Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting Use to the Culture of Uganda

Dear Family and Friends,

        It's kind of funny how numb I've become to everything in Uganda. No longer am I amazed when I see cows running through the streets, or when I see naked children waddling over to me to greet me in a foreign language. All of those new experiences are now just part of daily life. I have to say though, the one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the drunk people in Uganda. You can find people who haven't have a job in over 10 years but somehow they have the funds to get drunk everyday- all day. It just blows my mind how these homeless, jobless, people can manage to find their way to large quantities of alcohol time after time, despite their ever decreasing odds. There are some people I've met where if they put as much energy into getting jobs and working, as they they do finding and consuming alcohol, the next Bill Gates would be a Ugandan.
        Uganda really is a great place to serve though, I often feel blessed to serve here. Some of the nicest people in the world live here. Due to their humbling circumstances they have really learned to be kind to others. On rare occasions though, rather than finding people who have become humbled because of their circumstances, they become bitter and cruel. Some of the best people I've ever met, I've met in Uganda, but also some of the worst as well. It's kind of interesting to see the huge rift between them.
       The church is Lira is really starting to progress. We had our first young woman in excellence award given out this week to a 17 year old girl named Zienah. It was kind of cool to see that, and I'm really happy for her. She was baptized only about 2 years ago but she's already of the strongest woman in this branch. We also finally found an organist for our branch... or I guess I should say a keyboardist. In our branch we have one of those electronic keyboards but no one knows how to play it in our branch, (I'm now kicking myself for not learning how to play) but now one of the new missionaries who got transferred to Lira knows how to play for us. It's a very welcome advancement in this branch and a definite step up from singing hymns from memory.
      My Mom sent me a few questions to answer so I'll include those at the bottom. If any of you have other questions you want to ask me just email me at scott.grilliot@myldsmail.net and I'll try to include them in my future posts.
           -Elder Grilliot
                              1.         What is the weirdest food you have there so far?
                              I haven't really eaten anything too strange yet. I've had pig intestine, which was kind of unusual the first time, but not too bad tasting. I've heard stories from some older missionaries though, about some really nasty dinner appointments they have had. Like ones where they would be served potatoes and they would find mice hidden in the serving bowl, or just really nasty stuff like that. 

2.      How often do you see a monkey or baboon?  Are they hanging out on the road

Honestly you don't see that many monkeys this far north in Uganda. If you go farther South or you drive out into the wilderness you'll see them all over the place, but it's rare to find them running around in the road in Lira.

3.       Are you able to wake up ok?  And are you sleeping okay?

Sleeping is the easy, I haven't met a single missionary yet who has had a problem sleeping. Your so tired at night that sleeping is definitely not an issue. The difficult part is waking up. I have had the most difficult time in the morning waking up and staying awake. Even all the way going up to personal study time, some days it can be such a struggle to stay awake while I'm studying.

4.      How much $ do you get allowance for the month?  Have you ever had extra left over and if so does it get dumped into the next month?

In US dollars I get about 120$ per month (or 420,000 shillings). I usually don't have any left over at the end of the month, but if I ever do I usually just spend it on something really nice at the end of the month, (like last month, all of us living in the same house put all of our extra money together and threw ourselvs a pizza party).

5.      Do you have a place locally to buy a camera?  We are dying to see more pics.

Yes there are plenty of places to buy cameras in downtown Lira. You won't have to worry about that. Most missionaries end up having to buy a camera in Uganda at some point, because theirs gets stolen, or broken, or something like that.

6.      Have you been able to keep your bikes safe from getting stolen?

Yep we just have to lock them up together every time we stop somewhere.

7.      Do you have a place to buy new shirts for yourself or a new suit coat in Lira?

I'm sure that there are places in Lira where you can, I just haven't gotten around to doing so yet. Right now I'm fine with wearing shirts and pants that are a little big on me.

8.      What are you doing for P-day exercise or fun?  Did you play dodge ball with the kids?

On P-day we usually go out and play soccer, but recently our soccer ball got poped when it got kicked into a thorny bush. So now most P-days we kind of just chill.
A few weeks ago though we played dodge ball with the young men on P-day, it was way fun.

9.      In church on Sunday what has been the hardest thing to teach the people about the running of the church?

Home teaching is probably the most difficult thing for people to do in Uganda. There are only a couple of people in our branch who consistently do their home teaching each month. I think that it may take quite a few years before home/visiting teaching becomes implemented properly in the church.

                              10.   Who has been your favorite investigator so far and why?
                              One of the Coolest investigators I've met so far is this guy called Iassac. He's a very smart guy and very self sufficient. Using nothing except for plastic bags and sticks he built his own greenhouse. He then goes around and gathers seeds from the ground like from mango trees, pow-pow trees, pineapple, jack fruit, and bananas. He gathers up soil from the ground and puts in into plastic bags and grows the seed from there. He then sells the tree right as its beginning to get larger, and makes a really good profit from it. It really is an ingenious way of making money, all he has to buy is the plastic bags. I really like the guy too. He's really easy to teach and accepts just about everything we tell him. His main problem though is just that he's never come to church. We invite him every week and he tells us that he's coming but its been almost 4 weeks and he has never come, so sadly we may have to drop him soon. :(

Love Elder Grilliot

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