Sunday, March 4, 2012

Last couple of emails...

The Ethiopian calendar makes up for leap year with a 13th month that has one extra day every 4 years for the leap year. They have 12, 30 day months and the 13th is usually 5.

J was doing better this week and came to church in his new suit which he bought specifically for church. We gave him a new baptismal date for the 4th of March. My new companion knows Amharic very well and Jacob told him to bring his spear to “battle” with his wife haha.

We didn’t bring our spears but it seems like J’s wife’s heart is really softening. The two little girls they have too are so adorable. J is really changing a lot and he says he does a lot of preaching while at the club he works at. We gave him a miniature Book of Mormon to carry with him at all times and to help with his bearing of his testimony.

On Sunday we had District conference and had about 250 people there, which is better than we thought because this time they weren’t getting busses for people to come from the Debre Zeit or Awassa areas. Elder Hill from the Area 70 came this time and spoke. He’s from South Africa and was a really great and kind guy. He has the strongest testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We had quite a few investigators there including Carlos again and we were glad Jacob was able to make it this week.

Well the week has been good. We’ve been teaching the people we’ve had as baptismal dates and we are working to make sure they come every week, to every meeting which is hard in a country where people need to work often and do whatever they can to provide for their family. We have also received some good referrals over the week so our teaching pool is getting larger, it’s just hard to teach all these people with the other tasks we have to accomplish like exchanges, DDMs, weekly planning’s, interviews, and doing errands for the missionaries throughout the zone.

On Tuesday I did finish the entire Bible which is something I have been working on doing for my entire mission. I made sure to read it slowly and I’ve been able to do it cover to cover. I’m pretty happy I can officially say I’ve read the Bible.

Saturday we had to take a missionary who’s visa ran out to the airport so he could fly to Uganda so they could work on keeping him here a little bit longer. We also had a couple of interviews that day and we were able to teach Mulu with someone who knew a little bit of Tigrinia and it went ok. The Spirit made up for where we lacked in communication I think. We also were able to see S’s family who are just awesome and still doing great. We gave his wife and daughter a blessing.

Sunday we had about 107 there at church but it was a lot of investigators and I’m not sure where the other members were. We had 6 investigators there. Jb came a little bit late because he thought church was at 10 like it was last week but he had some great input for the Priesthood meeting. He bore his testimony and he is just a really powerful guy. We were also able to give a member there at church a another blessing because he was having back problems. He wanted us to anoint his back with oil and bless him but we told him it would be ok just to do it on his head. We gave him that.

It was kind of cool to be able to give 5 blessings this week.

Today we also went to eat with the Parrish’s for both of our birthdays because my companions birthday is actually on Sunday so we both will be turning a year older this week, I’m just moving on to 21 and he’s moving on to 20.

The week was great. Tuesday we went to the embassy to try and get Elder Calcote’s license notarized at the U.S. Embassy. Turns out again that it opened at 1 so we would need to go back. I joked that the place must be open for only 10 minutes a day from 1 to 1:10. My joke wasn’t that far off…. We later went back and got there at 3:45 and it turns out it closed at 3:30…. Despite the wasted time doing that back and forth we were able to teach a few recent converts and teach Sebit and Alimiyu who we are preparing for baptism. Sebit will actually be baptized this Sunday and Alimiyu the Sunday following.

On Wednesday we went down to Debre Zeit for exchanges with the 4 Elders there and it was a good time. The one Elders spent a lot of time sitting around at the church waiting for people who never showed up. It was a little sad but we were able to teach the missionaries and hopefully help them find better was to find and teach.

Thursday we headed back to Addis Ababa and we went to the Embassy right at 1 this time. I was hoping again that since we’re U.S. citizens we get to kind of cut the line. My hope was in vain and we had to wait almost an hour standing outside of the embassy just to get in. When we got in we spent another hour waiting for Elder Calcote to be called up to say “yes” and pay the 50 dollars so they could notarize his license. The process itself was like 1 minute but the waiting made it be 2 hours. I guess that helps out on the patience thing. I also bit my tongue and didn’t say anything to the Ethiopian guard outside who let people who came 10 minutes after us, get inside 30 minutes before us. They really don’t understand lines too much here.

Friday we were able to meet with Jacob’s wife Hiwut. Jacob was out with some guests from the Middle East somewhere so we just shared with her more about the difference between the Priesthood and the Holy Ghost. Protestant churches really have a hard time seeing the difference and they think that the Holy Ghost gives you the power to lead the church and baptize. That’s why there are so many churches I suppose.

Saturday we met with Getachew and his daughters which was nice. We were able to give him and his daughter blessings for some eye problems they were having. We also got to go far out of Addis to this woman named Florida (pronounced flo reed a) and her sons. They are from Burundi and live in this huge complex of massive buildings outside of Addis. I took pictures of the place. There are mainly refugees from the Congo that live there. She was nice and we invited her to come to church since we hadn’t seen her for some time and only her one son who is 16 comes every Sunday. They don’t have enough money apparently to have the whole family come but she and two of her sons did come on Sunday which was great. She also has her oldest son named Elvis who isn’t a member and we are going to start teaching him.

Afterwards we were able to go and see Solomon’s family. They are always awesome and we talked about service. His oldest daughter, Hannah, wasn’t feeling well so we were also able to give her a blessing. The Mother was so thankful for the blessing we gave her last week and said she immediately got better. She must have had some powerful faith!

Sunday was good, we had 6 investigators there but one of our investigators turned out to be fake. He came and asked for money, then left before the sacrament meeting even started. Better sooner than later I gues! We only had 92 people there this week and there were a lot of recent converts and members missing for some reason. Afterwards we were able to get some rest and food and then to see Desalegn and his friends. We gave a baptismal date to his friend who is now the guardian of his Sister’s daughter. The mother passed away so she lives with them now.

We look forward to finally baptizing Jacob this week with Sebit. It has been 4 months of teaching him from down in Awassa, to up here, but the Lord has blessed me again with being able to see such a powerful guy baptized where I am. That happened once before with Ayela too. It’s crazy how the Lord was able to make it possible for me to be apart of that. Jacob I think will be my favorite person to teach on my whole mission. He’s so humble and such an amazing guy. I also included pictures of him with his wife and two daughters.

Well that’s all for me now.

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