Monday, March 7, 2011

Red Letter Day in Busia

1 March 2011

Well, let’s see…where do I start? Ok, today was a red-letter day for us! We had been assigned
by the Mission President to go to Busia and look around for a place to meet and for a place for
the missionaries to live, when Busia is opened. On the way we stopped in Tororo to visit a
member of the church and drop off some Church magazines which had not yet been delivered
from Church Distribution, in Kampala.

Tororo is about 1 hour south from Mbale, over some pretty rough pot holed roads! But we
made it. Anyway Kris called him yesterday, and made arrangements to meet in Tororo. We
met and walked to his home, close to the clock-tower in town. His name is Jadwong, John. He
was baptized in July (?), 1998, and is an Elder. He is married to Jadwong, Mary Magdalene,
and they have 5 children. I asked him for his marriage date, and he said that was something
that needed to be done, so they could go to the temple. I assume that they were tribally married,
but am not sure. He does want to be married in the Church, so we are going to email him the
needed information so the process can begin. We will also send an announcement form to his
ward in Kampala, so it can be posted for 3 weeks; after which they can be properly married,
and then prepare for the temple! Anyway our visit was delightful, and a wonderful spirit was in
the home. We had prayer and administered the sacrament to his family. He gave us his tithing
to turn in to his ward, and to Bishop Babejo in Kololo. I think his records are there. I think he
used to be the Ward clerk. We gave him 4 copies of the Book of Mormon, some copies of the
21 question pamphlet, and some pass-along cards, so he could invite his friends to learn about
the Church. He said there was a man, who came to his insurance business who noticed his Book
of Mormon, and said that he had one also. John invited him over for a scripture study session,
but the man hasn’t yet come. It seems like John is not ashamed to talk about the church. He was
very very pleased that the first full-time missionaries had come into Tororo! He spoke as a man
of faith. He invited us back. He and his wife would be a good source in establishing the Church
in Tororo. We had some very good feelings about this man, this family and this city! Perhaps
the time is right to send missionaries to this location.

Busia is about 40 minutes past Tororo. There are bicycles everywhere!! We learned of, and
called Godfrey Ogutu, a member of the Jinja Mpumudde Branch. He was hard to understand,
but he sent us a text message that we should contact a Bwire, John, a non-member. So we called
him yesterday. Then we called him again today when we got to Busia. We met on the main
street. He was very excited to meet us. He has been taught a little bit of the gospel by Godfrey.
Two of Godrey’s children (who live in Busia, and are members of the church) walk two hours
each way to Kenya to attend church. Pretty faithful for being only age 15 and 14!!! John’s son,
Ronnie, is taking missionary lessons when he goes to church on Sunday in Kenya. John took us
to his home. Within 30 minutes there were 14 people (and us) in attendance!! Two members
of the Church, and 12 investigators! Four were school-aged children who temporarily got out
of school to attend this meeting, and the rest were adults. We taught the group for around an
hour. We covered subjects we felt needed to be covered, from the apostasy to the restoration; the resurrection; our love of Jesus Christ; the Book of Mormon, and living prophets. As we taught, the people would nod their heads in total agreement. There was not one negative comment! It was almost as if they had thought of these doctrines before! Next time, we will teach them the Doctrine of Christ. We gave out 7 copies of the Book of Mormon along with the 21-question

pamphlet. One of Godfrey’s sons, Stephen, who is 15 years old, is a Deacon, and would be the
presiding local leader until people are baptized and ordained. There was a beautiful, sweet spirit
there!! It was like the people were hungering for the truth! After the meeting, we were driving
home, when we decided to stop at a local Pentecostal church (which was close to John’s home),
and ask if he might know of the Pastor in Mukono, and his brother in Busia. The Pastor, Silas
Kenyi, a very wonderful and sweet man, who had his scriptures open on the table when we went
in to visit him, greeted us in his warm manner. We had a nice visit, and finally asked him about
his large church, and when they met on Sunday. He said they met from 8 am to 1:30. We then
asked if we could rent the facility from 2-5 or so. He said he will need to talk to the council of
Pastors of which he is the president, and find out the cost, etc. We did not promise anything yet,
but were investigating the possibilities. We exchanged emails and telephone numbers.
This city may be well prepared for the missionaries. John agreed to look for a place for the
missionaries to live, and also for a place to hold church. He even agreed to dig a hole for a
baptismal font in his yard!!