Monday, February 1, 2016

E-mail dated 2/1/16

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! We tell God thank you! (a common response to a greeting here in Liberia). This week was definitely one for me to thank God for, and it seems like it was one for every one back home as well. I'm gad every one traveled safely to their different places this week, and I'm glad that I was able to hear from a lot of you today. Thank you!

My week was great because it was full of proselyting. In fact, I can't think of a single thing on any of the days that cut our teaching short, which is unusual. It was awesome getting to explore some of the parts of my area that I haven't been to before! We met a lot of new people and Elder Eguko is really getting the hang of teaching. We're still teaching Browne (I think I told you about him a few weeks ago) and his baptism will be on the 13th of this month, along with a guy named Emmanuel! Elder Eguko and I are really excited. I will keep you updated in the next few weeks.

This coming week though is going to be absolutely insane. Elder Cichoski and I will be going to so many stupid meetings and interviews that I won't even be in my area until Saturday... So my email next week definitely won't be the same! I'm still excited though, as we get to see a lot of people in our zone this week. I love being with other missionaries.

To answer your questions for this week...

1.  Have you met again with Seafus?  Thanks for sharing the experience of meeting him.
No, because he is now in Elder Cichoski's proselyting area! We split at the last transfer and so we split the areas as well. Cichoski does tell me though that he explained his life story to them on Saturday. It took 3 hours. He has a crazy history, and I pray that the gospel can help him.

2.  How is Elder Eguko doing this week?  
He is doing well! After being homesick last week, he has really settled in now. He is comfortable in the apartment and it becoming better and better at teaching! He's such a fun guy to be with.

3.  Did you get to see the Hezseltine's before they left?  Were they replaced with another couple?  How many senior couples are now serving in your mission?  I did see a picture of the pink apartments they live in on the Hezseltine's blog.
Hmm.. I think the last time that I saw them was a few weeks ago! But I did talk to them on the phone a few days before they left and I gave sister Helzseltine your phone number (which I later realized was wrong....) Sorry! They would love to talk with you though. They are being replaced by a couple in March, called the Kimball's! They have served here before and they wanted to come again for 6 months. Maybe Eric knows them? They will bring our mission total to 3 senior couples: the Allen's, the Wollenzien's, and the Kimball's. 

4.  Describe a typical Sunday for you?  Do you have other meetings besides the three-hour block?
We get up at the usual 6:30 and start getting ready for the day. If we have somebody that we are going to pick for church, we usually leave the house around 7:45 to go and get them to be on time for service at 9. We then go to sacrament meeting, gospel principles class, and then to Elder's Quorum. After church, we usually go home for about a half hour and cook lunch and we proselyte for the rest of the day until 7! About every other week though we get a member to feed us on Sundays! And then when we get home, Elder Cichoski and I spend the next 2-3 hours doing numbers for our zone. I honestly love Sunday's though, and I look forward to them every week! 

5.  What was the funniest thing that happened this past week?  The most spiritual?
Hmmm... Well I think this is a good time to explain the subject of my email. "This is Africa" is a common phrase not only by missionaries, but by Africans in general and people usually say it when something absurd happens. For example, this week my companion and I saw an old man just bathing in a river completely naked and I turned to our recent covert we were with and she just said "Eh, this is Africa." I love it so much. 

The most spiritual thing that happened this week was another T.I.A. moment when my companion and I were able to wash someone's clothes for about a half hour and he thanked us so immensely for it. That sounds like a weird spiritual experience, but I've found that while doing acts of service I feel such a strong spirit. 

6.  Do you see or hear much from the Elders that transferred with you from Ghana?  Can you believe you have already been in Liberia for about 5 months now?

Yes, I hear from them all the time! Me and Elder Treadway are always talking to each other, and he is my district leader right now! Elder Wight is our Assistant right now, so I talk to him a lot as well. Actually, the three of us just had lunch in town at an American restaurant and we had so much fun. I love those guys!

Well, thank you all again for your emails and support this week! It means so much to me. I hope that you have a great week and that I can hear from you again next week. I love you all!

Elder Degen

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