Monday, September 29, 2014
This week flew by! It is hard to describe how fast things are moving. Most things are going smoothly. This past week we had one baptism. We had the opportunity to baptize Sister Florence (referral from Sister Grace a recent convert). She bore a nice testimony to us about her experience with the word of wisdom and how obeying that commandment has really blessed her life. One of the blessings was that her life was more enjoyable and peaceful.
My companion is an amazing elder. He really understands the gospel and especially the importance of teaching the gospel to others. He is so willing to give up anything to make sure that he teaches correct doctrine. This is so cool to watch. It is really awesome to see how dedicated he is. On top of that he is a fun, easy going, and happy guy.
Elder Whitworth and I over the past week have had the opportunity to do some finding. As we have been searching, we have really seen the Lord prepare people for us to meet. One of the miracles in this preparation is that the people that we have found and taught in their homes have been educated and understand English really well. This is a miracle because my companion has not adjusted yet to the language. Since we have been led to very literate people, it has made it easy for him to teach and understand them. This is AWESOME!
The Lord has blessed us so much because it is not common to find a lot of people that speak English so well and we have been finding them EVERY day. The Lord is really taking care of us and whenever things work out; it is all Him. I am grateful to be an instrument in His hands.
We are still going to be tracting a lot this coming week because we are trying to rebuild our teaching pool. All will work out. I feel very positive about things.
All is good up here in Lira. I hope all is well back home.
I sure love you all!
Monday, September 22, 2014
Hey everyone this letter is going to be short. I am a little sick. My desire to type and stare at a computer is at an all-time low. Each day I have been able to do the work but as soon as we get home for the evening, I just sleep. I think that I might be getting better.
This week has really been hectic. We had a lot of traveling involved—picking up all the missionaries and other transfer business. I also have a new companion. His name is Elder Whitworth. He is from Centerville , Utah. He is a really nice guy and is really excited about the work. He is already an amazing missionary. He is driven and has a strong desire to go about doing the work.
This week we did a lot of finding and had a lot of successes. We found some really great people and a few of them came to church and one of them accepted a baptismal date as well which is awesome. Florence and Lillian are doing really well and are progressing in the gospel. They are really involved in the branch.
Sister Florence will be baptized this next week as long as all continues to go well. As I mentioned last letter, Grace is her good friend but I don’t think that I mentioned that they live together. This has really helped Florence in her progress. They are both faithful to the church and obedient to God’s commandments which is awesome!
The work is really moving forward. Things are good. Sorry for the short letter. I just can’t focus anymore on the screen.
Have a good week!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
As you know, we have six missionaries in our apartment. The three missionaries that have been transferred out are Elders Sithole, Sisa, Erau. In our apartment there will be three brand new missionaries and three missionaries training them. This will be super cool thing. I have never been in an apartment with this many new missionaries before. I am looking forward to it. I hope and pray that all will go well and that the new missionaries will just love the mission and love the work as well. What a wonderful opportunity to train!
Of course there will be a lot of trivial things to do like making sure he doesn’t get hit by cars because he is looking the wrong way when he is crossing the street and making sure he chooses his food wisely etc. But I think it will be fun and hope that I can share the excitement of the work.
Now back to the work. This week we have two people that look promising. We are teaching two sisters named Lillian and Florence. They are both awesome and are doing well. Lillian owns a restaurant. It is a nice place with good food.
One day she yelled to us from her restaurant and told us to come in. She then asked us what we were doing because she said she saw us everywhere. After explaining what we do, we set up a return appointment. Since then she has been soaking up the gospel and applying it as well. Awesome!
As far as Florence is concerned, we were actually teaching her about 13 weeks ago. She was doing well but she left for some contract work and now she is back. I don’t know if you remember Grace (She got baptized a few weeks back.) but Florence is a good friend to Grace. Grace has been such a great support to Florence. We actually met both of them while they were working together in the garden.
I can’t really think about much else right now. Sure love you all and hope that all is well!
Sorry I am a day late in posting. The Mission President asked us to come down to Kampala yesterday so that we could take care of some things for the zone. The drive to Kampala is not a short one. We basically drove to Kampala, picked up the supplies etc., and drove back to Lira.
As we drove home, it really started to get dark and gloomy outside. It was a low light so we had to slow down and go really, really, really slow. The light was so bad that we couldn’t see the potholes in the road. Consequently, we got back really late so we could not email yesterday.
So we are grabbing a few moments this morning to email and let you know we are alive and then we will get back to work. Let me start with a funny story that happened on Sunday. This morning was like any other Sunday morning. As we were preparing for the day, I received a call from our branch president. When I answered immediately I heard, “Elder Bitter, there is a water emergency at the church. We need you and the Elders here now!" We hopped right in the truck and drove over to the church. When we got inside the church, we could not believe our eyes!
