Monday, November 24, 2014

Personal Improvement and General Conference

Well this was just another week of good, solid work. We spent a lot of time teaching many new investigators. We have tons of investigators preparing for baptism in the coming weeks. Next week we should have 3 or 4 baptisms and in December we will have many as well.

There were two really memorable moments this week. On Friday we were working with one of the AP's, Elder Wright, from Nephi, UT. He is in my group that came so we are like mission brothers. Anyways, we had a great day with him. We both learned a lot from him and his example throughout the day. There was one thing that he helped us with; he gave us advice that when we are doing our planning for the next day after we come home, to plan what we will be studying in personal and companion study the next morning. I know it seems like common sense but no one has ever suggested it to me. Well, we tried it out and it works really well! I feel kinda dumb because I have never done it before but its ok, life is about growing and improving :). So if anyone is struggling with studies. Try planning out exactly what you will be studying the day before so you can be organized and so the spirit can assist you.

The second wonderful experience is that we finally got to watch General Conference!! All of the Branches in the Jinja District watched conference this past weekend. On my side it was a powerful spiritual experience. I learned soo many things about myself and things that I can improve on in my life. Sister Chatfield gave us some advice to help make conference a good experience. She recommended that we come up with 3 or 4 personal questions that we are looking for answers to, then throughout the conference sessions look for the answers to your questions. For me it was amazing! I found at least one answer in every talk that was given and there were several talks that completely focused on my questions. It was pretty cool! My companion also had some personal questions that were very different from mine and he had the same experience. It's amazing what the spirit can teach you sometimes. So I recommend that this coming April when we have conference again that everyone does the same thing. There were too many talks that were really good so I won't point out any.

There was one main thing that I learned. It is that we need to take responsibility for the situation we are in, we can't blame others and point fingers, but we can ask ourselves what we can personally do to help the situation. Just pointing fingers at others doesn't help anything, it just causes feelings of anger. Whatever situation we are in, we can personally do something to help out! Elder Mkutswana and I have been applying that in everything we have been doing to help our zone with certain issues. It really does work and life becomes much more enjoyable.

That's all for this week.

¡Espero que tengas una semana buena!

Elder LeCheminant

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lots of Growing Experiences!

So this week was just a good week with a lot of learning and growing experiences.

On wednesday we had our Zone Meeting. It was an awesome meeting and we had some good discussions. One major topic that we discussed was building unity in the zone. Everyone in the zone participated and was actively involved in the discussion. That was nice because then it wasn't just me and Elder Mkutswana standing and talking the whole time. We also made a cool program for the meeting. I will attach the program so you can see our creativity skills!

We spent each day teaching a lot of the people we found last week. We have soo many awesome people that are now progressing towards baptism. Currently we are planning 5 baptisms on the 30th of Nov which is super exciting.

We have been teaching the family of Kenneth and Betty. They are school teachers and are the ones who walked into the church last week. They are soo eager to learn the gospel that sometimes they want to learn everything all at once, which is impossible. It is kinda a problem but it is a good problem. They are a fun family to teach.

On Saturday we did exchanges in Bugembe. I worked with Elders Allred and Erau. Elder Erau is a Ugandan and he is among the group of missionaries who came from Sierra Leone when that mission was closed from the Ebola stuff. When the Sierra Leone and Liberia missions were closed all of the missionaries went back to their own countries. Elder Erau is awesome! He was fun to work with and we had a good day working there in Bugembe.

Church yesterday was awesome!!!!! At the beginning we thought there would be no one there. Then during the course of Sacrament Meeting there ended up being 95 people, which is more than the number of chairs we had! So we were scrambling around trying to find more chairs. We ended up with 10 investigators and also there were a few new people that just showed up for the first time that we now have to teach. Yay!!!!

Today we did a combined zone activity with Jinja Zone. We went to a place called 'The Source Of The Nile'. It is a small park that is at the place were the River Nile begins from Lake Victoria. It starts from Lake Victoria in Jinja, then travels 4000 miles going through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt where it reaches the Mediterranean Sea. So that was pretty cool!!! It was a nice touristy place. There were also a ton of tour boats there and even some nice boats for playing. That made me miss home a ton!! Just being next to water and seeing boats everywhere. They also had a reptile park that had some snakes and turtles and crocodiles, so we went there to look around. As we were walking around we found two donkeys sitting there! We took advantage of the donkeys and would go and sit on them and take pictures. Then as me and Elder Halladay were sitting on them we started to race. Haha it was soo fun! Today I raced a donkey. That's something I will probably never do again.

Congrats Sarah for 3rd place in State Volleyball.

I am tired and hungry. So that is all my brain can handle for now. I love you all!!
Quote from President Chatfield, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut." (said with his thick southern states/Utah/cowboy accent and while talking about finding new investigators. But you can apply to any situation)

Elder LeCheminafrica

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Milking Cows and Riding Goats

This was a fantastic week full of many wonderful spiritual experiences. Because of time I will just tell you about two cool things that happened.

First of all last week Elder Ellis from the ASEA (Africa South East Area) Presidency came to do a mission tour. So we had a combined zone conference with Jinja Zone on Tuesday with Elder Ellis. It was really cool and we learned tons of things.

