Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Monday, September 30, 2013

At First You Don't Succeed...

This has been a pretty good week thus far. My companion and I have been hard at work this week. We have been really effective this last few weeks in finding families and progressing them. I've been able to see the hand of the Lord as I've been obedient and diligent in the work.
    We had a baptism yesterday for a lady named Kathy. It was a great baptism but we had some difficulties at first. As we were filling up the baptismal font, the water went out for the church. By the time that the baptismal service had begun, the font had only about a foot and a half of water in it. So when we went out to the font, rather than finding it filled like we were hoping, the water could only just barley reach our knees. As I got into the water to baptize, and Kathy as well, I realized that this would be a struggle of a baptism. I tried many times to fully immerse her in water but to no avail. Her foot would come out on accident, or her arm, or something else. In the end we had her sit on the bottom of the font while I laid her backwards into the water. In the end I had baptized her like 7 or 8 times.
     It always seems like the ones that you are expecting to come to church don't come and the ones that you don't believe would come do. We met a guy this week named Trevor Williams, or as he calls himself "Pastor" Trevor Williams (on weekends he gos out to preach the gospel on the street from a loud speaker). When we talk to him he always starts rambling about crazy things that don't make any sense, and every time we see him
he's asking us how he can find a good wife. But he wants to be baptized super bad and this Sunday he came to church. The way he speaks and stuff is really funny but I really admire his desire to follow Christ. This was his first Sunday to attend Church and it was kind of funny for me to see how he reacted to everything. He really liked the Hymns that we sang, and when one of the members of the congregation went up to give their talk, he whispered in my ear "I'm going to go speak next", and I had to let him know that he needs to wait for next week to go up to the podium (testimony meeting). He also gave me a free pen on Sunday, alerting me that the spirit directed him to give it to me. He's a goofy guy and I don't think that I'll forget him. I hope that I get an opportunity to see him get baptized.
     Overall we have a lot of people that we are progressing right now, and we have a massive teaching pool as well. Things are going pretty well right now but I've been busier than ever before just to keep up with all our investigators. We go on splits 2 or 3 times a week to see all of our investigators and still have finding time. It can be a problem sometimes, but it's a good problem to have.
     Thanks for the emails this week its good to hear from so many of you. Talk to all of you later!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Feeling the Guidance

Q1: What is something this week that happened that you could feel the guidance of the spirit.
A1: So one night this week I had one such experience as I was walking home one evening. As my companion and I were walking along a long dirt road I felt like I just wanted to street contact one more person before heading in. So as I walked back to our apartment I looked down the road studying peoples faces for who I should talk to. As I looked at those around me on the road and those who were passing by there was one mans face that just kind of stood out of the crowd. It wasn't that he was ugly or something, but just that I could feel influenced that he was who I needed to talk to. So I went up to him and I handed him the only pamphlet that I had left "The Plan of Salvation". As I go up to this man and introduce myself  I explained very simply what the plan of salvation was and was about to just leave it like that (with our phone number on the back of the pamphlet) when this guy asks me "if God really loves us that why would he let bad things happen to us?" He wasn't asking this question in a taunting way, but in a genuine heartfelt way. My companion and I sat down on the side of the road and spent the next 20 min explaining the purpose of life and why bad things happen to good people. He explained to us some problems that he had been having at his work and in his family. And we tried our best to help him see that the gospel of Jesus Christ was meant to make everything right in an imperfect world. He didn't have a phone (it got broken and he didn't have money to replace it) and we we couldn't get his address (there's no such thing as addresses in Uganda) but we gave him our number and directed him to the church. I never met that guy again but I do feel as though we gave him a little bit of comfort during a rough time in his life, and I'm glad that God directed us to be the angels that were needed for this man.
Q2: What are you studying in your personal scripture study.
A2: In my personal scripture study I've been studying Isaiah, and 2nd Nephi a lot (I've read 2 Nephi before but now I'm going through it more slowly). I also study Preach My Gospel everyday.
Q3: Have you had a tender mercy happen to you this week and if so what was it?
A3: Nope, haven't seen any
Q4: How often do you have any interaction with your mission president?
A4: Aside from emailing him each week, I see him in person about 4 times a transfer (when I go to the mission office on P-days, or during zone conferences).
Q5: How often do you have zone conferences?  Do you usually play a sport and eat, what do you do for zone conferences?

A5: We usually have a zone conference once a transfer (if not then it's every other transfer). This last Zone Conference we had a member of the second quorum of the seventy come (Keven S. Hamilton). He spoke to us for a few hours and then we had lunch after. Then we went back to our areas and went back to work. It was pretty cool.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Swahili Couple

   Answers to Dad's Questions:
1- To answer your first question, yes. I have run into Elder Bitter a few times. Just briefly here or there but I have seen him. Also yes the Mission Pres knows that we are cousins, so I doubt that we will serve together unless there's a strong prompting that we need to do so.
2- Driving on the left side won't be to difficult to adjust to. Any time I'm in a taxi or other vehicle I'm always on the left side. Since I've been in Uganda for about 10 months now I'm pretty much used to keeping left when walking and stuff.
3- it pronounced set - ta
4- We are also getting lots of new missionaries but as for new areas that are opening up not really. For a brand new area to be opened they would need to open a new branch first because it's not like the states where there's a ward/branch in every city. So they're trying hard to get some new areas and new branches opened up in this mission in the next few months.
5- For Ugandans if they don't get malaria at least once a year then it's unusual. For missionaries serving in Uganda about 1 out of 3 will get malaria at least once on their mission.

