Dear Friends and Family,
I don't know which to say first. HOLY STAMPS, BATMAN!! I got letters last week, and almost cried a little bit. Also, mom and dad... I need WAY more stamps. Also, if you send me a letter through Dear Elder, make sure you include your addresses in the body of the letter. I intend to write back, I swear. I love the pictures I get, too, FYI...
Second, I hear congratulations are in order for Dylan and Rachel. I'm SO EXCITED!!! I'm only a little more excited than I am UPSET!!!! WHY AM I HEARING ABOUT THIS FROM CLAIRE?!! I expect a letter soon, you two, because I need your address(es hahahahahaha) to really tell you two exactly how excited I am.
In other news TRANSFERS. I've been put with an Obruni named Elder H.. Needless to say, I'm stoked, but I already see the trap President has laid. He's looking to see if the Obrunies, now having the majority, will be jerks. I intend to show otherwise. One of our MTC mates just went home, sadly. Depression. We have a new trainee coming in Wednesday too.
Before I forget, someone tell Elder Jones that the 70 that visited him, Elder Gay, was the mission president in Accra about 3-4 years ago. He seems like the standard everyone measures current presidents against.
This week, I'm sorry to say, we experienced the "resting" President always talks about. He accuses the missionaries of taking it easy on week 6-1 of Transfers. Under the "Don't Rock the Boat" strategy directed to me by the APs, I didn't say too much, but we had WAY too many social visits during this week. I wrote a fair amount of letters during this time, though, so that was nice.
Many people made Fufu for us, too. It's really good, but I can only eat so much of it. Plus, how we eat it is you pinch it off of a huge wad between your index and middle finger. I'm currently suffering a small case of fufu-related arthritis.
With our key indicators, we use what is called a bucket-to-bucket system. As we fill up the Investigators with a date bucket from Progressing Investigators, we re-fill Progressing from New and Other, etc. Well, knowing now of his transfer, Elder M. dumped "Progessing" into "With a Date". We now have about 20 with a date in the next 6 weeks. Our DISTRICT goal is 16, so... that will be fun to explain to the incoming Elder Hi.... I'm also really worried about remembering how to get to everyone's homes. Needless to say, the street system in Kasoa is shaky at best.
As for our individual investigators, we have 3 families we are baptizing on the 10th, but I'm really worried. None of them are complete families. We are always missing at least one parent, which is REALLY going to be tough, I think. The A family's enthusiasm seems to be dwindling, too :/ Hopefully we'll be able to keep that going long enough for the home teachers to pick up on them. “Teacher” is still going strong. We just set a date for him and his family OF 7!! on the 7th of November.
We also received some interesting instructions based on the "English Only" teaching rules. President pointed out those who only attend Church have a weak testimony. You can build it one of two ways. 1.) Read and study by yourself and 2.) Home teachers. We were told that the only reason we are limited in who we can baptize is because the home teaching down here is so lax. We are reporting MAYBE 15% home teaching. It was really nice, though, because the people who were the loudest opponents of the English rule were forced to admit that it isn't because of White missionaries, but because the home teaching is not being done.
I sadly did not bring my letters with me, so I can't remember all the questions that were asked. I'll try my best to answer as I remember though.
Our Apartment, until Wednesday, is split between Obrunies and Obibanies equally. Elder Ho. is a cowboy from Montana. He is a cool guy, and I don't doubt his testimony. I'll be sad to see him go, though. Elder N. is his senior, and he's the most chill guy i know. He is studying humanitarian law in Uganda, and he taught institute for two years before his mission. Elder Mends you already know. Elder A. is the other senior working out in the Liberian Refugee camp. He gets sick a lot, but he's a real straight-edge, so I know he isn't faking. His junior is my best-bud and MTC mate, Elder Fisher, from Long Beach. He's got a good balance, I think, of the rules, and personal responsibility. I wouldn't mind being his companion or even serving under him.
We recently won cleanest apartment! Our secret? Battery acid to clean the toilet. I'm not kidding in the slightest. Our mission is also growing a ton. 9 coming in, only 3 leaving on Wednesday. Then, 19 coming in, 10 leaving next time. Some new areas, including the bush, will be opening soon. I'm not sure I want to go there, but at least I can make sure we keep a legitimate area book out there.
We recently learned that 28% of Ghana lives in poverty. 28.5% of Children also suffer in there mental and physical development due to malnutrition. Pay your fast offerings is all I can really say.
As for our personal studies lately, we've been asked by President to start the Book of Mormon over for the next 90 days. We read 6 pages every day. Every time they mention the Lord's name (or pronoun or anything) we mark it in red. Anything he says personally or "thus saith the Lord" through a prophet, we make orange. Blue is gospel doctrines, and green is Christlike Attributes, or the attributes ascribed to God. It's been a great challenge so far.
We recently had a lesson with one sister asking about Baptism for the Dead. How anyone could NOT believe in that is beyond me. How can we claim God is a just God without just such a way to take care of those who couldn't hear the Gospel?
I feel like I'm forgetting so much... I'll try and remember more and write it next time.
Love you all, dearly dearly dearly. Not as much as the Lord does, as I realize more and more every day, but I'm working on it. Enjoy conference, as we won't be able to watch it until it comes on DVD.
P.S. I sadly did not get your package yet, Mom, and I didn't get the letter from Marta either. I wonder if other letters were lost, too.
Make sure you tell everyone that as they write me letters, they REALLY need to include the address where I can reach them in the body of the letter. I feel HORRIBLE not writing back.
Also, are you sending my letters to Delynne?
Go ahead and tell me as people get engaged. I can take it :P