Sunday, April 12, 2015

Catch me before I fly off into the cosmos

One of the books I have been reading has really got me thinking about relying on God and trusting him with every part of my life.  I think each of us struggle with our own self-will and wanting to have things the way we think they ought to be.  We often find that in looking back we may have been a bit off in our way of thinking.  As I get older, I wonder if I have learned and done enough in creating the type of person who will be able to return to Heavenly Father and not have to shrink away because I have not.

I know I have a long way to go but I think I am trying to be a better person every day.  I see my faults and folly's all too often but knowing I have them and wanting to overcome them is part of the process.  Adding guilt and self-doubt will not help in turning my life over to Christ.  I think my real struggle is letting go of what I believe needs to happen and turning myself over to Heavenly Father to guide me along.  I really haven't figured out that part and would like to shorten the process but I don't believe there is a shortcut.  As we struggle and ponder what we need to overcome in life we need to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost to teach us what we can do different.  That kind of faith will help us along the way to make the little changes that will become a big change of heart over time.

Another more eloquent way to state it is in Robert L Millet's book, Steadfast and Immovable, he said: "What a person trusts in, what he or she relies on—these things are excellent indicators of spiritual maturity. Like the infant that grasps and clings to objects with selfish immaturity, we are so prone to be stingy with our lives, to insist on doing things our way, to chart a course that we want to pursue, to demand complete control. While we labor in this tabernacle of flesh we are subject to a kind of mortal myopia, a tragic shortsightedness in regard to eternal things. In our heart of hearts we know that God's ways are higher than ours and his thoughts and judgment so much grander than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9). Joseph Smith wrote from the Liberty Jail: "The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation [in this case, our own], must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 137.)"

At Easter our kids surprised us with Easter eggs that had a note from each of the kids and grand-kids.  We could only open them at Easter so we read them on our way back from Busia after Tyler and Alison had gone home.  It was really sweet and so nice to see these notes of love.

Last week I let you know I had some really cool lion pictures.  This is one I put on Facebook to show the types of adventure activities we get to do while in Africa.  I don't know if you know how difficult it is to get a lion to sit still while you lift him upIt wasn't the weight so much as lions really don't like the water so we could have picked a better location.  :)

Sister Squire is always trying to get a good shot of the warthogs.  I like how they kneel to eat and then when they run their tail sticks straight up.  For me, all I see is a nice fire with a spit roasting one of these tasty looking buggers.

When they hear that I will only be taking a picture and then moving on they get all sad and long in the face.

Mom and baby.

Finally the real lion with a couple of very cute cubs.  They were very playful while the mom just sat and watched for any danger.

We went out to find some male lions and saw this giraffe laying down.  This is the first time I saw one not standing up.

Back to the lion and cubs and this time they were feeding.  Still cute.

One the way home we saw our first Jackal.

We got up early after deciding we needed to try one more time to find a male lion.  We were rewarded with two male lions back where we did not see them the night before.  They are protecting a pride of lions inside the bush.  We did not get out to verify but trusted our guide, old George. How cool is this, we got within 10 yards of them for some of the shots.

As we were driving around we saw this carcass of a Jackson Hartebeest largely intact.

I mean if you were in my shoes wouldn't you pick it up and use it for a machine gun to blast down the charging rhinos?  That is a large pile of scat (poop) in the middle of the carcass.

Old George even got in the act.  He said if we lived in Uganda we could take it.  We do live in Uganda so we did take it with us.  I had some black plastic bags we used to cover it in the back of the truck.

After saving the day we went back and the second lion was up to where we could get some better pictures.

After our last safari we went on a boat ride op the Nile River to Murchison Falls.  This hippo had been in a fight to try and take over a hippo pod.  One male is with each pod and this guy did not win.  He was still alive but lots of scars over his body.

Lots of cool birds in Uganda.

Baby crocodiles just out warming up in the sun.

Murchison Falls.

Ty and Al with the falls in the background.

Those little baby crocs will one day, if they are lucky, wind up as big crocks.  Life span of 70 to 100 years.  No wonder they can get so large.

Mom and baby, you usually don't see them out in the day but it was cloudy and they were very hungry because of the two months of dry season where the grass was not growing so they were out to feed in the daylight.


Often when they would see us it would be a dash back into the water.

You have to get a picture where only a few feet behind you are the giraffes.

So they will never forget Ty and Al got a pictures of where they saw all this cool stuff.

We drove back to Kampala to arrive for the Wednesday late show at Ndere Dance.  Here we are enjoying our dinner of chips and salad (not much salad).

This could be a rock band from anywhere.

One of the numbers they carry these large and heavy drums while dancing around.  You don't get a feel for just how big this drum is but he lowered himself and got back up without a fall.

On our final day with Ty and Al we headed down to the southern hemisphere to see if the weather was any different than the Northern Hemisphere.  It was strangely lovely on both sides.  Ty and Al just kicked back and enjoyed being in two different hemispheres.  I don't know about that whole Mars and Venus stuff but men and women can be on different hemispheres.

I have been to both hemispheres so often I found my self-levitating and was only saved by the quick action of Sister Squire catching me before I headed out into the cosmos.

When we got back to the Mission Home we found a good place for the skull and horns.  President Chatfield has finally arrived in Uganda now that he is sporting a nice rack of horns.  When we got the bag out of the back of our truck it ranked of dead carcass.  It seems the maggots had taken up residence under the horns where there must have been some meat left.  They dropped off the horns when I opened the garbage bag into a nice little pile of squirming worms.  It was lovely...  I don't think Alison was too pleased with her suitcase and all her clothing being in back with the smell and maggots.

After the equator and before we had to go to the airport we were able to spend some time serving at Sanyu Babies.  This little girl was holding her doll she had named Princess.  It was really cute.  I did not get picture of Tyler and Alison caring for the babies but we all got to work in the laundry and feed babies while we were there.

On the way to the airport we stopped and visited Cosmos who had been transferred from the Jinja hospital to this one on the way to the airport that will specialize in getting some function back to his hands.  Small tender mercy in finding him when no one was sure where he was located in this large complex and he just happened to be walking by as we were looking for him.

The last is best of all the game.  I had my first convert baptism ever.  Mwesigwa Evert was our gardener at the apartment building where we lived in Kampala.  He took the lessons and asked if I would come back and baptize him.  Of course, I was thrilled to be able to do that.

The Taylors have been out a short time but Mwesigwa already calls them his other parents.


  1. I didn't know about your baptism! That's awesome! Such good photos!

  2. What a fun week that was. I'm missing those lovely days that we spent together in Uganda in Africa!