28 April 2014

Back on Bushrod Island

Dear Family,
Well, transfer news, since that was your first question:
I am now in DOE COMMUNITY. With Elder Kamara! He's from Sierra Leone. :) But, get this, I am now... Zone Leader! AH!!!! Crazy talk, right???? Tell me about it. *deep breath* Elder Manqana is replacing me in Paynesville, and Elder Kamara trained Elder Larsey! We swapped mission fathers!  [a "mission father" is slang for the elder that trained the missionary. Manqana trained Price and Kamara trained Larsey.]  It's a cool transfer. :) Crazy to be back in the same internet cafe that I used to email in. Talk about a big change.
I received my birthday package yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D It was so great! I loved everything in it. I'm wearing the sandals right now :) Also, amongst all the music that is on the player, the thing that made me the happiest had to be the podcasts. Thank you. So much. Those podcasts totally made me happy. I haven't had time to read the letters or anything yet, 'cause of packing for transfers, but I'll read those in these coming days. [we included "podcasts" of all of the April session of General Conference, and of Dale. It's basically just his dad telling childhood stories. we've only done five episodes, but they're pretty entertaining.]
[Insurance has finally approved a new prosthetic leg for Dale. We are hopeful that this will improve his mobility and maybe he'll be able to run. This is huge news for our family. I sent Sister Berrett a note so she could pass the news on to Elder Price if she saw him during the week.]  Sister Berrett called me and I was soooo happy. It was so awesome. :) I found out on Wednesday night. I'm thrilled! :D
[Rikki's graduating from Utah State University this week. Hooray for Rikki!]
She's gonna be a graduate! I'm proud of her. :) Go education! That's what you've ingrained in us, Mom. ;)
I got a random craving for apple fries this past week.
Does your friend's son who served in Benin Togo know an Elder Kabedeh??? He was in Payneville, a recent RM.
Patience, Elder Price, and Brother Kabedeh
An investigator friend named E...n came to church!!!!!!!!!!! It was his first time in ever! He and his siblings have been studying with us for 3 months, and they had never come because of their parents being strict Catholics. It was sweet to see him there on Sunday!There were two service projects this past week! We cut grass in both, but on the second, which was a zone project, we also shoveled out dirt for the member to make mud bricks out of it. I got a blister and tore it on the first service project though!

Saying goodbyes
This week is going to be crazy. New area, new companion, new assignment. I'll be praying a lot. I'm going to miss Paynesville; I loved those people, but the Lord has prepared people for me here. I'm back on Bushrod Island!
I love you all, and I know Heavenly Father is watching over each of us. He's there, guiding us.
Time for more adventures.
Elder Price

Follow-up Q&A:
Q: Doe Community is the same apartment building/compound you were in when you got there, isn’t it? How many elders/sisters are in your zone? What areas does it cover?
A: Yep! 12 peoples including me. 2 sisters (one companionship). Point 4, New Kru Town (2 areas) , Logan town (2 areas), Doe comm.

Q: Has rainy season really hit yet? A little time to wear your sandals before you break out the rubber boots?
A: It hasn't quite hit yet... I'm gonna wear the sandals.
Selling gas

21 April 2014

Palm Butter Birthday Soup


My birthday... I didn't really do anything. Just another evening... It was cool to think of myself as 19! That part was neat. No packages yet... And the wedding didn't happen because Y's mother wasn't in town and Y. said at the last moment (the night before) that she wasn't going to be married without her mom there. So that was a big bummer.

I received 31 "dearelders" yesterday! That part was super awesome! It took me an hour to sort them into the correct order. Then I read them all! They were all (except 2) from Mom--emails home from other missionaries. I enjoyed that. But speaking of how other mission experiences would be different... Trust me, there's nothin' like these African experiences. But more on that later. [Must have been a couple months worth of letters from his missionary friends that I'd been sending his way. Looks like they piled up somewhere and all arrived at once.] 

I had been using a different Degree kind of deodorant that I bought here, but that one finished so I started using one of the ones I brought from home. Aqua reef old spice made me crazy trunky for leather jackets, riding the motorcycle, playing video games, playing guitar... Ah!

I can make Jollof Rice now! It's good. I've cooked nearly every night this past week.

