Dear Friends and Family, June 14, 2010
Well, first things first. This was going to be a rather jovial letter, but something serious happened, so we'll get that done. Two Missionaries, Elder K. (my former ZL) and Elder Om. (my mission half-brother), (both good friends of mine) were thrown in prison. We don't know why, but we have been instructed by President to remember them in our prayers. This was just today.
I have been transferred. It was a little sad, since I've spent 6 months in Buduburam. I didn't have the heart to go around and tell everybody, but we did go see Sister S. She's a strong return-missionary, she and her husband both. They are the kind of people we need at the foundation of the Church, anywhere. Anyway, I was transferred to Nsawam. It's a few hours from the mission home, so I'm again in the bush, but it's a nicer bush. We have a weight-room and a sweet cafe. It'll be okay, but I had serious whiplash from how different/hard the work is here. In Buduburam, it rains investigators. Here, it rains a lot, and there are still NO investigators. We had to pull teeth to give lessons, even with people that are supposedly going to be baptized. I've taken over for a missionary who was going home, and sick for the last 2 weeks, so it's pretty much ground-zero. That is not his fault, mind you. Malaria is harsh. But it does add to my stress level a little. That, and I am again the District Leader, with the 2 most DISOBEDIENT elders in the mission as the other companionship. I mean, that's what I've been told...... by the mission president. It's a little difficult for me not to kick in the door, guns blazing, but I'd like to think this is the Lord's way of teaching me proper leadership, D&C 121 style. Elder Jo., my companion, is awesome. He was in the MTC the same time as Elder Qu., my trainee, and he's amazingly obedient. He was trained by Elder Mc., so it's to be expected, and it's nice. The area book is flawless and his planning skills rock, so I expect to learn a lot.
Now, like I said, the work is difficult. This is the part of the mission that used to be two wards, until a bishop messed up, and now it's just one branch. This has really pressed Elder Jo. and me to spend a lot of time on our knees, asking the Lord to show us the right people. We've found a couple. We started teaching the chief of the village, which is awesome. As we studied how to work a "hard" area from the Book of Mormon, we read a lot about Ammon. We also met a woman named D. Everyone here requires you to chase them down. We had to go by her place 4 times to have her to sit down with us, but when she did, it was very spiritual. The topic really hung on to the idea that the Gospel is a family affair. Heavenly Father, His Son, Jesus Christ (our elder brother), and Elder Jo. and I (her brothers) were all working together so our sister could have eternal life. She became very accepting, and the Spirit bore unforgettable testimony to me that this woman really is my sister, and that she should be as important to me as she is to her Heavenly Father. I know that Nsawam will be tough, but I feel in my bones that Elder Jo. and I can turn it around. Elder Jo. is a little pessimistic, but I'm a little crazy, so it balances out, I'm sure.
Elder Jo. is sweet. He's a lot like I imagine working with Elder Kyle Jones would be. Very humble, not going to cause problems, but very obedient, and striving to set a good example and learn everything he can. He went to BYU. He also skipped a grade, so we really get along. We're going to work our tail-ends off and blow some minds. Elder Mc. told Elder Jo. that Kasoa district was doing some miracles, so it was cool to hear that those older work-horses notice how hard I worked. I've learned the gospel is about doing, so I'm working extra hard to SHOW my testimony, and not just say things. I hope it is working!
The other cool thing is Kasoa was re-opened, and President sent a veritable DREAM TEAM into that place. I was mad to slave out there, 3 months by myself, and then be transferred before it became awesome, but it's okay. Elder Ki., a good friend and MTC mate, took over for me, and I made sure to set him up with a nice transfer, so he can't blame ME for anything. ;) Elder Qu. is still there, so it'll be a good chance for him to step up and be senior until Elder Ki. gets a grasp of everything. Elder Ba., the former AP, is training as the District Leader in Kasoa, and Elder Ne. (my MTC, Elder Wardle's MTC companion) and Elder Ed. (Elder Qu's MTC and all around work-horse) are Kasoa 2. It's going to be off the HOOK! They'll have that place back into shape in no time.
I just wanted to take a second to bear testimony of the absolute divinity of the Book of Mormon. We asked for 2 cases, so we can just flood this place with it. I know the words contained in the Book of Mormon are the words of Christ. It pulls us closer to God and fills our minds with virtuous thoughts. I know it is the key to our message, and the foundation of our claims. I love it, and invite all, member or non-member, to read and pray about it.
Love you all. We will be receiving mail every week because the office couple is also the 2nd counselor in the branch presidency here. I'm always happy when the Spirit (and my mail) reminds me of how wonderful my life is, because of the people in it.
Elder W. Farnbach