November Scrapbook

November Scrapbook

We experience so many random things every day that can’t be organized into a logical blog. So, we’ll deluge you with a flood of photos that you can sort out as you please. What an adventure! The top image is of Elder & Sister Tim and Susanne Gillett, from Mapleton. They arrived in mission a few weeks ago and we finally caught up with them. It was a wonderful and therapeutic reunion. We went to retrieve a group of Elders who totaled their truck at Chobe game park this week. (please do not share the photo of the wrecked truck). All six Elders crawled from the wreck unscathed except for one scraped arm. The truck was completely demolished. Missionaries are indeed protected, even when they are less than careful....
$52 Burial

$52 Burial

Today at 1:00 PM a man was found dead in his hut in a nearby village. By 8:00 PM his grave was filled in and the burial was over. We got a call at 2:40 from our dear friend Patrick. The deceased was his uncle, whom he loved as his father because his biological father left when he was just three years old. We changed our plans and rushed to assist. The process of burial here in Uganda is beautifully simple. Here’s how: Buy a coffin on the side of the road at a cost of about $20 U.S. Buy some white cloth to wrap the body in, and another to drape the coffin = $22. Pick up sodas and water for the guests = $10. Take the coffin to the family compound in the village and lift the wrapped body in. Dig the grave by hand. Women mourners sit together near the hut. Men sit together nearby. After a short prayer by the local priest, bring the casket to the graveside. The priest prays and sprinkles holy water over the casket and in the open grave. The casket is lowered into the grave using ropes. A song and prayers are given at the graveside. Mourners sprinkle dirt onto the coffin and say farewell. A short service is held while the gravediggers fill in the grave. Our experience with this process was touching. It was wonderful to help Patrick at this difficult time. Using gloved hands, I helped lift the body into the casket and close the lid. I learned what a body feels like after rigor mortis and the smell of death....
Something Small

Something Small

Yesterday, ___ asked us to drop by his hut for something small he wanted to share with us before self-reliance class. Things then transpired to prevent us meeting him, including some urgent difficulties with two Elders that demanded attention. This took some time so we didn’t make the appointment. Then today, ____’s father asked us to drop by for something small. We arrived at 5:00 PM to meet both the father and son. After an opening prayer, the son presented us with a hand-written document of something small, to whit: 5 September, 2015 Dear Elder and Sister Taylor RE: Recognition of love to my family On behalf of my family and on my own behalf, I wish to register our overwhelming gratitude for the true and sincere Christian love, care and concern you have exhibited to our son in particular and the family in general especially at this moment of dire need. Sincerely, words are not enough to express our deepest appreciation. It is only God who knows how we feel. However, in recognition of the foregoing, the family has resolved in principle, to offer you a token of 50 acres of virgin land free of charge. Yes, the land is therefore yours. See what you can do with it. This is in line with what our Lord Jesus Christ himself said: There is more happiness in giving than receiving. Acts 20:35 In conclusion, may our Heavenly Father bless you and bless your family back home abundantly. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always in the sacred name of the Son, Amen. The offer was agreed by...
Being 62

Being 62

Happy Birthday to Me. It’s Tuesday morning, September 8th, and my 62nd birthday. To celebrate, I did 62 push-ups and ran 6.2 miles (10K) before breakfast. Also, I was doused with a few gallons of cold water thanks to Elder Rogers, which is a missionary tradition on birthdays. A daughter sent a very generous email. Later today, I hope to communicate with other family members on the world opposite Uganda. As I said my prayers this morning, I was expressing thanks for many things. It turned into a deep feeling of gratitude for my life situation. To be this age with this level of health and fitness. To be at RaNae’s side and have her for my Queen. To be here in Uganda as a representative of Jesus Christ. To know that I belong to Christ’s true Church on the earth and hold authority to minister. To have an amazing family at home, most of whom are living the Gospel and raising their children in righteousness. To feel the affects of helping strengthen and change lives for the better. To be at peace with my fellow men. To feel clean. I never dreamed that I could be this happy and healthy and engaged in a good cause with such an incredible companion at this age. Truly, I have been richly blessed, and thanks be to God and all who have made this all...
Peter’s Quest

Peter’s Quest

Today we took our friend Peter into the village and deep into the bush on a quest to get three key signatures for his passport application so he can proceed with his mission papers. We left at 9 AM and returned tonight at 7. He achieved his goal for the three signatures, which were unbelievably challenging to get. But, oh, what fun we had. Come join us here for another photo adventure! We can’t believe they call this kind of fun missionary...
Potato Prompting

Potato Prompting

Today we visited Ayella Denis at his orphanage about 15 miles from Gulu. Although we have been very careful not to give gifts to the people, today we felt differently. We both felt impressed to take Denis some potatoes. We went to the open market and bought about 200 pounds of spuds and a sack of onions, then drove to the orphanage. When we arrived, we showed our gift to Denis (pictured left) who was very grateful. He told us that this morning his kids had eaten the last of their beans before going to school, and that they had no food to feed them when they returned. Our potatoes were an answer to his prayer. That humbled us as we realized that we were directed. This is unique because we have never given material gifts on our mission other than missionary literature and a meal here and there. But this morning we felt compelled to help. We’re so glad we did. Denis just called tonight at 9 PM to tell us the kids were eating a late supper of potatoes. He told us the kids had never tasted a potato before and that they were most thankful. Wow. Can you imagine never tasting a potato? He told us they don’t buy them because they are too expensive. We offered another prayer of gratitude for our bounteous blessings. Love you all. Now eat your...