Monday, February 23, 2015

E-mail dated 2/23/15

Ma wo aha! Good afternoon! Greetings from Dunka, Ghana. Thank you to everyone who emailed me this week, I loved hearing about things at home! I'm sorry about today but I won't be able to reply to very many people as I am very pressed for time right now. But, I will do the best that I can! Anyways, it sounds like everyone had a safe week, I can't believe that the school year is flying by with all these activities. Pretty soon it will be summer again! (Well it still feels like summer to me here in Ghana...) Time is flying by. 
This week was an interesting one as there was a lot of work done by Elder Bannerman and I! we taught over 30 lessons in the past 7 days and experienced some great success. We were able to see Sarfo and Augustina every day and they both passed their baptismal interviews on Friday! I love both of them so much and I can't wait to see them make their first step towards salvation on Saturday. Augustina is an amazing woman and is very intelligent. She loves listening to the gospel and it's so sweet to see the change in her from the first time we met her 4 weeks ago. This gospel is one of change, I can say that for sure! She is now so excited to make a covenant with God and begin her life anew. Sarfo as well is a powerful guy. He takes notes as we teach him and he has contributes a lot during classes at church. They both passed their interviews with flying colors. Sarfo's uncle, Brother Ayitey, will baptize both of them on Saturday. There was something crazy that happened this week though as a woman that we know begged us to baptize her on the 28th. She has come to church for some time, but is always busy with work which makes it difficult to teach her. As of Friday she had only been taught the Restoration. But she began begging us this week and so Elder Riehle called President Stevenson and asked him what he thought. President said if she meets the requirements in D&C 20:37, then baptize her. So... In the period of one week, we are going to teach her all the lessons, interview her and baptize her! Bringing our total to 3 baptismal candidates for Saturday. The Lord has truly prepared this area for Elder Bannerman and I.
The blessings continue to be poured out upon us here as we received news that President Stevenson will be coming to organize the Dunkwa branch this week on Saturday and Sunday!! So he will witness our baptism and then interview the priesthood holders to choose a branch president (with a lot of input from the missionaries...). We are all so excited to see this area take this step! In the few short months that I've been here, I've seen it go from worshiping in a restaurant to becoming a branch. The Lord is hastening His work! Keep a look out on President's blog this weekend.

As for your questions this week, they weren't able to copy for some reason but I will still answer them as best as I can!
1. Yes, the baptisms are still on schedule for Saturday! We can't wait!
2.  Yes, there is a large river on the northern side of town called the River Prah. Dunkwa-On-Offin is a small town in the middle of absolute bush! Every single direction you look is just jungle. I love it.
3. It rains small small but nothing too bad yet! I just realized that I said "small small".. That's a very common Ghanaian phrase that every one says! It stems from the Twi phrase "kakra kakra"
4. The Twi is picking up! Because my companion can speak it, I am learning a lot more than I would have on my own. Sadly, Twi isn't Elder Bannerman's language (His is Ga) so he can't explain some things to me. But I have definitely learned the principle of line upon line and precept upon precept when it comes to the gift of tongues!
5. No peanut butter, no mac & cheese, no burgers (no meat besides fish in general..). It's a good thing rice is delicious as this is what I have eaten everyday since I came to Dunkwa! The Africans in my apartment cook a different stew everyday and we all chop it for lunch. We get an FM for dinner every single day!
6. We find lizards on the walls, centipedes in our bedrooms, cockroaches in the kitchen... Nothing too crazy! Oh, I did eat a snail this week though! They are much better than they sound, I promise.
Well, I'm excited for this week and I hope that everyone back home has a great week as well! Please be safe and know that you are all in my prayers. If there is ever anything you want to know, feel free to ask! I'm happy to help in any way possible.
I love you all, I'll try and send pictures next week! Yebe shia (We will meet)!
Elder Degen

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