Monday, March 30, 2015

Lots to learn on a mission!

Hello everyone!

I hope you know that we had one day this week when the sun was not blazing hot! We had one day where it rained a light drizzle all day long:) This week was a really busy one, like always, but it was a lot of fun even if some days were hard. I want to say thank you to everyone who wrote me I appreciate it so much! Also, thanks to my family for the box that you sent me...I enjoyed it so much! And unfortunately, most of the food is already gone:(

For those of you who saw me in the traditional African garb, its called an abooboo (I think that’s how you spell it). Originally it was M uslim garb. Here in Cameroon there are a lot of Muslims! But over time, it was integrated into the African culture and I have been searching for one in the marche and finally I found one! Better yet, its Wyoming Cowboy colors! But this week I'm really going to focus on the things I learned.

Elder Legerski's Wyoming Cowboy colored African Abooboo

One day I was reading in Nephi about the tree of life. While I did this, I was using a study guide that we have. Now many of us know the vision that Lehi had and then Nephi explains it a few chapters later. But I learned something very important when I was reading it recently. The tree of life is a representation of the love of God. Because God loves us so much, He sent us His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ was here on this earth, he made his atoning sacrifice so that we could obtain eternal life. So, in short, I learned that the tree of life actually represents the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And when each of us partakes of the fruit, we partake of a little piece of the Atonement. And as we partake of the Atonement, that is what allows us to obtain eternal life. This just blew my mind! I had never thought of it like this before and it just reinforced my testimony that all the things in this church are extensions of the Atonement. Because of this, the Atonement is the single most important event in all of history. Then I thought about the path to the tree of life. I thought how a path is 2 ways. Sometimes we partake of the fruit for a time and we are happy but then we see the things of the world so we go back out into the darkness. There, we don’t hold to the iron rod and we become lost. But we can always find our way back, through prayer, reading the scriptures, and attending church. I bear my testimony that all things are possible. We just have to learn to trust in God and to do His will.

Now for the second thing that happened at church this week. In "Preach my Gospel", it talks about how missionaries should sit and stay with amis (investigators) at church. Now I'm not too great at doing this, but this week I told myself that I would make more of an effort . So in all of the meetings, I sat next to at least one of our amis, because we had 5 there. But I was so amazed by the difference it made! Church was a whole lot more interesting! It's funny how changing one little thing in our life can make a difference. And when you're on a mission, there are so many little things that you have to do that it makes it really hard!

That’s all that I have for you this week! Thank you everyone that wrote me again. Also, thanks to former Sister Unrast for the talks...I really enjoy them! I hope everyone has a great week this week! And for the record, I got Kentucky winning March madness! Bishop, I expect dinner when I get back home. Someone go eat some red noodles for me and read the vision of the tree of life! I love you all so much!

Elder Legerski

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lending a helping hand

Hello Everyone!

How are you doing back in the United States!? This week for us was so busy I can't believe how much we have had do to! But first off, I want to wish my Aunt Jamie and my Uncle Troy congratulations on their new born baby boy! I can't wait to get home and to meet him! Secondly, I would like to wish my little brother Koltin a happy early 18th birthday! I can't believe you're almost that used to be so small! Oh wait, you still are….JK! But anyways, I'll get on with my email. This week was the week of preparation for the anniversary of the Relief Society and we were very involved, so that will make up most of my email.

We started the week off on Wednesday when we all went down to an orphanage and gave service. We all got together and sang a song and prayed and shared a few opening words and then we got down to business! Almost right away we understood why the sisters had asked us to come. We got stuck on yard work duty, and when I say that, I mean canal duty. Now in Cameroon they have these canals on the side of the road where people throw all their trash and dirty water and when it's not cleaned, it turns into black sludge. Now our task was to remove the sludge and to put it on the side of the road. It was so much fun! But in all honesty, it was so nice to get into the community and to help out and just give back. The sisters cooked food and washed clothes and cleaned inside and then afterwards, they presented a gift to the orphanage. All in all it was time well spent!
The orphanage where we helped out
The final event was just like a big ward party! The sisters played soccer early in the morning but we were in Bonaberi with the other Elders for a baptism, so that was really awesome!
Elder West, Noumbou, Dimitri, Nöel, & Elder Kabasele
After soccer the sisters prepared food and then we all came inside and started. There were talks given and a little fashion show of all of the sisters in their matching dresses. Songs were sung and even a rap, which was created about the Relief Society was sung:) We got the chance to invite a lot of amis and many came!

The Relief Society sisters in their matching dresses

The sisters cooking us some yummy food!!

