Friday, July 5, 2013

President Chapfield Arrives in Kampala - July 1, 2013

Well this week was crazy. We had very little time this week to do anything because there were a lot of emergencies in the zone. We kept getting call after call after call. For example, one of the emergencies we had was three companionships that were completely out of commission because they were so sick that we had to rush them to the hospital. The illnesses could have been avoided but the missionaries chose to be somewhat disobedient when it comes to the health regulations. It was not the contagious germs like the flu but things like not filtering the water or eating something not allowed. They break the rules and boom we get a call at some odd hour of the night. A specific event is one of the sisters did not filter her water because she thought she was immune and she caught typhoid from the water.

When I found that out, I looked at her and said, “Come on use filtered water or go buy bottled water. Its so cheap.” (Of course, I didn’t tell her this until she was in the hospital and doing well.) I guess some people have to discover things the hard way. The amazing part is that each and every one of the missionaries that were really sick is healthy now. I am grateful that they are not a worry anymore. They can’t go out but they are healthy enough that I do not feel any stress over them.

This week we drove to Kampala (1.5 hours with no traffic) to meet the new mission president and to say goodbye to President Jackson. It was sad to see President Jackson go. He has shaped and changed this mission for the better. Our mission was struggling but now it is running smoothly like a brand new watch.

When he was leaving, he didn’t criticize us or speak of anything negative. His primary focus was stressing the importance of the work. He apologized if he had not helped us enough to accomplish the goals of the mission. He had nothing to apologize for in my mind. His entire time was spent serving each missionary in this mission. He did a fantastic job. His apology really showed how much he cared for us and how badly he wanted us to succeed and do our best as missionaries and future leaders of the church.

After President Jackson gave his farewell remarks, he left. Sometime later our new mission president arrived. Our new mission is President Chapfield. He is a very nice man and he is from Alpine, Utah. President Chapfield is a really cool guy. He is very different from President Jackson. It was cool and surprising for me to see how he began emphasizing the exact same things that President Jackson had emphasized. I really saw how they both are guided and know exactly what the mission needs. I thought that the transfer from mission president to mission president would be a big adjustment but I was completely wrong.

President Chapfield picked up right where President Jackson left off. There was no hesitation, no hick ups. He was called and prepared to be here. We were literally the first missionaries to meet him and there was no slowing of the work. He just took over and dove right in. We didn’t slow down at all. It was a nice thing to see.

So this upcoming week is a pretty big week. One transfer before me there was a large family that was baptized in this area. The father of the family is named Noah and the mother is named Grace. They and all of their children except one accepted the gospel as soon as they heard it. They have been progressing ever since their baptism. The daughter who did not get baptized is Lillian.

She has struggled to accept baptism. We have been teaching her with her family for some time now. We did not want to leave her out especially since her whole family has joined the church. We worried that she would feel left out and different as time passed. She has finally decided that she wants to be baptized! I was starting to think that she would never choose to be baptized. But as of Sunday, she made her decision to be baptized. It is scheduled for this Sunday. I am hoping that she doesn't lose the desire or get cold feet. I do have great faith in her especially since she has taken time and not rushed anything.

Also this Sunday someone named Fred is to be baptized. Fred was supposed to be baptized a long time ago until we found out that he was having problems with chastity which prevented him from baptism. Ever since we found out, we have been helping him and encouraging him to solve his problem so that he could continue progressing towards baptism. Every single time we meet with him, he asks when can I be baptized and become a full member of the church? When we meet with him last, he told us that he no longer has as a girlfriend and he is now ready to be baptized. I just hope that he doesn't start to slip but holds strong, doesn’t give up and keeps moving forward to his personal goal the come unto Christ.

We have been struggling to get new investigators lately. It is a little different here in Jinja in regards to tracting. Unlike all my past areas, Jinja doesn't have large stretches of homes. Instead it has small little patches of homes here and there. This makes it a little bit more difficult because you can’t knock as many doors in one area. But it’s OK because things always seem to work out. I’m confident that as long as we keep trying, it will work out.

I am really looking forward to this upcoming week because it will be the first full week of complete missionary work since arriving in Jinja. We have had a lot of meetings etc that has broken up the week. But this week will be different. I am really looking forward to it! Just working and not having to worry about meeting schedules etc.

Well I’m about out of time and out of things to say for this week. I love you all. I hope all is well.


Elder Bitter

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