Sunday, August 9, 2015

Light always makes darkness disappear

Light always makes darkness disappear.  That is the same as having something really good make up for a bad day.  This week I have had a lot of those experiences.  I had one friend tell me last week a quote it says "Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  But today is a gift.  That is why we call it the present."  Well this week I have had a lot of presents.  :)

1- It finally rained.  Which made me super happy!!! If you have never experienced rain in Uganda then you have never experienced rain.  It poured on Monday for like an hour straight.  But we were at lunch so we didn't get wet at all.  But it pours then it really isn't muddy on the roads after that.  But we got a lot of rain this week but it always ended before lunch was over.  But one thing here is that everybody shuts down when it rains.  If the road is jammed pack with cars. 5 minutes later it there will be no one on the road.  People act like the rain will kill them if they get caught out in it.  It is pretty funny to watch.
2- We invited 3 investigators to baptism and they all said yes.  One of them I was pretty sure she was going to say no but she said yes and I was dumb struck.  Because missionairies had taught her before and it didn't work out.  But ya we have quite a few baptisms lined up for the next couple of weeks.  Which is super awesome. 
3- Harriet that one old lady that we helped a week ago in a wheel chair is beyond powerful.  We were planning on teaching her at her home and on the way we got a call from her.  She said she was in front of the church.  What..... She had wheeled herself 5 miles to the church up a freaking steep hill.  We couldn't believe it.  She is buff!!! She says she eats potio which is ground corn flour mixed with boiling water.  But the lesson went super well with her and she wants to be in the choir and learn to play piano.  Then she showed up to church the following day.  So great and she is powerful.
4-  Just a lot of new investigators.  We found all of them through such random ways.  Work here is really starting to improve so it is so awesome.  
So life here is pretty cool.  Also Harriet who we are teaching is a twin and comes from a family of 3 sets of twins and then we are teaching another pair of twins.  So I let the cat out of the bag and related to them that way and now everyone just acts like I'm a celebrity since I am a twin.   They even have special names for twins.  Kato- which is my name means the younger twin while Wasswa means the older one.  Then Salongo is the father of the twins and Nalongo is the mother.  Kizza means the one born after twins and Kigeongeo means older brother before twins..  Also cool facts about towns around mean Kamapla means city of hills with impala's.  Then Entebbe means chair so ya a city is called chair.  But life here is really great and I am loving it.  I saw Lake Victoria for the first time today.  We went there for P-day and swam. Haha just kidding we played v-ball on the beach.  It is very pretty and I can now say I touched the largest fresh water lake in the world.  I love this place and am really liking just small odd things.  Like the trees are so pretty and the rain is amazing.  I am gaining more patience with the people which is really good.  But yep thats pretty much it for life here in Uganda.  It really great!!!!
Love Lots 
Elder Brogan

"These are the days never to be forgotten"

