As you see conflicts in the world it really makes you wonder what is going on. What could be so important that you need to loot and burn to make someone see your point of view? It really makes me sad to see how far apart we are from having open discussions about what you would like to see changed and, oh I know, listening to one another.
The prophet Joseph Smith observed: "While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men, causes 'His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.' He holds the reins of judgment in His hands; He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men, but 'according to the deeds done in the body whether the be good or evil.'" Our charge is then to treat all men with love and understanding. We don't have to agree with everyone's beliefs but we do need to treat all with love and respect.
President Gordon B Hinckley said: "Let us be good citizens of the nations in which we live. Let us be good neighbors in our communities. Let us acknowledge the diversity of our society, recognizing the good in all people. We need not make any surrender of our theology. But we can set aside any element of suspicion, of provincialism, of parochialism." We do not have to agree with some of the prevailing political discussion around morality etc., but we do need to remember that we are all children of a loving Father in Heaven and He will hold us accountable for how we treat one another. I really believe once we get back home (heaven), we will see how very limited we have been in our view about each other and how narrow our focus on how we treat each other.
I highly recommend the book Kisses from Katie, where this young lady (18 years old at the time) from Tennessee came to Jinja in Uganda, Africa for a service project. She ended up coming over, staying and set up a new ministry to care for the kids in this area. She has personally adopted 14 children and feeds and provides school fees for over 400 more. In the book, she said "I don't always want to help other people, generally speaking, I do. But there are certain days when I, like everyone else in the world, simply want to do what I need to do and keep moving. It's part of being human. But so often, when we stop to be kind when we don't really want to, that's when the sacrifice becomes most rewarding." I think stopping to do random acts of kindness, when we really don't want to, we then begin to become more and more like the Savior.
It must be time for the photos. We love taking pictures of this wonderful world that we didn't know existed until we were blessed to come here. Almost every day we see something that makes us smile. So very grateful they has such a love of Jesus Christ here in Uganda. We share that and that is a great place to start.
I just don't get tired of seeing taxi's here in Uganda carrying chickens on the roof. I wonder what the going rate is for a chicken to take a taxi?
Bodabodas carry anything. This one is carrying a love seat and chair that will now move from the manufacture to the upholster. You will see the wood shops along the roads along with lots of other shops. Most of the work is done outside as the cost of a shop is very expensive. He will now take it to a different location where they will put the foam and outside cover on. It is good they have good weather, well except for lots of rain most of the year.
On our way back from Thanksgiving in Kampala, we stopped for some fruit along the road. You pull over and then they bring everything they have to try and entice you into buying it. It is fun to watch. We ended up buying onions, bananas, avocados, and watermelon.
When you are away from family you still need a Thanksgiving fix. We are lucky to have the best mission president and wife combo anywhere. Sister Chatfield searched forever to find turkey in Uganda and finally found one for the equivalent of around $40 for an 8lb bird. Everyone pitched in with other parts of the meal and it was wonderful!
This picture from Reese helped to get us in the spirit of the holiday.
You are probably thinking, wow that looks like chicken. Well when you pull out the turkey 15 minutes before dinner and find the propane stove ran out of gas and the bird is not done you punt. Sister Chatfield didn't miss a beat and off we went to KFC for a couple of buckets. Yes, we do have KFC, it is the only chain we have here in Africa and there are three of there in the Kampala area.
The table setting that was great. The salad plate had several local fruits: gooseberry, jackfruit, passion fruit, guava, avocado, candied cashews with an orange dressing. While not a big salad guy, this was top notch!
Here is our "African" Thanksgiving plate. It was terrific!
We have elders in Busia, a town 1 1/2 hours away from Jinja. They have investigators that needed to get married so they could be baptized. Sister Squire agreed to make two wedding cakes for the event. How exciting for the Branch to have two new families being baptized today (Sunday).
The reason they have to come to Jinja to get married is because only certain chapels are authorized to perform marriages. Here is the table with the cakes.
While we were waiting for the wedding to begin I took some pictures of some of the flowers outside the church.
There are some great flowers here in Uganda.
Two hours after the "scheduled" start time the two brides were ready for the event. I noticed the bouquets had some familiar flowers in them. I love how they make do with what they have and enjoy the day. I can't think of a better use of the flowers around the church than to make a couple of sisters wedding day a bit brighter.
After the wedding ceremony they have the first meal or taking turns giving cake to each other. Only the female kneels to give her husband food and drink. Very traditional here in Africa, Sister Squire has not caught the vision yet...
The first drink.
Here is the wedding group with the Elders from Busia who will baptize them and the sisters assigned to Jinja who came for the cake :).
The two couples now finally married.
This little one belonged to the bride on the left. Cute, cute, cute!
The two blushing brides.
After the wedding we headed off to a High Council party the District was sponsoring. We had a short meeting and then a dinner. The meat pies were terrific!
And finally, in our Iganga Branch, we had four baptisms toady. A father and three of his children. It was really nice. Today was going to be the largest number of baptisms for any one day in the Mission, about 54. Not sure if everything went forward but it was a wonderful day either way.
Wait! Come back, I remembered some other pictures I need to share. Here is a picture of Nsenene. These little critters fall from the sky in April and November every year. They are attracted by strong light and you see several "catch areas" especially around Kampala. They set up bright lights and then have metal sheets set up at a steep slant so when they land they slip down into a big drum where they are captured. They are then striped from their wings and legs and pan-fried with salt and sometimes onions for a crispy treat. The picture below are some found outside our home that will some day end up in someone's belly.
I did this before I realized the part about taking the wings and legs off and frying them up.
Sister Squire saw this group of birds, in the early morning, that were having a hay-day eating the tasty treats. They were lined up on the ground and along the houses just enjoying all the free food.