Saturday, May 18, 2013

Helping Stella -- May 13, 2013

Good Morning. It is nice to be writing another letter home.

This week has been nice. My companion and I have really been trying to find people in the ward that have stopped coming to church. We have been giving them good friendship so they will develop a desire to come back to church and renew their baptismal covenants. In addition we have been looking through all the people taught by the past missionaries and have been trying to determine which ones are really ready for the gospel.

This has been an interesting experience in spending so much of our time finding the less active and spending less time finding new investigators. I really struggled with this for the first week. I was kind of confused because I knew that a missionary’s job was to bring people to Christ and that meant finding new people to teach and helping them to have a spiritual confirmation of the truth. In Entebbe I learned that it is not all about finding new people. I want to talk about a member of the Entebbe ward whose name is Stella.

Stella has been a member for about five years. A few months back she was offended and left the church. I don’t know what happened and don’t think it really matters. What matters is that she left. Elder Tracey and I have recently decided that we would focus on just two or three less-actives at a time and help them in coming to church again and to have the faith that they once had. Stella was the first person we started to really focus on.

When Elder Tracey and I started teaching Stella, she seemed kind of angry and frustrated to see us. The only reason I think that she let us visit is because most Africans are afraid to say no to anyone for fear of offending. At first, her desire to meet with us seemed low. It was amazing to see how she has changed over the past week or so. At first she really seemed irritated but as we continued to call her and ask if we could come meet with her, she softened. The answer on the phone changed from a, “sure”.... to a happy response that went something like, "today?!? what time?!? ok ill be ready". Elder Tracey and I have not really done that much. All we have done is visited, shared a spiritual thought and invited her to church.

After a few invitations to church she eventually decided that she would come. She came to church this past Sunday. It was a really cool experience and showed me that our job as missionaries is to bring people closer to Christ. Our job is not only to find new people but also to help those who have fallen away and bring them back. Seeing someone come back is one of the most satisfying things in the world. When Stella came to church again, it brought a wonderful feeling to the church service. It is very important to bring the lost ones back.

Elder Tracey and I have really been trying to try and find the people who are not only ready to hear the gospel but will also help this ward grow. I truly believe that everyone is ready for the gospel. Some will take it slower than others. This is OK and is kind of like eating. Some can eat really fast and some can barely eat two bites in five minutes. Either way, everyone needs food in some way or another. We are not too worried about how long a person may take. We are more concerned if they will be a support to the ward or a burden to the ward. We are really striving to find the people that will help this ward grow.

We hope that this will not only help the ward become strong again but also help the missionaries in this area in the long run. We believe that if we find people that will be a support to the ward that in the long run they can help us and the future missionaries find all of the less-actives and bring them back.

Time to change topics.

The people in Uganda are awesome -- especially when it comes to helping the missionaries. There are two young men in this ward that are truly a blessing to us when it comes to missionary work. One is named Billy and another named Jimmy. If it was not for these two young men we would not be able to accomplish any of the things that we have been doing lately. I know that these two guys deserve more blessings then I can imagine. If not for them, we would not be able to visit half of the less actives that we have been visiting. We would not be able to visit as many people in one day because they help us find short cuts through trees to all of homes. These two young men are both preparing for missions and to be honest I think they are more than ready. Wherever they go on their mission, their areas will be blessed by them. This is because they both know how to work extremely hard and they both have such a strong spirit with them.

It is remarkable to see the hard times that these people face and how much it prepares them for the gospel. I truly believe that the lord has prepared these people for the gospel. They are so humble that the gospel and learning about Christ and the Father is the only source of light for them. They look forward to every minute of learning.

A perfect example is from this past Sunday when we were singing hymns during church. The power went out so did the lights and the music from the key board. We became an acapella choir. The people here did miss one beat. Everyone smiled and then began to sing louder, and louder, and louder. It was a cool experience. I loved it.

Well that's all for this time.

I love you all.


Elder Bitter/Steve

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