Thursday, August 30, 2012

Walking Slowly Throughout Life... (not anymore!)

Scotty as most of you know, has been a bit on the "easy-going" side of life. Never in a hurry to get anywhere, always taking his time. He has never appeared to be stressed, but always enjoying the ride we call life. Well, things are a little bit different over there in Sierra Leone. He has a companion that see's life a bit differently and takes on a different pace which Scotty is not ready to embrace. I myself think it's kind of funny, and would love to see him actually trying to hurry or even walk at a fast pace. Yep, this mission is definitely going to change him in more ways than we imagined. Keep up the good work Scotty, we are all right behind you!
Let's walk faster Elder McDonald!

Dear Mama,

So glad to hear about the family and what is going on. I am glad Jared got my letter so quickly. And I see he is doing well. Tell him even though he is hanging out with girls he is still a nerd. It is good he is being respectful I am glad to hear that. Let em know that that does not mean you should not tease them though. Cause that is what girls are good for anyway.

So my past week has been very sweet. We baptized this wonderful family on Saturday, honestly these are the most faithful people I have ever met. They showed up the baptism almost 4 hours early, because they did not want to risk being late. The Father has some amazing stories, he shared some of them with my companion and I. Some come from the war and other crazy stories throughout his life. I can tell you this guy should have been dead many times over. But I know the Lord preserved him and that reason as I have told him is to take care of his wife and 4 sons. Who will all go on missions when they come of age. My companion Elder Asiedu and I agreed he would perform the baptisms. It was also his birthday on Saturday. He turned 26! Hehe he is a bit older than me. But he is a great companion. We are getting along real well. But he walks too fast. I have always enjoyed walking slowly throughout my life. I mean I feel we should all walk a bit slower as we learn in Proverbs 19:2.

So we spent some time lately with a Senior couple looking at some more apartments in our area of Waterloo. Now Waterloo is 1 of 3 cities in our area. And we are going to be putting at least 10 missionaries in just Waterloo itself next transfer. Our area is ridiculously to big for the 2 of us. But the mission is growing soooo fast. we have about 100 missionaries currently. And we are only losing 1 next transfer while gaining 21. So missionaries are going to be flooding the mission. We get a total of 50 before more before the end of the year. So we are spending a lot of time doing out of the ordinary missionary work in just preparing this place.

But I am excited for my package! I will be looking forward to it mama. Tell everyone back home I say "Sup". Also send me some supply of sunscreen in the package. So I can be prepared for dry season.

Love Elder McDonald

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gladdy Fambo

Apparently Scotty is picking up the Krio language pretty well.  His letters really show that he has embraced the work and has very little time to get homesick.  He has been having some pretty amazing experiences and I can't wait till Christmas to hear all about them.  

If you have any pictures that you think Scott would like, please email them to me and I will load them on a flash-drive that I am sending to him.  I have a package to send, and will be getting another one ready in a couple of weeks, and  hope to have a bunch of pictures for him then.  It got this latest letter this morning, so read on and see why I am so proud of my boy. 

Dear Mama,
I am so gladdy(happy) to see all of the photos. Unfortunately I am not
able to take them off or print them without paying a decent chunk of
Leones.  So if in a future package it would be sweet if you could
actually send them to me on a flash drive. Cause I could really use a
flash drive and that would be a best way of sending me a mass amount
of pictures. Just put a ton on and I will delete what I do not want.
It na(is) so nice to see the Pikin(children) dem and all my
compies(friends) and the fambo(family). So send me those plus boku
more in a flash drive. I am glad to hear about how things are going
well over there. Each week is getting super sweeto out here. I have so
many good stories to share but honestly I do not feel like I can do
them proper justice in text. So I think you may have to wait for very
descript stories at Christmas, which will honestly come pretty quick I
believe. Sometimes I feel sad that I will not have any snow for
Christmas. I will miss the snow. I tell the African Elders about snow
and how cool it is.
So on Saturday I had my very first All-African Service Project. All
the Branches in our district came to Grafton and we planted over 2000
trees. We had to use machetes to clear the bush up on the mountain
side and then with these small wooden tools dig holes to plant the
seedlings. I got sunburned rather bad, but I am recuperating. They fed
us a nice bowl of rice with a chicken stew afterwards. Which is rather
common out here but I love it. Pretty much every FM(free meal) we get
is a big bowl of rice with some sort of stew on it. Very commonly a
leaf stew or plassas. I love potato leaf and cassava leaf and
crain-crain. There is  also Okra but I do not like Okra very much.
I am very excited for my package, and I am very glad you did not spend
160 on it that would be ridiculous. But 61 for a 20 lb package is an
amazing price.
So in my area things are going very sweet. Like I have said in a good
portion of my area which is the town of Waterloo, we are trying to
establish a branch. So the President actually asked my companion and I
to talk to a member there in Waterloo to ask about doing a Sacrament
meeting at his home this Sunday. That will be very interesting.
Today we had a football or soccer match with a bunch of young guys in
the area of Grafton. So it was a very sweet game, but the field is
100% dirt and it was raining this morning and small during the game.
But it was very very slippery. We all went to the ground many times
and got very muddy. I really think it was almost slippery as ice. But
it was a very fun game.
I have been able to take only a small amount of pictures due to time.
But I will slowly try to build up some good ones then send them when
the internet is working well enough.
But everything is sooo sweet and I am finding myself getting more and
more focused on the work. I used to think of random things at night or
about home. But now I am spending a lot more time thinking of these
people. So it is awesome. But I love everyone and hope everyone
continues to do great
Love, Elder McDonald

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tomorrow is 2 Month Mark

As always, I look forward to Monday mornings because I get a letter from my boy!  He sounds so amazingly well which brings me a lot of joy and peace.  I can't believe that two months have gone by already and how much he has grown.  He is spending at least an hour of study each day, but wishes he had more time.  He expressed to his dad that he regrets not using his free time wisely by studying the gospel more.  He says there is so much he wants to learn and one hour a day is not enough time.  It's amazing how quickly these boys turn into men, and are able to see what life truly is all about.  I am so stinkin proud of him, and very happy that he is eating!  So, enjoy his letter and write him if you like.   I wish I had more pics to put up, but that doesn't seem to be so easy for him to do.  

