Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

   This has been a very good week. I'm really starting to feel like I'm well adjusted to Uganda now. The heat is still a bit too much most days but I'm getting more and more used to it each day. By the end of this transfer I'm going to be more Ugandan than American.
    I had a great Christmas. My companion baked sugar cookies and we rode around town wearing Santa hats, delivering them to all of our investigators. It was pretty funny to watch people's reactions as they saw a couple of white guys ride down the road in red and white velvet hats. Then Christmas night I got to be able to call/ Skype my family which was pretty sweet. It was nice to hear about their Christmas and all of their recent adventures.
    This week has also been surprisingly productive considering how many people had left town for Christmas. We broke our old record of eight lessons in a day, by getting ten. By the end of the day I was so tired I almost didn't make it to my bed. It felt really good to be able to be that productive.


Elder Grilliot

Typical Home in Lira 

An investigators home they built themselves 

Skyping with Family on Christmas Day

Monday, December 17, 2012

Questions from Home

Hello friends and family!!!! My parents sent me a list of questions to answer and I hope maybe a few of your own questions are on that list as well, if you want to send me a question just tell one of my family members.


1.   How many other elders do you live with?  Where are they from?

  I currently live with 3 other elders. Elder Cardon (my trainer from Utah), Elder Moleffe (a more experienced missionary from South Africa), and Elder Nyzekia (a younger missionary from Zimbabwe). It seems that most missionaries in Uganda are either from the states, South Africa, Zimbabwe, or Kenya.

2.   What do you eat for breakfast in Lira?

   Either eggs or oatmeal, they're usually the easiest thing to make in the mornings and also pretty cheap here.

3.   How many miles are you walking each day?

   We don't really walk that much because we have bikes, but I would say that on average we bike up to 12 miles a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. There's this one guy were teaching who lives way out in the village and every time we go to his house it’s like 10 minutes of biking down hill and like 45 minutes of struggling to bike uphill. By the end of it I feel like dying.

  4. Do you have power all the time?

    Power is very inconsistent out here, some days you have power all day, other times you will only have power for a few hours the whole day. I heard this story about a missionary who was getting his haircut and in the middle of it the power went out. His hair looked awful, but to add insult to injury he had a meeting with the mission president the next day, Haha. There are some mission apartments with backup generators but they're rare.

5.   Do you have a hot shower?  If not are you finding it hard to wake up?

   Yes most mission apartments have hot water, but there is one or two that don't have hot water. The mission apartments  have improved greatly over the last few years and most even has a microwave now.

6.  What does you toilet and Bathroom/ shower look like?

   Don't get me wrong our apartment is not like anything like the one at home, it's nothing to be proud of, but it's really not lacking anything either. We clean it every week on P-day so it doesn't look like some of the other bathrooms I’ve heard some missionaries having to use at an investigator's homes.

7.  How many people attend sacrament meeting on Sunday?

   This last week we had a Sacrament meeting attendance of 99 people, which is a little bit below average. On the holidays like this people usually leave town to visit their relatives in the villages.

8.  Is there anyone getting ready to be baptized right now?

    Yes there are always people getting ready to be baptized. We hold a baptism service every Saturday at 3:00pm and between us and the other 2 missionaries we live with we usually have at least 3 baptisms per week. The church is growing so fast in Lira that this area was only opened up like 6 months ago and we've already had to split the Lira branch, and might have to split it again in the upcoming months. The only reason why our branch is not a ward is because we don't have enough Melchizedek Priesthood holders. The moment people receive the Melchizedek priesthood they immediately go on a mission, and the church is so young in Lira that there aren't any RM's yet. Between the two branches in Lira there's less than 20 Melchizedek Priesthood holders.

9.  How is your grocery shopping in this new place?

   I really wish they had a Wal-mart out here. The supermarkets that are here basically only have the necessities. The things I buy the most out here are eggs, ground beef, and various pastas. depending on where you go you can find honey, Peanut butter, Tomato sauce, or other things like that but you have to go from supermarket to supermarket to see what they have in stock. I'm trying to get more inventive with my cooking but I'm not good really a chef. I wish I had a cook book for things like rice, flour, and other more common things like that.

