One Week

One Week

We don’t want this website to be a diatribe of meaningless dribble, but just for fun we want to take you on a tour of the past week of our mission. Today is Thursday, April 2, 2015. It represents the variety of a week as missionaries here in Uganda.

Friday March 27

The baby RaNae is holding in the first photo is the niece of a woman who works in our office. We went to see Suzy on Friday to cheer her up. She just had been in the hospital and was convalescing. We love meeting in the homes of these sweet people.

These are the incredible Assistants to the President: Elders Stewart, Bandi, and Wright.

These are the incredible Assistants to the President: Elders Stewart, Bandi, and Wright.

Meet the awesome APs (assistants to the president). We love being around all missionaries and it is especially nice to watch these three do their work. They are so dedicated and full of the Spirit. We want to be just like them.

Mission Leadership Conference (MLC) is held the first Friday of each month.

Mission Leadership Conference (MLC) is held the last Friday of each month.

This is MLC (mission leadership conference) which is held on the last Friday of each month. We enjoyed dinner after the busy day of meetings at Nanjing’s Chinese restaurant. Delicious.

President and Sister Chatfield (shown at bottom) are two of the busiest people on the planet. They are so selfless and spend all their energy helping missionaries, church leadership and anyone else they can bless. They are remarkable servants of the Lord.

Saturday

Saturday is our P-day since we’re in the office during normal business hours. Today we went on a walk/hike with two other couples who live in the same complex as we do.

Maru Bhajia is a batter-fried spicy potato appetizer that is super tasty.

Maru Bhajia is a batter-fried spicy potato appetizer that is super tasty.

Mysore Dosa

Mysore Dosa

Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa

After our hike, we met to go to Chaat House, an Indian restaurant, for breakfast. One huge surprise of our mission was the types and variety of foods we can enjoy. You can’t get this kind of food in Utah. And all the food shown here is strictly vegan. Wow.

These are giant ugly storks in a tree.

These are giant storks in a tree.

We went to help teach a man but he wasn’t there. I snapped this photo as we went back to our car.

Sunday

Driving through the rain forest on the way to Njeru Branch on Sunday morning.

Driving through the rain forest on the way to Njeru Branch on Sunday morning.

Tea and sugar cane plantations along our Sunday route.

Tea and sugar cane plantations along our Sunday route.

Although the traffic here in Kampala is a challenge, our drive to Njeru Branch for church is scenic. Today it was raining and the temperature was mild and pleasant.

Our outdoor portable baptism font.

Our outdoor portable baptismal font.

Two baptisms on Sunday. One convert and one child baptism.

Two baptisms on Sunday. One convert and one child baptism.

We have baptisms on many Sundays right after Sacrament Meeting. Most missionaries baptize monthly. We’re growing to love the people in our Branch and will miss them when we are transferred next month.

Monday

Our mission office is in Nakawa House in Kampala. We're on the main floor.

Our mission office is in Nakawa House in Kampala. We’re on the main floor.

We work a normal 9-5 shift at the mission office, and it is loaded with activity and challenges. With 177 missionaries, a fleet of trucks, about 70 apartments in three countries, and lots of money to track and bills to pay, there are very few days that one could snooze at the desk. The staff handles all baptisms, mission calls, pre-mission applications, and travel in and out of the country. We love that most of the time.

Tuesday

Fresh baked orange muffins, Mango, Kiwi and Posho (corn Maize cereal)

Fresh baked orange muffins, Mango, Kiwi and Posho (corn Maize cereal)

RaNae works in the main reception area where she can greet everyone who enters.

RaNae works in the main reception area where she can greet everyone who enters.

Wednesday

Fresh pineapple and bananas picked locally and grown year round. Yummy.

Fresh pineapple and bananas picked locally and grown year round. Yummy.

I am the finance clerk and have my own office, so I get limited privacy.

I am the finance clerk and have my own office, so I get some degree of privacy.

This week we paid quarterly rent payments on all apartments which took a great deal of organizing and patience. It was a little hectic but fun to do.

