Elder Masse Baptism Sept 2014

Elder Masse Baptism Sept 2014

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30. 2013- Elder Garland’s fever,.” Trying to describe Africa to any missionary is really difficult. If anything, I would say something that can apply to any missionary anywhere. Do your best everyday. Go out and work hard. Be obedient and learn to love the people that you will teach. They are truly what is most important.”, nasty remedy, Fidelis sugar cane,

CAMEROON- Bonaberi


September 30. 2013

Dearest Mother,

It's been a really strange week, and I am sure that you will come to see that. It's been extremely strange. Let me tell you about it, but first, I will answer some questions. 

1.       Got any mail lately?

 I have not actually. Haven't seen anything besides a letter from Grandma. 

2.       What’s the craziest thing you saw?
 Well, here's the thing. Elder Garland was sick the entire week, and we didn't go out that much. He is still not feeling that well today, but he managed to play soccer for a short time so hopefully he is on the down side of the slope he is on. I went out twice this week from the apartment. Friday, and Sunday. Elder Thibault really needed to get me out of the apartment because I was starting to go stir crazy and becoming super cranky. Anyways, point is,  I got to spend a ton of time reflecting and reading the scriptures. It was awesome in its own way. 

3.       Tell me something you ate
Elder Garland ate some nasty African remedy that cleans out your system. A member came to the apartment unannounced with a sack full of some strange leaves and limes. He told me to take all the leaves, wash them, and then boil them with four cups of water, and so I did. Long story short, Elder Garland drank this strange concoction. Little did he know, our member friend forgot to tell him that it really would clean him out and that he would be in the bathroom all night. He was. Oh this is Africa. 

4.       What was your favorite moment?
 Being able to provide service for Elder Garland this week as well as the other Elders. 

5.       Your hardest moment?
 Probably Thursday after being in the apartment for five days straight without leaving or even going outside. 

6.       What amazed you?
 How many Ensign issues I have read this week. It's ridiculous. Ha ha. 

7.   What did you learn ?
I learned that I can't sit in a cubicle for the rest of my life unless. I just can't do it. I will die. I learned that this week from being inside all week long. 

8.    What advice would you give to a missionary who was going to Africa?
Honestly, trying to describe Africa to any missionary is really difficult. If anything, I would say something that can apply to any missionary anywhere. Do your best everyday. Go out and work hard. Be obedient and learn to love the people that you will teach. They are truly what is most important. 

9.   What did you see that you never want to forget?
Watching Fidelis miraculously leaving the room and then coming back with a huge stalk of sugar cane to eat. Ha ha. It blows my mind every time. I just don't want to forget Fidelis. I love the guy. He is awesome. 

So yeah. That was the week. I basically explained it all. I spent a ton of time inside with Elder Garland. I did have a great week though. I was glad I could do some much service and be of help to Elder Garland. He has been having a fever all week that goes up and then goes down and continues to do that. It's nuts. The highest it got was last Sunday. He topped out at 104 which I believe I told you. Anyways, not much to say, but I did think a lot. It was good for me. 

Love you Mom. 
Have a great week! 

Until next time, 
Love Elder Massé

SIDE NOTE: Elder Masse's companion, Elder Garland, has a blog.  This is his letter describing the same week. 
 I love it.  
September 30th

