Monday, February 29, 2016

E-mail dated 2/29/16

Family and friends,
Akwaabo! For some reason today doesn't feel like a Monday, so it's really strange that it's already time to email again... My week went by so fast! I'm thankful that every one else's did as well. I'm glad that the week at home was full of basketball, school and homecomings. I'm always happy to know that every one is safe and happy, so thank you for that!

Like I said, my week went by fast but I'm not sure why it went by so fast! There wasn't anything crazy, it was just a fun week. Elder Cichoski and I had very few items of zone business to do (only 2 days of interviews) and so I was thankfully able to teach quite a bit! Of course, the highlight of my week though was the baptism of Jones and Caulena on Saturday! Ahh it was awesome. I sent pictures today so I hope that you have received them.

This week will not be so kind to me though... The first day I will get to proselyte in my area will be Saturday. Blah, I'm not too excited! The good thing though is that Elder Eguko is doing fantastic in his training and he is really progressing in missionary work. He can take the lead in almost every thing now and he is rarely homesick anymore. He's made me proud! 

I'll try and give you a few more details in my answers to your questions...

1. So, have you ever seen the prison that Sister Hezseltine spoke of?  She said it is right on the beach.  
No, I have not. But I'm great friends with the Assistants, who proselyte in Sinkor, and I hear the awesome stories! Apparently the man is still progressing really well and he should be baptized in the next few months. 

2.  Any sign of the package I sent several weeks ago?
YES!!! It arrived on Tuesday and I was so happy. Thank you so much to all who contributed and helped. It meant a lot to me. All of the food items inside are already gone though.... I was too lazy to buy food this week :)

3.  If I remember from President Stevenson's blog, he would have all the missionaries that were just beginning the last 6 months of their mission come to the mission home and give them the "finish strong" speech.  Does President Carlson do that?  
No, he does not. President Stevenson started doing that because missionaries would start to slow down with their work when their time was coming to an end and he wanted to change that. If President Carlson sees there to be a similar problem in the mission, I'm sure he'll do it too!

4.  Did everything fall into place for the baptism last Saturday?  I hope Jones and his sister were able to be baptized.
Yes, everything worked out really well! Jones had work in the morning, so we moved the baptism to the evening and it was a great service. He was so so happy! If you don't remember, he walked up to us about 6 weeks ago and asked us to baptize him, and he hasn't missed a week of church since. We are continuing to teach his other sister Rita, and Jones is planning on baptizing her himself after he receives the Aaronic Priesthood! I love that guy.

5.  Have you seen any crazy animals and/or bugs or insects lately?  Any pet monkeys running around?
I saw a massive spider the other day in my bathroom... Mom, I sent the pictures today, so try and post it with this email because I want every one to know how big this thing was. It was HUGE! As for pet monkeys, I haven't seen any recently. But one of our branch missionaries said he can go to the interior (the inner parts of Liberia, away from Monrovia) and buy a live monkey for 300 Liberian Dollars. That's about $3.25. I'm highly considering buying one... 

6.  Any district, zone or mission-wide activities coming up?
Well we have MLC on Wednesday this week and a Zone Meeting on Thursday as well, so Cichoski and I will be busy with those! As far as activities though... we're hoping to do one soon, but we're waiting until after transfers next week before we plan one. 

7.  What event this week helped to strengthen your testimony?
There has been an ongoing event in my branch for the past 2 weeks that has been happening that has been really humbling. Two Saturdays ago, right after our baptism of Browne, our branch president suffered a stroke. The effects have continually been getting worse and now his memory is almost completely gone. We as missionaries have been visiting him, and its a saddening experience every time we go. Yesterday, our entire branch visited him after church and said a prayer with him and his family. The worst part is that President Weegi's son is a missionary in my mission, and he can't be at home to be with his family. I've heard that he's doing fine though and that he has great faith that a mission is where he's supposed to be. He said he trusts the Lord completely. When I heard Elder Weegi's attitude, I was truly humbled. I wish I can have that kind of faith one day.

Sorry for sharing that sad experience at the end of my email, but this week I would just like a lot of prayers to be said for the Weegi family please. I would really appreciate it. Thank you to all of you for already praying for me and writing me every week. It helps me so much as I focus on my work. I love all of you so much and I can't wait to hear from you next week!
Elder Degen

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