Wednesday, July 8, 2015

E-mail dated 7/7/15

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! I'm sorry this email is reaching you late again for the second week in a row. The power here in Ghana is really bad right now for some reason! We haven't had light longer than an hour in almost 5 days. Thankfully Heavenly Father has permitted us to finally email in some small cafe about a half hour away from Axim! You might have to get used to me emailing later than Monday's from now on...

I don't have much time today, but I want to thank everyone for the support that I received this week! I loved hearing about the 4th of July and I'm glad that everyone had fun in the heat (right now we're in the middle of the driest rainy season in history. It hasn't rained in so long). I also enjoyed knowing that everyone is keeping busy and enjoying their vacations! Eat lots of food for me :)

My week was interesting to say the least. Wednesday and Thursday were spent in Cape Coast trying to figure out what is wrong with Elder Gasolo's hip, but it's not that easy in Ghana. The first hospital we tried, their machines were broken. The following two hospitals didn't have the equipment necessary for the tests we needed. So we spent the night in Cape and came back to Axim on Thursday! I did get to meet Elder Keetch's parents though, and his mom gave me a big hug from you Mom :) They are excited to see you at his homecoming! As for Elder Gasolo, his hip is still paining him and we might have to go to Accra to do some further tests. I will keep you posted!

My 4th of July was different than yours, but I was still able to feel the pride of being an American! You never know how lucky you are until you leave it all behind. We enjoy a lot of things in America that not many other countries enjoy and we should not take it for granted. I didn't realize that until I was fetching water from a well in Africa! 

I was sad to hear about the passing away of President Packer though. Something I noted though is that both Elder Packer's and Elder Perry's dying testimonies from last conference were about the sacredness of marriage and the family. Amid the big news of Gay Marriage back home, I found it interesting that the Lord knew ahead of time and prompted His servants to speak about the subject. It's amazing to see His hand in all things!

To answer your questions...
1.  How is your companion?  Were you able to go to Cape Coast to figure out what is wrong with his hip?
My companion is great! And yes, we were able to go!

2.  Does Ghana have an independence day?  
Yes, theirs is March 6th and they celebrate similarly with parades (mainly at football pitches) and a lot of partying!!
3.  Were you able to find anyone new to teach this week? 
Yes, we found 3 new investigators and 1 of them we met at church when one of the members brought her! For only being able to proselyte for half the week, Elder Gasolo and I worked as hard as we could and found great success. 
4.  How is the apartment?  Does it have a generator like your other one did?  
My first apartment is the only apartment in the mission with a generator! Not very many places in Ghana have generators because the light is on half the time (Yeah, it still doesn't make sense to me either). But, Axim has been without consistent light and water for about 5 days now!
5.  Are you considered the senior companion?  Do they still use the terms senior and junior companion?
President Stevenson tried to implement the Sr and Jr companions in the mission, but it didn't last very long. We all enjoy being unified and one in purpose, so he has allowed the culture to stay. But I definitely feel like I'm training a new missionary! Elder Gasolo wasn't able to proselyte much his first 2 transfers and so there's still a lot he doesn't know and it's my job to teach him. 
6.  Are you happy in your new area?  
My new area is sweet and I already love the branch. The members are great and easy to work with (and there's even a few that speak English!) The area is beautiful and our apartment is really nice. Definitely nothing to complain about!
Well, thank you all again for everything! I love you all. Until next week!
Elder Degen

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