Monday, August 25, 2014

good week. work work. - 8/25/14

Kissy Apartment Elders together for one final pic before they left Sierra Leone (Elder Gantse, Elder Loketi, Elder Koopmans, Elder Amosa and Elder Lehr, missing Elder Muthoni) Thanks Elder Koopmans for the picture

 This week was really weird as we were too busy to do any work.

Busy stuff: Well last week on Wednesday we had to go to Baton Rouge to drop off Elder Murray since he went home which took the whole day and is a 4 hour drive to get there. So yeah no work on Wed. Thursday we had weekly planning and Friday we did service then had a district meeting. Saturday we did another service project and then we drove down to Alexandria to have stake conference which is an hour and a half drive away. What was awesome is that they gave us permission to spend the night there. And since we were about to have 10 elders at the zone leaders' apartment a member offered us to spend the night at his house which was SOOOOO Nice. It's the nicest house I've been in in like a long time. It was really nice. But anyway we enjoyed. Then Sunday we had more stake conference and then drove back and then contacted some people.

Cool quote from conference: "The Lord looks on our weaknesses different than he does rebellion." I love that so much. That there is mercy for our weaknesses but as for our rebellion we have to receive justice.

Companion: I really like Elder Hacking. He goes home in about 3 months and lives very close to our house actually. He lives right across from Center Street and can actually see Mountain View from his house. Though he went to Timpinogus or however you spell it.

Work: Well we were not able to see any investigators last week but we set some appointments for this week so that should be good. We saw some less actives though and one of the families that we have been working with has been returning to activity and the father just got the Melchizedek priesthood yesterday! And there family is planning on being sealed in the temple soon. So cool. And we had another less active promise to come back this Sunday which I hope it does happen.

Cool Miracle: So this morning on our way to the library this woman pulled us aside and told us that her daughter is a member of the church and that she has seen the great change in her daughter's life and so she knows that the church is good. But her only problem is that her daughter is getting married in the temple soon and that she can't go inside the temple and see it. And so her problem is that she feels like no one should be excluded from the temple. So she asked us to visit her and help her understand. SWEET miracle. The work is slow here but people still contact me here. haha It's awesome. That really made my day.

Food: Oh the southern food is amazing. Beans with bacon, fried chicken, Poboys, grilled shrimp. It's awesome. I'm definitely going to get a cook book here and learn all these goods. I haven't gained any weight here yet and I think that's because I gained it all in Africa haha.

Spiritual Thought: So I was reading in Alma chapter 1 and it was really cool. The people soon fall into apostasy and start looking for the things of the world and start to persecute the church greatly. And what do the members do in all of the persecution? They reach out to others. They take care of the poor and serve one another. And they were happy. In fact they were blessed abundantly. So what I got out of this is even when life seems unfair and it's hard, reach out to others, take care of them. That's what Jesus did when he was being persecuted. This will bring us happiness,.

Love you all so much
How do you spell America? USA! USA USA!! haha I love America

Elder Christian Lehr

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Good Week - 8/19/14

I have adjusted pretty well and I'm enjoying Louisiana. I know that Many has a Wal-Mart and is a nice town but our area is HUGE and the boonies are like as hick as can be. The work is definitely a lot slower than in Sierra Leone. But it's ok. We are working with a ton of less actives and we actually had 1 come back to church! Which was awesome. ok I'll organize my stuff now.

Adjustment: I have really adjusted pretty well. I think having good food really helps haha. I love the southern food here. I'll definitely bring home their secrets hehe. My companion Elder Hacking is a fun guy. He is actually kind of like Adam from 10th ward but quite a bit better. I think that really sums up his personality. So I'm working with that. 

Investigators: We have about 3 descent investigators now. Sadly for the past year quite a few missionaries would member sit and not find anyone so that was lame. But we are progressing! One is a man who was in prison for 10 years but has completely switched his life around and is a very spiritual person and is taking care of his mother who has Altimerze or however you spell it. He is sweet and is ACTUALLY reading his Book of Mormon which is soo cool. And we have some others with potential but still the work is kinda slow. Just gotta get them to church now :)

Members: I really like the members here. It's so funny EVERYONE is family. In all of Many, Fisher, anywhere up here they are all related. It's weird actually having dinner appointments. But then again we had so many investigators in Sierra Leone that we rarely visited the members. There are only a few members and they are very spread apart. To do a home teaching route it takes them like 6 hours. And for some people they have to drive an hour to come to church. 

