Monday, May 18, 2015

The Last Week!

Well this week has been awesome! We finally hit our groove and got things built up to a steady consistent pace of always finding and progressing people. Over the last three weeks we have had 25 new investigators. This week we have set our goals high.  Elder Barrett is going to reap big next transfer. We are setting things up good for the future here.

Each day we focused a lot on finding and met with many wonderful families. We saw some weird stuff happen a few of the days that make amazing stories to be told later. But one thing that I am sad about is one family we have been teaching. The mother is Jennifer and she has 3 kids. Then her sister has like 4 or 5 kids. They all stay together and they are just amazing! We have too much fun with them. The bummer of the week is that ALL of the kids except the youngest are going back to school today. SO we wont be able to have fun with the kids anymore; but we will still teach the mom. Yesterday she said that since she left her husband she has been wondering what church she should go to, then one day we showed up! And yesterday she told us she will be staying in the church of Jesus Christ. So we set a baptism date with her for the 13 June. So that was pretty awesome. We were there last night to say goodbye to all of the kids and got some good pics. I will attach one in the email.

Today we went to CHOBE!!!!! It was soo amazing. I missed that place. It is seriously the most beautiful place on earth. The amazing lodge right on the Nile River. After having delicious breakfast we went down by the water and were just watching the hippos, then a huge herd of elephant came walking down. There was 11 elephants sitting there in the water!!! It was so awesome. I think God was just showing off. Words can't describe the beauty of his creations. I want to say more about it but I seriously don't know what to say. It made for a great p-day. Also, on the way out we saw some Impala fighting. Then right as I was taking the picture they both looked at me. It was my first time seeing Impala. Usually there are just tons of little Kob running around. So the pics are of the impala, the elephants and my district with our beautiful butts! Yes be jealous, because there are even elephants in the background :) And then there is also Jennifer's family from last night.

Have a great week everyone. This is my last week. So next week will be my last time to email on mission. Life is good. I love Gulu and I love Uganda more than anything!! :)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mission Countdown and General Conference

We had a pretty great week this week. Every day was just full of solid work. We focused on being consistent throughout the week and were able to hit all of our goals except like 2 or 3. We have been focusing a lot on finding each day. We have a set time of three hours everyday to tract and it has been very successful. We have been able to consistently get new investigators every week.

My last zone conference a few weeks back

There is an investigator called Ogik.  He is an amazing guy and has been coming to church for a long time. When we started teaching him we thought that he wasn't legally married so that meant we couldn't progress him and his wife. So we were just slowly teaching and hoping to find a way to get them legally married. Its really difficult here in Gulu because the church isn't registered here to perform marriages. They would have to go to Kampala to the Kololo Chapel. But Kampala is to far away for something like that. But on Tuesday as we were teaching we asked some more questions about their marriage details and found out they actually are legally married!!!! In Uganda a tribal marriage is considered legal, but tribal marriages are really confusing and work differently with different tribes. We found out that according to their tribe they are married. It was such a huge relief. SO now we are progressing Ogik for baptism the first week of June. His wife, Sarah, might be a challenge though because of her work schedule. I am kinda sad because I will be at home when he is baptized, But at least Elder Barrett will have a good start next transfer.

The baptism last week of John and Kennedy.

Then there was another family that we found. It was a referral family from Mama Beatrice. Beatrice is one of my converts from last year. She took us to a family that stays close to her house and we started teaching them. So that was nice. We are now teaching almost all families. There is only one single person that we are teaching.

Saturday and Sunday we were finally able to watch General Conference!!!! It was soo awesome, especially the Saturday sessions and the priesthood session. There was some very direct and pointed talks by the apostles. It was powerful. I felt that Elder Ballard in the priesthood session was talking directly to me because I am almost going to be a returned missionary. He said RM does not mean 'Retired Mormon'!!! Haha i laughed pretty hard. The rest of his talk was powerful. All of the talks were inspired and definitely meant for the world today.

