Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 25: Snake in the Grass

This week has been quite the week. I’ll say that.

Been eating a lot of this stuff called red red. its like beans with this stuff called gari thats like….I don’t know....this powder kinda stuff... anyway, its nice and they put like fried plantain with it. It’s cheap, fills you up, and yummy.

We taught this woman named P at a shop near the chapel. We contacted her and then followed up and she had read the scriptures, which was cool. Then we taught her and the lesson went well. Gave her a Book of Mormon and she read it too! Pretty cool. We hope and pray that she will continue to progress.

We met with C again and he came to church again. The guy is so faithful. We went out to his house and I was filming a video to show to y’all about what it looks like on the way out there and as i was filming a snake freaking flew through my legs!!!!!!! It freaked me out hahahahahaha. It was so funny and I’m so glad I got it on video. So I’ll try and send it in a min. Then he fed us so much kokonte (like fufu but green) that we could barely walk after.... haha didn’t eat the rest of the day ha.

We had a great lesson with M and K where we just basically told them why we were here on earth and that us coming and teaching them would not get them to heaven. That they needed to put effort into it and act on the faith they say they have! So yeah it went well.

“10:30pm to 6:30am is a precious time period.” That’s what I wrote in my journal on Wednesday. It’s true, any missionary can attest.

We had a zone conference this week, President did amazing as usual during his instruction. He is awesome and I am truly privileged to serve with him.

A new insight I've learned about Peter walking on water (which is my favorite story form the New Testament). Here it is, Peter doesn’t wait to walk on water until the seas were calm. He just jumps right out into the stormy waves. We in life shouldn't wait until the water is calm, or life is peaceful to follow Christ. To come to Him. We need to have the faith to jump out and walk to Him especially when it is stormy in our lives. His response is always the same when we call out to Him. His response is, “come.” We can see miracles in our lives if we are willing to jump out of the boat. Peter leaves the safety of the only floating thing on the sea to go to Christ. He doesn’t care that the wind is whipping or that the waves are likely splashing him roughly. He only cares that he is coming to Chris. May we do the same. Don't worry about what’s happening around you. Just focus on Christ. A member of the 12 (can’t remember who, I listen to so many talks that they all kinda blur together) said, "if you have chosen Christ, you have made the right choice." It’s true. Look to God and live.

Mission life peeps. Sometimes feels like groundhog day especially if you stay in the same area for 6 months haha but its cool.

Alrgiht, Janda out.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 24: 4,800 Miles on a Two Year Mission

Well this week was fast and good.

First lesson on Tuesday was with K. I felt impressed to talk to him about Jesus telling the disciple to let the dead bury their dead. I was like okay here we go. I didn't straight up tell him that he needed to drop everything else in his life and join the church hahaha but I did say that maybe he needed to get a little more serious about the reading of the Book of Mormon in his own time. He was like, yes I agree, so that we can see improvement and progression, I said, “yes exactly.” So I challenged him to read 7 chapters in the Book of Mormon by next week, ambitious i know but I believe he can do it.

We had a lesson with M about the Godhead. People here have no idea who God is. Some people think that He is their father and that He is everywhere and nowhere... (doesn't make any sense) others think they are all one person or thing... or like M. They believe it’s a combo of the two. So we were like, “ok, this is how it is.” It's really interesting here. Everyone goes to a church but they aren't serious about religion. Church to them is just a fun thing they do on Sunday where they get to go and clap with all their friends ha... as we learned with M, he opened up and told us that he has a drinking and smoking problem but that he knows that it will destroy him and so he wants to change. We offered help of any kind whether it be taking his stuff form him right then or having him call us whenever he wanted it so... yeah hopefully he is doing good with that one.

The weekend was a long one. The closer we get to preparation day the slower time goes hahaha but its cool.

