Monday, December 8, 2014

The Finale - December 8, 2014

Dearest People out there!

I look forward to seeing you this week and think it will be very exciting. This last week we had a baptism—Janet is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. It was a nice way to finish. On top of that Elder Whitworth will be training a new missionary this next transfer! Basically he just finished his own training and will now be a trainer! This is awesome. He is a boss for sure.

Good news of the week is that this Saturday, we will have another baptism. Of course, I won’t be there but I am so happy that Amos has chosen to be baptized. It will be a good experience for Elder Whitworth and Elder Dabb (the newbie).

Unfortunately, I am not feeling 100% right now so my email is short. Thanks for all of the support during the past two years. See you soon!

Love you all

Elder Bitter

P.S. In answer to the question of timing, I head to the mission home on Tuesday. I am unsure what I will be doing all day Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving over a Fire Pit - December 1, 2014

A lot has happened this week. We have narrowed down the people we are teaching. The ones who have chosen to continue are very promising.

One that is doing well is Sister Janet. She is the sister to Tony Atyang who was baptized a few months ago. She is a seamstress. Most of her work is repairing and patching clothing. This is a steady job which is awesome; but not an easy one.

The other people that we are continuing with are Helen, Amos, and Vincent. They are doing really well also but are moving quite a bit slower; yet, this is not a problem. In fact, it is actually a really good thing because Elder Whitworth will have someone to work with when I leave. It is really hard to start from scratch and have a new companion. Instead he will be able to continue with these people while teaching his new companion the area and finding others to teach.

This past week went by so fast. First because we were working and doing a lot of teaching, second because we had a great Thanksgiving activity. It was awesome and fun! I guess the most notable thing regarding this activity is that I ate a chicken head! For our Thanksgiving, we had some of the other Elders come and we all pitched in for a BBQ. Fortunately, our fire pit was finished. We put charcoal in the pit and laid a grate covered with foil over the coals. While the coals were getting ready, we marinated the chicken in a lemon sauce. The food was good!

Also, this week we traveled to Kampala and had a planning meeting for our goals for the next year for the mission. Our focus was moving the mission forward. On the way back from Kampala, (We were carpooling with the Gulu Elders trying to save money.) Elder Wolfenstein got pulled over. He did not have the money to pay for a ticket…so he looked at me and said, “Bitter you gotta help me on this one.”

The next thing I knew, I was cracking jokes and teasing the police officers. We were having a good old time! After a bit, I was out of the car playing with their radar gun. I was actually checking the speed on cars going by while the officers were cracking jokes. After playing around for about ten minutes, they let us off and gave Elder Wolfenstein the sign “free to go”. It was pretty awesome.

Lastly, I was able to witness the birth of a lamb. It was cool to see the miracle of life.

That is all I have for this week. Thanks for all you do! I appreciate you!  I am sorry that my emails have been short lately. Lots of work to do.


My High School in California

Yes, it is a chicken head!
Chicken for our BBQ!

Watching our fire pit do its work!
Our Thanksgiving Dinner!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Fire Pit - November 24, 2014

Email time again! This letter will be short again because I don’t have a lot to say.

This week went by really, really fast! We are teaching a lot of great people. Each of them is scheduled to be baptized around the end of December. We have seen so many miracles as we teach these people. If you remember, we had a lot of referrals over the past few weeks. ALL of these people are progressing and learning about the gospel. Each in his/her own way is showing great interest in the gospel. The best part is that they already have a “friend foundation” in the church. This is so crucial to progress. When an investigator is introduced as a friend to a member, they feel more comfortable and welcome.

Over the last week, I have received phone calls and requests from people wanting my stuff. It is kind of funny.

Elder Leavitt, Whitworth, and I are currently digging a pit in our yard. We plan to line the pit with brick. On Thanksgiving we will be making tin foil dinners and cooking them in the pit to celebrate. And on top of that, the next missionaries will have a bonfire pit for roasting meat etc. It will be awesome!

Sorry that is all the time I have. This upcoming week will be a busy one. We will be traveling a lot, delivering stuff and other zone things. I will try to allow more time next week.

