Monday, December 22, 2014

Joyeux Noel!!

Hello everyone how is everyone back home!?

I have had a very busy week this week but is was well worth it! The first thing that I want to talk about is Monday night. As many of you know, Monday is our p-day or our day of preparation. This Monday was special because an Elder in our zone was heading home on Wednesday, so we went over to the Coleman's house and had some burgers!! They were so good, but after we had a testimony meeting and it was awesome. It was really cool to see how much someone grows on their mission; he is a really good Elder and I looked up to him a lot. For me, being on the very new end of my mission, I was glad I got to know him because even until the last day he was working as hard as he could.

Elder Legerski and Elder Larson

The second thing that I wanted to talk about was my day on Friday, which was a very, very special day. First off, it was my three month mark. Secondly, it was the three month mark of the first day that Elder Larson and I met and thirdly, it was the day that Elder Larson and I went on splits. So you may ask how two VERY new Elders who do not know the language teach people? And the answer is simply, through the spirit of the Lord. To start off our day, we went and helped a member prepare food for his work which was pretty routine for us. Then we came back to the apartment and decided to get going and plan. Now this was difficult for us because in order to set up rendez-vous, first you need to call the person. At first nobody was answering their phone but finally someone did. And since we were in my sector, I had to do all of the talking. Now I hate talking on the phone, and the phones here really stink and then you throw in people speaking really fast French it is nearly impossible to understand, but somehow I was able to understand and we got 2 rendez-vous set up. Then we started to plan for the 2 lessons and it was really awesome; we were both so excited and we knew just what scriptures to share and what commitments to extend and I know for a fact that it was guided by the Lord. Then we got all packed up and left the apartment. We walked to our ami's house and he wasn't there so we called him and he said "Oh no! I'm at my friends house" and since his friend is a recent convert we knew, we walked another 10 minutes back to his house.

Elder Legerski and Elder Larson
Thanksgiving at the Coleman's

On our way to his house we ran into the wife of one of our recent converts who is an ami and she stopped to talk with us and for a slight pause of a second, I looked to my right, expecting to see Elder West there but it was Elder Larson. So I was like "Crap, I gotta speak in French to her!" But I was able to understand her and answer and have my first ever French only conversation by myself. I was so shocked afterwards and I hardly knew what had gone on.

Then when we finally got to the ami's house but they were both gone!! So we said what are we gonna do now!? But as we were planning to leave, both of them arrived so we were able to begin the lesson. Now both of these guys speak only French. Somehow, Elder Larson and I were able to give an entire lesson on the importance of reading scriptures every day, we were able to understand everything that they said. We were able to understand and answer the questions that they had. It was just so amazing and I have no idea how we did it!! Now since we were in my sector, it is my job to lead out and guide the lesson. Elder Larson speaks a little better than me, but that day I was able to speak without any problem. I said the things that needed to be said and spoke for about 70 percent of the lesson in French. I never thought that this day would come but I know for a fact that our Father in Heaven gave me the gift of tongues for that short while and His promise in D&C 84:85 "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man was fulfilled." After the lesson Elder Larson and I were just ecstatic. We had done it but our day was not done yet.

To go to our final rendez-vous we had to take a taxi. Now I had called a taxi once the night before, and Elder Larson had never so it fell to me to call one. With success, I was able to call one and say our taxi call. And as we got in, we realized that only the front seat was open and in Africa that is a seat for 2, so squished into a tiny little Toyota Corolla, there were 2 white guys one, 6'4" and one 6'5" both sharing a tiny little seat for about 10 minutes. It was really funny and my head was mashed against the top of the cab the entire time, but it's Africa and I'm used to it now.

Our last rendez-vous for the night was with an ami who speaks English. So we were able to read
1 Nephi 7 and talk about how when we pray, we pray to be strengthened and also about forgiving others. It was amazing to feel the spirit as we taught. And I was blessed to be with Elder Larson because we know each other and our teaching styles very well, so we taught very well together.

Now for the taxi ride back; we got a taxi and we were on our way back when I told the cab driver that "here is good" and we want to get out. So he pulled over and I gave him the money and he turned around and asked "deux" (two) place? But I didn't understand him so I shook my head because I thought he was asking for more money and just got out of the cab real quick. Then Elder Larson and I thought about it and we were like "oh, maybe he just wanted to know if we were getting out at 2 different stops." But come to find out we were wrong. In a taxi there are 7 seats and he was wanting to know if we were paying for 2, which we were, but I gave him the right amount of money so it was no harm done.

Well that was my long and amazing day with Elder Larson!! I was really glad for the opportunity I had to be with him for one day. Not many times are companions from the MTC able to go live together right after and hardly ever are they able to go on splits together. Also, we get along together very well so that is just an added bonus. I have to say this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. This day gave me such a big boost in learning the language and ever since, I  feel way more confident when I speak. Also, it allowed me to gain a true love for this work I am doing. I love this work so much. I love being here in Africa; even when times get tough I know it's worth it. I know that there is no other place I would rather be right now than here. So many times, I just stop and think "Wow! Right now I'm in Africa!!" It just blows my mind. To end our great day, we popped a bottle of sparkling cider that I bought. Yes, I even found sparkling cider in Africa and it is delicious! I have one saved for Christmas day.

Sparkling Cider even in Africa!!
As it is the Christmas season, I want to say a few things. When I have free time at night, I have begun reading in the Bible and the other day I began reading in Luke about the life of Christ, as well as His birth. I have to say that there is no other gift that was so precious. He's the only one who could come and live a perfect life and die for us. Through his sacrifice, we can become clean from sin. He was perfect. Many times as we sit and talk at dinner, we think about Christ and one time the question "what if he wouldn't have been born?" came up. Well, the adequate answer given was "well, we would all be in big trouble!!" As I've been doing His work, I have gained a huge testimony of Christ. I love Him with all my heart and I even know what paintings I will have of Him in my home.

I just want to bear my testimony of Christ. I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ was and is the son of God. I know that He came to us to serve us. I know that He lived a perfect life and that He is the perfect example for us to follow. I know that He performed many miracles during his mortal ministry. I know that He suffered for each and every one of my sins and for the sins of the world. I know that He feels everything that we feel and if we will just turn to Him, that He will comfort us. I know that He died on the cross and 3 days later He rose. I know that He came to the Americas and He preached to the people of the ancient Americas. I know that through Him, we can be perfected. From a talk from Elder Holland, I learned that while Jesus was alive and while he preached, He had no home.  He was born in a stable, and the man that deserved the most on this earth took the least and gave the most. I know that I have been blessed with so much, and that I have so much. I do not have near the trials that some people have. I know that I am engaged in a marvelous work and a wonder. I know that this work has brought me so much happiness in my life. I know that Jesus Christ lives and I know that I am his disciple. I humbly bear my witness Au nom de Jesus Christ. Amen.

During this Christmas season, try to give more thanks. Instead of focusing on receiving, focus on family and giving. This is an amazing time of year. I miss my family so much and I can't wait to talk to them on Thursday. I know that life is hard but it is all worth it. My challenge for everyone is to try and give with all your heart this Christmas season. I wish you all a very merry Christmas.

Elder Legerski

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