Tuesday, October 13, 2015

E-mail dated 10/13/15

Family and Friends,

Akwaabo! Thank you everyone for the amazing emails this week! I had a really busy week with not much time to think about anything else, so it was nice to relax and read how things are at home. First of all... GO UTES!! I'm so excited right now! The Utes haven't been good for years and now they decide to be amazing? Well, I guess that's the Degen missionary curse/blessing... Now the Jazz just have the win the Finals and my suspicions would be confirmed.

My week was an exciting one, but also a tiring one because of Elder Carlson and I's schedule. We have been preparing all week for our baptism on Saturday, so we have been doing all that we can so that we could get our candidates ready! We saw each of them as often as we could and on Thursday I went on splits with Elder Bayoh and he interviewed them! We were so excited when seven of them were passed.
On Saturday morning, we went to the chapel at 8:30 and found that the font had no water. We were so disappointed. The water truck that was supposed to come on Friday to fill the font hit a car on its way to the chapel and couldn't come in time. We didn't know what to do! Thankfully, the other Elders at the area nearby ours was having a baptism and so they said we could just come and join them. So we all got on motorcycles and our big caravan of bikes arrived at the other chapel around 9! It was a baptism of 20 for the 3 companionship's ​and it was amazing. I will send the pictures with this email!

I will try to explain the rest of my week by answering your questions!

1.  How are you and Elder Carlson getting along?  Is he related at all to President Carlson?
We get along great! I feel like we would have been friends back home. But, he is in no way related to my mission president!

2.  Now that you and Elder Carlson are over all of Paynesville, how many branches does that include?  Do they all meet in the same building? 
Okay, I need to be more clear! Elder Carlson and I are now over Paynesville branch 1 all by ourselves! It is a massive area though, and it's impossible to cover with just us two. There are 3 total branches in Paynesville, and the other branches are who we had the baptism with!

3.  When you have so many referrals, how to "weed" them out, so to speak?   How can you possibly teach all of those that want to hear the Gospel.  I assume that the branch missionaries are helping with that?
We have started only teaching those who are attending Church on Sundays! Although that's still not an easy task because we have weeks where 23 investigators come to church. After people are baptized, we also need to teach them the 5 lessons again, which takes up a lot of our time as well. We are busy people! When we come home in the evening, we spent a lot of time just planning for the next day and praying that God will help us reach all of these people. It can be overwhelming at times!

4.  Did the rain subside at all this week?  How come it rains so much more in Liberia than in Ghana?  Aren't they pretty much right next to each other? 
IT RAINS SO MUCH HERE. I don't know why! They are only separated by Ivory Coast, so I don't understand it.

5.  Were you able to get some of your things replaced?
Yes, everything is fine now! Thank you so much for everything. If I ever need anything I promise that I will let you know :)

6.  You know that I/we are still sending a package soon.  PLEASE, if there is anything you need/want from home, let me know in the next few weeks or so.  I have heard that it takes longer for packages to arrive in Liberia than in Ghana.  The last package I sent to Ghana I think only took 2 weeks for you to get it (1 week in transit and 1 week to make it to you). 
To be honest, I can buy so much more in Liberia than I ever could in Ghana. I can find deodorant, american food, and other things. Although, you sent me something in my last package that was too good to not ask for again. Can you please send me that cookies and cream Jif spread?? It was amazing. If I need anything else, I promise I will let you know. Thank you!

7.  Did the baptism take place last Saturday?
Yes! Their names are:
Mamie Coleman
Yawson Paige
Moses Stewart
Lydia Gonquoi (her father is one of the eight missionaries who escaped during the war)
Maiwu Zay Zay
Wilfred Mantor
Charleston Zaingbay
The Lord has blessed me so much in the past month and I am so excited to see what he Has in store for me in the next 10 months. Thank you all again for your support. I know I am an absolutely horrible writer and I may not be able to get back to everyone who emails me, but I hope that everyone knows I appreciate it so much when I see your name in my inbox.
I hope that everyone has a great week and that I can hear from you all again next week! I love you all.
Elder Gavin Degen

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