Monday, November 10, 2014

E-mail dated 11/10/14

Mom and Family,

E te den? (How are you?) And you will usually respond with "Boko" (I'm good). Anyways, hello everyone! I hope you have all had a good week. I was very glad to hear that everyone was safe and that it was an eventful week. The Utes didn't surprise me too much this week, I was happy to hear that they competed with the Ducks! Is it too early to call the tickets for that game in the 2016 season? Haha I also heard about the crazy Jazz game that was reminiscent of the Sundiata Gaines game when Eric was on his mission. It sounds like a crazy week in sports back home! 

I enjoyed getting updates about the other things back home as well. I'm glad that basketball tryouts are this week, I can't believe it's been a year since I was preparing for my last tryouts! It seems like it was yesterday. I know the coach of the sophomore team and if I remember correctly, he's a cool guy. He's really nice and knows how to work with players. Good luck Josh, you're in good hands! I would also like to continue to hear about how the varsity team does this year, I love those guys on that team. I didn't enjoy hearing about Marcos or Nate though this week. I was totally unaware of Nate and I can see how that would be hard for anyone. Marcos is continually in my prayers as well and his situation is something that is hard for me to hear. I know the Lord has a plan for him. Whatever he chooses will be for the best, that's all I can say.

As for myself, I have had a good week! Elder Mocke and I have been preparing 7 people for baptisms for the 21st and 22nd of November, so we have been very busy. We're hoping to have at least 4 of those go through, but we have faith they all will! There are 4 in Eshiem; Kingsley, Derrick, Vydah and Prudence. None of them speak much English, so we get one of my favorite kids in the world (his name is Samuel Otoo, 13 years old) to come and translate for us in every lesson. This kid is a powerful missionary and has become an amazing tool for translating. He speaks the best English in all of Eshiem and he's 13! His family is one of the only active families in the branch and they are always feeding us Fufu. They're entire family is definitely one I will forever remember. I have attached a picture with Justina Otoo, and this girl is like my sister. She's the cutest thing and I love her to death. It's going to be really hard to leave Eshiem one day, there are people there I really do love.

In Nketsiakrom we are preparing Janet, Jennifer and Justice for baptism as well! Janet is for sure and the others are hopeful. We have a member in the ward who teaches these people with us who's name is Brother Asare and this guy is the biggest spiritual giant I have ever met. All of our investigators in the area are referrals from him. ALL of them. He farms 4 days a week and on the days he's not farming he goes around with the missionaries, visits less actives, and teaches lessons himself. This guy is 75! He proselytes more hours than we do on the days he has free and his testimony is unlike any other I've ever met. There are not many Brother Asare's in this world. I will try and send a picture with him sometime soon, words can't do this guy justice.

To answer your questions for this week...

1.  Do you have any senior couples that serve in your area that you have gotten close to?  I know that Eric really got close to the Petersons on his mission as he worked closely with them.  I gather from the Stevensons blog that there are senior couples who serve throughout the Ghana Cape Coast mission.

Yes, we have the Julander's for western region! We actually went to their apartment last Monday and watched the Best Two Years and The Other Side of Heaven! They made us brownies and we all enjoyed our p-day! I love them a lot and I hope to get really close to them before they go home in 9 months. They're my favorite mission couple for sure!

2.  Did Brother Samuel that you told me about a month or so ever get baptized?  

He's still our eternal investigator... He is slowly making progress though. He has read all the chapters of the Book of Mormon that we have assigned him and he even told us he knows it's the word of God! But he just can't accept that the church is true and he refuses to come to church until he has received his answer from God. He's a frustrating investigator, but we still see him twice a week!

3.  Any new investigators to tell us about?

I think I told you about the ones I was thinking about when I told you our baptismal candidates! Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare to make the biggest step in their life.

4.  Any crazy weather lately?  Is it the "dry season" now?

It's dry season and it's getting hot! To make things worse, our power at our apartment is hardly ever on and it's hard to sleep when you're sweating everywhere. Our apartment is generally regarded as the worst in the mission because it's very large (hard to maintain), there is hardly ever power, and when there's power, there's no running water. It's hard, but i'm getting used to it! Elder Pearmain said that our apartment is pretty much what all the missionaries lived like in Liberia, so I don't have it any worse than Eric!

No, I don't think I am losing weight yet though! I maintain my weight by eating Fufu all the time! That stuff is filling. For my daily exercise I walk all day. Eshiem is about 2 miles from our apartment, and 2 miles back in the evening, along with all the walking through the village. Nketsiakrom is one of the biggest areas in the mission and we can have one appointment that is an hour walk away. I'm staying in shape, that's for sure! 

I am loving the work and am really looking forward to the coming weeks. I have great faith and hope that the Lord will bless those who want to come unto Him. I love all of you and thank you so much for your support back home. Have a safe week!

Elder Degen

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