The main reason why I wanted to talk about this was to talk about the role of women in our church. The women are so important! And a lot of the times in the world, women are thought to be secondary but that’s not true at all. Women are completely equal to men at all times. And a lot of times, when it comes to spirituality, I think they're a lot better! Many times I think back on working with the sister missionaries and how much I enjoyed it and how awesome they are. I can't even began to express the thanks that I have for my mom! Everyday I think: I miss my mom or wow, keeping an apartment clean is hard I should thank my mom for all her hard work! I guess what I'm saying is thank you to every woman who has helped me along the way and a special thanks to my mom and grandma. I hope that one day I can find a wife who is as good as you!

But that’s about all for this week! Other highlights were seeing Elder Johnson off to Point Noire for his final transfer! We all got together and cooked ndolai and miondo and it was really good! We played phase ten and just hung out so it was nice. Also, I got the chance to go on splits with Elder West and Elder Kabaselle this week! Thanks to everyone who wrote me... I really appreciate it and I can't wait to hear about next week! Someone go eat a breakfast burrito for me and go read 1 Nephi Chapter 12 (thanks to former sister Unrast for the inspiration!)

Love you all!
Elder Legerski

Monday, March 16, 2015

I'm lovin' it!

Hello everyone!!!

         Everything is going great here in and I am just loving it! It is still hot as always but rainy season is creeping in on us real fast with rain almost every night.  Unfortunately, it hasn’t been raining in the day so it has still been really hot during the day, but that’s not a bad thing! I know I'm used to it now because when I walk outside in the morning, it doesn’t even feel super hot; it is just normal weather! And before I start my letter, I just want to thank former Sister Unrast for the letter that she sent me; I appreciated it very much!! Also I want to thank everyone who wrote to me...I really appreciate it!!

The new digs (Go Pokes!!)

View from the new apartment

        The subject that I want to talk about this week is accepting the situation that you are in and making the best out of it. The beginning of this transfer was really rough with me: a new companion and one that did not speak my language at that, a new sector where I did not know the amis, and a whole new branch and new people to go with it. This past week our transfer orders came and at the beginning of the transfer, I was really hoping to get a new companion or at least be transferred to another city. But the letters came and nothing has changed, but this past week has realized why that is so. With my companion, I did not do all that I could to get along with him and I harbored feelings against him and I just told myself I would endure this transfer with him. Dumbest thing that I could have done! This week we finally sat down and talked; I expressed my feelings and he expressed his and we talked it out and this past week has gone so much better! So the lesson learned is to talk with people, don’t just hope things work out or change. Now for the branch and the amis, there are only some things that you can do but they make all the difference. I learned with the branch that I need to learn how to learn their story and to be a normal person with them, not just a stuck up missionary! Then with the amis, I need to care how their week went, talk about it, listen, and talk with them. So all in all this last week has been a very good one! Also one of the benefits that came from having a companion who only speaks French is that my French has improved a lot! I can now express very easily what I want to and I can add whatever I want to in the lessons with the amis. It does not mean that I am perfect, but I have a base that I can continue to build on each day.
2 Cooks in the kitchen: Elder Mwehu and Elder Legerski
     Also, I want to talk about what I learned in personal study this week. I began to highlight everytime there was a reference to Jesus Christ and to pay close attention to the things that He says. Even while doing this for only a short time, I came to know my Savior a lot better than I had before. I saw many patterns in how He did things and how He is so caring and gave so much for me. I know that the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ and that in reading the Book of Mormon, one can come to know their Savior better than ever before.

Elder Legerski and a new ami

    This next week will be a very big one with lots of activities for the Relief Society and working with several amis toward baptism! I just want to thank everyone for everything that they do for me and I hope that you will all have a fantastic week! Thanks to my mom and sisters for eating some wings for me...I appreciate it! And the task for this week is to drink some chocolate milk and to read 1st Nephi 12!

Elder Legerski

Monday, March 9, 2015

100 Francs for Freedom!!

Hello Everyone!

How are you!? The sun is still shining and the work is still continuing forward so all is well! This week has been a very eventful one! I won't take up too much of your time and I'll let you get back to work so just be attentive for a few short minutes!

First story of the week was that I got robbed! Ha ha, now don’t freak out; it wasn’t that bad.  To start off, there are a lot of crazy Cameroon and we call them les foux and they are everywhere and they really like white people and especially missionaries.  Well, we were at a members house when this old lady was walking by. Elder Mwehu pointed at her and said "Oh, elle est fou!" and that she would chase us if she saw us. And sure enough, she saw us and came after us so we fled into the member's home thinking that she wouldn’t follow us, but she did! So, we were on the couch and she started to demand money and we said we didn’t have any, but she began to try and search my bag and my pockets. At this point, I was terrified and Elder Mwehu was just laughing because he had dealt with her before. And so finally we gave her 100 francs and she went on her way. Not bad at all but now I can say that I have been robbed.

