Monday, February 23, 2015

Setting the Bar High

Hello everyone!!
How are you doing!? Everything is just going great here over in Akwa!! This week was a very busy one for us.  First off, I want to thank Aunt Debbie for the letter that she sent; it was much appreciated! Also, thank you so much for everyone that emailed me; it was much appreciated as well! But I will just go ahead and hit on some of the highlights.
Zone Meeting
This Wednesday we went over to the Coleman's apartment for a zone meeting. While we were there, we learned a lot of new things as well as went over some old ones. At first, we went over the rules for our mission that President Monga has set. A few of which were getting up at 5:30 every morning, as well as spending only an hour at cyber and only sending two emails. After that we talked about some new goals that were set. President Monga has set the goal of finding 4 new families by transfer and also to baptize 5 people per transfer! Now if any of you have served, you know that 5 baptisms per transfer is a lot. And over here in Africa, finding families are a little difficult and then when the marriage part comes in, it makes it even more difficult! But here is where  the Lord comes in. As missionaries you set a ton of goals and you work towards them. Now I know why people say set goals:) I have seen the difference I can make in my studies and in the work if I work towards them. Also, something important here is the family aspect. President Monga realized how essential families are in our branches, and why is that? Because we as a church believe that the family is the base of all things and it is ordained of God. Also, with the power of the restored priesthood we can live forever as families. I miss my family so much but I hope that as I work, I will be able to bring this blessing to other families over here in Africa. So as a mission, we will be working together to accomplish the goals of President Monga.

Secondly, I want to follow up on Saloman, who I told you a little about in my last email. We met with him on this last Tuesday and we read Moroni 10:1-5 and asked him to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. During his prayer, I prayed probably the hardest that I have ever prayed in my life that he would receive an answer. As we met with him again on Thursday, he said that he had received an answer and he knew the Book of Mormon was true. When he said this I was so happy! I know that if someone will read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true, He will send an answer to you. I also know that God answers prayers because he answered mine as well as Salomon's.

This past Sunday was full of activities for me. About 5 minutes before church started, I was asked to give a talk. (And I thought that being asked the night before was bad, even when it was in English!) But being a good missionary, I said yes. Luckily, we have sacrament meeting last so I had 2 hours to prepare. I got up and spoke for about 15 minutes I think, so it wasn’t that bad! I just hope everyone understood my French!! Also, after church we went and taught an ami named Samuel. Elder Mwehu told me before that I would be teaching the bulk of the lesson. And I did it! I taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then committed him to baptism!

This next week we have President Monga, as well as President Cook from our area presidency, coming so it should be a very busy week. I hope all is well back home and life is going good! Someone go eat some mint oreos for me!

Elder Legerski

Monday, February 16, 2015

My First Sick Day:(

Hello Family and Friends!
It is another new week and another chance to serve the Lord!!! This week was a really good one.
Just to clear up any misconceptions, my companion is now Elder Mwehu and he is from the DRC.
As for my mom, I'll make sure and answer all of the questions that you had and I'll do my best to
keep everyone filled in:)

This week brought  my first ever sick day in the mission field. I don’t know what brought it on, but both Elder West and I were sick so we stayed in the day. I don’t know how I lasted with doing nothing back home. All I wanted to do is go out to the sector and work but unfortunately I couldn’t. But yet,this week was still really good for teaching. Our mission rules have been changed so we have to get up at 5:30 in the morning so that we can have 8 hours straight in the field and it
worked because Elder Mwehu and I taught a total of 25 lessons this week! 

Out in the sector it was a lot better than last week. I know some of the amis now and I know what I can help them with and I know where I am at.  In our apartment it is Elder Mwehu and I and
then Elder Kabaselle and Elder West (Elder West was my trainer).  We are in an apartment with 3 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and 2 bathrooms.  We only have 1 air conditioner in the apartment which stunk at first but it helped in the long run because I am more used to the heat now!We are in downtown Akwa which is in Douala and I like it a lot. You have a good mix of village and city life in our sector.  I wish that I could tell you all about our amis and our lessons but I think that would take quite some time so I'll just hit on some of the highlights of my week.

The first is Soloman; he is about 20 yrs old and he lives with some members and we started to teach him and he is really,really interested in our message. We have taught him about the restoration of the gospel and we have started to read the Book of Mormon with him. It is really awesome to see him start to understand the things that we read with him. He really,really wants to come to church and he even has a couple times before and he really likes it. But he got a job and jobs are very hard to come by here to;we talked to him about talking to his boss because he recognizes the need to go to church which is amazing.

Here I wanted to segway into my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  Many times before in my life I have prayed to know if this book is true. And many times I felt like I haven't received a response.  I think that man people are like that, especially if you grow up in the church. You are told what you should feel and yet you never feel it. Well that has been on my mind a lot lately but when I was thinking about it the other day it clicked in my head. The Book of Mormon is my way to know what I need to do in this life. Every time I read a passage and it has a question in it I ask myself that same question. I ask if the things that I am doing with my life are in accordance with the things in the Book of Mormon. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is true. I can feel it with my entire soul. All it takes is for us to search out how it touches US! I know that if you do then you will find that response for yourself.

I hope that everyone has a good week and someone go eat some Olive Garden breadsticks for me if you have the chance!

