Sunday, July 6, 2014

Open House

What a wonderful week.  We were able to do lots of sick missionary care, lots of piano lessons and an open house in our Lugazi Branch.  Oh yea, happy fourth of July this past week.  We had our own little party here in Uganda.  The senior couples got together and had a great BBQ with hot dogs and hamburgers.  I will give a picture update in a bit.

This past month we finally met our mission goal in the number of baptisms the missionaries set at the beginning of the year.  It started out to be 94 per month but has increased each month as our mission has not met the goal. We had a special mission fast early in June and one of the items we fasted for was to meet the baptismal goal in June.  The baptismal goal was 116, we had 127 baptisms in June!  We were very happy we were able in our own little way to help them work towards the goal.  Way to go Sisters and Elders we shout!

President Chatfield told us the whole missionary plan is laid out in Mosiah 18.  I had to go back and review to see if he was pulling our leg.  Nope, he was right.  Shouldn't we only teach repentance, redemption, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ?  If we are willing to bear one others burdens; be called Gods people; mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort; and stand as a witness of God, what have any of us against being baptized in the name of the Lord?  There is more but I know my testimony of the gospel continues to mature as I serve here in Uganda.

Elder Bandi used to take lessons in Lugazi but since the last transfer he comes to the mission office where she has two students every Monday (P Day).

On Thursday Sister Squire has three students she teaches over in the Kololo Chapel. This is Justine

 Lesson two is Prussy

 Lesson three is Victoria

Sister Squire had a piece of tooth break off and so we had to go and get it fused back together.  We were hoping we would not have to rely on any doctor or dentist visits until we got back home.

However, check out the cool butterfly light you get to look at while they work on your teeth.  Wouldn't that be sweet Dr John?

It was nice to find out the hamburgers burn in Uganda just like they do in the good old USA.  We did have a Canadian burning or cooking the burgers and there may have been some disappointment/resentment that we didn't have a BBQ on Canada Day (July 1st).  Another interesting note is the grill and charcoal are what most people in Uganda cook on.  The charcoal is made, usually by the ladies, by slow burning logs and then once blackened they sell to vendors that sell to the public.  It is really good for cooking.

After seeing the burnt offering in the middle of the grill we decided to keep praying...

Not a bad outcome, prayer does work!

Elder Wallace, our Canadian, made this wonderful red, white and blue fruit salad for us.  Well done!

I was in charge of fireworks but I couldn't find any PVC pipe and gunpowder so I had to settle for this confetti gun.  Twist and shout but no confetti would come out.  I had to take the end off and swing it around and almost put my dear wife's eye out.  I am still uncertain if I will be invited to come back with her.

The open house was a great experience.  The purpose is to open our places of worship so the community can get to know us.  Our public affairs folks have these free standing banners to introduce the Church to those who came to the open house.  

President Charles and his first counselor (no second counselor because of the size of our branch) Bro Ochitti.

We did have this camel show up for the open house.  We actually saw them on the road as we were driving to Lugzai.  They were still a few kilometers away but showed up during the open house.  They walk from town to town and sell rides or pictures to people.   One of the two men took a break and came and spent some time touring the open house.

Elder Edmun feeding the camel popcorn.  He will never want hay again.

This is how we got most of the people for the open house.  They were invited in from the street by our Elders.  It was a lot of fun.

We had a real treat after the open house, we were able to teach a family with the Elders.  The house was about the size of our master bedroom closet.  What you see here is the open area of the home and off to the right was the bed.  They do their cooking outside in the courtyard on one of the grills like the one above with lots of the other neighbors.  Don't need a lot of "stuff" to be happy.

After the lesson we took our Lugazi Elders to the only restaurant in town, Chilli Willies for dinner.  Not bad actually...  You can see it was light when we ordered and pitch black when the food came.

We didn't want to drive home after the open house so we stayed at a hotel in Lugazi on the sugar plantation.  I worked at Hill Air Force Base and the security was never as tight as it was to get onto the plantation.  They would look under the hood, inside the vehicle and under the vehicle at both gates we had to go through.  The good news is the Villa Anona was worth the wait.

Come on, don't look at me like that, who doesn't start to twirl around when you have a pretty lady playing the flute?

We went out for a walk around the golf course and heard a squealing sound from the top of the trees.  We looked to see if we could figure out what kind of bird was making all the noise.  Guess what, very large bats hanging around and making noise.  Very cool!

Another view, some of them would clump together,  They were a good 30 feet above our heads in the trees. We found out they are straw-colored fruit bats (Eidolon helvum).

This one was streaching his wings.  They were not flying around darn-it.

Finally, you are almost done with this post!  I had to share how work is done here in Africa.  Almost everything is done my manual labor.  Water lines, mowing the lawn uses a curved machete, picking crops, almost everything.  Here is how they pave a parking lot.  First you build a big fire to melt the tar.

Next you use jerry cans to wet the ground where the oil will go down.

You get your equipment ready.  Here he is poking holes in the can they will put the oil in to spread it around.

Oh good, the oil is boiling, almost ready...

Start in a corner and spread the oil around and then shovel the gravel onto the oil.

The finished product, a corner of blacktop surrounded by dirt roads

You made it!  Here is the random photo of the day.  When the colonel orders a batch of chicken nuggets, this is how it comes. 

Peace be unto you...


  1. Would you add your bat photo as a citizen-science observation to the AfriBats project on iNaturalist?:

    AfriBats will use your observations to better understand bat distributions and help protect bats in Africa.

    Please locate your picture on the map as precisely as possible to maximise the scientific value of your records.

    Many thanks!

    PS: these are straw-coloured fruit bats (Eidolon helvum)