Good day to you all! How do you do?
This has been an interesting week.  Towards the end of our time at the internet café I started getting really bad chills, so I finished the rest of my emails really quick and headed home.  The walk was awful.  My head was pounding the whole time and I was freezing.  We got home and I checked my temperature—103 !  I laid down on a mattress in our room and Elder Massé started the process of putting ice clothes on my face for the next several hours.  I also noticed that I was developing a rash along my sides and stomach, which wasn’t too bad at first. 
A couple hours later the fever went down, and right when I got up a dear friend knocked on our door to find out how I was doing.  It was Romeo, and after hearing about my fever he came all the way across the bridge with a bag of African remedies to help with what everyone thought was malaria.  He shucked the leaves off this branch as he explained how it was very rare and if I wasn’t better by 8 p.m. then he would be very surprised.  We boiled the leaves with two golf ball-sized lemons until there was just enough “juice” to fill two cups.  He wanted to make sure I drank it before he left, so to please him I started drinking what was probably the most bitter cup of liquid I’ve ever put in my mouth.  Elder Massé took the next cup and added several tablespoons of sugar to ease it down.  It was pretty bad.  I showed him to the door, thankful for his kindness and charity.  Almost immediately after he left I stood up and couldn’t decide if I wanted to go to the bathroom or throw up, so I did both.  I hadn’t thrown up in years, but I had a nice go with the medicine in the bathroom sink.  Twice.  I proceeded to spend the rest of the night and most of the next day in the bathroom.  It was only then that Romeo called Elder Thibault to tell him that he forgot to tell me that I would be in the bathroom all day.  Thanks for the heads up!
I woke up the next day with a fever of 101.6, and my companion and I had a long talk about life and stuff as he gave me ice clothes and made me a delicious spaghetti omelette.  ... Anyway, that was how we spent the rest of the day.  My fever went down and then came back up in the late afternoon, so I kept taking ibuprofen and acetametaphin and doxycycline.  
On Wednesday I woke up with another 101.8 fever, but according to my body’s newly established schedule it broke before 10:30, when we had district meeting with the Gaileys.  They left, and my fever came back as a 103.5, so I laid in the living room for the next 4 or 5 hours with cold compresses until it broke again.  For dinner I had a cup of plain rice.  Yum.
Woke up on Thursday with a 101.4, ate stale Frosted Flakes for breakfast, and went down with the Gaileys to the clinic to get checked out.  They took my vitals, the doctor checked out the rash (which had gotten progressively much worse), and then they drew my blood (I carefully watched where the needle came from)....  We came back to the apartment, and not long after my fever went back up, and we repeated the now very annoying process of cooling me down and stuffing me with drugs.
Elder Davis stayed home with me on Friday because we decided that Elder Massé needed some fresh air.  Fever was at 101.6 again, but it died around the regular time and didn’t come back until probably 6.  I found myself back in the bathroom all day though, so that was pretty unfortunate.  It was really cool getting to talk to Davis though; he’s a really cool guy. 
 To pass the time for each day I usually did something like this—study scriptures while my fever is broken, eat lunch, go back to sleep for a couple hours because I usually had an awful night, wake up and watch Mormon message videos and conference talks and other church videos, play guitar, read the Ensign/Liahona, or my favorite—lay there doing nothing, just staring at the wall or ceiling. 
Friday was a little more eventful.  Another 101.6 fever in the morning, but I had an early visit from Elder Gailey and President Cook, who was in town to interview branch members and whatnot.  They brought me the results from my tests at the clinic, and turns out I had nothing!  No malaria, nothing.  Comforting.  They gave me this really powerful antibiotic though that I’m supposed to take only 5 times, once a day.  Hopefully that’ll kill whatever has tried taking advantage of my weakened body within the last couple of days.  Our friend Conrad came over with a sack of oranges and swept our living room and did all our dishes as I laid there totally helpless.  Such a nice guy.  He tried explaining to us that it’s actually better to just use a cloth that is only a little damp and that will bring my fever down.  Bless his heart, it didn’t work at all, but we love him. ...  Then I got in the shower and found out the water was shut off.  Half an hour later I was done with my bucket shower and THEN the water turned back on.  I also started to develop this nasty cough that makes me light headed and probably annoys everyone else, but when Elder Gailey asked if I should get cough medicine I said no because it really wasn’t that bad.  REGRET.
I was determined to go to church on Sunday, even if it was for just sacrament.  I woke up with the lightest fever yet, only 99.9 !  A few drugs later and I was right as rain, so we walked to church and I soon discovered that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.  I got really light-headed and we left church after Sunday School, so I came home and slept for like two hours until the other elders came home.  President came over finally to do interviews with us, and it was nice just to chat with him for a few minutes about life.  He’s a really great guy, and his wife is hilarious.  So jolly haha.  As soon as they left, my fever went back up to 100.1. 
For the first time in over a week, I woke up on Monday with no fever!  There was a big election that day so nothing was open, so we decided to go try teaching, but when we got to our first person I could feel that it wasn’t going to be ok if we kept going, so after seeing him we went back home, where I fell asleep for FIVE hours.  I woke up and dinner was already ready.  I then had the second worst night’s sleep of my mission as I watched every single hour pass by in the night.  The last time I looked at my watch before I finally passed out was after 12, and then I woke up at 1:40, didn’t fall asleep till well after 2, and it went on like that for the next 4 hours until the alarm went off and I was exhausted from having tossed and turned all night.
BUT! I still decided to go out and play soccer, which probably wasn’t the best idea.  We showed up and there was already a couple teams playing, but they told us to lace up so we could play with them.  They called me out first, and after I got shoved face first into the ground after like 45 seconds of being on the field I was already huffing and puffing.  I didn’t do much, and it was actually more fun when they subbed in my companions and the rest of Bonapriso showed up and we all got to play together like normal.  I got super tired super fast, so I sat out and drank water for the next half an hour until they ended the game.  I was just happy to see the other elders.  It was my last time for Elder Lundberg before he goes back down the Congo, and the first time I saw Elder Christensen since he came up from Congo.  He’s my branch president’s grandson from the MTC.  Fun fact.
Anyway, here we are!  Even though I didn’t go outside 95% of the week, it was pretty eventful.  I hated it, but I’ll find that I learned something out of this experience eventually.  Just know that next time I say I’m sick but it’s going better, it might not be the end ;)  
Either way, I love you and I’m glad you’re still reading this.  What an adventure to read about a sick guy all day haha.  Please don’t get malaria (if that’s even what I had), it’s just not fun.  It’s much better to be out preaching the gospel, I promise.  That’s about as inspiring as I can be for now, I still have a headache annnddd yeah.  Have a great week!
Elder Garland

