As always, I'm doing fine here in Africa and it's really hot as normal but it is going well. This week seemed like one that was really long at times and then at other times, it seemed to go by really fast. As you all know, it was the New Year and it was so weird not to stay up with your friends, hanging out and talking until midnight and watching the ball drop on the television. Instead, you go to bed at 10:30 like every other night and when you get up it feels just like another day and you go to work, just like usual. But the people here in Africa do love New Years!! The streets were almost more empty than on Christmas day and I guess they say "Bonne Annee" which means "Happy New Year" for almost 2 months!!
For the New Year, we had a member of the church prepare us dinner so after a few rendez-vous we headed over and ate dinner with them and their family. It was really, really good until I got to the sauce that we had with our noodles; there was this chunk of something and I didn’t know what it was so I asked Grant, who is the member, and he said it was tripe and I had no idea what it meant so I just said okay and took a bite. It was so rubbery and very hard to chew and had little things on it that made it look like tongue. Later, I went over to Elder Larson and asked what it was because he used to work in a butcher shop. He was like "oh, its cow stomach!" So I guess I ate cow stomach this week and it wasn’t that bad. Also, I got to try the national dish of Cameroon-- ndole.
Now, the first time I tried it is was soooo bad!!! But we had a member who cooks for a living cook it for us and it wasn’t that bad. They cook it with a weed so you have to wash it a ton so it's not bitter and if you don’t, it turns out to be very, very bitter! Also, they put fish in it, but when it is prepared right it tastes very good. Also, I got to try miondo which is super good!! Whenever we have church activities I love to eat so much miondo! It has the texture of gummy bears and it is wrapped it leaves and to eat it you unwrap it and then roll it up and eat it with ndole and it is so good!! I'll have to send pictures so everyone can see! Also there is this drink called fullery and I don’t exactly know what it is but it is super good!! You have to be sure to not spill it on you because it stains your clothes really bad and if you drink more than a few cups, you will be in the bathroom for awhile!! But enough talking about food.
Like I said, this week seemed very fast at times and at other times very slow. Part of the reason why it seemed so slow is because everything seemed to break in our apartment. First, we had a leak in our sink so we had a member come fix it. But because of the time needed and parts not working, it took over 6 hours and Elder West and I had to stay at the apartment because of mission rules. So all we did all day was read in the scriptures and talk and it seemed to be like the longest day ever! It's so true that if you stay busy, the time flies. Secondly, one of our amis who does not have a phone didn’t come to church so we couldn’t set up another appointment with him. So until Wednesday, we were frantically trying to find him so that we could see what was going on and it was so frustrating because he was our best progressing ami. But we found him at the church on Wednesday and he said that he had just been sick so all was good. Then this morning our shower head just blew apart so I had to become the handy man and it took about an hour to fix that. Let's just say I wish we had a Home Depot 10 minutes away from our apartment!
Aside from all of the heat and the hard work and the things breaking and not going as planned, the work here is amazing. Elder West and I keep running into the problem with not having enough time to teach all of the people that we need to teach. To put it in perspective, we had 9 amis at church on Sunday with 6 of our regular amis gone so if we would have had everyone, it would have been 15 amis which would have been amazing! First, I want to talk about Julian who is hopefully going to be baptized soon. He is just an amazing guy. He is the one who does not have a phone and he works all night as a night guard. He literally eats, meets with us, and then goes to work all night and then sleeps all day. But every time we see him, he has a big smile on his face and he is so excited to talk. He is always asking questions about how he can become a better person and it makes me relect on my life and ask myself questions about if I am on the right path to become a better person. Another ami who I love is Issac, we have only known him for about a week but he is so amazing. We met him through his friend Emerey and started to teach him. He seemed to be interested and he even gave us the master script to a movie that he is writing so we could review it and tell him what we thought of it:) We talked to him about where the church building was and what time it started at, but we were not able to pass by later in the week to invite him. This last Sunday was fast and testimony meeting (for those of you who don’t know, that’s when the members of the church can stand and bear their testimony or thoughts and feelings on the church). Elder West and I showed up right at 9 as it started, since we were waiting for an ami who did not show up. And after a few people had stood and bore their testimonies, I see someone get up that I did not recognize. It turned out to be Issac!! He had found the church and come without us even having to invite him. He stood and said the things that had touched him since he had started to learn. His first time at church and he stood up in front of everyone and it was just amazing!! He stayed for all of church and we set up another rendez-vous with him. Overall, I have to say that people here are just amazing. They have spirits and hearts that can be easily touched and they are gentle people. I love being a missionary here in Cameroon:)
Well that is all I have for you this week. I hope everyone made their New Year's resolutions and you will follow through with them. I'll talk to you all in a week. I hope you have lots of fun with the last few days of break and that school isn't too harsh on you all!! And for the parents who work all the time, I give you props 'cause its hard!! Some one go drink a Dr. Pepper for me and a Mountain Dew Live Wire for Elder Larson!!