Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year

Dear Dad,
Happy belated birthday! Hope that you had a good one!
Ya new years is a big holiday. It is celebrated much like how it is back home.

Wow, your getting surgery? (Chuck has a minor tear in his left knee that interferes with his tennis so at the beginning of the year he is getting surgery.)Hope it goes well and everything. Update me on how it goes.
Hooray for Green Bay!!!

Love you dad!

Dear MOM,
I LOVE all the things mentioned in the package! Thank you so much! The only thing in that package that you can find in Uganda are the pringles, but they are kind of expensive (8 or 9 thousand shillings). Thank you soooo much for that! The things that I am most excited about are the potato packets (cheesy potatoes), and the taco and sloppy Joe packets.
Thanks for sharing that missionary moment, You are doing such a great job at looking for opportunities to share the gospel. You will be able to help this lady Ann, I have faith in you.
Love you mom!
Elder G-lot (The people in Uganda have a difficult time pronouncing Gril-liot so they call him G-lot)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas in Uganda

In 3 days I'll be calling home so I won't make this email too long.
   It's been a nice week thus far as I have been trying not to think too much about Christmas. We've already been invited to eat at several peoples homes. Christmas in Uganda is much different from back home. I would compare a Ugandan Christmas Much more with an American Thanksgiving. Not too many gifts given out or anything like that, (although on occasion they do if they have some excess money that time of year) no Santa or his flying reindeer, and no Christmas tree with the fancy lights. Just lots and lots and lots of food. Chicken is the most common thing to eat on Christmas here, but sometimes there will be Turkey, or pork. They also eat plenty of Motoke (it's like a steamed banana), Posho (I don't even know how to describe Posho) and rice. The whole family gets together and then feasts on this special time of year. And of coarse lots of people get drunk on this day of celebration.

  Anyway Enjoy your Christmas Celebrations. For those of you in my immediate family, I talk to you on Wednesday. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kentucky Fried Chicken in Uganda

Hey guys, I'm going to apologize in advance. Today I'm sending a very brief email. I went to Kampala today (it's pretty far from Lugazi. Was about a 2 and a half hour ride there and 2 and a half hour ride back) Went there to eat Ethiopian food with some other missionaries, but then the restaurant was closed. However we found something much better. We found out that it was opening day for the first KFC in Uganda! I had REAL AMERICAN FOOD! It might have been the best thing I've eaten it Uganda. It was a little expensive but it was worth it.
  Anyways everything is ok in Uganda. Love you guys!

P.S. I will be calling home on Christmas (for me it will be around 6pm, not sure what time that will be in America). And no I don't think that I will be able to Skype. But I will let you know next week. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Robert and Jennifer

   This last week has been pretty good. I met lots of the members of the branch here in the last week, Including the Branch President and several other Auxiliary Leaders. The branch might be young but it has some good leaders in place. The branch Pres. is a really well put together guy and I'm glad to be able to serve him. 
   To report on the two families that I mentioned last week: Innocent and Topista have been super busy this last week and we haven't been able to meet with them (they have been out of town for the holidays, but should be back later this week). Robert and Jennifer however are doing really well, They have read about 5 or 6 chapters from the Book of Mormon and are willing to come to church this Sunday. We are planning on taking the branch president and his wife (the Primary President) to their house tomorrow so that they can be their fellowshippers. I hope that they continue to progress as they are. 
   This week we met a lot of crazy people. I met a lot of super old drunk muslims (like 5 or 6 of them), and one lady that followed us a quarter of a mile down a road shouting at us in french. And another lady who became really upset at me when she found out that us missionaries just preach the gospel, and that we can't pay for her children's schooling, or pay for her rent. She called my companion and I con men.
   But overall it's been a nice week. Love hearing from each one of you guys. Keep emailing me.

From Elder Grilliot

Answer to Dad's questions:
I've heard a lot about Nelson Mandela as well. People in Uganda Love him because of the things that he had done for the black community. They also see him as one of the only non-corrupt Black African Leaders, so naturally they love him.
Yes my companion has been able to tell me a lot about Mugabe (I've also heard a lot of things about him from other Zimbabwean Missionaries). One thing that they always talk about is about the inflation that they went through (I think it was in 2008 or 2009 or somewhere around there). Basically Zimbabwean money became worthless because of inflation and ruined everyones life. It was tough for everyone there. But ya they don't love Mugabe, but they have to tolerate him. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Area- Lugazi

    Finally in my new area! It feels so strange to leave an area after being there for so long. I miss all of my old converts in Seeta, and the members that I grew close to from there. But at the same time I'm really excited about being in Lugazi.
    The church is extremely young here in Lugazi.  The branch has been opened for less than a year so far. To give you an Idea of how small the branch is here, when it opened it had about 10 members of the church living here. 3 of them have moved, and about 20 have been baptized since it's been opened. So there are less than 30 members of the branch here. There are two or three that are less-active, but from what I've heard the rest are fairly active.
    Lugazi is really, really small. There are lots of people that live here but about half of the town is slums and the population is extreamly compact. You could walk around the whole town in a matter of hours but there are probebly like 25 to 30 thousand people living here. It's a conjested little settlement.
    The whole town is based around a sugar plantation there. There is a massive sugar plantation that sits in Lugazi that employs about two thirds of the town. The whole town is sorrounded by sugar cane, for miles and miles and miles and miles. You can drive for 30 min outside of Lugazi and still see the sugar cane that is processed for this sugar plantation. The whole town's economy is based solely on this one company. Someone told me that Lugazi supplys all of the sugar for Uganda and for large parts of Kenya and Rwanda. So pretty much everyone in this town works for this sugar plantation.
    Just in my first few days in Lugazi we found a few really good families. One of them is Robert and his wife Jennifer (They're both teachers who work in Njeru, but they live in Lugazi), and the other is
Innocent and his wife Topista (Innocent is a firefighter and his wife is a elementry school teacher). They are both really intelegent and recepive famillies, and I know that they could really help out the branch here in Lugazi and help it to grow. Please pray for them.
    Also please pray for this branch in Lugazi. It is still young and is struggling alot. The members here need to help us to do missionary work, but they havn't been too cooperative yet. Plus over half of the branch are recent converts and still need lots of help and support.
    My companion is a good guy, Elder Alfred. He's been out almost as long as I've been (he's been out for like 9 months) so he's pretty experienced, and we work well together. It's a nice change in contrast to training twice in a row.
    Miss all you guys back home and I send my love and prayers your way. Keep looking for and praying for missionary opritunities each day. The Lord needs your help and your service.

-From Elder Grilliot

Monday, December 2, 2013


I had completely forgotten about Thanksgiving. If not I would have bought a turkey. It's strange to think about it but Thanksgiving was the first Holiday that I missed when I was on my mission. I missed it when I was still in the MTC. Next Thanksgiving I will be in America, just that thought makes me realize how fast time go's by and how little time I really have left on my mission.