Today we went to an Ethiopian Restaurant for lunch. Its delicious stuff!!!

Then calling home this morning was great!! After the two hours of trying to get connected. I was almost about to give up but then I knew that the family wanted to talk so I kept trying. I tried calling on three different phones with different numbers and none of them were getting through. I wonder if it has something to do with Alaska. It was really annoying though. And then getting the Google Hangout set up was painful. The microphone settings on the computer were all messed up so it took an hour to finally figure out what to do. But eventually we made it and had a nice little talk. Technology is a problem sometimes! But Happy Mother's Day mom. I hope it was a good day for you.

Elder LeCheminant

Monday, May 4, 2015


Well this will be a bit short. But we had a fantastic week. We applied everything we learned in the zone conference last Monday. And as a result we were able to hit most of our goals for the week and we were able to find a couple new families. We did a lot of tracting. That was kinda weird for me because the last time I seriously tracted was before I left Gulu last year. I never tracted in Iganga or Kololo. All of the people we taught in Iganga and Kololo were mostly through referrals or other contacts. But here in Gulu tracting has been the better option. And we were able to find some new families!!!

When we started on Tuesday I turned to Elder Barrett and said ok now its your time. You get to lead. I will be behind you to help out. Then his eyes went huge!!! Haha it was pretty funny. He was super nervous being the one in front approaching people and knocking on doors. I just sat back and enjoyed and then helped out when he was stuck. There was a few times he struggled to keep a conversation and it was getting really awkward so I had to save it. But as the week went on he got better and better. Our plan is to have a three hour block of tracting every day in the evening time.

Saturday was the baptism of John and Kennedy. They are amazing. We had them interviewed on Friday and then the baptism was Saturday afternoon. It was kinda weird have the baptism on a Saturday. I am used to having them on Sundays after church. But it was good and went well. I ended up being the one conducting like very last minute. Literally as we were about to start, the Branch President called me up to conduct. Haha, so I literally had no time to put together the program because I thought the Branch President had done it. So I acted like I was already planning to conduct and then just made it up as I went. It worked out very well and I don't think anyone knew that I had nothing planned. Haha but next time I am going to make sure that a program is put together before the baptism service starts. Elder Barrett baptized both of them. Then on Sunday they both chose me to confirm them. I tried avoiding it but it didn't work so I ended up doing the confirmations.

So that was basically the week. Pretty dang exciting that dads cousins son got his mission call to Uganda. The mission of missions!!! :)
Oh yea a funny from today. We were in town getting stuff figured out with SIM cards for calling home next week. Then the guy at the shop who was helping us tried saying my name. And he said 'Lechestament'. Hahahahahaha I laughed soo hard! I think it was a first that can be added to the list.

Have a great week! 3 weeks left :)

Elder LeCheminant

Monday, April 27, 2015

John Kennedy and Chasing Chameleons

Howdy do
Life is good. We spent the week just working and trying our best. We ended the week with 3 investigators. The finding ideas we used in Kampala obviously don't work here, so this next week we will be trying to come up with some different finding ideas. Its going to need some creativity for my non-creative brain!!!! But I am sure we will be able to do it.

We have a father and son that were taught by the previous elders here. The dad is called John and his son is called Kennedy. On our list we put them together as John Kennedy. Yea it was funny because we didnt' realize it until after like 10 minutes!! Anyways they would have been baptized a few weeks ago but there was some confusion with John and plural marriage. The story was really confusing because everyone was saying different things. Even he had met with President Chatfield a few weeks ago and they talked about it, but there was still some confusion. So yesterday we talked to John and got the whole story out of him. Then we talked to President Chatfield today and it turns out it was never polygamy in the first place and he said we can baptize him! So this weekend we should be having two baptisms. Yaya :) They are awesome.

