Friday, August 23, 2013

Be Not Afraid. Ethiopian Food - Injera

Elder Ferrara's report on August 19, 2013:
Everything is very good. We walk through mud everyday, it rains so much that it is a miracle if you don't cover you shoes in mud. My feet stay dry because the mud isn't deep enough to get your feet wet. It's just more messy. The electricity is so unreliable here that sometimes we do get hot water and sometimes we don't. We usually just boil water and take splash baths. I am starting to get used to it though so it doesn't bother me too much. My companion and I are doing great. He is a great guy and is teaching me well. I have been told that he is one of the best trainers. We get along super well and we work together good. Most of the Missionaries that get sent to Ethiopia are the more trusted missionaries because the mission isn't super well regulated over here. The mission president is too far and so they have to be able to trust us. I think there is only 26 Missionaries in Ethiopia and so most of them are pretty close. We all know each other.  I am learning the language but it is very difficult. The Alphabet has over 300 characters and is has really weird sounds.   We have a 2 hour Amharic class 4 times a week with a native to help us. Most things are not really translatable to english so you have to always think Amharic. I am learning slowly but I am learning. Missionaries that have been here for their whole mission leave not speaking fluent because it is so difficult. But it is possible if you put a lot of effort. The branch is small, we get about 60-90 people every Sunday. But half of them leave after sacrament meeting. Most of the people are nice and most speak little english so you can barely hold a conversation. We stay in a 2 story house with another companion. so 4 missionaries. It is pretty nice but the only down side is the electricity reliability. Other than that it is nice. We do have a washer but we have to hang dry. It gets dirty fast because of all the dirty enviornment but we try to keep it as clean as possible. 
There are massive spiders everywhere and creepy looking bugs.  They are impossible to get out of the house so you kind of just have to live with it.
 They have a culture food hear called injera and it's like sour sponge tortilla that you eat with meat or beans and you use your hands. Look it up on google and it will probably show you some pictures and things. It doesn't taste too bad, it just depends what you eat it with. By itself it is pretty nasty.The Other day I was reading over D&C 84:80-88. They are great missionary scriptures. Also in Mark 5:36  it says be not afraid only believe. Our mission president shared that one and a lot others that were really inspiring. He said a Mission is the "University of Life" and I really liked that. 

Here is some info on Injera:
Injera is not only a kind of bread—it’s also an eating utensil. 
In Ethiopia and Eritrea, this spongy, sour flatbread is used to scoop up meat and vegetable stews. Injera also lines the tray on which the stews are served, soaking up their juices as the meal progresses. When this edible tablecloth is eaten, the meal is officially over.

Injera is made with teff, a tiny, round grain that flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia. While teff is very nutritious, it contains practically no gluten. This makes teff ill-suited for making raised bread, however injera still takes advantage of the special properties of yeast. A short period of fermentation gives it an airy, bubbly texture, and also a slightly sour taste.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 13, First Zone Conference

By Tuesday morning, August 13 we had not received our usual email from Elder Ferrara on Monday, his P-day.  With it only being his second week in Ethiopia, I was a little worried. But, there was a good explanation because they had zone conference on Monday!  Elder Ferrara writes about his experience at Zone Conference which is great for a mom to hear because I can see how he is growing spiritually and also in great hands in this mission!
"It is going very well. I am starting to get used to the culture. It is really hard getting used to walking on the streets and the transportation. It's like New York but way more crazy with construction going on everywhere and you're walking in mud rather than a nice street. It's almost impossible to keep our shoes clean. We just recently had a zone conference and our new mission president is amazing. He has a really strong country accent and is super humble. He and his wife are really amazing people. After our conference I think all of us missionaries were mind blown. He speaks with such humility and such power it's one of the most powerful meetings I have ever been in. He shared a scripture which is in my journal and  forget where it is but says Be not afraid, only believe. He shared so many things that just made you want to be like Ammon in the scriptures, and just give everything you have. He set a fire in my heart that I haven't felt before. I wish I brought my journal so I could share some things I wrote down but I will bring it next time. The mission here is very different, because we need to find people that will help the church grow so we are trying to find the "elect." All the missionaries here are under a year in their mission so no one can speak fluently. This language is not translatable in some instances to english because the structure is so different. I am still learning the alphabet but am learning slowly.  On Sundays we mainly just try to get to know the members. Our main goal right now is to create a foundation by making the members that we have right now strong. In our conference they were talking about how we had almost 1500 hundred members in Ethiopia and about 400 were coming to church. It's like throwing a pitch in baseball with no catcher, you throw the investigator in and they just fall and roll away with no catcher. The ward or branch is the catcher, without that foundation it is all a waste of time. There are so many people that are fake here so it's hard to find the educated ones with family that will make the church grow. They like to just disappear and with the terrible cell phone service and extremely hard navigation, it's almost impossible to find people. We're trying to find find out where the members live right now and as we become closer to them they will help bring investigators to us so we don't have to always search so hard to find them. Most of the families live in areas that are really hard to find them and Members have to bring them so we can meet them. My companion and I are working hard and are trying our best to help this branch become stronger. There is so much to do!
Elder Ferrara"
LDS Chapel in Addis Ababa

Monday, August 5, 2013

First Week in Ethiopia

August 5, 2013
"My companion is really great, we get along well and work together well. He is not from Ethiopia. We stay in a house with 4 elders and it is pretty nice. The power goes out a lot but we do have a microwave and basic necessities. We don't get hot showers but that's okay. We do have filtered water so no worries. There is not a malaria problem over here so we don't have to sleep with nets or anything. We don't have to take the pills either. We are in the city of Addis and we do do a lot of tracting and walking. The people speak some English if they are educated. Most people we teach know little English but not very much. My companion has been here 6 months and can speak a little, just enough to be able to get the point across. We still run into really stubborn people but for the most part people are fairly friendly. The food here isn't too bad. We eat a lot of bread and peanut butter. Most american food is too expensive to buy so we have to buy cheaper local things. They have some weird food but for the most part it isn't too bad. We have enough food to keep us from starving but I rarely get full unless on p-days where we have time to cook. "
Pictures of Elder Ferrara's arrival and short stay in Kampala.  Mission President and Sister Chatfield, and other missionaries arriving together.  Six of the ten missionaries went to Ethiopia.

Elder Ferrara Arrives in Africa

Elder Ferrara spent July 23-24 in route to Uganda, beginning from Salt Lake City, then Chicago, an 8 hour layover in London, then to Johannesburg, and then Kampala, Uganda.  Upon reaching the mission home in Kampala, 6 of the 10 missionaries then traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!  In his words:
 "On our travels to Uganda we met a lot of people at the airports. The people were awesome and made us laugh a lot. We handed out quite a few of Book of Mormon. One of them was actually a worker at a 
Ferrari store at the airport. When I arrived in Uganda they told me I was going to Ethiopia. So I am in Ethiopia right now in Addis the Capital. I am learning their language Aramic which is very difficult but I am learning. My companion is really nice and we get along well.  We are tracting a lot and walk a lot. Our sacrament is about 65, so pretty small. So far everything has gone really smooth and am still learning. The mission president is really nice and expects us to do well. He told us this is the most experienced group he has ever had. In all of Ethiopia I think he said there are only about 20 missionaries so very few. Our areas are ridiculously large. But everything is going good and I am safe. Still trying to adapt to the the culture because it is a lot different. "