Friday, April 25, 2014

Miracles in Kissy 2/24/14 - 3/24/14

Hastening the Work in Kissy - 3/24/14

Man this transfer has gone by fast. It has been so much fun. Well here goes the email.
Baptism: We combined with 2 other branches for the baptism and we had 16 people total baptized this last Saturday. We were able to baptize Josephine who is in her 20's and is timid but such a sweet woman. It was a very spiritual experience and one of our investigators Ibraham who is a school teacher came to the baptism and really loved it. He knows it is the correct way to baptize and now he is reading his Book of Mormon which like never happens here and he also wants us to start teaching his family so he can come into the gospel with his whole family.
Work: Man we cannot stay still because we have SOO many people to teach right now. It's so hard to decide who to focus on because they all want to hear the gospel. I'm loving the work.
Hardships: We have only had water for one day in the past week and so that makes it really hard to do anything. We manage because we have a few barrels of storage water but still I miss running water. Other than that everything is just normal.
Funny stuff: So the sister missionaries in our branch got mad at us for not really spending time with them and we are like well we have too many people to see and we need to work.  But whatever I'm enjoying life here. Also we had some extra time so we talked to this drunk guy who was just quoting random stuff. To defend him drinking he was like "go to John 1:19-23" which talks about John the Baptist and he was like "So you see...God Is a Spirit." It didn't make any sense and it was fun.
I'm loving it here so much and my companion Elder Allen T. and I are such good friends. He lives on a Native American reservation in South Dakota and I love hearing his stories about the people there. He is such a hard worker and a good example for me. I want us to stay together for another transfer which I think will happen.
Love you so much
Elder Christian Lehr

District Conference - 3/17/14

Man this week has been sweet and has gone by so crazy fast. I guess I'll just start organizing it.
Apartment: So the Kanzlers should be finishing up the paper work so we can escape the dungeon. Though as for blessings here we have gotten a new water pump so I can actually drink clean water  really easy :) because drinking out of the filter water bottle really stinks. I swear that thing  dehydrates you because you have to suck so hard to get water. So that's a nice  blessing. And Mama J the old Lebanese woman who has the hookups with everything is so awesome. She got me some nice  mangoes and bananas and soda and everything.  She is just awesome. Hard things though in this apartment is that we have had no water at all quite a few days of the week and I'm getting bitten by bedbugs in the night. But whatever it's not that bad.
Cool What the? Moment: So on Saturday it rained which is crazy since this is March the hottest  month in dry season and it's supposed to be dry with no clouds in the sky all the time. It was nice to get rain but then it got super humid and nasty. But still rain is nice.
Miracles: So we have found a girl named Fanta who is an awesome young lady who just came to her church with her children. We found out that she is married to a return missionary who is currently working in Makeni. She said she wants to know about the church so that she can have her family unified and she loves the church so far. Oh and the church she went to was the United Methodist Church and her reverend was Reverend Moses, one of our investigators. Which leads to the next miracle. 

So Moses came to the conference and met with President Ostler, the district president and others. He is reading the Book of Mormon and believes it's true. After teaching him the restoration he said "you guys almost have me won over. All this so far is true" which is so sweet. I pray that he will progress.
And Hewbert is doing awesome and is sharing the gospel to his twin brother Habert. He couldn't come to church because he stepped on a nail and had to go to the hospital so yeah. But he is still awesome. And Victoria one of our recent converts is bringing all of her friends in and is still just being awesome.
Conference: man District Conference was crazy. It was so overflowing that we had to put chairs outside. And even then there were about 200 people just sitting outside on the ground to listen to the conference. My guess is there were about 1500 people there in the kissy chapel. It was so awesome. And we have reactivated 2 less active women here.
Sad News: So we were supposed to have 4 people baptized on the 22nd but only 1 is ready. So the  others still progress hopefully but still one more beloved soul brought unto Christ.
Super Pday/fun stuff: So today is super p-day and we watched Prince of Egypt which was fun. Of course I had to sing along :) And the other night we decided to get charcoal and draw ourselves facial hair which was so much fun. I dressed up as a pirate and I'll send pictures next week. I just forgot my SD card today.
So that's this week. Still loving the mangoes, pineapples, and bananas, still living with bed bugs and cockroaches and no water. Still living with awesome African people. And still living the gospel with light in my eyes :)
Love Elder Christian Lehr

Sister Kanzler got a nice shot of Elder Lehr & Elder Allen T. at District Conference
More Adventures in Kissy - 3/10/14