Gulu is a beautiful place. I think God is a show off sometimes. Gulu is mostly flat. Then there are parts of our area where we can see out for miles and then a few random hills in the distance and it is just beautiful. I can't think of any better place to serve as a missionary than here in Gulu. To everyone else in the world, your missions are probably nice, but nothing compares to Uganda!!!!! Hehe :) A few days ago we found a snake on the road in front of the church. It was just a little teeny one though, Like barely a foot long. Then also few days back there was a chameleon crossing the road. We tried grabbing but it ran into a bush. Then we chased it around this little bush for like 10 minutes until I eventually caught it! Then Elder Barrett wanted to hold it. As soon as he grabbed it the whole body turned black and it was trying to bite him!! Haha it was hilarious because on my hand it was totally calm. That was random... On Saturday evening we ate a duck for dinner. One of my recent converts here was so excited to see me again that she wanted to give me a duck. So of course we accepted and she cooked it for us on Saturday with other local foods. It tasted better than chicken. The meat was really soft and delicious. I forgot to take a picture of the duck though so that is just now a long lost memory..

Today we had Zone Conference. It was originally scheduled for tomorrow but some things happened and they changed the plans and we had it today. It was pretty awesome. My last zone conference.! At the end I gave my farewell testimony. That was kinda strange. I felt like it was just another zone conference and that I still have like the rest of my life here as a missionary. The conference was all about using time wisely and about effective daily planning. There was a lot of things we could improve on with daily planning. It will help me though these next few weeks to use all of the time most effectively.

Have a fantastic week everyone. Choose the right. The gospel is true.
Elder LeCheminant

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Beginning of the End - Last Transfer!

So this week was a pretty good week. We finished off the transfer on a good note of 2 baptisms!!! Yay

Most of the week is a blur as usual. The two who were baptized was Timothy and Vincent. They are both awesome. We visited them everyday to make sure everything went right during their last week of preparing for baptism. Satan can throw in a last minute bomb sometimes.

On Friday was the birthday of one of the guys that we have been working with. His name is Isaac. At night on  Thursday he told us that his birthday was the next day. We asked if he was going to celebrate then he said he has never celebrated a birthday. So of course we had to do it for him!!! Haha it was fun. Friday morning we baked some chocolate chip cookies. Then we got him an Angry Birds birthday hat from the mall and got him birthday card with a little race car as a present. At the mall the only numbers they had for the candle numbers was 1 to 9. They didn't have a zero!!! And he was turning 20. So we got a 2 and then wrote a zero on it. It was a fun random little party. He enjoyed it. The only problem is that the whole thing messed up our brains for the rest of the day. Haha but at least we got to celebrate Isaac's birthday with him. :)

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Saturday we walked waayyy too much. We were at the church in the morning. Then we were going around with our District Leader to get Vincent and Timothy interviewed. And between the interviews we had a couple appointments. Then in the evening we had a dinner with a member. Everything was literally as far away from each other as possible. We walked at least 10 miles, probably more for the day, but both interviews were successful. Then we had a dinner at a member's house. It was sooo amazing! They cooked fantastic food. The downside is that both me and elder Barrett were feeling kinda sick. After we left their house, Elder Barrett threw up and I wasn't feeling to good so we went home a bit early. In the middle of the night I threw up. All night and all Sunday morning both of us were in and out of the bathroom. Then we had to walk 30 minutes to church completely exhausted and tired and during church we still had it. Haha it was crazy!!! By the end of Sunday we were doing better. We went to bed kinda early and even this morning we woke up late. The extra sleep was very needed! Now I feel great!

After church was the baptism of Timothy and Vincent. I made sure Elder Barrett performed the baptism because he had never baptized anyone before and I wanted to be the first one to see him do it. :) He did great and all went well.

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Then today we received transfer news and got the biggest surprise of my life!!!!!!!!! So basically they are closing our area here in Kololo.  Both Elder Barrett and I are going together to white wash the same area I was at in Gulu a year ago. How crazy is that!! I am going back to Gulu for my last transfer. And I am still companions with Elder Barrett. This is the first time I have ever seen two companions transferred to the same area together. I am really excited to go back to Gulu. It is going to make these next six weeks fly by like crazy!!! Its going to be amazing.
Since we are both leaving Kampala we decided to celebrate my birthday early with KFC. So today before emailing we went and got lunch at KFC!!!!!! It was sooo stinking good and tasted just like KFC back at home.  It was basically a celebration of the end of Elder Barrett's first transfer, the start of my last transfer, my birthday, and a bunch of other things. So it was justified. I decided it was worth the money :).

