Monday, March 31, 2014

The District Meeting and Johnny Lingo

Well this week we still worked hard and did our best!!!

Tuesday I did exchanges in my district. I went with Elder Allred in his area. Elder Allred is from Kaysville and he came the same time as me but he came from Provo MTC not South Africa. We had an enjoyable time working together. He is a good guy and has good desires to work hard. So the exchange was successful!

Wednesday we had an awesome District meeting. I decided to watch Johny Lingo. I got a copy of it from another missionary. So we watched the old version of Johnny Lingo and spent 30 minutes talking about what we learned from the movie. We had a great discussion about the potential that people have and how we cannot be someones' judge. Everyone has Godly potential and it is our job to bring that out. Also we talked about pride and a bunch of other principles that come from Johnny Lingo. It was a great meeting! I like to do things that are different for my district meetings.
In the afternoon we had an awesome activity. There is a big supermarket in Gulu Town called Uchumi. We gathered all of the materials we had like Books of Mormon, Liahonas, pamphlets, pass-along cards, etc. Then we set up two tables with all of these materials and invited the prospective missionaries from both Branches. Starting at 4:00 we spent 3 hours contacting people and handing out everything. It was a huge success. The prospective missionaries did an amazing job talking to people and spreading the good news of the church. We wanted to do this activity because there are a lot of people in Gulu that have never heard of the church before. SO we used this to help spread the name of the church. At the end of the day we had a total of around 200 contacts of people that wanted to learn more. Pretty dang awesome!! That was a great experience and I think we are going to try and make it a once a transfer thing here in Gulu.

Sunday Church went very well except that we had only one investigator come. The sacrament attendance went up again. It has been steadily going up every week since I have been here. In Gulu the Sacrament attendance was dropping significantly and it got down to the 50's. Well now it is in the 80's and still going up!

Today we got our transfer news! Yea last week was the last of the transfer. So now it is a new transfer. I am staying in my area. Elder Phiri is going to Kampala to an area called Makindye. My new companion is a Congolese (from DRC) called Elder Mukengeshayi. Has been in Rwanda and is coming back to Uganda. He is coming on Thursday so I get to go a few days with no companion. Yay!

I cant believe that its April! My Birthday is in like 17 days! What? I am almost no longer a teenager. What is happening to me.....

Thats so weird that all of these young ones are getting their mission calls. What is happening to the world?
I got a Dearelder letter from Jana Bell. Thanks!! I love receiving letters!

We dont get to watch or listen to conference live here because it would be in the middle of the night. So we have to wait like two weeks after for them to send us the DVDs then we watch the DVDs at church with the Branch. Yay for being in Uganda.

I was cooking some eggs a few days ago. I cracked one and poured it into a bowl with a bunch of eggs to beat them together first. I realized after I put the egg in the bowl that it was all green. Then I smelled it. Holy cow rotten eggs smell sooooo bad!!! I literally almost puked. That was my first time to experience a real rotten egg. It was horrible.

I dont remember anything else exciting. Have a great week!

Love the Mzungu

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sacrament Meeting Attendance is Up!

So yesterday it rained and there was no power in Gulu so we couldn't email. So here we are today!

This week was awesome. Elder Phiri and had good days almost everyday! Our teaching pool exploded this week. We were able to get a lot of families and referrals from current investigators. Now we have almost too many people to teach. This coming week will be a struggle to be able to see everyone.

Everyday was full of people to teach. We taught a lot of wonderful lessons. I also did 6 baptism interviews for the zone leaders! I did 3 on Thursday and 3 on Friday. It was kinda exhausting. I was pretty tired after each set

Sunday church was great. Sacrament attendance went up again to 78. We have a nice steady increase since I have come here. My first week in Gulu there were 54, so the branch is growing. A lot of investigators and less active members are coming to church. We had a baptism. It was sister Jackie. She is the wife to Patrick, who we baptized my first week here. It was a great experience. Saturday we forgot to prepare everything for the baptism. So Sunday morning while in the shower I realized we never filled the font! So we scrambled to get that going. The font was filling all during church until the end of Sunday School and then the water in the tap was gone. The water goes out a lot just like the power goes out here. So the font was only filled to about mid thigh. Patrick baptized Jackie. It was his first baptism ever and he did it perfect the first time. He said the words exact with no help and he even got her all the way under in the low water. So that was a great experience.

In the evening on Sunday we had a celebration dinner at their house. Jackie cooked sooo much food! She made chappatis, rice, chicken, beef, potatoes, matooke, and lots of fruit. It was fantastic. Then after eating we watched the Joseph Smith movie on our little portable dvd player. That family is amazing.

Yesterday for Pday we had a zone activity with Elder and Sister Moore. All of us went to a place called Karuma Falls. I think that is the name, not sure though. It is on the Nile River. It was so beautiful. We had a picnic provided by the Moores. They made hamburgers, baked beans and potato salad. I love american food!!!! That was a super fun activity. I have some awesome pictures but today I forgot my card so I cant send you any pics.