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sept 23, 2013 -Baptism, Helping Member with yard, banane malaxé, fish,

Baptism, Helping Member with yard, banane malaxé, fish,
Comp:Elder Casey Garland
Area:  Douala, Cameroon
Sept 23, 2013
Dearest Mother,
It's been a fun week and Elder Garland and I had a lot of fun. I am learning and growing everyday and just trying to figure out life. It's a weird thing trying to figure out life. I have so much to learn. Anyways, here it goes! 
1. .       What was the best thing that happened this week?
Elder Garland and I had a baptism on Saturday which was pretty cool. It was for a little girl who just turned eight in her family. I taught her for a short time when I worked with Elder Thibault so that was cool so see her get baptized. 
Despite being out and about in the sector this week, Elder Garland and I didn't do that much teaching. A lot of appointments fell through and we did a ton of service for people this week so we didn't have a whole lot of time to teach, but it was great. We spent all day Saturday helping a less-active member clean and take care of his lawn. We used the typical African tools to get the job done - shovels, rakes, machetes, hoes, etc. I spent about two and half hours chopping down weeds in tree wells with a machete. It was a great workout for the arms, so it was fun. I am so sore though. Ha ha. 
I finally got fed banane malaxé! It is a favorite dish of every missionary I have ever met and this week I finally had the opportunity to try it. It was delicious and oh so good. It's really weird. I find myself craving African food from time to time which kind of scares me. What is going to happen to me when I return home? How am I going to survive without Africa! Maybe I can order some Ndolé through the internet so I can make you guys some traditional african dishes. That would blow my mind. For reals. 

2.  Have the Gaileys taken you to the beach yet?
Not yet, but we should be going to Limbé this transfer. 

3.       What do you think of all of Natalie’s experiences?
She seems happy and content. I am so glad she gets to experience many of the same things that I have experienced during the time that I have served. I am so glad to see how happy she is. It's a truly wonderful thing. 
 4.       Food?
Banane Malaxé, roasted peanuts and corn, riz sauté, sugar cane cut down by Fidelis, and we also bougth some fish in the marché this week that Elder Garland and I cut, scaled, and gutted, for Elder Nyom. We wanted to make him a nice dinner considering he was leaving back to his house. It was awesome. I also made tortillas and taco saaauuuuccceee last night for all the Elders. It was delicious. 
5.       Sights?
I saw the Whitesides today actually! They are awesome! I have missed them so much and they even brought me my umbrella! Gosh they are so awesome! 
6. Adventures?
Gutted fish, taco saaaaaauuuuuucceee, rain, beaches, sand, chlorine, pool, all the Elders, and plenty of pax.
7.       Tell me more about transfers… who went where?  Who is in your apt and in the other apt in Douala?

