November 6, 2007

Dear Mom and Dad

The past couple days have been crazy and we have been working very hard. The end of the transfer is coming up and it looks like Michelle is set to b e baptized on the 11th. That is exciting because it is my first!

From out of nowhere though we have been finding people to teach and prepare to be baptized. yesterday we had a lady call us and wanted to know when she could get baptized!?! I thought she was crazy but we made an appointment and saw her taht day and told her the rules we need to teach every lesson and you hav to come to church 4 times–things like that. It’s nuts! People are coming out of the woodwork and our schedules are full! It’s great but we almost have too much to handle. Just in the past couple days, we have had a couple people fall out but now we have solid set dates for the 11th, 18th, 25th, 2nd and some have two on one Sunday. They like us to baptize on Sundays right after church. Elder Wolsey and I have been busting our butts because this area was never known to produce people. But we’ve had some good success through lots of prayer and tons of hard, hard work. I love it!

I’m feeling great and I’m holding together pretty nicely.

I love you. Thank you for your letters. How is everyone?

Love,

Elder Mike

———————-

Philadelphia is the home to many African people who are escaping their countries and immigrating her because of the wars and political uprisings in especially Liberia and the surrounding area. So it depends on what part of the city you live in, but wherever you are tyou are sure to run into some Africans what just got here straight from Sierra Leone or Liberia. They are extremely humble people and love the gospel. A huge percentage of recent converts in this mission are those Africans because they love the peace they feel after the crazy lives they have had.

At church, one of my companion’s recent converts from Liberia showed up to surprise him. She brought with her a bunch of food that she had made for us. My companion warned me that I would be in for a treat, but also a surprise. When we got back to the apartment, Elder Wolsey went to heat it up. (Keep in mind that he was in an area where he had been eating this food for the past 6 months.) I almost died when I started eating this African lady’s creation. It was funny–when I asked what it was called, she just said “stew” because it didn’t have a name. Inside could be anything. She said that inside we would find cow skin, knee, stomach, tongue, fish (every part of it), chicken neck and gizzard, feet and pretty much anything else you can think of. But it is not the meats and bones and things that make you want to die. Africans cook everything with pepper. And African pepper that they claim is ten times hotter than the habanero!  It’s not fun.  They usually take them out and put them to the side when serving it.  So I wasn’t really expecting to see one–or half of one–laying on my spoon after I had just started chewing on the other half!  This is when I almost died.   I love it!  Everyday is a new adventure.

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