31 March 2014

Ebola Came to Liberia!

Dear Family!

I'm glad you got those letters! I'll have another envelope full of letters on the way this week; it's already been filled and sealed. I haven't received regular mail, but other elders seem to get them just fine! Just pouch mail and packages for me. 

[I asked about a sore on his leg, visible in the photos]  The sore... I tried to jump up this cement wall thingy at an investigators house, like a box jump when I put the box super tall and added stuff on top, but I've seemed to have lost my touch... It's a scar now! ;)
[We received letters and these three printed photos in the mail this week:]
"This is overlooking Congo town area, we were walking by it and thought it'd be a good picture! Liberia is GREEN!"
"I got going 90 mph on this baby! ... I wish. That bike wouldn't be able to go 90 even if I tried! Liberia has these motorcycles. They're nicer than the ones we ride around on [on motorbike taxis], but they are bluffing bikes; they don't have anything on the inside. This bike is 175 cc. I miss motorcycling. 
"Surfing with Elder Pishl, Elder Tolar, and me! We found these surfboards at the beach on P-day and decided to take a picture with them!"
I want to be able to do them [triathlons, and an Ironman]  within a year... That would be an incredible achievement. I'll train hard. :) I want to do that tri together! Plan which one! :D Rikki is running??? Whoah!

I took apart the mp3 player, by the way. It wasn't working, so I took the shell and stuff off it and made it work. It works now! Though the battery life is worse than terrible. :)

This week has been good! Notes:

Y. and E.! Their wedding is set for April 19th, and Y. is now progressing! I'm so happy for them. :) She's accepting the gospel, and she came to church yesterday! This wedding means I could baptize that family within the transfer!

P.: She's getting baptized this Saturday! She's been great. She has friends in the church already and wants to proselyte with us! She'll be one of my favorite converts.

B.: She hasn't been progressing, but now she came to church! This means she's one step closer to knowing this gospel is true. :)

There's a new couple here named the Devers! They are from Seattle area, and they are now stationed in my branch for each sacrament meeting! They're great! I'm excited to have them here.

EBOLA CAME TO LIBERIA! so the mission has been taking crazy precautions. No shaking hands, no food from members/investigators, etc. It's crazy. I don't plan on dying out here ;)

This week has been full of great experiences and good moments. I'm working on learning all that the Lord has for me to learn, and growing up to see the sunlight at the top of the forest. I'm just a rough ore inside a furnace, not quite the pure gold yet. I know there's a lot ahead, but I'm grateful for the Lord's support and protection.

Elder Price

Excerpt from his weekly letter to his mission president:
"This week has been a good one in our proselyting, and we have been blessed in several aspects. We have had members working with us much more, and we were able to have a very large number of member present lessons, the highest I have ever had personally on mission in a week. I am very happy for that one, and I've seen the branch working with us more."

24 March 2014

Every day I'm saying what He wants me to say


This week's been pretty good! I am adapting, it's definitely different. There are still some stories that can be shared. :) Elder Larsey is a cool guy, from Ghana. He came from Accra. I don't know what his parents do... He does have some siblings... He was young [when he joined the church], about 12 I think.
March 17th Transfer Day Photo. The new Paynesville Apt (Morris Farm) L-R  Elders Price, Larsey, Jemba, Gharbin, Pishl
Those mission calls. O_o Thank you for sending those: they're crazy. And Christian was called to Japan: HAH! Thanks for that update. Way cool. [I sent him a list of some of his friends who received their mission calls recently]

Sweet, you're getting letters! I wonder if that video does red-light justice... Maybe! It's insane. [In a handwritten letter we received last week he describes the Red Light market and I told him I found a video of it on YouTube. I'll share here on his blog soon.]

Yeah, samwiches... The menu made me laugh. Especially the price for the Liberian dishes: HAH! Yeah, like I'd pay that much for it. [I found a menu for Sam's BBQ online] 

[Q: Do you have a refrigerator in your apartment? If so, how does that work with the power out so much?]  
We have a freezer. Basically, it comes on in the evening, turns off in the morning. It makes our water bottles cold! We can't store food at all, unless it isn't perishable.

