Monday, March 25, 2013

Rwanda: Land of 10,000 Hills - March 25, 2013

Here’s a letter to remember -- this one goes in the record books for me.

On Tuesday we were all patiently waiting for transfer news to come. We all wanted to know if we were staying or getting sent to another area in Uganda. Transfer news doesn’t come until Wednesday mid-day so we just continued on with our day but still speculated. As the day progressed I came to the conclusion that Elder Bulloch would be staying. Elder Bulloch came to the conclusion also that I would be staying. With that join conclusion we were both pretty happy since we get along really well and have seen a lot of successes. We continued to talk about what we wanted to do and who we wanted to focus on for the next six weeks as we walked around the area teaching people and finding new investigators.

We had a very successful day. We were able to see a lot of people who had recently been baptized and we were able to talk to them about the importance of always staying clean and worthy. It is really cool to see the change in people after they had been baptized. For example, Robert who was baptized a few weeks ago has really changed. When we use to meet with him, he was always quiet, reserved and just kind of shy. You couldn’t tell if he really liked the message we were sharing with him. Since he was baptized he has completely changed. He is always very excited to meet with us. He is now talkative and happy. When we teach him he is smiling and listening and you can see that he is really learning. As he sits there you can see in his eyes that he understands and is enjoying everything we are teaching him. He always has really good questions that apply to the topic.

It’s really cool to see how people change and grow from experiences such as baptism. Before Robert was baptized he had been struggling to find a job. Once he had been baptized he found a job in two weeks. Things like this just really show that the Lord blesses those that come closer to him. The best part about his job is that it does not conflict with him coming to church. He really received a great blessing because it seems that no one in Uganda has a job that does not have to work on Sundays. The lord really blessed Robert.

Wednesday came (like always) :) Like Tuesday, Wednesday started out good and just kept getting better and better. We went for our daily run and it was awesome. After we finished our daily routine we conducted our weekly DDM. DDM is District Development Meeting. During this meeting Elder Mgijima, Elder Chuya, Elder Bulloch, and I all meet together to talk about how we can improve for the rest of the week and the upcoming week. We talked about all the areas we needed to improve on and set goals for the next 6 weeks, 6 months and one year. This really helped us see what we needed to do to improve and what steps we needed to make to get there.

After we had finished DDM we all left to teach our lessons to all of our investigators and recent converts. At this point it was about 2:30 in the afternoon. We were walking from an appointment we had with an investigator to an appointment we had with a member of the church who has not come for almost a year. He is a really cool guy who is always welcoming and happy to see us. His name is Omo (same as a washing machine soap found here). As we were meeting with Imo, I couldn’t stop thinking about transfer news. My mind was excited to hear if I was staying in this area or not. I wanted to stay because was getting really comfortable with the area, I knew where everyone lived, I knew all the members names and I knew where all the investigators where (and so on and so on). I really liked being with Elder Bulloch. He is a hardworking, fun missionary that is always ready to go teach.

As we were teaching Omo, Elder Bulloch got a phone call. He excused himself from the discussion and walked over to a ledge about twenty feet away and sat down. As he was sitting I was watching him closely so that I could guess what was going on. He instantly jumped up and had a concerned look on his face like someone had just died. After the phone call was over he came back and sat down with us and continued to teach Omo with me. After we had finished up the lesson we ended with a closing prayer and left. As we walked I expecting him to tell me what the phone call was about. Instead of telling me he just walked in silence. After about two minutes of this the conversation went something like this:

Me: "ummm so are you going to tell me about the phone call?"

Elder Bulloch: "The Assistants called and we got our transfer news"

Me: "Sweet. So what’s the story? What’s happening? Are we staying or are we getting split up?"

Elder Bulloch: "You know I feel that I shouldn't tell you until dinner tonight so you can think about it and try to guess some more"

Me: "Hahah dude. Come on. Let’s hear it. Am I staying or am I going? Are you staying or are you going? What’s the story?"

At this point, Elder Bulloch just stopped dead in his tracks, looks at me and says " I’m staying in this area and I’m still the zone leader. As for you, you are being sent to Rwanda!"

I couldn't believe it. I was just stood there all confused. What! Are you serious? I kept asking him if he was being honest or not. I was having trouble believing him. This went on for five minutes -- me not believing him and him telling me, “no I’m serious your leaving”. I was stunned.

Truth be told, I am now in Rwanda so I guess the transfer news was true after all. I am now with Elder Terry. We get along perfectly and I really like working with him. He is from South Carolina and has serving for about 14 months. He is the Zone leader over Rwanda. I’m with a zone leader for the third time.

A little fun fact for you all is that Rwanda just opened up to missionaries a few months ago. There are only six missionaries in Rwanda at this time and I am one of those six. An even cooler fact is that I am the eighth missionary ever to enter Rwanda. This is one awesome experience. I feel really blessed to be here. It is a remarkable place. The Lord really gave me a wonderful opportunity to be out here and I am extremely grateful for it. This is a really precious area. My companion explained to me that us being out here is a true blessing because we are the test pilot missionaries. Rwanda is seeing if we are constructive, so we have to be extremely responsible to not mess things up. If we mess it up, other missionaries may not be allowed to come into Rwanda ever again.

I can’t explain how lucky I feel to be here with these people. The people here are remarkable, so kind and quite classy. They may not have much money but they treat their country very well and treat each other even better. It’s really interesting how it became like this. The genocide that happened here changed everything. The people now want nothing but peace. They avoid war and contention at all costs. They will do anything to keep the peace. Before the genocide, the people were split into the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. After the genocide they decided to get rid of the separation by tribes and made themselves all one tribe. You can still see the physical differences in the people so you know what tribe they are originally from, but now they are no longer separated. They are together in everything.

In Rwanda there are a few things you never do (my companion has let me know ahead of time). You never ever ask what tribe someone is from. You never ever ask about the genocide. You never ever ask if people were in the genocide. These seem like common sense to me but I guess it is better to be warned then make the mistake. There are some pretty crazy stories about how these good people survived the genocide. They have to bring it up -- you can’t ever ask them about it. It is still a very sensitive topic because it happened so recently. Things have really changed here since that time. It is now peaceful, safe and has a good culture. I feel really blessed to be here and have the opportunity to experience this.

