27 January 2014

Service Project Fun!

Hello!

The weather forecast is a liar. It's hot. It doesn't rain. Maybe once a week, if that. It's in between overcast and clear skies, usually, and hot! I'm turning into Dad with fans ;) Except... There's nothing fancy that I do with the fans. I just use them. A ton. Unless the electricity is out, which isn't uncommon. When it DOES rain, it gets a bit cool, and then REALLY hot and muggy. [I had asked him, "When I looked at the weather forecast, it looked like it was supposed to be raining every day in Monrovia. How does that work in the “dry season?” Or is our weather forecast lying?"]  

Stories this week:
I bought an American Football last Monday! That was sweet.

We had a service project! It was shoveling out gutters, but these gutters are like cement 3 feet deep trenches with basically no drainage, plus they're filled with trash and refuse. It's nasty. But it was fun! I loved doing service so much, and it makes me want to go on a humanitarian mission! A ton of people walking by were so grateful. The project wasn't finished with just the people in my district, so we're going to do it again on a larger scale on Wednesday with the entire zone involved. Shovels and boots! The gloves were also great to have, those were a good choice to bring.
I went on an exchange with Elder Connors on Wednesday! That was sweet, we had fun and talked about cars and stuff. I have another exchange this coming week with Elder Fairwell! Both of these exchanges are into New Kru Town! Which reminds me, transfers come this week. Expect a change in my situation. I don't know who's leaving, but we'll see. I'm excited to find out on Friday!
After the baptism (I'll get to that, hold tight), my companion and I got a free ride from the district center to our apartment inside a... super nice BMW. That was SWEET. It was the wife of the owner of the shop across the street that we shop at for our food. (Mohammad's wife). That was cool.
The baptism was so great! My companion baptized this week, and I confirmed, and we baptized P and R! R is a bigger guy (although very short like most Liberians), and so my companion had to try... I think four times to get him under the water completely. Muscle sinks, but that wasn't the problem here, and that's all I'm gonna say. ;) It was an awesome baptism! There was hardly ANYONE who baptized, only four people were baptized on Bushrod Island, two of them were ours... But it was stressful to get them there... We had to show P where it was, but when we showed up, she wasn't ready. Ah! and then R went to the chapel in New Kru Town where we have church. That was stressful! But it all worked out okay, and they got there.
P-Day activities... basically cancelled [for today]. We were going to go in town to print out pictures, but apparently there's a protest there today, so that's not gonna happen... I hope that's exciting enough! ;) Of course, I haven't SEEN a protest (riot), but that's probably a good thing...
Transportation... Nothing big this week besides the fun BMW story! I had some good conversations about motorcycles with various elders this past week. Is Dad gonna be fixing up the Amputator? [our nickname for Dale's motorcycle]
I never realized Dad is 30 years [older than me]... Whoah! Cool. That'll make it easier to remember ;) He's getting up there. But something that was really cool as I was reading the email was that I looked at the photo of Dad, Lee, Kristine, Terry, and Grandma Ofa and then it registered that that's DAD sitting in the back there! He's looking WAY younger, probably a mix of lost weight, more muscle, and the longer hair. It was a cool moment. [Dale's birthday is this week--he's turning 49, Rain will be turning 19 in April. I shared this photo, of an aunt, uncles and a grandmother eating dinner]
Yummy food and family! I'm excited for that when I get home. Heck, I even miss getting cornered by Grandma Ofa! :) I hope both grandpas are doing alright, too. It's nice to see your parents, too! [referring to this photo and facebook post from my mother that I'd shared]
I feel pretty healthy, I think! I was actually gonna ask for lavender... Haha... I'll use whatever you send me. I use the ones I have already! [talking about doTERRA essential oils]
Oh, my scriptures seem to have issues with the binding again. Bleh :P But I'm gonna do some super glue surgery again that should fix it. I'm trying to keep my scriptures so they last, but they might not! Worst case scenario I get a new set. Not too bad.
I read (most of) that paragraph about Sister Berrett aloud to all the guys here. We're all interested and concerned; they'll be in our prayers. [Sister Berrett will be undergoing thyroid surgery here in the US tomorrow. We are all praying for her and her family.]
Oooh! Your family reading sounds wonderful. I really like how you're doing it... You're gonna finish before you know it! [talking about our family scripture study plan]
Being out here's pretty good! I hope you're all doing well back home. I'm working hard to convert people! Keep doing great things back home. I love you all!

Love,
Elder Price

20 January 2014

New Branch President in Point Four

Hello!

