Elder Masse Baptism Sept 2014

Elder Masse Baptism Sept 2014

Monday, December 23, 2013

to My Family & Friends from Africa- Joyeux Noël from Elder Masse - December 23, 2013



Dear Family & Friends,

I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas during this happy season! I know that we are far away at this time, but the Spirit of the lord is close and he loves each of us. I feel that love from each of you and I wanted to tell each and every one of you that I love you and wish you a "Joyeux Noël"! I know that I have not had much correspondence with many of you, but I wanted to thank each of you for your prayers and for that you gave my in helping me to prepare for my mission. I know I have been out for some time now, but I wanted to thank you for the contribution that each of you gave and the sacrifices that have been made on my behalf whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual. Heavenly Father answers our prayers and he listens to each of us.

In my small corner of Africa everything is going well! It's hot, I sweat every single day, but I continue on! Heavenly Father has blessed me greatly with this opportunity and I am grateful that I was called to serve in this part of the world. It is wonderful to see the change in the people that I have grown to love so much. They are wonderful. Africa is truly an amazing place and I have hundreds of stories to tell!

Again, I love each of you and hope that you are doing well. I am happy and content. I hope that each of us would take some time this Christmas season to reflect on who we are and where we are going. We are truly blessed and Heavenly Father loves us.

Je vous aime plus que vous m'aimez! Je vous souhaite un joyeux Noël! On se verra bientôt!

Que Dieu vous bénisse!

Avec amour,

Elder Massé

December 23, 2013 - Birthday party/Christmas Party, Mountains of Food!, "Je reviens! Je reviens encore!", "it was a dream come true!", why its so amazing to be a missionary in Africa

Comp: Elder Wright
Area: Douala, Cameroon

December 23, 2013
Dearest Mother,

I have been thinking about that all this week! My life is so wonderful! There are just no words to describe how I feel. I feel such peace, such joy, such happiness. It doesn't even feel like Christmas, but it is the best time of my entire mission! The more I give myself up to this work the more I feel engaged and locked into it. The more I work, I find more work to be done. I have been getting home later every day and working and sweating and bleeding and teaching and preaching. I honestly can't describe it. I know Natalie understands well, but I hope that you and Dad can too. As it states in the district, these are feelings that just can't be described. I love this work! 
So here we go! 
1. What do you want to hear about when we skype?

I honestly can't think on anything. I just want to see you guys and your faces. I hope that you are doing well and that all is well. Don't worry! We will just talk and it will be over. No worries! It will be great whatever happens! 
2. What are your plans for Christmas?
 We will be out working on Christmas until about 1:00 and at that point we will need to head to the city to see the Gaileys at their house. They will feed us a lunch/dinner. Once we get there we will start skyping our families and just playing games and having fun. After that we will head home and that is Christmas! We will also be watching last years Christmas devotional by the First Presidency. I love last years so I am excited to watch it again. 

3. What are you looking forward too?
 I am just happy to be here. It's a great time to be a missionary and I wouldn't trade the time that I have left for anything in the world. Honestly, this is perfect. 
4. What made you happy this week?
It's hard to answer that question. I feel so full of joy and peace. Everything is going well and it's the best! 
5. What have you been thinking of lately?
. Not much. I am just looking forward and enjoying my time here in the mission. It's an exciting time! 
6. Did any presents or packages or letters arrive as of late?
I have not received any letters or packages as of late, but I did receive a letter from Natalie! It's awesome! She seems happy and she is doing well. It's hard to tell though because the letter was written two months ago. Ha ha! Oh Africa. And the Phillippines. 
7. Tell me some African traditions
If there is a pimple on your face it means that you are in love with another woman. The Douala tradition is that mermaids exist. Africans never use a towel that they use to wash their body for the ground. I got in huge trouble for that one. Seriously. Chewed out. That is all that came to mind for the moment. 
8. What made you laugh?
Well Elder Davis and I  talk all the time and we laugh about every day. It's been so fun watching that relationship grow. We are doing awesome. 
9. Tell me a joke
What do British Nuclear physicists eat for lunch?
Fission chips! Ha ha! 
10. Tell me why its so amazing to be a missionary in Africa.... 
Because the work is growing and people are so accepting. People are very in-tune with the Spirit and it is wonderful to watch them grow and progress. However, there is also a catch to that. There are so many people that I love and have grown close to and it's hard to watch them not progress or watch them struggle and drown in their trials when I know exactly what they need - The Gospel. It's very hard, but it is a wonderful blessing. This country has been prepared and we have more people to teach than we can see honestly. I love it here, but it's not easy. 
11. How are you feeling?
 I feel great! Truly, everything is going my way. Other than that I don't have a whole lot.