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So here I am saying goodbye to Kampala. I guess I was never meant to be in the city.. haha I love the village to much! This is going to be a great last transfer. Have a great week everyone.

Elder LeCheminant

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter!

Well this week literally started out with a nice April Fools!!

We had zone meeting on Wednesday morning (the 1st of April). It was a great meeting and the zone leaders had me do a training about obedience. I'm pretty sure they had me do it because I am the only one in the zone who has been a zone leader before. Haha, but anyways I didn't want to talk about the importance of being obedient because that is boring and we hear that one all the time. So I decided to talk about how we need to help each other be obedient. It must have been inspired though because the ZLs told me after that that was actually what they wanted me to do. Haha its funny how that works.
Then the rest of the day was supposed to be full of appointments. Literally we had 6 or 7 lessons planned for after the meeting. But April Fools!!! That, of course, didn't happen. Each lesson we had planned and already confirmed in the morning ended up not being available as we went to each of them. So in the between time we tried to go and do a bit of finding things but it was all completely unsuccessful and we didn't get any contacts. Haha, so it was definitely an April fools to remember. Satan sucks sometimes.

After Wednesday the rest of the week went a whole lot better. We were able find a few families and add them to the teaching pool; that was exciting. Then we had two investigators start to show some serious commitment. Their names are Timothy and Vincent. Both are around 20-22 years old and they have been progressing amazingly and will be baptized this coming Sunday. That was an exciting thing to happen because we have been really struggling to get people to progress and come to church the whole transfer. Timothy stays with his parents and siblings so after his baptism we are going to start working with his parents. For now we have just been trying to build a good relationship with the family and then invite everyone to learn about what Timothy has been learning. So hopefully that will be successful. I always love when families come together in the church.

Sunday was of course Easter Sunday and Fast Sunday and General Conference Sunday. Haha, but for us here there was no general conference. I think they said we will be watching it the last weekend of April. Church was great though as usual; many of the testimonies were powerful. Then we got home from church at 3. We broke our fast and ate food. Then went to an investigator at 4 and they fed us an Easter lunch. Then at 5 we went to a member family's house and they also fed us an Easter meal. Haha that last one was sooo hard to finish!!! Three meals all right in a row and with no resting in between all after not eating for a whole day. It was almost like those food challenges that you watch people do on the food channel. It was fun though and worth it. I didn't eat anything today until around 3:00, my stomach was just to full. I love holidays!!!!!!! :)

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Easter Sunday meal!

Fun fact. During church I was reading in the bible dictionary about Easter. The name "Easter" has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus Christ!!! In my mind I said "what the heck" the way that Jake always says it. hahahaha I was laughing to myself.

Have a great week everyone.
Love Elder LeCheminant :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Life Is A Blur

Here we go again,

Life is just a blur right now so I don't really know what to say in this email!

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 Monday when we went to the Uganda National Museum

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Uganda National Museum again

On Tuesday this week we had interviews with president Chatfield at the mission home. During the interviews we watched Meet The Mormons!!!!!! It was such a cool movie!! I think its probably one of my new favorite movies. Its amazing how much the gospel blesses the lives of people all around the world.

Also we were able to watch the video for the new Easter campaign. Its called "Because He Lives". That video is just powerful. The church started a YouTube takeover for this whole week up to Easter and that video will be on the front page of YouTube. Its amazing how the church has started using the media and technology soo much more in the last year. Things have changed so much recently!!!

Over the week we were blessed to have a couple of people begin to be serious. One is called Timothy and the other is called Vincent. They have been doing great. We are currently preparing them both for baptism on the 12th April. Hopefully all goes well.