Yesterday, our branch president changed! President Saytor was released and President Kpodi was called. What's even cooler about that? President Kpodi had just confirmed his wife during sacrament meeting. Yep, the bride was baptized (by her husband), and now she's the wife to the branch president. It's so great. Yesterday's church was awesome, you could really feel the spirit during Sacrament Meeting, and the branch looks like it's heading up. :)  [the wedding photos shared last week were of this couple]

Earlier this week I rode in this weird motorcycle/cab thing. It had a motorcycle front, but a box on the back for a couple people to sit in. Not like a trailer... Kinda like the bicycle things that Dad and I rode in when we were in NYC!
Example of one of the "new" rides. Photo Courtesy the  Hezseltines blog
Also, there was a slightly frightening experience on a motorbike on Sunday: a bikeman picked us up outside our apartment, where we know the police don't usually let bikemen carry people until they pass Bong Mines Bridge, but he picked us up anyway. We figured because it was Sunday maybe something was different, so we hopped on it! He took us, and when we were passing the bridge, the policeman stationed at the bridge threw something (a stick?) at the bike and hit it on the front, trying to hit the bikeman. It was freaky. But it turned out alright!
Typical missionary transportation - motorbikes. "Bikeman" on front and passengers on the back.
This is a photo of Elders Zaugg and Humpherys, from the  Liberia Mission blog
We have two people who were interviewed for baptism yesterday who are coming to get baptized this Saturday! R and P. R is a married man, and his wife is going to be following suit soon, but her brother passed away in an accident, so she hasn't been able to participate in the discussions as much or come to church. She's planning on following her husband soon after she's back into the rhythm of things though! P is an 18 year old girl who is awesome, and I'm excited for her to be baptized!

It's great to hear about the news with Dean and how the whole temple stuff went! I'm proud of him. Lucky him, he got to see the new video. Although the really long line stuff sounds like Utah County. It'll make the first session when I get back home really interesting! I'm glad that everything with that went well. He's leaving really soon; that's crazy. He can do it: I know he can.

President Rich?? Whoah! That's cool! In 87 weeks I'll speak to him! Thanks for telling me who; I was wondering about it this past week! [We got a new stake president yesterday, Rain was wondering if it would be someone he knew. It certainly is.]

Oh, hey, maybe in the next package you send you could send some pens? Maybe some sweet Pilot pens? Not for proselyting, but for writing letters and in my journal and such.

Also, I am 4 months on mission as of today!!!!!!!! How crazy is that? Also, I wrote you guys a couple letters this past week. You'll get them one day!

I love you all a ton, I hope everything is going super great back home! Keep doing awesome stuff, and have a great week. Make sure you tell me how Dean's talk goes, I wish I could be there, but I'm glad I can make it to his Homecoming. Keep supporting him! I'm so happy to hear from all of you, and I'm glad everything is going well back home. :)

Love,
Elder Price

13 January 2014

Naming a Puppy Waikiki

Hello, Family!

A couple stories...
One of our investigators named their new puppy a really funny name. Their dog had a couple puppies, and she named one of them Bulls***. I asked her why, and she said that it was because the country is full of it. It was really funny, but we helped her change the name. I named a few Hawaiian cities, and she's probably gonna change the name to.. Waikiki. :) It was funny.

Another thing that happened this week: Sister Nyamekye left. She's been [serving as a missionary] in Point 4 for a really long time, but now she's going back to Ghana! She's been great to know, and I have pictures with her, but something big happened to Point 4 now that she's gone: no more sister missionaries in Point 4 area, meaning that there is now only one companionship of missionaries in the area, and the sisters' area is now part of our area. Just Elder Manqana and me to cover this whole branch!
Outside the sister missionaries' apartment this morning
And... I WENT TO A WEDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was awesome! I wasn't able to stay for the reception (the next day the bride had a large piece of pineapple upsidedown cake she saved for us because she didn't see us at the reception). It was a "european" wedding, and we were there for the whole ceremony and took some photos! I love that family; they are what the church needs. She's been converted because she loves the doctrine of the church. It isn't like it's her favorite church, it's the true one. And she knows that. So... She's being baptized this Saturday! Their little son is awesome. Any questions about the wedding? It was pretty cool... Not a traditional wedding, that's for sure. So I don't know what to write on that...


Oh, last Monday I rode in that back of a people-packed pickup truck! Hanging off the back corner, while my companion was hanging off the other corner. That was fun! One bad turn or bump and... Well, we're okay right now, so that's good! It was a cool experience. The bed of the truck was PACKED.
A typical people pickup. From the Kirkham's blog.



I believe there is a letter on it's way right now, and I'm writing one tonight... anyway, I'm getting better out here. My companionship probably won't stay the same for next transfer, but that's still in a few weeks! The reason I say it probably won't stay the same is because that'd mean my companion and I would be companions for 6 months. That's REALLY long, mission-wise. So who knows!

