Monday, July 20, 2015

E-mail dated 7/20/15

Family and Friends,

Akwaabo! This email is coming to all of you from the worst internet cafe in the world, but somehow I hope it is able to send! If not, well then you'll never read this so I guess I don't have to apologize... Anyways, thank you all so much for the emails and the pictures that I got this week, I received quite few vacation pictures from different people's vacations! I loved seeing everyone and I'm glad that everyone returned home safely. 

Anyways, sorry for commenting so little this week on the news you all gave me, but I'm a little pressed for time today (what else is new?). So I don't want to delay, so I'm going to get right into how my week was! This week was great and the Lord really blessed Elder Gasolo and I. I'll tell you more specifically in my answers to your questions, but I wanted to mention something else! So the past few weeks we've been given an assignment to teach an old Fante woman in our area named Elizabeth. She has been a member for a few years, but she's now preparing to go to the temple and she needs to be taught all the lessons again before she can go! The first thing I can tell you about this woman is how insanely happy she is to be going to the temple. When she sees us coming she always stands up and starts to clap and she has the biggest smile on her face! I've never seen someone with so much enthusiasm to go to the House of the Lord, it's actually contagious. I have absolutely loved teaching her (with various members as translators) and I will definitely keep you updated on how she is preparing herself!

So to answer your questions...

1.  How is Elder Gasolo this week?  I can't believe he has gout.  I read a little bit about it this week and it sounds painful!  Tell him we are praying for him.
His hip improved a little bit this week! We were able to proselyte a little bit more than last week, but we are still patiently waiting for the drugs he is taking to start working. It's been a faith-forming experience for both him and me!

2.  How are Matilda, Victoria, Emmanuela, Josephine, Hannah and Michael progressing?  We are praying for them as well.
The are all doing great! Matilda met with us multiple times this week, but she was unable to come to church as she is still finding a way to stop attending her other one... But her granddaughters, Victoria and Emmanuela, were both at church yesterday and we are still planning to baptize Victoria on the 9th of August! Josephine has an amazing story this week. As we came to teach her on Wednesday, she told us she wants to be baptized(!). The only problem? On Thursday, she moved back to her home town near Takoradi. With heavy hearts, we gave her contact to the Elders there and we pray she will be baptized there!! As for Hannah, she is also progressing well and has come to church over three times (the prerequisite for baptism) and she has accepted a date for the 9th as well! Michael has been another story as we have found it hard to meet with him.... Thank you all so much for your prayers, but the work is not finished!

3.  Does Axim have more or less "comforts" (such as grocery stores, etc.) than your other areas?
Axim has.... nothing. Literally, it's a village with a random beach resort. There's not even an internet cafe here! We travel 20 minutes down the road to a small internet cafe in the next town. Thankfully, when we really need to see civilization every so often, President lets us all go to Takoradi! 

4.  Did you think of anything else you would like in your birthday package?  You have about another week or so to let me know.
Hmm... Besides the Asante Twi book, I'm not totally sure!  OH! I just remembered something I would like you to send in the package; a copy of my call letter please.

5.  Any rain this week?  
Very minimal. Like maybe for 5 minutes at the most. It's tooooo hotttt!

6.  How many kids/youth are there in your new Branch?
There's a pretty decent amount! I would say close to 20 to 25. I haven't found the courage to make my way into the primary to find out though... I was able to teach the gospel principles class this week, mainly because the teacher was gone, but I enjoyed the spur-of-the-moment calling that I received! 

Also, really random, but one of our members fed us an entire octopus this week. It. was. so. good. It tasted nothing like I thought it would! I would suggest anyone to try it and I'm being serious.

Thank you all again for your words of encouragement and your prayers of support! I know how blessed that I am. I love you all so much and I can't wait to hear from you again next week.
Elder Degen

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