Monday, August 17, 2015

E-mail dated 8/17/15

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! Thank you everyone for all of the emails that I got this week, it was fun to hear about the various camping trips, adventures and diseases that everyone has been having. I'm sorry that there has been so much sickness in the family recently!! I will definitely be increasing my prayers this week. I'm glad that overall everyone is still alive and breathing :) It's hard to believe that school is almost ready to start again as well. I remember school starting the day after I left last year and it seems like summer just began a week ago!

Anyways, I don't have too much to say this week! Elder Adu-Gyamfi and I worked extremely hard and saw a lot of success in our proselyting. We extended 5 baptismal dates in the past 2 weeks and all were accepted! We are so excited for what the future holds here in Axim. Training has been easy for me, as Elder Adu-Gyamfi is a superstar. He speaks the language, knows the culture, and most importantly knows the lessons. He said he would go with his return missionary brother (he served in Sierra Leone from 2011-2013) proselyting every day when he was home and he was also the branch mission leader. He came to his mission extremely prepared and I'm grateful that the Lord has paired us together! He's the one teaching me most of the time.

Today was an exciting P-Day though, as we had a zone activity in Tarkwa! It was awesome as we all got together and played.... wait for it... Basketball!! It was the first time since the MTC that I've played and it was so fun. The rest of the zone is sleeping here in Tarkwa, but my companion and I are going back to Axim tonight because Hannah, our baptismal candidate, is going to be interviewed by President Stevenson tomorrow in Takoradi and we have to go and pick her up! She's so excited to be baptized.

To answer your questions...

1.  Did you participate in the All Africa Day of Service?  I saw a few pictures on President Stevenson's blog?

Hahah about that... the Axim branch forgot to plan one! Our branch president never got the memo, so we weren't able to do it! The missionaries are planning our own though in the next few weeks, I'll let you know about it.

2.  Are you going to do anything to celebrate your "hump day" this week?  Like I told you before, it seems like forever ago that we were watching you go through security at the airport (remember they thought you had explosives on your hands) but I also can't believe that it has already been a year.  What are your feelings as you now have been gone a year?

This Friday, all of my MT's (slang for all the people that came in my group) are meeting in Takoradi to renew our non-citizenship cards! I'm so excited to see all of them, it's been a year since I've seen quite a few Elders. Also, Elder Mocke will be there and he will be sleeping in my apartment on Saturday night! I'm so excited. I can't believe that it was a year ago that I met him at the trotro station, confused and scared out of my mind. It's been an extremely fast year, but I've learned so much in the short amount of time that I've been out. It's a sad thing that it's half over!

3.  How do you study when you have personal study and companion study?  Do you study by topic, book, etc.  

Right now, I am studying chronologically in the Book of Mormon and using a study journal to record my thoughts and impressions as I read! As I've doing this, I've really been able to see how revelation comes to my mind. It's hard work! I also have committed myself to studying from Preach My Gospel every day of my mission, so that takes a portion of my personal study.

4.  Is the baptism still on for the 23rd for Hannah and Josephine?  Have you actually got to perform some of the baptisms of your converts?  

YES! Hannah is being interviewed tomorrow, and she is for sure for this Sunday. Josephine we have postponed for a good reason; her cousin wants to be baptized with her and we need to teach her the lessons so they can be baptized together! 

5.  Do you have any way of staying in contact with some of your new converts in your previous areas?  

Yes, I receive calls from my recent coverts occasionally! 

6.  Do you get as many free meals in Axim as you did in Dunkwa?  Do you get a chance to cook much?

Not at all. When I first came to Axim, there was a family that fed us often but after a strong wind blew over their kitchen, we didn't have any for a long time. But it's slowly getting better! I mainly eat rice and stew from the streets because it's super cheap and of course my companion loves Ghanaian food!

7.  It has been two weeks now since I mailed your package.  Any word that it has arrived?   

Yes, the office Elders (Elder Gasolo) texted me this week and told me it was here! I think I will get it on my year mark from Elder Mocke on Friday :) Thank you again so much.

I love you all and I thank you for everything that you do for me! I will be praying so much for safety and health at home. Have a great week!
Elder Degen

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