Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25th 2012

Well my friends!!! It has been a hectic week. Starting on Monday I had a fairly normal P-day except for a lot of preparations for transfers. My companion left that day for Entebbe so I had to coordinate with the other guys in the district to be with them but not interrupt their days activities. We ended up going to Kampala to do some shopping because one of the elders in the district is leaving to the "village" and needs some stuff to get him through the time there. SOOO!!! It was a pretty hectic day I guess.

Tuesday was probably the slowest day of my mission. We had a meeting in the morning then I had to spend the rest of the day at the mission office doing absolutely nothing because I had no companion. I know now that my desire to work is definitely there. Even when I have a hard day, the way to get through it is to work. WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK!!! The exciting bonus of the day though was being able to go to the airport in Entebbe to pick up my new companion straight from the South Africa MTC (Not the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for those "Suits on the Loose" fans ;P) We are getting along just fine, he is still in a little bit of shock being in a new country and all but we'll soon work that out of him.

Today we have some fun plans. Ever since I started my mission I began a list of things and places that every "Greenie" should experience his first transfer in the mission. Among that list is: The Kampala taxi park, Entebbe (Lake Victoria), Njera (Ethiopian food, I know, why eat Ethiopian in Uganda...don't ask me but it's really great!!!) and Matooke. We have been able to do a few of the "eating" things, and have plans to go to the Taxi park today and go to get Njera for lunch.

This first week in a missionaries mission is a very important one. It sets the whole path of the mission. If you work hard the first transfer, chances are that you will work hard the rest of your mission. If you laze around and break mission rules, the same actions will persist the rest of your mission. I am commited to make this first transfer and area the best experience possible to set the pattern for my companions mission.

We had a great turnout at Sacrament Meeting yesterday a whopping 126!!! I can't tell you happy that made me!!!! Kajjansi is GROWING!!!

Love from Uganda!!!!
-Elder Winters

Njera (Ethiopian dish. Fermented rice with beef and spicy sauce) GRRRREAT!!!!!

Peeling Matooke for dinner with a member!!!

Me and my New companion.

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 19th 2012

Big news of the week...I'm PREGNANT!!! Yep, you heard me right. I am expecting a son who is due to arrive on the 19th of June, 2012!!! I find it very hard to believe that I am old enough (I'm only a year old...;P). As I look back at things I can see that God has been preparing me my entire mission for this wonderful opportunity which has finally come. Training a new missionary can be a big challenge but can also contain great blessings. I am grateful for all the experiences I have gone through, both the good and the...not so good ;) I have learned patience, diligence, and the power of prayer and I hope to instil those attributes into my new companion. I'm not quite sure what we will call him yet...haha We'll find out on Wednesday. :D Anyways, that is the biggest news of the week. We are still working hard, we were hoping to have a powerful baptism on Sunday but things fell through. I really know that Satan is working hard against these investigators and Recent Converts, and sadly he has a powerful influence which is hard to resist with a weak and still growing testimony. We missionaries and strong members of the church are here however to support and strengthen those who are not strong themselves yet.

-Elder Winters

Rain storm last week. The road was completely flooded!!!

Carrying Jerry Cans is one of the ways missionaries provide service to people here in the Uganda Kampala Mission!!!

Umbrella, Broom, M-16...just some standard equipment in the closet of one of our investigators....haha (He's a policeman)

June 11th 2012

Hey Friends and Family!!!

I guess I should probably catch up on things. Recently (May 19th) I "turned" one year old. As a missionary this can be a great mark to hit, not only to know that you are on the down hill slope, but that you have endured this long and you know that you can endure the rest. When I say endure I don't mean stick it out, I mean stay strong, work hard, teach by the Spirit all the rest of the way. As runners will tell you, the last half is the hardest, which is why the most effort must be put in. In the last few weeks since turning a year I have had an increased motivation to work harder and a greater desire to have the Spirit always. My understanding of the Gospel has increased so much in the last year and I hope to use that knowledge effectively in the year to come.

One thing about the week is that we had a rough time finding new investigators. I could not figure out why, we were tracting, street contacting, asking for referrals and EVERYTHING we could possibly do to get some new people to teach. This Saturday I looked over the week and the numbers which came in. In our missionary planners we have two columns for measuring the day's progress. There is a column to measure the actual work done, but there is also a column to set goals at the beginning of each day. As I looked over the goals columns, we were seriously under-achieving in the goal setting columns, and it was affecting our "actual" column. This Saturday we set a goal to have 7 new investigators, which for those of you who have served missions know can be somehow of a challenge. As we went about our day I prayed for the Spirit to help us meet our goal and God placed people in our way. We met several people as referrals from a Recent Convert, and we tracted into 3 families. Because we set worth while goals, then depended upon the Spirit and our effort to achieve them, God allowed us to have 7 new investigators on that very day. I have a new respect and understanding of the importance of setting and achieving goals. I know that when we set low goals, we will have low performance. A goal is something which must stretch us, make us grow. If we set a goal to get out of bed every morning at 8am and do 2 push-ups as our exercise routine, we will have a 2 push-up a day body. If we stretch ourselves however and say we will start with maybe 20 push-ups a day then steadily increase, we will see the great blessings for our effort.

Today for our "transferly" zone activity we went to a place called Wonder World. It is a small amusement park in Kampala and was actually a lot of fun for these "thrill starved" Elders and Sisters. The greatest temptation was the two water slides which they had in the middle of the place. I can't tell you how much missionaries (especially American missionaries) come to miss swimming. As my top three "worldly" things to do when I get home, swimming is number 2. Ahead of that is flying, (I think you probably all could have guessed that one...) and number 3 is to eat a big Subway sandwich with a large Chocolate Frostee from Wendy's.

By the quick thing I need to mention. Speaking of temptations, I had an incredible temptation which I want you all to know about because it was sooooooo coool!!! So as I have mentioned, or probably not mentioned...Kajjansi here has their own airfield. It is a small dirt strip which can accomodate C-208 (Caravan) and Twin-Otter bush aircraft. I have come to be pretty good friends with the owner of the operation, an American who came here to fly bush planes as his dream. Well...on Saturday, as we were stopping in to see him, he pulled me aside and said: "I have just finished the repairs on my Stinson and will be taking it up tomorrow, you wanna come along?" Now, for those of you who are not so much aviation addicted as myself, a Stinson is one of the most classic bi-planes in the world, and here I was sitting with an offer to go up in one, free of charge. I have no doubt in my mind that if I had been able to go up I would have been able to wrap my hands around the stick and take control of that magnificent aircraft. But, as a missionary, we must follow the mission rules. One of our rules is that we cannot fly in personal aircraft, so I had to refuse this irrefusable (totally butchered the spelling on that...) offer. I pray that God will see my sacrifice and bless me for my devotion in keeping the mission rules. ;P

Thanks for taking the time to read this update.  If you have any questions you would like answered, please email my Mom or Dad (or whoever sends this to you...they will get the question to me and I will do my best to answer it.

I love you all, have a safe week, enjoy the Summer vacation!!!

Elder Winters

Bumper cars at Wonder World

Slide Tower at Wonder World

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4th 2012

Pictures of the week...

I got BOMBED!!! Yep, a flying bird officially "GOT" the Mzungu ;P

At the Kajjansi Branch building

Beautiful Ugandan Sunset

Kajjansi Airfield!!! YAH BABY!!!