I don't know if I will be here for one transfer or many transfers. I would love to stay here for a very long time. I love this place. There is really nothing to complain about. It is such a blessing to be here. I truly hope that the government opens up and allows more missionaries in. The people here are so ready for the gospel. They are not only ready but when they find out about the gospel they are dedicated to it. Once people here find the gospel and learn about the freedoms it brings they are committed to it for good. It’s a really amazing thing.

One fun fact about Rwanda is that it is called the land of a thousand hills. Well, let me tell you, it’s more like the land of ten-thousand hills. I’m pretty positive that while I am serving here I will get some pretty strong legs. The hills here are super-steep and my legs are burning like crazy once I reach the top.

To show you how dedicated the people here are, I want to tell you about a guy named Isaac. Isaac has been a member of the church for about two and a half months now.  Isaac lives about three hours away from the church. Every single Sunday, he walks for three hours to get to church, he then sits and listens to church for three hours, then he walks back home for another three hours. That’s nine hours for church every Sunday. That is not all. Isaac really wants to serve a mission after being a member for a year. He wants to be a missionary so badly that he works with us every single day. He literally does work with us every single day. He is so excited to work with us that he wakes up at 6:30 to get ready. He walks for three hours. He works with us all day and then he takes a taxi home. This guy is an inspiration all on his own. He is a remarkable member of the church. He was just baptized and he has already almost finished Alma in the Book of Mormon. Just remarkable.

I am out of time and have to go. I hope that this letter was a good read. I really tried to explain how great of a blessing it is to be here and how excited I am to be in this great country. It is an awesome thing.

I am sorry no pictures this time. I just had too much to write and my camera is messed up so getting pictures might take a little longer than before.

I really love you all


Elder Bitter

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Ab-Roller Tender Mercy - March 18, 2013

Well, let us begin the journey through this last past week.

This week has been a tough one – humbling to say the least. I guess it’s a good thing because it really keeps you in check.


Tuesday we started our day with our first appointment. When we got there, we knocked on the door and no answer. We knocked again, and again, and again. Well, after knocking for some time we finally came to the conclusion that he was not there. We looked at each other and decided that we would start finding new investigators till our next appointment. We continued looking for new investigators but we could not find anyone who was truly interested. They were all the same. We would knock on the door and they would say praise god and welcome you in. After being welcomed in we would sit and chat for a bit to get to know the person. We would proceed to pray and teach the lesson. Each and every time the person seemed to have a strange addiction to looking at their phone as if they were trying to say, “Holy cow, it has been only two minutes since these guys got here and I already want them gone.” It’s kind of funny looking back, but in the moment it was pretty sad to experience.

As the day continued on we had a few other appointments that we had previously confirmed with our investigators. We went to those appointments and as we got there we found that they were not at home. We continued with this pattern without seeing any of our investigators. This day was just going to be one of those days that nothing planned works.


On Wednesday we had a pretty average day -- nothing too rough or too sad but also nothing that too great. We taught one lesson in the day that stands out more than the rest of the discussions. We met with one of our investigators named Latiff. As we were teaching the restoration we began to notice that he was seemed less interested than what was normal. After teaching him for some time it came to the point where he was staring at the ceiling instead of looking at us. We stopped the lesson and asked him what was wrong. We found out that he got baptized by some other random church on Sunday. He was supposed to come to church with us on Sunday but he never showed up. Instead, he walked into another church and was baptized. I just kind of sat there in amazement. It was one of those moments where I was speechless. In the end of our meeting, he indicated that he might still come visit our church -- so far he hasn’t come. We will see what happens in the end. I have learned that it is never over.


Thursday things finally started to change for the better. Elder Bulloch and I were kind of tired of having appointments cancelled and being dropped by our investigators. That all seemed to be changing once Thursday came around. We decided to go look for new investigators in an area we hadn’t been to in some time. The area is called zone 4. As we entered zone 4 we began to just start knocking doors. After knocking a few doors we ran into a guy named Immanuel. He is awesome. It was so nice to finally meet someone who actually wanted to hear the gospel. We sat on the ground and taught him about faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end (The Doctrine of Christ 2 Nephi 31). He was really excited to learn about the gospel and even accepted a baptism date down the road. What a great feeling.

After teaching Immanuel, we met two people who are living together that were named James and Emma. They were both about 27 and just the nicest people. We taught them the Doctrine of Christ as well and they were really willing to hear the message. We were excited about it as well. Finally, we had a few successes. After teaching them, we tracted out a lady named Goretty. Goretty actually called us over and asked us to teach her. We were able to teach her because we happened to have a member with us at that time. As we taught her she began to ask many questions. After teaching her, she then gave us booklets about the church she attends. She was a good missionary and was trying to get us to come and visit her church instead of learning about ours. It was a pretty fun and interesting situation.


By the time Friday came around, the week started to look OK. We were expecting the trend to continue. Well in the end, Friday was just an average day but did have one cool experience. We have been teaching this guy named Mike and he is a really soft hearted guy that just kind of loves everyone. We have taught him all the lessons and we are continuing to teach him as he struggles to commit to baptism. We had previously taught him the word of wisdom and the ‘no tea’ part was really hard for him. He began to tell us how he had stopped taking tea. His family was bugging him because they always took tea together as a family. The cool part was that he was willing to explain to his family that he didn't want to take tea because he really wanted to find out if this church was true and if this ‘no tea deal’ was important or not. He was truly testing it all out and truly praying about it. As he continued to tell us his experiences he began us that since he has stopped taking tea he hasn’t had the cravings for it. This was really exciting to hear.


Saturday was a really interesting day and one of the roughest days of the mission so far. I also re-learned that Lord really cares for us and does the small and simple things for us. God does care and wants to help us out and make us happy so that we can enjoy life and continue on.

We woke up did our normal morning routine and left the apartment at 10:00 as always. We had multiple appointments to keep and we were ahead of schedule so we would not be late for anyone. As we got to our first appointment we knocked on the door had no answer. We adjusted, and visited a person that lived nearby. That person was gone as well. We then decided to look for new investigators until our next appointment. We didn't find anyone to teach during that whole hour block. We moved on to our next appointment and there was no answer again. More tracting – no success. This processes continued all morning until 12:30 pm.

At 12:30 we visited with one of our investigators named Wilfred. As we entered his home, we could feel that there was something different in the home. There wasn't the happiness felt previously. We sat down and he told us that he no longer wanted to be baptized because he had heard and read some things online. We tried to explain that all the things he had heard were not true. He did not care anymore and didn’t want to do anything with the church. He cancelled his baptism that was supposed to be yesterday. This was a killer to us because he was happy as could be on Tuesday and then on Thursday but then no longer wanted to investigate. Just like that.

