Dear Family and Friends, May 18, 2010
Well, these past few days have been infinitely more interesting then the whole last week. If I wrote this letter yesterday, it would be incredibly exciting. If I wrote this letter 4 hours ago, it'd be really depressing. Right now, it's... faithful.
So on Sunday, we had Stake Conference late in the day. Elder Q. and I decided to go on another round-up to gather everyone. It was our biggest Sunday yet with 16 investigators coming to church. That's flashing a bit ahead, but it was cool.
Last week, Elder Q. and I were noticing that, besides the people who are about to be baptized, we really aren't teaching anyone that we're particularly focused on. No one was jumping out at us, so we started to look around. As we passed some people we had decided to ease up on, to our surprise, they were sitting on their front porch (that's not at all the right terminology for Camp, but it's all I've got), reading their Book of Mormon with their neighbor. I was never happier. We'd spent the whole rest of the week looking for people to teach, and had no results. However, he very day we took it into prayer, it was like, cloudy, with a chance of investigators. That same woman, Catherine, ended up bringing 5 friends to stake conference with her! She is truly amazing!
Anyway, so we went on a round-up. We managed to gather a huge number of people. The ward provided buses to take people to conference. We brought our people to join the members standing around.
As we arrived, we ran into some more investigators, the Me. family. Little Jo Jr... he's five, and the brightest kid ever. He knows the whole Joseph Smith story. During the last lesson, he ran off with a Joseph Smith Pamphlet, only to come back... "Daddy, that's God, right?" (pointing to the First Vision) "Yes, son." (Jo Jr. excitedly runs off to show his friends God.) Every time we see him, he rushes us. I picked him up and started to carry him, and then his sister Victoria, who is seven, grabbed my hand. It was amazing. I was reminded of all the times Christ spent time with the little children. I swear, I must've looked like one of the pictures. I'm not saying that to boast, mind you. I just mean, any time you can see yourself doing what the Savior did, you should feel happy. The conference ended up being really awesome. Lots of talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon (thanks to President Smith, who is the man.) And then the Stake President went off about condoms for about 15 minutes, which was awkward, even if the point he was making was good.
The coolest part, though, was the feel. I spend a lot of time thinking how this is almost a different Church. Not really, I mean, but it is "The Developing Church"... It doesn't feel the same. At the Stake Conference, however, it was like being home. I saw a bunch of brethren, including some from my ward, receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. This is a real live stake of Zion we have here! The most surreal moment was when the choir sang "High On The Mountain Top". I just wanted to jump on my feet and say "You are who this song is about!" These are the people who are standing up and saying "We'll now go up, and serve the Lord, obey His truth and learn His word!" That was awesome.
Monday was a freak rainstorm that knocked out power in Ghana, hence the lateness of this letter.
Today was a lot of bad news. We found out Teh, our awesome investigator, will be leaving before his baptism. He'll be back in a month, which means I'll probably still be here, but still... Then, the Me.s confessed that they weren't “full” married. Man, it broke my heart to explain to them that that means they have to postpone their baptism. Dad was heartbroken, and so was Mom. We discussed their options, and expressed our love and support. We all came out of it feeling good.
Like I said, 4 hours ago, I was having a rough day. But, I think this is God's way of telling me to focus on different people. I know that those who need to be moved are strong enough that it'll happen next transfer, and that took a lot of edge off of it. Plus, Elder Y. and I sifted through the Buduburam teaching pool, and turned up two people we'd overlooked. We extended them dates. And you know what? It's possible. I feel really good about it. I think that's faith. Faith is the quiet assurance that we are doing the right thing.
President's instruction at interviews focused on 2 Nephi 31. You see, Christ has only one doctrine. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. That is the "us" portion of the Gospel. The Atonement was His part. We need to learn about it, appreciate it, and strive to emulate His life, but ultimately, repentance and baptism is what He told us to do.
On a separate note, not related to the above mentioned content, I want to say something that has been wearing on my mind. A lot of people we see have problems with the law of chastity. Now, today, we have this notion of "modern women" or "modern man". More and more, monogamy and abstinence are mocked, belittled, and trodden under foot. There is great unhappiness in these paths. A lot of the problems that plague Africa right now (and I don't just mean AIDS) stem from this wide-spread promiscuity. This will not limit itself to this blessed land (and for those of you who don't know, God loves Africa). These problems will continue to sweep and destroy all who decide to engage in them. Satan's greatest weapon in these days is the destruction of Virtue. Now, many would defend this position. I'm not here to debate. This is not a question of convincing people. This is a question of happiness and misery. Do you want to rationalize, and continue to face these problems, or do you wish to change? I plead, with every bit of tender feeling a dear friend, brother, and son can summon: Do not fall victim. Do not engage in these behaviors. Do what is right, let those consequences follow.
Elder W. Farnbach
P.S The Office Elders failed to bring mail to interviews... it's been a little rough on me. Now it will be 6 weeks total without mail.
[ Elder Farnbach's mom's PPS - He has not moved out to the apartment in the Camp yet. They are having difficulties with power being connected to it. ]