Monday, July 7, 2014

We are staying! for now.... 7/7/14

So I guess to ask if we have moved to our new apartment yet I'll answer that question. The answer is no and I'll say why.

Why are we staying in the cockroach dungeon?: Well we were supposed to move to our new apartment today but there are some crazy things that happened. First is that Ebola (remember that super deadly disease) reached Sierra Leone last month and has now reached Kenema. So now Kenema is closed so they are doing some emergency transfers. And because of this we have postponed the moving into the new apartment. I don't know when we will move but it's not bad. I mean I've been in this apartment for 5 months so what's another few weeks to me. But you don't really have to worry about the ebola too much. We have taken some very high precautions and we are safe as long as we are obedient. 

Investigators: Well sadly we have found out that Rev. Moses was really only into the church to try and get money. And now that he has had his surgery and knows that the church won't pay him if he joins he doesn't really want anything to do with the church now. It's really sad but it's his choice. As for the good news. We talked to Bro. J's wife and for now she really just wants time but she seems pretty interested and there is hope for their marriage to be saved. It will just take time. Also one of our investigators (our rasta man) came to church early and is really trying to prepare to be baptized. He said he has left the jamba (marijuana) but we are still making sure that he has completely left it. We have also found about 4 new families to teach. We only had 2 investigators attend church but we had 10 recent converts so that's really good. 

Donald: Sweet sweet news. So he said that his wife in Maryland has gotten in contact with the missionaries so that is a great potential Eternal family :) That makes me sooo happy. 

Also there is a change in the requirements for baptism. Now investigators need to be taught lesson 5 before baptism and it's not to be done by the missionaries. In other words if the branch missionaries don't do their job our investigators will not be baptized. So we are working on teaching branch missionaries how to teach lesson 5. (In the next week's email Elder Lehr mentions that they were misinformed regarding who would be teaching lesson 5. The full-time missionaries are still teaching it but prior to baptism instead of after.) Also mission president has set a standard of excellence of 25 lessons each week. Which is realistic and helps make us stretch. Especially as we are trying to teach families. 

Interesting thoughts: Basically just some small statistics here in Kissy 1 branch. There are about 500 members. About 100 are active and we have about 20 investigators (as a branch) come to church every week. So it's really interesting to think about why they are less active. And to me it all basically went down to the basic 3 things in PMG that it says. A lot of them never had a friend who supported them. A lot of them never were prepared to receive a calling. And a lot of them were baptized with only a desire but without a testimony. So basically here I have realized that if I really wanted to I could baptize over 100 people here. But maybe 10 would remain active. Or I could really focus my efforts on those who have been prepared to receive the gospel. Those who really would magnify a calling. Those who have a strong testimony and would stay even when the missionaries go. Those who are willing to be a friend to others. These are the people that I am trying to focus on. It's not easy but it's the Lord's way. 

I love you all so much
Love Elder Christian Lehr

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