Dear Friends and Family, March 22, 2010
Well, first, to introduce my trainee. His name is Elder Q., from Grapevine, Texas. He's 19, and loving the mish. To be honest, he's a lot like Hans. Well, that's not entirely true, but they have a lot of similar mannerisms. He's adjusting really well. It's a big assignment to start off (serving in the Camp), but he's been a champ about it. He eats the food, needs to slow down his speech, but all-in-all a good elder, which I really appreciate right now. Also, his brother was the drummer for the Rocket Summer. Which is awesome.
We're still living in Kasoa, even though the area was shut down. President lost the place out in Buduburam, so we're still waiting for that to change. The last elders left this place a bit of a mess, so we've spent about an hour each night tidying it up a bit at a time. All jokes about shock aside, it has felt great and "adult" to just buck up and do something that needs to get done with the little time I have. That, and I've taken to doing everything for the companionship and missionary-wise at 10:30, and then having "me time" after the kids are asleep :P It isn't long, but a few moments to read and write in my journal. It has made me appreciate my mom a lot more. I remember how late she would stay up, and always wondering why she'd do that. Now I realize it's so she can get 15 minutes of "Mommy time".
I've been put in charge of finishing the candidates in Kasoa. It's really killing me, to be honest. It's a lot of work to try and find 10 new people a week, contact 140, AND work with two areas. Yesterday, I went to Kasoa for some interviews and NONE of their people showed up. I also had to speak at their PEC and gently explain that they were being punished. It was a huge test of D&C leadership for me, because I was really ticked-off. But, I did my best to explain it in terms of "I'm not here to condemn, or explain, but rather find out what we can do from here." And I think it went really well. It helped that I've served here forever. The local leadership knows that I'm Kasoa-born, mission-wise, and 6 months of my time in Ghana has been here.
Oh, because my district was shut down, I was released as District Leader. I know leadership positions aren't measures of worth or anything, but given the system we have of "no releases unless you mess up", it feels a lot like I did something wrong. This is frustrating because we had a stellar transfer last go-round. But, all these things shall give us experience, and shall be for my good. This is what I constantly remind myself. Downsides... I don't do interviews anymore. Those became my favorites. Really, you never love the people like when you are sitting there with God telling you how proud He is of the person opposite you. Also, I have to spend 1.5 hours round trip going to District Meeting when I'm already crunched for time between two areas.
One of our investigators contracted Yellow Fever. But that's all fair. The Young Women are showing leaps and bounds in their missionary work. Next week, we are going to unofficially call one to be a secretary over missionary work.... to write down the names, numbers, and places of all the people they bring to church. We are going to do the same thing in Young Mens. The member missionary work is beginning to move, and it's exciting to think of what this sleeping giant could do.
I took Elder Q. to the W.'s. I started with "Just remember, no matter how wonderful and strong the people you baptize are, they will never be as cool as these people" :P Syl did not fail to impress. We just gave them "Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple" and he read the part about no man's priesthood being complete without the ordinances performed in the temple. He then asked Elder Q. how much he thought a temple cost to build, so he could begin saving to build one in Liberia and one in Sierra Leone. Then he kissed the picture of the temple on the front of the pamphlet. He's the MAN! I have other investigators, I promise, but this is the one with all the great stories!
Thank you, Mom, for the Easter Package. Those poor Peeps... they put up a fight, but they didn't really make it. However, a spoon took care of that marshmallowy-mass. It was wonderful.
Thank you, everyone, also, for all the letters I received. They were delivered with EXPERT timing! Sorry, Elder Q.'s good with pop-culture references, and they have thankfully worked their way back into my vocab.
Take care, and know that you all rest gently on my mind. Any moment I have to myself, memories just float by. Things I didn't even know I remembered have come up on this mission. Like it says, the Spirit brings ALL (good) things to our remembrance. Love you! Oh, and Happy Birthday, Xan-man!!