Sunday we walked what seemed like years. Elder Bawden has a fit bit and so we track our miles. We walk about 50-55 miles a week. Which is about 2,400 miles a year which is 4,800 miles a mission. Wow… lot of walking. I’m just about 6 months on mission but my legs feel like they are 5 years on mission haha we freaking do a 50 miler every week. And its that kinda terrain to man, Straight hiking!

Nsawam is great and I love being here. This is my 4th transfer in my first area. I’m happy though haha this place is booming! We had 11 investigators at Sacrament Meeting so that was cool.

Twi language is coming along it’s such a simple language hahah

The food here is so spicy haha they literally take peppers (hot hot hot) and grind them up with water hahaha then  you dip your banku in it and swallow it whole. It burns your throughout as it goes down but... hahahaha so food back home that is spicy is like mild compared to this stuff. Hahaha I’m thinking about entering a spicy wings contest when i get home cuz I’d have no problem eating it haha.

Alright, I’m out for today.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 23: Teaching in the Bush

So this week was another fast week. The week overall was decent to be honest but it's okay, we will hopefully have a better one next week.

We saw D (who was recently baptized) on Tuesday. D has been over-stressing himself. He is always so worried that he isn't knowing enough or that he isn't doing good enough... So we were just like, “D, don't worry so much! The gospel is huge, eternally huge! Everyone is growing and learning and nobody knows everything. You're doing great, keep up the good work.” One of my favorite things to do as a missionary is to pray for the investigator while sitting there with them. If I pray at the beginning or end of a lesson I always pray for them by name. I always plead that they can feel the Spirit and know that it's true. I really enjoyed doing this with D. I feel when I pray in that way that there is a more real connection with God. It really feels like I'm speaking with Him about this person. I really enjoy it.

Then we saw K. Oh man, the guy is passing through such a rough time. He assured us that he was still 100% committed to the gospel and that he is trusting that very soon the way will be opened up to him. He relies very heavily on James chapter 1 and draws a lot of strength from it.

Then we met this guy J at the chapel. He told us that he learned with the missionaries a while back.

We had a "mentibrofu" (can’t hear english) lesson. This is kinda hard. Twi is such a simple language that it's hard to teach in. Like if you don't have a translator with you, you suffer out here. I've been working on my simple English. If you don't conjugate any words and simplify they seem to understand better. For example: instead of "so where are you going now?" you have to say "you go where?" or "God call prophet not man". Kinda funny, but there is still power in the words you speak even if you sound like you are learning english as a toddler. I’m serious, the power in the lessons and the Spirit is still there even though the language barrier is really hard.

We met E on Wednesday. We were just walking on this bush road on the way to meet some peeps and we had an extra hour so we decided we'd walk on this back road. We just happened to bump into E on that road. That is definitely an intervention from God. We saw him and at first he was like just feeling like okay whatever. My comp was talking to him and told him that our message was special and then invited him to church. E said, “Well, I don't think I’ll be able to. (no)” Then my comp said, “Well, we will see after we finish teaching you.” :) And guess who showed up at church on Sunday... E. The lesson was really good and he understood really well all that we taught. It's my testimony that the message of the Restoration is true. You could tell as we learned that the message was really working in him. You could see that he was feeling it. Not just hearing it.

One of the lessons I've really been grateful for on my mission is my testimony of Joseph Smith. I know that he was a true prophet. Before, I just believed it... but now I know it. His words about the first vision bring me to tears when I say them. It is real, it happened. My testimony of that event moment is solid. I'm thankful for that testimony that I've received on my mission.

