Monday, August 15, 2011


Here in Uganda there are many traditions that are not good for the people. One of these is 'bride price' where a girl's family asks for goods such as cattle, goats, chickens, blankets, etc. in exchange for their approval to marry her. Most are so poor that it is almost impossible for the men to provide such goods, so the couple will just live together without any form of marriage, have their children, and the families don't seem to object to it. When the missionaries teach couples like this they are unable to baptize them because they are not living the Lord's law of chastity. If the couple is truly converted we provide a way for them to be married without any cost to them. Some seek permission from the families, some don't. Since we have been here in Mbale we have been involved in getting five couples married (three more pending). The only problem is, Mbale has not yet received the government's approval to have marriages performed at our building, so we have to transport the people to Jinja which is two hours away.

Paul and Scovia were the first to be married. He was baptized the Saturday following their ceremony. She was baptized a few weeks later. He is now the Elder's Quorum Pres.

Wilson and Catherine had miracles occur that allowed them to be married. Catherine followed Wilson into the waters of baptism and they have been stalwarts in the church.

Samson and Jackie were so happy to be married and be baptized the following Saturday.

Sam and Jennifer were married a week ago Saturday and baptized this Saturday.

Nisha and Joseph on the right of this picture are a happily married couple now and will continue to be taught by the missionaries as they prepare for baptism.
It is so fun to be involved in this work of joining families together and bringing them into the Lord's church.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Busia is Blossoming

On June 11th we made another trip to Busia to teach the group of people then numbering 40, only this time we were there to introduce the first missionaries to be assigned to their town (other than the couple missionaries). Terry and I reviewed with them what we had been teaching up to that day including some hymns, the apostasy, restoration, coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the Plan of Salvation and the commandments such as the Word of Wisdom, law of chastity, keeping the Sabbath day holy, etc....when the four missionaries, the zone leader from Mbale and an elder of the church arrived. It was a fantastic moment in our missionary experience. Each elder came into the home, shook everyone's hand and sat down, it was like the army of the Lord arriving. Each elder stood and introduced himself, bore testimony and said how happy he was to be in Busia. The zone and district leaders decided what to do from that point on. They divided the people up into three groups depending on how long they have been coming to the meetings with us. So we left them...happily and a bit group was on the porch, another, under the mango tree and the long-timers in the home. It was a wonderful moment but I forgot to take pictures.
Since that time the Busia elders have been diligently teaching and preparing them for baptism. The big day came on July 17th...we traveled the two hours to join up with the group as they loaded into taxi vans to travel another 45 minutes to get to Lake Victoria for the 31 baptisms.
Picture of all 31 to be baptized.

First group to be baptized
We only had 13 sets of clothes so the next group had to put on wet clothes...nobody complained!!
Elder Tyler had organized the records so well that my job of recording who baptized who was not difficult at all. It was so fun to see the joy each person felt as they came out of the water.
Some men from Majanji saw us drive through their little town on our way to the lake and walked down to see what was happening. They witnessed many of the baptisms (a couple of them had been taught by the missionaries in Busia) and wanted to have an opportunity to hear more of the gospel and receive baptism too. Terry took some time with them explaining about the Book of Mormon and gave them copies of their own, along with some pamphlets but couldn't promise when missionaries will be sent to their area. Heavenly Father's children in this land are hungry to know Him.

On our way out of Busia Terry was commenting that the car was pulling heavily towards the left and wondered why. It was only a minute later when there was a thump, thump...and we knew we had a flat tire. We pulled over off the road and within minutes we had help from three young men who were just passing by and offered to help. What could have been a very bad experience turned into a very positive one. There were so many spectators around us by the time the tire was changed I decided it was a good opportunity to give out some booklets on the doctrine of Christ and as a distraction while Terry paid the helpers a tip for helping.
We got home just before dark, tired and a bit hungry, but very happy and spiritually full.
The next day we took Terry's suit pants and all the baptismal clothes to be laundered.
We are grateful to be here and involved in such a wonderful work.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mbale Branch Organized