After that crushing blow, we went over to another one of our investigators homes named Charles. As we entered the home the feeling was still good. As we sat down with Charles, he looked at us and said, “there is a problem”. As soon as I heard those words I felt like saying nnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooo, not again. Charles went on to explain that he would not be able to be baptized because he can’t attend church. His boss said that he couldn't go to church because it was taking him away from work. Well, in the end Charles chose work over church. Another killer blow to the day.

After all this we continued to struggle to get any lessons taught. It just seemed that no one was home and no one wanted to hear our message. At this point I was just extremely discouraged and couldn’t even think straight. On top of all of that it was very hot. We needed to drive to an area called Intinda because Elder Bulloch had to perform a baptismal interview for the missionaries in that area. As we drove it was really quiet because both of us were really struggling mentally. We conducted the interview and then we took the missionaries back to their apartment. Once we were at the apartment I asked if I could use their restroom. As I was walking towards the bathroom I saw the biggest bucket of protein powder in my life.

My curiosity sparked as to what kind of protein it was. As I picked up the bucket, the lid tore of the top and the whole thing crashed to the ground. I expected to see a huge mess but instead found the bucket just contained trash. As I picked up the trash I discovered two ab-roller wheels. This was a huge excitement to me because for the past 9 weeks I have been using an ab-roller that had a broken wheel and another wheel that was completely worn out. I asked the Elders if they wanted them or not. They didn’t even know what they were and just gave them to me.

For the past 9 weeks I have been trying to find a way to fix the two wheels on my ab- roller that I inherited from a prior Elder. I had tried everything and nothing was working. After receiving these two wheels I began to sit and think about how the Lord really takes care of us and makes our days OK. I think the Lord really knew that the day was rough for me and helped me find something to help. I know that it is kind of a weird thing to say but it really changed my whole outlook on the day. This helped me to just smile and say that the day was good.


On Sunday I had the opportunity to baptize a women named Agatha. This was a really cool baptism because she has been investigating the church for almost two years and she just decided to get baptized. Last week and she chose me to baptize her. Her husband is in the branch council and he has been hoping for her to get baptized for a long-long time. It was just a really humbling experience to baptize her. I only taught her once. During that one lesson instead of asking her to be baptized I found it more appropriate to teach her something different. I taught her about a mother’s prayer for her children. How strong it is and how much it blesses the children. A week or so after, her assigned missionaries extended the offer of baptism. She accepted as long as I baptized her. It was a really cool because it united a whole family together in the church. I didn't do much to help her progress in the gospel but I was still very grateful for the opportunity.

We also had two more baptisms of our own. Eric and Isaac were baptized. I would like to talk about their baptism but I’m running low on time. It was a really wonderful thing to see them get baptized. We have been teaching them for a long time.


I will send lots of pictures next week of a little adventure that elder Migijima and I had by climbing a very high tower to take some sweet pictures. You’ll get the scoop next week. Awesome view.


Steve/Elder Bitter

Monday, March 11, 2013

Little Clay Ovens - March 11, 2013

Hey Everyone :)

The weeks are speeding up. Everyone always said that the two years fly -- at this rate they really will. One moment I am emailing home and the next moment it seems that I am emailing again.

This week we have had a lot of successes when it comes to teaching lessons. It seems that lessons have been just falling into our laps. We had been really hoping for the best and trying to do our best so that we could end the last two weeks of the transfer on a high note. We really just put our heads down and tried to get a lot done this week. In spite of that, the week started off a little shaky. We continued to push forward and the blessings flowed. As we walked around corners people would say, “Awwww elders how are you how have you been”? We would just look at each other in surprise and then ask the person who they were. Almost every single time that people greeted us this way, they had previously been investigating the church very seriously. They had discontinued the discussions because of business (business trips here last for up to a year). We have people that used to be investigating the church just fall into our laps asking to be taught. I love those moments.

We have really been focusing on our current investigators instead of finding people. This has made scheduling really tricky to find enough time to teach everyone and plan new appointments. It’s all worth it. Everyone needs the gospel so it is a great thing to see the amount of people we have to teach grow.

At the beginning of the week we had 6 baptisms planned for next Sunday March 17th. I was really excited and we were trying our best to visit all of them at least every other day so that they would not get tempted and lose sight of their goal. We did a good job of meeting with each of them. Their names are Oscar, Isaac, Dan, Wilfred, Eric, Jimmy, and Latif. A good rule in the Ugandan mission is that you can’t baptize someone if they don't come to church a certain number of times. All of these people were right on track to hit just the right amount of Sundays so that they could be baptized on March 17th. Elder Bulloch and I were really excited.

This past Sunday rolled around and only 4 of them showed up. This was kind of a bummer we then had to push back the baptism dates of the two people that didn't show up to church. On the bright side there are still 4 people who are ready to be baptized next Sunday. :) It was just kind of sad to push back two baptism dates -- but you know the rules are the rules.

So far, all is good with me. :) Elder Bulloch and I decided that we would start running in the morning with Elder Migijima and Elder Chuya. Oh my goodness! Running with two people from South Africa who have been running every single day of their lives is super tough. I feel like my lungs and legs are going to give out during some of the dirt hills we run up. I can say that I keep up for the most part (which is a nice feeling).

On Wednesday we had a meeting with the missionaries throughout the entire zone. We met with them and talked to them about how things are going and how we all can improve ourselves to be a more successful zone. It was a really interesting meeting to say the least. Some of the missionaries were just disrespectful to the Zone Leaders that were conducting and leading the meeting (elder Chuya & Bulloch). It was unbelievable. I just sat there and listened in amazement as a very select few were trying to show off by being disrespectful. It was kind of funny because in the end I kind of snapped at them. They all tightened up and shaped up. I felt kind of dumb about snapping at them but in all honesty I think it was long overdue for that meeting.

This week I was able to see some of the people that were in the MTC with me. They all seem to be doing pretty well. One of them is struggling because he stresses too much. Yes, missionary work is stressful but in all honesty it’s pretty fun. You can have a really good time while you’re doing it if you make it fun, just relax and take a breath every once and a while. I hope that he can work it out, be able to calm down a little and enjoy the ride.

