Monday, November 30, 2015

Turning the Big "21" and Giving Thanks

Hello everyone back are you!?
   To start off, I want to thank everyone so much for all of the birthday wishes that you sent to me! It's crazy to think that I'm 21, but hey--that's life and before I know it, I'll be home and I'll be 22! I don't know if we will do anything too special because we are kinda limited, but I will do what I can to party a little with the time that I have!
   This week was a very good we for us here in  Brazzaville and also for us in Gunyemer!  To start off with, we had a zone meeting with President Monga and it went really well! Because I am the zone leader, I had to conduct the meeting and I was a little nervous and also a little scared, but it went really well! The spirit was really strong and we all learned and it pushed us to be more obedient and also to go out and work harder and more effectively. I learned a lot of things and it really helped me. And as this was my first zone meeting as a leader, I got to see how much time and effort goes in to planning a meeting like this and also how hard people work to make meetings like this special and effective. I will never take things like this for granted again!

Front Row:  Elder Pindi, Elder Dou, Elder Bacera, Elder Gilbert, Elder Miller.
Back Row:  Elder Crandall, Elder Totovola, Elder Legerski, Elder N’Sana, Elder Mbielola, Elder Nelson.

    We also had a really good Thanksgiving dinner with the Nelsons at their home on Thursday night. I'm so thankful for the time that they took to prepare for us and I have to say that it was really good and I enjoyed it a lot! We made our own little turkeys from apples and candy and then we ate and it was like I was back home! Turkey here is super expensive though, so we just had chicken instead but it was really delicious! But I sure did miss Uncle Troy's sweet potato casserole, that's for sure! As I was at the apartment after Thanksgiving, I sat down and really thought about all that I am thankful for and all the blessings that God has given to me in this short span of time that I have spent here on the earth. I felt like I needed to share these things because they are really important!
       I'm really thankful for running water and electricity and when they are stable cause it's not fun sleeping when its really hot!
       I'm thankful for all of the friends that I have back home who have helped me become the person I am today, and for those people who continue to support me with my decision to serve a mission and for those who are always there for me.
      I'm thankful for this gospel which has changed my life and has made me a completely different person.
      I'm thankful for my extended family and all that they do for me and for all of their support.
      I'm so thankful for this chance which I have been given to come to the Congo and to serve the children of God, for this chance that I have to abandon myself and go to the service of other people, for this chance to be an instrument in the hands of our Heavenly Father and to do His will here on the earth, and for all that I have learned and for all the progress that I have made here.
      I am so thankful for my family:  for my dad who takes care of us and leads and guides us and who loves us, for my mother who cares for us and who does all that she can so that us her children may be happy, for my Megann who sets the example for all of us children and pushes us to do our best, for Koltin who just loves so purely and who works his hardest to help everyone in the family, and for Skya who is the ball of energy in the family and who puts a spark in us all so that we get off our our butts and do something. I love my family dearly and am so happy to know that I will live with them even after this life.
       And finally, I'm so thankful for Jesus Christ who gave his life for me, who is there when no one else is and who listens when no one else wants to listen, for the fact that he that bled from every pore so that I may have eternal life. I am so thankful for him and what he has done for me. Every day that I study and go and teach, my love for him grows larger and larger.
     Thank you so much once again for all of you who wrote me! I hope you had a good week and Thanksgiving! I hope you have a good Christmas season chez vous and you all enjoy the holiday spirit!
    For homework, someone go drink a bottle of cream soda of sparkling cider for me!

Elder Legerski

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bucket Showers Make You Stronger:)

Hello everyone!  How are you doing back home!