Spiritual thought: One thing I learned was a greater meaning of what it means to be spiritually reborn. Because literally when we come to this earth we are half dead. We are spiritually dead. So we need to be spiritually reborn through baptism to gain life. That is one reason why baptism is essential to return to our Father in Heaven. Just a fun little thought.

Oh and I got the letters and packages. It really was nice. Though it was weird getting them in only 3 days rather than 8 weeks or never. Anyway life is good here. I'm enjoying. It's gotten a lot better.

Love Elder Christian Lehr

P.S. This mission makes it so that on week 1 of transfers we email on Tuesdays. And it's week 1 here now. 

Yup, I'm staying in Many with Elder Hacking and the shoes are still rocking. What I left there was mainly just what you sent and the giant medical kit. But I have the small one and we have actual health care here. Not obamacare because that's lame but healthcare. And you know me I can never really think of what I need. Maybe jam or homemade salsa or something. Oh and I think I'll try and send you a letter with my SD card so you can back up all the pictures and then do whatever. And I'll send the temple names that I did in Ghana as well. 

And we are now allowed to talk about Sierra Leone as much as we want. Mission Pres told me that :)

Hardest week of my life - 8/11/14

Alexandria zone

So to start please do not put this email on facebook or even my blog for now (he has since given the ok to do so). You can email to people but we don't want people freaking out. 

So basically as most of you know all the missionaries in Sierra Leone have been evacuated because of the deadly plague Ebola. I'll go into a little more detail of what happened.

Thursday July 31: We are in the middle of a lesson when the zone leaders call me and say "you and everyone in your district is to go back to the apartment immediately and that I need to buy food storage for 5 days and that there was to be no contact with anyone except for mission leaders." And that's what we did. We were in lock down for that day
Fri: Lock down very boring. Going crazy.
Sat: Lock down. In the evening I find that my mission is being changed to Ghana Kumasi.
Sun: Take Poda Poda to mission home.
Mon: Leave Freetown and stay in a hotel in Lungi while we wait to get a flight out. 
Tues:Still lock down. Sierra Leone goes on lock down where there is to be no one really leaving the country. We eventually have a plane take us to another country where we go through lots of screening and stay overnight there. Also we arrive and they tell me my mission has been re-re-assigned to Baton Rouge Louisiana.
Wed: Very long flight

And now I'm here. It was such a culture shock. My mind has been everywhere. This has been so hard on me. I never even got to say goodbye to anyone in Sierra Leone. It is so different. My companions are Elder Murray who is going home in 10 days and Elder Hacking who is from Orem, Utah. he has been out for 21 months. It is hard to talk to white people. I don't know how to do it. And what is really hard is that I am not to tell any members or investigators here that I came from Sierra Leone because we don't want people to panic because of Ebola. So that makes it even harder to relate to people when I can't tell them about my life or where I came from. This really feels like a Mission Impossible mission for me. Except it is possible. I'm just a secret agent :)

I'm starting to adjust though. Honestly I have actually lost weight here believe it or not. The food is good. I'm still really stingie in buying stuff.  (More like "wise" in his use of funds) But I guess it's just that it's no more rice. Rice is evil for my belly haha. It's weird reporting 0 for most of my key indicators. Also I'm serving in Many (pronounced Man E) which is as out in the boonies as you can get. It takes about 1hr 30min to drive from one side to the other. Oh and we have a truck :) And it's the boonies of the south so it's like all trailer homes and super super hick people. It's so awesome. These people are so hick. It's very interesting experience 2 COMPLETELY different missions. 

Love Elder Lehr

P.S. I'm pretty good. Still adjusting. So I'm happy.

And I'm not stressed as much just still in shock of my universe exploding before my eyes and my African city sinking into the bottom of the ocean. Other than that I'm good. See :) smile.