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3-25-13 My VILLAGE!!! Haleku!!

3-25-13


Kaaaaarotee!! Diey Abush everybody? Wow, wow, lots of fun news this week. So many things are happening here in East Africa.

The transfer has ended, and I have been transferred to an area called Wendo Ganet, which means Paradise in Amharic. Its a very beautiful place. It is located fairly close to Shashemene, (a Jamaican Rastafarian town in south Ethiopia), which is where My companion (Elder Cunningham) and I stay. Shashemene is a very dirty and pretty wild place, but Wendo Ganet is a very peaceful area, where most everybody makes their living growing sugar cane. Wendo Ganet was opened to the church several years ago when a pastor was converted in Addis by missionaries. The pastor had a congregation of about 150 persons, and they all converted and were very strong in the church. Unfortunately, the devil is real my friends. The Pastor was offended when a new branch president was called, and he left, taking all except 5 or so members with him. Because of how small the village area of Wendo is, word has spread like wildfire, and many people are very wary of the church. That pasture has spread lots of false rumors etc against us. This was manifested as we were followed yesterday by a very angry Pastor, as we visited a Recent convert to the church. As we began teaching, the Pastor stormed in and began yelling at us in Sidamic (The language spoken in Wendo Ganet). We simply sat there and let him release his anger, then both Elder Cunningham and I bore our testimonies of the restored Gospel (through our awesome translator). Our recent convert did the same, and he calmed down quite a bit and agreed to meet with us later this next week. It was pretty awesome to have to spirit guiding me as I spoke, and listened. I was pretty scared when he first came in, because he brought lots of guys from his church with him, but by the end we had appointments with all of them, who had been shaken by the spirit as we bore testimony. It was a pretty cool experience.

 


By far the best experience of the week was on the way down from Addis Ababa though. I persuaded the Tanners (Senior couple in charge of us in Awassa Zone) to let us stop in Haleku. Man, it was so so wonderful. On the way there, we ran into  some of the Village Elders that were walking from Adami Tullu back to the village. I jumped out of the car, and they pretty much all jumped on me! Haha these old guys with their walking sticks and stuff ran and picked me up in huge hugs. It was so great! I was so happy to see them all again. One of the kids ran ahead of us to the village, and by the time we got there everybody was gathered and clapping as we drove in. They were all yelling “Braden, Braden”. I won’t lie, I cried a little bit when I saw all those people that I love so much. I never in my whole life thought I’d see those people again, and they were all so so awesome. We played a quick game of volleyball, and I checked on my beloved trees (all of which are still alive, and are getting huge!). All the younger kids were in school, but they got so excited when everybody in the village was yelling that the teacher let them out for a break while we were there. It was probably the coolest thing ever!!


Hmm….what else has happened this week? Shashemene and Wendo especially are pretty humid and hot. We have lots of very interesting bugs that fly, crawl, and swim (rained yesterday) into the house. Wendo is a very nice place. The whole place smells sweet, because of all the sugar cane. Walking to the members houses, its on dirt paths that wind through the thick canopy of the Eucoliptice trees, and we had to cross 2 rivers on log bridges. You have to be careful by the rivers cause generally theres a whole bunch of people there bathing. They get really embarrassed and run into the trees when we come. Most people are very nice to us, just pretty wary as they have been warned by their pastors not to listen to us. Thats ok, the work will go on. “No unhallowed hand will stop it” and as we work hard, we will gain members back. Another challenge we run into in Wendo is that Sidamic is the only language spoken there, and none of us know any of that. Its very different from Amharic, and only a few people speak Amharic. We have to have a translator with us 24/7. One thing that I admire very much is the 5 or so members that are faithful in the church. They receive the same persecution that we do, but to a greater extent as they are living in that community, while we go home to Shashemene. They are very, very strong and help us whenever we ask. One of those that stayed is actually the pastors son. He is preparing to go on a mission in 1 year from now. He will be a great blessing to the church. I really admire his courage to stand up for the truth when his whole family, and community have denied it.

Serving in Shashemene is somewhat difficult, as the church is very small there as well. We are teaching a few Jamacain familes, and even a few Muslim investigators. The Protestents here in Shashemene do not want to listen very well haha. This week was a great success story though, as we had 4 investigators at church, with 18 total, which is a great number. Its hard to serve in an area that is so small at the start, but it will grow, and I am very blessed to see it taking root. I think the church will do well here someday, and hope I can see it if  I put in enough hard work.


Welp, everything is going so great. Thanks for all the letters of encouragement! I love to hear from everybody. The internet is terrible, so I’m very sorry if I cant get letters out to you all. I was able to receive them all, and even got the pictures! Thanks everybody, and good luck to you in the USA! Eat a hamburger for me.


I want to leave everybody with my testimony. The church is true, and whether it be a small village pastor teaching kids to throw rocks at us, or the president of a country putting down the church, the truth will roll on. Nobody can stop it. Anybody, in any country or culture of the world that is searching for the truth about God the father and his son Jesus Christ can find it, in the beautiful words of the modern and ancient day Prophets. We truly hold the knowledge of truth and light. Find it for yourselves, then share it. There are so many in need of that message today.

Galatom’ea and may God be with you and your Families.

Elder Fuller

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