So it was a really great week. On Saturday I helped one of our neighbors set up for a huge birthday party/Christmas party and thanks to my charm and class, ( wink wink) ha ha! I managed to get all four of us missionaries invited to the party! At 6 o'clock on Saturday, I hear the doorbell ring and so I went to investigate. As soon as I opened the door I just see my neighbor named Agnesse rush into our apartment and start placing plates with mountains of food of them on our table! She kepy saying, "Je reviens! Je reviens encore!" I'm coming back! Before I knew it there was like six or seven plates of food on our table full of African food. It was like a dream come true. Fish, chicken, meatballs, roast beef, stew, beignets that tasted like blueberry muffins,  cake, Ndolé, Cantonese rice, potato salad, and tons of soda. Seriously. It was the best thing ever. I had a seemingly endless supply of African food. It was a dream come true. 
Ahhh... And there is still more in the fridge! Ha ha! That was the highlight of my week. It was the best. 
I don't have a whole lot more to say and not much is really coming to my mind at the moment so I guess I will just end there!

I love you Mother! I will see you on Wednesday! Avec amour,

Love Elder Massé

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dedication of GABON!!! First 4 Elders go to Gabon for the first time!!






I was so touched by the part of the dedicatory prayer in Gabon by Elder Bednar- about leaves falling from the trees when the prayer started- but it turned out to be butterflies!)
http://www.lds.org/church/news/print/gabon-country-dedication-in-ancient-forest?lang=eng&country=afe



Monday, October 21, 2013

Oct 21, 2013- Elder Vanausdal from Ghana MTC, soccer, roommates, “African dresses made from pagne”, Elder Nash, service




                                                                                        (thanks to the Gailey's for the pictures of Douala!)

DOUALA, CAMEROON- BONABERI
COMP: ELDER CASEY GARLAND
Elder Vanausdal from Ghana MTC, soccer, roommates, “African dresses made from pagne”, Elder Nash, service
Oct  21, 2013
Dearest Mother,
Thank you so much for sending me the recipe for Fudgy No-Bakes. I might make those today if I can find some oatmeal! 
Let's start out with questions. 
1. How are you feeling?
I am feeling fine. Really exhausted and really tired. We played two hours of soccer and football this morning. 
2.  Adventures?  Stories?
Well let me spin you one. So Elder Garland and I are in a lesson teaching when I get a phone call. Usually I ignore them, but I noticed that it was Elder Gailey calling so I felt it was important. I excused myself for a short time and answered the phone. Elder Gailey proceeded to tell me that the new Elder, Elder Vanausdal who was en route to Pointe Noire, was having visa problems so he was going to have to stay in Cameroon for a couple days. Elder Gailey then told me that he would be staying in Bonaberi for a couple days and working with Elder Garland and I. It was nuts! He arrived safely and we have been working with him for the last couple days and he is doing really well. He is having a great time and enjoying his mission from what I can see. I learned today that Elder Baker will be training him when he gets down to Congo so I am really excited for him.
He is the first Elder to come from the Ghana MTC so it was exciting having the opportunity to talk to him and hear what the MTC was like. I have heard a lot of crazy stories from him. He is from Alaska and his family owns a reindeer farm. He is funny and has a lot of cool stories. He is great. 
3. Tell me something about Africa
 Africa is honestly really hard to explain. People ask me all the time what it is like but it is so hard to describe. Elder Parsons, a former teacher in the MTC who served in this mission said that it is almost impossible to explain. You hear and smell and see and taste Africa but it is so difficult to relay that information to someone.