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Another awesome experience happened Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we had a full schedule of appointments for the day, after lunch all but one of those appointments fell through. We were suddenly left with nothing to do. We were at the church when this happened, so we sat down to go through our back up plans and redo the schedule for the rest of day. Then suddenly a guy walks into the church and it was obvious that he was really confused about the whole church and what was going on, so we went to talk to him. His name is Kenneth. As we were talking to him he said he was just in town doing some things and then saw the church. He said he had never seen it before so decided to come and check it out. That was precisely the time that all our appointments fell through and we were at the church. So we continued talking to him and ended up doing a tour of the church. Then his wife and two kids walked in as well; they seemed really interested and promised to come to church on Sunday. Then Sunday came around and they actually showed up!!! They stayed for all three meetings and enjoyed the whole experience. In the evening we went to their house to visit them. After a small discussion and then answering a ton of questions about church they started telling us that they had been going around from church to church for a long time and had recognized apostasy in each of the churches they visited. So they were kinda starting to give up going to church; but now they say they really enjoyed the way we do things and they promised to come again. This family was awesome!!! They are sincere, honest, seekers of the truth. Its almost like the story of Joseph Smith!

This week we were blessed in many ways. On Sunday we had 10 investigators at church and most of them were from two families. We received 11 referrals this week as well. The work is moving forward here in Iganga. Its just fantastic.

Also there was a day we did service for the Elders Quorum President again. We milked his cows and then cleaned up the animal poop, then we played with one of his goats! It is a fun goat with a funny personality. We were just messing around with it and pushing it around and I got the idea to sit on top of it! I know it probably wasn't the smartest thing to do. But I "rode" the goat for a few seconds. It was a lot of fun!

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My mind is tired and I cant think of anything else. Have a fantasmic week! I love you all.

Elder LeCheminafrica

Monday, November 3, 2014

"The Worst Best Man Ever"

Another week of ups and downs. Literally driving up and down all over the place! :)

Tuesday we did some service for our Elders Quorum President. We went out to his house and helped clean up the area where he keeps his animals. Then we MILKED HIS COWS. It was soo much fun! I had never milked a cow before so I took advantage of this opportunity. After milking the cows we took them out to a place on his property where he lets them graze. It was soo beautiful. We were sitting in a big section of scattered pine trees and the cows were just wandering around eating the grass. It was sooo incredibly peaceful and beautiful. I think we are going to go there regularly now.

Then Wednesday we had to help with the transfers. This transfer all the zone leaders did the transfers. In the past it has been the senior couples doing the driving but this time it was us. So we were driving all morning and we didn't get back to Iganga until the afternoon sometime.
Thursday in the morning we finished the Home Teaching lists with the Elders Quorum Presidency. Then after lunch I took Elder Mayeya, our DL, to do our baptism interviews. He interviewed Joy, James, and Victoria. With traveling and other things we didn't end up getting back until around 8:00. So we spent the rest of the night visiting a family in the Branch and playing card tricks with them. Oh yea that reminds me, my comp and I have started doing card tricks when we visit people. Its a great way to break the ice or to finish off a visit. So if anyone has any good card tricks I would love it if you could tell me them! :)

Friday we left to Kampala for MLC. We left at around 7:15. Then, after stopping at everyone in the zone, we reached Kampala at around 11:00. We stopped at the Mission Office to get some supplies, then we went to the South African Embassy because my companion wanted to inquire about getting a replacement for his driving licence that he lost a few months ago. The part of Kampala that the embassy was in was waayyy to nice! We didnt feel like we were in Uganda anymore. It was a cool experience going to the SA Embassy. Then we went to a shopping mall to try to find an American football. We wanted to start playing flag football on Mondays when we are in Jinja, but the store we went to didn't have any. Then we went to the distribution center and then to the Mission Home for MLC. The meeting was fantastic!!!! I saw Elder Buyers for the first time in about a year. He is now a zone leader in Mukono. After MLC we went out to eat at a Chinese Restaurant. It was really good chinese food except that it was waaayyy to spicy. There was a point were I was almost crying for about 20 minutes because it was so spicy.

The drive back on Saturday morning was fantastic! It took us about an hour less to get to Jinja than it normally does. There was almost no traffic. We rushed back to Iganga to attend the traditional wedding of the couple who served in Kenya. If you remember we were with them several weeks ago when the guy came back from Utah. The ceremony was pretty cool. It was a great way to experience another aspect of Uganda's culture. We wore some traditional clothing as well. The traditional clothing for men is a Kanzu. It is like a white dress with some little designs in it and you wear it with a suit coat. It is so hard to walk around in a dress! I don't know how women do it. Anyways, the women wear a traditional dress called a gomesi. It has pointed shoulders and is made of very colorful fabric. It can be made out of almost any color. The picture is of me and my companion and Sister from the Branch.

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 After the traditional part, the church took over to do the formal wedding. Shaun wore his Marines uniform which was pretty cool. Then literally 2 minutes before that part started they called me up to be the best man because the one who was supposed to be there didn't show up. Since I was the only other white person they assumed I was his brother so they made me be the best man. I seriously had no idea what to do! So I just stood there to look good in the pictures. I was probably the worst best man ever. It was kinda a cool experience though.

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Sunday we had the baptism of Joy and her two kids. It was awesome! We had the primary participate in the whole service because the two kids are in the primary.

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Thanks for the hunting pics dad! They make me happy.
Mom I just remembered. When we were in Kampala we met an Elder called Elder Ruell. He is from Manti UT and knows the Cooks and the Schiesses. Just something cool for you. You can let then know or something. :)

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That's all that my brain can handle for now. Enjoy the pictures. This week a member of the ASEA Presidency called Elder Ellis is touring the mission. So I will tell you about that next week.

Elder LeCheminafrica