[email sent June 6, 2016]
Dear Family and friends,
This week has been a special week, because I got my international driver’s license! I can now drive in almost every country in the world! My international driver’s license doesn’t expire until the year 2026 either, so even another 8 and a ½ years after my mission I can drive in foreign countries. That’s pretty cool. If anyone wants to ever travel overseas, you can always bring me along to be your driver… After driving on these roads in Ghana, I can handle anything! Being in the passenger seat of the car while elder Lawson drove was bad enough, but now that I’m driving I feel like I am in combat. If you read Ghana traffic laws and then you come and drive here you will see that almost nobody follows the rules. It’s interesting. I like driving though. I forgot how wonderful it is to drive.
Elder Lawson and I are continuing to lengthen our stride and lift our goals to higher planes, especially after this last week. On Thursday, our mission had its mission leadership council, which is when all of the zone leaders in the mission gather together and are instructed by the assistants and mission president on how to become a more effective mission (Elder Lawson and I were invited to attend by the president). During one of the instruction sections of the council, we were taught about how goal setting is deeply linked with our purpose and how if we don’t set and work towards our goals then we won’t fulfill our true potential as missionaries. I have heard over and over again how goal setting is important on mission and I have been setting and keeping some of my goals… I have had an about face though and will be trying to learn how to set and keep effective goals. I know this, along with everything else I learn here on my mission, will not only help me now, but in the not so distant future.
My companion and I are still having a great time together. We laugh, talk, and teach well together. We have now taught and baptized both of the referrals we received awhile back and since we have not gotten anymore referrals from the members my companion and I are back to street contacting. Please, everyone, give your missionaries referrals!!!! It is a million times more effective and makes the work more enjoyable. Your missionaries will love you so much. Just think about this… EVERY baptism I have had here in Ghana has come from a referral. I have not baptized a single person that I have contacted on my own, but on the other hand, I have baptized at least a quarter of the referrals I have received. Just ponder that.
Also, here are little bits from my journal entries from last week.
May 21 2016
I have now been in the assignment as an office elder in the Ghana Kumasi mission for almost 3 months now. The time continues to rush on. Elder Lawson is still my companion and we always enjoy. Today, elder Lawson and I had our daily personal and companionship studies and then went out to pay the electricity bill for our apartment. After we finished with the power bill we went to the office for most of the day to work on some reports and the mission newsletter. Around 5 o’clock, my companion and I went contacting for the first time since I’ve come to the office! It went well… We only taught 1 lesson that wasn’t that spiritual, because the person we were trying to teach went way off topic with juju, spirits, and what not. It’s okay though! No effort is ever wasted. Even when the days are long and rough, elder Lawson always knows how to make me laugh, so my days are always awesome! Once we ended contacting for the day, we decided to eat some swarma. While we ate swarma, elder Lawson and I talked about home. We also talked about how our lives before mission were just kind of at a standstill, because we knew we couldn’t get married or start our careers yet for we knew we had to serve a mission first. And now… Now our missions are flying by and next thing we know, we are going to be married, in school, and starting our families. Crazy stuff.
May 22 2016
Most of my Sundays are the same here in Daban. I wake up and begin to prepare for the day by ironing my shirt, eating breakfast, taking a shower, etc… When I finish all of these things, it’s off to church! Sacrament meeting is always looked forward to by me, because I get to partake of the sacrament, renew my covenants, and become a better person. All of the talks in sacrament meeting are usually in Twi, so I just spend an hour thinking about my life and the lives of everyone I know. For the second hour in church, I attend a gospel principle class for all the investigators and recent converts who come to church. This class is always enjoyable, because there is an even amount of Twi and English, so I can understand what is being said and I can add my comments. Third hour of church is a struggle. The teacher teaches in only Twi… Ah, it’s okay though, because I have more time to study the scriptures! After church my companion and I eat a quick lunch and then go to teach a crippled man named Richard who loves to have us spend time with him and teach him. He practically cries when we leave, because he is so lonely. I cannot go over to his house and not feel really emotional when I leave. He makes me want to be a better person and visit the “sick and afflicted” when I go home. I knew it was important before I came, but now I know exactly how much it means to those being visited. Once we finish at Richard’s house, we usually teach a few other people and then end our day. Since my companion is the district leader, we end our day a little early on Sunday’s so he can get weekly actuals from the district members. That means I always get to go to bed early on Sunday’s… Yes! I am almost always tired and ready for bed by 9:30…
May 23 2016
Today was pretty sweet. We had an activity at 10a.m. today, so my companion woke up early to start his wash so we could both use the washer before we went to the activity. The washing machine broke right as elder Lawson was finishing his load… I was not able to do my wash in the morning because of that. Once we finished washing the car and dressing for the day, we left Daban to go to our activity in Asokwa. We just played games indoor for a few hours and then ate, but the zone activity was fun and the food was delicious! After the activity, my companion and I didn’t do a lot. The power went out at our apartment right as we walked in the door, so I had to wash my clothes by hand in the dark… No problem though! The best part of today was definitely playing in the rain. As I was washing my clothes, it started to rain really hard outside. When I finished washing my clothes, elder Abrams (one of the AP’s) ran into the dark room and said, “Elders! Let’s go play in the rain!” Playing in the rain was so awesome! We all acted like kids and just had the time of our lives! Definitely in the top of the list of mission memories so far!
May 25 2016
Nothing too special today… Just a normal routine in the office. Our mission has a newsletter that gets sent out to all of the missionaries and I happen to be in charge of it right now. One of the sections in the newsletter is for missionaries to write their thoughts so that all of the mission can read them. Most of the letters I get for the newsletter are really long and rough, so I spend a lot of time editing essays… I get a lot of emails back from missionaries saying I did a really good job editing their letters, so that’s pretty cool. Who knew I would use writing skills so much on my mission? Well, I guess God knows everything! I spent most of today in the office editing missionaries’ submissions to the newsletter. Then, my companion and I went out and taught for the rest of the night. Right now we are focusing on teaching a young girl named Christlight. She is only 12, but she is progressing quickly. Her baptism is this Sunday. I’m pretty happy about that.
May 27 2016
Today we had the regular Friday weekly planning and then had the opportunity to serve! Serving my mission in Ghana has been hard in the aspect that no one ever lets me serve them!! I can count on one hand how many times I have been able to serve someone here in Ghana. I know that being here on a mission counts as serving the people, but I miss hard manual labor… I never thought I would say that, but it’s true, I miss working hard and getting sweaty. Today though, one of the members in our branch, sister Veronica, was moving from one house to another and she wanted help from us missionaries. It was fun! Of course nothing was packed… So we had to pack things for her first and then move her things. After we finished, she fed us some delicious banchu, sobolo, and banana bread. To wrap up our day, my companion and I went and taught our recent convert, Comfort. Nice day.
Well, that’s all for now! I thought I would add my journal entries this week, because I didn’t write a ton last week. Wherever you are, have a super week!!!