I saw something this week that everyone will probably get a good little laugh at. In Uganda, they use these little clay ovens that are about the size of a soccer ball and cone shaped. These little clay oven get super-hot. In simple words they are crazy hot on the outside and deadly hot on the inside. They burn coal in these things and then put a pot or pan on top for cooking. You usually find these cooking stoves on the ground outside of doorways when they are in use. A few days back my companion and I are walking at dusk and we see this women coming toward us who is just glowing red. I couldn’t figure it out.

Her face was literally glowing red in the darkness. As I got closer and closer I thought that this woman must be a super-hero because she had one of these burning clay ovens balanced on her head. On top of the clay oven was a large pot with food cooking inside of it. I was dumbfounded and looked at her in amazement. Not only did she have a burning hot clay oven on her head but she also had a boiling pot of food on top of the oven. She had turned herself into a walking food stand. I couldn’t believe it. She was a work of art.

Here is another cool experience for this week about a man named Eric. He is not the same Eric who is getting baptized this Sunday. He is an investigator that has been taught for a very long time by many elders. He has not been able to give up alcohol during this time. In Uganda, they have these little spirits packs that are sold for next to nothing (500 shillings or the equivalent of about 20 cents in US money). Anyone who wants to drink can get ahold of these little alcohol bags that I would guess are about the equivalent of a shot in the United States. They are about 40% concentration -- pretty strong stuff. This guy has been drinking about 12 of these a day for a long time. Over the past few months he has been able to wean it down to fewer and fewer drinks every day. This week we committed him to drinking one every other day. And he has been able to do it so far and it is amazing to see. After one more week we are dropping it down to two a week. After that, one a week and then finally, no more. It is really cool to see his countenance change as he slowly works his way off of the alcohol. I love it. I think he is going to make it :) He came to church this Sunday. Just awesome :)

The Lord’s work is moving along here. We really work hard and we try to do everything exactly as the mission president asks. There are a lot of blessings that come from this. It is amazing to see how things have changed while I have been here. The gospel really changes people and blesses their lives. The gospel is really here for all of us -- everyone on the earth.

I decided to try a new local food this week and it a good idea! It was probably one of the best dishes that I have had in a long time. Either my standards in food have really dropped since I have been here or this dish was just awesome :) To be honest it is probably a little bit of both -- my standards in food dropping and the food being relatively good. The food is called injera and is an Ethiopian dish. It is a flavorful dish with a large mixture of spices. It is served with a flat bread (to be honest it looked like an extremely thin piece of Styrofoam). The bread was a little bit sour tasting and the toppings were a bunch of really spicy mixtures of meat. It was very good. I really liked it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Oweno Market - March 4, 2013

Well the weeks are starting to fly by; however, the days seem like weeks. The weeks seem like days. It’s kind of crazy.

Well I can officially say that I baptized someone. I had the opportunity to baptize someone whom I have taught from day one. I didn’t inherit the investigator. We met a young man named Robert about a week and a half into my mission and we have been teaching him ever since. We taught everything extremely slow because his English wasn't very good. We usually taught a half a lesson at a time or so. As we taught him, he began to understand English better and better which was really exciting. As he learned English,he began to understand our teachings a lot better as well. As his understanding improved his testimony really improved. He was one of those perfect investigators where if you set up an appointment with him he will always be there on time like he promised. In Uganda this is really appreciated. The people here do not understand time. If a meeting is to start at 9:30, it means he will be there about 10:15. I always deeply appreciate it when we run into someone who keeps there appointments exactly on time.

This week we had the opportunity to do some more tracting. We had really hoped that we would find an investigator that was truly interested in the church and not just interested in having company over. Often times people will invite you in because they want company not because they want to learn about the gospel. So as we were tracting my companion and I saw a young man that was sitting on a bench in front of a "pharmacy" (not what you imagine back home). We walked up to him and introduced ourselves and he invited us to sit down. After we sat down, we continued to get to know him and soon found out that his name was Charles. As we taught, he showed a lot of interest. He was not distracted. His phone rang and he shut it off! When we asked questions, he gave answers that showed he was paying attention. As we continued teaching the lesson, we knew he was interested in learning more. As we taught him the Doctrine of Christ in 2 Nephi 31: 1-14 he really began to pay attention.

After we had wrapped up the lesson, we then invited him to church and he gladly accepted. As we described how to get to the church, I had a feeling that we should offer to pick him up and walk with him to church. So I said, “Hey Charles would you like us to come pick you up Sunday morning and walk with you to church?” As soon as I asked, he got all quiet. To be honest, I thought I had just messed everything up or something. He then looked up and said, “I would love that.”

After saying that he would love us to come pick him up he then continued to tell us that when he was sitting alone on the bench, he was hoping that someone would come teach him more about Christ, invite him to church, and show him how to get to church. He wanted these things because he was brand new to the area. He had just come from Sudan four days earlier. In Sudan, he was a church going person but here in Uganda he didn’t know where to go and he wanted to learn more about Christ. After he had described this whole situation, I just sat there kind of amazed. It really goes to show how the lord prepares people for the gospel.

Another experience which was pretty cool, I was doing some reading recently. About this point, I was starting to feel pretty smart when it came to the gospel. To be honest I thought I was improving rapidly and that my teaching skills were improving. Well after thinking this, I was doing some reading when I came across a scripture in 2 Nephi 20: 15 which said, "Shall the axe boast against him that heweth therewith? Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? AS if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself as if it were no wood?" After reading this verse, I sat there and was like what in the world does that mean? After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that it was kind of talking about the Lord’s work and being humble. Because when you’re teaching, yes you need to know the scriptures but in the end, all you are is a tool in His hands. Just like how an ax is a tool in a lumber jacks hands. So yes a sharp ax is nice but unless there is a lumberjack swinging it is useless. So I took from this is that it is good to know the gospel and it’s good to improve your teaching skills, but if the Spirit isn’t helping you teach, you’re really not going to do very much in the end.

So this helped me realize that it’s really important to study the scriptures and rely on the Spirit when teaching. If you try to teach on your own, it just have much of an effect on the person. I don't know if that makes sense to you in relation to that verse but it really made a lot of sense to me and it was a heads up to always rely on the Spirit when teaching.

I learned something interesting this week. It’s crazy but if you let something bother you, it can affect the work and the day. In the beginning of the week, Ii was kind of in a bad mood. Our lessons were going nowhere. It seemed that all we did was teach and then leave. The people we were teaching were not getting anything out of it. I came to realize that the bad attitude that I was in was killing the work. SO it really made me realize how important it is to be happy and positive at all times when you are teaching others.

