Friday, November 1, 2013

MTC/Assigned to Bo

10/28/13 -

So this has been a really fast, hard, great, and crazy week. We taught 33 lessons from last Monday to yesterday. We have 14 people with baptism dates for Nov. I am really loving our investigators. One named Shaka has a family and is really converted to the gospel and has a strong testimony. He even shared what he knew of the gospel to his friends and now they want us to teach them and to join the church. His only problem is that he is not married to his girlfriend. But they want to fix that issue and be baptized. We have only been teaching him but he really wants us to teach his family so they can be together forever.

It's crazy while we are teaching people outside people will literally come up to us while we are giving the lesson and hear what we say. I feel like Alma teaching the multitudes sometimes. The biggest group we taught was 16 people at the same time. And a family of 10 wants to be baptized. I really hope they follow through.

My companion Elder Udofot works really hard. He is actually a lot like Jose my old boss but actually decent. I have learned so much here and I really know the Lord is watching out for me.

The other elders in the house are Elder Hartling, Symons, Woodhead, Etuk, Kvist, and I can't even pronounce the last one let alone spell it so I'm gonna skip him.

My companion and I take no brakes from like 11am to 7pm. We teach like 6 lessons a day. It's so crazy.

So, regarding what I feel like I need. I use the flashlight at night and that's fine so I don't need another light. An MP3 player with speakers like the extra Ipod nano with only church music and conference talks would be great. I'm always craving gummy candy. And bags would be really nice. Maybe even a few more blue rags.
So something sweet that I found out today is that my Guide pants are approved for proselyting! And we usually have dinner at about 8 or 9 pm so the past two nights we had spaghetti and I know our old saying "eat spaghetti past 9pm and you get nightmares" It's true! The past two nights I have had nightmares. haha. 

So while we were looking for people we taught a 14 year old boy who wants to follow Christ. We found out his dad was a pasture (preacher not the field) and so we are teaching him too. He doesn't believe that the priesthood was taken away from the earth but I bore my testimony and gave him a Book of Mormon and to pray about it and he accepted it. He really wants to know if this book is true like we say. So that was fun.
The mornings are still the hardest but I cant even really remember what has been going on the past month. I've just been so busy and I am choosing to be happy instead of homesick so it's nice.
I love you all so much
LOVE Elder Christian Lehr

10/21/13 -

So I am currently in Bo you were right. You know how I love comfort so much? Yeah so I am currently in the worst apartment (house) in the whole mission. The smallest spiders here are the size of my ear. We have no electricity except for about 3 hours from 7-10. There are cockroaches sometimes. We just had an ant infestation that we took care of, and I'm lucky because there was a rat infestation before I came. We have 8 elders in our (house). Since there is pretty much no electricity we have a huge pot of rice and some stew that we have to just leave out and warm it up and hope it doesn't kill us. Sadly we are rich here compared to everywhere else in Bo. The country is in such poverty that even the African missionaries from Ghana are in shock to see the condition. Everywhere it smells like an outhouse and there is trash everywhere. People live in adobe huts and the worst part is that there is a lot of naked people here. They have to bathe in public which really stinks (I don't think he is referring to the smell).

On a happy note we had 3 baptisms last week and we have like 12 investigators that are coming to church. The people are really nice. Shaka who is one of our investigators has a really strong testimony and when we taught him the law of chastity he believed it and wants to marry his girlfriend so he can be baptized and really wants his family to take the lessons.

It is really hard for me here and it's kinda weird because I'm depressed in the morning but then as night comes I feel pretty happy. I forgot to mention that I have to take a cold shower everyday. And washing the clothes is a pain but it's fine. My companion is from Nigeria again and he is really good. He works really hard. I honestly believe that this is one of the hardest missions in the world.

For the baptisms we had to fill the font with buckets from a well which took forever. One good thing here is that the motorcycle taxis are actually really fun:) Don't worry mom the Lord is protecting him and I have to rely on him so much here. I'm proud of Josh. And Spencer get working! It's really hard and I want to go home badly but I'll endure. Right now I'm thinking of the song from Mulan "a girl worth fighting for!" haha Well this is all the time I have since the internet really does stink here. This is the third cafe we tried and the power went out in the middle of this email. Having no electricity is really hard. I envy those in the USA a little bit but I know that the Lord is humbling me and it's really humbling to see how in poverty this place is. I really can't describe it. It is nothing like I expected. 