Oh yeah, I LOVED the thing about boredom and work ethic. That article was awesome. [I sent him this article: "How to Stay Focused When You Get Bored Working Toward Your Goals"  I really like the article, which is why I sent it to him]

Contacting here is like this: we just start talking to somebody. Then we say we want to share our message with them, and we ask them when we can see them, their numbers, etc. That's about it. They don't say no. It's pretty simple. We pick and choose, follow the spirit, in who to talk to. Lessons learned here seem to be very different from lessons learned in other missions... We're spiritual, but it seems like we are in a different way. The African mentality and culture are ingrained to everything, and it's very different. ...it's just so different. I feel like my homecoming talk will include something like, "you had to be there."

My interview with president was interesting... It was a great interview, and he helped me to be stronger... It's been a pretty rough week. Zone leaders passed a message on from President to me during follow-ups yesterday, just saying that President is proud of me. I'm so glad he supports me, because it's been rough.

Dear Journal, I'm exhausted. Physically, emotionally, mentally...
Today wasn't all bad. The first lesson was M. She is progressing well. We reviewed the restoration with her. Then we saw a guy named brother O. He lives in the same compound as Pr. and M., and he had been taught plenty by Elder Guymon. We had knocked on his door, looking for his daughter to teach, but he was there instead and welcomed us in. So we'll pick up with him.
Then we walked to Chinese cold storage. On the way a guy who we contacted a couple weeks ago stopped us and told us that he read the book we gave him (the restoration), and he's coming to church this Sunday. So I hope he's serious about it. (he never came)
We went to E's house, but he wasn't there. We waited around for quite a while, and out member, Fredrick, came. So, we taught B the law of tithing. And then we taught F. He's having a hard time keeping the Law of Chastity. We're going to try to see their father on Sunday...
Then we went up the road-wait, I forgot to write some stories! At E's: T, their cousin who grew up in New Jersey but is here for a year, was playing Nintendo DS. Not just that, but he was playing pokemon. Agh! It made me so trunky. Not just that. He pulled out an issue of Game informer! Trunky to the max. Plus, he was singing Radioactive by imagine dragons, and he proceeded to have B play that song from his phone. Sheesh! Then he talked to me about Minecraft. What the?! The kid isn't very old, like 13 or something... naw, more like 11. That all made me crazy trunky. Especially the Pokemon. All the memories of playing pokemon came rushing back.
After them we went up the road and tried to see E, but he wasn't there. So we went and saw J. J remembers his baptism date (and came to church!) and is preparing to be baptized on May 10th. That was a good lesson; we taught the plan of salvation.
We then tried to see B, but she said she wasn't feeling well, so Fredrick took us to his friend S., who we just introduced ourselves to, and Fredrick's mom.
Oh heck. I just got a phone call from E. The wedding was supposed to be happening tomorrow. But Y's mom isn't in town, and she said she won't be married without her mom here. Goodness... I'm praying so hard for them. Ah... I don't even know what to say about it.

Thank you so much for the support. I know I'm doing the right stuff out here. This week has been a pretty crazy one as far as surprising news goes, especially with the cancelled wedding. But it'll be alright. The Lord is watching over me and lifting me up when I don't think I can go any further. Transfer news is this Saturday, so things might switch up for next week! I'll let you guys know. :) I'm happy to hear how your Easter was! We didn't really do anything for our Easter, though. I'm working hard!

Love you all,
Elder Makani Rain Price

We had a chance to email back and forth for a little bit this morning:
Me: Speaking of your ZL’s, Pearmain’s dad is running the Boston marathon, RIGHT NOW! That’s pretty cool.
Elder P: Oh yeah, Pearmain was called on an emergency transfer back to Bushrod side. New ZL is Elder Bowring! [another elder hurt his knee playing soccer and had to go home for surgery]

Me: Did Patience make you soup for your birthday?
Elder P: Yep! Palm Butter! It was good.

Spotted in the Knight Building at BYU. A map showing where BYU freshmen are currently serving.

17 April 2014

Happy 19th Birthday Elder Price!

Today is our son's nineteenth birthday. I have this project I've been working on... I was planning on posting it when he returns from his mission, but that's still seventeen months away! So, in celebration of Rain's birthday, I'm sharing a sneak preview of this "work in progress."  I know it won't mean as much to the rest of the world as it does to me, but I hope you enjoy and appreciate. Or just click through and leave me to my slideshow therapy.