10.  Question: Is there anything you wish you had that you don’t that we can send?

     This last week I was starving and remembered that I still had a cliff bar that Dad sent with me when I left for London. I ate that and It was probably the greatest thing I have ever eaten. It took 0 time to prepare and tasted amazing compared to what I've recently been eating. That would have to be the number one thing on my list of things I wish I had right now, Power Bars. Anything else like that would be awesome, food that tastes good and takes no time to prepare. (BTW keep in mind that even though you send me a package and it takes a week or two to get to Uganda, It can take another month to be released from customs. My companion got a package this week that was sent to him back in early October).

11.  Does the water have a smell to it?  Are you boiling your water?

   The water doesn't have a smell but looks a little bit murky. We have a water purifier in our apartment that we change out monthly and that's the only thing i trust drinking from/ brushing my teeth from.

12.   What is your favorite African food?

    There's something called Rolex that tastes really good (I'm actually eating right now at the Internet Cafe that I'm sending this from). It's basically a deep fried egg burrito with a bunch of carrot pieces, onion, and cabbage but in.

13.   Is there a bishop in Lira or is it a branch pres.?  How many men in the ward/branch?

   It's a branch pres. and he only has one counselor. We used to have two counselors but one of them left on a mission and they haven't replaced him yet. There are plenty of young men in the ward, and TONS of woman and children but not a lot of men. That's something they want us to focus on in our mission is finding and baptizing lots of worthy grown men.

14.   Are you staying mosquito bite free?

    There are tons of mosquitoes in Lira but for some reason you don't see them until sundown. Once it's nighttime you could get DESTROYED by mosquitoes but because we have mosquito nets we stay safe for the most part. I've also been very good at taking my malaria pills (which not only protects against malaria but from like 10 other diseases common in Uganda).

15.  How do you find people to teach?

   To be honest we have only gone tracking once my entire time here in Lira. We have so many investigators that we don't need to track. We also can't do any street contacting because there are no such things as street addresses outside of Kampala so we could never find them again. The most we can do is get their phone number and give them directions to our church. To get investigators we either get refusals from members or we just teach people at church. From like 4:00 until 9:00 we teach investigators at church (It gets dark between 5 and 6 and isn't safe to walk around town at this time) and because people know this they will either bring their friends to us to teach them. Or random people just will walk in and ask us "Ive seen you white guys riding your bikes all around town and I was wondering if you could tell me what it is that you guys do all day", or they might ask "My friend was talking about your church and I was wondering if you could tell me what you believe in". It's too easy to find people out here to teach, and so many of them accept the gospel so easily.

16.  Do you have any trees on your property with “fruit” on them that you can eat?

   There are fruit trees everywhere. Usually if we teach at an investigators house they'll leave us with some fruit that they've grown off of their property. So far I’ve tasted their oranges (which are actually green here for some reason),  paw paws (pronounced po po), and the pineapples (best pineapple you will ever have) here. We grow paw paws on our property but there not that great, they taste like a watermelon mixed with a pumpkin. I'm waiting for the rainy season because our church has passion fruit and jack fruit growing on its property. You won't have to worry about me starving out here because I could walk 5 min in any direction and find mango trees and orange trees galore.

17.  How is the technology?  Where do you go to e-mail?

    Technology is the same as back in the States it's just much more expensive and less common to find. Everyone has a TV and a cell phone, but besides that most technology is hard to come across.

18.   How many missionaries are in your zone?

    Our zone has 8 missionaries. 4 for each branch in Lira. The two branches are on opposite sides of town, just as the mission apartments are.

19.  How are you going to celebrate Christmas? Can’t wait to talk to you at Christmas.  We need to figure out a time to talk.

   Our branch is going to have a Christmas party this Saturday before Christmas, so that should be fun. The Grundys (the couple missionaries in Lira) are going to have us over to their house on Christmas day and we will probably have chicken (which is a delicacy for most people out here).

20.  Do you have a fridge?

   Yes. We also have a microwave, crock pot and stove. My companion also has a blender but when he leaves so does the blender.

21.  How long do you get to study scriptures each morning?  How often and what do you do for exercise?

   We get one hour of personal study and one hour of companionship study each day. For exercise I just do some push-ups and sit ups in the morning but that's about it. Riding my bike up and down hills all day is about all the exercise i need.

