Total insanity (March 21)

From: Ethan Cade Brimhall [mailto:ethan.brimhall@myldsmail.net]
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 8:08 AM

Hey everyone!

A ton happened this week. I’ll give a brief overview because I have lessons to teach.

Palm nut gift – as my companion and I were walking in the mountains, an old lady yelled something in Mendi at me and handed me seven palm nuts. Bro Moses says it was a gift and that I should eat them. They were nasty. I guess they pound them to make palm oil for cooking, so I was eating unprocessed cooking oil.

Crazy guy with axe – one of our lessons was interrupted by a man running around with an axe destroying chairs and trees and whatever was around. Apparently his mother had cursed him and he went insane. His mother chased him around with a knife as she had a huge gash on her head. Luckily, no one else was hurt. We had to close the lesson early.

FM’S (Family Meals) FINALLY – members have started feeding us. My favorite meal thus far has been boiled plantain, potatoes, and yams with some sort of sauce. I love plantains so much!

Baptism – Alie Dumbuyah got baptized! The zone leader who interviewed him said he was so prepared. He bore his testimony and the spirit immediately testified to me of the struggles and successes he has experienced. I am so proud of him.

Relief Society activity – for the 175th anniversary of the Relief Society,

Blew on corn flakes – to underscore the kind of stress I am going through (and how Africa has influenced me), I want you to know that I blew on my cornflakes Wednesday morning like it was hot rice. What a ridiculous 10 months this has been.

Haircut – I got a haircut! My comp helped me out. He did a pretty good job. I don’t know who to trust with the top. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Transfer – it came and went. The only change near me is that my TC Elder David is leaving for Freetown and his companion is training a new missionary.

Zainab awesome new investigator – we contacted a former investigator in the area book who is so great! I don’t know what made the missionaries drop her, but she is as elect as any investigator I’ve had the privilege of teaching. She and her brother are Muslims and, as you probably know, they don’t believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We discussed the Plan of Salvation, focusing on the Fall of Adam and Eve and the Atonement of Jesus Christ for an hour. By the end of it, they both wholeheartedly accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and as the Son of God. It’s easy to have confidence in a perfect gospel and a perfect God who prepares His children to receive our message.

Foolish guy saying he is from Maryland – some guy stopped me (as I am multiple times a day) and asked me if I was American. I was expecting him to say “you go able take me wit you?” when instead he said “I’m from Maryland.” Obvious lie. Over the course of our conversation, he tried to mimic an African-American accent that he probably got from watching some American movies. It was hilarious to listen to him.

Preparing for district activity – we are going to Kailondo Beach next Monday. I got us all matching t-shirts. I paid an investigator to help us out with the shirts and he went the extra mile for us. I am pretty sure he undercharged us around 80000Le. What a great guy!

Madmen touching me – yeah once every couple weeks a madman or woman comes up to me and grabs my hand or arm or something and says “I wan you for me padi” which means “I want you to be my friend.” I feel bad for them. I am 90% sure that it is modern possession by an evil spirit. They do some evil juju business in the bush to get money and wham that’s what happens sometimes. Don’t trust the devil guys. He’s tricky.

I hope you can glimpse the kind of weeks I have with this email. I freaking love my mission. I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. There is no other way to be saved but by consciously living His gospel each day. Read the scriptures. Pray. Go to church. Do all of this with a desire to change and you will. I promise.

Love,

Elder Brimhall

Excerpts from other letters…

Elder Kabosha is doing great. He gets homesick a lot, though. This is his first time away from home actually. And he gets tired easily. He confides in me about a lot of things. He really trusts me. I try to help him where I can, but a lot of it he just has to deal with and it will go away over time. One thing that he told me the other day that really surprised me was that he has noticed how humble I am and that he wants to emulate that part of me. That gave me a chance to look back and see how far I have come since probably my senior year of high school (the time I can say I really started trying to improve my standing before God). I’m not the same person. People and experiences have changed me. I pray often that God will show me my pride and help me change. I am incredibly grateful for my companion.