Mom its easy to teach someone how to run the nursery. You just give them the book and tell them to read it!! Hahahaha :)

I know there's not much detail about this week. I hurt from this chair I am sitting on and its affecting my brain functions.. Hahaha :)

Have a good week
Love Elder LeCheminant

Monday, March 17, 2014

P-day At Chobe

Another week down. This week was pretty interesting. As usual a lot of unplanned events happened.

For starters, Wednesday in the morning we had our DDM. It was really awesome. As the DL I am in charge of planning it. Its kinda hard sometimes planning out the meeting every week. Like I still haven't planned the one for this week. Woohoo. Anyways one of the Elders gave a training about patience and I gave a training about forgiveness. It was really awesome. The spirit was there pretty strong. After that my companion got kinda sick again and we didnt go out to work. Then the AP's showed up to work with us. So I got to go out for the evening on Wednesday with one of the AP's. It was good to get out after sitting around all day.

Thursday morning President Chatfield came to do interviews with all of us. He has been going around the whole mission doing interviews. I love President Chatfield. He always encourages me so much to keep working hard. After all of the interviews the 8 of us had a meeting with him for an hour where he talked about a few things and then we were able to ask him any questions. It was a great experience. After that we had PIZZA for lunch!! Then we went out to work with one of the AP's again. It was a good experience. We spent most of the day finding people because we had to drop some people from our teaching pool. There was one funny experience. We met this old guy as we were walking. He stopped to talk to us. He said his name is Modest. Then he made it into an acronym. Man Of Discipline Educated Social Trustworthy. Haha it was so random and hilarious. We were just messing around with him and having a good time.

Friday and Saturday were just days of normal work. It did rain finally on Friday!!! It was so amazing. It was just drizzly rain all day long. It made things actually kinda cold. At night it is like 70 degrees now and I get kinda cold. I used to sweat to death at 70 degrees!! Saturday evening we met with Jackie. She is preparing to be baptized on the 23rd. Jackie is probably the most prepared person I have ever met for the gospel. Her and her husband Patrick are just amazing people. Jackie taught us the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson.

Sunday was a good day. At church there were improvements in the Branch. Patrick received the Priesthood! So now he can baptize his wife Jackie! Super exciting. He also gave a powerful talk in church about Hope, he was using scriptures all over the Book Of Mormon and D&C and he has only been a member for like 3 weeks! They are an amazing family. After sacrament we helped the Branch start a nursery. It was kinda hectic. But it needed to happen because all of the young babies were disturbing the Primary. Now we just need to train the new nursery leader how to run the nursery. Also, another good things that happened was that many of the recent converts received callings; Even Patrick. He was called to be the 2nd counselor in Sunday School. After church for lunch I made homemade caramel syrup and pancakes. Holy cow it was AMAZING!! Haha
 I just remembered that I also rolled my ankle pretty bad, I heard it pop really loud then it kinda hurt to walk for a while. Now it is just sore but nothing serious. It reminded me of dad messing up his ankle.

Then there is today. Today is probably one of my favorite Pdays. 5 of us went to Chobe. That is the safari lodge that I went to when I was in Lira forever ago. But we went today and it was amazing. We saw TONS of monkeys and baboons. Like hundreds of them all over the road. It was amazing. We also saw tons of giraffe, deer, and warthogs. At the lodge we got breakfast. Holy cow that was amazing. It cost 30000 but it was sooo much amazing food. Then I took a nap for an hour. It's soo peaceful falling asleep to the sound of the Nile River and birds and animals everywhere. Chobe is such a beautiful place. I love it there!!! On the way out we saw an Elephant!!! That is a beautiful creature. God is good at making amazing animals. The elephant had been rolling around in mud then we watched it scratch its whole body on a tree. I love elephants. Today was just an amazing day. Chobe is amazing its so hard to describe. At some point I will try to send some pics. :)

Also today I filled my memory card for my camera! I never thought it was possible but I did it. I think I will send it home with Elder Hofheins and you can get it from him when you go to Provo next month. There's lots of pics on it :)

I dont really know what else to say. Have a good week all! Until next week. One of my favorite quotes from Singles Ward 2

"He never said it would be easy, he only said it would be worth it."

I love that movie. Haha.... I will probably remember a lot of important things in a few hours. Oh well.

Love Elder LeCheminant

Monday, March 10, 2014

Baptism Interviews Left and Right

Greetings from Uganda!

This week was full of surprises. A lot of unplanned things happened. Well our plans never work out anyways but this week was extra unplanned events.

For starters we had a mission fast from Tuesday to Wednesday; it was an amazing experience. But that along with fasting on Sunday had some side effects. My comp and another Elder in the district got extremely dehydrated and sick Wednesday afternoon. Its soo hot and dry here in the north that fasting for 24 hours is a bit of a challenge. But we survived! So don't worry.

