Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

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


1 comment:

  1. Good questions & even better answers. I can picture your everyday life and what missionary work is like in Uganda. WOW so missionary heaven! Jeremy is extremely jealous . . . Spain was not quite this open and receptive. 3 baptisms a week; that's so amazing! Great to hear from you Elder!