Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I actually sounded French!

November 22 2016

Well, I'm loving the new area, despite all the hills. It's actually a lot bigger than Douala C so we take more taxis, but there are still plenty of hills that taxis cannot take so we do end up walking a lot. We've worked two members already: Fr JC and Sr J. We worked with them for the entire day so we ended up having a lot of lessons in presence of members. There are two amis getting ready for baptism- one of which is quite ready and the other of which still has some preparation -and some others who are waiting to ask their parents. Also apparently the branch will split soon. And we had 15 amis at the Sacrement meeting. So yeah, that was cool.

In the apartement there are six missionaries, just like at Douala, and they're all cool. I don't remember if I said I was with Elder B, but I am with him. It's cool seeing again since he left Douala, and Elder K, though he is in the other District. There are at least five branches, though I am sure there are more, and there is a District (which is like a pre-Stake). From what I can tell the Branch of Ekounou is a good Branch. I already forget pretty much everyone's name from last Sunday except a few people we worked with.

As for French, it is coming along well. One of our amis, who was kind enough to give us a ride home one night, said I actually sounded French! Still practicing, I also speak French a lot more, even though there are two other Americans in the apartement. I'm also trying to write in French a lot more, which is fun but a bit odd since French has a lot of tenses that are limited to writing or extremely formal speech. I started restudying the lessons again because I recognized that I had fallen into a routine with them, now I'm actually trying to discern the needs of the amis. Ah, and I did meet Elder Christofferson and shake his hand. It was cool (he is a very relaxed person).
Thanks for all the love and support! I know this time is precious and I wish to use it to the best of my abilities! Continue learning and growing in the Gospel (and other things, but the Gospel first) and applying it in your lives!

Je vous aime tous tellement!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Apostles, Sickness and Transfers.

November 16 2016

Apostles, Sickness and Transfers. Those are the big highlights of this week. Elder Christofferson was very cool and very relaxed, it was very fun to see him and to have him talk with us like it was totally normal. He talked about repentance, and I learned quite a bit. One of the things that stuck out to me the most was that he prays to know what sins he hasn't fully repented of, and usually they are very small things from years ago and what he needs to do is ask forgiveness from someone. He also said he is glad that the Lord is quick to forgive. That is a good thing for all of us. 

Also pretty much the entire apartement got sick this week. I was out for a day and my companion two. Let's just say I'd rather not be sick like that on the mission again, it is painful staying in the apartement all day. As I am writing this, I am in Yaounde, because I got transferred. After about 7 months Douala has seemed like it is pretty much just my home, and now I'm in a new city where 1. It is colder 2. There is a lot more dirt 3. There are a lot more hills. My companion is Elder B from Quebec. He is a nerd. Which is awesome. I'm also with an old friend, Elder Be, in the apartement! it was really interesting to see him again. Elder B is really nice and I'm excited to start working with him. 

Sr C gave her first lesson in Sunday School and she did great! She taught about eternal marriage and we talked a lot about traditional marriage in Africa and the difference between that and the dowry. I think what we decided was that the dowry isn't necessarily bad, people just abuse it and ask for exorbitant amounts of money and stuff. So that was interesting.

I hope Gatlin had a great experience on his mission. I also hope Shelby found a great man to get married to and that they will love and serve one another, and God, and raise a wonderful family. So I hope that they do their best to do those things before and after their marriage. I hope Rachael is having a great time learning and growing in the Gospel. It is true that the family is the best place to teach children, mostly by example. Because that will affect their entire life. Which is why having a family is such a great responsibility and one of the many reasons the Lord sends 18-25 (usually) year olds on missions, so that they can learn what they need to take on that responsibility. And I'm put of time so pictures will come next week.

Nous ne craignons personne!
Je vous aime tous!

Elder Russell

The Weevils got into our food storage rice...

November 7 2016

Well, once again a bit of a crazy week. But we got to see the calls! I know I said that they would come the eleventh but, je me suis trompé (I was wrong, though more literally translated it is along the lines of "I deceived myself"). 

We found an interesting investigator named Fr C. He knows the Bible very well; if we give him a verse he can usually tell us what it says, even with the verses that people don't know as well. Second lesson and we have already given him the Book of Mormon. The only complication is the plan of salvation. From what I can tell he basically believes there is no sin (though often he condradicts himself on that point) and doesn't believe in the atonement. So if we can help him resolve that then he will make a great member! He is also nice, he gave us free soda. Sr C will teach her first lesson in the Salle des amis (Investigator's room, if I translate that literally, though it is in reality the gospel principles class) so that is cool. Sr S still isn't progressing; we also didn't visit her this week. Sr P progresses slowly, though as my companion said she understands much easier if a member is present. We also started teaching a Sr T, who is very interested in the gospel. She is Catholic but she doesn't actually go to the Catholic Church. 

My studies are going well, often I help Elder Z and Elder R, and sometimes we are all confused together about French, sometimes my companion has the answer. It is good having lots of people who speak French and English.

I got the postcard from hogsmeade, thanks a lot! What I learned this week is that God is always there and ready to help us repent of our sins. Also that people are crazy, though I already knew that. We have a kind and loving Heavenly Father who holds out his hand just waiting for us to take it. All we have to do is reach out let him help us do what we need to do. Because we cannot do his work without his help. No wonder we are always indebted to him.

And the last thing is that we get to see Elder Christofferson next week! So I won't actually send a letter on Monday because that is the day we go to Yaounde. If I get the chance I will totally send a picture.
The Weevils got into ur food storage rice.....

​Elder Z and Elder R lost their DVD player so the Calls brought a new one
​Elder N and I just taking a photo

​Elder T taking a selfie

​Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Big ol' nerds

October 31 2016

We had a long week this week with all the things we had to do. Being a zone leader, or the companion of one, without a couple is a lot of work. We had to make sure bills were payed, that all the money was in the right place, clean the Call's apartement for their arrival the 11th... wow. 
I also did splits with Elder R, the second time I've worked with him since my second day here. It was pretty cool. There was this beautiful view from a hill, sadly I totally forgot my camera. Also, most of our current investigators are progressing rather slowly. And Halloween isn't a thing here. Anyways. Sr J, such an awesome lady, is just waiting to inform her family to get baptised. Her mom has heart problems so she doesn't want to scare her out of her wits and cause an accident that way. The other investigators understand the docterine, they just have problems with application of it in their lives, actually some do have problems with the docterine, but not many. Sr P has lots of questions, which is good, but by her question we think she isn't reading the Book of Mormon, as in REALLY reading it. Same with Sr S, who also is very worried about how others view her. Sadly I don't have a lot of information this week. 

The new Elders in Bonaberi are cool, Elder C (from Guadeloupe) and Elder D (from somewhere in the US, I think Arizona because he mentions it a lot but I realized I haven't actually asked him) They're people I would have definitely hung out with if we had lived in the same area. Big ol' nerds. Apparently Elder C talks about Pokémon a lot with Elder O. So yeah, that's cool.

I'm glad you had a great time at the Chili cook of and trunk or treat! I noticed I am starting to get a bit complacent, especially in terms of study French. Unacceptable! I shall renew my efforts like never before! Even though I said that in a joking sounding voice in my head I'm serious. Getting complacent is the first step to getting lazy, and being lazy isn't good.

So yeah, that was my week. Language facts: I jolo giza (Ee jolo giza) is Kurundi for goodnight.


​Just all the missionaries playing soccer, this time in the city proper

Je vous aime tous!
Nous ne craignons personne!

Elder Russell