Monday, January 5, 2015

E-mail dated 1/5/15

Mom and Family,

Hello everyone! Happy New Year from Ghana! It's been a fun week for me as I have been enjoying the ward parties and free meals! My companion and I are currently on a streak of being fed every single day for almost 2 1/2 weeks. I have eaten so much fufu and rice that I have begun to gain a little weight! It's okay though, as I have loved getting to know the members better and visit with their families. I love this ward so much and I'm lucky that I got to spend this holiday season as part of them! I have had so much fun, and I have really been graciously accepted by this area.

I was going to wait to answer this in your questions, but I figured I should probably do it in the body of my email so that I can tell you more about it! So here's the news... I'm being transferred!! I was not expecting it at all as I have only been here 4 1/2 months, but on Wednesday afternoon my companion got a call from the President saying that he is going to be training a brand new missionary and I am going to be leaving. I was devastated! I began saying my goodbyes immediately so that I could visit everyone. So, this week was a farewell tour for me, with many hard goodbyes and tears shed. I was able to bear my departing testimony yesterday and I managed to even say a few phrases in Fante! I found out on Saturday (the normal transfer news time) where I would be going and I found out I am going to Dunkwa! It's a small town on the border of Central and Ashanti region, and it's the furthest place north in my entire mission. It's a recently opened area, and a very desired one among the missionaries because I get to be a pioneer to that part of the world. I was so excited when I found out the news! My companion is Elder Banneman, and he is a Ghanaian. No longer with my teaching be impeded because of language! I can't wait to begin my service there, as I leave on Wednesday morning.

Anyways, enough with that! I think the rest of my email can be answered within your questions :)

1.  What did you do on New Years Eve?  Were you allowed to stay up late?
New Years Eve was fun, as the whole apartment killed a goat and ate it with pounded yam and light soup! It was actually really good. We all did not, however, stay up until midnight, as we were instructed by President Stevenson to go to be at our normal time. So I celebrated it in the morning at 7 when I knew everyone was celebrating in Utah! New Years Day was the funnest time though, as our ward had an amazing party at the church with tons of fufu and dancing. I got dragged up to the front of the crowd and danced my heart out! I'm definitely going to hide that video when I get home...
 2.  Are transfers this week? 
 3.  Tell me what happens on a typical Sunday?  Are they different from other days?
Well, for the past 4 months, we have had our church service at 10:30, so we would wake up at our normal time and then leave the house around 9 or so to go and pick up our various investigators! There are some days we walk from house to house with nobody willing to get ready to go. We go to the normal 3 hour block and participate in all the classes that normal Elders would attend. After church we talk with members for quite a while, setting up appointments with them for the rest of the week and then we head out for the rest of the day to proselyte. Normally we focus on seeing less actives on Sunday's asking them why they didn't come to church and what we can do to help. We have to return a little bit earlier than normal so that we can report our numbers for the week to our district leader and then we relax and get ready for P-day the following day! Sunday's are my favorite day of the week.
 4.  Any new investigators we could be praying for? 
The Badoe family. They are a sweet family that has been coming to church, but the struggle because the parents are always gone. I'm sure I will have a lot of names when I get to my new area!
5.  Anything you need?  Are you still healthy?  
I'm perfectly fine, thank you so much!! 
Well, I don't have much time this week, but I'm glad I get to email you all for the last time in Western Region! I love you all and I am praying for you every night. Thank you all for you prayers and support.
Elder Gavin Degen

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