Monday, May 16, 2016

E-mail dated 5/16/16

Family and Friends,
Awkwaabo! Thank you to every one for the emails the past few weeks! I apologize for last week, but our cafe was down and so I was just able to send something small. Forgive me! It was awesome to see every one last week though, and I'm glad that every one is doing great! The emails every one sends to me make me so happy.

For my week, it was a crazy one! As you might have guessed from the title of my email, Elder Adams and I did a lot of interviews this week. We did interviews for 4 different companionship's, which took up a lot of our time. Which was okay though, because I love doing baptismal interviews! I'm always amazed at the strength of the converts that the mission is pulling in, and I'm lucky I get to hear many of their testimonies before they're baptized. Many people have incredible stories of their conversion as well. Many see dreams, some have met missionaries in miraculous fashion, and a few have come from the depths of sin to the waters of baptism. It's nothing short of amazing.

Today was also fun, because many people from my zone, and a few others, played basketball today! We were able to play at the YMCA in Monrovia (Yes, I was equally surprised that the YMCA is in Liberia). Every time I play basketball on my mission, I get so tired, so fast! I am not in very good shape... Rice makes you fat, who knew?

Let me answer your questions!

1.  Sorry if I have asked you this before, but do you ride motorcycles or public transportation to get around?  I assume that you can't walk everywhere you need to go.
We used to ride motorcycles almost everywhere, but the Area President came and said that we are no longer allowed! So now I walk to my area and back every day, which isn't too bad. We do take public transportation if we ever have to leave New Georgia, usually a trotro or a taxi.

2.  What mission rule is the hardest to keep?  As a  Zone Leader, do you have to deal with missionaries who break the rules?
Hmmm.... that's a hard question. I would have to say that the curfew for my mission is the one that I struggle with the most! We're supposed to be home by 7:00 P.M. in Liberia because of the lack of street lights, but since I would stay out until 9-9:30 in Ghana, it's been hard for me to adjust! But yes, I do have to deal with missionaries who break the rules. It's not that fun.

3.  Did everyone in your apartment get to Skype with their families last week?  I hope everyone was as fortunate as we were to get to spend a lot of time with families!
Yes, I think every one was able to Skype for at least a little bit! Many of the Africans have to deal with a connection that is bad in both locations (in Liberia and their home) so it doesn't work as well for others! 

4.  What was something spiritual that happened this week that increased your testimony of the Savior?

Wow. I love that question. This week I was studying from the New Testament, and I marveled at the simplicity of the way that Christ could teach. His parables and statements that "did pierce them to the very soul" (3 Nephi 11:3) are perfect examples to me as I strive to teach as He did. Liberians, in order for them to understand, need to be taught in the simplest of language, which allows for only short and concise sentences. As I've been on my mission, this has been both a blessing and a curse. But Liberia has taught me something; the Gospel is simple! Plain, straightforward ad perfect. And I love it. I can only aspire to speak with the same simplicity as our Savior.

Anyways, thank you to every one again for your emails the past few weeks! They have been nothing but comforting and uplifting. Your prayers are being heard, and I appreciate them so much. I love you all and I can't wait to hear from you next week!

Elder Degen

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