4. Tell me something about your roommates
 Elder Thibault loves to kick-box. Elder Vanausdal wants to major in finance when he gets home and goes to BYU. Elder Davis is an amazing basketball player. And Elder Garland was a teacher at BYU for some time. 
5.  How were you of service this week?
We actually did a service project pulling weeds for three hours with a less-active member. It was fun. We talked about life and he played some music. It was great. I also ironed Elder Davis' and Elder Vanausdal's shirts the other day. Service! 
6. What was super exciting?
 Getting to be the first one to meet the new Elder. It was such a blast hearing his stories and getting to know him. He is awesome. 
7.  What made you laugh out loud?
I watched a mouse run from the kitchen to into the bathroom that Elder Thibault was in. Screaming ensued. It was pretty hilarious. 
8. What’s the weather like?
Hot and sunny. 
9. What makes you happy?
 Studying French, writing in my Journal, playing soccer outside, etc. 
10. What is something you saw?
 I saw a rooster up in a tree a couple days ago. It was crowing and it looked pretty cool in the tree so we took a picture of it. 
11. Something you ate?
I didn't eat any African food, but we should be making cabbage soup for dinner tonight. That should be awesome. And cookies! And possibly fudgy no-bakes! 
12. What do most of the people wear?
Regular clothes. A lot of women wear African dresses made from pagne, which is basically African fabric. It's pretty normal. 
13. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen someone carry on their head? 
Probably that picture of Elder Nash with that Dovv bag on his head. Ha ha. Crazy African Elder Nash. 
So that was basically the week. Elder Vanausdal coming was the coolest thing. 
Hope you are doing well! 
Until next time, 
Love Elder Massé
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Side notes from Elder Garland: “all the new missionaries to the DRC Missionare going through Ghana now.”… “ we had little sandwiches and cups of teeth-staining folléré, this deep, deep red juice they make from a plant leaf and lots and lots of sugar that is to die for. “

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oct 14, 2013- “Limbé was such a blast!", Elder Garland’s birthday ,"If you become closer to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on your mission, then your mission will have been a success."





Douala, Cameroon- Bonaberi
Comp: Elder Casey Garland

Elder Garland’s birthday ,“Limbé was such a blast! We went to a primate park and I took a ton of pictures, we stood in the water of the ocean, and I got you some rocks as well! “, “The beach was beautiful and you could see the island of Bioko off the coast. It was really cool. The island is a principality of Equitorial Guinee. “  Advice for Alex & Max: “If you become closer to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on your mission, then your mission will have been a success. It's up you to figure out how to do that. Become more like him and bring others unto him. “ tan
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Oct 14, 2013

Dearest Mother,
It's been a fun week and I am red and tan all over! I will get to that later, but let me answer some questions first! 
1. What do you think is amazing about your brothers?

They are all amazing and smart. I love all of them. I just can't imagine them not all going on to do amazing things. They are all so great in each of their own ways. It's a beautiful thing. 

2. What is a quality of dad’s that you want to emulate?
His willingness to serve and love the people around him. His ability to work until he is dead tired and then somehow continues to work on. He is a hard worker. There are many things I want to emulate, even if they don't come straight to mind. He is amazing. 

3.  What is something you’ve learned from Elder Garland?
  I have learned that what I have been doing is enough and sufficient. He helps to put it all into perspective.  I appreciate that.

