Dear Friends and Family,
Okay, so we may be able to come to the cafe 2 out of every 3 weeks. Every three weeks we HAVE to go to Koforidua for interviews/conference. We'll be able to do that, and it's only a 2 hour, 3 stop, 5 cedi trip to the cafe, so we'll do that one other week, I think. Abomosu is pretty awesome, lack of internet aside. We live in a HOUSE provided by Elder and Sister Abu, two pioneers of the Church.
It turns out Abomosu is one of the oldest places for the Church in Ghana. Elder Abu organized all the district himself a few decades ago, and it was basically as bad for him as it was Joseph Smith. Several times, militias armed with AK-47s harrassed him. He was falsely accused of selling Ghanaian gold and diamonds to the American missionaries that were here, and he was jailed, threatened, and extorted on numerous occasions. This is the same man who came down on our first day, told us we could eat anything on his farm, wanted to make sure we had mosquito nets, and sends dinner to us every night, because he is worried we'd be uncomfortable in the Bush.
I'm incredibly humbled to work with this man and his wife. They both have been through so much, and I get to help build the Church with them. As for our mission up here... more details are available. Elder Mensah and I have been assigned to the District, so we are in charge of orchestrating the missionary efforts of 5 branches. The District President is an RM, as are his counselors, and has been begging for missionaries for the last year, year and a half. They are incredibly willing to help. They've set us up with a meeting with ALL the Branch Presidents, Mission Leaders, and missionaries on Saturday.
If all goes well, the Bush will be open for missionary work, and not just one companionship, but many. This area will be a stake next year. That is the goal President Snith has set. He explained to us that we were sent because President Cardon, of the 70, has been pressuring him to send missionaries to work with the Branches. He was uncomfortable with neglecting what is supposed to be under President's direct guidance. The missionaries were originally pulled because, despite all the baptisms here, attendance did NOT grow. At all. We've been directed that the people we are baptizing are supposed to be fluent English speakers and readers. They are to be the core of new Stake Leadership up here.
I'm trying to be as humble about this as I can, but basically, Elder Mensah and I are setting up a whole Stake of Zion. If this fails, it will be closed for a long time. President has told us on more then one occasion that his choice of missionaries to send here took a LOT of prayer and fasting. Transfers normally are called for around 8, but we didn't hear until 9:30 because President wanted to be SURE. The most interesting aspect of this to me is that there is a Greenie among us. We all could have been sent a transfer earlier, if it was just our gifts that were needed. What part will Elder Withers play? I am anxious to see.
Elder Mensah and I have basically come up with the idea that the branch missionaries are going to be part of the Abomosu District Mission, under Elder Mensah. We are going to get them Preach My Gospel ready, because we can only spend one workday in each branch. When we come, we need a list of people to teach, times, and Branch Missionaries to work with us. When we are gone, they are to visit once or twice, and get them to Church. This is a mind-boggling level of work, and I'm incredibly excited for it.
As for Pposelyting, the towns shut down at 6, and no one gets home (from their farms) until like, 12:00 or 1. This will either be the greatest period of spiritual growth or stagnation on my mission. I study a LOT, but until we get the organization up, we really can't do much in the way of teaching. Going around Abomosu has been pretty ineffective, as no one speaks English. We focus mostly on the teachers.
Our house is nice, but the tap water is horrible, and the power goes out every time it rains, which is every day. I am happy to have dodged the Harmattan, though. Spiders about the size of my hand and fireflies are every where. And we have those ants I saw on National Geographic that form huge road-ways with big soldiers ants on either side that just devour anything that happens to fall in them. This is the coolest place on the mission, by far, and if the new couple (Elder and Sister Terry) have a washing machine and internet in their house (which is actually REALLY possible) then it will be PERFECT.
Oh, really quick last thing. Elder Mensah was trained by Elder Frei, whose little brother was Elder Jones' last companion, as far as I can tell from his letters. Crazy, huh?
I'll write some actual letters to make up the difference, but I love you all! Take care, and have a wonderful holiday season!
P.S. don't forget to write!!! (Especially AAAAA and BBBBB, who STILL have not written me!! Alma 60:6, you two!)