Shoes are going nicely. Already busted one pair of shoes pretty badly, but the other pair is doing nicely. I hope it can last me another year.
Interesting fact about Lugazi, I didn't even know that they had a little league team in Uganda, let alone Lugazi!
My companion is actually from Zimbabwean, not South Africa (if that's what I said last week).
“Nsenene” or the season for cooked grass-hoppers. I love Nsenene! It's like popcorn, but a little more juicy. I watched how they catch them too. They put up all of these great big iron sheets surrounding a really bright light. The iron sheets act like mirrors reflecting the light. The grasshoppers see the light and fly towards them. Seeing the light reflecting from the iron sheets they fly head on towards them and run right into the sheets. After running into the iron sheets they fall to the ground where there is a great big plastic garbage bad hoisted up around the bottom of the iron sheets. Once in the bags they can't fly directly out because their bodies won't allow them to fly directly upwards, only at an angle. It's pretty cool to watch all of these grasshoppers by the hundreds get trapped like that one after another.
I looked in my suitcases as I was packing up and found another 2 memory cards (2gb), so I think I'm set for now.
Sorry pictures were having problems sending this week. Internet was really slow. Next week I should have some good pictures for you. Anything specific that you want pictures of?

Love you

Love- Elder Grilliot

Monday, November 25, 2013

Transfer to Lugazi

     Today I received transfer news, and it came as a very big surprise to me. I am finally being transferred again. This time to Lugazi. It is the newest area right now in the whole mission. It's been open for a little less than a year but it's growing pretty quickly. I'm excited to go there. My new companion is going to be Elder Alfred (I think he's form South Africa), and I'll be in a home with two other missionaries as well.
     I got a new camera this week. It works well but it's having some problems with battery charger they gave me, So I'm going to have to buy a new battery charger this week before I can take more pictures. But otherwise the camera works really well. It was made by this strange Chinese company but so far it works fine and all. I'll be sending pictures this next week to you guys.
     This week we found a bunch of less-actives. Like 6 or 7 of them. Some of them will be easy to reactivate (like a lady named Lovisa who basically told us that she stopped coming because her friend that she had at church moved away, and she felt lonely at church without a friend(she just needs a friend at church and then I'm sure she will come again)). But some I feel will be difficult (like a guy name Dennis who was seriously offended by something the Elders Quorum president had said, so he left the church and joined a born again church). However, there are some really nice things about trying to reactivate people. These people they already know the gospel, they just need to feel the spirit again and feel loved again.
     I wonder how things will be in Lugazi. Because of how new the branch is, I don't imagine that there could be too many less-actives there, I imagine that there would be a big need for new members. But I guess that we will see soon enough.
     Anyway, love you guys. Enjoy your week.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Good Week

Good to hear that everyone is alright after that tornado. Crazy to hear about all the damage that it caused there.
Do you and mom go to the temple often? I wish that I could go back to the temple at some point on my mission, but the nearest temple is a like a 5 hr plane ride to reach. When I get home I would love to visit the temple within the first few weeks of being home.
I'm adjusting a lot better now with the new type of missionary work. The changes in mission basically make it so that reactivation is key, as well as focusing on the wealthier homes. In the past it has kind of been about finding and baptizing whoever, but now it's about those wealthy people who can legitimately help out the branch more. Finding these people at home and teaching them can be a difficulty now though.
I was planning on celebrating my one year mark (by fasting like you said), but that day I got super sick and didn't even leave the house. I had some kind of stomach bug and threw up all day. I felt much better the next day though and haven't had any problems since, but it was kind of a downer of a one year mark.
Love you dad

Happy to hear that no one got hurt from the twisters. Funny to hear that you mention power outages though. I remember being home and having a power outage would be something kinda crazy (it almost never would happen). In  Uganda if we go a week without a power outage you think somethings not right. I once had power out for almost 3 weeks straight when I was serving in Lira.
It was kind of a good week with all the adjustment, lots of learning happened this week.
. Rick, Mimi, and Renae have all shared with me missionary moments from the last few weeks. 
Love you mom,
-Elder Grilliot

   This has been a fairly decent week for myself. As we begun adjusting to the changes and stuff this last week, I've learned a lot. I have relied more on Preach my Gospel this last week than I have my whole mission. I really feel like this next week is going to be better than the last.
   I finally reached my one year mark on my mission. It really doesn't feel like I've been out for a whole year though. Time has gone by extremely fast, and honestly I can't believe that I've been in Uganda for so long.
   This week we were given 5 names of people who are less active in the branch, people that we are to activate. Just names nothing else though. No phone number, no address (there are no addresses in Uganda), or anything. We have to rely a lot on the branch members to track down many of these people and bring them back to activity. It feels a lot like detective work though. For example there is this one guy named Martin that is less active in the branch. The only information that we received is the place that he used to work at (at a barber shop). We went to the barber shop yesterday and got information from the manager as to his phone number and after that we had to call him and track down his home. It was kind of fun though.
Anyway, I'm about to run out of time, but I thank you for all the support that you guys give me.

-Elder Grilliot

Monday, November 11, 2013

One Year Mark

So ya there are lots of changes in the mission. There is a big shift off of tracking and finding, and a much larger emphasis on working with the members to reactivate Less-actives. There is still lots of missionary work to be done, but the emphasis is on now baptizing the wealthy, learned, and strong minded people that will help establish the church in Uganda.
I like your idea of what to do on my one year mark. I think that I'll do that. It really helps me to focus on my calling.
Sorry to hear what's happening to the Vikings, sounds like they're having a bad year again. How much longer do they say Aaron Rodgers is going to be out (and Clay Mathews)? Sounds like green bay is having some bad luck right now.
Thanks for sending that world news. I haven't seen any evidence of terrorism in Uganda or anything but when/if I do I'll let you know.
Thanks as well for the money for a new Camera. I was looking at all the Cameras though in Kampala and the cheapest one was a little less than 300,000 shillings. I'll keep looking to see If I can find one cheaper though.    This has been a very difficult week for my companion and I. There have been some MAJOR changes in the mission as far as missionary work is done. It's hard to describe all of the changes that have begun happening but in short things have just made it a bit more difficult to find people to teach and stuff. I have a good feeling about this next week though. I think that I will start getting things figured out with this new type of missionary work.
   There is a member of our branch called Erasmus. He's a really cool guy and he's leaving on his mission to Sierra Leone in a few days. To celebrate with him we went to his home and we made/ ate hamburgers with him and his family. They were all supper amazed with the hamburgers that we made. They had never had one before in their lives, and they said that it was the best thing that they had ever eaten. It was pretty funny to watch their reaction the burgers. Could you imagine living and dying without ever eating a hamburger? Too many Ugandans do it. It really is pretty sad :(
Ya there are lots of Changes that were made this week alone. It feels like I'm part of a whole new mission to be honest. It's hard to be a district leader and training right now when all of these changes are happening. I know that I have to lead all these people but it's kind of hard when I myself am having a difficult time adjusting to so many changes. It can be a little stressful. If there is anything that I would like for you to pray for me about it would just be that I can adjust quickly to the changes in my mission and become effective at fulfilling the mission president's view for this mission.

