Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cooling Down

Well things are starting to cool down in Sierra Leone. It rains every night now which is nice.  

This week I had a heavy dose of African fun such as me and Elder Losse had to go and sort out a juju woman who locked onto one of our member’s success. That was interesting to say the least. 

Then I had a bunch of new food this week, like cassava leaf and potato leaf (not related to actual potato much to my disappointment).  The food is good and the members always feed the missionaries. I’m still healthy, knock on wood!!!

This weekend was their Independence Day and man did they party.  They moved our P-day because they didn't want us to be around the festivities and the devils (people who let demonic spirits enter their body).  Just looks like drums and dancing around a fire.    

I have a baptism this Saturday for Musu, and yes, we have a font in the church building, more like outside.  It’s basically a cement tub.

I get transfer news next week.  I should be staying in Allentown for at least the next two transfers.

This week we ran out of water completely. Like the tank was dry so my showers were half a bottle of water (a small bottle).  Man, we smelled great this week. We ended up paying to have water shipped in to fill our tank, but for about a week we had fun! 

I don't know if I ever told you guys this but one of the missionary's in the MTC with me "Elder Kunz" got reassigned to the Phoenix AZ Mission so find him if you can.  He is the last person in AZ to have seen me. 

Tomorrow we have a health meeting in Coastal Town and then we have a baptism this Saturday. Well I got to go before the internet breaks again.......

Your African Missionary
Elder Gebauer        

Monday, April 21, 2014

One Month Out

Well I have been out on my mission for one month now so only 23 more, yeah that seems like a short time! But really the way I look at it I only have 23 months more that I GET to be in Africa.

This last week has been fun but it doesn’t even seem like it’s been a week, the time really flies. Me and my companion Elder Losee sleep outside still because the nights are getting cooler. But this proves to be a problem because it likes to rain this time of year so this week I had to sleep with my raincoat on and honestly it was a great night sleep......NOT. The work here is great everyone wants to talk with the white guys and everyone is nice.

We had more water problems this week with people cutting our pipes. This will be the second week in a row that we haven't gotten water in our tank and its starting to get low. It’s hard not to get angry at the people especially when you fix the pipe and they just go down like four feet and cut it again with you just standing there. So we gave up and went back to study and we decided that we would have water shipped in for us.

I went on my first exchange this week with another elder in my apartment who has only been out for like 3 months and he is shy with people so basically had to be the senior companion which to be honest I was completely fine with. I have already learned Krio so I was able to communicate well. You guys will think I talk all weird but that's ok. We have three baptisms next week and one will be a full convert from me. Me and my companion get along great I will be taking over next week and doing everything so basically I’ll be senior companion.

But for me I’m doing great, still haven't gotten sick (knock on wood!!!). The food here is great, I LOVE kana which is ground nuts rice flour and sugar. It comes in a little triangle, man they are like the inside of a peanut butter cup. Last night I made garlic bread because I found garlic in the market and oh man it was good! To drink I buy pop drink which is basically like really good cool aid. I miss driving the most out of the things I used to do, I like being in control of the vehicle!

We went into town and we bought two of them big blue barrels and then we realized we had to get them home so we tossed them on the back of a flatbed truck like a big truck!!! Then we had to run to hop on the back it’s what's called a free ride. But, yeah that's my week in a nut shell. I would send picks but if I put this card in the computer it will get viruses big time if not wipe out the memory. Stay classy.....

The African Missionary,

Elder Gebauer   

Monday, April 14, 2014

There and Back, a Mission Tale

Well this week was fun to say the least. We just got the news today that there is no Ebola in Sierra Leone so we can finally eat some of the food here. I’m tired of hot dogs and tomato stew ha, ha.  The mangos in our compound are starting to get ripe. I can’t wait for them. The view from my front door is amazing. The complex is on the side of a mountain overlooking a big river with a bunch of jungle near it and the sun rises right over the water. It's so great. We got a 60kg weight for the complex on my request and I made a pull-up bar in one of the mango trees with rope (that I made). The complex itself is hard to describe, a bunch of different rooms with tile floor that looks like a blind guy put it down after shattering every piece. The ceilings are low and everything is covered with a thin layer of dirt. I shower from a bucket and wash all my clothes by hand. We get power every other night. There are 3 other missionaries in the complex but it is made for like 8 so we have plenty of room to spread out. About every morning at 2am every wild dog in the country sits around our complex and howls!!! Till 3am.

Over this last week I have been learning Krio and I think I finally am starting to get it down to the point that I can communicate effectively. I titled my journal, “There and Back, a Mission Tale by Elder Gebauer”. Still enjoying being here and something weird happened the other morning. I woke up and I was cold? My shirts are brown by the end of the day and I can’t tell whether I brought black or brown shoes.

I would love to send home pics but there is no way on earth that I am plugging in my SD card into these computers. I got to see a monkey yesterday. It was a pet one but it was still cool.

Oh man, we have something like 20 investigators and I could walk for an hour and not reach the end of our zone that we are in charge of. We will see general conference in about a month or so.

