Monday, May 25, 2015

A Tale of Two Baptisms: Dechris and Uriel

   Hello everyone how are you!? Well, the sun is still shining bright and I'm surrounded by beautiful black faces everywhere so I guess I'm still here in Africa! I'm glad you're getting a lot of rain because we aren’t! The rainy season came to an end about 9 weeks ago. And it's probably a good thing too because we can't visit a lot of our amis when it rains because it floods their neighborhood! This week was a really awesome one! I got to go on splits two times with Elder Kabeya and with Elder Larson! (as you can tell I was really thrilled to be able to work with Elder Larson once more!). And I also hit my 8 month mark this past week! It's really been something crazy and it seems like I have too much time left, but with how fast the last 8 months have gone, it's gonna go by really, really fast!

   This week has really been a good one for me, I have learned a lot and it's helped me a lot to be able to grow. First was a district lesson that Elder Beutler, our zone leader, gave a lesson on the Book Of Mormon. He talked about how he came to know that it is true and the things that the Book of Mormon gives to us. This book is soooo important for us! That’s why each time we teach people, we use the Book of Mormon at every single opportunity that we can. That’s why we assign our amis to read this book, because between this book and the first vision of Joseph Smith, we can know the truth of all things. I myself have read this book and I have prayed to know if it was true. And you know I didn’t have anything miraculous happen to me! But as I thought about it and as I read it, something inside my heart told me that it was true. And as I read it, I realized that there is no way in the world that a man could have written this book. If any of you want to improve your life and become happier, I challenge you to read this book and to ask God if it is true! And if so, follow the things that this book says. I promise you that you will see a difference in your life!

   Next are two friends: Dechris and Uriel; they have both decided to be baptized and they will both be baptized on the 6th together. They are just really awesome and they have both told us how when they have applied the things that we have taught them, that they really see a difference in their lives and they see how they are becoming a better person. We were talking with Dechris about how we all need to be missionaries in this church! He has said from day one that he really wants to be like us and to share the gospel! He is a little old but I really hope he can serve a mission! But we asked him to invite his friends to his baptism and he said he would invite all of them so that's really awesome!

   Sometimes on the mission its hard to see the good in some things. Its so easy to just focus on the things that you don’t like, when it would be better if you looked at all the good things you had. I found that I have been doing this. So I have started  trying to see the good in everything and its really made me happier. As we go through this life we only have a limited time. I know that I wanna go through it happy and not like the Grinch.

   Well, that’s all for this week folks! I'll be coming back at you next week! Thanks to all who emailed me I really appreciated it! Someone go eat some white Wonder bread for me!!

Elder Legerski

Ps. I'm so good at making yogurt now!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

New American Missionaries for the Congo

   Hello are you all doing!? Well, as for us we are all doing super well in the Congo and everything is going just great here! And to start off with some exciting news, we will be receiving 8 new missionaries in November!! This is really exciting for us because Elder Larson and I were the last Americans to come into the mission so we have been the babies in the mission for a long, long time! So I can't wait to see them and have them not be able to speak French and just seem like the cool older missionary who has been out for a long time!!

   But this week was a really awesome one. For one we had a baptism for our team! His name is Presley and he is just an awesome kid! Already he wants to go on a mission so hopefully by the time that I am home, he will be on a mission!! The service was really great and he seemed really happy. He was a little nervous to receive the Holy Ghost, but all went well. The second experience that was super awesome was meeting with the older brother of Presley, whose name is DeChris. He is just super awesome. We have been teaching him for awhile and I really like him a lot!! Every time that we go and see him, he talks about how much he loves the chastity brochure and how much it has touched him and made him a better person. This week he told us 2 experiences that touched him this week. One was the General Conference that he watched. He said that as he watched the apostles and the prophet speak that he was really touched and that he had been having some doubts. But as he watched, all of the doubts that he had were erased and that he knew the church was true. Another happened this last Sunday, when he came and he talked about how he was really touched and how he is usually not like this. How since he has started meeting with us, he has felt a desire to change his ways and come unto Christ. It was a really awesome experience to talk with him and he should be getting baptized the 6th of June!! This just shows why all missionaries ask their investigators to come to church or read or do things like that. We can only do so much and usually a response that the church is true does not come during a lesson. It comes in praying, reading and assisting at church. You have to have the will to receive it!!

