Ugandan Easter Sunday

We began our Easter Sunday walking around to other churches in Lugazi.  We stopped by the Catholic church and listened outside their door.  Love the music and atmosphere here of these Christian churches. Then worked our way to Pastor Francis at the Cannon School. We met him the previous night and he invited us to come to his service.  He began with a song and my favorite line was “Their are mountains to climb. For us we shall see an open door”

His message was about conversion that leads to a turning point that changes you to have a new appreciation for your life. Then you end up exchanging it for something better.

The question he asked us is “What is the gift I can give to Christ today?”  I strive each and everyday to be a better version of myself but then I just want to become God’s version of me.

He shared Luke 19:1-6 where Zachaus made a commitment to Jesus to climb the tree. He dropped his reputation and wanted to please God not man.  So he was blessed by Jesus by repenting of his corrupt life.

If we fear public opinion we will miss the visitation of the Lord.  We are to risk everything we can to become the best version of ourselves and to become God.  When we get out of our comfort zone we may see God.

We then walked over to our church building and their meet some wonderful saints.  It is a small branch of about 58 baptized members. Most of the primary children come on their own without anyone. These children will be the future of this branch I’m sure of it if they continue to come. The children love to come and they love primary and they love to learn about Jesus and to just feel good.  The spirit welcomes them even if they come by themselves.

It was fast and testimony meeting so I felt prompted to get up and share my testimony with them.  I talked about how God loves his children no matter where they are in the world and its good for each of us to step outside ourselves and recognize that the world is a much bigger place and we have alot of give.  We are all born with many talents and gifts but we can’t hide them.  Its our duty to share and bring happiness to people.

We then went to Sunday School class and this 21 year old young man gave the lesson.  It was so incredible and the spirit was so strong I didn’t want to leave after he was done.  He spoke with such ease and confidence and without any notes.  He talked about serving in the family. Especially the husbands because it creates love with your wife.  Come to find out he has only been a member of the church for 2 years.  I was even more impressed and noticed the branch president coming up to him after his lesson and giving him feedback on his lesson and then a few pointers.  This branch president is preparing him for his mission which he said he will go on in one year.

In Relief Society is was just the President and Sandra and I.  Very small intimate lesson but yet another powerful lesson.  I have come to understand that the lessons we teach in church don’t have to be this glorious presentation.  The church doctrine is meant to be simple and let us each deliver it that way.  I truly felt that from these saints here.  Simplicity was key in their messages.  We discussed

“Act Well Thy Part” by Elder Quietin Cook

1.  Avoid acting out of character – remain the same inside and outside the church
2. Act in accordance to your true belief – plan of salvation I am a child of God
3. Set appropriate goals – be content in what you have
4. Build your country and community – FHE w friends

As I reflect on this Easter Sunday I can’t help but feel an incredible amount of appreciation to my Savior despite the mess ups I make and where I fall short. He helps pick me back up again through his atoning sacrifice.

These African people are teaching me every minute I am with them about LOVE and how to just be happy. Isn’t that what life is all about?

Love and Fear cannot exist together. Many people asked me before I left if I was scared to go to Africa. I replied that if I think of fear and it exists in my mind I wouldn’t have the ability to love or serve. I would be on edge all the time. So choose Love, choose to see the goodness around you and choose to be happy and think positively and focus on what matters most.

That evening we had the privilege of going into some of the artisans homes.  Melissa and I paired up and went with 3 other women, Monica, Florence and Allen.  As we walked more in the streets of Lugazi I just became more humbled by what I was witnessing.  We approached Monica’s house.  She is very similar to me in with the ages of her 4 children and I began to create a very close personal relationship with her over the next few days.

We walked in and almost all of the homes we went into was basically one room with a drape that pulled across the middle of it to separate the family room from their bed.  No power or running water.  Each couch was covered with some sort of sheet or piece of fabric with a special lace.

We sat down with each one of these women in their homes and asked them the same few questions about being a women in Uganda and being a mother.  It was special to witness their answers and to also hear their concerns for themselves and their children.