If you're curious, here are blog posts we did for his last few birthdays:

How we celebrated his 18th birthday:

And his 17th:

And of course, there was Dale in his birthday suit for Rain's 16th:

14 April 2014

Upcoming Wedding


This week was kinda...  My companion got very very sick! He had typhoid and Malaria. And Elder Jemba had Typhoid. So... on Tuesday we had zone meeting, then Elder Gharbin and I went and taught with each other small. The next day we did the same thing... And the next day... On Friday Elder Jemba was feeling better, so he went and proselyted with Elder Gharbin, and I stayed inside with my companion. Then on Saturday my companion was able to proselyte! He's still on meds, but we're working through it. It was crazy to have a 3 day exchange!

My investigators are doing well! The biggest news with them is that El. and Y. are getting married this Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D I'm so excited! El. will be baptized the following Saturday. Next week I'll have a journal entry to email home... this week I forgot a couple of days and the others weren't so interesting. So... Next week! As for food: I eat biscuits! Just the packaged cookies on the side of the road, really. It's not hard to make it through the day; we always have a dinner at night 'cause we do district food where we pitch in $20US at the beginning of the month and use it to buy rice and food for dinner for the entire month for us all. It's good!

[Dale is doing a burpee (exercise) challenge. 33 burpees a day for 33 days]  Am I invited? ;) I mean, I hate burpees... but still. Anyway, I'm doing pushups every morning, mostly. And working on my hamstring flexibility. Right now I'm at 50 pushups every morning; I started at 20. So, it's improving! Let me know what the verdict is on your health, Mom. I'm praying for your health as well as Dad to get his running leg.

The microSD card that you guys sent recently formatted... (I had some guy with a laptop check it) I blame the player. So I'm not using that mp3 player anymore. I'm using my companion's! We share. It's good. :) Though I miss that music. Sorry about that... I would like some pictures sent to me physically... Paintball. Dad playing, me playing, RYATT PLAYING! Also a couple senior pics of mine could be cool. Most people don't understand what I looked like back home. Also... Doctrines of Salvation 2 and 3 could be awesome. I've loved reading 1. I'm past page 600 of "Jesus the Christ!" Which I'm happy about. I've been enjoying that book.

This coming week is my birthday, you're right! [um, like I'd be wrong about that?]  Big 19! I don't really have any special plans for this week, but generally the apartment does something when it's someone's birthday. So... We'll see! I'm hoping that package can get here in time. I'll make sure to investigate every nook and cranny! And I don't know if it will be better than last year's... We'll see! I forgot what happened on last year's... And the year before... I mostly just remember the one that I took friends and went paintballing. That was a good one. I think that was my 16th.... So this year's won't be bad! I have a recent convert, Patience, who told me I need to come by on Thursday, and she had asked my companion what my favorite soup was. (Soup means Liberian dish) [I asked what his favorite "soup" was:] my companion said Fried Potato Greens. I don't really know... that or Dry Rice... or Pumpkin...

I'm glad you enjoyed the Miles' homecoming! I can imagine that they just shared what they saw... I'll probably do the same. ;) Naw, I'll give a talk. But I'll tell plenty stories! I'm really excited to see Dad's hair in it's fullness when I get home. [umm.. Dale is growing his hair until Rain comes home. It's just beginning to get interesting.]

[We sent some photos from home, taken on a "day trip" we took over Ryatt's Spring Break. Here are a few:]
Fishing near Currant Creek
Ryatt and the dogs

That day trip looks really amazing... KFC memories! I remember Dad taking Rikki and me up to Tibble Fork to fish in "big blue," getting us KFC on the way up. :) I like the idea of having that camping trip! I actually wrote about that in a letter already... Funny... Also, I LOVE those pictures. I really do. Especially the one of me teaching ;) Haha, it's a good picture.  [I shared this one with him from the Berrett's blog:] 

And... The temple photos. I loved that day. Thanks for sending me those. That was a good day. [these were taken at the San Diego Temple in July. That was a good day.]:

I hope you guys have an awesome Easter. I love you all. Keep up the good stuff back home. :)
Elder Price
[Excerpts from his letter to his mission president:]