Dear Mama,
I just received Dads package in the mail yesterday! I am very gladdy to get it. All packages are sent to the same place, just the mission home I believe, nothing comes to my apartment directly. I am so glad to hear you are done with math. I am not having to much trouble with the heat actually. That one email when I was complaining about the heat was when I had my fever. I do not know what R & R is though? That is sweet that the kids have a bike trail, I am sure they love it. I want you to send me some pictures of them or the ones we took with them right before I left. You should be able to email me some. I cannot watch videos though.

So today is the first day of the transfer. Just finished my first transfer and I am half way through my training. I have been in the field for 6 weeks already. Time is going fast. I wonder if time is going fast for all of you out there. Tomorrow will mark 2 months since I left. Things are going really well in the field. We should have a good amount of conversions/baptisms this transfer.  That is sweet that granddaddy is coming out.

So I got a letter from Breck, but for him and Lorenzo I think it will be easier to email. So tell those nerds to check their emails and email me back. So when did Cameron see Kaitlan at Bear Lake. They said something about Bear Lake in the letters but I was almost under the impression she went with them. Send em some texts or something. So where is Tommy Henrie going on his mission? That is cool to hear.

So I didn't actually have to eat the soup, I wanted to try it. But I am actually really liking a lot of the food we get when we get our FMs(Free Meals). We got a lot this past week. I can promise you I am not having a lack of food. I am worried I am going to start gaining wait because I actually eat very big meals and I pack my self to brim each time. So I think my stomach is expanding or something because I can eat a ton. It all started in the MTC. They fed us too much.

The package Dad sent is wonderful. American food sure tastes better out here than it did in America. I will probably get fat when I finish my mission, because I will eat everything. So just send the package to the normal place that I gave before I left. The mission office. I do not know the details on the best way to send a package so you will have to look into it. But I sure like those foods in there. Send me a lot of soy sauce because that will be really nice to put on rice. Love you, ya nerd.
Love Elder McDonald

New Apt and More Miracles

Scott has moved to a new apartment, the details are in his letter below.  Scotty is such a great missionary.  He knows his purpose and is doing everything he should be doing and more.  I am so proud o f him and I miss and love him with all my heart.  He is setting such a great example for his little brother, and the service he is performing is blessing the lives of everyone he knows.  

Dear Mama,
I love the letter's and for my friends I thank them for the letters as well. But it looks like it took almost 30 days to recieve. And it will be about that before everyone gets mine so patience is important :) Do not worry about my living and health conditions, I think I got typhoid because of some stuff I ate. So now I know to be more careful. I will be fine, I could go through it again. It is a good time to rest and really think about things anyway. The days are soooo busy. I wake up and I only have time to think about what I am doing, but I actually do spend a good amount of time each day thinking about what I want for dinner. The new apartment is nice. But the running water is not as great as I thought it would be. It is still very limited because it is only running for as long as we have water in the tank on the roof. And it is unfiltered so we only use it for flushing the toilets and filling our bucket for showering. I am getting used to the way of living, I used to have to say a special prayer to have the courage to pour, before each first cold cup of showering water. But now it is not to bad. I am also not really having any trouble dealing with the people's poverty. I have realized the people aren't starving to death, sure there is malnutrition very much so. But I have not heard of any dying lately of starvation. There is a poor lack of health care though. It is very unfortunate, a woman we know had her 4 year old taken from her and yet when we asked her how she is doing all she could say is"I tell God tenky" Basically I Tell God thanks. So even after that she will not complain of anything. My Krio is slowly improving. But it will still certainly take time. It is a little frustrating because it sounds similar to English so you feel like you could understand it, but then you do not understand. But it is difficult to teach in a way that these people understand. There is a severe lack of education especially in many adults. About half or more of the people we teach cannot read and those ones also do not speak much English. So with time. Those who cannot read when we give them Book of Mormon assignments we just have them go through a few chapters and underline certain words such as God, Spirit or Lord. And then we have them pray about that. Even though they do not understand the scriptures they learn that they talk about God and The Lord quite often  and they are still able to receive revelation to know of the truth of it. My testimony is certainly growing. I feel like I do not have enough time each morning to study all of the things I want. Things have become so interesting to me. Lately I have been very intrigued about the Second Coming and the book of Revelations. But I cannot study it much due to lack of time and it does not pertain to the teachings of the people. But I can study small about it. Right now I am trying to learn how to refine my capabilities of receiving personal revelation, I have had very weird dreams since I have been out on my mission and I think I may start keeping a dream journal and look for answers to my questions in my dreams. I feel like that will be fun. But I will have to work in the time. I hardly have time to write in my daily journal. And there are so many things each day I do not know what to write about. But I will continue to do my best to write in it. I am glad to hear Jared did that thing, even if he was forced. I gotta go, so I will talk to you next week.
Love Elder McDonald.