Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Monday, March 31, 2014

Transferred to Gulu and Being Zone Leader

   All of this last week we have seen miracles come into my area. we have been very obedient and super hard working, and the hand of the lord has blessed us. We have quite a few ready for baptism over the next few weeks, and some good ones progressing too (including a family that has come to church for the last three weeks). The ironic thing though about it all is that we received transfer news this morning, and I'm going to be transferred to Gulu on Wednesday. 
   Yep, I'm going to be transferred back to the village. Gulu is an area pretty similar to Lira (where I started my mission), except that the church has been established there a few years longer. They have a lot of mud huts there and they speak Acholi, which is an almost identical language to Langi, which is spoken in Lira. As much as I am disappointed that I am leaving Lugazi I am also excited to go to Gulu, I have heard a lot of good things about the area. I have also been called to be a zone leader there which is kinda exciting/ humbling. I hope that I can do a lot of good while I am there.
   We have a senior missionary couple that comes down to Lugazi every Sunday, and last Sunday they cooked a really nice tasting stew with some rolls. It was super nice. They gave me the recipe yesterday, I look forward to trying it out (it doesn't even look too expensive either. I learned a recipe for biscuits and gravy some weeks back too which I have made several times too.
   I will spend this week saying my goodbyes to the people that I have come to love here, and then prepare myself to go back to where it is super hot all the time. 
   Love you guys, have a good week!

Questions from Dad:
Is Easter a big holiday in Uganda?  Do they do anything special?  I don’t suppose they have the Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts?

General Conference this coming weekend!  I’ll let you know about which talks were especially good.  You get the DVDs a week after, right?

   Ya Easter is a fairly big holiday in Uganda. They eat a lot of chicken, and sometimes they get work off on that day. Usually it is spent with family. 
  I think that we will watch conference in several weeks. I am getting transferred to Gulu, and in the northern part of Uganda Conference is broadcast a bit later. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Walking and Weight Lifting

    Lugazi is pushing onward. The work is continuing
   We have managed to progress some excellent people this last week. and we are working on some families as well. We have several people that we are working on now and I'm pretty happy with what has been accomplished this last week. This is the last week of the transfer, and based on how things are looking right now I hope that I stay so that I can see some of these people get baptized.
   As Lugazi is a new branch there are several things that I get to do here that I normally wouldn't get to do in most other settings. Each Sunday I get an opportunity to pass or to bless the sacrament. I also get to train the recent converts to home teach, and I get to home-teach with them. I also get a chance about once every two months to give a talk in sacrament meeting. As well as all of that I am also serving as the 2nd councilor in the branch presidency (just kidding). Having all of these extra duties helps me to appreciate the fully organized wards and branches back home, where the majority of the church is already trained in these types of things.
   One thing I like about Lugazi is that it is a pretty small area. It's easy to reach most places (we have to walk everywhere), even if it's on the other side of town. It isn't to difficult to reach members homes, and investigators homes, the area is pretty small.
   My weight has stabilized over the last 3 months. I am no longer loosing weight nor am I gaining weight. I average around 205 to 210 pounds. We have a gym near our apartment that we go to on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, so I've been working out there. If anything I will probably begin to gain some weight back, but this time it will be from building muscle. It's super weird to me that throughout high school I always measured the weight I lifted in pounds, but now I am lifting in Kilograms. I have to make quick calculations in my head to convert kilos into pounds every time I go to lift something.

   Love you guys, have a great week!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Blessings of Having Faith

   Been a pretty nice week. Lots of rain that has been attacking us this last week. It is strange to me, when I was at home I loved the cold weather and would wear shorts in 40 degree weather, but here when it rains and the temperature drops below 70 I start shivering. I'm afraid of how my body is going to react when I get home at the beginning of November. I hope that I don't freeze to death.
   My comp and I are doing pretty well this last week. He was sick on Saturday but besides that we have been working diligently and seen the blessings that come from it. The mission had a fast this last week, and I have really seen the blessings that come from such things. We found like 3 complete families this last week, with stable jobs and stable working hours (which in Lugazi has previously been a challenge to find). My testimony in faith has grown this last week. I have been able to see first-hand how faith is much more than just a passive belief, but rather it is shown in your actions, behavior, and attitude.
   We are teaching a nice family that we found this last week, where the father of the home works with our branch president (the branch president is his supervisor). It was a nice little suprise that when we trackted into his home he read our name tags and then told us that he is working with someone from our same church. I have good hopes for this family, unfortunately though the wife's mother just passed away on Friday, and they had to go to her village for the burial. I hope that teaching them that families can be together forever will give them more hope and faith in the restoration.
   Love you guys, have a great week

