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