A Last Gasp

A Last Gasp

Our time is at it’s end. We have visited the last village. We have shared our final testimony. We have chauffeured our last ward leader. We have made our final meal for missionaries. Soon, we will take our last missionary breath before leaving for home. We return to Utah on Wednesday, July 20th, where we will meet our family (including five grandchildren we have never seen), and celebrate family anew. After our family campout the following week, we will return and report our mission in sacrament meeting in the Mapleton 5th ward on Sunday, July 31st, at 9:00 a.m. We invite any who wish to worship with us, and stay for the other meetings so we can introduce you to our ward family. Mapleton 5th Ward Sunday, July 31 at 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon 970 North 400 East, Mapleton Utah 84664 You are then invited to join us in our apartment to visit and have a snack. Blue Barn Apartment 12:30-3:00 p.m. 1150 N 1700 East, Mapleton Utah 84664 Words or even tears cannot express our gratitude to God for the tender mercies we have received while on our mission. Both we and our family have been richly blessed, and we return feeling younger and lighter than we did when we left home. We will always shout praises to our Father for this great honor to serve. We hope we’ve made a difference, and are acutely aware of the change that has come over us. To our dear Ugandan friends, whom we expect not to see again until we meet at Jesus’ feet, we send our warmest love and heartfelt thanks. God be...
What’s Next?

What’s Next?

When we were kids, we could hardly wait for Christmas. Then we yearned to go to school. Next, we put on a uniform and became a Boy Scout, then received the Aaronic Priesthood, or joined Young Women. Soon we held our ticket to freedom – a driver’s permit. Each event marked a milestone in our lives. Next came a mission, then marriage, University, and a profession. Somewhere in the midst we became parents and engaged in the greatest challenges and blessings of our lives. Fast-forward forty years to our 60th birthday. Our children have left the house; they are married, on a mission or at college. All of a sudden we notice that the clock on the wall has a tick-tick-tick, which we never noticed all those years when the kids were being raised. We have time for one another and time for a nap. The years of amassing money and all that stuff are in the past, and now we’re just taking care of it all. The house and property have suddenly outgrown us and we feel dwarfed like two marbles in an empty shoebox. At some point, we ask a question which we may have never considered in all our lives. What’s next? What shall we do with ourselves now that the demands on us have reduced? Even our calling in the Church may have become too easy, since there are so many younger members of the ward with more energy who can fill callings. Our grey hair has placed us in the category of those beloved older folks who have so much experience, yet the bishop...
Ducks in a Row

Ducks in a Row

Civil Unrest. The rebellion against dictator Museveni continues. His rigged election has been legally contested by Amama, one of his opponents in the presidential election. The 28-point petition against Museveni freezes him from being sworn in for his next 6 year term. It also invites continued troubles on the streets. Over 10,000 police and their families were evicted from their homes in the barracks because they voted against Museveni (and Museveni controls the police). One young woman affected by the eviction was just speaking with RaNae and saying she feels very unsafe and afraid. Four U.S. military planes landed at Entebbe airport last week. We don’t know if that means troops or supplies or both. There is alot of action in the news with many countries calling on Museveni to either concede to a new and fair election or step down, neither of which he will do. He came to power 30 years ago by blood, and says that is the only way he’ll go out. We’re praying for positive change in this oppressed country by whatever means is best. BTW: We are safe and not a target of violence. Just sideline observers. Lira: On a recent trip to Lira, where we are helping both branches deal with challenges, we had some great experiences. See Janet’s Joy. What an amazing young woman of faith. We also get a kick out of the wording on signs and menus. Here’s one you’ll enjoy: Visits. While visiting a young family this week, I shot this photo of a toy truck this 9-year-old made from scrap wire, pieces of rubber and a stick. It has a...
Manhunt

Manhunt

I was sitting with two branch leaders in a nearby town in deep discussion. The branch president had been missing from Church activity for several weeks. He would not answer his phone, and could not be found even when people went looking for him at his home or work. The two leaders in our meeting were very concerned that perhaps the president had abandoned his calling, thus crippling the work in the branch. Our mission president and others had sought him in vain the week previous. We were meeting to determine how to reconcile the church records regarding donations and use of church funds. We could not see how to move forward in operations. We had reached an impasse without access to this man. I turned to the first counselor and said: How strong is your faith?  Very strong, he answered. I asked the same question of the branch clerk, who gave the same answer. Then we need a miracle right now, I said. We cannot move this work forward without the help of this man. We need to find him today.  I asked the young branch clerk to offer a prayer, asking God to help us find the president right now. After his wonderful and faithful prayer, I knew we would have success. As we left the church, we told the full time missionaries where we were going. They informed us they had not been able to contact the president for weeks even after many attempts. I asked them to pray for our success. They said they would start praying right away. The three of us got into the truck, and...
Lockdown

Lockdown

This week is elections here in Uganda. It is one of the most predictably violent times of the year, and almost all Ugandans and foreigners go into a kind of lockdown to avoid trouble. As missionaries, we are staying in our compound for three days. As such, we have time to be together, to play and to testify. We’re doing all of these. Here is the agenda we prepared for the three days: We started yesterday with fresh fruit and games. We really enjoyed playing Phase 10. Then we shared a hymn and prayer as a zone. Today has been great. It rained heavily on this election day, so the weather has been cool and sweet. We’ve made peanut clusters and donuts, sharing the recipe with the Elders for a skill they may need later. We also shared our feelings about remaining true to the faith after our mission. Later, we’ll watch a movie, share a hymn and prayer, and go to bed happy. Tomorrow we’ll play together again, eat big, watch another movie, and close with a spiritual song and prayer. We really love these six young Elders. It’s so fun to parent them during times like this. They often teach us as much as we help...