Elder Legerski

Monday, February 9, 2015

Learning to lean on Him

Well, I can say that missions are officially tough and sometimes they just flat out stink, but hey, not everything is good; we must have the ups and downs of life. But I'll talk about that later. Monday night was a great night again because we got to go over to the Coleman's apartment and have one last dinner with Elder Colidres. He is such a great missionary. It is awesome to see someone like him who is at the end of his mission and someone like me and the other Elders who have so far to go. I want to be like him so much but unfortunately that takes time. I keep reminding myself that he has been here for 2 years and has done this every day for 2 years, while I have not even been here for 5 months, so I must have patience and take my time.

Saying goodbye to dear amis:(
Tuesday was a sad day. Because Elder West and I were leaving, we went around to all of our amis and told them that we were leaving.  It was really sad because although I do not speak a lot of French, I felt so close to these people and I really didn't want to leave them behind.
Wednesday was the most tiring day of my life, I think. We got up really early and saw Elder Rakato off to Youndai and then we went around with Elder Johnson who was from Awka, but is being transferred to our sector and showed him around so he would know where all of the amis in his sector lived. Then Elder Larson and I went with Elder Coleman to get our Carte de Sejour, which we get when our visa expires. That was one of the longest processes in my life. We stood in an unair-conditioned room for 3 hours where we didn't know what anyone was saying and didn't even get done with the whole process but we endured and in the end it was all okay. Then we went out into the sector with Elder Mwehu (correct spelling this time) and taught a few lessons. Once I got to Akwa, I saw how it is a little different. We take a taxi to our sector every day and then we walk the whole day, where as in Bonaberi, we walked everywhere. Akwa is more of a big city as well; the first night I had a lot of trouble sleeping because there were taxis outside our building all night long. Bonaberi was more of a village setting so its quite different from here.

Elder Legerski's new companion: Elder Mwehu
Now I'll talk about why this week was really challenging for me. One, I am with a companion who speaks almost  zero English, so I must be able to communicate with him effectively so we can teach. Second, the culture difference; people who are raised differently think differently so we much be able to work together and as a team. Third, I do not know any of the people I am teaching or anyone at the church so it is very hard for me to connect with them. Finally, you are thrown into a situation and you have no idea how to deal with it and overall, it is just really, really hard.
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, it has been really, really rough. Many times I have just wanted to give up and go home. Not speak the language, not teach and just not do anything, but I know that that is not the way. We are given hard times in order to grow. For these days, I was so lost and I felt like I had no place to turn. But then I read something somewhere, "It is he, he has risen, he lives". Now this is talking about when Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days after he had died. Then I remembered that no matter what happens or what I feel, someone is always there for me. Jesus Christ knows all things that I feel and he knows what I need. So from that point on, I turned to Him through prayer. Sometimes it was as simple as "please help me be able to walk to this lesson" or "please help me be able to speak with my companion", but I did it. I am still here, I am still alive and I am still doing the Lord's work. So never forget that you are never alone. Jesus Christ and God are always there for us.
That is all for this week. I hope everyone has a good week. I look forward till next week. Someone go eat some sweet and sour pork for me.

Elder Legerski

Monday, February 2, 2015

Destination: Akwa

This week was a really busy week for us Elders here in Bonaberi!!! We will start off with the really exciting news. I am getting transfered!  There are 3 Elders leaving from our apartment and Elder Larson is the only one who is staying. Elder Rakato is going back to Yaundai and Elder West and I are going to Akwa or into town. Akwa is still in Douala but it is the more inner city so it should be a lot of fun! My new companion is Elder Mweheu, and those of you who got to skype with me have already met him!! He is from the DRC and he only speaks French so this should help out with my French a lot!! I'm curious to see how it goes but I'm sure it will be great.

The Bonaberi Elders open their transfer letters
Since I only had a few days left, I did my best to go around after church and take as many picures as I could!! I'm really going to miss the people here in Bonaberi; it is a great branch and I have formed many friendships here. Also, since an Elder in Akwa is going home on Thursday, President Monga came to interview him and it was so nice to finally meet with him again and be able to talk with him!!

Elder Legerski and une amie:)
 Also, Julian had his baptismal interview and he is going to be baptized not this Saturday, but
next!! I won't be here which really stinks, but we will be able to come over and see it, which I am very grateful for! Its been great to meet with him from day one and to see him progess and grow and I can't wait till I see him get baptized. Also, we Elders took a visit to the tailor and got all of our big fat white shirts tailored!!! It is very, very cheap here so we thought that it would be something good so hopefully you can't see my belly in any of the pictures! Other than that, the highlight of this week was going on splits with Elder Larson again. I love going on splits with him and I'm really sad that I won't be with him anymore.

The highlight of our day today was teaching a man whose name was Sylvestre and he is very interested in our message. He has been investigating the church for more than 6 months and he has a lot of questions.  He knows the Bible really well, so teaching him is really difficult sometimes. But as we were talking with him and answering his questions, he came up with more and more and finally after almost an hour and a half, we wrapped up the message. And this end part is what I want to talk about. He said that he wants us to prove to him that this church is true and we had to explain to him that WE can't do that. OUR job as missionaries is to teach and to invite and lead them up to a certain point and from that point on, it is all God's work. Our job is to teach the principles of the gospel, but it is God's job to tell them that they are true. I think that is something that gets lost in our work a lot of times. People see the missionaries and they see what they do, but what they don't realize is that the people who join this church are not forced. We tell them to pray to God and to ask Him in the name of Jesus Christ if this church is true. That is our purpose. Lead them to a point and then let God do the rest.
I'm so glad that I am here on a mission; it has been the best experience of my life so far. I hope that I can work and work and do all that I can to be the best Elder that I can be. I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ is the path to eternal life. I hope everyone had and will have a good week.
Someone go drink a Dr. Pepper for me:)

Elder Legerski