22.  How much time do you have for e-mails? After your emails and laundry, what do you do on p-day?

     People love soccer out here so we usually get together as a zone (and bring a few investigators with us) to play soccer on P-day. We have 2 hours of email time.

23.  Are you doing your own laundry?  How’s that going?

   We pay one of the members to do our Landry. 5000 shillings per week. I wish that we had a dryer though, more than once it has rained while our clothes were hanging on the line.

24.  What is your favorite thing about Lira?

   The people! Other missionaries call Lira the promised Land because of how easy it is to find and teach people here. It's not as easy in Kampala.

25.  Do most of the homes have flooring or the dirt like we’ve seen in some pictures?  Is the population mostly women and children?

    Some people have dirt flooring but most have cement flooring. Also yes, there are tons of woman and children here. I would say woman outnumber men 2 to 1, and children outnumber adults 3 to 1.

   Thank you for all of the Emails and Love. I apologize if I can't email everyone back but I will try my best.


Elder Scott Grilliot


Monday, December 10, 2012

  Dear Family and Friends,
  This has been a crazy week. I was released from the MTC on Tuesday at about 5 in the morning. Then all eight of us going to Uganda had to wait in the airport until like 2pm until our flight took off. We ate at a burger joint there (where we had probably the best meal I’ve had since I’ve come to Africa) and went shopping for ties (They had a store where you could get 2 ties for a little over 10$) until our plane took off. About 4 hours later when our flight landed, we could all tell immediately the difference between the South African airport that we took off from and the Kampala Airport where we landed at. The airport in South Africa resembled what an airport in the states would look like, while the one in Kampala was very small, had no air conditioning, and was pretty basic as far as airports go. It was so small that you could go from one side of the airport to the other, visiting every store, in probably 5 minutes. Once we picked up our bags we were greeted by the mission pres., his wife, and like 10 other missionaries (including our 3 APs), and they took us to the AP's apartment for the night. While we were driving there I got my first taste of Ugandan driving. It was insane. There are no traffic lights, no stop signs, and everyone drives close to or over 100 km per hour. Also because of how narrow the roads are you find yourself on the right side of the road to get around people just as often as you find yourself on the left side of the road. When I think about the ride to the APs house I find myself still surprised that I'm alive.

    So then when we got to the APs apartment we got settled for the night. It was so hot that night that we all had fans blowing on us and we all slept without any blankets on and we were still sweating all night. It got really hot in that apartment because we stayed in the basement of the apartment they have virtually no ventilation in some rooms. Then when we woke up that morning something happened that I don't think I will ever forget.

   I was one of the first ones up so i decided to try to take a shower before anyone else got up. I got into the bathroom and started up the shower and waited for the water to heat up. While I was waiting I used the toilet, and flushed it when I was done. I turned back to the shower when I heard a popping sound and heard rushing water. I looked back at the toilet and saw a giant hole in the wall between the shower and toilet were there used to be a valve that controlled the regulation of water for the shower. Water was spraying everywhere and within minutes the entire bathroom was flooded. I ran out of the bathroom and alerted everyone that there was something wrong with the bathroom. When people looked in that bathroom there was a look of mixed terror and amusement that I had rarely seen before. Eventually we were able to get the water shut off for the whole apartment but not before the bathroom looked like a swimming pool.

   Later that day we went to the president’s house where he gave us instruction and orientation. We got to meet the financial and medical advisers for the Uganda Kampala mission where they also orientated us. The Mission Presidents house is amazing, it would be a nice looking house if it were in the states, but for Uganda he's living like a king.

   That night we visited the mission office and then stayed at the APs apartment again for the night. The next morning Elder Bukenya (another missionary from the MTC) and I left for Lira, a small city in the mid-northern part of Uganda. That's where we met our new companions.

    My district has bikes which is a huge blessing because only like 5% of the entire mission has bikes. Zone leaders and APs all get trucks but everyone else has to walk.

    So far I really like Uganda, (the people are very kind and awesome) but I've got to say, i really miss air-conditioning. Especially in Lira, which is (from what I've been told) one of the hottest areas in all of Uganda. The only place so far I've been to so far with air conditioning is Pres. Jackson's house.

   I miss you guys and I give you my love. It's good to hear from you and that Cameron has been baptized, and I'm looking forward to calling on Christmas to be able to tell you all about my adventures in Uganda.