There was 2-4 inches of water throughout the whole building. The time was 8:30 am and church starts at 10:00. Luckily the floor in the church is tile so the floor was sealed and protected. The Branch President looked at us and said, “We need all this water removed before church starts.” Well we got to work. We grabbed buckets, filled them with water, and hauled them from the building. My job was to fill the buckets and then the rest of the group would haul the water out. For some reason I was standing around waiting for the others to get back so I could fill their buckets. It was going so SLOWLY!
I realized that they were carrying the buckets down the stairs and out the door of the building. (We are on an upper story of a bank.) After they all came up and gave me their buckets, I grabbed one bucket smiled at everyone and walked over to the window and threw it out the window. It was pretty funny to see their faces when they realized how easy it would be to just throw the water out the window.
Once we had removed the majority of the water, we broke out towels and squeegees and went to work trying to dry the floor so that it wouldn't be super slippery. At 9:40 we were finished! We put our shoes on, rolled down our suit pants and welcomed everyone into the building. It was pretty awesome. When it comes to tackling a task in a small amount of time, we nailed it! It was a funny, fun, and wild experience all mixed in one. I was really nervous that we would not have the building ready for the members but it worked out. The Lord wanted us to have church.
Now for the work!!! So this week, we spent the majority of the time finding. And we found some awesome people. They seem to be prepared and ready to receive the gospel. One of them is a guy named Alex. He is a really kind guy who is married. (Hurray!) At first, he was somewhat hesitant about letting us share with him. However, as we shared with him our message, he really tuned in and was able to understand what we said. This made it easy to teach him.
After our water event on Sunday, we were really hopeful that some of our new investigators would make it to church. (We did not have anyone else coming.) Instead of those people that we had found during the week, people we had taught in the past but had stopped teaching because they would not keep their commitments came. To our surprise not a single one of the people we had tracted during the week came to church. But many of our previous investigators came instead! We were really stoked about this because it was their decision to come. They didn’t come because we had asked them to.
So basically the Lord once again provided a way for us to be successful. One thing I have learned on my mission is that if we just put forth ALL our effort, the Lord will make it possible for things to work out. Sometimes it is not the way we expect but it does work out.
Well that’s all I have for this week. I sure love ya all and hope all is well.
Monday, September 1, 2014
This week’s emailing cafe is the best ever! We found a new internet cafe this week. It is the best I have used since being in Uganda! An American owns this café. It has Dell computers and reasonable internet. It’s a NGO internet cafe and I really like it a lot. I am officially sold on this place!
We had a wonderful week because of Kalisto’s children. We have been teaching his children the past few weeks. They were baptized this week! The baptism was awesome because Kalisto had recently received the priesthood so he was able to baptize his own children. This was so wonderful.
A little humor about the baptism was that his children were super afraid of water. I felt bad about that because it made it hard for him to baptize them. They were fighting him as he tried to immerse them in the water. But Kalisto had such a good sense of humor about the whole thing that it was not stressful but felt as if all would go well—which it did. As his kids refused to go under the water, (they would stiffen their legs and back) he would just laugh because he didn’t know they were afraid of water.
As he laughed and laughed and laughed, he decided he try a new technique instead of leaning them backwards; he just let them slowly immerse themselves by sitting down slowly in the water. It was really an interesting thing to watch. After the baptism, Kalisto came up to us chuckling a little and said, "They act so tough but you put them in some cold water and that toughness just disappears instantly!" As soon as his kids came out he stopped laughing (which was good). The children all expressed their gratitude for their father that they were able to work it all out and be able to be baptized. They really are just an awesome family.
We are all praying for Kalisto’s wife right now. She refuses to be baptized. We are not sure why but we really hope that she will come to learn the truth. The gospel will really bless her and her family. The blessing of going to the temple together to be sealed as a family is indescribable.
Things are great and moving forward. Two people that we have recently found and are progressing are Patrick and Nelson. Nelson owns a restaurant, has a nice family and is a great guy. One of the best things about him is that when you commit him to do something he always does it. He is good on his word which really makes all the difference in missionary work! When a person really prays and asks God if these things are true, God answers his prayers.
The work here in Lira is good and it is a place full of people who are ready for the gospel. Another bonus is that I am close to Elder Grilliot (my cousin). We have been in the past on opposite sides of the mission but now were only about 1.5 hours apart. We don’t really see each other that often but it is nice to be closer. He is really a stud out here. He is driven and works hard. He is a diligent missionary. What a great guy and a great example to the whole mission. He is the boss.
I sure love you all and hope that all is going well. Have a good week! Talk to you all next week.