One of the books I am currently reading said the atonement isn't only for repentance and forgiveness of sins but also a way to allow the Savior to help us become who we need to be. I am starting to see that just going on a mission, going to church, serving in a calling, reading the scriptures etc., really isn't all that is required in becoming who I need to be. The Israelites' during the time of Christ were very good at following the letter of the law but had closed out their hearts to the spirit. Unless we are really changing, and finding ourselves on higher ground, we really are just going through the motions no matter how many good things we do. I really struggle with allowing the spirit to be my guide and mentor as I am pretty thick sometimes. I am definitely missing something.
I am probably in the minority with this, as most of you have figured it out already, and it really isn't getting me down because that would be the adversary working on me. I choose not to let the adversary control my emotions because all of us can get down on ourselves pretty easy. We all have a bright future if we only let the light of Christ fill our souls. I know I have to make a conscious decision not to let negative feelings determine my future actions. If I let every little failure stop me from trying to be better next time, that would be a sad thing. If we are preparing for the second coming, and are not ready, I think we will have some very hard days ahead because the Lord will prepare each of us (or we will fall away) one way or another.
I would much rather accomplish the changes necessary in my life voluntary, without compulsion (recognizing that I will always have my agency to change or not change). I know there is joy and happiness when we make correct choices when we feel the promptings to do so. Every thought we receive should go through some sort of filter to see if doing the action will be doing good and serving someone, even ourselves, or leading us in a prideful or negative way. If we follow every positive thought we will never have to suffer from wondering if we are doing what the Lord would have us do. As most of you know my filter doesn't always work so good when it comes to the things I say...sorry about that.
For some reason we do a lot of shopping. This is a shop we use a lot. Florence has twins and she brings one or the other to the shop each day and the other twin stays with a babysitter. We heard this one crying when we were on the other side of the street. She was just hungry and happy once she got a bit of milk in her.
We took an Elder to the eye doctor this week and found he just needed some eye drops. You can see the new hospital we use has some very modern equipment.
Sometimes when we drive around we see work crews from one of the local prisons. They have them do all sorts of work around the community.
Our new market opened in Jinja a couple of weeks ago. We used to go down to the dirt market for produce and it had a lot of charm. However when it rained it was nasty to get around for a couple of days after. They will not have that problem this year. After the market opened they made everyone clear out the old market and it has been leveled for future community uses. This new building is two blocks long and one block wide with four floors. You can get anything you ever need here.
We enjoy going out and helping the different Elders and Sisters at their homes. It is either medical or maintenance issues that bring us there. The Elders took us out to see the grave where someone had died over a year ago without any identification and so the police told them to just bury him. The rock pile is the grave.
We were going to visit someone at the hospital and so we stopped to buy some food. They don't feed you at the government hospitals so the family has to bring food. He is making a couple of rolex for us. It is two chapati, two eggs, and vegetables rolled up like a burrito. Video to follow.
You tube (see what I did there?) can watch how to make a Rolex in Africa. I think the bras in the background are for sale if anyone is in need.
This is the cooks family helping the with the work. The oldest girl would serve and do the dishes after someone is done eating. It is a cheap way to eat in Africa. The man in the blue shirt is just finishing his meal of stew over something. I couldn't make it out from a distance.
I went to the church to do a baptism interview and Sister Squire found these cute kids watching the boys play basketball in the parking lot.
In church on Sunday this little boy (I thought he was a girl, all the kids are so dang cute here) was wandering around so I picked him up to hold. I guess there was a secret paparazzi in the audience who doesn't know we don't use the camera in the Chapel.
Three of the young women at Busia.
Back at home our guards have to cook their own meals. Behind their office they have a place where they can build a small fire and cook their meal. This is John who attends the Walukube Branch.
Here we saw another group of prison workers digging out this huge tree stump. I will try and get back this next week to see if it is out. When we first drove by there were 15 people working on digging this thing out.
On Saturday I had a District General Priesthood meeting to attend so Sister Squire went back down to the Jinja Market. She found these two girls carrying their siblings around with them.
This is a picture of Reagan (a member of the church) and his brother Obedmoth Cosmas who has bandages where his fingers used to be. He was in an accident at a local company a couple of months ago and his brother came from Gulu to help him. At first he had parts of his fingers but eventually they had to be removed. We were told that Cosmas was not getting the care he needed because the company was not paying the hospital bills. We arranged to go with Richard, another brother to Cosmas who stays in Jinja, to see what the problem was. The company said they had been paying all the bills and perhaps the doctor was wanting additional money to work on him (bribe). We are now trying to talk with the doctor (she works in Kampala and comes twice a week to Jinja) this week to see what the problem is. Cosmas will have a much more difficult life now that his ability to work has been impacted forever.
A sister we helped while here in Uganda decided to name her son Squire (She now lives in Nairob, Kenya). He is up and walking and you can see he is eating Helaman. We have some dear friends that gave us some Book of Mormon figurines to give out and we sent Helaman riding a horse to Squire along with this outfit. I think Squire has my belly...
Finally, at interviews with President Chatfield there was some extra time so Sister Squire taught the Elders and Sisters how to do sign language for some primary songs. Here is one of them.