I know that most of the entries on this blog are way over-due but our internet service and electrical power has really given us a fit for months on end. A couple days ago we had our IT guy from Kampala here and he has worked wonders.
Anyway, on June 5th after such diligent work of all the Mbale missionaries (to the right), our church group was organized into a Branch with a new Branch Presidency (the President being a new member of only three months), an Elders Quorum Presidency, Relief Society, Primary and Sunday School Presidents and Sunday School teacher. President Jackson, the mission President, came and did all the interviewing, calling and setting-aparts and where needed, ordinations. It was an awesome day and the Branch has been growing ever since.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pastor Friends

It has been a privilege and blessing for us to get to know a number of pastors in Uganda. We have enjoyed our visits with them which in Mbale are usually on Mondays. We call our P-days such not as a Preparation Day but as a Pastor Day. We first met Simon and Ambrose when we stopped at Faith Radio to see about getting the Mormon Tab Choir program on their station. It turned out that they don't have good enough equipment to down load the program but we have a great friendship developing.
Ambrose, Elder Rix and Simon
The next pastor we met in Mbale actually stopped us in town as we were going into Bam to do a little shopping. He had noticed our name and he made a comment that his name was almost the same...REX. So he gave us his card and invited us to his church for the Wednesday fellowship.
Rex in the rain.

The reason we were assigned to Mbale was to befriend and teach William, the pastor of the Restored Church,....he broke off from the Reorganized Church when they started to change their doctrines and more or less discarded the Book of Mormon. It's been a slow process but he has now said he wants to be baptized and will work with his members to bring them along also.
Brother William with his granddaughter.
Then last but not least, is our friend in Busia, Silas. He is the head pastor in that area and is getting close to retiring. We met him on our first visit to Busia and have seen him almost every time we have been there. On one visit he asked us for a Book of Mormon and has been reading it...the last time we heard, he was already in the book of Helaman and was really enjoying it. You will see in the pictures his love of the scriptures by the look of his scriptures.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

To Market, To Market to buy.....

There are times when we wish there was a Costco or Walmart down the street from us. Shopping would be so much easier. As it is, we travel over pot-holed roads to town and shop at a "Super market" called Bam. They have much of what we need but are low on much of what we want. They don't carry much fresh produce because the open market is located down the block and over a few more blocks. We have to tread lightly around the garbage and don't breath too deeply because of the smell to buy such items as: carrots, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, green peppers and pineapples.
All of our vegetables, fruits and eggs have to be soaked in a clorox solution before we can think of eating them or we might end up with what they call 'runny tummy'.


In a previous blog it was mentioned that Willie, our gardener and part-time guard, cut the lawn on the two acre lot with a machete which would take him days and days of back breaking work. Some people from the mission office stopped by one day when he was hard at it and decided that they would make sure he got a push mower.
The day Terry put the lawnmower together and gave it to him to use, he spent the next four hours and mowed all but the bottom terrace. He has since figured out to leave the catcher for the clippings slows him down.

Together Again

We are loving our mission in Uganda. The country is beautiful and the people have been so kind to us and are eager to learn of the Savior's restored church which we are happy to teach!!
One of the best highlights of our time here was when our children and grandson came for a (too) short visit. Families are meant to be together forever and we felt blessed to have them with us and to see the delight they felt as we traveled through Uganda. The sights and sounds were always interesting and even the long trips seemed shorter because there was always something to see.

Seeing each other for the first time in many months.

Here's the first of many wild beasts they saw in country. We have lots of these guys at the church building in Mbale.

On the hill overlooking the "source of the Nile".
We took a short boat ride to see the natural spring bubbling up into the outlet of Lake Victoria which 'they' say is the source of the Nile river. Then we hurried back to our friends home where Ben was ordained by his father to the office of a High Priest. It was an amazing and humbling experience and the main reason Ben came to Uganda.

Happy travelers on the way to Murchison Falls game park.