Dear President,

This week has not been as productive as I wished it would've been, but now that my companion is overcoming his illness we are able to be more productive once again, and I am excited for the coming week. I definitely felt my desire to serve turn into a desire to teach this past week, as I was unable to go and teach as much. I've found that teaching brings up my spirits as well as all of the other good things that come from our lessons.
I am also just starting [the book of] Ether! I'm glad to hear that I'm not off-track. I've loved reading the Book of Mormon, and I feel that my days are filled even more with the Spirit as I read it each day. I've also been very interested in my last reading in 4th Nephi, because I never really paid attention to that chapter in my past readings of the Book of Mormon. I was so interested in seeing how the Nephites fell from such an amazing height of righteousness, and what symptoms came in which order as they fell. I saw how they could have chosen to go back on the path, but they gave into temptations and fell even further.

Thank you for your reminder on effective time use in the evenings. I have been reading Jesus the Christ in the evenings, and I've been able to see the attributes of Christ better than I ever have in the past. I've found my reading there to often lead me to do more study inside the scriptures, and I'm grateful for this opportunity to study at night and to be a more effective missionary.

Thank you for your support,

Elder Price

07 April 2014

Eat more bones

Dear Family,

Ah, eat more bones. They strengthen your teeth a ton. I'll show you when I get back home: take me to KFC, no, buffalo wild wings in the first few days from when I get home. I'll eat their hottest wings with no ranch, and I'll eat the bones too. ;) Bones really do help your teeth strength though... [I cracked a tooth last week, this was his response.]

I'm being careful with Ebola, don't worry. :)

We didn't get a chance to listen to any of conference... They had some live broadcast thingy in town on Saturday, but the missionaries weren't invited to that one, as it was just a first trial for it. Already two conferences down! Woot woot! I'm excited to read those talks. And that's a really cool thing about the missionary reference guide! Really sweet! [we received an autographed copy of the Pocket Reference Book for Missionaries! Elder Price had asked for it, and the author sent us a note, offering to send a complimentary autographed copy!] 
We received this in the mail. Sending it on to Liberia this week.
Signed by the author, Adrian P. Call, Jr.
I've been trying to learn how to write with my left hand! That's been an adventure. It makes my hand ache... Right now it's chicken scratch, but it'll get better! [I asked him why and he replied, "Just 'cause I feel like doing it. :)" ]

[I heard from the mother of a newly called missionary (heading to Liberia). Her son reports in August. I asked Rain if there were things he took to Liberia that he felt like he didn't need:]  I'll need time to think about what wasn't worth the space... the laundry plunger I use occasionally, but not really that much. Pishl never uses his. It's dry season, so I don't know about the rain coat. Suitcases: another smaller bag might have been nice instead of the duffel.

[He had some tough personal news from home last week. I asked him how he was doing with that. Here is part of his reply:]  The Lord has comforted me. There have been some rough times. I had a really special experience... and [I felt] everything described in Galatians 5:22 ["But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith"] It was amazing. I know He's helping me through this all... I guess you can say there's a big spiritual side of me that I don't really share a whole ton through emails. :)  [and, an excerpt to his letter to his mission president:]  "I share this with you because of the tremendous impact the Lord has had in my life, as I have felt the spirit more strongly lifting me up than I have felt in the past. I noticed as I taught this past week that I had no thoughts of back home, but instead I was finding my focus and mind on the missionary work. I have been praying to find my joy through this work, and I have seen this prayer being answered every time I teach a lesson. I know my Heavenly Father is watching over me, and I am feeling much better than how I felt last week."

I'm doing well. Tuesday was crazy: President Kirkham came to my district meeting. Ah! :) Wednesday was an exchange with Elder Gharbin into my area... Also, Mom, I need your measurements. There's a guy who wants to make you a dress. :) He's also going to make me a shirt. It's sweet.

P. was baptized, and that was super sweet. I baptized her! Then after the baptism there was a program for the youth in my branch that the missionaries were invited to. It was very well done! They did a "drama" (a long skit) that was better than the ones we do back home. ;) There were also cool games and food and music. It was great!

I'm hoping for E. and Y. to get married the 19th of April, and it seems to be set in stone, but if you all could pray for that one...

Oh yeah, President Kirkham was also at our baptism! That was the first time he had been at one that I was at.

I'm still working hard! :) I love you all.

Elder Price