Then Thursday was interesting as well. We didn't get much done in the morning but we were able to go out after lunch and teach some people. We were talking to a couple about the Law of Chastity, then the husband starts to cry and he started telling us that he has another wife that lives in the village.  It was so sad to hear him tell us. So huge bummer! :( Later in the day we did have a great lesson. We taught a lady that we are also preparing for baptism soon. We had Sister Moore (the senior couple in Gulu) and the RS president in our branch come to the lesson. It was an amazing and spiritual lesson. So that was awesome.

Friday after lunch I did a baptism interview for the other Elders. She has been coming to church for about a year now but she is only 18 so she's been coming to church for a long time in order to be baptized. The interview was great even though it took over an hour to do! She is an emotional person and had a lot of things to talk about. But it was a success.Her baptism was on Sunday after church. It was a great baptism. She was so happy to finally be  baptized. After church she invited all of the missionaries to her house to celebrate. She made a cake and on the top she wrote "I am MORMON." It was a cool experience to see someones life change so much from the church.

Saturday morning all of the missionaries went to do service. We went to a member in the other Branch in Gulu. She broke her arm a while ago so she hasn'  t been able to wash clothes. So we spent three hours washing their clothes by hand! It was pretty fun. Then after lunch I wasn't feeling good. I got some small flu and it just knocked me out. So I slept for like 2 hours after lunch. Then I felt better and we went out to work.

Sunday was a great day. Church was great. I played the keyboard again. This time I actually did pretty good and only messed up a few times. In the evening after the baptism celebration we went to teach an investigator called Jackie. She is the wife to Patrick, a guy we baptized the week I got here to Gulu. Jackie reads every pamphlet like 3 times before we teach her. So lessons are basically her teaching us and we just make sure everything is understood. Well we decided to teach her with Patrick. Normally they work at different times so we couldn't see them together, but we got them together last night. We taught the Law of Chastity, then we extended a baptism invitation to Jackie and my heart was pounding like crazy and I couldn't find the words but I felt good about it inside. For some reason it took me forever to get the words straight to ask her the question. She immediately said YES with no hesitation at all. She said she was even ready to be baptized today. Well that made me so happy inside. Then I told her that Patrick will be receiving the priesthood and he will have the authority to baptize. She instantly got super excited and almost jumped out of her chair at the thought of her husband baptizing her. So that was a memorable experience. I love that family a lot.

Yay for Dad's surgery going good. I knew it would all be ok.
Lucky everyone gets to travel and have fun for spring break. Wish I could do that... haha :)

Holy cow super sad story about the Obergs dairy barn burning down. I kinda had tears in my eyes when I was reading the article. I don't know why they were there or where they came from. Haha tears are weird.

Love Elder LeCheminant

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Attendance Boosts and Mud Bricks

This week was an awesome week! We did a lot of great work helping the area progress. The Branch is new and there is a lot of teaching to do,  but that's what we get for being in a place where the church has only been for a couple of years! When Elder Bednar came in January he told everyone that we are the pioneers for the church in Africa. I have seen that firsthand here in Gulu. It makes me realize some of the things the pioneers in the early days of the church went through. 

Anyways, throughout the week we met a lot of people. Most of the time we spent just getting to know everyone and building relationships of trust. We have about 6 progressing investigators and 4 potential/planned baptisms for the 23rd of March. At church on Sunday we managed to boost the  attendance by 20 from the previous week. It was cool to see something good so soon come from our work.

I also played the keyboard in Sacrament Meeting. I will probably be playing every week while I am here because the members don't really know the hymns very well. I was playing from the hymns made easy book because I can play those with two hands now!! It was an interesting experience. Our closing hymn was a disaster. The congregation went off so I had try and adjust to them, then it messed me up which made it all worse, and it just went downhill. We barely made it through the hymn. Haha me and Elder Phiri were just laughing all day about it. Good times. 

Gulu is sooooooo HOT! My comp Elder Phiri has a clock with a thermometer on it. Since last Wednesday the temps are ridiculous. During the day and night inside the house the temp is between 85 and 90 degrees even with the fans constantly on. I sleep completely uncovered on my bed with a fan blowing on me and its still hot. Then outside during the day it is between 100 and 115 degrees. Yea I am sweating a lot!!! Hopefully before next year I will be somewhat used to the heat. My Alaskan blood is gone :(

Monday we spent the whole morning doing service as a zone. There was someone in my area that was making bricks. After making the bricks they stack them in a giant oven thingy and burn the bricks to make them hard. Before burning they have to cover the entire outside with mud. So all of us spent about 3 hours making mud and throwing it onto the pile of bricks. It was tons of fun and I got super duper muddy everywhere! I love playing in mud. 

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That so awesome that you know the Hoffheins from Provo!!!!!!! Elder Hoffheins is an awesome guy and we have a ton of things in common with sports and life and such. He said he knows the Logans very well. Its a bummer that he is finishing at the end of this month. 

Good luck dad with the surgery.

Congrats Joey for being accepted to the Lord's University!!!!! Haha :)

I cant imagine Jacob driving the by-side-by-side by himself. Scary thought! 

Thanks for everything!

Love ME