Answers/Response to our letter:
Aww, lame, we lost... But we still made it to the second round of the playoffs! That's sweet! And the party looks like it was awesome. I support that. The decorations look great! [in response to the news that the San Diego Chargers lost their playoff game yesterday, and photos from our party]

Go Dad!!! I've been feeling pretty weak lately... I mean, I'm trying to keep up on all the basics, but I miss crossfit bad way! (oops, coloqwa really IS ruining my English)  [response to news that a video of Dale doing burpee pullups was posted on the internet]


There were a ton of funny letters! Some kids asked if it was cold here. Hah. I wish.... ;) There's also some really sweet people in the ward. The oreos came fully intact. :) :) :) [referring to the Christmas package he received last week with letters from our ward]

It was a puffer fish. Dad was right. :)

Yeah, that picture was inside Sister D.'s little porch area before the inside; the place where she does her cooking and where we sit and talk and stuff! She's an awesome (and hilarious) member; she's the Relief Society President. She's also technically a recent convert.

The sand is... Hm... I'd need to be refreshed on exactly what Hawaii's is like, but... It feels different than either. It's closer to California's, but it's natural sand.

I love you all, and I'm so glad I have all you guys back home supporting me. Keep doing good things!
Love,
Elder Price

Oh, I forgot to tell you, our mission made history this past week! For the first time ever in any mission, we had more member present lessons than other lessons. Heck yeah! Helped that my companion and I had 16 member presents and only 1 other lesson...

06 January 2014

Packages Arrived!

Hello!
A box pufferfish?
I got BOTH packages this week!!!!!!!!!!! :D I am so happy with them! Thank you! They were so great to open and look through them all; I'm slowly breaking into the food. I was super pumped to get the newspaper clippings, and I read through them all! I loved reading the details of all the games and being able to take time and read it all. [Dale included newspaper clippings about the San Diego Chargers, but that was many weeks ago, before they made it to the playoffs]  Now that I've read that, the Chargers winning this past week is even BETTER! GO BOLTS! I hope they make it to the Superbowl. hehe... One game at a time. Even if they DID go to the Superbowl, it would be like when the Padres went to the World Series during Dad's mission, except... I wouldn't have a chance to break rules and watch it.

New stake president?!?! That's exciting! He's gonna be the one to interview me when I come home! I hope I know him. That'd be even cooler. [It was announced in church yesterday that we'll be getting a new stake president later this month]  Hey, when is the date of Dean's departure, again? He's in the final stretch! Do I have time to make it there in time for the farewell? ;)

ANSWERS! [to some of my questions]

Elder Conners is a pretty fun guy to be with! He's interesting to talk to and hang out with. We've been buddying up and eating oatmeal some mornings that we both are contributing to. Elder Fairwell and I were going to be on a diet.. But... I'm just trying to lessen my evening snacking and portion size for dinner.
Yep, they're in the same building! [the Berrett's branch was changed to New Kru Town, so I asked if they'll be meeting in the same building for church] Right before Point Four's service. It doesn't really have a name... We tell people to tell the bikeman "New Kru Town, to Two Brother Funeral"!

A UN guy gave us a ride in his truck to our area one day! That was fun. He stays in the apartment next door!

For New Years: So much food... Over the past couple weeks, I've eaten SO much Liberian food. Mmmm... For a couple days though, I was getting quite a bit fatter... It's slowly coming down... Kinda...

Another elder in a different area came and took the workout bench in our apartment... He was the one who bought it initially, but it's still lame that we don't have it anymore. I'm still working out here in 2014, and things are going fine! Thank you for the support. (and the food...) Have a wonderful week! I love you all! Mwah!

Love,
Elder Price

And a couple more photos...


____________________________________________
Excerpt from his letter to President Kirkham:

My companion and I are getting along very well. He's been ill this past week, but he's still been trying to do his best and further the work. We've been doing more service for each other than in past weeks, and I can feel the wonderful spirit it brings between us.

We were able to prepare a woman named L. this past week for baptism. She's been a great investigator, and she understands everything very well. She's been dowried by a returned missionary, but they have yet to receive a marriage license. We have been able to prepare her for this as they have their wedding this coming Saturday, complete with the marriage license. This has been a wonderful experience to be a small part in, and I've loved seeing the steps they are making as a couple to enter into the temple to be sealed forever. In other lessons, I've been noticing how the amazing opportunity to be sealed to their families always touches investigators' hearts. As the families are being built, the branch is being built, and the Lord's kingdom is growing on the Earth. I feel so blessed to be able to bring the joy that my family has back home into other people's lives. I will make sure to help my investigators understand the goals that they are truly trying to reach--of a remission of their sins and making those promises in the temple.

Thank you for your support in the work.

