Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Monday, January 28, 2013

Zone Conference at a Beautiful Resort with President Jackson

    Lira has been extremely hot this last week. It seems like each day is more hot and more dry than the last. I don't think it's rained since New Years, and some days it feels like I'm living in a desert. Everyday I drink between 2 and 3 litters of water but I never really feel like it's enough.
    Because of how dry everything is this time of year this is also the time where all of the dirt roads in town become repaved (they can't repave the roads when it rains. When I first learned this it made me happy because a lot of the roads in Lira have massive pot holes. Riding your bike on these roads can be super bumpy and can really hurt your butt after a full day. Sometimes it feels like I'm riding a bull that's trying to buck me off rather than a mountain bike. Latter on though my happiness became disappointment, I found out what it means for them to repave a dirt road. What it actually means is that they take a plow and tear apart all of the dirt roads and just leave it like that. So now instead of being bumped around on the road, it's like I'm trying to bike through sand. There's almost no traction. some days we just ditch the bikes because they can just be more of a hindrance than a help.
    This week has been really nice though, regardless of the heat and roads. President Jackson (our mission president) came to Lira this week (on Friday) and we had our zone conference. I was even asked to give a training at zone conference about receiving revelation through prayer. Zone conference was really nice, it gave me an increased resolve to work hard and it was very spiritually uplifting. After Zone conference we went to the best restaurant in all of Lira. It was like this buffet place that was attached to a really nice hotel. I had the best food there that I've had since I've come to Uganda.
    The best part of this week though was earlier today. Our whole zone (8 of us) got us at 5 o clock this morning to go to this resort between Lira and Gulu. We piled into the back of the Zone leader's truck and drove for about an hour before reaching our destination. Because the truck (a 2013 Nissan Hardbody) can only hold 5 passengers, me and 2 other missionaries had to sit in the bed of the truck. It being so early, and that we were going about 100 km an hour, and that I was sitting in the bed of the truck, the wind felt legitimately cold passing by us. It was probably the first time I've actually felt cold in Uganda. Then when we finally arrived at the resort, the sun was just beginning to come up. It was the coolest thing, we were driving along this road in the resort watching giraffes, elephants, baboons, and all other African animals, just as the African sun was rising. It was sweet just to be there.
    This isn't all to the story though, it gets even better. We finally arrived at the end of the resort where there is this really ritzy looking lodge. Like 5 star kind of lodge. Like better than most lodges in America, let alone Uganda, kind of lodge. Like how in the world did this get here, in the middle of the African jungle, kind of lodge. Just walking between the two massive fountains and into the lobby of the lodge we were blown away. The Lodge sat right along the Nile river, and had this amazing spectacular view of it. You could look down over the railing in the lobby and see the Nile flowing past with all kinds of Hippos and gazelles and Hogs drinking from it. It was an amazing view. We sat and just relaxed in the lobby for a few minutes, eating up the view. But wait, it gets even better. While we were all siting there in the lobby, amazed at the small piece of heaven we had stumbled upon, President Jackson walks in, our mission president. Turns out that after doing Zone conference with us in Lira he had went up to Gulu to do their Zone conference. On his way back from Gulu, President and Sister Jackson had decided to spend the night in this Lodge, before making their way back to Kampala. So when we arrived by chance at this lodge, he bumped into us and greeted us with open arms. In fact he even went as far as to treat us all to breakfast. So now we were all eating breakfast at this beautiful Lodge with our mission president, with an incredible view of the glittering Nile river, eating REAL BACON. REAL BACON! I don't think I've had a breakfast that good in... I don't even know how long. I had to pinch my self to see if I was dreaming. Really it was an amazing morning, and one I don't think any of us missionaries who were there will ever forget.
      - Elder Grilliot

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