Love you mom, only 12 more fast Sundays and then I will see you again (when you meet me at the airport in one year have a bag of McDonalds in your arms. I miss food :( sometimes I have a huge craving for fast food and there's nowhere to go to sate my taste buds).

-Anyway love you guys, have a great week!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Lot of Changes

I forgot that Halloween even existed. It would be so awesome right now to be able to get a bunch of free candy and Chocolate.

How can you have Spanish sisters in an English speaking ward? Are they thinking of opening up a Spanish ward or something? Are there even enough Spanish speakers in Bloomington/Normal? Are they are members of the branch that speak Spanish (besides you, dad). How do Spanish speaking missionaries go proselyting in such an English speaking place? WHAAAT!
Sounds like things are going well back home.

Honestly it does not feel like it's been a year. Maybe that's just because I've only been in two areas... But I feel like I've only been in Uganda for a short time (but at the same time it feels like it's been an eternity since I've been home).

This has been a week of a lot of Change.
The Area 70 over the Africa Southeast area came down to Uganda and got together with the Mission president, The stake president (of the Uganda Kampala Stake) and each of the branch presidents/ bishops. They held a big conference with basically every leader of the church and talked about some stuff. One of the biggest things that were talked about was missionary work, and to summarize it all there's a lot of changes taking place in how missionary work is going to be done. A lot of Changes. All of the changes are focused on retaining members. There are lots of Less actives in this mission, too many. There are about 15,000 members of the church in in this mission, but the average sacrament meeting attendance for the mission is a little less than 3,000. There are a few reasons for this, but the two biggest are that people move to a place where the church doesn't exist yet, or because the hand off from the missionaries to the branch/ward wasn't smooth enough. The Changes are mostly focused of fixing those problems and on helping rescue the less-actives.

On November 15th I have officially been serving as a missionary for one year. Any Ideas of what I should do on that day?
I was thinking about it, you guys should tell me about your missionary moments that you have had during the week. (and those of you who already have done so continue doing so). I almost get the impression from some of you that you haven't been doing any member missionary work back home.

This was a good week. My companion is adjusting fast to life in Uganda, he's a quick learner. We have met some good people over the last few days. We met a guy called Steven this week who seems to be pretty solid. He came to church on Sunday and really loved it. He's a bit quiet, but I just know that he is really searching for the truth. Plus he was a referral to us, so he already has a fellow shipper and stuff which is awesome.

Love you guys have a great week.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Facing Opposition & General Conference Week

    This has been a difficult week for my companion and I. We worked really hard but faced a lot of opposition as well. Were thinking of changing strategies this week. We need much more member referrals and so rather than put our efforts on trackting were going to utilize the Conference that we watched this week by making members feel much more accountable to their God in doing member missionary work. Not that the work is going badly, just that it's starting to slow down a bit.
   This week we had the opportunity to watch General Conference. There were some great talks there. One of my favorite was Edward Dube in the Saturday Morning(?) session. The people in Uganda were so excited to hear an African General Authority speak. He was probably the highlight of conference for many Ugandans. My Favorite talks were by Richard G. Scott in the one of the Sunday sessions (they kind of just blend together because we watched them back to back) and another one (I can't remember who it was) that talked about teaching, and teaching by the spirit. It was nice. OH! Another favorite was from Russel M. Neilson(?) in the Sunday Evening Session. He talked about self mastery. It was a good talk. I missed the Priesthood session though. They didn't have a time that it was showing at the church for us.

   Overall I'm excited for this upcoming week, I have a good feeling about it. Thanks for all of the Love that each of you send my way. I really do feel your prayers give me the strength that I need.
My Sabbath was alright, We watched Conference this Sunday. Power went out during Conference though. Fortunately though we had a generator that kept Conference going.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Answers to Mom's Questions

Thanks for the NFL update. The other day I had a nice little surprise as I walked into a local supermarket and saw playing on the TV a collage football game from 2010. It was the first time I had seen any football on TV in about 11 months. It blew my mind.
Thanks for the money as well it is well appreciated.

I'm training for the 2nd time in a row now. My new "son" just gave his father your email so you might be getting an email from his sometime in the future.

Mom's Questions:

Tell me are you in a new area or are you still in Seeta?
1- Still in the same area. I kinda wish that I had left though, I enjoy change.

Do you still have someone to do your laundry for you?
2- Yes I do

Tell me something interesting or funny that happened to you or your companion this week?

3- Kind of a funny story: so this week I was skipping along and I tripped and fell in a nest of wild honey badgers. After they ripped off my face I befriended them and they all came to church and got baptized. Hope they didn't get baptized for the wrong reasons.

On a spiritual note what did you learn this week?

4- I don't know what I learned this week but I know I've learned a lot!

When are you going to send us pictures on your card?   We will send you a new card for the camera if you let us know what kind you have that needs replaced.  Are you taking many pictures? I know you probably don’t take it with you every time you go out for fear of it getting stolen.  Glad you are having fun on your p-days.

5- To be honest my Camera and the card in it got stolen last week. During Church I left my Camera on my chair while I went to help out one our branch members for a few minutes, then when I came back it was nowhere to be found. I was pretty upset. But don't send me money to buy another I don't want you guys to go broke!

What are the holidays that people there celebrate that are uncommon in the U.S.?  What do they do to celebrate these events?  As you know Halloween is coming up and all the craziness that comes with that holiday.  I’m sure they don’t celebrate Halloween, do they?

6- October 9th was Uganda's Independence day, so a few people celebrated it but not many people. Oh! and There was a Muslim holiday this week. It's called Eid al-Adha (you can look it up). I met a Muslim family this week and they invited us to celebrate with them. We wanted free food, so during our lunch time we went and chilled with a Muslim family ate their food and then ran off. My companion and I called it Eid day for short.

Are you still working out every morning with your companion?

7- Yep, I use a jump rope every morning.
We are planning on sending you handwritten letters and photos of the family for Christmas, what else do you need or want in the package? Would $ be the best or is there a little something from the U. S, that you miss and would like for Christmas?

8- Money is awesome, but getting a box full of American Chocolate and Candy is also really, really, really, really, beautiful. Either one will make me happy.

Are you good to take your malaria pill consistently? Be smart and be consistent okay?  No more scares like that! 

9- Yes I take the pill everyday

Tell us about the missionary work/teaching pool and how many investigators you have right now and how they are coming along.

