Friday, April 25, 2014

Serving in Bo 1/27/14 - 2/17/14

The Last Week In Bo - 2/17/14

So transfer news came and guess what? I'm Freetown East Zone in Kissy. It is pretty much a huge city on the side of a mountain so I'm going to be mountain climbing alllllll day. Hopefully that will help me lose some weight haha. And yes mom I am maintaining my weight now. Apparently there isn't even a super-market in Kissy...only gas stations. So that will be fun. My companion will be Elder Allen T. He is pretty crazy. He trained someone only 6 weeks on mission. He didn't even finish his training and he was a trainer! So I am leaving tomorrow as well. And Elder Woodhead is going to Makeni. Which is probably the fastest growing city in the world. They literally just opened and had 50 baptisms in one week. Absolutely nuts. I'm happy for him. Also for my birthday we made sugar cookies and went to get ice cream :) very cheap ice cream haha. 

Leaving Yemoh Town: Man I really have grown to love these people so much. And the branch is so great. It is honestly the best branch in Bo. We had 5 people baptized in our branch on Saturday and Joseph got to baptize his daughter Haja which was soooo sweet. The next Elder who replaces me is going to enjoy since we just got like 10 progressing investigators to teach. One miracle is that Howa is really interested in the church and when we were teaching her, her sister Madiana came and joined in. Madiana already had a Book of Mormon and had actually almost finished 1st Nephi which is crazy since most people who actually can read haven't done that. 

One more Miracle: So sister Janet the old less active that I talked about has been coming to church and has her light with her again. She can't read but is really excited about the gospel again. We are teaching her daughter Bindu and while we did that Janet just started inviting all of the Christian people around her to join us. She even brought 2 referrals for us to church on Sunday. 

Spiritual learning: Man I finished the Book of Mormon again and am reading D&C and also the teachings of Brigham Young. I love it. I was reading about the spirit world in the Brigham Young book and man it is soooo interesting. I can't really explain it so I’ll just say it is absolutely inspiring and it makes me think that death is just another adventure. Though I still l have a lot of work to do here so don't worry about me committing suicide to go to the spirit world or anything. And also I love opposition in all things. It makes me just want to have trials. I realized that trials really are what makes me learn and grow and makes me more grateful. I mean here in Africa I'm just grateful I have food and that I have a bed to sleep in. It makes me really grateful for just everything and everyone. I could now pray for like 2 hrs just listing things I'm grateful for. I might fall asleep in that prayer because it would be long but I think I could do it haha. Ok well enough blabbering.

Love you all sooo much
Elder Christian Lehr

Baptisms in New Barracks Branch just before Elder Lehr's transfer
Week of Hardships/Miracles - 2/10/14

Man this week has been really challenging but still completely full of miracles. So here goes.
Hardships: So it's really dry season now so it's really hot and tons of sand everywhere. And now the dam is dried up so our only electricity is from our generator but at least that works :) So also we have had soooo many bounces it's crazy. Because of that we have only had 20 lessons which is still really good but I'm used to like 28-33 haha. And all of my eggs I bought were spoiled and one of them was sooo rotten and black and gross and smelled sooo bad oooohohho(shiver) so bad. Well now I'll talk about all the sweet miracles.
Miracles: So recently we have only been having like 1 or 2 investigators attend church so we decided to really try our best. So we have arranged for members to pick some up. We had called everyone reminding them, and we even came ourselves to pick them up (which is about a mile and a half walk) and we had 4 investigators attend church :) And also we have reactivated like 4 members. One of the investigators named Bindu, her mom is actually a less active and has been less active for 4 years. The branch gave up on her and we came and she is reactivated and Bindu is really progressing. The Lord has put in our path so many investigators. And also Joseph’s daughter Haja is being baptized this Saturday and his wife Fatmata who doesn't want religion at all is slowly having her heart softened. It's so sweet. And Paul came back to church.
Fun stuff: So we made a cake to celebrate my birthday a little early since we don't know if we will still be here on next Monday because of transfers. We also played Apples to Apples which is sweet. And I got a package that was sent 4 months ago. It was sweet. (I’m surprised that hair isn’t growing on the beef jerky in that package. Apparently there is hope after all for the priority packages we sent that should have arrived way in time for his birthday next week but don’t show as having left the country.)
More Food: So the pineapples here are soooo good and they only cost like 75 cents here. Man they are soo good. And I dont know if I told you this before but I have also ate cow skin. It's pretty good.
And my prayers go to Tohi's family right now. (Elder Tohi Heimuli's brother died shortly after he (Tohi) began serving in Spokane, Washington)
Well this is all I can think of so I love you all so much.
Love Elder Christian (the best of the best of missionaries because he is so humble and handsome and great and stuff) Lehr
P.S. With me getting fat look at Proverbs 28:25 it will make you laugh :)

Oh and I forgot we had a zone service project where we went to the swamp to dig heaps and stuff. That was fun :)

Elder Losee shows how it is done!