Man this week has been really fun.
News: So first I will start with some great announcements. First we found a new apartment that is SOOO much nicer than this dungeon. And I found out that yes this is the original Kissy "dungeon". You know where the handle for the bathroom falls off when you touch it so you get locked in the bathroom.Well anyway we have a new apartment that we will probably move into in like 3 months. In the meantime we will endure. Also there is this awesome old Lebanese woman named Mama J. She pretty much has the hookups for anything we could want here. So that's just awesome. Oh and mom I've gotten tired of sweetened condensed milk and bread so I made myself peanut butter again and eat that with bananas for now which is soo much better.
Awesome referrals: So our recent convert Victoria has given us literally like 6 referrals that are all awesome and she actually brings them to everything. Their names are Tita, Lucy, Mohommed, Paul, Stella, and Fanta and then also a while back there were 2 girls named Adama and Kadijatu that contacted us at first just wanting our number but they know Victoria and her friends so they all came to church. Man soon we will be baptizing an entire Laurels class. And one branch missionary gave us a referral named Aboss. Man that is probably the coolest name ever. Its just like "Aboss" haha.
Cool Miracle: So there is this investigator named Hewbert who the missionaries have been teaching forever and he would not keep commitments so we were about to drop him but just like Joseph Sandi we didn't for some reason and now suddenly Hewbert has been keeping commitments like crazy and loves the Book of Mormon and really wants to get baptized. So sweet.
The Activity: So we had a branch activity where we watched the Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration movie and then we would pause it sometimes and explain it in Krio. Then after the activity they had a huge dancing party and we left at that part because dancing is something that is  probably not something a  missionary should do. Though I really wanted to dance and show them wassup with the wassup. Anyway the activity was great and we had like 40 people show up which was awesome. The spirit was great there as well.
Funny stuff: So thankfully we found a new apartment because this one has like no privacy. We were just cooking dinner when we see this lady who is high out of her mind just standing in the door way and we tried to find out what was going on and she was like trying to sleep in our apartment or something and so brought her to the bottom floor to others and locked our door. Man things can be crazy here.
Food: Man I have to say I love mangoes. Here we found some GIANT mangoes that are the size of a pineapple so we call them MAN-goes. And oh they are sooo delicious and the pineapple here is dirt cheap and just so good.
Ok last thing I want to say is that finding referrals are ridiculous here. For example we have a referral at number 28 Kissy Road and on that road there is no order and there are like 5 different 28 Kissy Road all over Kissy Road and there are old numbers and new numbers and pretty much everything is a mess and it's impossible to find referrals here. Unless the spirit leads you to the person and they show you where they live which happens quite a bit here which is awesome. 

Man I love this area. Living in this "dungeon" is worth it for these people.

Love you all so much
Love Elder Christian Lehr

Elder Allen & Elder Lehr at the "activity" (Thanks to Sis. Kanzler for the "snap")

"Giant MAN-goes" put the mangoes we find at home to shame. Featuring: Elder Lehr, Elder Crandall, Elder Simmons, Elder Koopmans, Elder Chemhuru and Elder Allen T. (picture courtesy of Elder Crandall) 

Kissy - 3/3/14

Man this week has been crazy. So to answer a few questions I don't know if this apartment is the "original" Kissy "dungeon". I know that this apartment is super old and it actually was where the branch met back forever ago and that it has been used by missionaries for years. Actually the apartment isn't that bad I guess. I mean I LOVE the breeze that comes in here and I mean we have been blessed with electricity for the most part. We still only sometimes have water but its better then some of the others here. The other apartments are a little nicer but they haven't had water for the past like 3 weeks. Really the biggest problem here is the cockroaches but I have given up trying to kill them. I mean there are about 60 living in the area book and about 400 living in our kitchen door. Let's just say that I am kinda scared of the dark here because when the light goes out the cockroaches come out and we have to dance across the floor so that they don't crawl up our legs. But that's life. I mean the area is sooooo sweet. I love it here. And honestly looking at it here there are actually a lot more spiritual challenges here than physical. I mean honestly the physical challenges aren't too bad. I mean I'm alive right? So I'll talk about the week now.
So Victoria got baptized on Saturday. We combined with our whole zone so we had like 10 people baptized in our zone last week. Victoria is soooo sweet. She really wants to go on a mission and she brought her cousin to her baptism and also brought 2 friends to church. She is really smart.
Small on Wednesday (day of miracles) honestly this day was sooooo packed with miracles that I won't be able to write them all so I already wrote a letter to mom with more details. Pretty much none of our plans went through so we looked for some apartments and found some decent options. And while we were out we had about 8 people contact us looking for the gospel which will lead to more miracles. And also a sweet less active member contacted us and she gave us a referral and we are getting her back into the fold. Also while we were walking a lady recognized us as men of God so she asked us for a blessing even though she wasn't a member. So I gave her a blessing. This is just small of the miracles that happened. The next day however was harder.
Thursday: So mountain day which is actually really fun. So we were teaching this lady on the mountain and when we were done there were some ladies that asked us to come teach them so we came and they were all pretty much naked and just wanted us as boyfriends so we gave them a pamphlet and ran out of there. Uhhhh thats a big problem here is all of the nudity. So just messed up. And then we were teaching a sweet guy and his family and then some Evangelist from the Born Again church came and was just dissing the Book of Mormon and spitting on me and he didn't even believe in the Old Testament so we just pretty much bore our testimony and let him go. That guy totally disrupted the spirit. So lame.
Miracles on Sunday: So we are teaching this man named Jabrila and his family and he is sooo interested in the church he came this Sunday and next week he wants to bring his whole family. He is such a sweet man who is looking for the truth. And also on Wednesday there was a Reverend who contacted us and so we invited him to come to church and he came and even bore his testimony since it was Fast Sunday. It was so funny he came and was like "Can I get a hallelujah!" and then he bore a humble testimony about Christ and he said that he really liked our church and he even wants to retire from being a reverend and join us.  He is a sweet man.
Oh and as for food. Bread and sweetened condensed milk is actually a lot better than dry milk. If you just add water to the sweetened condensed milk it tastes a lot more like milk than dry milk. And there is no place to buy food here. No supermarket or anything. Though there is a place called Amigos which is awesome. It sells cheap ice-cream but hey it's ice cream. Haha funny thing so our freezer doesn't work and we got chicken to go with our rice and well I think the chicken was a bit spoiled. We cooked it well but it tasted like fish which is not supposed to happen. So I only took one bite. But at least I have ice cream :) and grass rice and rice.. haha
But it's sweet here. I love my companion and my roommates. And I love the area. Satan can't get me down that easily. I'm sure that if I get tired of bread and milk I will just survive off of universe juice since I am the dragon warrior. So yeah.
Well love you all sooo much have a great week.
Love Elder Christian Lehr

