How are you!? Things are pretty normal here in Africa! I don’t know if I told you all yet but right now I am staying in the country of Cameroon, and in the city of Douala! It is a very big city, around 6 or so million people, but no one is quite sure how many! The city itself is pretty spread out so a small town Wyoming boy like me doesn’t have too hard of a time fitting it! Life has been pretty good lately. I have almost been hit by moto taxis and regular taxis several times! For clarification, moto taxis are motorcycle taxis and even though taking them looks very fun, it is against mission rules so I will not be taking any. Also, I think that my grandmother would kill me if I did take one anyways! There are still chickens and lizards everywhere! I want to catch them all but they are so fast! Today I felt like an awful person because I took out our garbage and just threw it on the side of the road. But I forget that it's totally okay over here! Every few days a garbage truck will come and pick up most of the trash but for the most part there is trash everywhere!I have finally begun to feel like a real missionary after being gone for almost 2 months! Everyday is a long one but it I love it already! Ebola really stinks! Since it has gotten so bad we cannot eat at members homes which makes me sad! I would love to try African food, even if it landed me in the bathroom for a few hours! So far we make all of our food, often in the mornings we have pancakes or beignets (I don’t know if that is how you spell it) but they are French doughnuts and they are so delicious! Elder Larson and I are going to have an eating contest soon to see who can eat more! The weather here has been getting hotter and hotter. Walking is not bad at all, it is the lessons which are super hard! As soon as I sit down, I start sweating so bad! Often times I leave a puddle on the floor before I leave! I now see why white shirts do not stay white here. Despite it being as hot as it is, I am getting used to it! The average temperature is around 28 or 29 degrees celsius outside and in a house its around 24 or 25, so now when a room is 20 degrees (or room temperature in the US) I am freezing! We had our first huge storm and it poured and poured and almost snapped a few trees in half! Even as cool as it was, it stunk because ever since then our power has been very faulty and we are lucky if we have power for a few hours a day!
|Pre-game Prayer Circle|
Church here is amazing! Even though the entire thing is in French, I still love it! Sacrament meeting is in a building and luckily the big room has air conditioning! We sit on lawn chairs and other than that it is like a normal sacrament meeting! Although people here don’t understand punctuality and they often show up around half an hour late! The people here are so nice though. All the members shake our hands and greet us. They cannot say my name at all! And many say "Leberski" which I have no idea why! But they are very sweet people and they love the gospel. At church every week, we usually have at least 5 or 6 of our investigators, which is great! Its so nice to invite people to come to church and have them keep the commitment. After sacrament meeting, we have Sunday school which is same as always and then after that is priesthood. I don’t understand a lot of what is said but I do my best! The biggest difference in church here is that every meeting ends and begins with a song. The people here love to sing and often times our rendezvous (appointments) with people start with hymns!
|Soccer!! Elders Quorum vs the Young Men|
The language is very difficult still! I try and speak as much as I can but I am still very bad! The thing that has helped me the most is reading out loud. I nearly have all of the little stupid rules for saying things down and I can read most things and understand them! French is very hard but I know that as I keep studying and working on it that I will be able to speak it soon!
As this week has gone on, I have come to realize that my time here on this earth is a time for me to get ready to meet God. In Alma 34:32 we read that this life is a time to prepare to meet God. As I think about this, I think about how God has a plan for me. And right now I am on that path that He wants me to be on. But I still must work. Every day as I walk through the streets, I listen to know what the Lord wants me to do. This is such a hard task; in order to know the will of God we must take quiet time and read the scriptures and pray and most of all listen. Listening is key and that is the one thing that I did not realize before my mission. I did not listen and now I am always listening so that I may always listen to the promptings of the Lord. For you people at home, I challenge you to take quiet time this week. Pray to the Lord and ask if what you are doing now is what the Lord wants you to do and just sit there for 5 minutes. While you do this, pay close attention to your thoughts and feelings. The Lord works through the still, small voice and He will lead you and show you the way; we must just be willing to listen.
All in all, I am loving it here in Africa. Sometimes it gets hard but strong spiritual moments keep me going. This is the Lord's work and there is no better work I can be doing. I thank everyone who has kept me in their prayers. It means a lot and it strengthens me.
I hope everyone is good at home. Somebody please go eat an Uncrustable with a large glass of cold milk for me!