Monday, March 10, 2014

Healing the Sick

  This has been a pretty nice week. My companion have been hard at work this last week, and we have been able to accomplish much good.
   There was this super old guy that we had been teaching for the last few weeks. He is 78 years old. He has great-great grandchildren. He has 3 teeth. He's an old guy. But he's really funny and really smart too. For the last few weeks since we had met him, he had been reading everything that we had given to him, from pamphlets to the Book of Mormon. He had been doing everything that we had asked of him to do. However, there was one small problem, he was having difficulties coming to church (he had been going to his church for over 30 years and was very attached to it). This last week when we went to go visit him he was having problems with his health (a really bad flu) and hadn't been able to sleep properly for the last week because of it. We sat down with him and had a really powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson we committed him to come to church, and he told us that he might make an effort to come to church if it wasn't that he was sick. We asked him that if he were to feel better, would he come, and he told us yes, but that he doubts that he would be able to make it due to sickness. From there my companion and I offered to give him a priesthood blessing, and he accepted. That happened on Wednesday of this last week. On Sunday we were surprised to see him walking into church wearing a nice striped suite. It was a pretty cool thing to see, and it built my faith in the power of the priesthood. I hope that he continues to progress as well as he has been doing so far.
   Been a good week though so far. This last week My Companion and I were doing service: We were filling up and carrying Jerry Cans from peoples homes to the well and back. As I was walking back the quarter mile to someones house with two filled up Jerry Cans there was an old Lady who saw me and yelled out to me "You're so strong! Why don't you marry me!" It was really funny the way she said it, and my companion and I laughed all day about it.
   It just started raining again today, for the first time in like a month. It felt soo good. I hope that it was a sign of the dry season's end and the beginning of the rainy season.

   Love you guys have a great week!

Monday, March 3, 2014

No Water in Lugazi

   Water has been out in Lugazi for 5 days in a row. No rain in sight. The whole of Lugazi looks like a desert. I don't know who has it worse right now, me in Uganda (hot and dry), or you guys in America (Cold and freezing). With the exception of a few minutes each day, we receive no water in our home, or in the surrounding homes. We are praying for rain. This is a famine indeed.
   We went to Kampala today. Just wanted to pick up a few things there. Went to a supermarket called Game, (the African Walmart) and they had a sale: 1,000 shillings for a large bag of doritos! Yay!

   Other than that, things are going well. Sorry ran out of time emailing today, but I love you guys, and I will write you next week.
RE: Dad's Letter  
   My shoes are holding up alright, I think that they will last me to the end of my mission. I fixed up the hole in the front and side.
   My companion is adjusting to Uganda pretty well. It can be hard for him at times (Like when water go's out and stuff) but he's pretty good at adjusting thus far.
   Ya most of the time my companion and I get along. Just a few times when we have some small contentions.
   Yes, I am picking up the language. Webele nyo, sebo
   I am one of the only whites in Lugazi. There is this super old white guy though who lives here too. He can be found at times waddling around with the support of his cane. We don't know why he is living here in Lugazi and I've never tried to talk to him but when I see him in passing I tell those around me that he is my Grandfather.
   In General we focus our teaching on families, on the people who can support themselves (have a stable job), and those who speak English. We do teach people outside of this category but not often. Teaching single mothers can be difficult too because you need to have a priesthood holder with you to teach them, so with having a small branch with limited priesthood holders it can cause some difficulties.
   I have heard a little about South Sudan but not much, I just know that there are not any senior couples there as there once was, and that there is a lot of bloodshed up there.