Monday, November 10, 2014

Beauty of the Wild - November 10, 2014

Woot, woot! Hello everyone I will start by telling the story of the week (maybe the story of my mission)!

I have now been in Lira for almost six months. Some of us have been waiting for approval to go to a game park. Last week we finally got the okay. We piled in our truck (it was a little tight) and we drove down to a game park called Chobe at about 3:30 in the morning. Our purpose for leaving so early was to witness the sunrise at 6:00 am.

We made it just as the sun was coming up. We convinced the security guard to let us in before opening time. While one Elder drove the truck, the rest of us hopped into the back of the truck with our cameras and slowly began the drive through the reserve looking for the wild animals.

After driving for some time, we saw a herd of giraffe. Elder Frakes stopped the truck. We were all going crazy with our cameras. We were literally chasing them on foot hoping to gather them into a circle so that we could take some amazing photos. It was awesome!

We took a ton of pictures and did not succeed in gathering them into a group. In fact we accomplished just the opposite—we chased them away. When they were out of sight, we slowly worked our way back to the truck. We began to drive very slowing anticipating seeing more animals. THEN (I am not exaggerating) about 35-40 giraffe just starting running across the driving trail! As we watched these magnificent animals, we were yelling, cheering and screaming. It was an incredible experience!

After we watched the giraffe to our hearts content, we drove on. We were able to see wart hogs, weird birds, water buffalo, hippos, and monkeys. It was awesome! But the giraffe were the coolest of all.

Now for the work! Christine was baptized this week! This was a sweet experience—baptizing first Kalisto, then a little later his two boys, Ronald and Emmanuel, and now Christine. This brings the number to three baptized families in the last six months in the Lira branch. There are not many families in the Lira Branch so these families really increase the size of the branch. The really exciting thing about this family is that they are already talking about getting their passports so that when the time comes they will be ready to go to the temple! This is so cool and a great example for the rest of the members.

Kalisto has received the priesthood so he was able to baptize Christine. It was a really cool baptismal service. There was a different feeling at this baptize than the other baptisms for the other members of the family. I think the very fact that Kalisto was able to perform the ordinance made all the difference. Christine bore a super testimony about how she had been determined to never join the church. But after Kalisto’s baptism and over time, she saw the Lord blessing her family. She witnessed change in her family. When she finally agreed to take the lessons, she realized that there was something different about this gospel. She bore her testimony with humility and power.

Sure love you and hope all is well!

Have a good one,

Elder Bitter

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