There is a guy named Eric who is an amazing artist out here. My companion and I teach him quite often. He is a really good guy and seems to love the gospel. It’s sad though, he is fighting alcohol addiction. When we meet with him, he is always sober because he knows we won’t teach him if he isn’t sober. But it’s really sad because he is trying really hard to quit drinking. With the friends he has it is near to impossible to stop because his friends drink all day every day. They literally wake up at 10:00am and start drinking. Then they drink till about 9:00pm at night. They then sleep it off and wake up the next day and start again. Well Eric has been avoiding it as much as possible. It’s really cool to see his spirit and happiness grow. As he drinks less and less, you can see him become more and more happy. He smiles more and jokes more. In general he is just happier. It’s a really cool thing to see. But it’s really sad when he slips up. You can see in his eyes that he already regrets it as soon as it happens. I really love him and hope that he can continue to improve and have the opportunity to overcome his addiction. I hope that he continues to read the scriptures because as he reads he becomes more determined to quit. He gets strength from the scriptures.

One thing that is tough about this country is the living standards. They truly live with nothing. I think this is why they are so willing to let anyone into their home. It’s not because they just want company, I think it is also because they are so humble. There is a young man named Tagaba who is a perfect example of this. He lives in a small little house that is about the size of my closet. Not only does he live in there but two of his brothers as well. So in this little one room home live three teenagers, Nathan, Immanuel, and Tagaba. And when my companion and I show up it’s a tight fit! But the coolest part is the feeling that is there every time.

When you walk, it is like a muggy stale oven in the home. But once you get past that feeling you really start to have a feeling of happiness. These three young men are as happy as can be and yet they have nothing. They are so happy that it does not matter to them how big or small there home is. They are so humble that the gospel sounds fun and exciting to them. It’s really remarkable to be honest. When you walk in the home, you feel at home. When you walk in you can’t help but smile. I really don't know how to describe it. The home is not decorated or really clean (not really dirty either, just normal for Uganda). It is extremely plain--just concrete walls. But you feel welcome when you enter the home.

Well here is my cool story for the week. My companions and I went to something called "Oweno Market" in Uganda Kampala. This was an experience of a life time. I will try to describe it but Ii don’t think it will ever have the effect that it has when you are there. So we drove to the market. And when I saw the entrance, I was instantly disappointed. The entrance is a little tent tunnel that is about 7 feet wide and 15 feet tall. As we walk in everything inside changes. This is the market of markets! They sell everything you can imagine. The walls are covered in stuff from backpacks, food, shoes, clothes, watches, hats, and belts, literally anything you can imagine. This place has it. But this place is all covered. To start there are tarp walls everywhere. It is a large tunnel made of logs and tarps. As you enter the tunnel there are 4 different ways you can go. Each tunnel heads in a different direction.

This place is literally tunnels upon tunnels upon tunnels. Each tunnel is completely covered and made of tarps. It is insane! There is about two feet of walking space on each side. All the other space is just smothered with items that you can buy. I wanted to take pictures but to be honest from what I have heard, it is best to bring nothing there except for money. It will get stolen. Oh my goodness, I am glad that I listened and didn't bring it. They were totally right. Anything in your pockets would have been ripped off for sure. Some people said we should even put our money in our socks because it is that bad. The place is packed with merchants and salesmen selling every type of item in the world.

There were people everywhere. There was probably at least a good 10 miles worth of tunnels turning and curving in every which way. It was literally a maze made for humans. People live in this thing and sell their stuff all day every day. You need to look this up online. I am sure someone has been crazy and daring enough to take pictures inside of there at one point or another. I literally cannot describe this place. It was remarkable. I have never seen anything like it on TV or in pictures or even in my imagination. This was no ordinary street market. It was truly a memorable experience.

Well I can honestly say that my speaking and writing grammar is getting worse and worse every day. I am starting to pick up some of the Ugandans’ phrasing. The phrasing makes no sense to be honest. When I first came to Uganda, I could not follow their speaking. It just didn’t make sense. Now that I have been here for a little while, it makes perfect sense! Scary! I use it all the time now. So I think I’m doomed when it comes to grammar and correct English.

Sorry for all the grammar mistakes in this email and all the spelling errors, my English really getting torn apart out here. I tried to use spell check as much as possible but I know it doesn't catch everything.

Well that's all for this week :)

I’m glad I got to read all your emails this week and that I got to respond to them as well :)

I hope this email made up for last week’s email.

I love you all!


Elder Bitter

The Empty Bus - February 25, 2013

I am really rushing this email. I’m sorry but this one will not be as well written or as long as any of the others. I want to apologize ahead of time.

Well this week has been kind of a bummer. We have had a lot of investigators this week and they were all progressing so well. They were all listening to our messages and they were all so anxious to hear the message of Christ.

Elder Bulloch and I were really excited in general about this. So Elder Bulloch and I came up with the idea to invite all of our investigators to stake conference. We had about 17 investigators. Well we invited all of them and a few other potential investigators as well. In total, we invited between 17-20 people. I can’t remember the exact number right now. Well out of the total number about 13 committed to come. But stake conference is a long ways away so everyone would have to take a taxi. And you really can’t ask people to do this around here because they don’t have enough money. They barely have enough money to put food on the table.

However, Elder Bulloch and I thought it was really important that they all be there. So, we decided to rent a taxi bus. The taxi busses hold about 15 people so it was perfect. It would be a tight squeeze but it would not matter because everyone would have had the opportunity to get a ride to conference for free. We figured that was worth it. After organizing and committing the people. We rented a taxi. After do so, we told everyone that we reserved a taxi and that they all could come and ride for free with us this one time. They were all very excited and we were really excited too. We told everyone that we were meeting at the taxi stage at 8:00am sharp. Every one said they would be there on time or early.

Sunday morning Elder Bulloch and I showed up at the taxi stage at 7:55am. WE WERE THE FIRST ONE THERE! We kind of expected that. After waiting a few minutes, one person we were teaching showed up. His name is Henry. He walked around in circles then can me over to me and said, “Uhh hey man are we going?” I was so frustrated. To make the story short we waited till 8:45. Only two people showed up. It was probably the biggest disappointment ever. We had put so much time and effort into getting a taxi and committing each and every person multiple times and in the end only two people came out of 13 people. I could not believe it! I was seriously disappointed!

