Thursday, August 21, 2014

Monkey Park

Sorry we got to email late this week. The internet was out
country-wide for a couple days. But now it's back.

 It's cool to hear about everyone leaving on missions!
Remember when I wouldn't let you cut my hair? Today I let Elder Brockbank cut my hair. He has never cut hair with scissors before. But not bad huh? That's him with me in the picture.

This was an awesome week! We did so many cool things and we had so
many awesome experiences. On Monday we went over to President Olinga’s
house for a FHE as a zone. So all 10 of us and the couple missionaries
went over there. They are a very wealthy family and are a lot of fun.
They fed us fish, rice, and fried plantains. They also had some Pima
on the side, which is a sort of African hot sauce. Unfortunately, I
didn’t realize that it was super concentrated. So I put a bunch on my
rice and my mouth basically lit on fire. It was SO hot! But it was
still good haha.
This week we did splits 2 times. It is getting down to the end of the
transfer and there were a bunch of baptismal interviews, so naturally
we are really busy. I got to work with Elder Tucker who is finishing
up his second transfer in the field. It was fun to work with someone
that doesn’t speak French yet. It was a really fun day. It was
convenient for him though because we saw two Anglophones so I feel
like we cheated a little bit haha. Thursday was an interesting day
too. I went an entire day without having a lesson with someone that I
know! We had 3 first contacts and a recent convert that just moved in.
So it was full of new faces! Then Friday, we did splits again! I
worked with Elder Nzema, who is also in his second transfer and
doesn’t speak a lot of French. So that was another cool experience.
For the first time in my mission I had to teach the law of chastity to
3 women in their mid 20’s in English. It’s a lot
more awkward in English. But we got through it. Luckily they already
believed in following the law of chastity haha. We also had a lesson
with Lisette, who is another Anglophone. She shared an awesome
testimony with us. She left her boyfriend who was supporting her
financially because he didn’t want her to go to church. So now she has
almost no money. But she said that even though she never has money,
she has never gone hungry because neighbors always are nice and bring
her food. And every week she saves up the 30 cents it takes to get a
taxi to the church and plans to just walk home. But every week some
miracle happens, and she always gets a ride home. So that showed her
that the Lord truly is watching over her.
Saturday we had a Helping Hands service project. Everyone in our three
branches got together to clean out the gutters on the sides of the
road. It was really gross and we pulled out a lot of nasty things. But
it was really fun and there were a lot of people that were curious
about our church. It was really fun. It did kill my back though… But
it will be fine. Also, Padma got baptized on Saturday! I called her to
congratulate her. She sounded really excited. I am really happy for
her. She has worked so hard for the last 2 years to get baptized, and
now she is!
Sunday we had an interesting day at church. Our Priesthood meeting was
about eternal marriage. Which is usually a good topic. But of course
it had to go in the weeds. People started talking about all kinds of
ridiculous stuff and sharing false doctrines. But luckily here they
treat the missionaries as a sort of doctrinal authority, so whatever
the missionaries say they agree with haha. So we were able to help
clear it up a little. But then we had the same topic in our
investigators class. But this time it was much more spiritual.
Especially for Irene and Flore who are both really young women that
have lost there husbands within the last couple years. It was an
awesome experience. Then after church we were walking to go see
someone, but someone we contacted last week came out of her restaurant
and invited us to come have a lesson. It turned out that she had
actually read the brochure and was really interested! Then after that
we went back to the church to do interviews for some other
missionaries. I interviewed the wife of the family. We had an
incredible discussion. She is incredibly humble and shared an
incredible testimony. It was a great edifying experience. However, the
husband used to be a “prophet.” He renounced his church that he had,
but he was still not quite ready, and there was a little confusion
about whether or not they were legally married. But it’ll all work
itself out in time.
Then there was today. Today was AWESOME! Our zone went with the Olinga
family to a monkey park outside of Yaoundé. It was SO cool! And I took
a ton of pictures! They had a cool park. The guy that was in charge
was an American from California. He was really cool. Then we went and
saw all the different monkeys, chimpanzees, and gorillas. The
chimpanzees were my favorite. I will try to send a video of it, but
they were hilarious. One of them through a rock at us! And the other
ones were banging sticks on the ground and clapping like crazy! It was
so cool! We also got to see some giant silverback gorillas! It was
such a cool experience. We saw a lot of cool things. Including the
BIGGEST tree I have ever seen in my entire life. Anyway, we did a lot
of really fun things.

Elder Beutler, elder Simmons and the American guy at the monkey park

Biggest Stinkin tree I have ever seen.

This monkey has great fashion sense

Just chillin

So all in all, we had a great week. It was really productive too. We
ended up with 27 lessons this week! That’s a new record for me! It’s
incredible to see all the incredible people here that are so willing
to follow the gospel. We also have a good amount of investigators
progressing towards their baptisms next transfer. But luckily, no one
is getting transferred this transfer, so I get to see them!
Also, I got 5 new pairs of garments. But I found out that at the end
of this year, the subsidization for all of that stuff in Africa will
stop, so they will be full price. So we were encouraged to buy all
that stuff before the end of the year. Which reminds me, the ATM was
out of order, but in case you weren’t able to add money to my account,
that would be nice if you could add some this week.
Update on the Ebola outbreak: Today I heard that the death count is up
to 1140 people. It is in Nigeria, and as of last week there had been
about 15 cases in the extreme north of Cameroon. Someone also told me
that 1 person had it in Douala. But I don’t think that one was true.
The stuff in northern Cameroon is probably just because there is a
little bit of contention going on between the Nigerian Muslims and the
Cameroonians near the border. But other than that, the countries are
being very cautious about it. And the church is watching it very
closely. If it becomes a problem, they will take care of us. So don’t
J I wanted you guys to read Alma 19: 22-23. It was really cool.
That will make you feel better.

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