So, my week was good! I took some notes, highlights, to say:
Monday: We basically just hung out at the apartment 'cause we're almost completely out of sub... Hehe... [subsistence = his monthly living allowance.]
Tuesday: District meeting, like usual. I gave instruction, like usual... We had a few lessons... :)
Wednesday: We went up to Whein Town. We saw El.'s woman (my first time meeting her. The previous first time was with Elder Tolar and Pishl on exchange). We set up to teach her the lessons. Then we had Book of Mormon class! Which I taught... Alma 32 is what we read.
Thursday: uh... I didn't have any notes for this day....
Friday: Exchange with Elder Tolar! We went to their apartment in the morning before companionship study, then I took Elder Tolar back to my apartment. We proselyted-had fun-had food that was Liberian! We saw El. and Y. and taught her The Restoration. She understands it, and we're hoping she begins to accept the message. El. texted us that night (Elder Tolar stayed the night) and said that he wants Elder Tolar with me next time we see her. But, that won't be possible, I explained that to him on Sunday... But we texted back and asked why. He said that Y. is "getting convinced." :) I talked to him more on Sunday, and he said that she just felt like she understood it very well, and is believing. We also saw P., who is scheduled to be baptized this coming Saturday. We talked to her about that, because she still needs to be taught quite a few lessons. She felt prepared for the baptism, so we taught her 2 things right there. Then we planned to teach her on Sunday, which fell through because her mom carried her to her mom's church for some program. We were going to teach her 2 things at that time, too, but now it looks like her date will have to be moved until the next saturday so that she can be interviewed and learn all these things! P. is 17. Sunday was good, too! We went to a wedding after church! And ate amazing food. It was a traditional wedding, although it was just the reception. Ahhh the food. I like food....

So, all-in-all (hehe, wall-e), it was a good week! I'm praying for converts and baptisms, as well as miracles in the branch. I'm also praying to become a better leader. I'm trying so hard to become who the Lord wants me to be, 'cause I've already gone where He wants me to go, and every day I'm saying what He wants me to say. Now I gotta be who He wants me to be.

Have a great week! I love you all and pray for you.
Elder Price

(oh, random fact: the people here call Liberian Dollars "liberty")

17 March 2014

"I'm grateful to be here"

Dear family (and others)!

I'm glad you enjoyed the photos! The salmon was GREAT. :) That was the living room in our apartment! We don't have a couch or anything, so it doesn't look furnished, but it's still really nice.Those other pictures were taken from our water tower... hehe... It's still my apartment! Anddddd transfer news:
I am... Staying! I'm still in Paynesville 1a, District Leader, all that jazz. But Elder Pishl left. He went to New Georgia 1. I'm kinda bummed, 'cause he was a really fun companion to have and made the weeks fly by, but hey, it is what it is! Now I have a new companion, Elder Larsey. He's from Ghana, and he is also my MTC! [meaning he entered the MTC the same time as Rain, in September] No one else in my district changed, so now it's me with Elders Gharbin and Jemba in the apartment. No one else really in the zone changed, either. It was odd. And now it's going to be my first time living in apartment with no Americans: I hope it goes well! I know it will be another great learning and growing opportunity over the next six weeks. Elder Larsey is a really nice guy, so it will be good. It already feels different without Elder Pishl, though. Definitely gonna be different.

I'm so glad you're okay. I hope you continue to feel better... I wrote you a letter this week about physical goals! I'm super excited for you to read it. But I think I'm going to spoil the big thing I told you and say it now: I want to do an Ironman. I also want to get into swimming for exercise. So, that will mean some changes in my habits back home! I think it would be such a great accomplishment.

Chuck A Rama by our house?! That may throw my last paragraph out the window ;) That's very dangerous. For us, that is.

Ooooh! I'm excited for the birthday box! Remember to have a letter from you guys in it. I like those letters that y'all include. If it fits, maybe you could send me a "Missionary's Pocket Reference" book? It's a small blue spiral bound book. Thank you! One month from today and I'll be 19! Whoah!