"These are the days never to be forgotten" This comes from the end of Joseph Smith History when Oliver Cowdery bore his testimony.  Our teacher told us this compared to right now and our missions and I could not agree more.  This has been the best two weeks of my life.  I can't put enough emphasis on that!!!!! I have loved it here and do and don't want to leave.  But one thing that I have learned from the time I got my call to now is that God really does answer prays. He has anwsered so many prayers while I have been here and they have been about things that really don't matter towards my salvation but just make me happy.  I make a list.
1- My call:  I was so scared about where I was going but when I found out Africa I about died.
2- Amazing Companion:  Well he answered this prayer because Elder Ward is truly amazing and I am so thankful for him.
3- A companion that runs:  This made me so happy.  We talk about running all the time and how great it is.  He tells me about his brother who is like super good. We did the mile challenge here and Elder Ward was 1 second off of the record of 4:28 I ran a 5:15 which I thought was pretty good for how in shape I am.
4- Pictures with people I know:  I wanted to see and get pictures with so many people I knew.  But I never ever saw them till I asked specifically to see them then I saw them 15 to 30 minutes later.
5- Shake Elder Sitati's hand:  So Elder Sitati from the seventy spoke and he talked about Africa because he grew up in Kenya.  So afterward I really wanted to talk to him and shake his hand and he stayed afterward so I got to.
6- Sister from Uganda:  So on 4th of July they had all countries represented here take their flags around and there is a sister from Uganda. So I prayed to see here here sometime so I could talk to her.  Well he answered my prayer not 15 minutes later when her and her companion stood right behind us for fireworks.  So I learned quite a bit about Uganda and how amazing it will be.  
7- Travel Plans:  So I was praying that I would actually be leaving this week and I received my travel plans last Wednesday which totally made my day.   
8- That I would love the MTC: I don't think I really need to answer this one. :)
9-  Carrot Cake:  I just really wanted some so I said it would be super nice. Well in the cafeteria there was some and this just made the day so much better.  I almost cried.  : )
So God truly does answer prayers and I know that he does it for everyone.  All you have to do is pray to him and ask.  So one thing that I learned at the Tuesday devotional from Sister Sitati was to always have HOPE!!  I loved this because it is so true.  I have hoped for so many things and it really touched me.  They were amazing speakers.  But I love this place.  The MTC will change your life so always remember to turn outward.  

P.S. Also running is the scriptures so it is a sport of God. 3rd Nephi 12:41

I'M IN AFRICA!!!!!!!!

Jebale!!!! that is hello in Lugandan
Well Africa is just amazing I totally love it here.  I did almost have a panic attack the first day because of the smells and how I saw all the poverty and just freaking out over everything.  But when we started teaching the gospel I was fine.  So I am serving in the Nsambya area right outside of Kampala.  My companion is Elder Hardman from Morgan, Utah.  He is pretty good and has only two transfers left.  But the work is going pretty good.  Haven't had many new investigators but we focus a lot on Recent Converts and how to keep them active. We are teaching quite a few investigators but they all seem to have small problems like wanting a vision to know the gospel is true or not understanding some concept. But we will get them.  Well what can I tell you about here.  So many people we teach live in a one room house.  Very very dirty.  So don't send Grandma Williams here because she would have a literal cow!!!  So ya just open gutters and people burn there trash or leave it on the street.  It's just such a different environment.  But the people are amazing.  They are so happy and humble.  The kids are like the best thing ever.  They are so cute and are always saying "How are you" even though they don't know what it means.  So I love them and anytime we walk by.  They always chase us and yell "Mzungu, Mzungu" which means white in Lugandan.  So super funny and super cute.  I just laugh at them all the time.  So I have eaten Anjera on the first day which is a rice smashed patty thing then you dip it in a sauce with goat meat.  I about hurled because of just the smell of the air around me but it really was ok.  But ya i ate like less than a quarter of it.  Then I had Rollex which is just an egg burrito but not as good as ones at home because the eggs here are white and not as good but still pretty good.  But ya other than that nothing much I just have Mango yogurt which is drinkable yogurt for breakfast.  Ya I love it here it is hot some days and a lot of working but really good.  Also small side note it costs me like 3 US dollars for a large package if sent through the US postage.  So send all the packages you want it might cost you guys some money but I would love to get some presents. :)  Just going to try to keep working harder each and every day.  
Well it's super good but goodbye or should I say in Lungandan, sula balungi
Love Lots 
Elder Brogan

"Is it Worth it?"