Not much to tell. I told you everything. Lundberg went to Congo, but is actually still here due to visa problems. It's Colindres, Morin, Stephens, Buetler, Wright, Christensen, and Lundberg in the Bonapriso apartment. Here in Bonaberi it's Garland, Massé, Thibault, and Davis. 
8. Fun?
 I gutted tons of fish! And taught Elder Garland how to do it! He's never done it. 
So yeah. It was a crazy week. Love you Mom. Catch you on the flipside! 
A la prochaine fois,
avec amour,
Elder Massé

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sept 16, 2013 - Recent Converts, Walking to Chateau d'Eau , Elder Garland’s sweet goal, Gumbo sauce with fou-fou de manioc, transfers,

September 16, 2013
Comp: Elder Casey Garland
Area: Douala, Cameroon
Recent Converts, Walking to Chateau d'Eau , Elder Garland’s sweet goal,  Gumbo sauce with fou-fou de manioc, transfers,
Dearest Mother,
It's been an interesting and long week, but I have enjoyed it. It's been a lot of fun and Elder Garland and I are out everyday getting to work. The week went by quickly actually. That makes me feel like I had a good week so I am happy about that. Anyways, here we go. 
1.       Who did you see this week?
 We saw a whole bunch of people. A whole slew of people. We saw all of the recent converts in our sector and Davy recently came back from his trip to the village. We were stoked about that. We are so grateful to have him back in Bonaberi. He is awesome. Elder Garland and I did weeking planning yesterday and we noticed that we have a whole ton of people to see this week so we are going to try to do our best. Hopefully it works out. 
2.       Where did you go?
Elder Garland walked all the way up to Chateau d'Eau this week and saw Conrad at his Dad's place. That was crazy. That took most of our time just to find his house on Wednesday. It took an hour and a half to find his house. There was a death in his family recently, so he has been staying with his Dad at Marché de Rail near a college called, "Le College Mother Teresa". It took forever to find his house, but we got there eventually. 

3.       What did you teach about?
 We taught about our pre-earth life, we talked about the restoration, we talked about Joseph Smith, we talked about the Book of Mormon, and we talked about what happens to us after we die. We also talked to an investigator about how we can learn to trust people and who we can place our confidence in. 
4.       What did you buy at the marche or store?
We bought rice, Foster Clark's, green peppers, onions, leeks, cabbage, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, spaghetti, bread, sugar, powdered milk, vanilla, butter, eggs, concentrated milk, yogurt, etc etc. The list goes on and on. 
5.       Did you visit any members this week?  What’s it like?
It was fun. The funnest experiences I had were the aforementioned stories. 
6.       What did you eat?
I actually ate gumbo sauce with fou-fou de manioc. It was really good and one of the better gumbo sauces that I have eaten according to Elder Garland. He has eaten a lot of gumbo apparently. 
7.       What made you smile?
Playing soccer and running around for an hour and a half. 
8.       Where have you been getting your haircut?
I have been cutting my own hair actually with the help of Elder Garland or Elder Thibault.
9.       Tell me about something you saw this week.
 I saw Elder Garland make a beautiful goal today while playing soccer. 
10.   Tell me something about your sector.
 It's really wet because it is more in the quartier than the other sector. We have the river that feeds into the estuary so we see that from time to time. We find lots of sand and mud as well. 
11.   How do you feel about having a sister in the Philippines?
It is one of the coolest things in the world. I am so proud of her and she is amazing. 
12.   How are your shoes holding up?  Your sandals?  Your pants?
My pants and sandals are fine. My black boots recently broke so not sure what I am going to do about that.
13.   What made you laugh out loud?
 Playing soccer today. It was fun and laughable.

We received transfer information this morning. I am not going anywhere and neither is Garland. I am happy about that though. Elder Nyom, the branch missionary is leaving because he needs to prepare for his own mission. That is understandable and we all knew that beforehand. What we did not know was that Elder Davis is coming down to live in our apartment here in Bonaberi. It will be a lot of fun to live with him again. I am excited for it. 
That was my week. I need to write Dad's email so I have to go. Love you Mom. 