Sam's BBQ was good! I had a meat kebab thingy, two of them. The meat was AMAZING. It was a very fun event with tons of us there. Also, remember not to drink the mixture of strawberry and ginger... It hurts. >.< Why do they make it?! [Review of the special lunch they had last Monday]

Yes, in fact, I do have good stories! Mostly because I decided to write in my journal very intensively this past week for a few days. One of the days that I wrote about took 10 (yes, 10) pages of my journal. That is why I don't, and can't, write everything. It's crazy. So I'm going to use my journal to write this one...

For Wednesday:
Elder Pishl and I stayed inside until nearly 2:00 because we were receiving water in our water tank. They gave us two more barrels for water storage, so now we have 3! They also filled up (by the way this is straight copy from my journal, mostly.) every single bucket we have in the apartment. So we stayed in until then. Then we went to the cook shop that we like where we got our normal, a hundred Liberty bowl with two spoons. We split it - it has rice (duh), chicken, and "stew", a good soup. We also get apple fanta when they have it. On the way to the shop Elder Pishl and I had a fun time talking about our prom memories, it was good! After the cook shop we went up Pipeline Road to Whein Town. We had been praying a ton the night before and that day that we would be able to see at least 4 people. We, on our way up, had a little miracle happen. First, a man named Jerry, who we had never seen before, stopped us and asked for us to study with him. We told him we'd be back later, after a different appointment, and we were on our way. Then we kept walking and a girl stopped us. Her name is Tea-girl, and she wanted to study with us, too. So we said the same thing to her! We finally got to Whein Town and went to El.
The lesson with El. was incredible. He's progressing SO much, except he isn't married. He's working on that. Well, we sat down with him, and (keep in mind, we had already given this guy a triple combination, a KJV bible, and a true to the faith. The first time we came back after the triple combination he had already read the first 6 chapters of moses) he had already read from the beginning of the Book of Mormon to chapter 25 of 2nd nephi. It was amazing. So, we answered some of his questions from the Book of Mormon (who is the stem of Jesse? Christ. Those sort of questions) and then we talked to him about the articles of faith. The night before, when we were planning, I felt that we really needed to teach him the articles of faith, and then that morning I felt that we really needed to focus on article 6, us believing in the same organization as the primitive church. After reading it, he sat there looking at the scriptures, pondering, and I saw his question form as he put the pieces together. He asked, "wait... so... That means the church has all these things, too? Apostles, prophets?" and I knew it was the right thing for us to teach him. I pulled out the picture I have of all the first presidency, quorum of the 12, and the seventy. We looked at each group with him. He loved it. We then talked to him about receiving the Liahona - how it was the words of those men inside it. He went on to explain himself how it made sense for it to be called the Liahona because just as upon the Liahona was written the words of God for Lehi to follow, we have the words of the prophet and apostles for us to follow. It was super sweet. Then we closed the lesson, had soft drink with him, and left. We walked back, first to Beyon & Hawa. Toma is usually with them, but she was busy that day. Toma and Hawa came to church for the first time last Sunday. We followed up with Beyon on the Law of Chastity; she's been keeping it! Her boyfriend doesn't yet understand, though, so we're hoping to be able to explain it to him sometime. We extended to Hawa a commitment to keep it. She said she would, but she has a boyfriend. We're hoping it goes well with her. Then we went back up the road to see Tea-girl. We had a lesson with her and talked to her about coming to church. She said she goes to a different church, and she wants to be baptized this year. We spent a long time explaining to her that the baptism she's wanting to do is not correct, and we're holding her to saying she would come to church the following Sunday, not this Sunday. We finished with her and went up to Jerry. We taught him, and he has some major doubts about Joseph Smith, whom he had heard about before. The man is a strong Christian, and I'm praying he will understand our message. We then went to the Book of Mormon class: no one had shown up. So... We left. But Elder Tolar called us and said they had a few investigators back at the church whom they needed another set of missionaries to go on a split with them, so they could teach both. So I taught with Pearmain. We taught a woman named Mami and her daughter (8 yrs). It was a good lesson (you may have seen photos, Elder Berrett took some). Then we caught bike and went home!