4/5- What made you smile? What made you laugh out loud?
 Going to Limbé this week. It was such a blast! We ran around, laughed at each other and played volley-ball for hours yesterday. It was so fun! I got so much sun on the tops of my feet, legs, arms, and face! Luckily though the only thing that is really sunburnt is the top of my left foot. Oh well. They won't be seeing any sun again any time soon so no big deal. Limbé was such a blast! We went to a primate park and I took a ton of pictures, we stood in the water of the ocean, and I got you some rocks as well! It was so much fun taking a break! What a blessing it was. The beach was beautiful and you could see the island of Bioko off the coast. It was really cool. The island is a principality of Equitorial Guinee. 

6. What is something that happened at church?
I actually had a really fun time attending Branch Council. It was weird. I liked the setting, I liked hearing all of the auxiliaries talk about their respective quorums and groups, and I like listening to what is going on in the branch.
As far as the rest of church goes though, we actually had not a single investigator show up to church. That was a first for me my entire mission. It was really strange, but it made me appreciate all the times that I have had investigators at church. I became humbled and thought about missionaries throughout the world who would kill to have just one investigator at church. I am truly blessed. 

7. Tell me about the creepy crawly things….
Honestly, Natalie's side is much more interesting concerning this subject. Not much has changed. I killed a couple cockroaches and saw a couple mice this week. That was about it. 

8. What service to you render this week?
Well this week we did a service project with a less-active member and afterwards his wife made is Eru. It's basically oil, leaves, and meat to put it simply. Tastes good, but there is always an abundance of oil. 

9. What adventures did you have?
Limbé was the biggest one. It was such a blast! 

10. What advice do you have for Max and Alex?
If you become closer to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on your mission, then your mission will have been a success. It's up you to figure out how to do that. Become more like him and bring others unto him.

So yeah! That was my week. It was a blast and I am totally tan and red now. I love it. Everyone keeps telling me that I am red and stuff and I like it. Going to Limbé was so much fun. It felt like a completely different world. Like a dream. It's really hard to describe, but I imagine that's how it feels in southern California or Florida. It was so fun. That's about it for this week! 

Love you Mom! Hope you have a great week!

Until next time, 
Love Elder Massé
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Side Note: Elder Masse’s companion is Elder Garland.  This is part of his letter Elder Garland wrote that is on his mission blog.  I love hearing his stories! Elder Garland’s Mission Blog:

October 14th


…Anyway, what an awesome week...At 1 in the morning Elder Thibault set an alarm and woke me up to sing me happy birthday, and then he woke up really fast and brought me breakfast in bed, which was super nice, but I wanted to eat with everyone else so I just got up and went into the living room.  Then they brought me this awesome African vest they got from the marché which I love. ..
When we got home I made a huge cabbage/sausage dinner over rice by myself, which was surprising because usually Elder Massé helps me…  I learned why Elder Massé hadn’t helped me in the kitchen—I found a hidden note in the guitar that told me to check my camera, that led me to a box of crayons, to my soccer cleats, to a bag of cookies, to a box of cookies, and eventually to underneath my pillow where he had left me a really nice note and a pocket sized journal for a present.  It was so creative and nice and really heartwarming.  It made my birthday wonderful,  along with the present from my other companions.  Best birthday ever!
The rest of the week flew by.  We made up for that failed service project the next day when we went back to the same place and helped them tear down a tin fence/barrier/wall and pull weeds and paint and trim bushes and the like for like 4 hours, after which they fed us éru and watafufu.  Basically it was boiled flour mixed with plant stems and red oil haha.  ... We came home to change, went back out and finally got to see Marie Anne,   we set her a baptismal date and now she’s getting baptized Saturday! ...