Love Elder Massé

Monday, September 9, 2013

SEPT 9TH, 2013 - fist bump, advice to Natalie, no more white shirts, beignet joke, Jamma, Elder Carl B Cook,

Date: September 09, 2013 

Area: Douala, Cameroon in Bonaberi 1 Sector - AFRICA 
Companion: Elder Casey Garland (Washington)

Sept 9, 2013
Dearest Mother,
It's been an interesting week.  Here are some answers to your questions:
1.Did you get the journal I sent?   I did indeed get it this week. Thank you so much for sending it! It will be awesome to write in that as soon as I am done with my current journal. Thank you for all the pictures you sent as well. Those were wonderful.  (I sent him a hardback journal and it cost $26!!!!)
2. What adventures did you have?   Not many. It has been raining a lot and we had to cross a flooding road to get to church. We walked all the way to church in the pouring rain through the mud and a flood. I was soaking wet, but I walked and made it. 
3.Advice to Natalie in the Philippines?   Be loving and charitable. Smile and be happy. Serve your companion and do your best everyday. 
4.What was something really fun?  I had a pretty fun time crossing that flood. Ha ha. 
5. Are your shirts still white?  Not really. Lol. I pulled out a new shirt a couple weeks ago and the difference is astounding. 
6. What make you laugh?  Anytime I am having a conversation with Elder Thibault. 
9. Tell me something about your apartment. We recently got new cabinets and they belong in the seventies. It's a freaky kitchen now. 
10. Tell me a joke.  Lol
 Two beignets were cooking in some oil when one of the beignets said to the other, "It's a little hot in hear isn't it?"
The other looks at him and says, "Oh my goodness! A talking beignet!"
11. Tell me something the Africans love.   They love oil. Oil goes into everything. It's crazy. 
12. What was the best part of your week? Probably Zone conference and getting a fist bump from a Seventy! 
13. What’s the weather like? Dark and dreary. And very wet. 
14. Food?  Jamma Jamma actually. A dish from Bamenda with vegetables and smoked fish. It was delicious and we ate it with corn fou-fou. 
15.Good news?   Indeed! Sister Ortance was baptized and confirmed this weekend. She is the most golden person I have ever met in my entire life. She's amazing. 
16. Scenery? They are in the process of building a new bridge to get to Bonaberi. It will be finished in 2015. 
So that was my week! It went fairly well. When we had zone conference with Elder Carl B. Cook, one of the area seventies here, I answered one of his questions right and he jumped up and gave me a fist-bump. It was one of the highlights of the week and probably this month. It was hilarious. Elder Cook is amazing. He knows the doctrines of the church and Preach My Gospel backwards and forwards. It was awesome to spend some time with him and learn from him. He is really cool and I am glad I got to meet him. 
Love you Mom! 
Until next time, 
Love Elder Masse`

Monday, September 2, 2013

SEPT 2, 2013 -Service project, Fidelis, coconut hunting, When a baby is born, the mother and child don't leave the house for three to four months,

Service project, Fidelis, coconut hunting, When

 a baby is born, the mother and child don't

 leave the house for three to four months,

Date: September 02, 2013 
Area: Douala, Cameroon in Bonaberi 1 Sector - AFRICA 
Companion: Elder Casey Garland

SEPT 2, 2013

Dearest Mother,

This week Elder Garland and I did a lot of service for people this week. We did Mormon Helping Hands, or in French, Mormon Aux Main Serviables. We met at the church this Saturday around 8:30 and put on your yellow vests along with roughly 20 or 30 people. The service project went well. Around 9:00 we left for a bi-lingual school a couple hundred yards down the road. Elder Garland and I scraped moss and mold off some walls and banisters for an hour with machetes, swept and mopped several classrooms, and also pulled water from a well for a while for all the buckets we needed to clean the school with. It was fun and we both had a great time. 

There is a member here named Fidelis and he is really awesome. He is from Nigeria, but grew up in Cameroun for most of his life. We went coconut hunting with him this week at his house and it was a lot of fun. Elder Garland did an awesome job, and both us enjoyed it. I managed to score myself three coconuts so it was great. 

1.      What adventures did you have this week?

I went coconut hunting and did Mormon Helping Hands with Elder Garland and Fidelis. 

2.      What are some cool words in Douala you like?

 Elder Garland is the one that knows everything in the Douala language.

3.      Tell me something you love about Africa.

 There was a huge rainstorm, and that reminded me of home. It smelled like it too. 

4.      Tell me something about your comp

 Elder Garland is awesome. We are getting along great and it's been really fun being in a companionship together. 

5.      An African tradition?

When a baby is born, the mother and child don't leave the house for three to four months. 

6.      Tell me about a family you are teaching.

 Soeur Ortance should be getting baptized this Saturday, so that will be awesome. I am excited for her. 

I hope that you are doing well I love you Mom. Have a great week. 

Love Elder Masse