Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009 #8

What do you want Seth ( a friend visiting Ghana) to bring?

I'm thinking cheese thus far, but let me ponder one more week.
Is there anything you are running low on?
Not yet. Cinnamon is always a good idea, though.
Did you receive your package?
I pick it up on Friday.
Do they have a nursery in your ward and do they have the relatively new spectacular nursery manual?
They DON'T have a nursery, actually. Part of this basic stake program, I guess. We just lost our first counselor in the bishopric, too.
How is your highlighter lead lasting you?
It's alright. Some just started breaking, though. Probably around my birthday next year, I'll need some.
Do you need the sunglasses that we bought in Provo? I can't remember which pair was for you and which for Hans.
I could use a pair.

Alright, as for actual updates...

This was the worst week in the mission, by far. Saturday, we were supposed to have a baptism of 17 people between three companionships. 1 from Kasoa 2 didn't show. All from Buduburam showed and... 7 of the 8 from Kasoa 1 (us) didn't show. I was SO angry, and then the APs came to the baptism. I wanted to die a little bit. They told me, flat out, President has been suspicious of our numbers, and frankly, they have good reason. I looked over all our dates. Some, we've only taught once, maybe twice. Isaac A., father of 3 of our candidates, sprung an abortion problem on us the Sunday before we were slated to baptize him, but we managed to get the interview the DAY before. We visited each of our families, the Ak. AND the Ai. the night before, and they were all set to be there. The next morning... Neither family showed up. Oi, I felt so useless as a missionary. What else could we have done?! I don't know!!! So we visited them both that day. Peter had to go to a funeral it seems, and Isaac got called to work. We rescheduled both for the baptism we were already planning to have on the 24th, so here is hoping. Then, the next day, 2/3s of our usual investigators at church didn't show. I had NO will power to go out that day, but go out we did. Then, at Church, we had a TON of referrals. At the end of the week planning, we noticed, we managed to meet all our goals that we were in control of, and that last Sunday, we found another family to start teaching. We are really hoping to see this bear fruit, but I feel very confident that this was our reward for doing our part. It was incredibly frustrating, but I think this is why my blessing said "remember, though, that they have their agency."

The new elders have been just fine so far in the district. Elder Bi. has lost 5 inches in his waste in the last two weeks. Elder H.... well, we get along awesome. I'm seeing among the white elders that the longer they stay in Ghana, the more racist they get... I'm really hoping that doesn't happen to me. Elder Fi. and I have found baking powder, and can now make legitimate banana/plantain pancakes. Elder Bi. got some Ketchup (what a GREENIE! Hahaha) and we made this rice and egg dish that was awesome. I'm eating just fine.

I also really got to strut my stuff at the market today. My Twi is not great, but I can bargain prices down a bit now. I'll try and include my how-to video today, but no promises.

Elder A. (a local) just monkeyed around with our power-meter, because he had some small schooling in "electricals"... now, we have no power, and he's potentially facing a huge fine... Seriously, that kid... anyway.

I'm supposed to be studying more in the Book of Mormon, but I find Jesus the Christ absolutely fascinating. I'm going to see if I can find the quotes I loved so much. "Why did Saul allow Samuel to beard him in the very presence of his army?... why did Ahab not dare to arrest Elijah at the doors of Naboth's vineyard? Because sin is weakness. Because there is in this world nothing so abject as a guilty conscience, nothing so invincible as the sweeping tide of a Godlike indignation against all that is base and wrong. How could these paltry sacrilegious buyers and sellers, conscious of wrongdoing, oppose that scathing rebuke, or face the lightning of those eyes that were enkindle by an outraged holiness?... Vice cannot stand a moment before Virtue's uplifted arm."

That and "He, who often wept with compassion, at other times evinced in word and action the righteous anger of a God. But of all His passions, no matter how gently they rippled or strongly surged, He was ever master."

And think of the temptations He faced! It is easy to forget, because He was perfect, but consider this. If Satan can get you to fall, he gets a few souls. If he could get Christ to sin, even ONCE, we were all doomed. The whole plan would collapse. The reward for it was infinitely worth the effort.

What else to write... Oh, we haven't watched conference yet. It's recorded, and passed around the wards. We will be watching one session from Saturday and one from Sunday. We should be getting it in a few weeks. I REALLY miss it.

I've been recently facing a question a lot that I'm not sure how to explain. "Is the Church why America is so blessed?" I try and play this down, but the questioner continued. "In your place, they build skyscrapers that we can only dream of. I imagine, when you go home, you will drive. Is it because our fathers were pagans? We are we so cursed?"
What do I say to that? Yes, as we read the Book of Mormon, we see that righteousness can lead to temporal blessings, and America has a special place in the Lord's plan. But can I say that we are truly so righteous as to deserve our place as a world power?
At the same time, however, can I say that Ghana is entirely UNDESERVING of some of it's afflictions? The marriage custom here drives almost EVERY person over the age of 18 to fornication and adultery. The "traditions of their fathers" validate the beating of children, and resist the slightest change that could improve their lives. I remember my last (Ghanaian) companion ridiculing someone for having an answering machine on his phone. The average person on the street cannot afford FOOD, but will scape together a few measly Cedis to buy a few minutes on his old cellphone. At times, I feel like I'm teaching Lamanites, which is why I think the success is so great. It's funny though. To the average Ghanaian, thus far, the land itself is cursed, due to their father's beliefs. It is so hard for Patriotic me to handle this question, and it breaks my heart to see these people feel as though the Lord may have forgotten them.

Yah, other then that, I don't know what else to say...
I love you all, very much. Please continue to pray and read your scriptures daily. Fulfill your callings.

Love one another, and give freely. I think that's really all it will take to find happiness in this life, and the next.

Onyame Shrowww, (not sure of the spelling, but it means God Bless in Twi)

Elder Farnbach

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