Monday, April 29, 2013

Rwandan Taxis Are Amazing - April 29, 2013

Hello! Well this new emailing system is really weird. I am writing this letter in a chat box. It’s really confusing.

Well this week has been pretty good overall. I really enjoyed the entire week. This week is the last week of the transfer so we will find out transfer news on Wednesday. I will learn whether I am staying or going. I really hope I get to stay! Rwanda is really nice because the people are awesome. The people in Uganda are awesome too. So either way, it is all good :). The weather is cooler all year which you all know that I love COOL weather. In Rwanda I don’t sweat to death every day.

The week has been pretty uneventful. But I will run through the week; however, I will tell you some stories from the past that I have not related thus far to keep things interesting. We had a pretty good week in comparison to the past few weeks. On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to visit a lot of the recent converts which was cool because I really enjoy getting to know all the members of the branch. I like knowing where they live and what they like to do, etc.

On that same day, we saw one of our recent converts who is named Viatear. He is jolly and a go-getter. He is like a little kid in a grown body. One of the best things about teaching him is that he really understands everything that you teach him. It’s pretty cool to see how people once they have the Holy Ghost progress in the gospel. But an additional blessing is watching how fast they begin to learn new things. For example, many of the members when they are baptized do not speak any English at all. But over time, the Holy Ghost helps them grasp the language.

I will relate one really funny thing about Viatear that shows how young he is on the inside. When we got to his home, he was so excited to show us his new talent. His talent was using his hands and turning them into a flute. He was pretty skilled at it. He did it in the weirdest and humorous way I have ever seen. I really laughed a lot when he did it. He mashes one of his palms against his mouth and then he places his other hand over that one and by moving his fingers around and shifting his hand around he is able to make different flute noises. He can play a song or two. It was pretty weird and funny at the same time!

On Wednesday, we were able to see a young man named Joseph who is an awesome young man. Well I shouldn’t say young man because he is about the same age as Jon (27). But he seems really young. He is about 5 feet 2 inches. Even though he is small, he is the coolest of guys. I really love this guy. He just smiles and welcomes us all day long. This is such a nice feeling.

When we call him with the little kid from Rwanda we know, we ask him if we can come to his home with a translator. He always says, “Neago you greeno!” This means, “Yes, you come.” As we arrive, he is always standing outside (he is a guard) waiting for us greeting us with a nice warm handshake. This means so much.

After we arrive and go into the place where he works, we talk and teach him. We use a translator of course since my companion and I don’t speak enough of his language to actually teach in his language. But one of the coolest things is seeing this guy just smile, learn and love every moment of it. He is really a remarkable guy. I always look forward to seeing him.

On that same day, we also had the opportunity to pick up two new investigators which was awesome. It has been a long time since we have had new investigators who are truly serious. We met a man named Deodonnie and a man named Repone. Both of them are just so happy to learn about the gospel. Their hearts are open and ready to learn. I love teaching people like that! It’s so rewarding! :)

I have wanted to tell you a story about the taxis here for a long time. I just kept forgetting to do it. Now I can. The taxis here are something else! The taxis in Africa are small little vans that the Ugandan’s and the Rwandan’s have stripped and welded their own seats in. These little vans are used to the extreme! There are four rows for passengers. The front and passenger seats are made of makeshift metal benches.

Well this van when it is being used correctly should seat 7 maybe 9 give or take. But when they have transformed it into a transporting sardine can, it can easily transport 20 people. These vans when packed to the brim, which is often, literally sag in the back. Hahah!

Another funny thing about these vans is that they have been painted up in some type of theme. The driver of the van is pimped out to match the theme. Each van blasts and I mean blasts music that seems to follow the theme. Today we got in a taxi that was all painted up like a bunch of different people that rap like Little Wayne, Eminem, Tupac, Soulja Boy, 50 cent, Biggy Smalls, and so on.

This van not only had music blaring in it so loud that you couldn’t hear the person right next to you when he was yelling at you but had a sub-woofer that was so powerful that you were literally shaking in the taxi. All in all, the taxis here are really interesting. However, the plus side is that they cost next to nothing to ride in. If they did cost a lot there is no possible way that we would see all our investigators in one day. They all live so far apart. Traveling from one appointment to another sometimes can be a 40 minute ordeal and that is with a taxis and walking.

On Thursday we had kind of a sad day. One of the people in our branch named Andre who is a recent convert from some past missionaries, has a problem with alcohol. It was a really big bummer because he has always been so faithful when it comes to coming to church. Also he is always so happy and smiling when he comes to church. He loves the church but we found out he has a big problem. But it’s good that we know so that we can help the branch get it all taken care. Hopefully it does not get any worse or cause any problems for him in the future or anything like that.

On Sunday we had the opportunity to finally watch general conference. The branch finally got ahold of a copy of general conference. As a branch we were able to watch general conference which was awesome. :) It was the fastest general conference ever. It felt like it had just started then it was all over. I think this happened for two reasons. First, being on mission really makes you appreciate conference and really helps you see how amazing conference is. And second, it also felt really short because we got just a few hand selected talks. We really only watched two hours of conference all in all. This is the total amount that we will be watching is kind of a bummer. The talks that we got to watch were just awesome I really loved them.

Well in conclusion I want to just give a shout outs to a few different family members.

To all of you who work on the Weber farm who grow real crops--the onions on your farm are real onions. The average onion here is about the size of a golf ball. Haha! I can’t help but thinking of how awesome all of your crops are in comparison to the stuff they have here. So whatever magic you are working on those crops is awesome because I wish that the onions here were like the onions off of your farm. I love ya! All of you are all so fun to visit and hang with! :)

Grandma Bitter, I miss ya! I miss coming over and hanging out with you and eating some homemade bread. That stuff is the best! :) Also you better go visit my parents and keep them in line for me. Make sure that you eat my helpings at dinner time with my parents because we don’t want too many left-overs. I love ya.

Anne it’s almost birthday time! You’re gonna be sixteen and driving. That will be awesome! :) Don’t forget that slowing down in snow takes a while and that the blind spot is always the place where cars will be hiding :) I love ya, Anne!

Mom and Dad I can’t wait for Mother’s Day. It will be awesome to talk to you all and I love reading your emails :) Thanks for the great example. You all are to me :)

Jon and Sarah keep it up you are all awesome and I love you! :) You guys are the best and are such great examples. :) I hope all is well. :)


Elder Bitter/ Steve

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