Oh Kissy! - 2/24/14

So this week has been crazy. So I guess I'll go a little day by day. Or at least tell Tuesday.
Tues: We were supposed to be picked up to go to Freetown at like 12 pm and we got picked up at 4:30 pm. Then we were about to leave to Freetown (which is a 5hr drive) at 7 pm when the car broke down. So we there were like 10 stranded missionaries and so the Assistants took us to the couples apartment to spend the night
So now in Kissy... The Kissy apartment is the 2nd worst apartment in the mission second only to the Sewa Road apartment (aka the Dungeon) where I started my mission. The apartment is on the upper floor of an apartment complex and it is INFESTED with cockroaches. I have never seen so many cockroaches in my life. We can't keep any food out for the night because the cockroaches will get into it. We opened up one of our area books and literally like 60 cockroaches sprung out. Ugh so nasty. Though this place is still better than Sewa Road (my first apartment) I mean at least the cockroaches are the tiny ones instead of the 4 inch ones. And there aren't rats here or old rat's blood stained on the floor. And there aren't any giant spiders here the size of my face. But I kinda would prefer the giant spiders. We also don't have any fans and if we are lucky we get water. We have to hand pump water into the filter.
Well on the bright note there is an AWESOME breeze that comes in all the time. And we have such a great view of the mountains around us. The Branch is sweet. My companion is an awesome leader and really really cares for each person. There are 6 Elders in my apartment right now. Elder Koopmans, Elder Simmons, An Elder from Zimbabwe (Elder Chemhuru), Elder Crandall, And Elder Allen and I. Man Elder Simmons is sooo good at baking. He made 2 apple pies for us to celebrate him, Elder Koopmans, and Elder Allen being 6 months on mission.
Mountains: Thankfully our main area is in the city and only on Thursdays we climb the mountain. Because man these mountains are brutal. Climbing all day everyday would be sooo exhausting. But they are beautiful, sooo green. Though Freetown is pretty crumby. Everyone lives in metal shacks pretty much and there is so much trash on the floor and it smells pretty bad here. There is also nothing to buy. I just have bread with sweetened condensed milk for breakfast everyday.
Also with the apartment it is super noisy and there like 5 dogs right outside our apartment that bark ALL night. Especially at like 3 in the morning and then there are 2 Mosques near us so they chant at like 4 in the morning so sleeping is pretty hard. Well one good thing is that with the nice breeze here it keeps away mosquitoes so I don't really have to worry about malaria too much.
Sweet Miracles: So the branch mission leader Moses gave us some sweet referrals. They are 2 awesome families that have real intent to learn about the truth. With one of the families, their daughter recently died so the father has been really wondering about God and where she is. So we taught a bit the Plan of Salvation and I could see hope coming into his eyes. Such a sweet miracle. Life isn't easy here but the Lord is with me.

Earlier I thought that this was probably either the hardest mission in the world or one of them but now I have been humbled. I cannot say that this is the hardest because I have not experienced any other mission. Every mission has their trials and hardships. This one is just very physically demanding while others might be more spiritually demanding. All in all this is the Lord's work and it does not matter the fact that I served here. What matters is that I served and that I served with all my heart might mind and strength.
Love you all so much.
Elder Christian Lehr

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