Another experience I had was with one of our investigators. I said to myself, "I need to put myself into his shoes." Then I really thought about all the things that he had going on. He can't speak French really well, he can't read or write, his wife is really sick, and he can't get off from work to come to church. I was just taken aback at all of the things that he had going on and wondered how I could possibly help him, but sometimes there are things that even we can't do as missionaries. Sometimes the best thing that we can do is tell people to turn to Christ because He will always be there for us and He will always know what we are feeling and how He can help us.

Finally, there are some things that I learned in my personal study this week. I studied a lot on what I need to be doing, and how I can improve my study. As I was studying and thinking, I thought that I should go through things in Preach my Gospel and The Book of Mormon too quickly. After thinking a little further, I thought that I need to set a goal to apply the doctrines of the Book of Mormon in my life, but in order to do that I need to become better at setting and keeping goals. I've always dreamed of being great but I know that the only way that I will become great is by working. So, a few days later I was studying on how I could become more patient. I read a passage in the Book of Mormon and it said that the people prayed so that they could be more patient. So, I set a goal that when I get frustrated, I would say a prayer then set a goal to  follow through with this goal. And as I went through the next few days, I actually followed through and you know what, it helped a lot! I'm by no means perfect, but it helped out so much. This life is a life of progression, so that means we always need to be improving. It may seem daunting but with the help of the Lord, we can do all things. (Ether 12:27).

Well, that is all that I have for you this week. I hope that you all have a great week! Congrats to the NWC men's basketball team for winning regionals!!  Thank you for everyone that wrote me and all that you do for me. I love you all so much! Someone go eat some wings for Elder West and me!!!

And p.s..... for my little brother, don’t make me come to the US from Africa cause you are wearing my cat shoes. Love you!

Elder Legerski

Monday, March 2, 2015

Zone Conference with Elder Cook

Hello Everyone!
How is it going!? Everything is going well over here in Douala! The sun is shining hot as ever before, but the good thing is I'm finally used to it now, I think! And I found out that this year has been one of the hottest years in a long time.

This week was a week that was just full of amazing things. First off, I just want to say thank you so much to the Robison Family for the package...that was so nice of you! I'm enjoying the food so much and sharing it with my companion, who hates all American food; it brings quite a few good laughs!

Back: Elders Mwehu, Legerski, Larson, Kabasele, Johnson, Mandefu, West, VanAusdal, Front: Sisters Coleman & Monga, Pres Monga, Elder & Sis Cook
The thing that I want to focus most on this week was our zone conference with the General Authority, Carl B. Cook of the South Africa Presidency. We met with him and his wife, as well as President Monga and Sister Monga. Let me tell you, if you ever meet a 70 or an apostle, count yourself lucky because they are such amazing men! The first thing that he talked about was the importance of a study journal. He talked about how if we write the revelations down that the Lord gives to us, then He will give us even more personal revelation because we show Him that we treasure the things that he gives to us. Also, he talked about the manner of writing down these things. He said that when they meet with the Prophet, none of them write down the actual words that the Prophet says, but rather the thoughts and feelings and impressions that come to them. This impressed me because often times I just simply restate the words and now I know how to better define this revelation for myself. Also, I can't wait for the next General Conference so I can see how my new skills are improving!

The Elders singing for Elder and Sister Cook

Secondly, another thing that I really liked was when we talked about the problems that we have going on here, because no stake, ward or branch will ever be perfect. And we drew up a list and said that we will go through and write down who can solve these problems. And I thought "well of course most of the problems are going to be solved by people who are higher up than me...I'm just a missionary. But then as we began discussing, we talked about how most of the work can be done by us missionaries; it won't be fun and it won't be easy, but it can be done. We need to create a plan and execute this plan and it all need to be done in accordance with the Lord. So, we have a lot of work to be done here in Douala but it's what needs to be done.

Finally, I want to talk about an experience that I had in the sector. I was walking along and we had not had a good day and it had been one full of difficulties and I thought to myself,  "why am I here, I feel like I am doing nothing. But I got back to the apartment and began thinking and then talking with my companion and he said that missionary work is hard and all is done in the Lord's time. All I need to do is just work my hardest and do my best. It was kind of humbling because I remembered that I need to learn how to submit to the Lord's will. I can't say I'm near perfect right now and I never will be. I'm glad I've been here for over 5 months but at the same time I feel like it's gone too fast. There is so much I need to improve on and work on. Missions are precious and the time is a time that we will never get back.

Thanks to everyone who emailed me... I really appreciated it and I'll talk to everyone next week! Someone have some mac and cheese for me!

Elder Legerski