Monday, April 14, 2014

Pictures January - April 2014

Elder and Sister Wold April 2014

the couple missionary that is serving with the Elders in Debrezeit

Easter in Ethiopia

EASTER in Ethiopia
Elder Ferrara:  "They do a 40 day fast here and then they break it on Easter. Also their fasting is different. It is only dairy and meat products. Kind of interesting. Most of there holidays they usually just have the whole family over and have traditional food. There are some particular foods that they only usually make on holidays. "
From the internet: 
BAHIR DAR, ETHIOPIA – In Ethiopia, Easter is one of the most important religious festivals of the whole year, signified by the 53 days of fasting that precedes Easter Day itself. During this time, members of the Coptic Christian Church in Ethiopia refrain from eating meat and dairy products and some also fast from alcohol. So coffee is taken black, toast is eaten dry and main meals are made up of grains, pulses and vegetables. Fortunately, the national dish, injera, which is made from teff, a millet-like substance, can easily be eaten with vegetable sauces.
The Sunday before Easter is of course, Palm Sunday, or Hosanna, the day in which Jesus traditionally is said to have ridden into Jerusalem over a carpet of palm leaves thrown by the people. As in other Catholic churches, palm leaves are given out to the congregation and in Ethiopia some of the more devout Christians fashion these leaves into a crown, which they wear until Easter Sunday, as a symbolic crown of thorns.
On Good Friday, which is a public holiday in Ethiopia, the churches are packed with people, many standing outside listening to the amplified voice of the priest. A few go to church on Thursday, the night of the ‘Last Supper’ and remain there until Sunday, maintaining a vigil over a symbolic tomb of Christ. On Easter eve, the Saturday before Easter Sunday, church services begin at 7.00 p.m. in the evening and continue until three or four in the morning. Then the worshipers go home and break the fast, either starting their feast or, after sleeping for a few hours, beginning their feast on the following day.

New Companion

April 14, 2014
The work is going pretty well. This last week we weren't as busy as we were the week before but it was still pretty good. I got a new companion last week, his name is Elder Hall. He came from Arkansas. He is kind of a different person.. haha. He is fun to work with though. He is really serious and sometimes switching from companion to companion is sometimes hard because they all have different personalities. He came from Uganda and has only been here about a month.
He is a perfectionist and sometimes gets really mad at something that is not really a big deal. Sometimes he spends like 20 or so minutes ironing his shirt to make sure every little wrinkle is out. It makes me laugh but I still love him. He is more of a leader type so most of the time I just follow him and will do what he wants to do because I don't really mind it and it keeps an argument from coming. He is very straightforward and doesn't have a problem speaking his mind. He is a really good missionary and I can learn some things from him. I was with my previous companion for about 4 and a half months so we were used to each other. I may leave this next transfer in about 5 weeks because I will have been here 6 months. So it is likely they will move me, but maybe not, we will see.  (Elder Hall is on the left)

Well it has been nice the past month or so because he haven't had a problem with water so I can take a shower every morning. Usually we eat breakfast in the morning before our personal study then after our studies we have Amharic class from 10-12. After that we usually eat lunch. Then we go home around 9 at night and we will eat something before we go to bed. If we get hungry throughout the day then we usually will grab a quick snack to munch on. We try to walk when we can but when we don't have time we will take public transportation. Ethiopian Toothbrushes!

They are blue and white mini van looking cars and you just stand on the side of the road and stick out your arm to signal them stop and pick you up. They have there specific routes that they run so you just get the one that goes to where you are going. They are tons of them too so it's usually pretty easy to get. The only thing is they are not really safe, the drivers drive crazy but the Lord is watching over us so we will be fine. We only take them when we have to and so far I haven't had a problem with any yet.

Both of my shoes I brought had holes in them the first six months so right now I have 2 pairs of Ethiopian shoes that I bought. They aren't super comfortable but they are made to last. So far they have been holding up well so I think they will last me the rest of my mission if I take good care of them. I had a lot of shirts and so 2 of mine I gave away to some recent converts that we baptized because they didn't have any and they wanted to pass the sacrament. All my clothes are holding up pretty well.

Usually anyone that leaves on a mission at least from Ethiopia stays in Africa. They have a lot of problems with missionaries that run away so they usually keep them in Africa for those reasons. On Mondays we usually play soccer with the returned missionaries and that is always a fun bonding experience with them.

This last week we received a really awesome referral. It is a mother and 5 daughters. Her husband died and throughout life she just has had many problems. Our last lesson she cried almost the whole lesson. She doesn't feel like God loves her because of all the hard things she is going through. I hope that she doesn't accept to receive money or something from the church though. On Sunday we went to her house to pick her and her family up and walk with them to church but she wasn't there because she had to work. The children said they told her to walk with us to church though if we come. The children came and seemed to really like it. They are all under the age of 12 so they really enjoyed primary. We have a new branch presidency and some new leaders in the branch. I really think that these new leaders will really help the branch to grow. Most of the people in the Branch I know now so I am pretty close with most of them. The Sacrament attendance has been going up so that is also exciting to see. Last week we had about 80. Including the children and all the leaders and missionaries and everything. It is still pretty good though compared to what we have had in the past.


March 2014
This week we baptized Yolamdar.  Last week we baptized a guy named Motuma. My companion with his old companion started teaching him but me and him finished teaching and baptized him. I really feel like he will stay strong in the church. He has a really strong testimony. There is the other lady that is a chef for a big hotel. Her baptism should be in 2 or 3 weeks. She was going to be baptized this coming Sunday but we found out that she is having tea problems so we are working with her on that. She also has been being taught the last 6 months or so, so her testimony is also pretty strong about the church. A lot of new investigators here have problems once they go outside the church in life because there are so many bad rumors about the church. It really scares people away. Her name is Gizayworq and she really stands up for the church which I think is really awesome. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

January 2014

The living arrangements:

 the house is really big! It is really hard to keep it clean. Especially now because the other 2 missionaries that we are living with are leaving now to another area. so only me and my companion are going to be living in the house now. 

Yeah the work is really hard now but I know that it is just going to take persistence and faith. The other day I was having a really hard day and I was sitting outside the church trying to call some people. One of the little boys in the ward came up and kissed me on the cheek. It really helped to remind me that God loves me and he is aware of what I am going through and will help me. It was a really cool experience.