     Much love- Elder Grilliot

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our Place in Lira

Through an LDS MOM e-mail group I have been able to meet up with Elder Cardon's Mom.  Elder Cardon is Elder Grilliot's trainer. This is his fourth time he has been a trainer so he must be an execellent trainer!  She sent me these two pictures.  This is the house they are living in right now with two other elders.  So four elders live all together.  They like to keep them together for safety.  The other picture was taken during the "rainy" season after a severe rain storm. Looks like we should have sent him with rain boots!  His P-Day is on Monday so we should be getting an e-mail when we wake in the morning.  This is his first Sunday there. Sister Cardon told us in an e-mail that their church building is under renovation so they are meeting in a tent!

                                                              Our "Pink" House in Lira

After heavy rains

Thursday, December 6, 2012


We wanted to let you know that your son, Elder Grilliot, arrived safely in Uganda.  He will be serving in Lira, Uganda and his trainer will be Elder Cardon.  He is a fine young man and we are looking forward to working with him.

Sister Pamela J. Grundy

Uganda Kampala Mission

Nakawa House

Mission Office SecretaryUganda

 In 2011, UBOS estimated the mid-year population of Lira at 108,600.  Lira is 134.64 miles from Kampala, Uganda.

 Somone on Youtube took video of Lira from their hotel room it gives you a taste of the area.

Another youtube video of town market in Lira.  People in van recording scene while looking for fresh fish.

This is a picture of the Dara Christian High School in Lira.

"Open Market" in Lira
My companion Elder Cardon is not pictured.  I'll  be sending pictures of him soon.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dec. 1, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

     This last week has been pretty awesome. On Last Saturday we went on splits with the (real) missionaries in Johannesburg and went proselyting with them. It was the first time i really felt like I was in Africa since I got here. The place we went proselyting at was Dobsinville, it's kind of like the ghetto part of Johannesburg. It was a really eye opening experience to see how people live and all of the cultural differences from America. Every house (no matter how poor) is surrounded by an 8 foot tall iron fence because the crime rate in South Africa is awful. People don't mind if you walk straight through one of these gates and on to their property though, in fact they’re always excited to see the missionaries. That goes double for drunk people. I'm not sure why, but on three different occasions, a completely wasted dude came running down the street and started rambling and shouting at us. I asked the missionary if that was normal and he was like "yeah, drunk people love the missionaries for some reason”. He also said I must be good luck because he usually never sees so many drunks in one day.
      We had a presentation from the Churches Health authority in Africa, he told us about all the different diseases throughout Africa and how to not catch them. He also gave us all a mosquito net to take with us to the field and he gave us a water bottle that purifies water. This last week we had the chance to teach real people (usually we just teach our instructors role-playing as investigators). My companion and I did an awesome job and the spirit was so super strong as we taught. It was one of the best experiences I've had so far in the MTC.
     You asked about how to find The MTC on Google images, if you go past the front gate of the MTC the building on the right is where the dorm rooms, class rooms, cafeteria, and everything is at. The other building (there's a volleyball court next to it) is actually an LDS church building. I hoped that helped a bit. Sorry about the date I gave you last week, but the real date I leave for the field is on December 4th. I don't have any specifics on the flight info (I don't even have my ticket yet) but I do know that it's about a 4 hour flight.

Lots of Love,

Elder Grilliot

MTC in Johannesburg

Johannesburg South Africa Temple

This is an e-mail that Sister Reber sent out to all the families today titled "Miracle of the Day".

Another group of missionaries is preparing to leave for the Mission Field on Tuesday.  Elder Grilliot, from Illinois, received an email from his father today....giving him his line of Priesthood authority.  His father was ordained a High Priest by my cousin, Ted Dahl.  Then his father ordained Elder Grilliot to be an Elder.  So the Elder's line of authority goes right to his father and then Ted Dahl.  He was so excited to show me another connection that we have.

Goodness....what is the chance that in South Africa I would meet someone who's line of Priesthood Authority connects to my cousin?  Well, it wasn't chance.  We feel the love of God in so many ways here at the MTC.  This is just one of the many ways I am blessed.

We are decorating for Christmas!

At the MTC we "talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ" (2Nephi 25:26) and now we are setting out the nativity scenes to remind us of his holy birth.

Sister Janet Reber
South Africa MTC