Monday, February 9, 2015

E-mail dated 2/9/15

Mom and family,
Waapume? (How is your health). Nyame na adom me ho ye! (By God's grace I am fine). I hope all is well back at home and that everyone is safe and sound! From the sounds of your emails, you may have gotten sunburned this week in Utah! To be honest, 70 degrees sounds kind of cold to me right now... Especially with no humidity!! Haha it sounds like everyone is doing great though and your enjoying the warm winter!
This week for me was actually a lot of fun! Elder Bannerman and I continue to talk with everyone in hopes of finding new members and during the week we found my former ward mission leader from Nketsiakrom (his name is Ebenezer) and his father! It was crazy! I love that guy. I was able to go on slits on Friday with my district leader, Elder Riehle! He's from Washington DC and we became really good friends during our day together. He speaks really good Twi! I learned a lot from him. 

Church this Sunday was hectic as always! We didn't have quite as many people there this week because the only road to get to the chapel by car was blocked by a large truck that tipped over because of the mud (and then somehow another car tipped over on top of that one... Don't ask me how. It's Ghana.) We didn't get discouraged though, we held sacrament meeting anyways! Our group leader was in Kumasi yesterday though, so the missionaries had to preside and give all the talks, teach the classes and administer the sacrament! It wasn't easy, but we managed. We did get a phone call from president this week that we need to start looking for land for a future stake center here!! Elder Bannerman and I have begun to start negotiating with land owners and chiefs to acquire some land. I will keep you updated on this! Also, for the past few Saturdays we have been helping a family in the group build their new house! It's been sweet to see the progress each week, I will attach a picture if it ever gets finished.

So to answer your questions for this week!

1.  Are the renovations on the rented house/church building all done?  That is so awesome that you had over 100 at Church last week?  How big is that house? 
The land owner has not done a single thing since that day that the mission president came. We still don't have lights or water at all. We have to clean it every Saturday because it's really dusty here in Dunkwa! It's a really large home for Ghana, enough to fit a small branch in. Soon, we will need to look for another rented temporary building to fit everyone!

2.  You have 8 in your apartment, right?  How big is it?  How many bathrooms?  

There is 4 of us in this apartment, 4 in another one on the other side of town! It's 3 Africans and one American in my apartment and 3 Americans and one African in the other apartment. It's interesting being the only white person in my apartment! It's a small apartment with only one bathroom, but everything is tiled and it's really nice.
3.  I know you have described a typical "P" day before, but in this new area, what do you do on "P" day?  
This is something that hasn't changed too much! We relax a little bit, do a deep cleaning of the apartment, go to the market, email, come home and go to FHE! We're always busy, even on Mondays!

4.  Did your washing machine get delivered?
Yes! When president came the assistants dropped it off. I have been using it no problem, as well as everyone in my apartment. It's a great blessing!

5.  Did the letter and newspaper clippings I sent in January ever catch up to you?  
Yes! Thank you so much! I loved reading the letter and hearing about the Utes and the Jazz back home. It reminded me how much I don't like Brad Rock from Deseret News as well. He's a BYU homer!

6.  Do they celebrate Valentine's Day there?
We are going to!! The rest of Ghana doesn't really, but one of our Recent Converts is taking all 8 of us on a "date" to a nice hotel and we're buying Pizza!!! I'm so excited.

Well, I hope everything is great back home and that everyone has a safe week!! I love you all. 

Elder Gavin Degen

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