But the good news is that one of the guys that came on the taxi with us is getting baptized this Sunday. He is 22 and he is extremely excited to get baptized. He is a really good guy and he is really soft hearted. I really wish that I had more time to tell you about this week but our schedule today was just too hectic. We literally had no time to do anything. Mom I’m really sorry for how short this email is....

I need to wrap this email up. I know that the Lord really does watch over all of us. I know that if we pray we can get help. Never forget how important it is to pray. Before I came on my mission I never really appreciated prayer like I should have. Prayer is a gift in itself. It allows us to really just let out our concerns and feelings. The amazing thing is getting the answer back about our concerns or questions. It is really an amazing thing. I love you all so much. I hope that everything is going well back home. There isn’t time for any other emails this week just the one big mass email. I will really try to never be cut short like this again. There is always a lot to say about each week. But I don’t have time to type it all down. We have to run and go teach a lesson pretty soon. We still haven’t bought our food for the week yet. This is going to be an interesting week. :)

I love you all

Elder Bitter

I Found the Source - February 18, 2013

Hi everyone! :)

Well this has been a good week. I cannot believe it is time to write home again. On Saturday I remember sitting in our apartment and then I just looked over at Elder Chuya and asked him, “What day is it.” He answered, “It is Saturday.” I literally could not believe it. I was blown away. It’s remarkable how fast the weeks can go by if you really don't count the days and you try to make the days count.

I remember my first week, I thought I am growing spiritually but the week is crawling by. I was exhausted every day and I was barely able to finish the days. It is really remarkable how things change if you really take the advice of the scriptures and just trust in the Lord and lean upon him and not on your own strength. During my first week, I was so exhausted every day. Now it is much different. Yes, I’m tired but I don’t feel like sitting down at all. I feel like teaching all day long. The Spirit is definitely there to teach us and give us guidance. But man, he does so much more than that. He really motivates you as well.

I always thought to have the Spirit it needed to be that overwhelming feeling you get when someone is giving a powerful talk. But after being on my mission, I have started to realize that having the Spirit is not always that crazy powerful overwhelming feeling. Often times it is just the feeling of calmness in stressful situations. Or hard situations aren't so hard because your mind is clear and you’re not getting frustrated. I remember that I used to think that I only had the Spirit with me when it was overwhelmingly. But that is so not true. I now know that often times having the Spirit is just being calm, relaxed, clear minded, and happy even when you should be the exact opposite. I now see how the Spirit truly is a "still small voice". The feeling is different than I thought. So I’m glad I was able to figure that out this week.

Well I’ll go ahead and tell about the week. For starters, Tuesday was an unbelievably long day. I know that is super contradictory to what I said above but all the other days just flew bye. But on Tuesday, I was the guy who drew the short straw. I was asked if I would be willing to do an exchange with a missionary whose companion has been in the hospital for two days.

Elder Bulloch drove me to the hospital and I walked in and I replaced the healthy missionary that was staying with the sick missionary. It was a LONG day because I had to sit in a strait back wood chair all day long and watch a missionary lay in a hospital bed. It was really, really boring. Can I say that again? It was boring.

I had the opportunity to study my scriptures but after a few hours I was totally maxed out. I really just wanted to be out teaching someone the gospel. There isn’t much to say about this day. I basically just sat there and occasionally had the opportunity to talk to people walking by about the gospel but that is just about the gist of the entire day. Oh yea the hospitals here are something else. They are definitely not like the hospitals at home hahaha. Being there made me want to continue to be very careful with what I eat so that I can avoid ending up in one of these hospitals at all costs. The hospital is basically a large room that was divided by sheets hanging from the ceiling to form small cubicles for patients. And it was like an oven in there! Man it was hot. But yea that’s all there is to say about that.

Well on Wednesday it was pretty interesting, we were walking around knocking doors trying to teach new people about the gospel. People here are always willing to invite you in and let you sit down. But often times they do not agree with what you say but they will still sit there nodding their head. Later they will then ask you to move on.

On Wednesday we knocked on a home and a father (Seboo) answered the door. He kindly welcomed us in and was willing to hear our message. He had his whole family sit down and listen to us out of respect for someone teaching the gospel. After giving about half the lesson, we could tell that this was not going anywhere. But we continued on and finished our lesson. It was kind of sad that we could tell that they were not interested because to be honest it was a really powerful lesson. It was one of the better ones we have taught together. When we finished our message, the father took over and said in a polite way that he wasn’t interested. But once he had finished talking his daughter who had been dead silent the whole lesson spoke up and said "I want to learn more about this church". I was surprised to hear the daughter that still lives at home say anything like. The young girls never speak anything contrary to their fathers. It is just a social rule.

After she had said she wanted to learn more, I instantly thought there was going to be a lot of contention in the home. It was pretty cool the father just kind of sat there in shock for a little bit. Then you could see his face change from a stern to a soft. He then answered in a calm voice, “It is ok if my daughter wants to learn more, she can go to your church but I will not come. " I was blown away. I was amazed for a lack of better words. She had really felt the Spirit and had braved going against her father’s wishes. It was obvious she loved her father. That took a lot of courage! I cannot explain how shocking and amazing it was. Culture here is so strong and things like that are not welcome.

On that same day Elder Bulloch and I walked down a hill and we saw a young man that we were teaching named Tagaba. He was very excited to see us and said, “ELDERS, ELDERS, ELDERS COME TEACH MY BROTHER!!!” So we smiled and were like why not let’s do it. So he lead us to the bottom of a hill and then we started to take all of these turns and different paths until it opened up to this huge prairie like area that was flat and had very tall weeds. The weeds were everywhere around his brother’s home. It was a very humble home but it had a view of the flat grass lands that would blow a person’s mind. I literally didn't want to go in the home because I wanted to keep admiring the view. Well the brother came out and greeted us and brought out stools for us to sit on. So we ended up teaching outside which was so nice because it was starting to cool down.

Right when we were about to start our lesson, the brother (Tom) said, “Hold on one second”. He walked away and pulled these large bamboo like plants out of the ground--he literally pulled them out of the ground right in front of us. They were about 5 inches in circumference and they were about 8 feet tall. He took this large knife and started chopping it up into 4 foot sections. After that he pealed the outer layer off and handed a long chunk to me. And he said "you partake" I looked at my companion like uhhh what is this thing and he gave me a biting motion so I bit off a piece as if it were a ice cream bar. Well it might as well of been an ice cream bar! It was crazy sweet. I soon found out that he grew sugar cane on this prairie like area.