Anyway, that was one day. We have lessons SO often. I counted how many lessons we had this transfer: 111. Even with several really rough weeks. El. is amazing. I read some other elder mentioning how many investigators came to church... Well, this past week, here in Liberia, in my area, we had 9 come to church. That's not uncommon... We get more than that consistently. Liberia mission is different, and it is blessed. I'm grateful to be here. Here are some notes that I made to write about:

We had a bat in the apartment one of the days! It was an adventure getting it out of our room. I eventually hit it midflight with a shirt, and that threw it against a wall. Elder Pishl pinned it with a broom and dustpan and took it outside, where it flew away.

There was a wedding on Saturday! Food! Mmmmm. :) They feed the missionaries WELL. It was in my branch, but not my investigator or anything.

There's a family, the Thomases, who we are teaching. Two sisters, in two different households. Both have come to church, and they say that if they can't make it to church they will make sure their sons are always there. Their sons are mission age. :D 

There was a crazy thunderstorm. I went outside at night with it, and I FROZE. Ah! :)

I received Dearelders this past week! They were good. [I send updates from many of his missionary friends this way, copying and pasting emails or excerpts from their blog posts.]

If you have any specific questions about missionary work here, please ask specifically...I can expound on areas, but it's harder to figure out what areas to expound...

This week has been good! I'll keep you updated on how everything goes. I pray for you all every night, and I love you all. Thank you for the support coming from home. Have an amazing week. :)

Love, Elder Price

P.S. I'm 6 months this week! Only 3 more times! :D The time has flown by. I also thought I should let you guys know, my return day isn't the 20th of September, 2015. It is the 15th of September. Thought you outta know! :)

10 March 2014

New Apartment Photos

Dear Family,
Haha, it's awesome to see that photo! I look way different now. [I sent him a copy of this photo that I'd posted to facebook. "The last time Rain had his hair this short he was in fifth grade and shaved it in honor of a classmate fighting cancer. I couldn't resist making a "then and now" photo."] 
Also, my head hasn't sunburned... I wore a hat for a couple days to break my skin in, but it's been totally fine. :) It feels so weird though. I've received funny comments from investigators: "China-man with big ears!" coming from a 20 year old guy.
I might be able to send you photos today! I'll try. [He did! Yay!]
Elders Pishl and Price, with Elder Tolar in the background
We made the salmon with mashed potatoes!
[smoked salmon from his Christmas package]
Baptism March 8th
Kpelle mask
View from his apartment?
Normal sight for us

Apartment with "princess" beds (aka mosquito netting)

The work is great. We are helping some great investigators, and I can recognize the spirit a lot more than I used to be able to. I should have some good investigator stories next week, I have a feeling this week is gonna be awesome. The new apartment is FANTASTIC. I like it a ton. It's spacious, and we're having a good time. I haven't quite adjusted to being district leader yet.. I'm sure it will come eventually. I got a couple things that you'll like! (thanks for the personal $20, by the way [sent in his last package]) I got a sweet Kpelle mask. It's so awesome. I'll try to send you pictures. I also got a gold's gym resistance band. It's a sweet adjustable one that's WAY high quality. It has the red, blue, and black bands that each can be removed, with cloth over the center of the tubes to prevent wear. I got it for... $150 LD. So less than 2 US. :) I also got a Chargers jersey. Tomlinson! :) Today we're going to Sam's BBQ in town to celebrate Elder Tolar's and Pearmain's one year mark. That'll be fun (and tasty)!
Food menu... Well, I bought some cereal and powdered milk this past week, so I ate a ton of that... It was great. I love cereal. But it's expensive. :P Lunch is usually Liberian food! I eat eggs and stuff still.
I DO hit the 6 month mark! Crazy... [next week] Also, it's week 6 of the transfer, which means this could be my last week with Elder Pishl. This transfer flew by! I don't think I'm leaving the area, but anything could happen! I'll probably receive a new companion.
...Your mentioning of the "cool, crisp, sunshine" sounds very nice. ;)
DAD WENT TO A PAINTBALL TOURNAMENT?!?!?! That is simply awesome. And it sounds like he did awesome. Of course. I can't wait to receive the full report! [Dale went to St. George for a tournament on Saturday]
My birthday package: Well, I'm not sure... You guys are really good at putting special things in packages for me. But maybe this could help: we really can get most American things here, it's just way expensive. That's basically it... And Elder Pishl probably won't be with me, but if he is (I'm praying he is), he likes "everything. I dunno... gimme a category! You can't just say what do you like and have me make that decision!" Soooooo I dunno. Just put stuff in the package! He is along the same lines as me with food; we like sweet things. I like food. :)
I love you all, have a great week!