10- Missionary work is going well. Things are looking good right now. We have a little over 20 investigators with a baptismal date and a little less than half of them are progressing. The thing that we are really focusing on is getting people to fellowship. I'm not sure if it's because the church is new or if it's just because of Ugandan culture but people aren't great are being friendly to new people who come to church. Lots of times I have to specifically tell people "hey there's this guy sitting over here, it's his first time to come to church. Can you go and greet him and make him feel welcome?" I've learned to make sure that I tell at least 5 members to do that to each of the investigators that come to church. If I don't make the members greet my investigators, sometimes no one talks to them (other than us missionaries) and then they have no desire to come back to church the next time. Forging friendships is something that I am really pushing members to do with investigators. It can be difficult.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

P-Day Fun

     This has been a nice week for me. Things have been moving slowly recently though. Probably just because this is the last week before transfer news, and it's very likely for me to leave Seeta this transfer. My companion and I have still worked hard this last week though, but I feel a little bit more tired than usual. I don't know whats going to happen with transfers (until tomorrow) but most likely I will leave and go somewhere else and my companion will stay here in Seeta. I've felt like I've done a lot of Good here in Seeta. I've baptized lots of good people here and I'm going to miss them if I leave.
    Last P-day was pretty awesome. We have a member of our church (named Ronald) move away from Seeta to a new home in a place called Numugunga (I think that's how you spell it) It's near to a town called Lugazi. But last P-day we went to his new place which is out in the Jungle. It was awesome. We hiked up to the top of a nearby hill in the jungle and looked out at all of Uganda. It was a sweet view. We even got to see monkeys and these killer ants too. Then one of Ronald's friends who live out there had told Ronald that if he brings white people to his place that he would give us all the jack fruit that we want (because this guy has never met white people up close). So Ronald took us to this guy and we ate a ton of fruit until we couldn't eat any more. It was a fun P-day. I'll see if I can send some pictures.
    This P-day was also pretty awesome. We had a zone activity and we all went to an amusement park called wonder world. Even though they only had three working rides, it was still pretty cool. One was the bumper cars (they only had three working cars), they had a ride that was like giant swings that spun around in a circle. and then they had this big pirate ship that you sat in and then it would swing back and forth like a giant pendulum. It was fun to watch the African missionaries ride the rides because many of them had never ridden amusement park rides before and it was a new level of Excitement for them. We were the only people in the whole park too which was kinda cool.

     Thanks for each of your emails and for all the love that you send my was each week.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Answers to Dad's Questions

     Many of you guys have asked about General Conference this week.
Unfortunately though I won't get to see conference until the end of this month. I really look forward to it though.
     Dad sent me some Questions to answer this week so I think that I'll just answer it for everyone this week.

Q:So is there any big news in Uganda?  What do people generally talk about when you chat with them about current affairs?  Anything?

A: Mostly just about how corrupt the government in Uganda is. I rarely get any news about what is happening back home. I heard some rumors about the government being shut down in America, but that's about it.
Oh and the shooting in Kenya was pretty big for some time too.

Q:Anything you would like us to send you?  How are you doing on contact lenses?

A: Money? Pictures from family back home is always awesome to get (and handwritten letters as well).

Q:How are your shoes holding up?

A:I came on my mission with two pairs of shoes. One of them are trashed, I've been meaning to repair it but I haven't gotten around to it. The other pair is still holding strong though. I walk about 6 miles a day (at least), so they can get worn down pretty fast.

Q:Did you do anything fun with your birthday money?

A: I just ate really well for about 3 weeks. It was like a breath of fresh air being able to eat American food again.

Q:Who is your favorite member of the ward there, and why?

A:I have a couple of favorites but one of my favorite is a guy named Erasmus Ichode. He's getting ready to serve his mission in Sierra Leone soon. He really likes working with us missionaries.

Monday, September 30, 2013

At First You Don't Succeed...

This has been a pretty good week thus far. My companion and I have been hard at work this week. We have been really effective this last few weeks in finding families and progressing them. I've been able to see the hand of the Lord as I've been obedient and diligent in the work.
    We had a baptism yesterday for a lady named Kathy. It was a great baptism but we had some difficulties at first. As we were filling up the baptismal font, the water went out for the church. By the time that the baptismal service had begun, the font had only about a foot and a half of water in it. So when we went out to the font, rather than finding it filled like we were hoping, the water could only just barley reach our knees. As I got into the water to baptize, and Kathy as well, I realized that this would be a struggle of a baptism. I tried many times to fully immerse her in water but to no avail. Her foot would come out on accident, or her arm, or something else. In the end we had her sit on the bottom of the font while I laid her backwards into the water. In the end I had baptized her like 7 or 8 times.
     It always seems like the ones that you are expecting to come to church don't come and the ones that you don't believe would come do. We met a guy this week named Trevor Williams, or as he calls himself "Pastor" Trevor Williams (on weekends he gos out to preach the gospel on the street from a loud speaker). When we talk to him he always starts rambling about crazy things that don't make any sense, and every time we see him
he's asking us how he can find a good wife. But he wants to be baptized super bad and this Sunday he came to church. The way he speaks and stuff is really funny but I really admire his desire to follow Christ. This was his first Sunday to attend Church and it was kind of funny for me to see how he reacted to everything. He really liked the Hymns that we sang, and when one of the members of the congregation went up to give their talk, he whispered in my ear "I'm going to go speak next", and I had to let him know that he needs to wait for next week to go up to the podium (testimony meeting). He also gave me a free pen on Sunday, alerting me that the spirit directed him to give it to me. He's a goofy guy and I don't think that I'll forget him. I hope that I get an opportunity to see him get baptized.
     Overall we have a lot of people that we are progressing right now, and we have a massive teaching pool as well. Things are going pretty well right now but I've been busier than ever before just to keep up with all our investigators. We go on splits 2 or 3 times a week to see all of our investigators and still have finding time. It can be a problem sometimes, but it's a good problem to have.
     Thanks for the emails this week its good to hear from so many of you. Talk to all of you later!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Feeling the Guidance

Q1: What is something this week that happened that you could feel the guidance of the spirit.
A1: So one night this week I had one such experience as I was walking home one evening. As my companion and I were walking along a long dirt road I felt like I just wanted to street contact one more person before heading in. So as I walked back to our apartment I looked down the road studying peoples faces for who I should talk to. As I looked at those around me on the road and those who were passing by there was one mans face that just kind of stood out of the crowd. It wasn't that he was ugly or something, but just that I could feel influenced that he was who I needed to talk to. So I went up to him and I handed him the only pamphlet that I had left "The Plan of Salvation". As I go up to this man and introduce myself  I explained very simply what the plan of salvation was and was about to just leave it like that (with our phone number on the back of the pamphlet) when this guy asks me "if God really loves us that why would he let bad things happen to us?" He wasn't asking this question in a taunting way, but in a genuine heartfelt way. My companion and I sat down on the side of the road and spent the next 20 min explaining the purpose of life and why bad things happen to good people. He explained to us some problems that he had been having at his work and in his family. And we tried our best to help him see that the gospel of Jesus Christ was meant to make everything right in an imperfect world. He didn't have a phone (it got broken and he didn't have money to replace it) and we we couldn't get his address (there's no such thing as addresses in Uganda) but we gave him our number and directed him to the church. I never met that guy again but I do feel as though we gave him a little bit of comfort during a rough time in his life, and I'm glad that God directed us to be the angels that were needed for this man.
Q2: What are you studying in your personal scripture study.
A2: In my personal scripture study I've been studying Isaiah, and 2nd Nephi a lot (I've read 2 Nephi before but now I'm going through it more slowly). I also study Preach My Gospel everyday.
Q3: Have you had a tender mercy happen to you this week and if so what was it?
A3: Nope, haven't seen any
Q4: How often do you have any interaction with your mission president?
A4: Aside from emailing him each week, I see him in person about 4 times a transfer (when I go to the mission office on P-days, or during zone conferences).
Q5: How often do you have zone conferences?  Do you usually play a sport and eat, what do you do for zone conferences?