I know this isn't much but my mind is not functioning right now so I really dont' know what else to say. Apologies!!!! :)

But thanks everyone for the love and support that you show me. Have a great week in all that you do. Love you all!!!!

Elder LeCheminant

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hard Work and New Investigators

This week seemed like it took forever to get done! But I felt like it was a pretty good week. The week was spent teaching many different people.

On Thursday we worked with one of our Zone Leader's Elder Dlamini; he is from South Africa. I was his District Leader in Gulu and now he is my ZL here. Its cool how that works. We had a great day. We were able finally visit a referral family that we received about a month ago. This family was given to us by a member in the Ntinda Branch. The husband is called Moses and the wife is Florence. They are a young family but the miracle is that they are legally married with papers to prove it!!!!! That never happens. And they are related to a strong member in Ntinda Branch. So we are definitely going to be working hard on them. They are cool people and willing to learn the Gospel. So that was fun. Then there was another guy we met. He was also a referral from one of the guys we work with a lot. His name is Timothy. Timothy was fun to teach. We have now taught him the Restoration and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He kept saying that he has made a lot of mistakes. Then we kept saying that following the gospel will help him to overcome those mistakes. He then related an experience where he was praying for forgiveness and he literally felt like a huge weight was being taken off of his shoulders. So we also told him he can always have that feeling as he continues to repent and prepare for baptism. With those two we now have some really promising people. We have a ton of other investigators but they are hard to to get progressing and coming to church. That is one of our biggest challenges here. Getting people to the church. If the church was closer to our area then we could have so many people there. But everyone we teach has to walk for at least 30 to 45 minutes to the church. There is always something that keeps people from coming.

Also something I have been reading in the Book Of Mormon is the story of Ammon in Alma chapters 17 onward. Ammon was incredible. He was able to convert basically an entire nation starting by one simple act of service. He simply spent a few days only serving the king then everyone was converted! It gave me some motivation that anything is possible. Even the high up people that we meet that are nearly impossible to talk to have some small chance of accepting the gospel by something we do. And we will never have it as bad as Ammon did. They wanted to cut his head off! We don't really meet people that want to kill us. So I enjoyed reading that story this week.

Another thing that would be cool for everyone to look at. I was talking to one of the new senior couples today at the mission office. His name is Elder Taylor from Mapleton, UT. He is a cool guy and has a website called He has been going around with a video camera interviewing random people on the streets. Also he has been making a lot of little videos to kinda show how Ugandans live. He has some really cool and inspirational videos. He showed us one today of a Mormon Helping Hands project he recorded a couple weeks ago. I would recommend going to the website and watching the stuff he puts up. It gives a good insight to Ugandan life. Showing how people with basically nothing are some of the most happy people you will meet.

Have a great week everyone. Until next week.
Elder LeCheminant

Monday, March 16, 2015

A New Perspective on The Atonement

This week was awesome! We had some amazing experiences and miracles. Our numbers were down for the week but we both felt that the work we did was way more than what the numbers showed. Everyday was fun and I really felt happy the whole week! The happiness is kinda a mixture of working hard, recognizing miracles, and reflecting on the past 21 months of mission. I recognized that I have had soo many incredible experiences throughout my mission. I love being here soo much and I honestly don't know how I feel about no longer being a missionary in a couple months. This has become my life and I feel like it is the only thing I know how to do now! :) The gospel is about happiness. It doesn't matter what we go through, as long as we are happy. And we find pure and lasting happiness only with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The world offers short term pleasures and things that appear to bring happiness which is one of Satan's greatest lies. We cannot be truly happy unless we are living the gospel.

On Tuesday we were working with our Ward mission leader. His name is Bagazwaga. I know, it is the coolest name ever! He is an awesome guy and came home from his mission in Ghana last year. During one of our lessons he told a story to our investigators that explained the atonement in a whole new way. It had a great impact on me so today for the rest of my email I am just going to put that story.

