Monday, December 7, 2015

E-mail dated 12/7/15

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! To be honest, it's a little hard to believe that it's December already. It feels like last week that it was the middle of November (there's some subtle humor in there because many of you probably haven't heard from me since then..) Haha but I want to apologize for not being able to email last week! It was Tubman day and absolutely everything was closed. I'm now emailing from a small cafe with really bad internet, but hey, it works! I did enjoy reading everyone's emails from the past few weeks though, and I especially want to thank those who email me often even though I can only respond occasionally. Just remember that I love all of you!

I had a busy week these past seven days, but it was also a lot of fun. I was tipped off earlier last week that I was getting transferred, so I was able to spend my last week in Paynesville making sure I said goodbye to everyone that I love! I'm glad that you were able to see some of the pictures that I sent! Elder Carlson and I also prepared a man named Anthony Flomo for baptism last Saturday. We have been teaching Anthony for a few months now, and he hasn't missed church once. He's a 17 year old who boldly joined the Church even though there was some opposition from his extended family and a complete lack of support from his immediate family. It always amazes me when I see the amazing character of these converts here in Africa. I think they understand the law of sacrifice a lot better than I ever will. 

On Saturday evening, it was transfer news! Elder Carlson was called to be a trainer and he is staying in Paynesville, while I am being transferred to a place called New Georgia! My new companion is Elder Cichoski (pronounced Chi-ho-ski) who is almost 18 months on his mission. I was really sad to leave Paynesville because I have had so much fun there and I have so many recent converts that I love so much. But, I'm excited for the new challenge that the Lord has in store for me in my new area! They picked me up this morning and I'm currently in New Georgia right now. 

I'll try and answer your questions from last week!

1.       Did you do anything special on Thanksgiving?  I know you said that you had pizza last Monday.  Just wondering if anything special happened.
Nope, our pizza was our celebration! Haha it was still a fun holiday though, as I'm positive that Heavenly Father blesses all missionaries when they spend family holidays away from home. 

2.                  Have you seen any Christmas decorations up yet?  Do you have any ideas how they celebrate Christmas in Liberia?  I think Eric was in Sierra Leone for both of the Christmases he was gone.
I see Christmas trees a lot, mainly in Monrovia though! From what I hear, Christmas is a much bigger holiday here in Liberia than it was in Ghana, so I'm excited to see what it's like! I'll try and keep you updated.
3.                  Have you received any more the envelopes I have sent through the mail?  I have been sending about 1 a week for several weeks.  How about your Christmas package?  
Nope, I haven't received anything besides that letter you sent! I'm sure they will get here soon though, don't worry :)
4.                  Are transfers this week?  I can’t remember if they are this week or next.
Yes, they were today! Haha I'm enjoying me new area so far. 
5.                  How many hours a day are spent teaching investigators?  Do you spend any of your time finding people to teach?
When I was training Elder Carlson, we would teach from about 11 in the morning (3 hours of study from 8-11) and then we would return home at 7 (our curfew). So about 8 hours! And no, I have yet to legitimately set time aside to find investigators. Finding as you teach is a much more effective way to do it here in Liberia because of the immense help from members in receiving referrals! 
6.                  Who are the two new Elders living in your apartment and where are they from?  Is your apartment big enough for 4?
I know your question applied to my previous apartment in Paynesville, but I'll answer it for my new apartment in New Georgia! It's me, Elder Cichoski (from Vegas), Elder Mehnpaine (a Liberian), and a new missionary that is coming on Wednesday! It should be a fun new environment.
7.  What holiday was last Monday in Liberia?
Tubman Day! Nope, I don't know much about it..
Well thank you again to everyone who has emailed me these past few weeks, I hope that I can hear from you all again next week! You will all be constantly in my prayers as the holidays are approaching. Please be safe! I love you all.
Elder Degen

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