Dear Family and Friends,
So this last week has been kind of interesting. Last week, we were not able to visit everyone we wanted to. We were crammed for time, even teaching 30 lessons. This week, appointment after appointment failed. We had to stop visiting a huge number of investigators. Time after time, people have begged us to come to their house, but refuse to even visit the church. Everyone seems to think that our sole purpose as missionaries is to hold Bible studies. One woman asked how she could get really good at "Quotations", and then seemed really disappointed when I said "Have you READ the Bible before?" There are no short-cuts to the gospel, plain and simple. I invited her to read, even just 5 minutes every day, and she would understand what was all those street preachers were yelling over their megaphones. No dice. We told her we would not be able to come back until she started coming to church. She then asked when we would be coming back... Oi...
Sadly we did not get to watch General Conference, and frankly, I'm kinda steamed about it. For whatever reason, they announced no power from 10-5 in Kasoa over the radio for the day we were supposed to watch. We had a day's notice, so we called the 2nd counselor, and told him. He assured us he would take care of it. We still managed to contact a recent covert, and they said if we needed, we could use their generator. That night, we called the 2nd counselor "We already have one." "Are you sure? We've got someone willing to help" "It's okay, we've got it."
Sunday: No generator. The power goes off at 10, like we said, and they scrambled and rented a generator that was too small. Then they tried to power the TV alone (no one got a projector either), and blew it out. Great.... So we got the DVDs, and we'll be chipping away at it with our investigators over the week. We may even get to see Priesthood session. Here is hoping anyway. (PS, Elder H. has been here for two General Conference weekends and has yet to see either.)
Transfers are coming up. On Saturday we find out. With any luck, I'll have one more transfer here in Kasoa. Elder H. and I have been solid companions, and we've another 8-14 baptisms, especially the Q. family (Teacher). The man has already started paying tithing and fast offerings. We've given each of the children a Book of Mormon, and his sister-in-law came to church with her fast offering all set in an envelope, and THEN asked us to explain what it was. What faith!
On the other side, the A. family is within the danger-drop zone. They've not come to church for almost 4 weeks, even though we go every Saturday night to remind them. I'm starting to understand how the Lord of the Vineyard felt in Jacob 5:41. What more could we have done? The only way we'll find relief is if the answer is "Nothing."
Zone conference is coming up soon, and we'll be getting mail that day! Always always my favorite part of the month. Hopefully I'll be getting that letter from Elder Jones. I'd hate to be chastised again :P
As for the Atacks, I can't even imagine how that must feel. I'm praying constantly for her. Yes, a brain tumor is horrible, but how blessed are we that it isn't inherently inoperable? This could be taken care of in a way that it may be completely forgotten and unnoticed. I'll tell you, that's not how it would be down here. Tell the Atacks that they are in my prayers.
Handwritten letters [I asked if he wished I wrote more of them.]... on the one hand, I would love to get a ton of handwritten letters, but I understand how difficult it may be to find time. If possible, I would love them. If not, Dear Elders are nice. You may check with other elders, but I think our mission homes all print them, and ours for whatever reason uses paper that is too large, and so it prints a small paragraph on the back.
I've also been reading the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It helps so much, because a lot of the questions he was asking and answering were products of his time and the situation in which he was in, which as Dad and I talk about, is really similar to the religious atmosphere here in Ghana. I can also tell the difference between my studies when I DO and when I don't have the Spirit with me.
OH! Speaking of, we are teaching someone from another religion. It's fascinating to watch the gospel click and make sense to him, and then his past beliefs have to fight it. "This makes perfect sense... and is completely contrary to everything I believed!!" He assuaged his conscience by giving us literally 7 copies of his religious materials, which we read, and read back to him. Seriously, Hans, try to find the Day of Defense. It is handy, but more so, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
So I've written a fair amount of letters, and I will have a few more I'll be writing before Wednesday. I'll probably send off about 8 this week. I hope to be able to write back to everyone when I have more time.
Love you all!
PS You should really try to find that “Joseph, a Nashville Tribute” album. There are a few songs I REALLY love on it. My favorite is called American Dreams. The line that strikes me "Somewhere there's a prophet, in a place they call Kirtland, and he's building a temple to worship my God."
As you listen, you can hear the almost exhausting sense of joy the person is feeling. I wish everyone had that zeal. The heavens really ARE open again, and the phrase "My God" has such an awesome meaning to it. He is. Simply put, the Lord is not just God. I chose him. Many people worship money, or the Bible, their jobs, their cars, what have you. The Lord is My God. I want everyone to say that to themselves as they think about prayer, faith, repentance, worship and church. Why are you at church? I go to worship MY God.