Elder Price
The Paynesville Zone Elders (photo from the Berrett's)

03 March 2014

New Apartment

Dear Family,

That sounds like an awesome trip! ...Plus, it was cool to share bits of that email with my companion; he lived in AZ! Plus, he said that Mountain View was his rival high school down there. :) Dad gave a speech? It's been a long time since he's done that sort of thing! [We made a quick trip to Arizona last weekend. On Friday Dale spoke to a group of high school students at Mountain View HS and on Saturday I ran in the Phoenix Half Marathon].

And... We DID change apartments! Today. It's taken up the entire day, but this new apartment is SO nice. Possibly the nicest apartment in the mission (that's what the couples say), and it's so sweet. I like it. It's a bummer that Elder Tolar and Elder Pearmain aren't in the same apartment as us anymore, though.
Paynesville Elders (Pishl, Price, Pearmain, and Tolar). Photo courtesy the Hezseltine's blog
F didn't get baptized... He missed his interview. It was a bummer. But he is going to be baptized this Saturday! He was interviewed on Sunday. Woo hoo!

Haha, we did NOT eat that monkey. That was just someone selling it. [Referring to the monkey arm he'd told us about last week.]
So, here is what I planned to write you about...

First, moving apartments. This new apartment is really cool. It's in a compound like most, but it just... It looks like a home. It's awesome.

We taught a woman named Mrs. T. She was very hard-hearted against us, but we went and taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit was SO strong during that lesson, and her heart was softened. I'm so glad, too, because she has a daughter that hasn't been able to be baptized because her mom is so stubborn against us. But now... Now Mrs. T. agreed to being baptized! ...at least she accepts us now!

I went on exchange with Elder Pearmain! That was really funny. It was good. Just like earlier on mission! My third exchange with him!

We went to a place in our area called Johnsonville. There are hardly any people out there! It's really neat though, and it has some pretty good small hills.

We went to a place last Monday that sells masks and statues and stuff! It's WAY cool. I'm going to get some of that stuff before I come home (oh, right, the Pele tribe is spelled "Kpelle"!) for each of y'all! It's really cool stuff-very African.

I shared a scripture with an investigator this past week: Ex 31:14 (I believe) saying that if she breaks the Sabbath she should be put to death. Guess who came to church! Her! It was sweet. And funny. Her friend, who is a member, said this when she was told the scripture: "Kala, you come and die-o!"

Oh, my sansa is dead... it says "FAT corrupted" so... I'm glad I got the package today! The new mp3 player works! I mean, I can't see the music, but it's awesome to have the capability to play it! :) I'm so excited to go home after this emailing and look through that package! Thank you! :)  [fastest delivery yet--only four weeks to arrive! Yay. Dale had included a small "shuffle" type $3 mp3 player at the last minute, and it takes the same microSD cards as his old mp3 player. FTW.]

We were talking to E., our investigator, and I was telling him a story of me breaking my arm on the 4-wheeler. I was describing the 4-wheeler, 'cause I've seen one here, and I wanted to know what they call them. I asked him, and he knew what I was talking about. He said they call it.. "Bike." just like everything else. Hahahahahahahaha
Also, E. received the triple combination and true to the faith. We went there, and he had already read the first 6 chapters of Moses and studied the pictures in Abraham. CRAZY stuff. It was so amazing. Plus, he studied true to the faith a whole bunch, too.

This week was a good one, and I'm doing great! I saw Elder Berrett today; he took a picture and should be sending that to you this week!
Photos from Elder and Sister Berrett

I love you all; have an amazing week!

Elder Price