Coming and Going

We survived our very 1st transfer week!!  It’s one of the busiest weeks in the Mission Office as we have many missionaries coming in for transfers, then we have all the new arriving missionaries coming from the MTC, plus we have departing missionaries leaving for home having completed their 2 years of service.  It’s non-stop craziness and fun, trying to make everything go smoothly.
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First, we travel to the airport with the Mission President and his wife and the AP’s,which is about an hour drive, to greet the “green” new missionaries coming to the Mission.  It’s like seeing deer in the headlights, they’re tired, they are confused having just gone through customs…and they’re in a new country.  This night, we had one missionary come off the plane looking miserable, and boy was he sick!  Poor guy had been ill all down the front of his tie and shirt and couldn’t keep anything down.  Talk about a miracle, though, when you arrive at the airport in Uganda, as you go through customs you are required to go through a medical desk where they always check your temperature.  If you have a fever or a temp at all, they will NOT let you into the country.  Well this missionary was sweating bullets, and for some reason, they didn’t pull him to the medical desk and his temperature was not checked.  He just walked through.  If they had checked, he wouldn’t have been allowed to stay and he wouldn’t have been able to start his mission.  There was something higher in control here!
The very next morning I went to the Mission Home to help prepare breakfast for the new, hardly-awake missionaries so they could eat and start with training.  While they were in training, we then washed dishes and started preparing lunch for them which was spaghetti, french bread, fruit, beans and salad.  They broke for lunch around 1:00pm and we did more dishes, and then started making sandwiches and packing a sack lunch for them to take as they headed out to their different areas of assignments.  Some flew to Ethiopia, some flew to Rwanda, and others had a drive of about 6 hrs, others just 2 hrs and others only 30 or 40 mins.  As we sent them off, we went to work preparing another dinner for the 17 missionaries that had completed their 2 years of service and were leaving for home, this was their farewell dinner.  What a choice experience it was to hear each of them bear their testimony, their love for their Savior, the mission, and the things they had learned.  We’ll miss them but know they will succeed in life if they continue nourish their testimony and do the things they learned on their mission, praying every morning and evening, studying the scriptures, attending their meetings and staying true.
The following day we have MLC, Mission Leadership Counsel, with all the new Zone Leaders in the mission.  How lucky are we, to be able to sit in on this meeting and receive instruction and counsel from the Mission President?  I have learned so much and am constantly amazed at the knowledge and wisdom this President has when he speaks to his missionaries.  Because we have cooked all week with transfers, we get to go out and just enjoy the meal for MLC.
I’m humbled to be a part of this great work here in Uganda and to listen to these humble missionaries who are first generation members in the Church here.
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One of the most beautiful things they say when they pray to their Heavenly Father is, “I’m so grateful for life”…it brings tears to my eyes every time I hear them pray.  Death is such a common, daily occurence here.  Many of our missionaries are orphans, many of them have never known their dad, many raised by an older sibling while mom works to try and provide.  Many are the only members in their family  It brings to mind just how very blessed we are, not only because of where we live in America, but we have eternal families… most of us were born in the Covenant to families whose ancestors had the great courage to accept the Gospel, to leave all they had, flee persecution and head west so that their families would be blessed with the Gospel.  I am overwhelmed each and every day as I travel through Kampala and witness life that is so different from what I know.  I thank my Heavenly Father for His goodness, and I see His love for all His children here.  I hope somehow, that even as small as it may be, that I can make a difference to these wonderful people of Uganda.
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