Elder Price

05 January 2014

Letters

We received the best Christmas gift from Rain on Christmas Eve--two envelopes of letters! Here are excerpts from some of those letters:

Christmas messages. He wrote us Merry Christmas letters on November 20th. We feel so blessed that they arrived in time for us to read them on Christmas Eve. After our traditional Christmas Eve dinner (In N Out burgers, yes), we sat around the table reading our letters. He had written one to each of us. We each read them individually, then shared them out loud with the rest of the family. Here are some excerpts:

Ryatt's letter:

Part of his letter to Rikki:
"Remember when we set up the Christmas tree just-us-two? That is a good memory... Enjoy the holidays. I love you. Make sure to record everything." 

The picture is of our front window, from the outside looking in on the Christmas tree, with the piano to the left:

Dear Dad,
Merry Christmas!
I hope you make this year just as fun as past years. It's my first Christmas away from home! I know you care how I'm feeling at this time, even if you're too manly to admit it.

I'm doing my best out here. I'm sure your first Christmas on your mission was different than how mine is gonna be, but really, the only Christmases I've ever had have had you there, so it's gonna be a big change for me!

Dad, you are an amazing person, and I will always look up to you. You have taught me that I can become who I want to become, and that no one has the right to take away my positive attitude...
...
I miss Ryatt. A lot. And I miss you too. Have a wonderful Christmas! Set up the trains for me. And eat yummy food for me. Make it a great Christmas, and take care of Mom, too.

Merry Christmas, Dad! I love you!
Love,
Your son,
Elder Makani Rain Price
________________________________________

Dear Mom,
I have a feeling that this is going to be a hard letter to write... My first Christmas away from home, away from you, and I'm trying to write a letter about it when I have only been out for two months. I'm glad we get a phone call!

I love all the memories of home, especially of the holidays. Christmas away from home is going to be hard. Don't forget any silly traditions, like In-n-Out and opening half the presents on Christmas eve! Also, I want you to know, going to those Christmas programs that the Gladwin family's church puts on has really made great Christmas memories.

There is definitely no ice here. I love love love cold weather, so I might just not feel like it's Christmas anyway.

Don't be sad about me not being there, okay? I'm making it possible for other families to have the same memories (feelings, at least) as we have had. ...some of the guys in the apartment are playing Christmas music while I write this, and I can't help but have tears rolling down my face. Dang... I love home. Every single bit about Christmas... I'm glad we did it the way we did, because it's unique. Like our family.

Have an amazing Christmas, Mom. You definitely deserve it. I wish I could be there, and I know it's gonna feel really weird this year, but ... it's needed...
...
Remember what Christmas is about: Christ. His gospel. Families. Love. Make sure to smile and laugh. Play with Ryatt. Be silly with Dad. Make memories.

Merry Christmas, Mom!
Love always,
Your son,
Elder Makani Rain Price
______________________________________________________________________

12.7.2013

Dear Family,
Hello! So, I'm writing a letter... by candlelight. It's really sweet. I went to my first African funeral today! It was really interesting to say the least. Most people were wearing black, but there was one color consistent: Purple. Everyone wears purple. I don't know why, but it's really cool...

I think back to a few months ago and how easy everything was. I think about all the free time and freedom I had. Just being able to go to be at 3 and wake up at 10, and even the ability to play video games, listen to music, talk to friends, and be a teenager. I'm still really young--I'm only 18! I know things are going to be different when I get home, but I have a feeling that it's going to be a lot more the same than I'll expect.

But I"m sure culture shock is going to hit me hard when I come home. Already the memories of home and sitting on a couch and riding the motorcycle feel like a palace on Earth. And it really was! My eyes have opened so much while being out here.

Each week passes by so quickly. That's even the reason I haven't written a letter in so long--the days go fast after daily planning is over (it occurs right when we get in from proselyting). Suddenly it's 10pm and I need to get ready for bed! Then the weeks... Weekly planning is on Thursdays, and weekly closing is on Sundays. It always makes me think "...it's weekly planning for week 5 of my second transfer? I only have two more weekly plannings before training is finished?" Yeah, only a couple weeks, and I'm done training. By the time you get this, I will be done training. Hey you might even know where I'm going for my third transfer! But I don't know. Bleh. Soon enough. [he didn't go anywhere, staying in Point 4 for at another six weeks]

I miss you all. Dreaming is amazing out here because sometimes it takes me back home, back when everything was easy, back when I'd go to Disneyland on a band trip and back when I'd watch X-Files with Dad. You guys keep telling me that I'm already sounding more like a missionary, but I don't know. I'm just living. Doing what I'm doing. Soon enough, I'll be back home for a Sacrament Meeting in Spring Hollow. And I'll play the next Call of Duty and Halo games with Ryatt while I yell at him in Coloqua and Pele, friendly, of course.

I'm being stretched and molded out here, and it isn't comfy... I'm growing up! My experiences here are going to be remembered and I'll be able to laugh about it in 22 months! I love you all, and I know you're being watched over.

Love,
Elder Makani Rain Price