I could use some personal funds, just like 120,000 Leones that's something like $40 US but that would just be for fun stuff like food!!! I found a Snickers bar at a shop the other day. I didn't even look at the price. Man, what I wouldn't do for cheese. That is the one thing I miss most, except for family of course.

The days are flying by faster and faster. I can’t believe that I have almost been out a month. This week we didn’t do much teaching because most of the time we were addressing the water issue, either guarding our pipe or fixing it. Two things you don't mess with here is water and land! I’m getting used to the heat. I can comfortably sleep at night now. One thing that drives me up the wall is all the tiny ants. They are everywhere, especially in my condensed milk. It drives me nuts. I’m still healthy and doing fine mentally, I think? Next week is super P-day so we get to do something super fun.

 We lost one of my MTC buddies this week. It was the British one which is a shame because I kind of found the accent enjoyable, but only the strong shall survive (that's me).

How was the father sons campout? I got the pictures.  Looks like you guys are having fun. How was Gannon's talk? All and all it was a great week in Africa had fun and did lots of new stuff.

Your African missionary,

Elder Gebauer

Monday, April 7, 2014

Allentown in East Freetown

The trip from Ghana took like 3 hours.  I've been in Leone for like 5 days now. I'm doing great, settling in. I live in Allentown in East Freetown on a mountain and wow literally tin shacks. My companion Elder Losee is from Salt Lake so it's easier to communicate.  I'm starting to pick up Krio but honestly it's like dumbing down English (good thing I'm good at that).  I got all your letters, the ones from the day I left.  

Don' worry about the Ebola, The mission has protection set up. It's not in Freetown yet so I'm fine. We aren't allowed to shake hands and we have to cook all our own food. 

This Saturday we had a baptism of 4 people and we have too many investigators to visit. The people here are so welcoming to strangers. The kids, they will come up and hug me even though they don’t know me or my companion.  Everyone just wants to talk with us.  There was like 51 people at church on Sunday, kind of small. Then there is one church here that they literally march down the street dancing, singing and playing drums and that’s church.  The rest are just weird!!!!

My companion and I sleep outside and it's a great view from the flat.  It is amazing.  It looks out over a big river. I sleep on a patio with but I’m inside a compound so it is all good.  It’s got a wall all the way around it with barbed wire, not like anyone would try anything, they are too scared of white man when he’s angry.  Ha, ha, ha, yeah we have nets but I haven’t even got bit once yet.  Now the dogs, holy crap! Every morning at 2am they bark and howl for an hour and they don’t stop. 

Link to pictures of apartment taken a few years ago, http://sierraleonefreetownmission.blogspot.com/2012/09/moving-new-bunk-beds-mattresses-and.html

All the roads look like a hiking trail with all the rocks that are on them.  I can get ice cream here so I just might make it 2 years.  The church will provide rain boots so don’t worry about that.  Ask my companion’s mom about how to send packages.  They do some stuff that gets them here.  I’m emailing from a little shop in the middle of a town called Shell.  Today’s my P-day so I think that I’ll sleep so I’m not tired. 

Yesterday was fast Sunday.  That wasn’t hard.  There is plenty to eat.  I eat eggs, rice, "hot dogs," pasta and I would kill for a Big Mac!!!!   Ha, ha, running water, yeah right.  Yesterday when we were supposed to get water the people cut our pipe that runs to the tank so we had to run up the mountain and we still didn’t get much water but we got enough for the week.  They gave us a water bottle with a filter in it.  It will make water like 99% clean so I drink out of that but I have a shower that doesn’t work so we use a bucket.  I got to wash my clothes by hand today, that was fun.  The last five days have been fun but there are many more to come.  We get power every other night but we have a generator if we need it, but I would like you guys to send me a bunch of drink mixes if you can

There are some things that I would like sent in my next package! One thing that I want is for you to take $150 out of my account and get me a G-Shock watch.  The one I have is not going to make it a month. Just a flat black one if you can, that would make things a bit better. 

I would like a 16 gig flash drive with:

  • Wayward Son
  • The Frozen soundtrack
  • Country from Cadence
  • Adel
  • Lion King
  • The African artist, Cadence will know the one
  • Lord of the Rings soundtrack
  • Zelda soundtrack,  I think I gave Gannon the CD
  • Anything else I might enjoy

The music rules here are really lax so yeah!

Also the powdered cheese for macaroni please, but whatever you can find would be great, possibly an extra SD card,  I’m burning through mine. Then when you send the SD card put some pics of you guys on it so I can have them on my camera. 

In 8 months my companion will be going home so I’ll send the SD card with him and I think he wants to drop it off in person.  You can tell Cadence that my companion understands my Lord of the Rings comments and he’s just as weird as me.

I’m still healthy, we have a weight set in the complex but it looks like it should be in a prison, like a bad one with sticks or scraps of metal with cement blocks. Well I got to go.  The internet in this place sucks and it keeps dropping so I’ll talk to you guys next week.  If you have any questions contact my companion’s mom.

I love you guys so much and miss you
Ok bye love you all!!!!!
I’ll stay safe

Wednesday, April 2, 2014