The question of is it worth it has been going through my mind this whole week.  Before I answer the question let me give some background.  I have been thinking occasionally this week about my life after mission.  When I did this I wasn't enjoying being here as much and really wondered if it was worth it to be here, to be serving the Lord.  Well I had three experiences that justified to me that a mission is so worth it.  
1.  We had 3 appointments lined up with Recent Converts and 2 investigators.  All of them told us they would be there at home when we called that morning.  Well they weren't or they were late so we had to leave.  Small side not- that is something here that annoys the crap out of me.  People always showing up late or saying they are on there way but are like 30 or 40 minutes out.  If you do that to me when I get home friendships are over!!!!   Back to the gospel.  So they were all a bust and we decided to stop by and say hi to a Recent Convert.  So we said Hi to Ronnie in Kevina and then decided to go a different way back to the church.  Well because of that we met Harriet who seemed old but is probs in her 30 or 40's.  She had been coming across the gutter in her wheelchair and she came out of a small shack and down a little steep hill. So I have no idea how she did that.  But she was taking things to sell just 100 feet up the street to sell.  But she was struggling.  So my companion took some of her stuff and I pushed her wheelchair.  We then talked to her and gave her a Restoration pamphlet and invited her to church.  She was really impressed and hopefully we will see her again.  But after this I knew that things were starting to make this worth it.
2.  I had my first baptism.  It was of Amos and I got here about halfway through with teaching him.  He is 10 years old and his mom was just less active so she didn't get him baptized in time.  But watching him get baptized on Sunday was another testament to me that this mission is worth it.  He was smiling afterward which I had never seen him smile like that before.  
3.  Then one day I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants in section 15.  It said in verse 6 "...behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me.."  People always say their mission was the best two years of their life.  So this scripture really made me feel like it these will be some of the best years of my life.  But I need to focus on it now and not the future.  I have always wanted to be in Africa ever since I was little. So why should I be thinking of my future when I'll be home in America when I'm living my dream right now.  AFRICA BABY!!!
So yes this will be worth it and if anyone else chooses to serve it will be worth it if you decided to live in the moment and serve.  
So Africa is great.  The people are great if they show up on time and don't lie to you.   But the days are going by fast and I really love teaching.  We have a couple families we are teaching but they all have a problem with the gospel whether they did something that prevents them from being baptized or that they don't understand a principle.  Then we also have like 4 to 6 young single adult investigators.  Because that what are ward mainly consists of.  But we have a missionary fireside this Saturday and it's about Eternal Families.  So are goal is to have members bring friends so we can get referrals.  So that's what we are praying for.  But ya Africa's great and I'm excited for rain because I am tired of sweating so much but yep love this place.
Love lots Elder Brogan

"We are all enlisted till the conflict is over, Happy are We, Happy are We."

Sorry I haven't been very good on keeping up with the posts but i will update all the way up til now.

"We are all enlisted till the conflict is over, Happy are We, Happy are We."

Well this has been the theme for me this last week.  Because of many reasons.  
1- People are always late or tell you they are coming but are just lying to you.  It is a cultural thing so it is always happening.  But it is super frustrating. I get very annoyed at this because being late is one of my pet peeves.  
2-  People not keeping committments.   They say they will but they don't.  Agency is the worst sometimes.
3-  Rain!!!! If it ever rains and it really only did for once for like 30 minutes.  People like don't show and everyone just thinks they will die if they get rained on.  It's actually pretty funny.
Well all of this has made me really realize that I need to be happy and positive.  Things could be so much worse.  So I always just smile at people and think of how I can be better.  I'm in a good area, with a good companion and I am having a good time with the ward. Also I'm in Africa a place I have dreamed of coming to ever since I was little. So I definitely am super happy about that. So just focus on the positive so the work is better.  This applies to everyone in life.  If you say it sucks then it will suck but if you try to focus on the positive it will be much better.  But life is good here in Uganda.
Just some cool information about here.  There are schools literally every few blocks.  So many many schools and they usually start at 6:30 or 7 am and end at 5 or 6 p.m.  So it kind of sucks for them.  Also they start school at like the age of 3.  That is so young and it is really hard to believe that.  
Also there are goats and chickens everywhere.  In the middle of peoples yards, on the road, or in the gutters.  Everywhere!!!!
Well thanks for all the support and stay happy on focus on the positive things of life.
Love Lots
Elder Brogan