Monday, October 6, 2014

Demolition Team - October 6, 2014

Dearest people in the world:

This week I will to try to write a nice email including the work and cool things that have happened.

We had many cool things happen this week. I will mention four. I will save the best for last! This week we were walking around trying to find someone to teach and we saw two large guys breaking down a house. We walked over and started talking with them. We were trying to figure out what in the world they were doing. As it turns out, they were the demolition team for the house. The owner wanted to rebuild the house bigger and better. We chatted for a little while and then we dropped our bags and said let us help.

We did not give them an option. We did not ask, we just told them we were going to help. With a little joking and teasing, they finally agreed. Man did we have fun!

We had picks, sledge hammers and the like. We were kicking down walls, pulling down the roof and having a blast doing it. As time went on, all the workers ended up joining us. We were laughing, joking and really enjoying ourselves.

After demolishing 95% of the house, we had one extremely large wall that was about 9 feet long and about 10 feet high. We decided that we would try to push over the whole wall at once. We were heaving, pushing and kicking the wall laughing all the way. Finally it started to sway. We began to rock it back and forth until TIMBER!! The wall tumbled down and landed with a loud THUD. This service was fun and therapeutic at the same time. Hahaha!

After we finished taking down this house, we sat down and taught all of the workers about the gospel. It was pretty awesome. The only one that is really showing potential so far is a man named James. He is the head of the demolition team. We will see how it all goes.

The second really cool thing that happened this week was with the shopkeeper for one of the local grocery stores. At this store, I am a well-known and loyal customer. I have been in Lira for about six months now and I go there probably three times a week. So basically we are all on a first name basis. I was visiting with the owner of the store and he said, “I want you and your friends to come to my house this week and celebrate the holiday with me.”

We smiled and told him we would love to celebrate with him. We showed up on Saturday and discovered that this man probably has the nicest home I have been in during my whole mission. While we were there, we chatted and told him about the gospel. It was really cool and relaxed. After a while, he said, “It is time to celebrate.” He then leaves the room and his family brings out a large mat which they placed on the floor. They then all sat on the floor. After sitting on the floor, the house workers brought out the celebration food.

They brought out platter after platter of food. I am not exaggerating! They brought out a platter of Pilau (a rice, vegetable, and meat combination) that was probably close to 15 pounds. They had killed four chickens, a whole goat, made two kilos of chapatis, and probably 5 pounds of fish. And then there was a variety of sauces and gravies and all sorts of other things like matloke, gnut, and other foods that no one at home would really recognize.

Well after they brought this out, the shopkeeper came in and looked at us (His family got up and left which left six missionaries and three of his friends) and said, “My friends this is for us. There is more food in the back for my family.”

We were the guests of honor. I think he wanted to destroy us with amazing food. He then told us that we don’t stand up until the food is gone. This is the holiday’s tradition! I could not believe it. His other friends knew of the tradition and agreed. Believe it or not with shear grit and determination and a stomach of steel, we conquered the mountain of food.

Elder Ngesi who is someone that came out on the mission with me, looked at me half way through and said, "Elder all those days of work where you feel nothing has worked out and you hoped for more this is the payment for those days." We all laughed and joked and ate and ate and ate until we were all sick of food and stuffed to the tops of our throats but we finished it. This gift was given by Mbrook the big man of Lira. It was super awesome. We are going to continue trying to teach him. We will see how that goes.

The third amazing thing that happened this week is that over the past few transfers (about 20 weeks), we have constantly been talking to Calisto's wife (the doctor that we baptized some time back). During this time she has refused our message and the idea of attending church. I have introduced Elder Whitworth to her multiple times and this past week she not only committed to come to church with her husband, she actually came! I really believe the Lord was saving her change of heart so that Elder Whitworth could see the miracles of the work.

He truly saw the miracle! She not only came to church but she brought all her children and she sat with her husband. My companion at that moment saw the “greatness” of this work. When something amazing like this happens, it just motivates you and invites the Spirit instantly into the room and into your heart. If she joins the church, this will be the third complete family in the branch. This will be a wonderful way to start Elder Whitworth’s mission. Please pray for her!

I never could understand why she refused for so long to accept the gospel. But now that it has happened and she has admitted that she might join the church, I understand part of the reason it took so long. It was so Elder Whitworth could see the Lord’s mighty hand in the work. It is HIS WORK!

Elder Whitworth will be an amazing missionary. He teaches with the spirit. He acts like a missionary. He talks and dresses like a missionary. These things make a huge difference in the effectiveness of the missionary.

Finally, miracle number four is James! He is different from the James mentioned in the above paragraphs. We have been teaching him for about four months and he is ready for baptism. He will be baptized on December 6, 2014. The reason for the wait is he is getting married on November 29. He has been living with his fiance for a few years but he is now going to get married.

The date is set and we are invited whoot, whoot. James is a really amazing guy. He is 31 and is an accountant for a Big NGO organization out here. He does very well for his family and is a very successful guy. He has read about 3/4 of The Book of Mormon and will complete it soon. I really like this guy a lot.

Thank you for the encouraging and kind words in the emails. It is always nice to read them. I can now say that I am finally over that sickness that I talked about a little while back. This is really a great blessing! I am ready to continue on with full strength. Thanks for all you do! I sure love ya all! I hope that all is well.

Love you!

Elder Bitter

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