Monday, December 14, 2015

E-mail dated 12/14/15

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! Thank you everyone for your emails and support this past week! I loved hearing about how everyone is celebrating the Christmas season and how the family is still holding the annual holiday traditions. Sometimes I think "Man, I wish I could be there for all of this!" and I then I remember how awesome it is to be a missionary this time of the year :) I only have two opportunities in my life to celebrate the Savior as a personal representative of Him, and this is my last one. There's just a different feeling on my mission that's hard to describe. I know there's no snow, or any presents or music, but I just don't think I've really realized the importance of this holiday until I came into the field! 

My mind is drawing a blank right now on all the things that I wanted to write about this week, so I'm going to go straight into your questions so that I can at least try to piece together a decent email today! Oh, but before I forget, I received the package this week!! I was so amazed that it actually got here. I want to thank everyone who contributed as well as those who helped me in other ways. I love all of you! Anyways... back to the questions...

1.  Tell us about your new area.  Is it comparable to Paynesville as far as membership and leadership?  
Hmmm not quite. Paynesville Branch 1 is one of the most amazing branches I've ever seen in my mission and it's hard to compare it to other places. New Georgia has a very humble man as the branch president, but he's very inexperienced. The membership is smaller as well, but that's because this area got hit hard by Ebola last year and the branch was affected. 
 2.  How is your new apartment?  Does it have all of the “conveniences of life” you have come accustomed to?  (There is a little bit of sarcasim in there).  
Well, it has a generator and running water! That's all that I can ever ask for. We get 3 hours of electricity in the evening, and I always get a cold shower when I get home. It's definitely more than I've had in the past, so this is a blessing! 
 3.  How are you and Elder Cichoski getting a long?  
I love him haha. We get along really well and I'm excited to work with him!
 4.  How far away from the mission home are you now?  Eric thought that you were probably father away now than in Paynesville.
I'm actually probably the same distance away from the mission home as I was in Paynesville, but it probably will take longer to get there because I now live on Somalia Drive, which has the worst traffic in the world. 
 5.  Any word on plans for calling/Skyping home for Christmas?  Any signs of your Christmas box yet?  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we all are to talk to you!!  
As of right now, because I don't want to get hopes up, please just plan on a call from me on Christmas! If Skype does become available I will email you as soon as I can.  
6.  Do you have a lot of investigators in New Georgia?  Was Elder Cichoski serving in New Georgia prior to you arriving?  
Yes, Elder Cichoski was here for 2 transfers before I was, but he was with an Elder that was not working very hard so we now have to revive the area because of the lack of effort from this previous companion! But the area seems really promising, and I'm excited for the people we are going to meet.
 7.  Eric mentioned that you told him that you have been called as a Zone Leader.  That is awesome.  What are your responsibilities as a Zone Leader?
We have to do baptismal interviews for all of the district leaders in our zone, we have to go to Missionary Leadership Council, we have to instruct our zone, take numbers from them every Sunday evening and just lend our support to any member of our zone that we can. It's a fun calling and I'm excited to take on the challenge.
Well, I'm sorry for not being to detailed in my email this week! I hope that I can have a little bit more time next week so that we can get everything set up for Christmas day. I love you all and I can't wait to hear form you again next Monday!
Elder Degen

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