Monday, October 5, 2015

E-mail dated 10/5/15

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! What a wonderful weekend it has been! I was so glad to receive so many emails and updates about General Conference and the spiritual strength it brought to everyone. My inbox was flooded with the news! I was also so happy to see more pictures of my new nephew and to hear that everyone is safe and sound. Also, GO UTES!

This week has been interesting for me as well here in Paynesville! We had great success proselyting during the week, teaching many lesson sand getting more referrals than we can ever possibly teach. We've received over 200 referrals the past few weeks and we are overwhelmed with people. Our schedules are so busy that we have to willingly deny people who want to be baptized because we physically don't have the time to teach them all. It's frustrating, but I can't complain because I know this might be the only place in the world that has this "problem"!

On Thursday, President Carlson decided to expand the mission because of the demand in some other places and so he gave us some interesting news. Elder Ibe and Elder Sirleaf (Another elder in my apartment) are being transferred to Bush Rod Island to open a new area, and I will be with Elder Carlson to finish his training with him! It's been an interesting change, but I have faith that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing. I know this is what the Lord wants! So now Elder Carlson and I are over ALL of Paynesville! We have a baptism of around 5-10 planned for this Saturday, I will let you know more about the details next week!

Now to answer your questions...

1.  Why were you not able to e-mail last week until Tuesday instead of Monday?
We were insanely busy last week because of some things we had to coordinate with our branch missionaries! Normally we will email on Monday's, but here in Liberia we don't really get a P-Day because we're so busy right now!  

2.  How often do you get to see President Carlson or the Hezseltine's?
I was with both of them a lot this week because of the emergency transfer! It was fun to be with them for a little bit in the office this week. I even got to watch conference in the office! Which was amazing, by the way. It was the first time I've watched conference in English on my mission. I found myself praying for President Monson during his entire address on Sunday Morning. It was hard to watch his health deteriorate in front of my eyes. But, on the bright side, I also got to witness the calling of the three new apostles!

3.  Describe a typical P-day in a new country?
Wake up, do wash, go to the market, go email, meet the branch missionaries and teach a lesson if you have time, and then go home by 7. All in that order! 

4.  Is there a market close to your apartment that you can shop at?  Do you typically use American money or do you exchange it for foreign money?
Yes, there is a massive market called Red Light right near my apartment! There is also the Liberian National Coca-Cola factory right near my apartment. It's awesome.

5.  Do you communicate with anyone in Cape Coast?  How are is Elder Adu-Gyamfi doing?
I email him every week and he is doing great! He emailed me today and said that 3 of the investigators we found together were baptized this past week! I also am still in contact with President Stevenson.

6.  The Hezelstine's posted a short blog this week where it indicated that it has been raining not "cats and dogs" but "dinosaurs".  It also indicated that the rainy season is supposed to end October 17th.  It's kind of strange that they actually give a date for the end of the rainy season.  Have you witnessed any flooding where you are?
It has rained so much this week!! So so so much. We were teaching on Friday and trees were falling down around us because of the wind. The streets were flooded! 

7.  What was your greatest success this week and your greatest challenge?
My greatest success has been seeing the excitement of missionary work in the members. Every single member wants so badly to be able to bring someone into the gospel, that I can't help but feel successful as a missionary. Although extremely demanding, the work is aided immensely by our many branch missionaries and leaders. My greatest challenge this week has probably been saying goodbye to Elder Ibe. Him and I got a long really well and I am really going to miss him. We did a lot of hard work together and I wish him the best! I am excited for my time with Elder Carlson though.

Thank you all so very much for your prayers this week. I may have felt your prayers more this week than I ever have before. I know that the Lord uplifts and blesses His missionaries! I pray every night that all of you can receive the blessings of my service, cause I certainly know that I am receiving too many.

I love you all so much! 
Elder Degen  

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