So my companion and I sat and taught a lesson while we munched on some huge sugar cane. This is not the best part. As we sat there munching on sugar cane and teaching a lesson, the sun began to set to our left. So it was the coolest environment ever. We sat with Tom and taught him the Doctrine of Christ while we munched on sugar cane and watched the sun set over this huge cane field. It was really spiritual and so beautiful.

Well that’s the end of that story. Elder Bulloch and I have been teaching two guys--Mathew and Isaac. They are two of the most perfect investigators ever. We have set a baptismal date with Isaac for March 17. We are still working on a few things with Mathew. He has a wife that he isn’t married to yet. This is extremely common in Uganda because the people here can’t afford weddings. They can’t afford to pay introduction (basically a bride price like in Johnny Lingo the movie). They are remarkable.

We have been teaching them for two weeks and they are such amazing guys. They are always so nice and so welcoming to us. They are always anxious to learn more about the gospel. They are both from very humble circumstances. But the best part about teaching them is you can literally see them progress and learn as they sit there. Their will eyes light up and you can see that they understand the message we are teaching them. It’s a way cool thing to see I love it.

Well Mathew always has these sandals on that everyone in Uganda seems to have. There sandals are made of used tires. They are extremely thin but they last for a life time. These sandals are sold everywhere but there kind of expensive and I could never figure out how all the locals could afford them. So I eventually asked Matthew. I told him that I wanted a pair of the tire sandals but they seem very expensive. I asked if there was a place that I could get them for less money. He just looked at me and smiled. He let me know that the sandals that are sold everywhere are for people who are rich enough and dumb enough to fall into that money trap.

He asked if I had five minutes. I looked at my companion and we decided we did. He started walking us through this super ghetto area that was full of people who are not the best of examples for how we should live our lives. But then we rounded a corner and there were about 20 teenagers sitting on the ground cutting up huge used semi -truck tires. They then stripped them apart. Making the sandals right there. I HAD BEEN SHOWN THE SOURCE :)!!!! These guys were using extremely sharp dry wall knifes to cut through the tires. They would do one cut then they would rub it on a wet stone that was right next to them. Then they would do another cut then sharpen the knife again. It was so cool to watch.

Well Matthew started bartering with them for me in their language and got it down to a good price (the equivalent of about 2.25 US dollars). That was way cheaper than in the shops everywhere! Trust me I was really excited. They started measuring my feet right there and they asked me how I wanted the sandals to look and how thick I wanted them and what designs I wanted on them. So I basically got totally custom Ugandan sandals for about 2.25 US dollars. And the best part, these sandals do not wear out, like never ever. People here wear these sandals every day all day and they last for years upon years upon years. So I basically just got custom sandals that will last me for a very long time :) I’m pumped! They are cool looking too. I will take a picture and send it next week :)

Well back to the spiritual experiences. The Lord does answer prayers. Elder Bulloch and I had decided that we would pray together and ask to have the ability to work hard and work diligently throughout the day. So it was a pretty simple thing to ask for in the prayer. So after discussing what we wanted to pray about, I volunteered to pray for us. Well apparently instead of asking for help that we would be able to work hard throughout the day, I asked in the prayer, “Please help Elder Bulloch and I learn how to work hard.” After I finished the prayer, I stood up not realizing what I had just done. I looked up and Elder Bulloch was just staring at me wide eyed. He was like "Do you know what you just asked?" I responded "No what did I ask?" He then responded "you asked the lord to teach us how to work hard, instead of help us work hard". I stood there and I was like oh no today is going to be a tough day......

Let me tell you that prayer was answered! It was the toughest day that I have probably ever endured. We started working at 10:00am the normal time and we got home at 10:00pm. We basically worked straight through that whole time and we barely made the mission daily goal. From 10:00am all the way till 5:00pm, we only had one appointment. Everyone was canceling on us or not wanting to hear what we had to say. So we literally had one lesson and the rest of those hours were constant knocking doors with instant rejection. Hahahaha! Well after 5:00 pm came around we began to realize that we were really being taught how to work hard. Well from 5:00pm-9:00pm we literally had to do a whole days’ worth of work. I don’t know how we did it but we did. We were praying all day long that we would have appointments that would work out. Well we somehow pulled it off. It was a testimony in itself that the Lord does hear and answer prayers. He definitely taught us how to work that day. I’m grateful for that day honestly! It really taught me how to rely on the lord and just work hard.

The church is true guys. There is no doubt in my mind. The Lord loves all of us. No matter who you are the Lord loves you. He wants all of us to come back to him. So seek the Spirit everyone. I love you all


Elder Bitter

My Trainer Moves On - February 11, 2013

Hello again

It is about that time again my friends to write my weeks events. It’s kind of funny I never thought I would look forward to writing about anything but I really enjoy emailing home. Everyone always tells me to keep a journal but I don’t like writing by hand so I consider this to be my journal I guess this is my new online journal. I have started taking little notes throughout the week that will remind me of experiences to write. I hope that this email will make sense overall because this is going to be a little bit different.

This week has been good but all over the place in terms of events. To start Tuesday was exchanges. Exchanges went pretty well except that I lost my trainer. We were all convinced that my trainer and I would still be together because it has only been a few weeks since I arrived. I still don’t know the whole area that we are assigned. I assumed that I would continue to be with him so he could continue to introduce me to all the people that are recent converts, less-actives or something like that. Man was I wrong.

Tuesday morning he got a call from the Mission President. Let’s just say this call was not short by any means. He was in the room talking on the phone for almost 30 min. After the thirty minutes Elder Facer walked out of the room white faced and pale. I started to assume that he had gotten another assignment that would be a tough one -- like being a zone leader again or something like that. Well I was very wrong.

