Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Lady from Lira

Dear Family and Friends,

      It seems that the longer I am in Uganda the more I have learned to respect the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It may seem simple at first: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, etc, but really, there's kind of a beauty behind it all. Learning more about the Gospel and how it changes lives, thoughts, and behavior, makes me realize how important the Church of Jesus Christ is to the whole world.

        In this mission because of how young the church is here (every single member in Lira is a convert) the largest part of our job as missionaries is to help the church to develop and become more like the organization that you find in the States, Europe, and other parts of the world. We need to help the church to learn to function, and become more like you see it around the world. Sundays can be a little stressful at times because its up to us missionaries to guide the church meetings and members to fulfill their callings. It may take a few years but I really hope that I can see the day that the church in Lira operates the way that the church was meant to. I think that's the reason why most of the missionaries in Uganda are either from the States, South Africa, Zimbabwe, or Kenya. In all of these places the church has been around long enough that it operates the way it's supposed to.

      This week I had an interesting experience with an older lady who chased me down as we were going to an appointment. She chased us down shouting something in Langi (the language used by locals in Lira), and when she got to us she got down or her knees and started pleading with us in Langi. It was kinda freaky cause we had no idea what her problem was and she made us feel really uneasy. We were getting ready to walk away from her (because for all we knew she was probably just asking for money or something) when she then took out a picture of a young Ugandan man wearing a white shirt and tie and a black name tag that said "Elder Sencka" and "The church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints" We managed to grab someone off the street that could translate for us and then this lady told us a story about the missionary in this picture, "Elder Sencka". What had happened is that her son, Elder Sencka, had moved to Kampala in 1992 and stayed there for schooling. While he was there the missionaries found him and converted him and he became a strong member of the church. In fact he even decided to serve a mission, and went to serve in the South Africa, Cape Town mission. He served his 2 years and then came home and got released, but then rather than stay in Uganda, immediately after being released he used the visa that he had received from his mission (it hadn't expired yet) and returned back to South Africa, where he lived as an illegal immigrant. Since then he has gotten married and become a citizen there, but now It's been over ten years since he has ever seen his family and this old Lady (his mother) was now pleading for us to bring him back to Uganda (even though we really have no control over that). As strange of a circumstance as this was my companion and I were talking and it turns out that his isn't a rare thing. Especially back in the 80s when the church was just developing in Kenya there were missionaries who would go on missions to the States, and then some of them wouldn't even finish their mission, they would just disappear. Become Illegal immigrants. That's why today most missionaries from Africa serve in another African country. Occasionally you'll hear about an African missionary serving in the States but it's really pretty rare. 

       Honestly you don't realize how good you have it untill you come to a 3rd world country. Everyone back home needs to take full advantage of the life that they live and live it to the fullest. I know I will whenever I return home.

       Have a great week everyone, and I'll update you next time.

MOM- Got a package from you this week Thanks for the power bars and pictures of the familly. Honestly though my favorite part of the package was the letters from Todd and Sarah. What's Todd's and Sarah's email, so I can talk to them as well. It was really good to hear from them. 

           You know that blog that you were reading before I left on my mission. The one by Elder Brandon Winters serving in the Uganda Kampala mission. Well he's sitting right next to me right now. We live in the same house and he's my Zone Leader. Just thought you might be interested to know.

           To Answer your questions:
Were you able to get photos taken (by borrowing a camera) of the last two companions? (His last one broke)

1- I was able to get photos taken by companions but none of them ever had a cord to connect their camera to the computer so I was never able to send you any pics (sorry).

Glad you got Linda’s package. I know she is happy to have gotten the shoutout in the last e-mail. What cool stuff did you get from them? (Thanks for looking out for our Elder. Linda you're awesome!)

2- Linda got me some sweets, some cliff bars, some really cool looking ties, and some word find books. Really liked the bubble gum they sent. Its really funny to blow a bubble in front of some little kids (who have never seen bubble gum) and they freak out. It's hallarious.

  Are you rushed on e-mail time? How much time are you allowed? Your last e-mail was short..I love the long ones the best! Sarah and Todd both wrote letters and they will show up in the package that I sent maybe a week ago.

3- I get 2 hrs to email, but honestly its hard sometimes to think about what I should email you. I like it when you send me questions, it makes it alot easier for me to know what to email about. I think I got the package with the letters in them, and I got the pictures in them as well. Everyone in my house was interested to see what my family looked like. Good to finally have pictures of the fam. 

 Are you still losing weight?

4- Ya I'm still losing weight. Really fast too. The suite coat that I came with is huge on me now. soon I'm going to need a new one.

 How are the shoes holding up?

5- The shoes are still going good. Their supper dirty all the time but they're champs. I could see them holding up for another 12 months at least. I look at the shoes that the older missionaries have and how poor of a state their in and I'm really glad I came with 2 pairs of shoes. 

 Are you still working out in the mornings?

6- Working out has become much more difficult since I became a District Leader. I usually need to stay up later than normal because I need to receive/ send reports and this makes me much more tired in the morning. I sometimes find myself falling asleep in the living room while stretching before workouts. I'm trying to get better at going to sleep on time, but it's really hard sometimes. 

 Sarah wants to know how your“pigstead” is doing? Hehehehe (Inside joke)

7- Tell sarah to email me and then i can tell her how my pigstead is doing.

  Let us know when you get your debit card in the mail, okay?
8- I will don't worry.

Love you guys have a great week. Stay strong in the church and Love everyone as the Savior did.

            -Elder Grilliot

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