Love Elder Christian Lehr
Proof that Elder Lehr made it to Sierra Leone - MTC Group 10/2013

On the ferry from Lungi to Freetown (happy missionaries)

Ghana MTC  10/4/13 to 10/14/13 -

Mom I love you so much. I arrived safely. The food is really spicy but pretty good. The roads are crazy. It's worse than New York. When I got off the plane the air felt so heavy. It's a little stormy here right now. I am so tired and the flight was so long. But it's good. Right now my mission president said I can only email you today just to let you know how I am. It has been fun here and I love it when the natives laugh it is hilarious. I am just so glad to be off the airplane. What's kinda interesting is that we will only be watching the morning session of conference because of the 6 hour time difference. Because if we watched the afternoon it would start at like midnight which is against church rules. I met some missionaries from Madagascar today and they are so cool. Just thought Spencer would like that :) My companion is from Nigeria and I haven't met him quite yet. Oh yeah I just wanna say that it is sooo hot here and it's a nice day because it's cloudy. Also i cant find the other immunization records so where are they? That would help. And I bet Noelle is a hoot right now. I love you

Elder Lehr at the Ghana MTC

So this week there is so much to write and so little time. I am about to go to the temple right after this email which I am really excited for. I'll start from the beginning. The first couple days were very hard for me. I really missed all of you, felt lonely, and like how am I going to survive 11 days here at the MTC let alone 2 years. I wanted to cry like all the time. (And Christian doesn't cry often. He always says he lost his tear ducts in the war.) It got so bad that I couldn't eat at all so I talked to my MTC president which really helped me a ton. It is still hard now but it is really fun. I'll tell you a few of the elders names so you can have fun trying to pronounce it right :) There is my companion Elder Iroham, my roomates Elder Nsurum, Elder Sarpong. and in my district there is Elder Kaufusi, Elder Nweke, and Elder Workman. There are about 70 people here in the MTC so it is really small. There is no AC in my room and it's only in a few rooms. The people here were really hard to understand at first but now that I've gotten to know them it's awesome. Elders Nweke, Sarpong, and Nsurum are absolutely hilarious. They remind me a whole lot of Romone and Roberto from work. So much in fact that it is kinda scary. The food portions are absolutely huge. There is no option on what you get to eat but it is good. The food is so big that I can barely eat half my plate. We call my companion Elder Iroham the bottomless pit because somehow he is as skinny as me but can eat his whole entire plate and mine as well...for all 3 meals! He is crazy. There is so much rice here. A rice oatmeal thing for breakfast, rice and meat for lunch, and even more rice and meat for dinner. Sleeping is kinda hard since my roommates don't go to bed til about midnight. But it's all good they are sooo funny. This is really hard. I think that it is harder then working construction but it's way more enjoyable. Love you so much

Accra LDS temple in Ghana

So they are letting me email again right now since I skipped the workout today to go to the temple. It was amazing and very pretty. I had another elder do the other name so both of the names you sent me are done. It is so crazy being on the road. While you are stopped for traffic African citizens will swarm the street and try to sell absolutely everything. Belts, Chips, Toilet paper, clocks, basketball sets, you name it. So we have learned to not point or give any signs of acknowledgement to them. It's crazy the cows here look like a mixture between a cow, a donkey and a camel, It is probably the weirdest thing. And we saw about 6 live goats strapped onto the top of a bus on the highway. Now that is probably even weirder than those conkmel things (the cows). I really just want to get to the field. The MTC is too slow paced for me. I want to study faster and just more effectively. 

Traveling in style in Ghana
So I leave to the Field Tomorrow morning at 10am here so I will get there at about 3-4pm so about 10am your time I think. I am so excited to go. The missionaries are VERY loud but fun.
Well anyway I feel pretty good with the food. I am actually able to finish all three meals! Today I even asked for seconds :). It's a lot of food but it's not as filling as I would think. It's also really really funny. There is an Elder here who's name is Elder Awuku-Dwumo who looks exactly like a black version of Smeagle from Lord of the Rings. It is sooo funny. One elder asked him if they had potatoes in Ghana and he just stared at him. I was like" whats taters, precious?" It was pretty hilarious.
Oh, it was awesome all the African elders here had a rap off and were way into it and I was beat boxing and was the only white guy. It was sooo swag.

Elder Christian Lehr 

Ghana MTC missionaries - 10/2013 group

The Adventure Begins - 10/3/13 - Airport dropoff 

Elder Workman and Elder Schraedel (Ghana), Elder Zenovieff and Elder Lehr (Sierra Leone)

Seeing Elder Lehr off at the airport