Monday, March 28, 2016

E-mail dated 3/28/16

Family and Friends,
Akwaabo! Happy Easter! Thank you to everyone for your emails this past week, especially those who sent me inspiring quotes from the Easter season. It sounds like every one's holiday was great, but that there wasn't too much else that happened, and that's okay! I'm glad that the spring break for Josh and Kalli is being spent with the family. 

As for my Easter, it was an awesome day yesterday! Elder Eguko and I celebrated it well by teaching all of our investigators and members about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It touched many of our members, and most especially our investigators who were hearing about this glorious message for the first time in their lives. Sometimes in my teaching I get too caught up in making sure my investigators understand about Joseph Smith, or about the Priesthood, but this past week I was reminded that the most important message that we have to share with others is the message of Christ's Atonement.

Although the branch in New Georgia didn't celebrate the holiday in a big fashion, I enjoyed and took special notice of the sacrament yesterday. I can remember President Uchtdorf saying in the mission president's seminar a few years ago that the rest of the world celebates Easter once a year, but for Latter-Day Saints we get the opportunity to celebrate every week by partaking worthily of the sacrament. I encourage every one at home to carry with them this spirit of Easter into their weekly worship! I can promise you that as you pay closer attention to the sacrament, the Lord's promised spirit will be with you.

As for the rest of my week, it was pretty successful! Elder Eguko and I were able to see many people, and we are so happy with their progression. Leroy is still doing great, and yesterday his father came outside and shook our hands, looked straight into our eyes and said "Thank you for helping my son." We had previously found out that Leroy had a heavy drinking problem before he began meeting us, but at the beginning of the year he decided to put away his sins and start to follow Christ. When he first saw us, he recognized us as his chance to start over again, and his family is taking notice of his changes. I'm so excited for his baptism next month!

Anyways, to answer your questions...

1.  What did you do for Easter?  I hope you had a nice Easter dinner somewhere and that you got to eat some Reese's eggs!
I certainly got plenty FM's yesterday, but no Reese's eggs! Haha those will have to wait until I get home. I had so much free food yesterday that it hurt. The members in Bassa Town are great, I love them so much.
2.  How do the people where you are celebrate Easter?  I know you said they really don't do the whole Easter bunny thing, so what do they do?
They honestly didn't do very much! Most of the people in Liberia weren't even aware of the reason we celebrate Easter. So, as a missionary, it was my job the entire week to teach them what it means! 
3.    What is your favorite thing about being a zone leader?
The relationships that I'm able to build with other missionaries. I get to talk with all the members of my zone at least once a week, and I see the other leaders along with the senior couples and the Carlson's at least once a month. My close second favorite would be doing baptismal interviews! I think I've mentioned before how much I enjoy doing those. Other than that, being a leader isn't that fun or desirable.
4.  Do you hear much from your high school friends?  Is it crazy to think that it has already been two years since you guys started receiving your calls?
I receive many of their weekly emails, and I occasionally email a few of them! It is crazy to think that I received my call almost 2 years ago.. It seems not that long ago that we were all looking up pictures of Ghana in anticipation!
Well, I hope that every one has an enjoyable week and that I can hear from all of you next week! I appreciate your prayers and the support that I receive every single week. It means a lot to me. I love you all!
Elder Degen

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