Friday, October 11, 2013

Rodents of Unusual Size - October 7, 2013

Hello everyone! It’s good write again. :)

I hope your week went well and that you are happy.

First, “Happy Birthday, Grandma Bitter (Sunday, Oct 13)!

I haven't written about any personal stories for a while so here goes a few:

To start let’s talk about washing clothes. This transfer has been an interesting one regarding laundry. For the past five weeks, we have not been able to hire anyone to wash our clothes (the washing machine has been broken). We have been washing clothes the good old fashion way---by hand. For my companion, who has been washing by hand since he was ten years old, it has not been a problem. BUT for a greenie like me, it has really been a struggle! Ha ha, ha! Last Monday, I set a new record.

On that Monday, I realized I had been lazy all week. Every single white item that I owned was dirty. Four large basins of water were barely enough to cover all my dirty items. At this point it was about 7:30 a.m. As my companion walked by, I asked, “How long will it take to wash these clothes?” He smiled and said, “I could do it in thirty minutes.” I then asked, “How long will it take me to do them?” He indicated it would probably take an hour or so.

I decided that I could do it for an hour. I wanted them done. I had to go out and buy a large bar of washing soap. I then sat down in the shower and got to work. Well after finishing one basin of clothes, my hands were starting to hurt. I still had three more basins to go. Oh well, no big deal. I continued to work.

I scrubbed and scrubbed and rubbed and rubbed until another basin was finished. At this point my shoulders and hands were pretty tired and sore. I really wanted to quit! But I knew I was half done. Stopping would be foolish since the clothes were already wet and waiting for me. I decided to check the time to help encourage me. A full hour and half had gone by and all I had been doing was washing clothes!!!

Well that really got me motivated! I bent over and started washing as fast as possible. After what seemed like a REALLY long time, I was finally finished. It was a great feeling to be done. At this point it hurt to bend my fingers because I had rubbed the skin off of all of my knuckles. My tan on my hands was gone. So I basically spent the rest of the day with my hands covered in Vaseline to soothe them. Throughout the rest of the day, I tried not to move my hands because they were on fire! I had learned a valuable lesson! Wash your dirty clothes every single night so they don’t pile up.

Well this week we saw two of the largest rats I have ever seen in my entire life. If any of you have ever seen “Princess Bride” then you know about the Fire Swamp and the giant rats. I met their cousins in Uganda! I saw the rats this week with my companion, when we were leaving the house on Tuesday morning.

As we we left the apartment, we saw a dog eating some dead animal that looked like a rodent. We decided to check it out. As we got closer, we were both pretty disgusted. It was a giant rat. The rat must have weighed around 4 pounds. The rat’s body was so big I would not have been able to wrap my fingers around its body. (I did not try this of course).

At first I thought it was a possum or something like that. Yet the longer I looked at it, I had to admit it was a rat. I just couldn’t believe it. It was huge! (I have a picture on my memory card. I will have my parents upload it after I send it home.)

A little later we saw one of these monsters as we were driving to a place way out in the bush.  I saw the giant rat sprint out of the bushes and cross the dirt road in front of us.  I couldn’t resist. I jumped on the gas and steered to hit it. I just wanted some more proof of their size. Sadly I missed him. The rats in Uganda are HUGE!

I have two more short stories then I will update you on the people we are teaching.

This week we saw a car that had driven into a ditch that was about 5 feet deep. We pulled over and offered to help them. They wanted to use the mission truck to pull their car out. I told them no. I explained that it wasn’t our truck. As we stood around trying to figure out how to get the car out of the ditch, more and more people gathered around.

Finally one of the guys suggested we lift it out. I thought to myself, “Yeah, right!” Boy was I wrong!!!! As we all gathered around the car, we began lifting in unison and then dropping it. We repeated this action of lifting and dropping over and over. The car was bouncing like a basketball up and out of the ditch.  It was pretty cool to see a car lifted out of a huge ditch by 15 people.

This next story is super short. On Wednesday we were tracting in the evening. It was getting dark. As we were walking along the road, we would greet people hoping to set up an appointment or/and invite them to church. As we passed one man, I stuck out my hand to greet him. Then WHAM he slapped my hand as hard as he could and said “NO!!!” and continued walking. I wasn't mad. I wasn't confused. I was completely shocked! In my entire mission experience, I have never had anyone slap my hand as a greeting. Crazy!

This week was another speedy one. We had the opportunity to do some tracting and to continue teaching our regular investigators. We have been focusing on trying to find more people who want to be taught more than the one lesson. This goal has not been going all that well. I am grateful for the people we have been teaching.

As I have mentioned before, Lydia has been coming to church for a long time and has been doing really well. She has accepted everything that we have taught her so far and she has really enjoys learning about Christ. Lydia can read. This is very exciting because she can read the Book of Mormon without us. Over the past five weeks, she has been reading the Book of Mormon. Over this time she has changed and loves the gospel.

One thing that I have learned on my mission is that as people read the Book of Mormon and really want to know if it is true, they will receive an answer. And more than that, if they read the Book of Mormon with and honest heart and open mind, it will testify the church is true and the Book of Mormon is Holy Scripture just like the Bible.

One thing I wish I had done more of before I left on my mission is to read the Book of Mormon to learn not just to read. As I have studied, I have learned so much. I have learned things that I would never imagined possible. I've noticed that on almost every single page of the Book of Mormon there is something to help us become better. When I apply to principles that I learn, I become a better person.

To finish off, I will write about Salomé and Geoffrey. This is the couple that I mentioned in a previous letter that has to pay a dowry before they can marry. While this is a sad thing, I am so happy at their commitment to pay the dowry quickly so that they can be married. Often when a couple is faced with this type of test, they just give up on getting married. But not so with Salomé and Geoffrey, they are scrimping and saving so that they can pay for the dowry. They want to be baptized. Their desire is solid.

As we teach them a new principle, they both commit and stick to it. They try to apply everything they learn. It will take them some time to pay dowry but I know that at one point or another they will be able to pay it and will be able to be baptized.

Thanks everyone for all of the Emails. I really appreciate it!!

I love ya all!


Elder Bitter

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