our Heavenly Father delights in the chastity of his daughters and no less in his sons.

Wash day at Lacor Hospital....sheets and such.

Pam and animals!  This is a real African "coma, coma, coma, coma chameleon" as Boy George once sang. One of the missionaries found  it near the primary room.  It puffed itself up to scare us off but as you can see, that didn't work. 

Ambulances at the hospital.  There was one up and ready to roll.  The remainder, the ones above are all in the shop for various repairs.
The old latrine.  You remember this pic from our first week here.  That's me, peeking over this lean-to...rotted wood planks, sheet metal and vines tied together.
The new latrine just 4 months privacy.
You remember the old latrine the guards use at our compound.  It was pretty worthless so as a Christmas service project we tore the top one down and erected a new one with straw mats that surrounded the privy.  Well, that one lasted 4 months in the rain and wind and heat.  Not too fear, however, as each 5 foot straw mat costs about $1.00, I bought 4 more and we had it rebuilt...two young men in the Gulu branch earning a little money from Pam, neither of which was active in the Church 2 months ago.

Refurbished and good for another 4 months.  Now only if the guards will complain to their employer the landlord when this one rots in goodness you are talking $4-7 to fix this thing.

A homemade kite one of the children was flying.  The only one we have seen here. It would take off with the slightest run down the street...pretty ingenious.  The Africans make due, both the old and the young.
Some of our members gathered to watch our Church's World-wide General Conference at the Gulu Branch last Sunday via DVD just received.  This crowd looks small but I'm guessing there were close to 90 in attendance...a number I was very pleased with.  That number is not too much lower than a normal Sunday worship service.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles illustrated how our example can lead others to draw nearer to the Lord:
“A nineteen-year-old missionary … would never forget his first day in the mission field, for it taught him a great lesson about using his talents to teach the gospel.
“He and his senior companion were assigned to open a new city some distance from the mission headquarters. As they arrived in this new city and walked down the street, they passed a church with a minister standing at the front door. As they walked by the church, the minister went in and called to his whole congregation to follow him out into the street. There they followed the missionaries and started calling them names; then they became more violent and started to throw rocks at them.
“The young elder was excited about this experience—his first day in the mission field and already he was being stoned, he thought. Then, a big rock suddenly hit him squarely in the middle of the back, and his feeling changed to anger. Before entering the mission field he had been quite a baseball pitcher; and in the flush of anger he wheeled around, grabbed the first rock he could find on the ground, reared back in his famous pitching pose, and was just ready to let the rock fly at the crowd when suddenly he realized why he was there. He had not been sent all the way to Brazil to throw rocks at people; he was there to teach them the gospel. But what was he to do with the rock in his hand? If he dropped it to the ground, they would think it a sign of weakness and probably continue to throw rocks at them. Yet he could not throw it at the crowd. Then he saw a telephone post some distance away. That was the way to save face! He reared back and let the rock fly directly at the telephone post, hitting it squarely in the middle.
“The people in the crowd took a couple of steps back. They suddenly realized that that rock probably could have hit any one of them right between the eyes. Their mood changed; instead of throwing rocks at the missionaries, they began to throw them at the telephone post. After this incident, every time the elder went down that street he was challenged to a rock-throwing contest. The rock-throwing contests led to discussions of the gospel, which led to conversions, which led to the establishment of a branch of the Church in that community” (“Prophecies, Visions, and Dreams,” in 1979 Devotional Speeches of the Year [1980], 3).

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