Sure love ya all,
Elder Bitter

Monday, November 17, 2014

Starting from Scratch - November 17, 2014

Well hello everyone!

This week went by really fast because we had a lot of work we needed to do. Two weeks ago, a large majority of the people that we were teaching decided they no longer wanted to learn about the gospel. So we had to start from scratch.

This past week, we were rushing as fast as we could to find and set up things so that we would have work for the rest of the year. We spent a lot of that time talking to members and getting names of people and then visiting with them. It went pretty well. I was surprised actually how well it went. The Lord really helped us out!

We were introduced to a lot of extended family members that are interested and happy to hear the gospel. This is just awesome. Because branching out and bringing families together in the church is what it is all about. I really love to see families being linked and united!

The people that we are currently teaching are Jannat, Hellen, Vincent, Kennedy, Amos, and Margaret.

Jannat is Tony’s niece. She is living with him and his family. She is planning to live with them for years. Hellen is the sister to Grace (The older lady that was baptized some time back). Hellen lives in Mbale just near the chapel. I am so grateful about this because when she goes back to Mbale, she can still attend church. Often when someone moves back to their home village or town, there just isn’t a church within reasonable distance.

Vincent is another relative to Tony that has a business in town. He is a smart guy that lives on his own but is doing well for himself.

Kennedy and Amos are friends to a member named Geoffrey. They were introduced to us and we are now teaching them as well. They actually work together in a landscaping business.

Margaret is the only person in our previous investigators that did not decided she wanted to stop taking the lessons. Margaret and her husband are investigating the church. Margaret’s husband is currently unable to attend church due to having a stroke about 4 months back. He is slowly regaining the strength to walk and move around.

That’s all I have for today. Sure love you all!

Elder Bitter

Monday, November 10, 2014

Beauty of the Wild - November 10, 2014

Woot, woot! Hello everyone I will start by telling the story of the week (maybe the story of my mission)!

I have now been in Lira for almost six months. Some of us have been waiting for approval to go to a game park. Last week we finally got the okay. We piled in our truck (it was a little tight) and we drove down to a game park called Chobe at about 3:30 in the morning. Our purpose for leaving so early was to witness the sunrise at 6:00 am.

We made it just as the sun was coming up. We convinced the security guard to let us in before opening time. While one Elder drove the truck, the rest of us hopped into the back of the truck with our cameras and slowly began the drive through the reserve looking for the wild animals.

After driving for some time, we saw a herd of giraffe. Elder Frakes stopped the truck. We were all going crazy with our cameras. We were literally chasing them on foot hoping to gather them into a circle so that we could take some amazing photos. It was awesome!

We took a ton of pictures and did not succeed in gathering them into a group. In fact we accomplished just the opposite—we chased them away. When they were out of sight, we slowly worked our way back to the truck. We began to drive very slowing anticipating seeing more animals. THEN (I am not exaggerating) about 35-40 giraffe just starting running across the driving trail! As we watched these magnificent animals, we were yelling, cheering and screaming. It was an incredible experience!

After we watched the giraffe to our hearts content, we drove on. We were able to see wart hogs, weird birds, water buffalo, hippos, and monkeys. It was awesome! But the giraffe were the coolest of all.

Now for the work! Christine was baptized this week! This was a sweet experience—baptizing first Kalisto, then a little later his two boys, Ronald and Emmanuel, and now Christine. This brings the number to three baptized families in the last six months in the Lira branch. There are not many families in the Lira Branch so these families really increase the size of the branch. The really exciting thing about this family is that they are already talking about getting their passports so that when the time comes they will be ready to go to the temple! This is so cool and a great example for the rest of the members.

Kalisto has received the priesthood so he was able to baptize Christine. It was a really cool baptismal service. There was a different feeling at this baptize than the other baptisms for the other members of the family. I think the very fact that Kalisto was able to perform the ordinance made all the difference. Christine bore a super testimony about how she had been determined to never join the church. But after Kalisto’s baptism and over time, she saw the Lord blessing her family. She witnessed change in her family. When she finally agreed to take the lessons, she realized that there was something different about this gospel. She bore her testimony with humility and power.

Sure love you and hope all is well!

Have a good one,

Elder Bitter

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