Monday, July 15, 2013

Shock Therapy in Our Apartment - July 15, 2013


This week has improved! Life is good now days. :)

Well Tuesday through Sunday was a big improvement from last Monday so life is all good again. I am back in business and ready to write a nice letter to make up for last week’s failure of a letter. :) And to top it off, I have plenty of time to write today so I will tell a few funny stories and some of the more important things of this week.

One of the funny stories: On preparation day as we were going about our morning routine, we noticed that our stove top was absolutely filthy. So we decided we should focus on our kitchen appliances for our deep cleaning efforts.

We started on the fridge, took it apart, and cleaned it thoroughly. (We haven't had power to our fridge for a couple days, so we basically just through everything away. Forced spring cleaning, I guess.) Well after spending some time on the fridge, my companion and I decided that we would move on to the stove top. I wish I had taken a picture or video of this so that everyone could truly experience this like we did.

Well to start, we removed the grate that stands over the burners that is used to place the pans and pots on so it is above the flame. After removing the grate, we scrubbed it clean. We then moved on to the stove top itself. After looking at it, we decided to remove all of the metal burners and the covers. This would just leave a hole where the pipe feeds the propane to the burners. As we removed the burners, I turned around and began mixing some of the cleaning supplies. I felt like a mad scientist trying to come up with the perfect formula! Ha ha ha! As I was mixing the chemicals, my companion says, “Uhhhhhh Bitter come look at this.....”

I stand up, walk over to our stove top and look at it. I literally could not believe my eyes!! The pipes that feed the propane to the burners were home to a couple families of roaches. I couldn’t move! I was just staring at the pipe in amazement as loads of roaches were running up and down the propane pipes.

As I watched I thought, “Why aren’t these things suffocating from the propane when we use it???” After a few minutes of being totally grossed out and stunned, we grabbed the lighter and turned on the propane. It was like a giant Bunsen burner! I am the mad scientist!

Conclusion of story, the roaches either had a fiery death or ran back down the pipe to some other world. Either way there are less of them now than there was before. Go team--2 points for team Bitter and 0 points for team roach! :)

Second story of the week is about our power. One of our breakers in our house is now permanently broken until the repairman replaces the breaker box. Consequently, some really weird things have been happening in our house. For example the lights work but are really dim like a fancy restaurant. However when plugging something in, the lights go out and the plugged in appliance does not work. We discovered this when I decided to iron my shirt. As soon as the iron was plugged in, the whole house went black. When I unplugged the iron, the lights came back to the fancy restaurant status. We thought it was just the breaker until a few days ago, when I came to the realization that the house may be eating the power. I arrived at this conclusion when Elder Seyoum starts yelling my name. ELDER BITTER, ELDER BITTER!!!!! I walk into the bathroom and he says, “Dude the shower knobs are shocking me when I try to turn the water on!” I thought, “What is he talking about?!”

Of course, I reach out to turn on the shower myself. As I reached forward and touched the knob to turn on the water, I receive a shock that feels like a lightning bolt! In an instant, I think to myself, “I don’t think we have a broken breaker. The house is eating power!” Ha Ha Ha As it turns out, everything in our house that is metal and is a part of the walls is somehow electrically charged.

This is a whole new experience that's all I have to say. The funny thing about the situation is that different areas have different amounts of charge. So the shock is different in each area. (The shower handle gives the strongest shock when touched!) We did not touch everything to discover this important fact. Three experiences were enough.

(NOTE: Fortunately the mission president is aware of this problem as of today.)

Alright enough with the funny stuff :)

This week I once again saw the Holy Spirit work miracles. Elder Seyoum and I decided that we would go and knock a couple streets of "The Big Gates". The Big Gates are areas of homes that are owned by the wealthiest people in the area. To put it in perspective, most of these homes have walls around them that are about 6-8 feet tall. It’s interesting because at the end of these streets is the ghetto again. Right in the middle of the ghetto is big beautiful homes.

As we knocked on these doors, we seemed to get the same answer time and time again. “No,” door closes. “No,” door closes with a chuckle. Another “No,” door closes, and so on. Until we finally came to one that let us in. As we were invited into the home, the family seemed really solemn. All of the members of the family were in their 40s and very educated. This is really noticeable in Africa because very few people speak proper English and carry themselves in this manner.

We sat down and visited with them getting to know a little about them. As we visit with them, we discover that the woman’s husband (who owns the home) actually lives and works in Boston. He is from Uganda though. After talking to everyone for some time, we asked if we could share a short message about The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. They agreed but they didn’t show much interest.

We started with a prayer and began to teach them the Doctrine of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end). All missionaries in Uganda are expected to teach the Doctrine of Christ the first lesson no matter what. We shared the message and as we got closer and closer to talking about baptism they seemed less and less interested. When we got to baptism, the mother of the home (Eve) cuts us off and said, “I know what you are getting at and we already have our own church. We believe in Christ and I think that is enough. “

Elder Seyoum and I politely smile and said, “That's OK and asked if they would be interested in learning more about our message.” They said very politely, “No thank you.” We accepted that and asked if we could leave them with a pamphlet and say a prayer to bless their home.

After leaving them with a prayer and a small pamphlet that talked about the restoration, we left. I did not expect to see or hear from them again. I just forgot about the experience and continued on with the rest of the week.

When Sunday came around, we anxiously waited at church hoping that some of the new people that we had recently taught would come to church. As the time got closer to starting church, we began to realize that none of the new people were going to come. We were disappointed.

As church started I began to feel gratitude that our regular investigators came to church. As the sacrament was just finishing, I look out the window to my left and could not believe my eyes! There was Eve walking up to the door of the church!!!!!! She was dressed in a nice business suit and looked like an educated, powerful women. (Which she is.)

I stood up, rushed to the door and anxiously smiled at her welcoming her to church. She gave me the biggest smile and asked, “How are you?” I told her that I was great and that she was most welcome. I could not believe it! I was overcome with gratitude to the Lord. This was really cool because it helped me realize that even after leaving her home the Holy Spirit kept whispering to Eve to check the church out. It was a really powerful experience.

After I welcomed her to the church, we walked in to sit down. But before we could do that a women that was a member of the church stood up and grabbed her arm and pulled her over to sit with her! I was confused. As it turns out, the lady and Eve were friends a long time ago! I couldn't believe it. It was a huge tender mercy. I couldn't help smiling. Having Eve come to church and have a friend there just made the whole week worth it.

Well that’s all I have for the week. It was good to hear from everyone. Thanks for always writing! :)


Elder Bitter

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