It seems to be getting hotter and hotter here in Brazza, but I think that I'm getting used to it because I get cold at night and all I use is a fan! Unfortunately, we haven't had water since Saturday night, but we have a reserve so I have become a pro at putting water into a bucket by sucking on the end of a hose and then using gravity to keep the water flowing. It's been difficult and we have had a lot of bucket showers, but that's life here and I'm sure that it will just make me stronger! For a background about where I am, I'm in Brazzaville, which is the capital, and I'm working in the area of Bascongo, which is right next to a big market that we call "Marche Total". And we work in a ward, but we have had 2 conferences the last 2 Sundays so we haven't been able to get a real good feeling for the members and how many come. But from what we have heard, the numbers are a little down and we are really going to try and do what we can to help the members start coming back to church, because the missionaries aren't here just to teach other people who don't know about the Gospel...we are asked to build up the Church where we are. We had a really hard day on Tuesday; we spent most of the day out in the sun and man was it hot! But other than that, the week was really good!

One experience that I really liked is when we talked with a young girl named Pamela who wanted to visit with us. She is 14 and she is really interested in our message. When we talked with her for the second time, she said that after she read the brochure of the Restoration, she really wanted to meet with us and that she could feel the difference in the day from before and after she had read. It really reminded me of Alma 32:28 ( where it says that if we try the word, that it will enlighten our souls. I could really see this working within her and it really strenghted my testimony in the Gospel and that these things we reach are really true. 

Also, we talking with a sister who is named Glorieuse. She was doing really well with other missionaries, but when she learned that she had to get married before she could be baptized, she quit coming to church and things have been a little hard for her. But we talked with her and told her that she needs to concentrate on the things that she can do, rather than the things that she can't do, like reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, and keeping other commandments. Like Glorieuse, that is what we all need to do in our lives. Rather than looking at what we can't do, we need to focus on the here and now and what we can do and if we do that, then the Lord will help us with the things that we can't do alone. We need to always have the Lord with us, because if we try and stand alone then we will fall just like the Nephites who fell when they forgot the Lord. 

The reason why marriage is so difficult in our sector is this: they have to pay the first and second time, which is about 2,000,000 francs each time, with a lot of things to buy.  Then after that, you have to pay the "dot", which can be up to 3,000,000 francs which is so much here. Normally you have to do that with the mom's family, but in our sector you have to do it with the mom's family and with the dad's family, so it's really hard and it blocks baptism a lot. But we must remember that it is the Lord who has commanded us to do it and with His help, all is possible. 

But that's all for this week everyone! We are having Thanksgiving with the Nelsons this Thursday, so we are all pretty excited! I love you all and I thank all of you who wrote to me this week.  I hope you have a good week and more importantly, a good time with your family!
I love you all! And for a challenge tell all your friends and family why you are thankful for them in your lives!

Elder Legerski

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tout Ira Bien...(All Will Be Well)

Dear family and are you this week!

   This week was a really good week for us here, even though it was really tough! Well, I have started training with Elder Dou, who is from the Ivory Coast, and he is really amazing! I like working with him a lot! So, we are here in Brazzaville, which is the center of the mission! The Senior Missionaries are the Nelsons and they are really awesome. But they are at the mission office all of the time, so we don't see them a lot and most things are done by the assistants or the zone leaders here. I'm in a house with 5 other missionaries and I really like it. I am with Elders Dou, Lubanzila, Kabeya, Izere, and Mannase and I really like all of them! The power is pretty good, but we don't have air conditioners and have no washer, no microwave and no water heater and its really hot! But hey--that's Africa! But I really like it here.

   We are in a sector that is well, to be frank, really hard! We spent most of our days looking for amis' houses because adresses here pretty much don't exist and also, we have been contacting a lot which is really tiring because you are in the sun all day long! And to add onto that, I got sick this Thursday and spend a good part of my day in the bathroom:( As all of this has been going on, it's been really hard and at the start of the week, I was really stressed but then I decided to follow the motto "tout ira bien" which means all will be well. We decided to just be as obedient as we can and to just go out and work! And I feel like this is what we are suppossed to do.  I have really focused myself on having Christ as my foundation and having hope, a hope which leads to faith and faith which leads to action. As I have been doing that, it has really been helping me. Also, not complaining and and just knowing that the Lord has placed me here has helped, and knowing that there is something that I need to learn here and I just need to find what it is. The Lord will help us grow in hard times.