No photo can capture what we saw at the Ndere African Culture performance.

No photo can capture what we saw at the Ndere African Culture performance.

Tonight we went to the Ndere African Culture show here in Kampala. We were blown away. The photos are terrible and can’t compare with what we saw and felt. The thundering drums at the end cannot be described. The performers came into the arena carrying these huge tree trunk drums on their heads while beating them. Once they put them down and all played at once, the impact of the sound could be felt in our bodies. No bass speaker system at home could duplicate it. We may go another time and I’ll be better prepared. It was everything we hoped for in an African performance.

Thursday

A human chain for elevating construction supplies.

A human chain for elevating construction supplies.

The landlord is putting a new face on our building. This is one of the few projects that actually uses steel scaffolding. Most scaffolding here is made from wooden Eucalyptus poles, which look flimsy but are in fact very strong. The workers here get supplies up by passing from one person to another all the way to the top.

Our African version of Ronald McDonald

An African version of Ronald McDonald

Even though there are stresses of living in a third-world country, we see things that make us laugh every day. I wish you could have seen this guy in real life. We named him Ronald McDonald. To see him peddling his old bike down the road with skinny black legs, giant red and black basketball shoes, the striking yellow jump suit and wild hat had us laughing all afternoon. He also wore bright pink sunglasses. The winter scarf he is wearing is very typical. We often see people wearing winter stocking caps, scarves and even heavy winter coats. The other day we saw a very hip black man wearing a bright red and yellow Tweedy Bird stocking cap. Things like this take the edge off the day.

President Chatfield's Hardabeast hood ornament.

President Chatfield’s Hartebeest hood ornament.

Our good friend Elder Squire strapped this Hartebeest to president Chatfield’s car. He and his wife are a senior couple who have helped us pre-mission as well as here. Having a sense of humor is critical to coping with the stresses of missionary work. President Chatfield loves to have fun and has a great sense of humor.

We have learned that the experiences and value of a mission for senior couples is almost entirely up to the couple. Most of what gives our mission character and depth are the things we do outside the minimum daily requirements. We worry when we hear of couples who get up in the morning with nothing to do, and end up spending their day cooking, reading or watching movies. We are determined not to allow that to happen to us once we’re transferred to our next area.

7 Comments

  1. Love.these.pictures.especially.of.my.sister.holding.the.cute.baby.she.looked.happy.so.interesting.thank.you.for.posting.lots.of.love.to.both.of.you

    Reply
  2. Linda asked how you guys are doing and without even thinking about it, I responded, “they’re doing great- happier than I’ve ever seen them!” I thought about it more and I really do feel sure about that. You two are generally happy people but I can see that you are both having a blast and loving your opportunities and each other. I mean, that picture of mom holding that beautiful baby girl shows that she is radiating joy! I really hope we can make it out to see you. I want to get a glimpse of what you experience. Soak it up and continue enjoying the Mish. I’m sure proud of you both and miss you. Love forever, Lisa

    Reply
  3. Looooove the pic. of Mom at the top… Melt my heart! Love her incredible Light and genuine smile. Cute tike too 😉 Dad you look great too! Love that pic of you at your desk. You still look so young n’ healthy. Guess your veganism is payin’ off. The food there looks amazing! Wish we could grow that grub here year round. Thanks for taking time to do these posts. You guys are rockin’ it!!!!

    Reply
  4. The Elder performing the baptism is Elder Christian Smith, my son.. So Proud!! Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
    • You have every reason to be pleased. He’s doing a great job and we’re glad to have him in Njeru. He and his companion make a good team.

      Reply
  5. No matter how many books one reads, they can’t teach what your insightful, personal, enlightening thoughts of Africa convey. I’m seeing sides of Africa I never knew. Thank You little brother.

    Reply
    • Wow, Sis. Thank you for the compliment. I sure wish you and Ken could come here to serve. You’d love it. But then, I wouldn’t want to have an in-patient hospital experience here. Bless you and all those you love.

      Reply

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