Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

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