Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Elder Grilliot in Uganda

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pot-hole City

   This week has gone by really fast. I drove down to Kampala and back this last week. Kampala is crazy. You have to be really alert there. I wonder how my driving will be when I get home, I might also be a crazy driver. The road going to and from Kampala (especially as you get close to Kampala) is awful. The road is really narrow, (there is only enough space to fit one car on the road at a time) and you have to be careful not to hit the other vehicles. On top of that there are tons of pot holes on the road too, A TON OF THEM! You can't drive 10 feet without passing at least 3 potholes.
   This next week will be nice though, We are preparing like 10 people to be baptized over the next two weeks, which is exciting. We will be busy preparing these people but it will be a nice experience.

   I hear a lot about Luna. Do you think she will freak out or anything when I come and she see's a new person? Or is she usually friendly around new people?
   I am also looking forward to mother's day. Isn't it strange that I still have yours and Dad's phone numbers memorized even after a year and a half? I don't think that I will have any difficulties calling.

This year the mission president has changed the time that we are allowed to call from 2 hrs to 30-40 min. So it will be a slightly shorter call than before. That will also be the day that I will watch general conference, so overall I'm just looking forward to that day.
-Elder Grilliot

Monday, April 21, 2014

Miracles Do Happen

   From the beginning of this week until now everything has been going really well. Gulu really is a great place to serve. It is a beautiful place, with many humble people. The branch here is doing really well. For Easter Sunday we had a lot of investigators and Less-active members come to church. Sacrament attendance is usually steady around 100 to 110, but this last Sunday the Sacrament attendance was 140! It was really cool. A very spiritual sacrament meeting. I really like the branch president here. He is a very smart guy and he's a returned missionary, so he knows generally how the church is supposed to be run. Most returned missionaries know how the church is supposed to run, going on a mission is really what trains most of the church leaders in this side of the world.
   We had a really amazing experience this last week. We were tracking in part of our area on Thursday, when we ran into this nice old lady and her two children. We didn't have enough time to teach them, so we just set a return appointment with them for Saturday. That Saturday, our schedule was really busy. We were to do Zone conference, the A.P.'s and the mission president were coming up to Gulu, and our whole day after zone conference zone confrence was super packed with appointments. Our original plan was to meet this lady and her family at around 5 o clock, but because of the time zone conference ended we didn't know if we time. we had to move some of our appointments around but we were unable to tell if we were going to be able to see here on that day. We gave her a call and she assured us that she would be around all day and if we found time to visit she would be there. That day our appointments were super packed but somehow we managed just in time to finish all of our plans by 8 o clock, so we headed off to see that woman and her family. It was a really powerful lesson about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit was really strong as my companion and I testified about the truthfulness of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson, she paused us, and told us two things. The first is that her Uncle is also a member of the church, and when she gave me his name I recognized him as the patriarch of the Kampala Stake. The second thing is that, that very morning she had prayed to God that if we (My companion and I) really have a message from Him, that we come today, and that if our message is not from him, that we don't come today. We honestly (from the schedule that we had that day) should not have had time to visit her, I don't know how it happened but somehow we managed to get time to see her that day. It was a miracle. We gave her a baptismal date, she came to church the next day and is now progressing very well. The Lord truly blessed us.
   Everything here is doing great. The lord is blessing us, and I can see it in my life. Love you all, and wish you a great week.

-Elder Grilliot

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dinner Appointments Every Night in Gulu!!

   This has been a great week for myself. Gulu is a blessed place. I have never seen on my mission what I have seen here. First of all. We have a dinner appointment every night. EVERY NIGHT! I normally am lucky if I can get 2 in a month. The members love to feed the missionaries, and we are always being fed by members. Another thing is that the members are constantly giving us referrals. In this last week alone we received 19 member referrals. That's a new record for me. I have never seen so many cool members before. There are a ton of young single adults in Gulu as well (there are like 7 or 8 that are preparing for a mission) that always are working with us to see investigators. There is no shortage of members to work with us or to fellowship the investigators. The people here are so humble and nice.
This is so unlike any area that I have served in until now.
   I am also feeling much more comfortable with my driving now. Today for P-day we drove about an hour and a half to Murchison falls national park (I went there last year when I was serving in Lira). The drive was really rugged (the road has tons of pot holes and it's really narrow), but I drove it pretty well.    Don't worry about the driving. I'm being safe and obeying every rule regarding the vehicle. The lord will protect me so long as I obey Him.
   This last Sunday we had 2 baptisms. One of them was the wife to the branch's Sunday School president. The other was the younger brother to the branch mission leader. It was a really nice baptismal service, and afterwards we had dinner with the Sunday School president and his newly baptized wife. They cooked us a really nice meal which consisted of fried pork, cabbage, and cassava (kind of like a potato). It was some of the nicest pork I've ever eaten.
   Don't know what else to talk about, but just want yall to know that I love ya, and care about ya. Take care!
-Elder Grilliot

Monday, April 7, 2014

Gulu is Awesome!!

Question answering time!
   Being a zone leader is kind of nice, it is a really good opportunity for me to learn to be a better missionary and person. Yes as a zone leader I do drive a truck and since my zone leader companion doesn't have a drivers license I'm the only one authorized to drive the truck. Driving isn't so bad, it took me a few hours to get used to driving on the left side of the road, and driving while sitting on the right side of the vehicle (I still sometimes accidentally turn on the window wipers when I am meaning to turn on the turn signal). Driving in Gulu isn't so dangerous except that there are tons of motorbikes that drive around the road like drunk insects and I have to be super careful not to hit them. I haven't driven in Kampala yet, but at the end of this month I will be driving down there for Mission Leaders Council, so that should be one heck of a driving experience.
   My new companion is from Malawi, he's a pretty cool guy. We get along pretty well so far. In my apartment we have 4 Elders (myself) my companion, (Elder Lombola) My zone leader companion (Elder Vihanga from Namibia), and his companion (Elder Dlamini from South Africa). We have a really nice house that we live in and there are 4 other missionaries from Gulu Zone that live just next door to where we live. It's pretty fun to have the 8 of us missionaries living just next to one another. The missionaries living next door have a washing machine in their home which is pretty convenient, I feel blessed to have one around to use. Water usually never go's out here so that's not a big worry in our homes, but power go's out like twice a week and usually stays out for the whole day.
   The work in Gulu is awesome. It is known as one of the most fruitful areas in the whole mission. The church has only been here for like 6 years but there are two branches here (one has a sacrament attendance of around 110, the other is around 70). The branch that I am in is the original branch for Gulu, and it might split in the next year if it continues to grow (it is not part of a stake so it can't gain ward status, only just split into more branches). The people in Gulu are pretty humble, and the Acholi people make education a priority (even if they can't always afford it) so there are many people that speak great English. Many people are farmers but also there are lots of teachers here, and boda-boda drivers. There are also a lot of stores, and places to work at within Gulu town.
   Dad asked me a question about if I ever go to visit other provinces around the northern part of Uganda. No I don't go to Lira (it's its own zone), but there is a group that has formed in Kitgum (a town about 2 hours north of Gulu) which we are expected to visit from time to time until the group is large enough that the mission president decides to send missionaries up there and to turn it into a branch.
   And yes mom, I am taking my malaria pills.
   Love all you guys, and I pray for you.
-Elder Grilliot