This has been my first week (half of one, at least) out in Liberia. The week has been great, albeit stressful. My companion and I are getting along well, and he's teaching me a lot. I'm working on trying to talk/teach/just-plain-communicate more often. I find it difficult to talk to some people, however, because they don't understand my English at all, and I can only understand theirs sometimes. I don't know what to do about that, if I should learn their accent/dialect or not. The food is really new; I'm trying my best to like it. I've had quite a bit of culture shock, even though I had been trying to brace myself for a while. It's so different, and I'm already beginning to love it here. The motorcycle rides are great, and I love just walking down the street and seeing everything.
This week my companion and I got a new investigator, a girl in her early 20s. We taught her once, and she seemed to be really interested, and we extended a couple commitments, one of which was coming to church. She came, and that made me so happy. I didn't realize that seeing an investigator come to church and keep those commitments would bring me so much joy.
I also had a chance this week to invite a few people to be baptized and hearing them say yes brings such a great feeling. I like the miracle sharing in the evening that we have. It brings the spirit even more and makes me think more about His influence every single day.
I'm working hard to know the area better, to adapt, to teach more effectively, and to be a better missionary. I know that my work here is blessing my loved ones back home, and I'm trying to lose myself in the work.
^^^ My weekly letter to the pres.
Things are pretty good here; I'm learning to handle it! I didn't see conference at all... [they don't get General Conference live there, they have to wait for the printed version to be mailed to them]. Elder Dube actually spoke to the MTC in Ghana! I met him! I have a picture with him!
[Answers to our] Questions:
My area is Point 4, a pretty populated area [our research points to right about here on the map]. My apartment has electricity (paid for kinda like a calling card).
My companion's name is Elder Manqana (the q stands for a *tongue click where you suction your tongue to the roof of your mouth and hit it down on the bottom*). He's from South Africa. Definitely not American, but we're getting along pretty well. There is one companionship in my apartment with us, although we have room for another. We also have two other apartments in this building, with two companionships in each of those, so it's not too lonely!
We did spend the first night there [at the mission home]! The travel was pretty comfortable, just a 2.5 hour flight. The landing was rough, though. I had fun. :)
I'm able to sleep well! I get weird dreams each night though. The first night in my apartment I woke up at 3, my entire face melting. Turns out I got the insecticide from the net on my face really bad in the night, and it burns. The net loses some of that initial face-burning potency pretty fast though, so it's fine now! My sheets fit just fine! [he took a fitted mattress sheet]
The living conditions are what we've heard about! The bucket showers suck. I don't like them. I like real showers.
The building's pretty weird, it's really open, and rooms seem to be in random places.
The local food is alright, though spicy. I tried some fufu today, and I could barely get it down... Bleh.
The water is just fine! Of course, I drink all filtered water, but it's fine! I can get quite a bit of American food at the supermarket/store/small-store-actually if I really get in the mood for it, and they even sell my shampoo here!
I'm trying really hard to be fine, and the homesickness is a lot better than it was. I'm having more fun than before, and it's working out alright! Also, the family bakery is DANG good. I miss you all, but I know that this is where I'm supposed to be right now. Even if I suck at this.