Dear Friends and Family,
So this week was another one. That sentence had another half, but I realized that sums it up nicely. We had another week this week. Kasoa district as a whole is hitting a rough patch on baptisms. Elder B. and I have started planning a line-up, a back-up line up, and a third string for this transfer, and for next. Well, we're already on our third-string to try and make our baptismal goal. Othello, who was supposed to be baptized last week, wasn't. His wife, who promised us she would come to his confirmation, instead told him that if he got baptized, she'd leave him. Her complaint was she doesn't think we are Christian. I can't imagine a more unchristian behavior. She goes to a different church.
The baptism itself was wonderful. No one showed up because the Kasoa bishop was completely against one of the people Elder Hi. and O. were baptizing. So, it was just the missionaries and the people getting baptized. I conducted, and it was just a very peaceful, wonderful experience. I've been having that all week. We taught an entire lesson on the principle of who God and Jesus Christ are, and I felt like I learned so much. Then, we sat through a lesson on the purpose of repentance. The new gospel principles manual is wonderful. I'm glad the Church is using it so widely now. I'd never even heard of it, and now I love it. The Church has so many books! Anyway, I've been enjoying peace these last two days, and I hope it lasts.
OH!! Last Monday, I opened the Liahona [church magazine] to find... MARK AND NATASHA SIMONSEN![Dad's cousins] It was so strange, because I had just fallen into a funk that night. Then, I saw two members of my eternal family, and it made me so happy! It was strange, because I'll be honest, I wouldn't say I'm particularly close with them (I blame lack of time.) I just wanted to shout and I couldn't stop beaming. I'd love to be able to write them a letter! Seriously, families have been the biggest revelation of this past week. We had one recent convert, Matilda, 19, who was in TEARS because her mother has basically abandoned her because she joined the Church. The very next lesson, we found a whole family, doing their dishes together, laughing and talking. That morning, we'd just read about Christ's instructions to missionaries. Well, it wasn't just the Son of Peace that was there. Daddy Peace, Auntie Peace and even some cousins were there. It's made me realize just how much I really love my family, and how wonderful it will be to see you all again.
We had a crazy freak-storm on Friday that timed itself perfectly. It came out of nowhere and lasted 2 hours... just enough time to drive us indoors (at the local American food, air-conditioned restaurant) and force us to watch the Ghana-Ivory Coast game. Ghana got killed, but we had pizza, so it's all good.
Transfers are week after next, and it's pretty hard to predict. I'll probably stay, because everyone thinks I'll be a trainer. At the same time, President threatened to close Kasoa down due to the local bishop. Because he didn't like one person the missionaries decided to baptize, and because of a few other people who have gone inactive, the bishop refused to confirm any of Elder Hi's and O.'s people. President went through the ROOF! Bless, the "problem" (She's wonderful, and it's so sad) was in tears because she always feared no one liked her. Never mind that she's been coming for 5 years... So that's really thrown all of this transfer into the air. Elder Hale, the couple missionary in charge of the office (basically presiding bishop of the mission) asked if he thought we would be safe in an apartment in Buduburam. I really don't want to live there...
I'm starting to hit a stride with writing in all my various journals, doing laundry etc. I'm setting a schedule that allows me to do a lot. It occurred to me yesterday that in a few years, I could be responsible for a wife and a kid... and that panicked me slightly. Don't think too far in advance is my advice.
Mail day is Thursday, and I hope to send a TON! (Also, receive a TON ;) )
Love you all very much! Seek Charity, and Peace will come. Then, life is easy.