A5: We usually have a zone conference once a transfer (if not then it's every other transfer). This last Zone Conference we had a member of the second quorum of the seventy come (Keven S. Hamilton). He spoke to us for a few hours and then we had lunch after. Then we went back to our areas and went back to work. It was pretty cool.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Swahili Couple

   Answers to Dad's Questions:
1- To answer your first question, yes. I have run into Elder Bitter a few times. Just briefly here or there but I have seen him. Also yes the Mission Pres knows that we are cousins, so I doubt that we will serve together unless there's a strong prompting that we need to do so.
2- Driving on the left side won't be to difficult to adjust to. Any time I'm in a taxi or other vehicle I'm always on the left side. Since I've been in Uganda for about 10 months now I'm pretty much used to keeping left when walking and stuff.
3- it pronounced set - ta
4- We are also getting lots of new missionaries but as for new areas that are opening up not really. For a brand new area to be opened they would need to open a new branch first because it's not like the states where there's a ward/branch in every city. So they're trying hard to get some new areas and new branches opened up in this mission in the next few months.
5- For Ugandans if they don't get malaria at least once a year then it's unusual. For missionaries serving in Uganda about 1 out of 3 will get malaria at least once on their mission.

This has been a pretty good week for me, but also kind of disappointing. I've had to drop a lot of investigators this week, people that have not been keeping commitments. You just have a sense of sadness when people are not being serious enough about the things that you know will help them. But we've also had a good week in seeing the Lord work certain miracles in the lives of a few.

    For instance in the life of one of our less-active families. Richard and his wife Winnie. My companion and I had gone over there to their house several times last transfer to talk to them and try to bring them back to church, but with very limited success. But then one day as we were leaving their home my companion asks if they know anyone else that we could teach. I never thought to ask them for referrals just because, you know, they're less-active. But sure enough there was a lady next door that had been having questions about the church. Unfortunately she couldn't speak any English at all but she can speak Luganda and Swahili, so we had the family translate for us to her. Long story short we managed to get a Swahili book of Mormon, She and her partner have read all the way to the book of Alma, they have come to church like 5 or 6 times (and have even started bringing Richard and Winnie) and we have given them a marriage date (because she and her man haven't been married yet) and a baptismal date. It is kind of crazy to see how God has prepared people for the gospel and that anyone can refer you to them, active or not active.
     Sorry my computer was super slow today in loading my email so I don't have a lot of time to email you guys, but thanks for all the support that each of you send my way.

-Elder Grilliot

Monday, September 9, 2013

Birthday Week

This has been a pretty good week. For all of you wondering I’m staying here in Seeta with my companion. I’m pretty happy about that as well.
I really get along with my companion and we are doing a lot of good work here.
I’m completely cured of Malaria now. I don’t really feel any sickness or anything anymore. Since Tuesday I have felt really good, with no pain or difficulties. I thank so many of you for the prayers that have come my way. My companion has been a really big help as I have gotten over malaria. Malaria is one heck of a disease; it’s just something that you never forget.
No big stories from this week. My birthday was kind of quiet; we just continued working like always, kind of felt like just a normal day. We had a member cook us lunch that day (we had Pork, Matoke (which is an African food that they make from steamed bananas), and noodles).
Sorry for making it a short email this week, but I’m a little pressed for time this week. I’lll try to make up for it next week.
Love you guys. I could feel a lot of genuine love in my emails this week and I thank all of you for caring about me. I hope each of you have a great week full of fun and excitement!

Love, Elder Grilliot

Monday, September 2, 2013

On the Mend

Getting ready to baptized a guy named Paul. Then building to our right is the meeting house for church.

This was drawn outside of a nursery school. It's just a funky looking picture.

Guess what I learned how to cook!!

Sorry if I scared everyone by telling you I had malaria last week. The good news is, is that I have almost fully recovered. Since Thursday I have been feeling much better and on Saturday I was released back to my area of Seeta and allowed to get back to work. The only effects from malaria that I'm still facing is that by body temperature sometimes becomes hot all of the sudden or cold all of the sudden, and that I get tired much faster. As long as I get adequate sleep at night I can function during the day just fine. Besides that there is no reason to worry.
    This week has been a nice one though. Malaria is not as bad of a disease as I thought that It would be, and once I started getting better (and stopped sleeping my week away) I had a good time with my companion and the other missionaries living in Ntinda. But still it felt wrong not working and teaching. I was glad to be able to go back to my area to teach and bring people to the restored gospel. 
    This week will be transfers so I will keep each one of you updated on what happened next week (weather I'm getting a new companion, or a new area or anything like that).
    Thanks for all of the prayers that have come my way this week. I owe my recovery to each one of you.

-Elder Grilliot
Answers to Dad's Questions:
     1.        How are you feeling now?  Are you back to proselyting?  If they’re still having you rest, when do you think you’ll be back to your area?
2.      Did the doctor say anything about whether this makes you more (or less) susceptible to getting it again during your mission?
3.       Were you taking your malaria pills?
4.      Do you know if this will influence what other areas you may be assigned to for the rest of your mission?  
 Right now I'm doing much better. I'm even Proselyting, but I'm taking it slower than normal. Most of the time I feel like I'm back at full health, but there are still a little bit of side effects that I'm overcoming. Like for instance every now and then my body just go's hay-wire and I'll start feeling supper cold for no reason even if it's really warm out side. Or other times it will be nice and cool out, but I will just start sweating for no reason, and feeling really hot. My body is just trying to adjust back to normal and it's nearly there. 
      Now that I've had malaria my body knows how to fight it much better if the disease comes again (or so the doctor says). So I'm more immune to malaria than I ever have been before.
      To answer if I have been taking my malaria pills the answer is yes. But I do miss a day here or there just out of forgetfulness. I never miss intentionally, but every now and then I will forget to take my malaria pill before going to bed. So that's most likely how I got malaria, I must have missed a dose at some point and it was just enough for the disease to get in.
       Don't worry this won't influence what areas I'm likely to serve in, in the future. As soon as I'm cured of malaria then it's like I never had it (except that I will probably never be able to donate blood or plasma in the future).
      I emailed Grandma Grilliot and let her know that I'm doing completely fine. To be honest Malaria is not an uncommon disease in Uganda. People get it here. And to be honest it really is not so bad, it's not any worse than having a bad flu or something. 
     Keep me updated as the NFL season begins please.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