President Jackson stole my companion away! President Jackson assigned Elder Facer as a new AP (assistant to the president). So now he starts working for President Jackson. He immediately started calling people and taking reports and things like that. The craziest part of the day was we were assigned to go pick up new missionaries from the airport. Elder Facer and I drove the pickup truck to the mission office. After arriving at the mission office we picked up the van from the office (one of those 16 passenger vans). As we walked inside and exchanged the keys out for the van, a storm rolled in at that moment. Oh my goodness was it raining. It was seriously raining like nothing I have ever seen before.
We ran from the office straight to the car and within that six yards of running I was completely drenched. My shirt and pants were soaked all the way through. It was like running through a fire hose. Well we hopped in the van and had a two hour drive ahead of us to get to the airport. As we drove the weather got a lot worse and the winds started to really pick up. The winds got so bad that they were ripping signs off of billboards and the wind was blowing down large walls that were next to the freeway. By now the wind was really trying to howl and man was it loud. There is more to come. The draining systems aren't very good here -- well to be honest they are not good at all. It was raining so hard and so consistently that water was pilling up on the roads and the gutters and drains on the side of the roads had water coming up and out of them. Soon the whole road started to get covered in water then the next thing I knew we were driving in about 13 inches of water. It was pretty crazy.

Well we proceeded to go and pick people up from the airport. By the time that we made it to the airport we were out of the storm so it was nice and dry. So we picked up missionaries that were straight from the Provo MTC. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Coming straight from a first world country to a third world country was a really big shock for them. Well delivered missionaries to their places for the rest of the day which meant lots of driving and lots of boredom. We basically drove from 10:00am till 1130pm.

When we were driving back from the airport and coming around a bend, this guy coming the other way tried to pass someone and he just did not have enough room by any means. Elder facer tried to avoid a collision but didn’t have enough time. The guy ran into our mirror which swung inwards and hit the door and was totally destroyed. The impact of the mirror was deafening. The situation turned out ok because the guy turned around and asked us to file a police report so that he could pay for it all. (Wealthy guy)

Well after we finished driving Elder Facer and I parted our ways and I was assigned my new companion. My new companions name is Elder Bulloch. He is from St. George Utah and is a way nice guy. He seems to really know how to laugh and enjoy life.

So Elder Bulloch is the new Zone Leader and he is my companion. The problem for me is that I have to teach him our area when I don’t know it myself. To be honest, this place is literally a maze. There are no street names, no house numbers, no nothing. Everything goes off of central number which makes it kind of hard to remember where to go because everything looks the same (in my opinion).

Elder Bulloch gets a truck to drive since he is a zone leader. The funny part is that he didn’t know how to drive stick and neither does any of the other people in the apartment that stay with us. I started to think that I have driven stick a couple times and I ride a motorcycle -- so I’m sure I could teach him how to drive stick. Was that a scary experience. He picked up driving stick pretty quickly but could only focus on doing one thing at a time -- it was either shifting or paying attention to the road.

In Uganda there are no rules on the road so you really need to do both or you will crash. All I have to say is he somehow was able to find every single pothole. The roads here are full of pot holes and hit all of them. I was literally like I a pogo stick or something when I was riding around inside of this car with hime driving. I couldnt help but tease him constantly – “hey man, you missed a pothole. We should stop and back up and try again. It was a good time and there were a lot of close calls, lots of stalling but he has really got it down now. He has been trained.

I have to direct us through our area now. It is a miracle every time we find a person’s house without getting lost. Mutungo, Luzira, Zone 4, and (another one I cant remember the name) are all in our area. I have to remember how to find all the homes of these investigators and members. It is a huge struggle. A whole lot of praying is involved between appointments.

I have a little bit of a funny story. I think that mosquitoes like white people or something. Because I was sitting with a bunch of people outside at night and everyone was just fine and enjoying the lesson. I was literally not able to teach by any means because I was constantly slapping mosquitoes that were trying to bite me on my arms. After this appointment we went home. The day was over and I felt pretty successful because I didn’t have that many bug bites on my arms and because I had killed a ton of them when they were trying to bite me. The next thing I found when I took off my socks was that those little buggers had been biting me through my socks! The top of my ankles were covered in bug bites. I couldn't feel them walking around on me because I had socks on and they were able to bite through the socks. I learned my lesson -- pay attention to your feet. I have been doing pretty well since that experience :)
My clothes really get a work out. We will definitely get our money’s worth out of my clothes from serving here. The bottoms of my pants always have mud all over them by the end of the day. My shoes are either covered with dust or mud. I’m grateful for cloths that seem like they will survive the trip.

Well I need to give a shout-out to Gmail right now. The computer just shut down on me and came back on. Everything I had typed was still there. I really appreciate gmail for having the auto save function because there was no way I was going to type all of the above again. If it wasn’t for gmail, this letter would have been a very short one.

Well, I have two more stories then I’m done for the day.
There is this guy that we are teaching name Eric. He is a less active and he is progressing very well. He is starting to bring his friends to church. It is really good because when we tell him to bring his friend to church (Albert), he feels responsible for someone else besides himself. He is asking really good questions during second hour at church and is progressing really well. It is exciting to see him making the change for himself.

Eric always wears the same shirt when we teach him. The shirt reads ‘P.H.S Prom’ and has a picture of a rose. Well mom and dad, do you remember the Rose bowl water polo team we used to play all the time? They practiced at Pasadena High School also known as P.H.S and their symbol is the rose. So Eric has a prom shirt from a California high school. He somehow got a hold of a shirt from a PHS prom from 30 years ago. It is so funny I literally could not believe my eyes when I saw it. Well I told him about Pasadena High School and he couldn’t believe it either. Talk about a small world.

Last story for the day. This was a really weird experience. We were on splits and so someone else was in my area. I was with Elder Mgijima. He is really good guy and were working in my area. Well we were walking around with a member when we got lost. Next thing we knew we were deep in the slums of Uganda. Like a truly rough and beat up area. Well everyone was poking each other and pointing straight at me. They were not even trying to hide it or anything. They just pointed straight at my face and were acting like I was a ghost or something. Everyone would literally stop in their tracks and stare at me like ‘what in the world is this Mazungu (white person) doing here’. It was kind of freaky. I think I was the first white person to ever be in that slum. The member that was walking with us said, “ummmm I think they are staring because you are the first white person here and because you don't belong”.

We continued our way through the area saying hi to people and being friendly. We worked our way out of there as fast as we could. I wish I had a picture of this place to show you but in all honesty I didn't dare pull a camera out. It all ended up good and ok. :) As soon as we were out, we all started busting up laughing because we couldn't believe how crazy the experience was. It was a big sigh of relief to be out of there to be honest I thought something was going to happen to me cause I really didn't blend in at all. I was the outsider.

Well all is well in the pearl of Africa :)

I love you all


Elder Bitter