Tuesday, June 21, 2016

E-mail dated 6/21/16

Family and Friends,

Akwaabo! Thank you everyone for the great emails I received this week, they were awesome. It's hard to believe I left home 22 months ago yesterday! For 22 straight months I have had emails in my inbox that make me smile every Monday. I really appreciate it. I love all of you!

Anyways, this week was one of the craziest weeks of my entire mission... Mainly because I didn't have a companion! Elder Smith left Caldwell early Tuesday morning and has not been replaced up until now. I was still able to go out and proselyte though because the Lord blessed me with some amazing branch missionaries to  be with me every single day from Tuesday to Sunday! Every morning at 10 a.m. there would be 2 or 3 members of the branch ready to go with me. It was one of the greatest examples of member-missionary work I have ever seen. We accomplished a lot together this week!

Of course, that doesn't mean my days were easy... On the contrary because none of the brach missionaries knew any of the lessons nor knew how to answer many of my investigators questions! Needless to say, I talked a lot this week. At first I thought it would be fun to run things by myself, but by Tuesday night I already wanted a companion! I now know why the Savior sent out his disciples two by two to preach the gospel, perhaps now more than ever before.

Sunday was an eventful and memorable day, because a few of my recent converts received the Melchezidek Priesthood at the Paynesville District conference. Jones Shekpeh, Armah Kanneh, and Prince Dorbor all were sustained to be Elders! I wasn't able to be there in person, but Elder Carlson told me all about it. It's amazing to see the fruits of some of my baptisms that happened months ago. I got just as giddy and excited yesterday as I did when they were baptized! I can't even imagine how I'll feel when one of my converts gets sealed in the temple. That's my ultimate goal.

Anyways to answer your questions...

1.  If you haven't already, tell us about your new companion.

I wish I could tell you about him, but I can't! I've never met him yet. He should be arriving in Liberia today though, so I'll tell you all about him next Monday.

2.  Someone asked me if missionaries are only released from their missions on transfer weeks.  I didn't think so because Eric came home very close to the same day he left and you are too.  But this person said that if they didn't  then it would be a real mess for the mission president because he would have missionaries going home all the time.  How does that work?

Yes, missionaries are (almost) always released on transfer weeks. If not, it would be a huge problems for mission presidents. Technically they can release missionaries within 30 days of their two year mark without even having to call Salt Lake, but it's only in rare circumstances that mission presidents would allow missionaries to leave in the middle of a transfer.

3.  Do Liberians celebrate Father's Day?

Not that I saw... I didn't know it was Father's Day on Sunday until I read your email!

4.  How often to you shop for groceries and what do you spend on average per week for food?  

We do our grocery shopping on Mondays, and it can vary how much I spend. We are given $35 to spend every week, and about $20 of that usually goes to food. When we budget correctly and eat rice, even the $20 is way too much. 

Well thank you again everyone for everything you do for me! I love all of you so much. Your prayers help me every day as I go out and preach this glorious gospel. I hope all of you have a great week!

Elder Degen

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