      Sorry that I'm emailing a day late this week but this week has been a very upside down one. You see on Friday this week we left our house to go to some appointments. The first appointment that we went to I made it fine but during the middle of the lesson I started feeling really feverish. We walked to the next appointment but I felt really clammy and sluggish and by the time that we had gotten to the next lesson and had finished it my vision had started to go in and out. As we finished the second appointment and stood up I started blacking out, I sat down and told my companion "We need to go home". So we called the mission doctor and he said that we would have to wait until the next day for him to come by and check on me. As we walked what was normally a 20 min walk back home I had to stop and sit down every hundred feet so that I didn't pass out. We ended up making it back home in about an hour. The next day (Saturday) the A.P.s came by and drove me to Kampala where I met the Medical doctor for the mission. He took me to one of the best clinics in all of Uganda (It was created by a wealthy British doctor). While I was there they tested my blood and diagnosed me with malaria. So now I have malaria. I spent the rest of the day on an I.V. and they gave me all these funky drugs to take. I took about 14 pills that day. The next day I went to some church housing in a place near Kampala called Ntinda. That day I took 10 pills. the following day, another 10. When they finally released me from the clinic I felt a lot better but every once in a while I will lay down on my bed and feel like I'm slowly dying. I drink about 3-4 liters of water a day, its the only way to keep the disease down, but I hate having to force all this water down. I also have no appetite either so it's really hard to get food down, but I just have to push it down. I got permission to go out and email today. It felt good to be outside and smell the fresh air, but walking around makes me get a fervor usually and feel extra sick. I feel pretty sick right now but now as bad as I did yesterday. They say that I should be back to full health in about 1-2 weeks. I hope I get get better soon, we were supposed to have two baptisms this weekend, but if I'm not around most of this week, then it will be difficult to get them baptized this weekend. 
     Sorry if I sound like I'm being a downed this week with the whole malaria thing. But the good news is I'm in some of the best hands right now. Dr Johnson (the mission doctor) lives right next door to where I stay and he's keeping very good care of me. His wife feeds me and my companion every night and she really knows how to cook. We are also in one of the best apartments in the whole mission right now and we live right across from the A.P.s, who are very helpful in making sure that I'm doing alright.

     Love you guys, I hope that you all have a great week. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Sacrifice for the South Sudanese Family

     This has been a pretty uneventful week. For the most part we just followed up on those who we had meet some time back. The high bros (that's what my companion and I call them) that I wrote about this last week, went up to Gulu to visit family this weekend so they couldn't come to church. We were only able to see them once this week but we taught the Restoration to them this week and we left them with a copy of the Book of Mormon to read. By the time we left they were all fighting over who got to read it first. It was pretty cool.
     Oh I just remembered one cool story from this week. So a few weeks ago I wrote about a South-Sudanese family that we met some time back, well I have kind of a cool story about them. My companion and I were teaching a lesson with some other guys when It started raining supper hard. Honestly it was one of the worst storms that I had seen in a while (there was even hail coming down). But we had an appointment with the South-Sudanese family in about 10 min, and we didn't want to be late. So we finished the appointment and then walked in the pouring rain. the road that we were walking down had pretty much become a river but we traversed it anyway. as we were walking down this road we reached a part were erosion had completely destroyed the road and there was a small lake in the middle of it. But still we pressed on and I jumped the 5ft puddle in the road. Landing soundly on the other side I congratulated myself with an elegant fist pump and began to continue onward. Unfortunately I didn't make it far because the next step I took was into a sink hole carefully hidden in the road, and I fell chest deep into the muddy water. Crawling out of the sink hole I looked like a sad mess of a man, mud in my shoes, mud on my face, mud everywhere. As my companion walked around the sink holes and puddles we decided that so long as we made it this far we might as well just go to the appointment anyways. So I waddled over to the house of the South-Sudanese family. When we finally reached the home, the whole family was so amazed as us for walking through the rain to get to them, and then when they noticed me they were even more impressed at the sacrifices that we had made. I ended up siting on a towel near the entrance to their front door the whole lesson so that I wouldn't dirty up their home, but it still ended up being a really good lesson and I could see that they felt deeply touched that we had sacrificed to go see them. I could tell that by me falling into the mud and sacrificing my own body just to see them, I had left a big impression on them. That Sunday for the first time the whole family came to church as well, and I feel like a large part of what made them come was seeing the sacrifices that we made to see them. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 27:6).
      Have a great week.
-Elder Grilliot

Thursday, August 15, 2013

High on the Gospel

Hello family and friends, It was good to get emails from so many of you guys this week. As a missionary when you get on a computer on Monday and your email account is filled with emails, you just feel so loved.
    My companion and I have been doing really well this week. We have done lots of finding this week and been doing pretty well. We found like 3 families this week. One of them is super wealthy and works in the National Government. He Has a super nice home, like better than most in the States even. I hope that he decides to join the church, He could be a huge help to the church in Uganda.
    Of all the people that we found this week we had kind of an interesting find this week. We were trackting some really nice homes in a far part of Seeta when we knocked on the gate of a pretty nice home. We were welcomed into the home by a young adult (in his early 20's) and he introduced us to his friends. His family had been out of town for the last few weeks, but when we went there he had like five of his young adult friends there. When we walked in to the home they had loud rap music playing, and the house smelled heavilly of weed. Once we sat down we realized that all 6 of these guys in the room were completely high, but we decided to teach them the doctrine of Christ anyway. We had a very powerful lesson, and the spirit was extremely powerful. At the end of it they all accepted to be baptized. We figured that it might have just been because of the drugs though that they accepted to be baptized, but then yesterday each one of them arrived at church at 9:30sharp (30 min before church starts). They were well dressed wearing suites and were reverent the whole meeting. It was as if they all had completely changed. And the best part was what the topic in Sunday School: The Word Of Wisdom. It was a great lesson too. By the end of it all the guys were telling my companion and I how excited they were about getting baptized. I really hope that they understand that it also means getting rid of drugs. 
    Thanks for all of the prayers, I can really feel them working in my life. Continue writing to me if you can. Even if I don't always respond, trust me, I do read them.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Wilbur Force, Sunshine, and the Sudanese Family

     In ten days I will have spent 9 months in Africa, which seems incredible to me. Time has flown by faster than ever before, it seems like just yesterday that I was leaving my family behind in Chicago.
     A lot of things have happened since I left home, but probably the most noticeable is that I have lost a lot of weight. Just about an hour ago I found a scale in Kampala, and for the first time since I left home I weighed myself. I now weigh 98 Kilograms, which for those of you who don't know is about 216 pounds. Since I left on my mission I have lost 49 pounds. To put it in simple terms I have lost about half the body weight of your standard Ugandan male. BOOM!
     My new companion and I are doing really well. I really enjoy training, and I'm learning a lot. My son (that's what I call Elder Sherwood, who I'm training), is awesome. He was born to be a missionary. He is one of the first 18 year old missionaries to enter this mission; he only just graduated high school about a month ago. He's full of energy though and he's been able to help me become a better missionary. Together we were able to find some really cool people, for example these two guys called Wilbur Force, and his brother, Sunday (but we nicknamed him "Sunshine" because he's always wearing a rainbow colored hat). They are super legit guys, and always excited to learn. We found them just by knocking doors, and they let us in right away. From the moment that we gave them the Book of Mormon they just kept on reading. We would ask him to read a chapter, and when we come back they would read four or five. They are just really good guys, and I look forward to seeing them baptized.
     We also found this really cool South Sudanese family. We went to their house while we were just knocking on doors one day and their guard answered the door. So we just walked in and started teaching the guard outside of the family's house. We were teaching him and at some point the book of Mormon came up and he started turning the discussion into a debate. In the end my companion and I just felt like leaving because it seemed to just be going nowhere, so we both shared powerful testimonies and then got ready to leave. As we stood up to get ready to leave we turned around and saw the whole South Sudanese family standing right behind us, turns out that they were listening to us the whole time. They all look deeply moved and looked as though he were going to cry. They told us that they know that we were messengers from God and he begged us to stay and tell them the same things that we were telling their guard. I'm not sure if it was our testimonies or something that we said about the Book of Mormon or the gospel of Jesus Christ, but something that we said to that guard had deeply touched the whole South Sudanese family and made them want to know who we were. We have an appointment with them tomorrow, and It's probably the appointment I'm looking forward to the most this week.
     Love you guys, keep up the missionary work at home and I'll keep it up out here.

