Wednesday, June 1, 2016

E-mail dated 5/30/16

Family and Friends,

Akwaabo! Thank you to everyone for the great emails that I received this week (and last). I'm sorry I wasn't able to email too much last week, it's was a hectic Monday! Sadly today isn't much better either... So once again I am sorry, but I don't have too long today!

My week was awesome. Elder Adams and I had a lot of success in Bassa Town as we were able to see a lot of investigators and recent converts. We have been teaching a woman named Leah and she has been progressing so well! She used to attend the Church in Paynesville for 4 years(!) until she moved to the interior parts of Liberia, and she was never baptized. She tells us about how many missionaries have come to teach her before, and I'm so glad that now is the time she's finally ready. She came to Church yesterday, and she fits in well with the branch. We're excited for her baptism next month!

Also, I think I've told you all before, but I absolutely love the people that are in my apartment, and this week we had so much fun together. We ate another cat (we roasted it this time), made S'mores, played Uno, and drank way too much Coke. I don't think I've ever had more fun in an apartment before.

Sadly, it all came to an end today though because I got transferred today! That's right, after 6 months in New Georgia I have been transferred to Caldwell, an area about 20 minutes away in Bushrod Island. My new companion is Elder Smith from New Mexico! He's just out of training and he's a great missionary. Thankfully I have been released from being a zone leader!!! The Caldwell apartment is so nice, because up until this transfer, it's been a sister's apartment. We're the first Elders there! It will be me, Elder Smith, Elder Verdoni, and Elder Verdoni's yet-to-be-announced trainee that will come on Wednesday. I'm so excited for the next 3 months!

To answer your questions...

1.  Give us the details if/when you were/are being transferred.

Caldwell! I hope you already gathered that from my previous paragraphs...

2.  How is the Branch President doing that became quite ill a couple of months back?  Has he made a full recovery?

He was doing great up until this past week. He fell off again and is currently in the hospital. Thankfully his son gets home from his mission today though, so he will be able to see him daily now. Please pray for him!

3.  I know I asked you about this last year when you were in Ghana, but what are the cemeteries like in Liberia?  Do the people there celebrate anything like Memorial Day?  
All the cemeteries that I've seen are just a lot of big concrete boxes placed in an extremely small plot of land. They usually tile the boxes to make them look decent, but it doesn't look anything like the cemeteries at home! They do have something like memorial day, but I think it happened in March or April.

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

I always joke with my branch presidency in New Georgia that the branch's favorite hymn is #193, "I Stand All Amazed" because we sing it every single week without fail. But over the past 24 weeks of hearing it before I partake of the sacrament, the words have become so meaningful to me, and yesterday it became emotional for me as I was singing it. My favorite line is

I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine
to rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine

As I sang it yesterday, I contemplated how merciful the Lord is how much he truly does love us. Why else would He suffer pains and afflictions of every kind, just to save such "rebellious and proud" children. It truly does amaze me. 

5.  You said that President Carlson is only called for 2 years.  Is this because of Ebola that his time is only 2 years or is there another reason?  Forgive me if you have already told me this before.  Eric and I were talking about it earlier in the week and he didn't know either.  

Both Sierra Leone and Liberia have mission president's that are called for two years, and the only reason I've heard is because it's harder here. Not very many people from the U.S. would be willing to come for 3 straight years, so the Church changed it to 2 for these countries. 

Well I ended up having more time than I thought! Thank you again to every one who emailed me and offered prayers of support for me this week. I will need them as I adjust to my new area and companion! I love you all and I can't wait to hear from you next week.

Elder Degen

1 comment:

  1. Hello!
    I'm Elder Smith's mom and have been trying to figure out how to connect with other Liberian missionary families for over 3 months since my son left for his mission. His previous companions were Nigerian so didn't have blogs nor did he seem to have much time to email. So glad to find this blog! So much more information than we've had so far! Thank you,
    Sister Julie Smith
    Los Lunas, NM