Monday, June 3, 2013

Ugandan Shower Snake - May 27, 2013

Well hello everyone it’s good to be back on and emailing you all again.

This week’s letter is going to be a little bit shorter just because time is extremely crunched. My letter home today is going to consist of two things: The first part will be my short funny story of the week. The second part will tell you about our best investigators and what is going on with them right now.

This week’s funny story starts early in the morning. I wake up about five minutes before the alarm goes off like I do every other day. I just rested there and waited for the alarm to go off. As soon as the alarm went off, we got out of bed, said prayers and then off to our daily run. The run went really well and I had an unusual amount of energy that morning. I felt like I was flying across the dirt roads. Once the run was over, my companion went straight into the shower. After he had finished his shower it was my turn.

I was enjoying another nice cold shower and not thinking much because the power was out and I was showering in dim light. I looked down at the floor and instantly had a great reminder as to why I don’t drink from the shower head like I did when I was back in America. Also why I filter or boil everything that enters my mouth. When I looked down I saw something that looked like a piece of mud. I couldn’t figure out quite what it was. After my eyes had adjusted a bit, I realized that it was a nasty little worm. This was unlike any earth worm from back in the states. It was black, extremely thin and as an added bonus it had a mouth with a tongue-like mechanism. This tongue would come out of its body as it felt its way around the shower floor looking for a tasty Elder Bitter snack.

Needless to say, I lost my cool once my mind processed all of this. What it was and how it got there all jumbled together with the only solution is that it came out of that very same shower head that I was using! My one source of getting clean is no longer a safe option. Well to make a long story short, this little nasty thing died a simple and quick and was sent down the drain. Now every time I shower, I am on high alert looking for anything coming out of the shower head. For anyone traveling to Africa any time soon, BOIL OR FILTER EVERTHING!

Our investigators: Right now we have a few key investigators and few key less actives that we are focusing on.

Success so far has come with some of the less active members that we are working with:

1. Ester: Ester is a single parent whose husband died a few years back.
She is the one of the shiest people I have ever met. She also has one of the strongest testimonies. She has been less active for a long time. It turns out that Ester just needed a friend in the church. After
Elder Tracey and I had visited with her a couple times she has become a fully active member with a testimony that could move mountains. Sadly, she is still being tested. Her family survives on the smallest wage I have ever seen. She sells on average about 12 chapattis a day translating to 2400 shillings or less than one US dollar. With that kind of money she can barely support her two children let alone pay for rent and food for herself. We are always trying to help her by motivating her to open a chapatti business in Bita (20 min walk). There is no overhead there and she already has all the supplies. She is afraid of change. She could do it and just needs encouragement. If she does it, she will then be selling on average about 80 chapattis a day. This is because it would be a prime spot for selling chapattis -- especially at her cheap price pricing.

2. Stella: Stella has been struggling for about 8 months. She has been struggling since a few rough
times in this ward. Because of those experiences, her testimony has been shaken. The good part is that she still believes in the church -- she just doesn't come on a regular basis because she feels “off” when she attends. Another challenge is that she lives in a compromising area of the town. All of her neighbors are quite bad influences on her. It makes it extremely difficult for her but we are hoping for the best.

3. Brother Fred and Sister Prossy: They are both return missionaries from this ward and have fallen away from the church since returning from their mission. This ward has eight returned missionaries -- six of
them are active and hold a calling. Brother Fredrick and Sister Prossy are both struggling and trying to get them to let us in the door has been a challenge. They have been pretty consistent at cancelling appointments and avoiding us. I know that they want to come back but just something is just in the way. To have two more return missionaries back in the ward would be a wonderful addition and an added strength.

4. Moses: Moses was recently baptized. Right after he was baptized his schedule was switched from the night shift to the double shift that some police officers have. His pay does not increase he just has to work twice the hours. He literally gets on average about 4hours a day at home and the rest of the time he spends working. All we can do for this one is pray that his boss changes his schedule back to the night shift so that he can get more rest, see his family more, and have the opportunity to come to church again.

Our key investigators:

1. Charles and his family: Charles is an amazing investigator. He is just awesome and is married to his wife through a church marriage. He is supposed to be baptized this Sunday or next Sunday depending on how the rest of the lessons go. He has a large family of four boys that are all old enough to be baptized and be priesthood holders. We are really striving to have the whole family baptized because then they could all support each other as they grow in the church. All in there are four sons, Charles and his wife. We have just been praying a lot for him and hoping that he will continue to lead his family.

2. Jakoon: Jakoon is a man that works at the state house. He is supposed to be baptized this Sunday. Jakoon has a huge desire for the gospel and already wants to be a missionary. I am not too worried about Jakoon fading out. My concern for him is that he might get burned out on the gospel and lose his desire. I believe the chance for that is slim. I always worry. I am also hoping that his job schedule doesn't change so that he can continue to have Sundays off so he can continue coming to church.

3. Tony: Tony is our biggest struggle this transfer. He has been so ready for the gospel ready for baptism. We haven’t been able to baptize him yet because he has been very inconsistent when it comes to attending church. President Jackson doesn't want us to baptize anyone unless they are fully committed. We already have a lot of less actives and people that are struggling that we have to work with. Tony really just needs that consistent desire to come to church. He needs to stop having so many conflicting things that block his ability to come to church. He believes and accepts all the messages. His only struggle is committing to come to church every week. Once he commits, he will be able to be baptized.

I know that this letter didn’t flow all that well. I was really pressed for time this week so I just wrote quickly.

I really love you all and hope that all is well.

I have been trying to find time to send pictures home but it is really difficult because the computers here are so slow. By the time I finish loading two pictures, my time would be completely up. Well, I’m out of time

I love you all and hope all is well.

You are all in my prayers and I miss you all.

Elder Bitter/ Steve

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