This week has been very hot. Like even hotter than normal I think. From like 10:30 to about 6:30 I feel as though the hair on my head will burst into flames. I wish that I could trade you some of my Ugandan heat for your guys winter cold, and then no one would feel too hot or too cold. I've learned how to tell people "It's way too hot!" in their local language, Langi. So every time they ask me if im hot I tell them "ping leat leatturu" (pronounced "ping lee-et lee-et-toro"), and then they instantly think that you are fluent in their language and their mind is blown. It's pretty funny. I've memorized all of the typical greetings and stuff like that, but I've also learned a few other phrases that I've found useful, like how to invite them to church, or how to ask them to pray, and just small stuff like that. They always think it's awesome if you can speak the local language and I've found that it often helps them to feel a little bit more comfortable around you. The only problem is that if I get transferred there's an almost 100 percent guarantee that I'll never use Langi again. Because there are three Zones in Kampala there are some people who stay in Kampala their whole mission, or most of their mission. So by the end of their mission they can be fluent in Luganda (the language of Kampala and the unofficial language of Uganda). My companion right now has spent about 7 or 8 months in Kampala so he knows quite a bit of Luganda, which helps if we find someone who has moved from Kampala to Lira.
This week has been difficult with one of our investigators, Ruth. She was coming along really well, keeping commitments, reading the book of Mormon, heck, she was even asking us if we could teach the rest of her family. Then the week right before she was scheduled to be baptized she called us and asked us if we could rush to the hospital. We got there and she took us to her father who was sick with malaria and was so sick, the disease had put him in a coma. I would have guessed he was already dead except that he was breathing heavily and he was sweating terribly. Ruth asked us to give him a blessing so we did, and right afterwards her father stopped breathing as hard and he seemed to be a little bit more calm. We all felt a bit better afterwards so Elder Cardon and I tried to comfort the family and left soon after giving the blessing. Thirty minutes later we got a call back from Ruth telling us that her father had past away. We felt awful that he had died but then even worse when we heard that his burial would be that weekend in a village about 20 kilometers away. There was no way that Elder Cardon and I would be able to attend the funeral and it was so difficult to have to tell her so. We haven't seen or heard from Ruth since then, but we hope that if we just give her some time then she'll come around.
On a positive note for this week, we had more of our investigators and recent converts come to church this Sunday then we've had in the past. We even had this one young lady, named Gloria, who saved up her money for two weeks to be able to travel the 20 kilometers to our church by taxi. When we saw her we didn't recognize her so we went up and introduced our selves and asked where she was from. When she told us and then told us how far of a travel it was my mind was blown. We asked her how she had heard about the church and the story she had told us was pretty amazing. About 3 months back some missionaries from Gulu had been prociliting in town and had given a pamphlet about the restoration to guy, and wrote their phone number on the back of it. The guy who they gave the pamphlet to didn't live in the town of Gulu but he actually lived in the same village that Gloria lived in. So when he traveled back to his village he took the pamphlet with him. At some point he needed money and tried to sell the pamphlet that the missionaries had given him to a local baptist priest in their village for some extra cash. The priest bought the pamphlet but rather than use it he gave it away to someone else, Gloria's father. I guess that the priest was looking through it one day and Gloria's father saw it and became interested so he asked if he could barrow it. The priest let him so the father took it home, where it was then Gloria's turn to find it. She began reading through it and read it from front to back. She even showed the pamphlet to me (yes she still has it) and there are notes written all over the pamphlet by her. You can tell that she definetly studied that book from front to back. She then prayed about what was written in the pamphlet and found that it's message was true. From there she called the number on the back of the pamphlet and got in touch with the missionaries in Gulu, and was directed to the closest LDS church to where she lives, which is ours in Lira. My jaw dropped when I had heard this story, I couldn't believe how much the Lord had guided this small booklet to be able to bring someone to the truth. It really was an amazing story. The only problem now it that I have no idea how missionaries are going to be able to teach her if she lived that far away and if it's that difficult for her to come to church, but either way she is pretty amazing to be able to come this far just to seek after truth. We left her with a book of Mormon and with a few other booklets (Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the testimony of the prophet Joseph smith pamphlet) and encouraged her to read. But to be honest I don't think she needed any encouragement to read at all.
The next transfer is going to be weird. To be able to adjust to the MTC becoming a two week long course instead of a three week long one, we are making our next transfer only 3 weeks long. This also means that everyone's return dates for this year have been shifted. Some missionaries are going home 3 weeks late and some are going home 3 weeks early. This applies to all missionaries going home this year (2013). It's definitely going to be a big change for some missionaries.
Thank you for all of the wonderful and supportive emails. I always enjoy hearing from you guys.
Love -Elder Grilliot