So Friday, we walked out to C’ house which was a beautiful trek through the bush. It was so cool. I'll send a vid. C is so solid. He came to church again this week. We sat next to each other and I asked him how he comes to church. I asked him if he walked or... he said yes. I was so impressed. This man is converted. He walks a 2 hour walk to get to church and he has been one hour early the last two weeks. Pretty cool. We had a lesson with him after church where we just read Chapter 1 of the Book of Mormon. We read it in Twi first but then realized that us obrunis reading in Twi is not the best approach hahaha, so we read in English and then had a member translate for us. I remember sitting there and thinking, this is not ideal. So I prayed and pled that God would allow the spirit to touch C’ heart and that it would be in the lesson even though the circumstances weren't ideal. I then really tried to look for it and feel it and as I did, I felt the soft almost unnoticeable presence of the Spirit. C was eager to continue whenever we paused for translation. I asked him if he believed the things that he was learning and he immediately said, yes. He was even going to ask us to baptize him if we hadn’t asked him. I love Collins. He such a humble and calm bush man. He always smiles big when he sees us.

So things are just moving along. I turn 6 months soon which is crazy... new members are doing well.

Ate some delicious fufu a couple times. Ate rice ball and pepe soup and fish, it was nice. I enjoy eating these crazy things hahaha its fun. It's always like all right stomach, you ready for this? Here we go! Hahaha so funny.

All right peace out from Ghana.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Week 22: Sharing the Gospel

Well, another week flown by. Times flying right now!

So first thing is that my comp is a master with a cam. The guy loves photography. So we have been finding all of these cool cool spots and taking foto shoots. Which is dope. So I have like 200 pics from this week alone. I ll try and send as many as I can but...

So first off update on K. He has experienced a lot of opposition in his life lately. So we met with him and i didn't know what to really do to help him to feel peaceful so i did what i did when i was struggling. We read from Doctrine and Covenants 122. I said, so as you know I love Joseph Smith (he laughed hahaha) So i told him about Joseph and his trials and we read from his account in Doctrine and Covenants 122. The spirit entered as it always does. We read and then I testified to him about how the Savior walked our path before we did and that no matter how deep we sink, we don’t sink lower than the Light of Christ shines. It was powerful and I could tell that it really hit him. I could see it in his reaction, he felt it. K then opened up to James 1 and bore his testimony of how God is with us in our afflictions. It was pretty powerful. So then we read from the Book of Mormon because doing so brings peace into your life and thats what he needed. We read chapter 1 Nephi 4-6 with him and it was amazing. The spirit was there as it always is when you open that book. It was a great visit.

So we met Prince K again. So he told us last time that he wanted to be a great member of the church so by the promptings of the Holy Ghost I taught him about the organization of the church and how the prophet was at the head. We told him about all of the wonderful opportunities and calling he could have in the church and that he would be able to hold the priesthood of God and influence so many lives. He was happy.

So then we went out to contact a referral form the Amasaman elders. The guys name was C. Turns out he lives flipping out in the middle of the bush on the side of a mountain. It was a freaking 16 cedi moto ride to his house!!! So expensive hahaha... but it was sweet. We get up there and he is a Menti (cant speak english) so we are like hey moto drivers pachew bra (pleas come here) and we had them translate. So we begin this lesson and the guys are flipping awesome! They were all three golden investigators! They understood everything. It was cool too because that was the first lesson in Twi I've done in a while so it was cool to see that my Twi is improving really well. I can almost teach a lesson in it which is cool! So C came to church on Sunday and loved it.

After that we went and saw Is who was recently baptized. He has been struggling with financial stuff for the past 5 months. (hasn't been paid for the work he has been doing...) So I felt prompted to talk about how maybe the Lord was testing him to see if he would stay faithful to the church even in rough rough times. Is comes to church at least every sacrament meeting when he can. He is so devoted to the gospel. He is one of those recent converts that really understands his spiritual life. He knows that the gospel is more than just a church.

So the time is far spent but I hope you have enjoyed my simple email.

Oh yeah one last thing is that we had a big multi ward thing where we played sports and stuff haha so fun.

So closing testimony. I love Joseph Smith as I said. I have a burning testimony of that man. He truly was a prophet of God. He did see god and Jesus Christ in the sacred grove. I know it as he did and I can’t deny at just as he declared. My mission experience has solidified that testimony. I know that those things happened. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love you guys.