   The other opportunity that we had this week was to have a zone conference with our mission president! I just love when we can talk with him! We talked a lot about the things that we need to change and what we need to do. The missionaries who are going home (Elder Mandefu, Beutler, and the Bailey’s) all bore their testimonies and it was awesome! It's awesome to see how far they have come and I'm so glad that I have a lot more time on my mission so that I can grow and become what the Lord wants me to become!! Speaking of the Baileys, we have need of senior missionaries so all you older people who can, please prepare and tell your friends to prepare because senior couples are a life saver for us!!

Pointe Noire Zone Conference
Elder Kabongo looks very tall next to
Elders Larson and Legerski...
But when they stand up Elder Kabonho's true size is shown.
 He a has great big heart though!

Elder Kabeya, Elder Mandefu Elder Mbikayi and Elder Legerski.

   Mais en mon etude de francais, j'ai commence d'ecrire un peu donc je vais partager mon temoinage en francais sur le livre de mormon. (But in my study of French, I have begun to write a little, so I will share my testimony in French about the Book of Mormon)  Je sais que ce livre est vrai et je sais que nous devons le lire chaque jour. (I know that this book is true and I know that we should read it each day)  Et si nous faisons ceci Le Seigneur nous a donner une promesse, que nous saurons toute chose que nous devons faire. (And if we will do this, Heavenly Father gives us a promise, that we will know everything that we should do)  Je sais que ce livre va nous aider dapprocher a Dieu afin que nous puissions avoir la vie eternelle. (I know that this book will help us draw nearer to God so that we can have eternal life)  Et en lisant ce livre nous allons recevoir plusieurs des benidictions. (And in reading this book, we will receive many blessings)

   It's not great but the writing will come ! Thanks to all of the people who wrote me...I really appreciate it a lot!! And for news, I learned how to make yougurt and it's really good! So my future wife better watch out when I come back home! I love you all so much! Go eat some sweet and sour pork for me!!

Elder Legerski

Monday, May 11, 2015

Africa is Full of Surprises!

Hello everyone!
   Coming at you from halfway around the world but that’s nothing new now! I just have to say Africa always has some real surprises for you no matter where you go. For one, there are hummers everywhere! And two, I saw a Ford Raptor today and it was so sick! Made me think just think of how the heck it got here! Also, if I was to play basketball with a bunch of Africans on an 8 foot hoop, you might as well call me Michael Jordan because I balled up on some people this morning. On the downside, my body feels like I ran a marathon...I'm a little out of shape!!
   This week has been one that has been very jam packed and busy! We had General Conference again on Saturday and Sunday and then we were able to talk with our families on Sunday night! It was really awesome and I really enjoyed it! It just makes me miss my family even more, but over all it's not that bad because I know I am where I need to be right now! I'm going to try and send some photos home but the connection is not very good so I just hope they go through and I hope you all like them!

Elder Mwehu and Elder Legerski

Elder Larson and Elder Legerski: Models in Africa:)

Leaving for Limbe: Elders Legerski, Kabasele, West

A Pensive (and cheesy:) Elder Legerski on the beach at Limbe

   For my entries this week, I'm going to write about two friends who we are teaching together: Uriel and DeChris.  DeChris is the older brother of Presley, who will be baptized this coming Saturday; he has met with the missionaries before but he stopped and because of his little brother he has started to take the lessons again! This week we had a super awesome lesson with them and it was over The Plan of Salvation. The Plan of Salvation is one of my favorite things so learn about as well as teach with investigators. The focus of the lesson was Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We talked about how they ate the fruit and that they were cast out, as well as how this brought both joy and sadness into this world. It was just awesome being able to teach that and the Spirit was really strong and they both understood it so well. It was a super awesome lesson and they both understood that if they had not fallen, then we would not be here now. I also loved when Elder Holland talked in General Conference and connected this fall (which is such a blessing for us) with the Atonement. Because Christ came and died for us and took his sins upon Him, He overcame this fall and He gave us a chance to become clean and not fallen and return to our Father in Heaven. I am so thankful for Him and the things that He did for me. But when He died for us, He gave us a way to use His Atonement and it only works if you repent and follow His gospel. It's crazy that as you serve, you begin to see how everything in the Gospel connects and how each thing has its own role, but it leads into another principle.
   Well that’s about all for this week folks! For Sister Unrast, go look in third Nephi chapter 11:5. I thank everyone that wrote me this week... I really appreciate it! For all my friends up at Powell congrats on graduating! I wish I could be there to see you all! For your challenge  this week, go eat some buffalo wings for me! For my address here it is:

Elder Zachary Legerski
Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
P.O. Box 1177
Pointe Noire
Republic of the Congo

But packages don’t get here at all so just send letters please! If you want to send me a package send it to the Douala address and when someone comes here they will put it in their luggage for me! But that’s all for this week...until the next I love you all!!!