There was a man with a wife and young son. He worked at a train station that had electric trains passing through. At this particular station the tracks had a lot of different branches and connections. Sometimes the system controlling the position of the tracks would malfunction. On those days the man's job was to hold a switch that would keep the tracks aligned for the incoming train. He would have to keep his hand on the switch or else the tracks would move out of place. So the whole time the train was passing he would be keeping the switch. If he let go then the train would come off the tracks and then crash and the people would all die. It was a very important job. One day as he was at work his wife became very sick and she needed to be taken to the hospital. So she sent their young son to tell him that mommy was sick. As the young boy was approaching the train station he needed to cross the tracks. Unfortunately at the same time there was a train approaching the station. The man saw his only son about to cross the tracks but also knew of the oncoming train. He had a big decision to make. He could run out and save his son, but then the switch would not be activated and the train would crash and all the people inside would die. Or he would have to activate the switch to allow the train to pass but not be able to save his son. The man made his decision. With his hand on the switch he helplessly watched the train pass, killing his only son. Later the passengers were talking to him about this. They offered him anything he wanted for what he did for them. The man told the people, "All I want from you is to always remember me and what I have done." That man was our Heavenly Father. He sacrificed his only son in our behalf. And all he asks of us is to remember him. He stood there watching his only son be beaten and tortured and eventually hung on the cross. He did this to save us and provide a better life for all of us. It is only a small and simple thing that he asks of us, to remember him.

I have a strong testimony of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is such a sweet and amazing thing. The atonement provides hope for us and gives us a chance to live happy and eventually dwell in the presence of God forever. When you taste of the sweetness of what God has done for us, you will never desire anything less. It is filled with soo much sweetness, purity, joy, happiness, and love. Those words are not even enough to describe it. I am grateful for the Atonement and for all that it has done in my life.

Thank you everyone for all of your support and love that you show to me as I am here. The gospel is true!

Pics are of the baptism of Flora a couple weeks ago. Then me and Elder Barrett and a member having delicious lunch. Then a beautiful stack of pancakes that I made one day!

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Have a great week!
Elder LeCheminant

Monday, March 9, 2015

First Week With the New Comp!

Greetings from Uganda.

This has been a fun week! Transfers were successful as usual.
My new comp is called Elder Barrett. He is from Price, Utah. He is a cool guy. Its fun being with a brand new missionary. It is a totally different experience but I enjoy it so far. We have had a great past couple of days; the work has been progressing well.

Something we have been focusing on a lot with our investigators is the importance of coming to church. We have been having a lot of success with finding new investigators and receiving referrals from everyone, but we are suffering in terms of investigators at Church. So that is a tough one. We are trying to help all of them understand the reasons behind why we go to church every Sunday. I had a lot of hopes that it would work but on Sunday we only had 3 investigators come. It was definitely a trial of faith. We are going to keep doing it this next week. And hopefully we will start to see more people coming to church.

Church on Sunday was awesome. They had it as a "missionary Sunday." So the elders blessed the sacrament and gave talks, etc. I was one of the elders assigned a talk. The topic was from the Feb 2015 Liahona called "The Gate Called Baptism." So I had planned to talk about baptism. I read through the talk a few times and made a few notes. Then when I stood up to speak a very different thing came out! I ended up talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the holy ghost, then enduring to the end. I also mixed in the importance of the sacrament! Haha so it was far from just baptism. Its amazing how the spirit just spoils our plans sometimes!!! People said it was a good talk though :)

In Sunday School, Gospel Principles Class, they asked me to teach about 30 seconds before it was starting because the teacher wasn't there. I tried to get out of it but they somehow got me to. So I taught with literally NO preparation!!! It was fun though. The lesson wasn't to hard. It was chapter 9 about prophets.

So the week was great. I enjoyed it. Its been really hot though. Hopefully the rain comes soon to cool things down.

Have a great week everyone. Thanks for all the love and support that you show me as I am here :)

Elder LeCheminant