Monday, August 15, 2011

Aug, 8th 2011

Good morning, good morning, good morning!!! The sun is shining!!! The kitchen is clean!!! WAIT A MINUTE!!! How can that be. I think I mentioned I am living in an apartment with 5 other missionaries (3 companionships) I had the best present this morning. I woke up and went to the kitchen and all the dishes were done!!!  Needless to say, I think today is going to be a good day :D

So...about my week. It has been a good week but had some very sad, frustrating moments. Out with the bad first so I can talk about happy things to end. Throughout this week we have been really working hard on our progressing investigators (those who are keeping commitments, and coming to church). We had 3 of them (that were going to be baptised on Aug. 14th) suddenly tell us that they are moving or leaving for a while. One is going to Kenya for 2 months, another is going back to school in Entebbe, the last will be in "village" until late December. This place seems to call our investigators away at the most inopportune times. The village is the place where each person was born. It is where their tribe mates and them have their farms and such. They all take turns tending the crops and harvesting. So...we were going to have 4 baptisms this coming Sunday (14th) but now we are down to one. I am really happy for her. Her name is Gloria. She is 18 and we met her while tracting. The cool thing about meeting her is we passed her house and waved but continued to walk. Then after about two minutes the spirit told me/us to turn back and talk to her. We taught her the first lesson and set a return appointment thinking nothing of it, just another routine investigator. THINK AGAIN!!! During our 3rd lesson Gloria came out and asked us and I quote: "In church they were referring to the Book of Mormon saying that we could read more in it, what would someone have to do if they wanted to get a copy?" This is the phrase every missionary wants to hear. Gloria is someone who loves the gospel, and seeks greater learning, learning that can only be found when reading in the Book of Mormon. We gave her a copy then and there and gave a short introduction about it's origin and bore testimony that the Bible hand in hand with the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel. She has come to church faithfully for two weeks and we hope to have her be baptized on Sunday!!!! I'll be sure to include pictures!!!

Okay, so we have one new missionary in our zone from this last intake. Let's just say it is a really small world. His name is Elder Facer and he just happens to be the cousin of our great friends the Roberts who live in Stansbury Park. If any of you see Sabrina or Alyssa please make sure you tell them that I have seen their cousin and he is safe here in Uganda!!! I am just blown away at the people I have met, the connections I have made and I can't wait to continue to see who I come in contact with during my mission.

I guess I will tell you about my latest addiction. I visited a bookstore near my apartment the other day and found a Sudoku book. I learned the rules and have already done 40 puzzles in my spare time when I wake up and before I go to bed. Being a missionary is fairly easy mentally. There is not a lot of strain on the brain and it doesn't take a lot of mental power. I have enjoyed making my brain work a little harder by doing Sudoku. I have actually gotten pretty fast and I think it is helping to clear my mind and makes me a better missionary once I'm "On Duty." :D

One thing I have done this week (well actually started last week) is to create what I call a "Trunky" photo album. To be "Trunky" in missionary lingo is to be homesick, so I have created a photo album to aid in combating that very common and regularly recurring disease. This photo album has pictures of my family, some friends and things I miss about home such as: Airplanes (like 90% of the pictures are airplanes :D), a Tangled movie poster, BYU basketball photo with Jimmer Fredette, a great photo of a Great White Shark, and many other things that remind me of home. Inside the front cover is found this inscription :D

"This is my 'Trunky' photo album. It is to be viewed every time mission seems too hard to bear. It has been compiled and is dedicated to the remembrance of all the people, places, and things I have left behind in order to serve the Lord. This album is not to be a hinderance to the great work I am presently engaged in. If it does, at any time, prove to be a distraction it shall be promptly packed away to be viewed at a later date once focus has been regained."
Signed Elder Brandon Winters

HAHA!!!!! I LOVE IT!!! I'm not going to lie. Having photos of home and things back home has been great. After a long day, I can just plop down on my bed and look at the pictures and let my mind drift.

So...I have fallen in love with the wonderful spice known as curry powder. I have started putting curry powder on everything, potatoes, rice, noodles, you name it. It is a great variety to the plain salt and garlic I have been using. Variety is the key to maintaining a missionaries sanity on mission. Since everything we do is so standard and nothing changes having variety in food is pretty much the only way to keep things interesting. I have enjoyed being in a larger place that has a large super market (something like a mini WalMart, if you can imagine that :D) While the food is more expensive there is more to choose from so it is nice. Today for lunch Elder Goodner and I plan on making "Subway." Tuskies, the big supermarket has a deli that you can get "fresh" cold cuts, I say "fresh" because nothing here in Uganda is ever fresh, we have to be very careful about what we eat :) We are going to get some tomatoes and hopefully some greens of some sort (lettuce is like nonexistent here, I can't wait to get home and have a huge plate of salad!!!!) We are also going to get a small bottle of mustard (which is like the most expensive thing other than pancake syrup :D) to try and immitate Subway to the best of our ability. I know I haven't sent a "Plate of the Week" lately, that is because I have run out of new things. I'll be sure to take a picture of this scrumptious dish and send it next week.

All my love to everyone. Thank you for the prayers, I have been able to feel the spirit's influence so strong in my life as I have been in Uganda and I know it is in part because of all the prayers offered in my behalf and in the behalf of all Heavenly Father's missionaries.

Young men, if you are not currently planning to serve a mission, make up your mind today and start to prepare. There is no greater work that you can do as a 19 year old young man and the blessings will continue throughout your entire life. Read your scriptures, in them you can have ALL the mysteries of God unfolded to you. They truly will tell you "...All things what ye should do." I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. As we follow the counsel of the prophets and are obedient we will be blessed in all things both spiritual and temporal.

Until next week. Stay strong. Keep the faith. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, might, mind and strenth.

Elder Winters

Where he lives?

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