Monday, September 22, 2014

E-mail dated 9/22/14

Mom and family,

Go Utes!! Haha I'm so happy to hear about the game. I don't even think one bit about football on Saturday's but it's nice to see them doing well. Thank you to everyone who emailed me, I love hearing all the different views and details. It sounds like everyone is doing well back home, which is very comforting to hear! I love all of you so much. Please forgive me for my shortcomings on emailing everyone back, trust me, I read every single one. Keep them coming please :)

I am very jealous that everyone got to attend or view the Ogden rededication yesterday. The peace and spirit that I felt in the Accra temple is something that I will never forget. That celestial room is breathtaking and I couldn't help but pray when I got in there. I was in there for at least an hour, I completely lost track of time. I would do anything to go back, but sadly it won't be for another year and 11 months (They take us on the way home). I know that you all appreciate the temple, and I hope that the proximity is not something we all take for granted in Utah! I know I did. If you could, I would go every day on my mission!

Okay, I can't tell you too many things about my week, except that things are going well! The teaching is becoming more natural, the language is coming along (kind of), and the people are even more amazing than last week. I feel like I am adjusted to the culture to an extent and am not overwhelmed as often as I was the first week. It seems so weird that I have so many unnecessary things back home! I can't believe that a month ago I was holding a smartphone in my hand, had dependable running water and the power was always on. The way we live was definitely something to get used to! But I really do love it. It has shown me that it doesn't matter of the material things in life, it's about your relationships with others and Heavenly Father. That's what makes people happy!

The only story that I really want to go in depth to this week is something awesome... I killed and roasted a pig today. Elder Mocke and I were in charge of this combined zone activity today because the guy to buy pigs from lives in our area. We bought the pigs (3 for 130 Cedis) and put them, while they were still alive, into big rice bags. We caught a trotro to the Sofokrom chapel with the pigs on our laps and then waited for a few other elders to show up. Elders Ma'afu and Kano'ngata, because they actually knew what they were doing. We took the pigs down near the sister's apartment in the area and then killed them with a knife. Elder Mocke and I held them down while the Tongan elders... wait, I won't explain too much! I'll skip ahead.. We cleaned the pigs, chopped down some trees to roast them on, and then made our way back to a members yard near the chapel. We made a huge fire, and started the roast. All the other missionaries started showing up when we were roasting, and since the roasting took awhile, we all played football at a nearby field. Ah, it was so fun! I scored twice on the African elders and earned their respect. These elders are so good at soccer, but the Americans were able to keep up! After a few hours of playing, we went back to the chapel to eat our pigs. My goodness, it was the best meal of my life!! I'll send pictures of this crazy day, hopefully you get them this week!

Thank you so much for the package as well! I cannot wait, you have no idea! I want to answer your questions now;

1.  Do you get to spend much time with the other Elders who live in your apartment? Any of them from Utah?
I spend quite a bit of time with them! I love all of them, but only one, Elder Day (my MTC Companion) is from Utah! The other's are from Idaho and two from Nigeria!

2.  Do you know if you will get to view General Conference on conference weekend or will you have to wait?
I have to wait until november sadly... I wish!

3.  How often do you have a zone conference?  
Hmm.. hardly ever! District meeting every tuesday, and occasionally we combine with other zones for activities like Elder Curtis' fireside last week! Sorry for not mentioning that in my last email.

4.  Are you able to sleep well at night?  I am assuming you sleep under a net.  Is that crazy?
I sleep so well!! I'm so tired that it doesn't matter about anything else. The net doesn't bother me one bit, and when we have power I have a fan on me at night. It's very nice!

5.  About how many lessons do you teach a week and do you have to do any proselyting (knocking on doors)?
We teach about 20 lessons or so a week. I laughed when you asked me about knocking on doors... Most don't have doors! Haha we only teach when we have an appointment, but we do Gospel Conversations everyday, which is tracting.

Thank you all for everything you do for me. The influence you all have had and the prayers that I have heard have been incredible from all of you. I hope everyone has a safe and happy week!

Elder Degen

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