This has been a pretty good week for me, but also kind of disappointing. I've had to drop a lot of investigators this week, people that have not been keeping commitments. You just have a sense of sadness when people are not being serious enough about the things that you know will help them. But we've also had a good week in seeing the Lord work certain miracles in the lives of a few.

    For instance in the life of one of our less-active families. Richard and his wife Winnie. My companion and I had gone over there to their house several times last transfer to talk to them and try to bring them back to church, but with very limited success. But then one day as we were leaving their home my companion asks if they know anyone else that we could teach. I never thought to ask them for referrals just because, you know, they're less-active. But sure enough there was a lady next door that had been having questions about the church. Unfortunately she couldn't speak any English at all but she can speak Luganda and Swahili, so we had the family translate for us to her. Long story short we managed to get a Swahili book of Mormon, She and her partner have read all the way to the book of Alma, they have come to church like 5 or 6 times (and have even started bringing Richard and Winnie) and we have given them a marriage date (because she and her man haven't been married yet) and a baptismal date. It is kind of crazy to see how God has prepared people for the gospel and that anyone can refer you to them, active or not active.
     Sorry my computer was super slow today in loading my email so I don't have a lot of time to email you guys, but thanks for all the support that each of you send my way.

-Elder Grilliot

Monday, September 9, 2013

Birthday Week

This has been a pretty good week. For all of you wondering I’m staying here in Seeta with my companion. I’m pretty happy about that as well.
I really get along with my companion and we are doing a lot of good work here.
I’m completely cured of Malaria now. I don’t really feel any sickness or anything anymore. Since Tuesday I have felt really good, with no pain or difficulties. I thank so many of you for the prayers that have come my way. My companion has been a really big help as I have gotten over malaria. Malaria is one heck of a disease; it’s just something that you never forget.
No big stories from this week. My birthday was kind of quiet; we just continued working like always, kind of felt like just a normal day. We had a member cook us lunch that day (we had Pork, Matoke (which is an African food that they make from steamed bananas), and noodles).
Sorry for making it a short email this week, but I’m a little pressed for time this week. I’lll try to make up for it next week.
Love you guys. I could feel a lot of genuine love in my emails this week and I thank all of you for caring about me. I hope each of you have a great week full of fun and excitement!

Love, Elder Grilliot

Monday, September 2, 2013

On the Mend

Getting ready to baptized a guy named Paul. Then building to our right is the meeting house for church.

This was drawn outside of a nursery school. It's just a funky looking picture.

Guess what I learned how to cook!!

Sorry if I scared everyone by telling you I had malaria last week. The good news is, is that I have almost fully recovered. Since Thursday I have been feeling much better and on Saturday I was released back to my area of Seeta and allowed to get back to work. The only effects from malaria that I'm still facing is that by body temperature sometimes becomes hot all of the sudden or cold all of the sudden, and that I get tired much faster. As long as I get adequate sleep at night I can function during the day just fine. Besides that there is no reason to worry.
    This week has been a nice one though. Malaria is not as bad of a disease as I thought that It would be, and once I started getting better (and stopped sleeping my week away) I had a good time with my companion and the other missionaries living in Ntinda. But still it felt wrong not working and teaching. I was glad to be able to go back to my area to teach and bring people to the restored gospel. 
    This week will be transfers so I will keep each one of you updated on what happened next week (weather I'm getting a new companion, or a new area or anything like that).
    Thanks for all of the prayers that have come my way this week. I owe my recovery to each one of you.

-Elder Grilliot
Answers to Dad's Questions:
     1.        How are you feeling now?  Are you back to proselyting?  If they’re still having you rest, when do you think you’ll be back to your area?
2.      Did the doctor say anything about whether this makes you more (or less) susceptible to getting it again during your mission?
3.       Were you taking your malaria pills?
4.      Do you know if this will influence what other areas you may be assigned to for the rest of your mission?  
 Right now I'm doing much better. I'm even Proselyting, but I'm taking it slower than normal. Most of the time I feel like I'm back at full health, but there are still a little bit of side effects that I'm overcoming. Like for instance every now and then my body just go's hay-wire and I'll start feeling supper cold for no reason even if it's really warm out side. Or other times it will be nice and cool out, but I will just start sweating for no reason, and feeling really hot. My body is just trying to adjust back to normal and it's nearly there. 
      Now that I've had malaria my body knows how to fight it much better if the disease comes again (or so the doctor says). So I'm more immune to malaria than I ever have been before.
      To answer if I have been taking my malaria pills the answer is yes. But I do miss a day here or there just out of forgetfulness. I never miss intentionally, but every now and then I will forget to take my malaria pill before going to bed. So that's most likely how I got malaria, I must have missed a dose at some point and it was just enough for the disease to get in.
       Don't worry this won't influence what areas I'm likely to serve in, in the future. As soon as I'm cured of malaria then it's like I never had it (except that I will probably never be able to donate blood or plasma in the future).
      I emailed Grandma Grilliot and let her know that I'm doing completely fine. To be honest Malaria is not an uncommon disease in Uganda. People get it here. And to be honest it really is not so bad, it's not any worse than having a bad flu or something. 
     Keep me updated as the NFL season begins please.