Tuesday, December 22, 2015

E-mail dated 12/22/15

Family and Friends,

Akwaabo! Afehya Paa (Merry Christmas in Twi)! I'm sorry that I wasn't able to email yesterday, but there was a big mission wide Christmas Party yesterday at the mission home and nobody got to email! But I'm here today for a little bit to give you all the information that you need for Friday! 
Also, thank you to everyone who emailed me and wished me a merry Christmas this week! It was awesome to see all of your names in my inbox. my week was a really busy one, as it seems like most of yours was as well! Mine was full of meetings, Zone Training and interviews. Elder Cichoski and I traveled almost every day this week and we are so tired! But it was all worth it because we had a fantastic week as a zone as we are preparing for the holidays. Even the Christmas party was awesome yesterday as we all went to President Carlson's house and ate a lot of food and had fun activities. The strange thing though is that President and Sister Carlson aren't even in the country right now, they're in Utah because he had to get some kidney stones removed! We hear that he is recovering well though
Anyways, to answer your questions!
1.  Are you becoming well acquainted with New Georgia and the people?  What are the biggest differences/similarities between New Georgia and Paynesville?
Yes, I'm slowly getting used to the area! I don't get the opportunity to proselyte too much here though because zone business always keeps us busy, but we have some amazing investigators and members that we are visiting whenever we can! It's a lot dustier here than in Paynesville, but other than that, things are very similar. But, I do get to go out to the swamp to teach people here, as evidenced by the pictures I sent a few weeks ago! 

2.  Can you ask Elder Cichoski if his Mom posts his e-mails on a blog and if so, what is the blog address?
No, he doesn't have a blog because he just sends home voice recordings every week! He uses it as his journal and then he sends them to his mom on Monday's.

3. I showed the pictures you sent to Eric and he thinks he may have been to home of the orphans and abandoned deaf children.  Are many kids in the picture really deaf and do they really all live in that small building?  

Yes, almost all of those children were deaf or orphans! That building is in my area called Chocolate City! I'm not sure if Eric ever went there, but it's possible. Sadly yes, they do all live in that building by the way.
4.  What were you doing in the picture you sent with you standing/working in the mud?  Looks fun?!
We were farming for our branch president! It was fun, we got to weed and till the ground with hoes for a few hours. He seemed to really enjoy it because a lot of people don't think that white people can do manual labor, and Elder Cichoski and I really like proving people wrong!

5.  How many investigators are you working with right now?  Any that we could be praying for?
Please pray for the Dahn family! They are a sweet family of 4 who is dying to be baptized as soon as the parents are legally married. They are trying to set everything up for the wedding, but they're having second thoughts about if they want to go through with it  at this time. Please pray for them! We do have other investigators that we are working with, and we are planning a baptism for January 2!

6.  What are your plans for Christmas day? Have you been invited to lunch/dinner?  
We actually don't know our plans for Christmas day at all... Which is not good.. But we have been offered so much food for Friday that it won't even be possible to eat all of it! It's also possible that we spend Christmas at the Mission office, but we don't know yet.

7.  Do you have any zone activities planned?  As Zone leaders, do you and Elder Cichoski get to plan them?  How many missionaries are in your zone?
Yes, we are actually going to the beach this Monday! Elder Cichoski and I ask our zone members what they want to do for activities and then we are in charge of planning them and setting everything up. It's actually not an easy job.. We have 24 people in our zone, making it the largest zone in the mission. It's fun being a zone leader, but it's a lot of work!

8.  Did your Christmas box arrived unopened?  I couldn't tell from the picture if it had been opened or not.  I hope everything arrived in one piece.  
Yes, it was completely unopened! I was pleasantly surprised. Thank you all again so much!!

9.  Finally, what are the plans for your call home on Friday?
I will try and call home around 9 a.m. Utah time! I still don't know my complete schedule, but I'm positive that I can call around that time and talk for quite awhile! I'm so excited. I love you all so much and I can't wait to talk with you on Friday!

Once again, thank you for the emails and prayers this week. I felt so much support from unseen hands the past seven days. I love all of you and hope you have a very merry Christmas!

Elder Gavin Degen

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