-Elder Grilliot

Monday, July 29, 2013

I Have an African Accent!!! & More About Paul

     This week has been an adventure for me. I'm now training a new missionary who's come straight from the MTC. He couldn't go to the one in South Africa though because of some visa problems but he spent his MTC time in Provo Utah, like most people. My son is awesome. He likes to cook, and his food makes me happy. He's very outgoing to and he has jumped straight into the work like he's been a missionary for a lot longer than just a few days. It's kind of funny to see his reaction to all of the new African stuff. It makes me remember how I was 8 months ago when I was trained back in Lira. It also makes me realize all of the small things that has changed about me since I've gotten here (for example my accent).
     This week we have been having lots of success with our current investigators but not much with finding new investigators. We will have a few baptisms in the next few weeks but were having a difficult time finding more new investigators to take their place after they have been confirmed.
      One of the investigators that were really focusing a lot of attention on right now is a guy named Paul. I talked a little bit about him last week but I'll tell you a little bit more about him. He was referred to us by James who was married and baptized a week ago. They were next door neighbors and didn't really know each other all that well at first but one day after we had taught James and left to go to other appointments, Paul came up to James and asked him what it is that we were talking with him about. Then James told him a little bit about us and bore his testimony about the gospel and about the work we are doing. It touched Paul so much that the next time we came by to meet James and Phoebe, Paul came in and sat in the lesson with them and asked us to set up a return appointment with him. He is a very humble guy and I can tell that he recognizes the spirit when it's felt.

     Thank you to all who continually email me and give me so much support. It helps to give me a boost each week to know that there are a lot of people out there who remember and think about me!!

Question from Dad:

 Have you heard any more about missionaries going into Rwanda, South Sudan, or Ethiopia? 

Answer to Dad's email:

     Thanks for the packages, I really do love them but to be honest I think that having some personal money in my account is a little better. It would be nice to have some extra money to have from time to time so that I can buy really good food from super markets or crafts or stuff like that.
      Also I have heard that there are going to be more areas opened up in Ethiopia soon, but I'm not sure about Rwanda. Right now the main problem in Rwanda is that we don't have a Proselyting
  License in Rwanda yet, meaning that the missionaries in Rwanda are not allowed to proselyte  right now. The only way that people can legally teach someone is if they are brought someone as a referral, or if someone comes up to talk to them and asks them who they are. Technically all of the Elders in Rwanda are working there under vacation visas. As soon as the mission there can legally proselyte they will open up Rwanda to at least another 6 missionaries.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm Going to be Training

My Companion Elder Thomo, from South Africa, Durbin

This has been an awesome week. My companion and I have worked really hard this week and We have been having lots of success here in Seeta. I also got a call this morning from the mission president, and he told me that I'm going to be training (I'm going to have a son). I think that's super awesome. I don't know much about him except that he's from Washington state. I think that they said his name is Elder Sherwood, but I can't quite remember. Either way I'm pretty excited. Update you guys more on it later.
     We had James and his wife Pheobe (last week I spelled in febe on accident) get married this week. It was kind of cool to see. I had never witnessed a wedding before, but I really liked this one. It was a pretty spiritual experience as well. It was a great baptismal service as well. It was really just a spiritual experience and I really enjoyed it alot.
     James also brought us a new investigator this week as well. It's one of his next door neighbors, Paul. Paul is a good guy (super humble), and he's the tiniest semi-truck driver in the whole world. He's like barely 5 ft but he drives around these giant trucks all over Uganda. He came to church this week and stayed to watch James get baptized. Afterwards he came up to us and told us that he can't wait for his own baptism (YES!), it was a pretty sweet experience.
      Love all of you. I have awesome an awesome family/friends.

P.S.It was nice to hear from Grandma Grilliot in my emails this week. Thank you for the Loving support!

Mommy Questions:
What soap and shampoo do you use?  Do you still have the stuff you brought out there from the states?
When you took that picture back in Lira with the chameleon on your shoulder did you really like it or were you like “Hurry and take the picture so I can get this freaking lizard off me!!!”?
Do you have pictures of your apartment in Seeta?  Is your apartment better or the same as the one in Lira? Electricity blackouts?
I haven’t seen your new companion, do you have pictures? 
When are you going to send an SD card?  We can send you one if you don’t have a replacement?
Is the food the same as what you ate in Seeta?
Are you on bikes or walking?
Does your companion like or want to work out in the mornings with you?

- I have a difficult time remembering faces and names. Whenever I meet someone new and I'm pretty sure I'm going to see them again I write down their name, where they stay, and a small description of what they look like so I remember.
- I'm now using Ugandan Soap that I buy in Kampala (they have decent soap bars there), but I still have about half a bottle of shampoo from home that I cherish and love (and makes me a little homesick).
- I loved the chameleon. I played with him all day. he was supper cool. He was like my 2nd companion.
- I like the apartment that I'm staying in. Power almost never goes out there, and I've never seen water go out. It's easy to clean, and we live right next to the 1st counselor in the branch presidency which is way cool.
- I'll send you a good picture of my companion and I.
- The food is virtually the same as in Lira, just with much more variety.
- No bikes in Kampala (or near Kampala). It's just too dangerous. Right now I'm walking.
- My companion works out, but it's more like just a sit-up here and a sit-up there. I work out hard in the mornings. Jump rope and lift weights.

Dad's Questions:
When people ask you where you're from, what do you tell them? The US? Illinois? Chicago? Bloomington? On my mission, I always told people I was from Chicago – it was just a lot easier than trying to explain Illinois geography. Just wondered what you tell them. Also (sorry, two questions), what do you tell them when they ask you what America is like?

