Monday, February 8, 2016

E-mail dated 2/8/16

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! Thank you as always to every one who emailed me this week! It's always nice to hear from family and friends, no matter how fast my week went. It sounds like all is well at home (just a little cold, as always) and that every body is still enjoying the high school basketball season as well as the Super Bowl! Speaking of the game, I was thinking about it just now, and I think the only people I know for either teams are the quarterbacks... In fact, I completely forgot that yesterday was the game. My week flew by!

Let me explain why. I was so insanely busy this past week!! The past seven days have been easily one of the funnest weeks of my mission though. Let me just try and tell you what happened. So on Monday night Elder Cichoski and I conducted splits with an Elder who was going home, and we threw an awesome party for him while we slept over. On Tuesday, we left to go to the mission office to sleep over with the Assistants and other Zone Leaders because we wouldn't have had time to catch a car the following morning to the office.

On Wednesday, we had Missionary Leadership Council! It was just 8 missionaries and the Carlson's and it was so helpful. We are finally changing some things in the mission like our apartment funds and also the way we prepare people for the temple. After the MLC, Cichoski and I did baptismal interviews for the Elders who are in an area close to town. In the evening we came back to our apartment in New Georgia and prepared our instructions for the following day.

On Thursday morning we had Zone Training at a chapel about 40 minutes away from New Georgia and Elder Cichoski and I presented all the information we received at the MLC and then we all got to watch the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast!! Maybe some of you heard of it back home, but for all who didn't it was a training broadcast for all missionaries around the world. It happened on January 20th, but because this is Africa, we watched it a few weeks late! It was awesome though as the leaders of the Church taught us how to better teach and prepare our candidates for baptism. After the training, we went to do interviews for a nearby companionship which lasted until the evening time.

I know some of you may have been wondering what my new companion, Elder Eguko, was doing all this week while I was with Elder Cichoski.... Well he was with another brand new missionary from Nigeria, Elder Ndubuisi! They were both kind of overwhelmed with the work we gave them to do, but I think they both learned a lot while on their own. Friday was my only normal day of proselyting this week!

On Saturday, Elder Cichoski and I met with the Bushrod Island District presidency to discuss the state of missionary work in the 9 branches that we have missionaries in. It was a surprisingly effective meeting and I was glad that we went. We were able to switch back with our assigned companions in the late afternoon, so we at least got a little bit of proselyting done! Fast Sunday was great as usual as well.

Sorry for just detailing my week like that, but I just had to tell you how crazy it was. Right now I'm about to go to Paynesville to go and play football with my old branch and see all my recent converts! I'm so excited. Let me answer your questions right now....

1.  Are you still planning on having the baptisms of Browne and Emmanuel this Saturday?
For sure Browne, but Emmanuel we want to prepare him a little bit more and make sure he is completely ready. Prayers would be much appreciated for both of them though!

2.  I told you about our gas prices here, what are gas prices like there?
I honestly haven't really been paying attention, but I think they've dropped here as well... I think it's still over $2 though!

3.  I know you are in the dry season right now, but does that mean that you can go days without rain, or does it mean that you just don't get as much rain?  Which season do you prefer?
Dry season means that we can go weeks or months without a single drop of rain. I actually can't remember the last time that it rained, even lightly... But for me, I prefer the dry season because it's just so much easier to get around to our various appointments and we are able to teach more lessons.

4.  It is Valentine's Day here at home next Sunday. Any idea if they celebrate Valentine's Day in Liberia?
Haha I don't think they do! If so, then I'm excited to see what they will do to celebrate. I'll let you know next week!

5.  What was the strangest thing you experienced this week?  
Strangest thing.... Hmmm.. Okay! Our relief society president offered to give us her dog to eat! That was pretty strange. Don't worry though, we didn't say yes... yet.

6.  Are you still healthy?
Yes, I'm perfectly healthy! I honestly haven't felt sick in a really long time. Thank you for asking though!

Thank you to everyone again for your emails and prayers this week. They mean a lot. I hope that you all have a great week and that I can hear from everyone again next week! I love you!

Elder Degen

P.S. I know quite a few of the actual Elders that the Freetown movie is based on. I think I told you, but I baptized on of their daughters (Elder Gonqui)Another man from the movie, Elder Nyanforh, is the Bushrod Island District president, so I met him on Saturday! Small world.

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