   But time is short here, so I'm sorry that my letters are short. But I keep my journal every day and one day we will have lots of time to talk about these things. I love you so much and know that I pray for you everyday!! Go and hug someone you love for me this week! I love you all and I thank you so much for all that wrote to me this week...I wish you a good week and keep on going!

Elder Legerski

Monday, November 9, 2015

I'm Moving On....To Brazzaville!!!

Hey everyone,,,how are you doing!?
   Just to let you know, I'm not in Pointe Noire anymore! I got moved over to Brazzaville in the sector of Guynimer (I think that's how you spell it!)   And it's the first time that I will ever be working with a ward, and also a stake! I'm really glad but also really nervous to be here! Also, I'm white washing (when two missionaries open a new area that hasn't had missionaries in it before, it is called white washing) with Elder Dou, who was at Pointe Noire with me and I got called to be a zone leader! (a zone leader is a missionary called to supervise the activities of group of missionaries within an area) It's a little much to take it and I'm really nervous, but I know that God qualifies those that he calls and it's not men who call us, rather it was the Lord who knew that I could do all of these things!
    But as I was called to another city, I had to say goodbye to my old branch and I was really sad, but it was good as well. They will always have a place in my heart and I will always remember the time that I spent there!! Got to take so many photos and it was a fun time!
    Also, we had a music activity and we got to sing as missionaries and it went really well for us! There were also other choirs that sang and it was really awesome! For the choir for our branch, I had 3 recent converts who were singing, with 1 ami (an investigator) and it was a really cool sight to see and I was so proud of them all!
   And to end the day, we were talking with an inactive gentleman who had a problem with smoking and we invited him to throw out all of his cigarettes and so he went and got them and then gave them to me, and as soon as I got home I threw them away! It's really cool to see that as he is starting to read and to pray, that he now really has the desire to change his life so that it is in line with God.
    But that's all for this weeks folks! I love you all so much! Thank you for all that wrote to me this week and I hope that you have a good week and that I hear from you next week! As for a challenge, go to McDonalds and get a large fry for me!

Elder Legerski

Monday, November 2, 2015

He Will Make Us Greater Than We Could Ever Make Ourselves

    Hello everyone back home!  Thank you so very much for the emails this week; I really appreciate it! As for our week here in Congo, it was really good. It felt a little weird to be back in the sector working full time, but it also felt really good. We had a really good week which ended in a baptism on Saturday and it was a solid week.

   This week we had Josna who was baptized. She has been an ami for a year but her family didn’t want her to be a member of the church, so she had to wait over a year and a half.  But finally she was baptized and it was a really good moment for all of us. Even though it took Elder Tshibanda 3 times to get her all the way under and 2 times for the confirmation, it was all good in the end:) It really strengthened my testimony of ordinances because they are so important and so necessary for us so that we can have salvation. Even though its really stressful, its all worth it in the end.

   But this week I had a really cool experience. It was fast Sunday and it was the hottest day by far this week.  All of our appointments were falling through and when we taught, we didn’t feel the spirit and because of that, I got really frustrated and irritated. Sometimes even though you do all that you can, you don’t see any fruits of your labors. You do all that you can to help people, but still they don’t accept your message. But as I kneeled down to end my fast, I realized that I just need to do my best and do all that I can to help those around me. Maybe it's not exactly how I want it to be and it might not be perfect, it's all worth it in the end. And as I prayed, I felt all of those negative feelings  go away and they were replaced by understanding. It's amazing what we can do when we put our trust in the Lord. He will make us greater than we could ever make ourselves.

   Also, today we had to say goodbye to our beloved Elder Kabongo. We have been in the same zone for 5 transfers and the same district for 4 and he was an amazing Elder and we are all going to miss him!

Elder Kabongo, Elder Bacera, Elder Kabasele, Elder Waite, Elder Kabenga,
Elder Larson, Elder Tchibanda and Elder Legerski.

   But that’s all for this week folks! We are getting transfer letters this week, so we will see if I will be leaving Pointe Noire after a long 7 month stay! For a challenge, go eat something at CafĂ© Rio! I love you all so much!

Elder Legerski