   Good question. Usually I tell them I'm just from America (alot of people don't know American geography very well and if you tell them your from Illinois they won't know what your talking about). Sometimes I tell them I'm from Chicago just because alot of people know that Obama is from there, and it helps them to relate a little.
    When they ask what America is like I tell them it's a hard life. I tell them this because in America if you don't have a job or money, you will starve to death. In Uganda if you don't have a job you can build your own hut and eat mangoes all day. I also tell them this just so that they will hopefully feel more contented with what they have.
     P.S. I took out money this week from home. There was a registration fee on the marriage that James and his wife Phoebe had and I didn't want to make them pay for that. I also bought them lunch after the wedding and rings as well. I'm sorry that I used your money without asking, but I figured it was going for a good cause. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Baptisms of Issac, James and Phebe

      Dear family and friends, It's good to hear from you all. Life in Seeta is Good right now I feel as though God is really blessing my companion and I this transfer. Things are just going very smoothly. 
      There are some people that I really feel as though I have helped this transfer. There is this one guy named Issac for instance (who was baptized this week), he had actually been investigating the church since 2004. Even read the entire Book of Mormon... twice. But his problem was that while he was investigating the church (in 2004) he was only 17 years old, and his parents wouldn't let him be baptized into another church. So he continued to attend church service but he never got baptized. Eventually missionaries just forgot about him until it came to the point where the missionaries and most member just assumed that he was member of the branch. Even after he moved out of his parents’ house and got a place of his own years later he continued to come to church but he was never baptized as a member. It's kind of crazy to think about, but this guy had been attending Seeta branch longer than most of the members of the branch had been. Anyway my first Sunday attending the branch I walked in and decided to make myself familiar with the branch members, so I went in and greeted the members and introduced myself and learned their names in return. As I went from member to member shaking hands and trying to be social I found myself greeting Isaac. I felt like I needed to sit next to him during the service so I sat down next to him and we began to talk a little as we waited for it to begin. As I was talking to him I realized that he really knew church doctrine well and I felt as though he must have been a member for quite some time. When I asked him how long he had been a member of the church he told me that he had been a member since 2004. I felt satisfied with that answer but at the same time I felt as though I needed to ask a little deeper so I asked "do you remember the names of the missionaries who baptized you?" to which he told me that he had never been baptized and that his parents wouldn't let him be. I was super surprised at what he was telling me because he was about 25 years old and living on his own and yet he was telling me that the reason that he was not baptized was because of restriction from his parents. I learned as I continued to talk to him that he wanted to be baptized badly but he believed it to be a church policy that you can't baptize anyone (no matter the age) if the parents don't allow it. After the church service I talked to the branch president and asked if he had realized that Isaac wasn't baptized, and learned that the branch president knew that he wasn't baptized but the branch president thought that Issac didn't want to be baptized without approval from his parents, as we explained we both realized that, that was just mis-communication. So we scheduled an appointment to see Isaac and got him baptized a few weeks later. He's a really funny guy though, Even though it's kind of an outrageous story about how he got baptized, it's still really cool as well.
      There's another two investigators that were found last transfer by the missionaries before I came. They're getting baptized next week. One of them is a guy named James and also his girlfriend named Febe. They live together and even have one child, but have never been married. As part of Ugandan (and African) culture the husband is supposed to pay a super expensive dowry to the father of the Lady that he wants to marry. I don't know the exact price but usually it involves buying a whole bunch of livestock and stuff. It's extremely expensive and most Ugandans don't have the means to pay that much. Many families don't have legally married parents until the parents are in their mid 40's or so when they finally have saved up the money to pay for their spouse (I even met this one couple who were in their 60's and still had never been properly married). It is a wicked practice and causes the law of chastity to be broken all throughout Uganda. Anyway this young couple were in this same situation when the missionaries met them for the first time, no way to pay for each other. As we continued to visit them they continually asked for us if it would be possible for them to get baptized, but we could not baptize them unless they first were married. Luckily the church performs Legal Church marriages for free, and we could marry them easily, but the problem was that if they got married at the church then most likely the Father of Febe (the wife) would dis-own her completely for being married without paying dowry. Both James and Febe wanted baptism super bad but they were to fearful to consult the father about it. As my companion and I thought about what we needed to do to to help them we decided to fast (both me and my companion and James and Febe). We started our fast Saturday Afternoon and planned on breaking it Sunday Evening. As we came to church that Sunday, James came running up to us and told us of something that had happened that very morning. He told us that, that very Sunday morning Febe's father had come and surprise them by visiting them at home. As he was visiting them, it came up that James and Febe wanted to get married at church. As they discussed about it the father began to get more and more upset until he was in a rage. The father left them and told them that if they were married outside of tradition then they would not be a part of his family. When the father left though, James and his wife said that at that time they felt more comforted and more happy than they had in a long time. They knew with all certainty that a church marriage was what they wanted to do no matter the consequences. This Saturday is going to be their marriage at the Chapel in Kololo. Sunday is going to be their Baptism. I'm super excited for them.
     Love all of you guys. Do your best to be great member missionaries!
Mom's Questions:
1-     In this new area are you able to teach single sisters?  In Lira that was discouraged for the lack of priesthood
2-      Any news on the new building?  Any progress towards finishing before the end of August?
3-     You seem to like this new area or am I reading your e-mails wrong?  There seems to be much more convenience and more abundance of shopping?  How is the missionary work going? 

to answer your questions

1- Teaching sisters is still frowned upon unless they show lots of potential. Really the focus is on families and potential priesthood holders. There still are not allot of priesthood holders even in Seeta. The attendance per week is like 60-70 people but only about 8-12 of those are Melchizedek priesthood holders. 
2- The chapel is going to be finished in October this year. I don't really know if I will still be around for it.
3- I think that I really like this area. There are some bad things about Seeta and also some good things, but I think that the good outweigh the bad right now. I'm having lots of success in this area right now. I feel as though the lord is really blessing me at this time. I also really do like the shopping, but we don't get nearly enough money per month to get very much food. Things like bacon and sandwich meat are so expensive that I have been found crying in supermarkets as I stare at the forbidden fruit.

Dad's Questions:
1. Are you still a district leader?
2. Do you have more than one Zone for all of the missionaries in the Kampala area?
3. Elder Bitter, who I believe is in Jinja right now, talked in his letter last week about several members of his district getting sick because they got careless with their drinking water. You haven't mentioned anything about that, so I'm hoping that hasn't been a problem with you or any of the missionaries in your district?
4. Do many people smoke in Uganda? Is alcohol your biggest Word of Wisdom challenge?
5. So what kind of suit or clothes did you get? I noticed that you had withdrawn money from your account.
6. Are baptisms as frequent in your new area as they were in Lira?
7. Are you enjoying the weather in Seeta?

1- yes I am still the district Leader. 
2- There are three zones in Kampala. Right now I'm in the biggest zone
3- I haven't heard of any problems with people not drinking clean water, but I know that sometimes if the filters break and you don't realize in time then you can accidentally drink unfiltered water. But for those of us who are obedient we check the filters regularly and change the filters regularly.
4- Honestly because Uganda used to ruled by the British Empire the biggest Word of Wisdom problem most people have is drinking tea. Alcohol and smoking is here, but it is looked down upon by most of society so it's not a huge problem for most. 
5- I withdrew the money to get a better suit and also to buy some exercise equipment (jump rope and a few weights)
6- Seeta has a history for being kind of a dead area as far as baptisms go (in the last year there were only 8 baptisms) but I'm actually getting more baptisms in Seeta right now than I did in Lira. We had one baptism this last Sunday and 3 more planned next Sunday.

7- The weather here is very cool. Some days it can be kind of warm but there is always a nice breeze wherever you go.