Monday, February 22, 2016

E-mail dated 2/22/16

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! Thank you to every one for another awesome Monday of emails for me to read. I love them so much, and I'm grateful for all of you. It sounds like a fun week at home, there wasn't too much complaining about the weather so I assume that's a good thing. It's still hot in Africa, just in case anybody was wondering! I'm also glad that every one was safe and that work, school and basketball all are well.

My week was busy as usual, but nothing too crazy! I had a great start to my week though as I was able to have my personal interview with President Carlson on Tuesday! I love that man so much. He is honestly one of the greatest and most humble people I have ever met. When Elder Bednar came, he said if his sons were serving missions right now, he wouldn't want any one other than the Carlson's to be their mission president, and I affirm to that! I have been so blessed on my mission as I have had two fantastic leaders, both him and President Stevenson. 

Speaking quickly about Cape Coast, Elder Mocke went home this past week! It's hard to believe that my trainer is home now, but he emailed me today and he sounds like he's doing really well! I miss that guy.

As for the rest of my week, it was spent proselyting with Elder Eguko and doing interviews with Elder Cichoski. We visited Jones quite a lot this week and he feeds us every time we go there. We went on splits with the Assistants this last Friday and Jones fed us an amazing Nigerian dish called Eba. Elder Eguko was so happy haha. Jones is also progressing well for his baptism on Saturday, along with his sister Caulena. We're excited!

Anyways, now to answer your questions...

1.  Do the people you teach have a hard time accepting the Joseph Smith story?
For the most part, no. These people are firm believers in dreams and visions, and so they usually don't have a hard time accepting his story. The only time we run into doubts is when we find people who think that no man has seen God or that God is a spirit and nobody can see a spirit. But even then, a few quick scriptures in the Bible and the Book of Mormon are usually enough to persuade people. Our biggest problem in teaching is that people just don't understand the Priesthood. They think that all the Churches can have the power of God and that it can come upon anybody (without the laying on of hands). That's the frustrating part!

2.  What is the biggest challenge of being a Zone Leader?
Oh, there are so many. I would say my biggest challenge is time. I have a trainee to worry about, an area to worry about, and 32 people in my zone to worry about. Sometimes I just feel like I don't have enough time to help every one that I need to.

3.  Do you have a senior couple that live close to you?
We just received a new senior couple this week (the Kimball's), bringing our mission total to 3 senior couples (the Allen's and the Wollenzien's are the others). None of them live too close to me though, in fact I think they all live in the same apartment compound in downtown Monrovia and I'm about 20 minutes away from the city. 

4.  How is Elder Eguko doing with his training?  If I'm not mistaken, he is about a month into his training. 

Elder Eguko is doing great! He has really picked up teaching skills quickly and he is an awesome missionary. Of course he still misses home occasionally, but so does every new missionary. He is about to finish his first transfer in the mission field next week! It's been a crazy fast transfer with him. 

5.  Do have time to do any sightseeing?  
Well I travel often to visit the members of the zone, so I feel like I've seen some pretty amazing things here in Liberia! I've been to amazing beaches, seen a lot of football fields, and of course I love going to the swamps. I wish I had more time to explore Liberia, but I'm satisfied with what I've got so far.

Well thank you again to every one for your amazing emails and your prayers that you offer for me. They are working. I am loving my mission in Africa and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now. I love you all!

Elder Degen

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