Elder Legerski


Monday, May 4, 2015

Fugitive in the Congo:)

Hello everyone!
   This is Elder Legerski coming at you from a tiny little cyber on the side of the road. Things are a lot different here in Pointe Noire! But I'm doing well and I am absolutely loving it here! I would just like to thank everyone who wrote me this week...I am so thankful. Know that I love you all and I pray for you guys all the time!

   So I'll go ahead and  tell you a little bit about last Monday and how that went! We went to Limbe and it was so much fun! We went to the beach and all of us Elders were able to walk in the ocean a little bit and as well as walk on the beach which was amazing! After all that fun we went to the animal park where we got to see a ton a monkeys and chips and even gorillas!!! It was so much fun and now I can actually say that I have seen some African animals while I came here!!!! Also we rode up in the back of the truck so every time that we came to a place where the cops stop you (which is a lot) we had to close the back so we were in a sauna!! But it was really coo... I really felt like a fugitive and all in all in was really awesome!!

The beach in Limbe

Elders Kabasele, Mandefu, Sperry, West, Legerski, Mwehu, Larson, & VanAusdal
at the Limbe Wildlife Center

 Elders Kabasele, Legerski, West, Larson, & Mwehu
   Then Wednesday came and I was being transferred, and let me tell you when you have to pack your bags up all over again it really stinks!! But I got on my flight over and we didn’t have any problems so it was all really awesome!! It's so nice going through the airport when you are actually able to speak French and know where to go!! Finally, the Bailey's picked us up and we got to go eat dinner at the Bailey's which was awesome!!! They are an awesome senior couple! And our apartment is right upstairs from them! So we get little perks now and then like brownies!!

   But a little bit about Pointe Noire, it's really awesome here! But compared to Doulala and Cameroon, it is a little  bit poorer. In our sector, we have almost no paved roads it is just sand and sand and sand! My calves are gonna be pretty cut after I get done here. The local language is Key Congo and pretty much everyone speaks it so hopefully I stay here long enough so that I will be able to pick up some. Also, I have the opportunity to go to the only church built building in my entire mission and it is awesome!! It's so nice and sometimes I even feel like I am back in America! And even better than that, we get to play basketball there every Monday!! As for the work here, it is just awesome. We have nearly every lesson with a member present because the young men love to work with us! So they walk around in the heat and suffer with us for one day out of the week! We have tons of amis! We had one day with 9 lessons this week and man was I worn out after that!

   My companion is Elder Mbikayi and is sounds nothing like how you spell it!  But he is just such a stud! Every lesson I come away feeling like I know just nothing but it is so nice! I've only been with him for a few days, yet I have learned so much! He is from the DRC and he has only been a member for around 4 years. But he has such a strong testimony and I just love him to death! We are in our apartment by ourselves and it is very small! I can't even describe it but I will try and send some photos home soon!

Companions for the AĆ©roport Branche:  Elder Legerski and Elder Mbikayi
The "Zone" of Pointe Noire as of April 30, 2015
Back row: Elder Beutler, Elder Larson, Elder Legerski, Elder Waite, Elder Etherington
Front Row: Elder Kabaya, Elder Kabongo, Elder Mandefu, Elder Mbikayi,
and Elder Andriamiasinarivo 

  This week I'll talk a little about Presley who is one of our investigators. He is just such a stud! We have met with him just a few times and he already knows all of the doctrine and he is super excited to be baptized! Unfortunately, we had to move his baptismal date back to the 16th of May because of General Conference but I'm glad that I'll be here to see it! I can't wait to get back and meeting with him! He already has a solid group of friends and I know that he will be well set in the church!

   Also this last week, I have really tried to better my personal study and one thing I focused on was the nature of God and Jesus Christ. I have been forming a relationship with these two for quite some time and its growing more and more every day. But I went through all the scriptures in Preach My Gospel and I really turned it on to me. I tell my amis these things, but I need to know them first. I read and then I wrote who my Father in Heaven is and who my Savior and Brother is. This helped me so much and it just strengthened my testimony that this church is true!!

   I just love missionary work, even when it stinks sometimes! I know these things are true and I can't wait to get back out there and do the work! For a challenge this week, everyone pray for Elder Larson because he is opening up a new sector which is super tough! Thank you all and I love you so much!!

Elder Legerski