Bo East Zone at the swamp service project
The Week of Goods/Small Hardships - 2/3/14 

This transfer has gone by crazy fast. Man and the freezer broke so even if we have light the food wasn't cold. And then we found out that the problem was the light socket was burned out. So today we are switching the position of the freezer. This week has been hard but still full of growth. Oh one thing I got Grandma Ward's and Uncle Ernest's letter which made my day. I am sooo happy for David and Jen :) That simply made my day to hear about Jen's Baptism and David's testimony. (David is Elder Lehr's cousin)
Hardships: So out of like 15 investigators only 1 came to church. We try to teach but kept getting bounced. People are constantly promising they will come to church and read and pray and but then they don't follow through. That got my companion pretty down but me I just laughed and was like "well this stinks" but still it's been pretty good to me. The hardest day was yesterday when I got small heat stroke from fasting. And all yesterday we were getting bounced. And another hard thing for me at least is that Edward and Paul haven't been to church for 3 weeks. Paul has had struggles with his work and Edward is so busy with his job at an internet cafe. And also Samba never came to church so he won't be ready by Feb 15.
Blessings: Mustapha and Tenneh were baptized though Tenneh is no longer in my area since my area got split so she is mostly my convert. But it was a great baptism and I got to baptize Mustapha. I'll send you pictures. We are trying to find more serious investigators and we followed up on one of our contacts and he is super smart. His name is Steven and he is an orphan because his parents died in the war but he is sweet. The only problem is that he attends a Muslim school which has school on Sundays but this is his last year in school so he will be able soon to come to church. Also I found out that Joseph has married Fattmatta (his girlfriend. They made restitution) and she is very sweet. We are trying hard to bring all of them as a family together.
Learning/growth(besides my stomach) So I have been reading the Teachings of Brigham Young for fun and it is soooo sweet. Man so inspiring. He says that you should not ask the Lord to do something that you yourself are not willing to do. This quote helped make me pray with more faith. I feel that as I pray with faith my prayers will be answered no matter what. I am also simply trying to be the best I can. My purpose is now becoming the missionary purpose. I am no longer here because I have to or to just experience the mission but I am here to serve my God and to bring souls unto him. I am simply happy though it is challenging. Ahh I love you all so much and miss you but that will have to wait :)
Elder Christian Lehr

Elder Kitson-Mills, Tenneh, Elder Lehr, Mustapha

Elder Kvist and Elder Lehr with those being baptized

More Miracles - 1/27/14

This week has been full of so many miracles and learning.  Man I love it here.

So Package info: Yesterday I got 2 packages mom just to let you know. They were the ones from Grandma and Grandpa Ward and the Suchers which all I was sooo grateful for. It really helped. I'll be sure to write them letters today. 

Electricity and stuff: So having no electricity is kinda fun. But thankfully we have had like 30 min of light sometime in the day or night each night. And we have water so that's good. And cool thing I used the money you sent and bought a camelback bladder from Elder Symons for like 5 bucks which helps a ton. So worth it.

Cool Miracles: So one cool miracle is that one of our new converts now has a testimony of Tithing. He made himself a small tithing box and he puts the money away and then pays it on Sunday. And suddenly as he simply put the money in box he has had tons of work which is awesome. That's one really cool miracle. Another is that Samba came to church and wants us to teach his daughter and wants to bring his family into the gospel. We brought up child abuse at church and brought a pamphlet on it and he asked me for one wondering how he can help raise his family better. So I'm going to give him one and also a Family Proclamation. Joseph is doing great and we are teaching his daughter so she can be baptized on Feb 15. And Mustapha was interviewed and is going to be baptized on Feb 1. 

Stuff I've learned: Happiness truly is a choice. I see so many people who just blame poverty for everything but then don't do anything about it. And I see others just shining and simply happy that they are alive and that they have food. Even among missionaries some can say that it's simply too hard here. Me I have simply chosen to love it here. And I am :) I am simply happy. Nothing here can really get me down. I just am grateful for every single thing. Even the suffering because I know that the more I can comprehend sadness the more I can enjoy happiness. 

Cool miracles with less actives: So here we have helped to reactivate 3 people and 1 family. One of the sisters in the branch is probably the poorest person I have ever met. She lives in a cement house with no windows or doors. She can't even afford a wooden bench. Yet she has told me that all she really wants now is to bring her children to the temple with her and she is trying all she can to save enough money to go. That was probably one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. 

Well this concludes my email.

Love you all so much

Elder Christian Lehr

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