This week was a great week. I had my first baptism! It was an 8 year old child who pretty much is a member it is just the fact his parents can't be baptized yet but they attend church every week and one has a calling. They are not legally married so that is why they are not baptized. That is a big problem here in Uganda. The tribal marriage is expected but it is super expensive. They need to pay 3-10 cows, depends on their tribe, to the girl's parents to have "introduction" or be married. They can do a church or government marriage but the parents of the wife will often get very mad and even disown them if they don't do a tribal marriage. It is very sad because a lot of people want to be come members but that holds them up and often they then give up rather then get married. Also a member was telling me about one tribe in which to get married what they do is:
1) See a girl they like
2) Challenge her to a race. if he wins she stops and stands still if he loses better luck next time
3) If she stands still then you do the next "competition" you must wrestle the girl and pin her otherwise better luck next time.
4) if he pins her then they each get 2 sticks and battle. The man must beat the girl in the "sword fight thing" and be ruthless. really beat her to show that he will show no mercy when he may have to defend his family. and if he wins then the village will nurse te woman back to health and they will get married.
Super crazy! The last part blows me away! I can't imagine beating a girl in order to marry her! Any ways that tribe also makes you steal lots of cows from another tribe to become a man after they circumcise you out in the boonies. Africa has some crazy tribal traditions!
Anyways this morning I was reading in the Book of mormon 2 Nephi 18 and verse 16 really stood out to me. This is when the prophet Nephi and his family are on the ship sailing to the Americas. and in 16 He has just been released by his brothers from being bound by cords by them.
Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.
I really liked this verse because poor Nephi was bound for 4 days by his brothers and his wrists and ankles were extremely sore and swollen but he stayed positive. This spoke to me because as a missionary some days have been hard and I have seen how it can be easy to want to give up but I have seen that as I have turned to the Lord in prayer and stayed strong that he has blessed me. We all have trials and some seem way to difficult to over come but I know that when we turn to the Lord and do our best He will provide a way for us and we will be stronger from it. God is our loving Heavenly Father and will show that love as long as we pray and ask him for help and do our part. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Also I highly suggest the D Todd Christophersen's Videos on lds.org called Daily Bread