Sunday, December 21, 2014

I'm Odd

From the title I know many would like to argue with me and let me know how perfectly normal I am.  Well, as someone willing to leave their family and friends, you have to wonder about us don't you?  As missionaries and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are expected to be a bit different.  We are expected to be examples of honesty, chastity, love, patience, charity and the list goes on and on.  Everyone can give examples of where members of the Church fall short of having those traits but as long as we are trying and recognizing that we have the power and desire to change, we are heading in the proper direction.  President Chatfield asked each of the senior couples serving here in Uganda Kampala Mission to thank their families for supporting us on our mission.  I do thank our family for their love and support.  It does affect their life, especially having one of their grandmas here in Africa.  The good news is that it affects their life in a very good and positive way.

We try to live the gospel and make it something to be enjoyed.  You can serve anywhere and find joy in the journey if you have the proper attitude.  We find so many opportunities to find joy in something different and new here in Africa.  Christmas is different.  Most of the population do not have the funds to spend on decorations, travel or anything more than what is required to feed their family.  We are seeing that you do not need to have all the extra things to enjoy the spirit of Christmas.  If we don't understand what Christmas really means, how can we expect to benefit from the season at all?  I have found it is in serving one another and being kind.  Allowing the Savior to use us to help others where they can not help themselves.  Crazy as it may seem, we may be the best example of what a strong marriage over many years looks like.  There is so much death, divorce, poverty and theft that it may be hard to imagine how you can ever make it through this life living as we should.  I know that living in America has many problems of a much different nature but all come back to really believing if the birth of the Savior and His resurrection really matters.  It matters!  We can find joy in this life and the life to come if we will have faith that Christ can do what He says he can do.

We had a very tough week.  We had the annual senior couples conference this week and traveled about 6 hours to Queen Elizabeth Park for three days of enjoying the natural beauty of Africa.  It is beautiful here and we were able to meet with the Rwanda and Ethiopia senior couples.  It was very fun and we enjoyed our new friendships very much. Enjoy the picture journey of being on the greatest adventure of our life.  We are changing, and while I am still very odd we are not the same people that we were when we left over 10 month ago.

First, if you are going to go on a mission you need to find a big chair, under some of the biggest elephant tusks you have ever seen, grab a cape buffalo head and think.  Just sit there and think.

You also need to have the eye of the elephant to be successful.  I have the wrinkles around the eye down.

Some times you see a pretty vixen with horns and it really gives you pause and something to think about. 

Then you can decide, do I grow some horns or not...

When you go on saffari you have to plan on a getting a push to get where you need to go.

The men protecting the women from anyone who was going to cross the river from the DR Congo.  The river and trees in the background are in the DR Congo but they wouldn't let us walk down and cross the river.  Something about wild animals...whatever.

Copy cats...

Speaking of cats, Queen Elizabeth is the only place you can find the tree climbing lions.  We drove 2 1/2 hours  to get where they are.  We were lucky after that to find three of them in the tree.  It was cool to see them.

Here you can see all three in the tree.

They don't get too concerned to have folks interrupting them.

Life is good at the top of the food chain.

I love how they straddle the tree, it doesn't look comfortable.

However, it must be.

Meet George, he was walking all around our hotel grounds and walking through hedges and fences if that is where he decided to go.  The staff was getting tired of fixing up after him.  The manager of the hotel was late two days because George was blocking his driveway to get out.

 The was a new antelope for us.  The Topi with dark brown spots on each quarter.

We had a dance troop at the hotel in the evening.  Sister Squire never passes up an opportunity to dance.  She was great!

Shake it ladies.


This was the band, they were very good at singing and drumming.

We went on a fantastic boat ride and while seeing lots of elephants, hippos, crocks and birds we also passed this fishing village.

The elephants

Playing together.

Every boat ride needs a safety briefing.  We volunteered to keep everyone safe.

This didn't make me feel safe.  Sister Squire took over for the captain of the boat.

The boat got really close to the hippos and out of the water they sprang. 

Cool video that gets blurry at the end part.

The spoon bill bird, very cool looking.

More elephants in the grass this time.

Out in nature you find some tribal magic.

Merry Christmas everyone, angels are looking over you.

I may have to add some more pictures next week as this is quite long but I will tell you that serving in Africa is one of the coolest things you can do.  You get to do things you wouldn't ever see or do somewhere else.  Check this out, I mean come on, where else?


  1. The lions in the trees are amazing, but I also love the hippos and elephants. Also, we're very proud that you are serving!

  2. I had no idea that you got to hold a baby elephant, hippo, and giraffe! That is amazing, they are so darn cute! ;)