After heading home, Elder Massé realized he didn’t have the key in his pocket anymore, but we were sure it fell out when he sat in this one couch at a friend’s house that totally collapsed on him, so we had to walk all the way back.  It turned out to be fantastic though, because she asked us for a blessing for her baby, and then right after that her neighbors who are members asked us to come over and pray for them and give one of them a blessing too.  The whole situation was just incredible, I loved it. It made coming home that much sweeter.
Yesterday was the real kicker.  I forgot to tell you last week that we were going to a new beach, which is why I wasn’t able to write!  We went to this Anglophone city called Limbé, where they had a huge black sand beach with volcanic rocks at the beach head.  All the missionaries piled in the Gailey’s truck and we left at 7 o’clock on the dime, and an hour later we were climbing out to visit this wildlife preservation center that was mostly centered on monkeys.  It was awesome.  I took a million pictures.  Then we went to the beach and played volleyball for like 5 hours with some random people from Lebanon and around Cameroon.  ... It was so much fun.  They Gaileys brought us lunch of PB&J’s and starbursts and skittles and a giant apple and banana bread and it was delicious.  I would have sworn I had teleported to Southern California.  Coming back, we realized it was all just a dream.  Even though everyone was super sun burnt on their legs and face and upper arms it just didn’t seem real at all.  I loved every second of it.  I wish we could open a branch down in Limbé… 
Elder Garland

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7th, 2013- ONE YEAR!!! Apt, Douala, Fidelis, Banane Malaxé!, What is your PARADISE? “Missionary work! “, Christmas present

 ONE YEAR!!!  Apt, Douala, Fidelis, Banane Malaxé!, What is your PARADISE? “Missionary work! “, Christmas present
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DOUALA, CAMEROON
BONABERI
COMP: ELDER CASEY GARLAND

October 7th, 2013

Dearest Mother,
It's been an interesting week nonetheless. It's always an interesting week. It is strange too. Strange to think that I am halfway done. That I am now on the downhill slope.
Here are some answers though! 
Elder Garland is doing great. He was sick last Monday but that was about it. He is back to his normal self. 

1.  Tell me something about your apartment
We have a three bedroom apartment. One shower, one bath. Two Bathrooms. One bidet as well.  A little kitchen, and a large living space. That is the apartment. 
2. Tell me something about Douala
Douala is awesome. I love the bridge, I love seeing the estuary, and I love the people. I love walking everywhere. It makes everything really peaceful and it slows down the pace of life. I like that. I love the food, I love the language, I love my friends and members here, all of it makes me happy. 
3. What made you laugh out loud?
Watching Elder Thibault eat like a small child and getting chocolate cake all over his face because he is a goof ball. Ha ha. 
4. Whats the craziest thing you saw this week?
Watching Fidelis almost chopping his hand off while shucking coconuts.  It's nuts. Ha ha. Get it? Nuts?
5. What is something you’re looking forward to?
Elder Garlands birthday tomorrow! He is 23! 
6. Tell me about food you’ve eaten this week
I ate some Banane Malaxé! It's basically boiled bananas or plaintains with a peanut sauce with fish. Super delicious. 
7. What is your favorite thing to teach investigators?
I love teaching commandments and answering questions. Those are some of my favorite things to do. I also love teaching the Plan of Salvation. 
8. What was SUPER fun?
Going across the bridge twice this week to watch General Conference with the Gaileys. It was so awesome! 
9. Where did you watch conference?
 Chez Gailey! We watched Saturday Afternoon and Priesthood session. 
10. Anything you want me to send you?

I have actually been thinking of a Christmas Present that I want. But I will hold it in suspense because I know how much you love that. Not really. I just want to tease you a little. Ha ha. 
11. What is your PARADISE?
Missionary work! 
So this week I went on splits with Elder Davis. That was a lot of fun. I am glad we had some time to work together and go out into the sector. I am grateful for his example. 
Year mark is passed which is crazy. I also got your package with the new missionary materials! I read the entire pamphlet/book in one evening. It was really fascinating. Thanks so much for that! 

That was basically my week. It was really great. I hope that you are doing well.
Love you Mother. Thanks for everything that you do.
Until next time,
Love Elder Massé