Whew, what a week. We had Elder Moore here this past week with the four bulging discs at the base of his skull. Poor man was a walking zombie while taking medications that would make him sick while never fully relieving the pain. It was hard to watch someone go through that much pain and not be able to help in any way. They have been great MLS (Member Leader Support) missionaries in
Gulu. Gulu is close to the South Sudan border and about a 5-6 hour drive from Kampala. Half of the drive is on a nice road but the other half will shake your booty in a dozen different ways. It is full of pot holes and the side of the road has no blacktop so the big rigs drive down the middle of the road and you have to move to the side. The only problem is that often there is a huge drainage ditch that will swallow a truck if you get too close. The have been such a blessing to the two Branches in Gulu and Elder Moore never got to say goodby.
The doctor from South Africa flew up to Kampala, arriving around 9PM at the Hotel and he left with Elder and Sister Moore at 4AM the next day. I guess he can say he has been to Uganda but he sure didn't get to see much. The area medical doctors for the region are always on the go. I can't imagine having several missions where you have to take care of the most critical needs. They were sure he would need to be admitted to the hospital in Johannesburg but once he got some of the good stuff Oxycontin - illegal in Uganda) in him, he was able to fly back to the US the next day. Sad that he was only 6 weeks from finishing his mission but they both did so well they were able to go home early. I may have to stay a few extra weeks to finally get it right.
Here is his first night in Kampala. Had to go to the hospital to get pain under control.
He starts feeling a bit better...
He got to spend the night a the Hospital.
Sister Moore at the going away dinner. Elder Moore is home in bed. So glad she was willing to come and let us say goodby. As members of the Church, we come to know our Savior through afflictions and trials. Our Savior knows all about our pains and sufferings; “And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12)
After that adventure we took the Humanitarian Couple, Elder and Sister Hannan, to the orphanage to see if there was some project the Church could sponsor to help with the 45 to 60 babies they care for depending on the day. By the time they are 4 they will have been placed either with family or someone else willing to care for them. Can you imagine doing the laundry for 50 kids that are changed three times a day?
OK, if you don't think this is the cutest thing then somthing is wrong with you. The toddlers are sat here and fed at this long bench and table. It is quite the mess when they are done.
This is one of the twins that had just come in the last time we were there. She looks great and is gaining weight. They do an excellent job of taking care of these kids here.
At our Lugazi Branch we have a couple that have been taking the lessons for quite some time. They could not be baptized because they had not been married. They have a beautiful 2 year old and because of the culture here in Africa with having to pay for your bride, people just live together. President Bednar stated during his visit to Africa that "Bride Price" is a very wicked tradition as it keeps people from getting married. The groom is required to pay the brides family a sum for the opportunity to marry their daughter. Crazy, but they finally got all that worked out and we had the wedding in Jinja yesterday. This is a wonderful couple and Sister Squire agreed to make the cake and provide flowers for the wedding. She went above and beyond to make sure it was a special day for Sister Olivia. Not very many people afford a vehicle so they take a taxi. Lugazi is about 28km from Jinja so they rented a taxi to bring with wedding couple and some of the Branch members. Here they are starting to get out.
The beautiful bride to be, Miss Olivia.
Two new interns that will be living in Lugazi for the next month. The two that have been here all summer are leaving after this next week. They have really helped the Branch out in Primary and Young Women.
I was not able to get any photos of the wedding because it was in the Chapel and we don't take photos in the chapel. It was fun to see the customs of Africa. After the marriage the bride and groom cut the cake and then the groom sits while the bride kneels and feeds him some cake. Then he feeds her some cake. Next they take a drink and she helps him has his first drink and he will reciprocate with the drink. At more traditional African weddings there is a lot of yelling but this was much more restrained. I love the family proclamation: “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” They will hopefully follow this up with a visit to Johannesburg to be sealed in the temple there. Here are some of the wedding photos.
The groom and his boys.
The bride and her girl
Ah, the kiss
The bride with more of her girls.
All the attendees
Great viewing area for the baptisms.
The Primary kids love Sister Squire.
The final shot...
Finally, don't be this guy, only drink filtered water when you are in Africa.
Nathan checking out my awesome beard growth.
Here he is leaning how to use the ipad.